Del Toro gorges his artistic appetite from all possible angles, but makes the strongest, most human elements secondary to all the visual candy.
Ana Lily Amirpour weaves universes out of pop culture. Her second film, THE BAD BATCH (2016), is her fantasy of America in the 80’s: a post-apocalyptic, skater culture soaked in drugs and glam. It’s lecherous and carnivorous, lonely and outcast from the promised Eden of the 60’s. But with a touch of John Hughes.
When contrasted against last year’s similarly-themed (but far more original) Pet, Berlin Syndrome seems especially disappointing.
Going back eight years is not much of a throwback in time. Yet writer-director Travis Betz’ “Lo” (2009) is worthy of a Throwback Thursday shout-out anyway. It’s an overlooked and undervalued film that deserves a wider audience. A genre-blending horror comedy musical with romantic drama elements, this indie picture takes a lot of chances and still succeeds.
Love (2015) is a highly reflexive film that says as much about writer-director Gaspar Noé (I Stand Alone, Irreversible, Enter the Void) as it does about its diegetic world. Its protagonist, Murphy (Karl Glusman), is (like Noé) a young, foreign-born (American rather than Argentinian) filmmaker who moves to France to make films. Murphy becomes involved in a highly charged relationship with a young French artist named Electra (Aomi Muyock). Their relationship ruptures after they invite a teenage neighbor, Omi (Klara Kristin), to have a threesome with them.
The central mystery of SPELLBOUND revolves around two questions raised in the film’s first act. Two later sequences are key to understanding this mystery.
Since their gradual emergence in Western popular culture over the period from the 1960s to today, the memes of “finding yourself” and being “in a relationship” have become perennial social preoccupations. The Lobster (2015) skewers both through reducing them to absurdity. So, what’s left? Unfortunately, the film seems to run out of ideas at this point. Is THE LOBSTER still worth a watch?
Written and directed by: Wong Kar Wai Starring: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Faye Wong Background If you want to know something about Hong Kong (HK) cinema,… Read more “Throwback Thursday: Wong Kar Wai’s Classic “Chungking Express” (1994)”
Whereas something like Simon Rumley’s “Red White & Blue” takes a look at disease and infection from a standpoint of real-world consequence, one might think the exaggeration of “Contracted” might put it more in league with the not-quite-earthbound films of David Cronenberg (“Shivers” and “Rabid” in particular). Unfortunately, writer-director Eric England falls back on degrading gross-outs for their own sake.