In all likelihood, the trans woman viewer will read Joel's generalized discomfiture as dysphoria, and whatever is awoken in him in his relationship with Clementine as a coming out, or at least the initial stage of questioning. This resonance is quickly made troubling when considered alongside the clear misogyny that he directs at her throughout their relationship. The harm that Joel does seems particularly insidious, because it is dwarfed by his heartbreak in the authorial intent of the film, which…
I'll summon up any century at will
I'll enter into it and build a home there.
With its deliberate camerawork and truly astonishing control over its range of sounds -- speech, noises both environmental and of human activity, non-diegetic music -- it moves so naturally backwards and forwards in time and space, into and out of the planes of books and newsreels and archival footage, that it really doesn't have a reference time frame. Rather, it has the quality of…
A.K.A. Serial Killer 1975
It makes its conceit apparent immediately -- though the killer is never seen, his immediate surroundings are imagined at points along his life from its very beginning until the moment of his arrest. The programmers interpreted this as a speculative reconstruction of what he might have seen, but the vividness of the colors, the wide array of close-ups, zooms, pans, angles, subjects, still images and clips, suggests not an objective view out of an individual's eyes in real-time, but a…
The Music Room 1958
Desolate, unsparing, positively Faulknerian in its identification of aristocratic decay with a form of spiritual sickness, a psychotic reliving of previous generational glory. Music accompanies the narcotic torpor, reduced to a wealth marker, surgically removed from the setting of communal joy in which it is usually made and performed, offering an interesting metatextual critique, as this luxury artform happens to be the connective tissue for the vast majority of Indian cinema. The last 20 or so minutes really kicked this…
The racist and homophobic logorrhea, the assaults of an Asian cab driver and a trans sex worker, and the actual unbroken 12 minute rape scene serve to do what exactly? Nod at homoerotic masculinity and the ethics of violence? Martin Scorsese has done that better and more deeply, many times over. Remind us that sexual assault is horrifying? Go watch a good rape-revenge film like Ms .45 instead. Heap up the edge on a platter to prove that it can…
Crimes of the Future 2022
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
An enormously enjoyable, sexy satire of the vacuity of much of the contemporary art world, a sort-of comedy of manners, and a fascinating speculative scenario from the director who's rapidly becoming my favorite cinematic worldbuilder. Yeah, much of my visceral response to this Cannes walkout fodder was snickering that in a different environment would have been full-bodied belly laughing, and much of that has to do with Viggo Mortensen's black-robed, quietly growling performance which was more Elder Scrolls questgiver-chic than…