Reverse Shot Unauthorized
Reframing Frances Ha as a Greta Gerwig film allows us to flip this script and begin to think about how her sensibility, biography, and tangible screen presence work in a way that is undoubtedly amplified and complicated by Baumbach’s contributions, but ultimately can be understood on their own terms.
It’s often said that certain films look as if they were advertisements for joining the U.S. Military, but a handful might be said to actually draw their images from them.
James Gray’s Two Lovers is an essential Dostoevsky film, engaged with many of the writer’s great themes and, crucially, illustrative of the ways that they must be reworked as they are brought into new settings—including some that would not have thrilled the author himself.
Considering herself intellectually null at the time (despite her reading Schopenhauer between takes), Brooks can be regarded as Pandora’s Box “auteur“ or “visionary“ after the fact only, and then, of course, in a spiritual rather than a literal sense.
Almost cloyingly luscious, the cinematography feels perversely complicit in Ellen’s monstrous crimes. It not only makes her inhumanly beautiful, but endorses her inhumane perfectionism by surrounding her with beauty that is unsettlingly perfect.
This is a film, written and directed by a man—Olivier Assayas—about the relationship between the male auteur and the female performer, that begins with the death of one idealized version of the former and ends with the determined, if uneasy, triumph of the latter.