For tonight’s matinee, we showcase three films exploiting what might be called Architectural Horror, which is a term I just made up right now and immediately decided to copyright so please don’t use it or I will have to talk to the lawyers.
As an empathetic portrait of contemporary Bedouin life, Elite Zexer‘s Sand Storm is a standout success, immersing us in the push and pull of tradition and modernity. As a familial melodrama, and a complicated narrative without villains, it’s even better.
In The Nightmare (2015), Room 237 director Rodney Ascher updates his enjoyable 2012 portrait of a handful of people with some … colorful interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, mapping similar themes onto an entirely different, much scarier vision.
The earlier film allowed ample, hilarious space for these Kubrick obsessives to present their wildly improbable visions of his true intent, but at the same time it served as an examination of the ways in which meaning is created.
“I guess I wasn’t built for this.”
“Nobody was. It’s all just a trick we perform, when we’d rather not die immediately.”
Stanley Kubrick’s first feature Fear and Desire – famously considered lost for years, and famously dismissed by Kubrick himself as “a bumbling amateur film exercise” – is an existentialist war movie.
The story Force Majeure tells is, on its surface, completely straight-forward, and doesn’t indicate all the tension the film ultimately delivers. It’s an action film where all the fireworks are (mostly) internal and a disaster film that only briefly features any disasters, and even those turn out not to be what they seem.