The juxtaposition of different kinds of interiority, of a living space and a headspace being simultaneously invaded, is sophisticated and clever. It is also not quite enough to offset the accumulation of cliches that Shults uses to shape his story, which is little more than pretense for shows of stylistic force.
The padre and the psychopath are figures situated at either end of his career, but as they gaze at their reflections, they also mirror one another: one can find within these two very different films the parallel plights of men in the midst of desperate introspection.
Just as Jay takes his place as the figurehead of a pagan cult, so too did Kill List crown Wheatley as the king of UK horror movies when it was released theatrically, a speedy ascension to a throne that had sat vacant since the 1970s.
The tension in Sieranevada is between the various lies told and recalled by its characters and the relentless objectivity of its camera, which swoops, pans, hovers, lurks, sulks, and retreats in sync with its subjects but, crucially, does not embellish.
At his best, Spielberg expresses ideas through action, as he did in parts of the motion-capture animation The Adventures of Tintin. The BFG is mostly logy and prosaic, especially when it gets into its speech-heavy final scenes, which recall not the high-points of its maker’s career, but the soggy sentimentality of Hook.
As the writer-director of seventeen feature films in nineteen years (a Fassbinderian pace), whose work has been screened on multiple continents in the context of film festivals, Hong surely recognizes the ritual nature/torture of the filmmaker Q&A.
Emboldened by the critical and popular success of Birdman—that ostensibly invigorating, hugely irritating statement of artistic and aesthetic principles—the director has gone chasing after Herzog, Coppola, Friedkin, and all the other mad, corporate-backed visionaries who’ve dragged movie stars into the jungle, or in this case, the Rockies.
Son of Saul’s insistence on real-time tension means that it’s deliberately cut off from considerations of the bigger picture; what it theoretically gains in trade is a sense of authenticity, which becomes increasingly presumptuous in light of its heavy-handed storytelling and basic lack of dramatic believability.