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Nebraska (2013)

Parents. Maybe you can’t live with them, but you wouldn’t be alive without them.

Pride, age, reconciliation. This odd roadmovie scrutinizes a funny and touching father-son relationship. In my book of family.

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backtrack; Mean streets (1973)


Both depressing and uplifting with its focus split on friendship, love, crime, violence, men, and religion – Scorsese found his hallmark themes early in his career, here treating them in a more small-scaled and intimate manner than later.

The good kind of unspectacular. In my Italian-American book.

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backtrack; Papillon (1973)


Loyalty, friendship, endurance. A prison buddy movie brimful with stubborn determination, slowly transforming itself into an existential reflection on inner and outer freedom.

More fiction than fact, according to those in the know. In my book of silence and escapism.

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backtrack; Badlands (1973)


»I saw her standin’ on her front lawn
just a-twirlin’ her baton.
Me and her went for a ride, sir 
and ten innocent people died.

From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska,
with a sawed-off .410 on my lap.
Through to the badlands of Wyoming
I killed everything in my path.

I can’t say that I’m sorry
for the things that we done.
At least for a little while, sir
me and her we had us some fun.

The jury brought in a guilty verdict
and the judge he sentenced me to death.
Midnight in a prison storeroom
leather straps across my chest.

Sheriff, when the man pulls that switch, sir,
and snaps my poor neck back
you make sure my pretty baby
is sittin’ right there on my lap.

They declared me unfit to live
said into that great void my soul be hurled.
They wanted to know why I did what I did 
Sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.«

I’ve always associated Terence Malick’s debut with the chilling title track of Springsteen’s »Nebraska« album, and now I learn that Bruce was indeed inspired by both the movie and the true tragedy behind it.

Lays bare the blank, frightening void inside us. In my bleakest book of no explanations.

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12 years a slave (2013)

A grand, conventional, even old-fashioned Hollywood message movie. Marred by loose ends and an unexpected inability to take advantage of the undeniably dramatic historical source material.

Solomon Northup deserved better. Not bad, but not in my book of institutionalized brutality.

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backtrack; Frenzy (1972)


Revealing and hiding, teasing and shocking, entertaining and alienating. Hitchcock’s last great accomplishment has the aging master at his most blatantly grotesque and unpleasant.

Taking full advantage of new possibilities due to loosening censorship standards, the director revels in the tainted allure of perversion. In my book of serial killings.

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backtrack; Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (1972)


Decadent, artistic, sad chamber play of female dominance and submission. A highly original aesthetic and moral vision, both sumptuous and chilling. In my book of cruel, strange relational chess.

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