April 26th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
That might become a new word for how you feel after watching this two-lovers-on-the-road-on-the-lam. Amy Seimetz has a talent for putting two unlovable and unwatchable leads on screen and make them hypnotically and oddly compelling for an hour and a half. Like a TLC reality show through an auteur’s lens, this film wades into hillbilly Everglades with wide-eyed fascination for the trysts and the tourist trap kitsch that color the landscape. There’s no B-roll of gators in them there swamps; the only monsters the desperate, human kind.
What have you seen by the end of the film? You’re not quite sure. Pushing the boundary means sometimes you’re going to fall, but for God’s sake be graceful. And Seimetz dances the line like a goddamn ballerina.
—SIFF 2013!, shameless plug, dan
April 19th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Few sons have followed in their father’s footsteps so precisely in the filmmaking biz, specifically the writing and directing your own movie biz. You’ve got your Reitmans. Your Reiners. And now: Cronenbergs?
What does this movie have that I demand from a Cronenberg branded film? Some bizarre technology that doesn’t really make sense? Check. Bizarre human flesh/machine hybrids? Check. Well, the baton has been passed I assume, with Daddy Cronenberg focusing on character studies.
What else is in this film? A translucent Caleb Landry Jones perfectly matched to the more than white background. Malcolm McDowell dropping in just to deliver a few lines in his more than perfect voice. A potential hottest new actress Sarah Gadon that is believably obsession worthy. A wonderful menagerie.
See it or may I rot where I stand.
—you know it, I own both Cronenberg releases on Criterion, dan
April 12th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
With a title as fatal sounding as a ponderous philosophical opus, this film carries such moments of spontaneous hope and beauty you forget that this is supposed to be a sad drama. Isaac Love, writer/director Marc Webber’s real life son, has to be in the running for one of the cutest goddamn kids on our blue sphere. He lights up and eats up the screen; moments caught on film have to be real as hell with this two-year-old, who doubtfully even the most seasoned of directors trained with children could direct to say those lines.
You do have to wonder if Isaac is actually getting confused in some of the scenes where a mother-figure is present. Pretty much all the scenes that seem scripted don’t have him present except the scenes with Shannyn Sossamon (who turns in one of her best performances), where the slip-ups occur. Is that a situation created so such naturalistic dialogue comes forth from the mouth of babes?
I don’t want to dig too deep as this is a film that’s best discovered at its own pace, at first being drawn in to the daily rhythm of Marc and Isaac. Would it be too cliche to say this film tugs at your heartstrings?
This film is a really unique experiment in quasi-autobiographical filmmaking that should be seen by all. You’ve seen weepy indie drama before, but not like this.
And look, if you’re looking for more of what we had last week, we literally have it. WRONG and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR continue alongside THE END OF LOVE. If you missed ’em, see ’em!
—drowning in films, I love my job, dan
April 5th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Probably the first and last time I’ll use a self-censored title to this blog. I stand behind it thematically, but I don’t want to make my momma cry if ever she sees it.
Type one of mind twist is the transcendent WRONG (I’m officially switching title style so I don’t get schizophrenic between writing engagements). This film has one of the best laugh out loud moments of the year so far. If you see it you’ll know it, I don’t want to give anything away. We get some great performances from the cast, especially Steve Little, criminally underused even after giving us one of the best sitcom characters in TV history as Danny McBride’s sidekick in EASTBOUND AND DOWN.
WRONG’s greatest success is performing the mission of surrealism perfectly: subverting your expectations. Though the film dips its toes into straight absurdism at moments, it keeps a perfect balance of just enough strange and just enough familiar. The result: you at times will forget momentarily that you are watching a surrealist comedy (and sometimes even that you are watching a comedy) so you are continually delighted with surprise surrealism throughout the film.
And of course, Dupieux’s masterful use of sound design and audio cues are back from RUBBER. Scenes are punctuated by unsettling music swells so short you almost think them accidental, but nothing about Dupieux’s films are accidental.
Also up for mental discombobulation is MY AMITYVILLE HORROR, and film that asks a lot of questions but offers no firm answer. The main voice is that of Daniel Lutz, choicely lit by the filmmakers to cast his face in ghoulish, death mask shadow. His story provides the framework for a revisiting of 70s paranormal sensation “The Amityville House,” exploited for its perfect haunted house narrative set against a dysfunctional family.
Lutz is justifiably maladjusted, though this film portrays him more as the receiver of domestic abuse, not supernatural. His hatred of his stepfather George Lutz colors the narrative of his remembrance of the events both surrounding life in the house and life before and after. His siblings declined to be interviewed, so we are left with one voice, manic and still vividly remembering and re-remembering events 35 years prior. An interesting portrait of hatred and remembrance. Was the evil supernatural, paternal, or completely imagined?
—watched way too many movies this week, time to read some comics, dan