It rings false — Beach Rats is a catalog of desires, a kind of aesthetic carnival of lazy afternoons near the water, glistening skin, boardwalk trysts, neon clubs (which reminded me of Hittman’s excellent 2011 short Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight), desperate fumblings between bodies in secluded spaces, fireworks — but there’s an element of truth to it.
I remember talking to someone online about Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming, and being unsurprised that they didn’t like it. Like most of Baumbach’s movies, the protagonists are selfish and self-centered, the plot is aimless, and the women often feel like miraculous creatures for their quirky men to earn with small tokens of maturity.
In some ways, Jules Dassin’s Night and the City (1950) is an unlikely noir, which (along with an icy reception at the time from critics) might help explain why it’s not the first example of the genre that springs to mind — no femme fatale, no particular mystery, no play-by-play heist gone wrong, a curious fixation on wrestling, of all things.
There is a recurring image in The Water Protectors of Wakpa Waste — the new documentary about anti-pipeline and extractive energy struggles on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, and the people waging those struggles — that sticks in the mind: small icicles clinging to concertina wire.
As November staggers to its close, amid an endless avalanche of horrific revelations about terrible men and also whatever calamitous idiocy the U.S. President committed while I was literally writing this sentence, some things are still good. Twin Peaks! Everyone likes Twin Peaks.
Since its founding in 1984, the aptly-named Oddball Films has constituted one of the stranger spaces in the cinema world. An archive as interested in orphan home video, Italian psychedelic cartoons from the 60s, and instructional bumpers about hygiene intended for American classrooms as any neorealist classic or lost masterpiece, it was the brainchild of Stephen Parr, who passed away on October 24th.
Although their SNL shorts and music videos are generally cherished by comedy and/or cannabis enthusiasts, the Lonely Island boys haven’t had the best of luck on the big screen. Hot Rod raced through both theaters and the public consciousness, raking in all of $14M at the box office; a few years later, the Jorma Taccone-helmed MacGruber failed to recoup its budget, outpaced, as Matt Singer once pointed out, by Furry Vengeance, “starring Brendan Fraser as a real-estate developer at war with a raccoon.” It would’ve been hard for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping to fall any lower on the scale of profitability than that cult-favorite MacGyer parody.