Thursday, February 14, 2019

Green Book (Peter Farrelly)

Odd couple

A Farrelly movie up for the Oscars?  

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Mary and the Witch's Flower (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2017)

Reprise

Here's a pretty pickle: how do you follow after the work of arguably one of the greatest animated studios in recent decades? With the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki and the shuttering of Studio Ghibli (actually old news: he has come out of retirement and the studio has since unshuttered) many of the people who worked there have established their own outfit, Studio Ponoc, and this film--Mary and the Witch's Flower (Meari to Majo no Hana) helmed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, Secret World of Arrietty) is their debut offering.

On first glance you'd think they simply stepped right into the problem: the opening is an escape as wordless and thrilling as the opening of Castle in the Sky: young girl cradling some blue and precious object flies away in a broom stick, closely pursued by creatures not unlike the glutinous henchmen in Howl's Moving Castle (Miyazaki among other obsessions has his gleefully scatological side); an explosion of unknown origin the broom blown out of control the girl plummets to an unknown fate below. 

Friday, February 01, 2019

Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)


Angerman

Panos Cosmatos' Mandy is a trip through a tabletop landscape dotted with scenic views and sudden detours with long sessions of intravenous pleasure with jolts of hilarity and horror.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Best of 2018


The hate list

From where I'm standing it was a fearful year an angry year a hateful year; a rollercoaster ride a terrorfilled plunge a horrorshow. 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016)

Andrew Garfield as Rodrigues
And the rest is

(WARNING: story and ending discussed in explicit detail)

The film begins with the sound of cicadas whirring rhythmically over a black background. The sound drops out, the film title (simple white letters) flashes onscreen. Cut to a vision of hell: a guard cloaked in steam stands beside a wood shelf topped with severed heads. We are at the volcanic springs of Unzen, near Nagasaki, where friars are strung up on crosses and longhandled ladles with holes sprinkle boiling water, delicately poaching their skin (Today of course the springs are a popular vacation resort). 

Welcome to Martin Scorsese's idea of heaven: his thirty-years-in-the-making version of Shusaku Endo's Silence, completed at last and screened to near-universal acclaim (and near-empty theaters) in 2016.

Thursday, December 27, 2018