This low comedy, then, touches on a few highfalutin ideas: masculinity as performance for one, racial identity as a social construction for another. To one degree or another these things have been a part of Key and Peele’s comedy since their MADtv days.
In this Reverse Shot Talkie, director Joe Frank and host Eric Hynes browse the aisles of R.A.O. Video in Little Rock, Arkansas, to discuss the unique origins and process for his debut film, Sweaty Betty, a gloriously raw hybrid of performance and documentary, lo-fi home movie and sui generis art object.
The Polish director strikes a dramatic balance between subjective introspection and engagement with the outside world, stability and vertigo, the art of getting by and that of getting through. Skolimowski prefers the athletic directness of the physical act to intellectual manipulation.
As with any good filmmaker, Mascaro uses the camera to help us see the world a little differently, a little more clearly. There’s something casually virtuosic about his new film, a work of strange realism that immerses the viewer in a natural yet defamiliarized environment of everyday ritual.
Linklater, ever the good-natured observer of human connection and sensitive American masculinity, creates something strangely beautiful. He sculpts decency from what might have otherwise seemed an undifferentiated mass of testosterone.
A big influence on me was Edward Hopper, because I look at his paintings and you have two or three objects in a room, but they combine to create a mood and a whole story. Suddenly a lamp become important, or a poster or a piano, and you choose more carefully.
I will never understand those hostile responses to Malick, which seem determined to hold the line so that American narrative cinema will not be overrun by avant-garde abstraction, as though there was a flotilla of directors making experimental films on this scale instead of literally just one guy.