FilmLand Empire

FilmLand Empire is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Anton Bitel, Naila Scargill
Rating Title/Year Author
Nasty Baby (2015) Naila Scargill There are layers to this social satire, and the insidious effect of central character Freddy's brazen narcissism unexpectedly draws you in to observe more complex matters of class division, prejudice, and homophobia. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
James White (2015) Naila Scargill A minimal approach creates an unflinching character study that relies on performance over traditional narrative. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2019
Blue Sunshine (1976) Anton Bitel Blue Sunshine poses anxious questions about a late-Seventies America whose middle-aging middle class is made up, inevitably, of casualties from the previous decade, when the current establishment was first establishing itself. EDIT
Posted Aug 17, 2015
God Told Me To (1976) Anton Bitel Here the machinery of divine intervention is taken for a freaky secular spin via the familiar cinematic modes of urban realism and even science fiction, and a detective mystery becomes a mystery rite. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2015
He Never Died (2015) Anton Bitel Rollins is often known for his over-the-top presence in films, but in He Never Died he offers a performance of immense containment and restraint. EDIT
Posted Jul 29, 2015
Parents (1989) Anton Bitel The Oedipal conflict that Parents plays out is timeless, but also very much rooted in its times, with a darkly comic nostalgia that looks both backwards to a Paradise lost and forwards to one perhaps never regained. EDIT
Posted Jul 4, 2015
Darkman (1990) Anton Bitel ...comicbook slapstick and off-the-hook mania in a combination only previously seen in Evil Dead II. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2015
The Toxic Avenger (1984) Anton Bitel here, beneath all the smiles and sun and buff bodies, is a vision of the US as a place of corruption, pollution, and violent criminality, with the ordinary law-abiding "little people" constantly at the mercy of a toxic American Dream. EDIT
Posted Jun 15, 2015
Society (1989) Anton Bitel Putting a fist up America's hidden dynastic structures & pulling them inside out so that the terrible things underneath are revealed for all to see, Society is a veritable orgy of influences assimilated into something singular & entirely sui generis. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2015
Eaten Alive (1976) Anton Bitel Hooper's film, despite its apparent focus on zoology, is really an experiment in baroque Texpressionism, dominated by concerns of an anthropological, ethnographic nature. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2015
Anguish (1987) Anton Bitel horror at its most sophisticated and self-reflexive, using cinema itself - its projections and imaginative impacts - as an arena for anxiety-riddled ideas about what it means to surrender ourselves to someone else's sinister, suggestive vision. EDIT
Posted Mar 30, 2015
Jauja (2014) Anton Bitel Beautiful, haunting and hypnotic, Jauja sees its own legend grow disproportionately, until we all, in our search for sense, get lost on the way. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2015
Four of the Apocalypse (1975) Anton Bitel Maybe not quite as 'out there' as El Topo or even Django Kill, but the mix here of good-natured jokiness & gravity (even depravity), along with strange excursions into the discourse of theology & gender, make 4 Of The Apocalypse a weird trip alright. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2015
Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014) Anton Bitel sequel that, though not exactly fresh, contaminates the franchise's now established tropes with some unexpected subgenres, & keeps the pot boiling on its high-stakes tensions without ever taking itself - or horror - too seriously. EDIT
Posted Mar 2, 2015
Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy (2013) Anton Bitel a teenage girl's coming-of-age story, surreally reconstructed from 410 of a young Thai woman's consecutive tweets (which regularly punctuate the screen as a dynamic counterpoint to the events that we see). EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
36 (2012) Anton Bitel uses just 36 fixed shots - the same number as is found in a conventional photographic film roll - to tell the elliptical story of a snap-happy location scout's attempts to recover digital files and love (both lost). EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
Moebius (2013) Anton Bitel An outrageous Oedipal psychodrama that rubs and chafes against Buddhist parable, it also chooses, without a single line of dialogue, to show rather than tell its jaw-droppingly transgressive acts with Chaplin-esque distance. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
The Congress (2013) Anton Bitel Both sci-fi and metacinematic documentary, The Congress is a hallucinatory vision of our new wired world - and yet for all its overt artifice, it locates a sense of loss that feels all too real. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
Boyhood (2014) Anton Bitel Time and change are the universal themes here, embodied and particularised in Linklater's dramatic study of a divided and mildly dysfunctional family... This is one for the (and all) ages. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013) Anton Bitel both an immaculately crafted, highly sensual filmgoing experience, and a narrative puzzle whose intricate, interconnecting parts are best reintegrated by multiple visits. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2015
The Lust of Angels (2014) Anton Bitel What might sound like an underage variant on rape-revenge is greatly problematised by the abiding suggestion that all this sexual abuse by men comes with female complicity, even instigation. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2015
A Most Violent Year (2014) Anton Bitel Chandor's moody, muscular film finds 'the most right path' to the fewest clichés. EDIT
Posted Jan 21, 2015
Re-Animator (1985) Anton Bitel a retelling of Frankenstein with a psychosexual spin... an infectiously fun foray into science at its most insane and least ethical, as the mind's higher goals are repeatedly driven by the body's basest desires. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2015
Dark Summer (2015) Anton Bitel here the real, virtual and supernatural worlds merge in a bizarre love triangle that allows Solet to show the craft of a true manipulator of onscreen events - and to give viewers more than one kind of creep. EDIT
Posted Jan 10, 2015
Kundo: Age of the Rampant (2014) Anton Bitel Precision action sequences sit alongside dazzling period colour, coarse, crazy comedy rides side-saddle with domestic pathos, genre & tone are switched with deft ease, and the pace never lets up. [But] when anything goes, everything seems throwaway. EDIT
Posted Nov 17, 2014
Hard to Be a God (2013) Anton Bitel This is an extraordinary one-off, artfully constructed to make its base drives and impulses tangible in all their fluid squalour - but Hard To Be A God is also rather hard to like. EDIT
Posted Oct 8, 2014
The Duke of Burgundy (2014) Anton Bitel Groundhog Day (1993) as filtered through the visual language of Jess Franco or Jean Rollin's erotic oeuvre - a saucy theme & its minor variations that together modulate the ambiguous & ever-changing dynamics of these women's evolving relationship. EDIT
Posted Oct 4, 2014
And the Mud Ship Sails Away (2013) Anton Bitel made for under 3000, it is an excellent example of the bone-dry drollery that can result from a finely honed screenplay, a pitch-perfect cast and a highly dedicated crew. As a calling card, it shows Watanabe to be a real talent to watch EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2014
Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats (2014) Anton Bitel [Oshima Miyuke's] brilliance in the role, anchoring the entire film, helps to reinforce the idea that Fukuda represents a different kind of cinematic hero, and a different model of masculinity. EDIT
Posted Sep 27, 2014
Creep (2014) Anton Bitel a very fresh, hilariously mean-spirited take on both the 'first-person' format and the stalk-and-slash subgenre - and a lo-fi mumblegore treasure that any discerning, or just unhealthily obsessive, cinephile will want to add to their collection. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2014
Deliver Us From Evil (2014) Anton Bitel here evil comes from the Middle East, but is ultimately dispelled by American goodness, in a mapping of post-millennial geopolitics onto a simplistic Manichaean worldview. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2014
River of Fundament (2014) Anton Bitel Though certainly challenging in its exuberant obscurity, its forbidding length and its transgressive offence, River of Fundament represents ambitious, uncompromising art of the highest ordure. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2014
If... (1968) Anton Bitel Shot a few months before the student riots in Paris of May 1968, if.... captures the rebelliousness and anti-authoritarianism of the time, while raising troubling questions about where it might all be leading, and what risked being lost. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2014