THE KLANSMAN and THE LAST BEST YEAR are two very interesting new releases out this week courtesy of Olive Films. Here are my latest reviews!
Regardless, there’s a strong balance of pathos and empathy throughout the proceedings, that is almost audacious in of itself to not go too gory or too “depraved” as things progress. Depraved is an incredibly thoughtful horror parable with a strong sense of morality and compassion that is rare these days. This one has definitely made me curious about Fessenden as a writer/director, since I imagine certain themes showcased here resonate throughout his career. For this particular film, I was consistently impressed by the confidence behind the camera, the ability to get consistent, well-tuned performances, and to take a familiar dish while also giving its own distinct flavor and seasoning.
Last year, this terrific new film festival devoted to genre cinema out in NYC showcased several titles that wound up among many critics’ favorite films of 2019, including Revenge and The Endless. This year, more interesting showcases and films will emerge starting March 20th. I wanted to highlight a few of those for everyone out on the East Coast, in anticipation for their eventual release nationwide!
“Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” or so the saying, attributed to philosopher George Santayana, goes. And yet, there is a fatalism to Christian Petzold’s newest film, Transit, that implies even our understanding of the recent past may not rescue us from potential catastrophe.
Granger and O’Donnell is the main reason for why the film works and what makes it essential for me. It’s a love story that I was fully invested in right from the start. Their entire relationship feels very forward thinking in that it’s self-aware, open to awkwardness and to the moments where sexuality in a relationship is not yet understood. Ray’s film allows these two to just “be together” in several scenes that presage the dynamics that would be explored in the French New Wave films like BREATHLESS. Ray also allows for an identification with a certain feeling of disenchantment, as both of these two are outsiders looking for some sort of comfort to hold on to.
PHANTOM THREAD is a movie about a fractured relationship that probably was never meant to be healthy. And yet that’s okay with them. In fact they laugh through the sickness. However, through that realization, comes acceptance. There’s a moment involving the manifestation of a parent who has passed away, and soon thereafter, our protagonist is changed due to that interaction. Nothing is spelled out to the audience, but there is familiarity in the idea of “needing someone.” And well, what if that neediness becomes co-dependence? Paul Thomas Anderson explored more of the fantastical, darkly comedic version that was completely his own when he penned PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE