Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Favorite (four), eighty-five

Just like in my other eighty-four posts in this series, I want to take a second to single out the highlights of my recent film viewing.  Most of the films I have been glad to see but only a very few have stayed with me.  This series is my filter for those and my hope is one or two will be good to you as well.

Steven Knight's Locke
Knight wrote Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things, both of which I like quite a bit.  This time he writes and directs and takes a huge gamble by focusing the entire movie on Tom Hardy in his car driving.  Hardy's talent as an actor, particularly his voice and gestures, keep our attention and enable a film that could easily feel thin in its theatricality, to take on additional dimensions.  

Tony Richardson's The Border
A film that fits in with its mood and style with the end of the cycle of the American New Wave.  Reminiscent of films like Cutter's Way and Out of the Blue that use naturalistic means to examine a decaying American Dream.

Claire Denis' Both Sides of the Blade
Although I have not rewatched most of Denis' films, I have seen the following at least once - ChocolatS'en fout la mortJ'ai pas sommeilUS Go HomeNenette et BoniBeau travailTrouble Every DayVendredi soirL'intrus35 rhumsLet the Sunshine InHigh Life and Both Sides of the Blade.  It seems that her work can be divided into at least two categories, films that make for fairly comfortable viewing (for instance, I place NenetteVendredi35 and Let the Sunshine into this category) and work that is as up there with some of the cinema's most harrowing.  In this latter category, to begin with I would list J'ai pas sommeilTrouble and Both Sides of the Blade.  It isn't gratuitous, there is a fearlessness at times with the way that Denis films the body and her ability, like Lynch, to burrow into raw and deeply disturbing situations involving her characters.  I am thinking about the long murder sequence involving Dalle or almost any moment with Camille or nearly second Colin is on screen.    

William E. Badgley's Here to Be Heard: The Story of the Slits
A must see for anyone into post-punk that wants to learn more about this seminal group.  Interesting to see that even people who leave a mark on music history sometimes have to move on to a life that has little to do with his or her art.   

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