Film’s physicality is one aspect of Refn’s gleeful proclamations of doom.
With several months still to go, and no shortage of forthcoming releases, there’s already been talk about 2018 as The Year of Documentaries. Heather Lenz’s Kusama: Infinity probably won’t top too many year-end lists of these, but it merits inclusion: a solid, empathetic look at an artist whose body of work deserves the attention it’s finally receiving.
“Tungsten,” you think, occasionally, watching Gilda. “This film that made Rita Hayworth an international sensation, this film that features the most iconic character-introducing shot in all of cinema. It’s about … tungsten.”
Discussions of Gilda (1946) rarely turn on the out-sized role that tungsten — W on the periodic table; atomic number 74; melting point 3422 °C (6192 °F, 3695 K); boiling point 5930 °C (10706 °F, 6203 K), the highest known; density 19.3 times that of water, comparable to that of uranium and gold, and much higher (about 1.7 times) than that of lead — plays.
Spooktober officially came to an end 2 days ago. Let’s wrap this business up!
You can find this year’s previous entries here, here, and here. I did not meet the criteria I set out for myself this time around, and I closed out Spooktober with a movie from the man who also brought us City Slickers.
Last week, I checked back in with the Twin Peaks subreddit. I was mostly curious to see how the quest for theories was going, weeks after the finally final finale. It was stupid not to realize what I was actually going to get, given the fast-approaching holiday – pages and pages of Halloween costumes, of course (Dale Cooper for anyone who could afford a suit, with some dudes who were probably already halfway to looking like the Woodsmen filling out the rest of their aesthetic).
In Kelly Reichardt’s masterful 2013 meditation on terrorism Night Moves, we’re slowly introduced to a trio of disaffected young people staging a dramatic intervention: the explosion of a dam. Memorably, and in true Reichardt fashion, that explosion, which by all standard narrative conventions should occupy the film’s central spot, registers in the narrative instead as a muted, distant noise.
Do films have to be watched in their entirety? Is that a heretical question even to ask? Is it cinema if you only watch half?
A friend and I were pondering this earlier today, perplexed that more people weren’t showing up for her online programming.
Irresistibly billed as “the first Iranian vampire Western,” A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour’s first feature is a strikingly shot, glacially paced wonder.
Its tagline could’ve included a range of other influences: noir, especially, the early 80’s indie sensibilities of Jim Jarmusch, occasionally the uncanniness of Lynch.