What happens when audiences have come to expect long-simmering, historically engaged Gesamtkunstwerks from a filmmaker and then are treated rapid-fire to a series of increasingly ungraspable present-day love stories? What is Malick doing in To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and Song to Song, and why now?
Kore-eda has explained that his latest film, After the Storm, is an unofficial sequel to his 2008 drama Still Walking. Both films contemplate the fresh wounds left by a deceased family member on the living; the former takes place over the course of a single day, the new film over several weeks.
Assayas seems to have conceived this film as several genre pieces in one (a pseudo horror, a psychological thriller, a melancholy drama about grief), but each of these strands, incomplete in its way, serves a grander and fully realized purpose in the larger ontological excavation of Maureen.
It is important for me to work without a locked script, and without giving strong directions.
The premise serves as a malleable metaphor: the white coopting of black cool, cited as one of the reasons for the selection of exclusively black targets; the ongoing use of unwilling black bodies to perform white labor from plantation to penitentiary; and the pressures of conformity borne by the blacks living among white affluence.
There are pretty pictures, some interesting in broad-stroke conception, that are nonetheless leeched of those intangible qualities that would lend them genuine grandeur and thematic heft. As a result, they just sit there, heavy on the eyes, light on the heart and mind.
With the tone and care of the genuinely righteous, his voice was that of a herald, with writing that sliced through hypocrisy and the specific, tragic banality of American life with a swift condemnation that managed to touch the sublime.
There is high public interest in stand-up comedy, evidenced by the popularity of Louie, The Aristocrats . . . the ability of comics like Hannibal Buress and Amy Schumer to make headlines and the preponderance of specials on streaming services like Netflix. But the subject has been a hard nut for narrative features to crack.
Years in Review
Best ESPN Miniseries, Best Ending, Best Hitchcockian Cameo, Foulest Trailer, Biggest Missed Opportunity, We Don’t Need Another Superhero, Best Musical, Most Underrated Overrated Double Oscar Winner, Scariest Movie, Worst Film Criticism, and more