‘We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. We are therefore a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment — a formidable swarm of spoiled children smashing their toys. ‘ – Alan Watts.
‘time is on my side
yes it is
time is on my side
yes it is’ – The Rolling Stones
18 hours of new David Lynch material….what more needs to be said? analysis is not required but necessary in the modern culture. we have to pore over every detail, understand what is happening, why it is happening but forgetting that one of the necessary states when taking in the work of one of the world’s more unique artistic voices should be…fear? confusion? disgust? amusement? boredom? anger? arousal?
i’m not telling you. decide for yourself. you are a grown up for goodness sake! sure, twin peaks can be whatever you want it to be but this way lies frustration, unhappiness, despair. it can only not be one thing…everything else.
An extraordinary recreation of the technicolor style late 60’s/early 70’s melodramas/horror films is a heady, strange and often hilarious tale of Elaine, a beautiful modern day witch searching for love in a glossy californian soap opera b movie timewarp. She casts her considerable spell on various men so that they will fall in love with her but she finds them to be somewhat wanting; they find her femininity overpowering, quickly surrendering their sanity and dignity and unable to see her as anything other than an object of desire and worship. Anna Biller’s film is a lush, mesmeric trip; a stylized battle of the sexes with a wicked sense of humour and through line of sincerity, offering a unique female perspective on love and desire through a distinct genre filter. the score alone is to die for; a lush ennio morricone meets krzysztrof komeda deal and the visual aesthetic of the film is like a mashup of rosemarys baby beyond the valley of the dolls and italian b movies. grade: B+
we are the flesh (tenemos la carne) dir- emiliano rocha minter
teachers report – emiliano tries very hard and clearly possesses talent but his focus on being controversial results in work that seems designed purely to provoke shock, anger, revulsion, frustration whilst often inciting boredom and triggering sense memories of the works of noe, jodorowsky, von trier and kubrick. however, he does demonstrate an ability to work with actors and knows how to compose striking images and create an unsettling atmosphere. could do better. * although i will concede that emiliano’s film could be possibly be a transgressively allegorical statement on the current state of things in mexico but without sufficient knowledge to confirm this, I am simply offering a measured, unbiased response to the work of an artist/technician/craftsman/professional on a cinematic level. grade: C+
magnificent, prolific, versatile with a distinctively regal, sandpaper voice, looking back at the late John Hurt’s numerous credits, it’s astonishing how many of his film projects I was exposed to in my formative youth – alien, watership down, the elephant man, the plague dogs, the animated lord of the rings, 1984, scandal – it felt like i grew up with him, the somewhat dissolute, craggyfaced uncle with a razorsharp wit and a heightened sense of his own mortality. from the late 60’s up until the present, hurt worked consistently on film, television and the stage consistently working with interesting directors and never seemed to age. his lived in, somewhat frail physicality always made him seem old or older than he was thus he never seemed to age. there were few better actors at conveying weariness, wisdom, venality, suffering, eccentricity, quiet intelligence, gentle defiance from his breakthough in 1966 with A Man for All Seasons up until his recent supporting role alongside natalie portman in Pablo Lorrain’s Jackie in 2016. he will be missed.
american honey (2016) dir – andrea arnold
english director andrea arnolds fourth feature is just as bold and striking as her previous work (red road, fish tank, wuthering heights); a thrillingly alive road odyssey/character study of discarded american youth; vibrant, poetic, erotic, tragic funny, scary, indulgent, messy, ugly and beautiful in equal measure.
american honey is ostensibly the story of star (debutante Sasha Lane), a teenage girl trapped in a deadend home life somewhere on the fringes of working class america. she stumbles upon a ragtag group of lost boys and girls led by the charismatic, ponytailed Jake (Shia La Boeuf) whom she locks eyes with and offers her the chance to escape her impoverished, abusive existence and join his motley crew in their battered volkswagen selling magazine subscriptions to rich neighbourhoods for cash. she seizes the opportunity and throws herself into a headlong journey of self discovery that is both epic and intimate in scope.
arnold and cinematographer robbie ryan shoot the film in a 4:3 aspect ratio, normally reserved for television and still photography. this serves to emphasize Star’s point of view. we see the world through this defiant young woman’s eyes as she chooses to experience it. immediate, raw, surreal and fascinating with convincing performances from a cast of first-timers and professionals, particularly Lane and La Boeuf whose intense chemistry powers the film forward, sideways and every other way as it careens to a perfect (in)conclusion.
Felidae (1994) Dir – Michael Schaack
In praise of the pussy cat… the domestic feline is apparently being celebrated globally today although arguably for cat owners and the critters themselves, every day is indeed….cat day, no? An invitation for a debate or argument? Perhaps. Or simply a clumsy lede-in to the film above, a feature designed primarily for human appreciation I imagine though I would be surprised if the film’s copious scenes of cat copulation didn’t attract the curious gaze of one or two furries toward your tv/laptop/computer screen upon viewing.
Eden (2015) – Dir: Mia Hansen-Løve
Paradise lost/found in sound? Eden, The latest film from young French director Mia Hansen-Løve is an intimate odyssey which follows an aspiring DJ named Paul (Felix de Givry) over the course of two decades as his passion for house music sees him become a pioneer of the French house music scene of the mid-late 1990’s, a scene which birthed the likes of Daft Punk, Cassius, Stardust, Bob Sinclar, Etienne de Crecy.
The script has its basis in reality with Hansen-Love’s older brother Sven’s career as a DJ serving as the inspiration for the film. He also collaborated on the script thus bringing a much-needed sense of authenticity to a project attempting to convey the constant paradigm shifts that occur in a scene where notions of musical taste and style are in almost constant flux within metropolitan culture.
Delving deep into specific musical scene, tracking one characters quasi-religious search for musical bliss, detailing his rise and fall as he deals with the vicissitudes of life, Eden does not seem like your typically shallow glorification of a godhead musician/dj and judging by the rave reviews it has received thus far, it isn’t.
Eden opens in Irish cinemas tomorrow. Maybe you should seek it out after/before your yoga/mindfulness/pilates/gym/therapy/visiting sick relative/charity fundraising event/laser surgery/language class/sewing circle/goth gathering/rockabilly slow food mash up/pizza tossing speed dating combo/tantra tea sipping derby/wine throwing veggie cleanse?