This year I only saw one good horror film, The Witch. Super eerie and a wonderful exploration of what our very own fears can engender. I love how much sound design and music contribute to the tension in this one. I also dig how the W in 'Witch' is spelled with two Vs on the poster, etc. For the 2nd film I go back to 2013's Under the Skin. Much weirder and darker and took a while to shake off (as the title warned). Mica Levi's standout score for the film is unlike anything I've heard before. It brings us closer to this alien life form in a way no other language could.
2015's Victoria, directed by Sebastian Schipper, is not the first one-shot wonder, but it's the first THRILLING one-shot wonder. In addition to the incredible camerawork that follows multiple characters, locations and rhythms, the film is crowned by phenomenal performances and writing. In terms of picture editing, the only decision was to choose which of the 3 takes would be used. How difficult was that choice?
If I was to program The Lobster (2015), the imaginative dark funny feature by Yorgos Lanthimos, I would pair it with Alice Winocour's Kitchen (2005), one of my favorite short narrative films. They are completely different stories but share similar traits, like brilliant deadpan moments, careful composition of shots /color palettes... and lobsters.
Tonight I re-watched Jules et Jim, a choice made after spotting the excellent poster at a coffee shop (excellent because it depicts Catherine, not the titulary Jules and Jim.... clever), and realizing I had large gaps in my memory to refill.
The film is a free-spirited rendition of sweet and free going sour and confined, on many levels. It's a radiant reminder that cinematic freedom can be exercised in every department, and meaningfully.
It was an intense week, watching one episode per night until there were no more.... or so I thought. It got under my skin so much that I keep seeing more parallels over here in the 'real world'. A dark looking glass indeed. There are so many works out there that imagine not-so-distant places based on existing technologies. Of those this show is the best I've seen in a long time. It doesn't shy away from disturbing scenarios, nor does it eschew our stickier/uglier proclivities as humans.
"... in even the most perverse installments, there’s a delicacy, a humane concern at how easily our private desires can be mined in the pursuit of profit. The worlds can be cartoonish, but the characters are not. [...] it works because it’s not cynical about emotion. " - Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker
Sparse highlights from the great spinning sphere of publication.