As film critics, we have been unclear what to do with our despondency, other than one clear thing: direct our outrage away from suffocating social media channels and toward writing, reasoning, wrestling with ideas, praising, hoping, questioning.
The need to resolve the dangling narrative threads of popular works of art is truly a pox. If everything is spelled out, then there is no room left for mystery and imagination. It is always better to allow the mind to race just enough so that it deepens the things that we see and hear.
Free Fire is often reminiscent of the cash-in Tarantino-esque titles that invaded video stores after Pulp Fiction, time capsules like 2 Days in the Valley, City of Industry, or 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, rather than being a new or exciting thing of its own.
Without ever seeming to reign supreme over the European festival scene as, say, the Dardenne brothers or Michael Haneke have at various points, Dumont anticipates and exemplifies features of the contemporary art film to a greater degree than either of those Cannes mainstays.
The Lost City of Z is beautiful, all the more so for not being beautiful in the obvious ways. Working for the second time with cinematographer Darius Khondji, who also shot The Immigrant, Gray films both jungle and English countryside with long lenses and a shallow depth-of-field.
A Quiet Passion proposes the outwardly unspectacular life of Emily Dickinson not as the story of a no-hoper spinster but as an act of courage, the struggle of a woman to overmaster herself, to sacrifice her own life (and preserve her maidenhead) so that her work might live.