More than 10 years separate Lucile Hadzihalilovic‘s Innocence and her 2015 Evolution, but the decade in between didn’t diminish the director’s poetic vision, resolute emphasis on slowness and children, and tone of generally creeping dread. If anything, Evolution ups the ante, swapping in an uncanny group of young boys at an unsettling seasside resort for Innocence‘s female ballerinas and mixing in a huge dose of body horror to boot.
“You will have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood,” director Merian Cooper allegedly promised the B-movie actress and future scream queen Fay Wray. She assumed he meant Clark Gable; he meant King Kong.
King Kong, both 1933 classic and imaginative figure, retains one of the more central places in the cultural subconscious.
Sophie Savides’ transcendent short The Funeral is an open question. Or really, a set of open questions. Is cinema about distance or closeness? The fictive or the real? Adhering to a rigorous three-part formalism, The Funeral isn’t about to provide any answers, which is an entirely appropriate approach to an achingly poetic depiction of a eulogy.
Train To Busan begins with the routine frustrations of a hapless truck driver: a dodgy checkpoint, impassive security forces, a collision with a deer that he registers as just one more irritation on a frustrating route.
When he drives off, still huffing and puffing about how nothing’s going right, we watch the deer twitchily reassemble itself, stand upright, and stare off into the distance with clouded eyes.
Welcome to the Second Inaugural Showdown of Sports Movies!
As faithful readers will surely remember, last year my girlfriend Carrie and I set out to watch a bunch of sports movies to coincide with March Madness. The idea was at once simple and, because we are kind of dorky, needlessly complicated.
The furious quote in the title, courtesy of our tortured poet protagonist Vijay (director/producer/star Guru Datt), arrives near the end of 1957’s Pyaasa. Spurned by a world that privileges commerce over art, that elevates duplicity over sincerity and integrity at every turn, Vijay has had enough.
My nominee for the most inexplicably overlooked film of 2016, or at least one of the more under-discussed, Pete’s Dragon is that rarest of things: a movie that captures the very feeling of childhood without pandering or talking down to its audience.
A woman approaches a witch in her lair, hoping to score a potion to seduce a cleric. She imagines how this will play, and we watch her reverie: he puts down his knife and meat long enough to check her out.
Nominating the bawdiest dialog from a pre-Code film is a fool’s errand — it’s a crowded field — but this exchange, from Ernst Lubitsch‘s sparkling, smirkingly amoral Trouble In Paradise, has got to be a contender:
If I were your father, which fortunately I am not, and you made any attempt to handle your own business affairs, I would give you a good spanking – in a business way, of course.
For some of us, the very words “Keven Spacey stars as a real estate mogul reincarnated as a talking cat named Mr. Fuzzypants” inspire a kind of maniac glee. Bad-movie aficionados live for such moments, so the release of Nine Lives, now streaming on Amazon Prime, was like a gift from the gods.