March 9, 2018No Comments

The Square – Ruben Ostlund – 2017

“«I never want to have any in-between scenes that are only there to tell the plot. If I have these scenes I think I’ve failed a little bit as a director.» Östlund explained that his mission is to make movies full of interesting, stand-alone scenes that highlight human behavior.

«It’s about the bystander effect. The reason we don’t have the ability to take responsibility in situations like that is because we are herd animals and we get scared, and when we get scared we get paralyzed. And we’re thinking, don’t take me, don’t take me, take someone else.» said Östlund.

«These people that in the beginning were sitting in tuxedos and eating their nice, fancy dinner, I wanted them to be uncivilized animals in the end, I think that the most uncivilized thing about our time is the collective rage against individuals that are acting uncivilized. Isn’t that the scary thing about us?» said Östlund about the monkey-man scene.” (imdb.com) 

The Square is monumental, I’m in awe of its intricate story of human hypocrisy and its gentle regard of it. Its density of meaning.

March 6, 2018No Comments

One Week Max Two is the title of my first short film. 
A year in the making, from head to toe. 

March 6, 2018No Comments

Get Out – Jordan Peele – 2017

Get Out sleeps on a very entertaining story, politically charged, fantastic, scary and funny. It’s here, in this mix, that the film bends genres and keeps us close. 

March 6, 2018No Comments

One Week Max Two is the title of my first short film. 
A year in the making, from head to toe. 

March 5, 2018No Comments

The Danish Girl – Tom Hooper – 2015

So conventional it hurts, The Danish Girl proposes a story about transsexuality that plays to the retired housewife. Bland and safe, it’s only strength lies in its wonderful production design value and Eddie Redmayne’s acting skill (which later on becomes itself a sum of stereotyped gestures). 

March 4, 2018No Comments

Darkest Hour – Joe Wright – 2017

Having just finished a 1000 pages book on WW2, Darkest Hour left me with a terrible ambiguous aftertaste. On one hand, I must say that this is an attractive film, in the suspension of disbelief kind of way. In a subtle way, it uses a lot of comedy conventions, from the grumpy old man archetype to the giddy tone setting score, to the silly way Churchill, the King and Halifax speak. On the other, it feels deeply as it has been produced by Disney, a parody of sorts, now that the 70 year gap between the real events has brought detachment, an emotional buffer zone. And this takes out any true emotional value, if ever one was looked after by its filmmakers. 

February 28, 2018No Comments

Picture of Light – Peter Mettler – 1994

Peter Mettler is something we need more of. Here, he accompanies a trek to the Canadian Arctic, bound to film the aurora borealis. But, as with most his films, the exploration soon turns inwards. A whirlwind of juxtapositions begins, overlapping things ranging from frost bites, the hunter’s lust to kill, a NASA launch, and of course, his favourite, the nature of reality.

February 28, 2018No Comments

Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino – 2017

My rush reaction on today’s Call Me by Your Name, highly praised worldwide, has to do with the peculiar language of this film. The content is far from being the most provocative thing at work here, but the crazy form that constructs everything from the tiniest beat to whole scenes. The way this director understands to move his story forward is on the brink of experimentalism. It brings an unseen before freshness. Think only of the way it uses the piano themes, switching them on and off during one long take. Mr. Guadagnino is a game changer and I can’t wait for his next film. Io sono l’amore will be 10 next year.

February 27, 2018No Comments

Les demoiselles de Rochefort – Jacques Demy – 1967

Besides its obvious merits, The Young Girls of Rochefort is a schoolbook study example for production design students. I can’t remember the last time when the impression provoked by a film was largely due to its colour scheme. Here’s a guy extracting the colour palette for your own usage

This film is the ultimate French version of optimism and joie de vivre, one found during Les Trente Glorieusesand probably never to be touched again.

February 22, 2018No Comments

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro – 2017

As promising and imagination-stimulating the underwater dance looks like, The Shape of Water has nothing of the supposed poetry its poster image conveys and couldn’t be a more conventional and cliche structured film. All the forces opposed in here - from the ruthless state agent vs the common man, the black suits vs the colourful, the army vs the scientists, the ordinary vs the different, the men vs. the women, efficiency vs. empathy, have been visited by the audience for the umpteenth time. Puzzle pieces are scattered all over the film, for the logic to work later on (the silly neck bruises turned branchia, the writing of the “crime location” on the calendar, the menacing visit by KGB agents to the doctor - so that they kill him not so out of the blue - so that the villain finds out who stole the Monster - from a dying until now brave doctor with nothing to loose - wtf). 

The Monster is the film’s G spot, yet, just like in real life, all we seem to know about it is frustratingly little: 
- it comes from the Amazon, where the people think of it as a God;
- it likes boiled eggs;
- it posses healing powers ranging from rejuvenating the balding scalp of a secondary character to plain-old patching of bullet wounds;
- has a hidden penis that comes out of a sort of fold, as mimicked by the wonderful Sally Hawkins;
- has a blue glow when something involving emotion-signalling happens;
- is afraid of scared cats, rips the head and tries to eat one - 5 minutes later likes to pet them;
- needs to stay in salty water;
- can breath through two separate respiratory systems.

The film spends just too much time justifying (silent wife, army career, reliable solider) the actions of the man, almost to redeem point - the solid Michael Shannon villain, while giving us only all of the above on the Monster. 

It gives us little to nothing on the depth, logic and meaning of love between Monster and Woman, but spends time and resources on a dry dance dream-like sequence which is supposed to give weight to their feelings, but only manages to ridicule them (a gallant Monster extending his mushy hand to invite the Woman on a sequence of waltz spins in b/w with orchestra). 

On the positive side, the production design (photo #2) is so coherent and telling - it saves the day.

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