This is not the typical procedural. It is a thoughtful, contemplative look at murder and small towns, with a sharp feeling of realism.
The show opens with a vista that’s achingly familiar for me — though I know it’s shot in British Columbia, that great stock replacement for the Pacific Northwest, it feels like home. The landscape is one of chilly waves, high cliffs, familiar trees; even the grasses look familiar to me, and the long lines of fencing wavering along the edges of the cliffs, the whales off the coastline. Though I’ve watched film and television actually filmed where I live, this feels almost more real. It is a hyperreal, cinematic imagination of my own environment.
Ultimately “Fury’ is a last stand cliché but what did you expect from a director who wants to remake “The Wild Bunch?”
Irony rides a pale horse. Where have all the Panzers gone? The architects of blitzkrieg have been reduced to legs and tails and hooves as Patton and Zhukov strangle the Thousand Year Reich. Oblivious to history the rider struts like a peacock on the moon picking his way between the silhouettes of Mark IVs, Panthers and Sherman tanks. They are dead machines littering the Luna surface, surreal and burning like Ronson Lighters, like images from Elem Klimov’s “Come and See,” the greatest war film ever made. Brad Pitt’s new film “Fury” gives Klimov a run for his money, though.
Don’t go into Outlander with the expectation of meeting a real feminist heroine like Arya Stark.
Is Outlander ‘the feminist answer to Game of Thrones,’ as some people seem to be billing it? That would depend, one supposes, on which definition of feminism is being used. If ‘feminism’ includes outdated attitudes about gender and sexuality, rape, and violence against women, then Outlander definitely meets those criteria, but it doesn’t differ much from Game of Thrones, either.
Two sweltering films from the London Film Festival.
The remarkable and sinister “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely” begins in abrupt fashion. Jeremiah a Kentucky farmer wrestles with his daughter Sarah. She stabs him with a headless chicken, an act both shockingly absurd but perfectly judged to reel us into their particular den of iniquity. Jeremiah is a leering beard of a man, often filmed just as out of focus as his contemptible soul. What does he do in that red barn? Is his resemblance to Bob from “Twin Peaks” a mere coincidence or a teaser for the new series in 2016?
There is nothing new or innovative here in terms of storytelling and narrative presentation.
Showtime’s The Affair is generating a great deal of buzz on the fall television schedule, as a show that might provide an intriguing narrative approach and some insight into the way we view men, women, and relationships. I, however, am not sold on it, because of one glaring problem: It’s yet another show about monogamous heterosexuality. Isn’t there enough of that on television? Do we really need even more? Isn’t it time to branch out a bit more?
Ryan Murphy desperately wants to say something about American society with this series.
The life of a socially conscious American Horror Story fan is rarely an easy or enviable one.
Actually, the life of a socially conscious, feminist horror fan is no walk in the park, generally speaking: I maintain that the genre, best known for its lowbrow shock tactics and unfaltering dedication to punishing female sexuality with a sternly applied chainsaw to the face, can be a transformative and transgressive statement on how the world actually works.
An interview with the director of the film Stephen Colbert considers “So good it almost made me like Chicago Obama.”
Originally titled “The Audacity of Louis Ortiz,” Ryan Murdock’s “Bronx Obama” is a study of the American Dream gone wacky. In 2008 a former Verizon worker of Puerto Rican descent shaved off his goatee – unmasking a dead ringer for the 44th president of the United States. Filmmaker Murdock doggedly followed the humble Ortiz over the course of three years, documenting the Bronx resident’s physical and spiritual transformation from unemployed single dad to highly sought after impersonator.
Three films from the London Film Festival.
Expanded from Cutter Hodierne’s own short film of the same name, “Fishing Without Nets” is the flipside of “Captain Phillips.” Hodierne explores Somali pirates from the point of view of honourable young father Abdi, desperate to escape the grinding poverty of his beleaguered country. Abdi continues to fish and try and uphold his dead father’s ideals, “A man is not a man until he can feed his children. Only death can stop me feeding mine.” Time and time again his nets come up empty, stocks depleted from illegal fishing by foreign trawlers. His friends chew khat and brandish AK47s amongst the trash and filth, they ask him when he will, “Stop all this fishing nonsense?” Abdi hates his plight and pays smugglers to take his wife and son into Yemen. Heartbroken, Abdi makes his inevitable deal with the devil in order to join his beloved family-a choice ending with one of the most powerfully disturbing shots witnessed in contemporary cinema.
It would appear that the bloom is off this particular English rose.
Series five of Downton Abbey premiered in the UK on Sunday night, which normally would have had ISPs across the US humming as people furtively downloaded the hit British drama. Yet, something curious happened instead: In the UK, only 8.5 million viewers tuned in for the premiere episode — the lowest since the programme debuted — and my Twitter was oddly silent on the subject of Downton Abbey when I checked it in the morning.
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