The Round-Up (dir. Miklós Jancsó): Diagonal shot movements, a bare background, moral mind games. The prison camp is an island in a world of nothingness housing antichrists, men who turn one another in for being worse than they. Stylistically, this is the love child of Antonioni, Bergman, Teshigahara, and Tarkovsky, but it remains more than the sum of its parts. Evil begets evil, which becomes amoral perversion.
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (dir. Dušan Makavejev): Combine documentary with fiction, sex with politics, idealism with realism, and this is what you get. Obviously hugely influential with its “how” if not its “what.” On the other hand, would it have been at all without I Am Curious: Yellow? Its dénouement elevates its theme through finally offering some kind of punctuation, even if it is an unexpected yet retrospectively predictable bold-italic-underline exclamation point.
The Sopranos (Season 1, Episodes 1 &2): Already excellent, without having seen anything else in the series. Shows that Coppola and Scorsese worked well for their time, but now we shouldn’t take things so seriously. Move over olive oil, this is a trash business. The humor of Goodfellas is taken up a notch and matched with the mood of The Godfather. Doesn’t the opening shot say it all: frozen below and entranced by a rock-solid image of woman, feeling himself dwarfed and clip-clipped before who but a female psychiatrist enters and quickly persuades him to cry about ducks.