It starts with a black screen. Sirens and the clattering of debris make use of the state of the art sound system.
September 11, 2001.
An emergency responder speaks to a woman trapped on a floor above the impact. They talk back and forth in their 2001 voices. Context is given as her words beat against the screen that is still black, inside your head, and the walls of the theatre that already feel too close. Continue reading →
Sometimes the best “Top 10 Lists” are made up of the ten worst. Here are the five worst television shows and the five worst movies made in 2012. Together they make up the ten worst productions to hit the screen last year. Continue reading →
I wasn’t quite sure who to like in Carnage, Roman Polanski’s annoying little film about two sets of wealthy Brooklyn parents bickering over their children’s schoolyard fight. Was it the women, demeaned to one-dimensional wrecks? Was it the men, miscast or otherwise reduced to unconvincing buddy-film cliché? Though Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet offer a few moments each where likeability seems possible (she does some of the best drunk acting in recent memory), there’s no escaping these characters’ grasps in this claustrophobic gimmick of a movie.
By the time Winslet slurs, “Why are we still in this house?” the audience is right there with her. Continue reading →
Melancholia is not for everyone. It is at times painstakingly art-house, unpleasant, and frustrating, but all the while beautiful, mesmerizing, and bewitchingly intense. I imagine that there will be a certain crowd who will turn away from the film – at least question their choice for the evening – within its first five minutes, a montage of the end of the world. This is not the world’s end as we’ve seen it elsewhere in film; no crumbling skyscrapers or rip-roaring crevasses split the movie screen here. No, in Lars von Trier’s vision, the world’s end is a work of art in extreme slow-motion. These opening moments feature some of the film’s most memorable imagery: lightning emits from finger tips, a mother trudges across a golf course clutching her child, and planets collide.
Still, for many, Melancholia’s 130 minutes will feel as though it were all in slow motion. Know what you’re getting into. Continue reading →