Only a couple minutes after Buster Scruggs ended, the opening titles of this movie announced that it’s a story told in six chapters – what are the odds? Unexpected suicides in both movies too. It’s not that I wanted a faithful remake, since the plot is the weakest thing about Argento’s Suspiria, but what made them turn a bonkers Italian horror about witches in a dance studio into a 2.5-hour movie set in Berlin during the Baader-Meinhof hijacking, with long sections about a psychiatrist who lost his wife in the Holocaust? What’s the meaning of Tilda Swinton playing both Evil Mothers in charge of the studio and also the psychiatrist? Nice plot twist with Dakota Johnson (the older sister in Bad Times at the El Royale) appearing to be the fresh-meat new girl with especially good dance-murder skills, later revealed to be the reborn Mother Suspiriorum come to cleanse the school by killing one or both Tildas. I mean, this was a lot of movie for a single weeknight, so I think that’s what happened. I have mixed feelings, but pretty sure I need to keep watching all of Luca’s movies (this is my second of the year).
Chloe Grace is a paranoid escaped dancer in the opening scenes, then disappears forever, followed shortly by suspicious Olga, who gets gnarled up in the practice room. Mia Goth (A Cure for Wellness) is the dancer who shows Dakota around, and Jessica Harper cameos as the psychiatrist’s dead wife. Most unexpected name in the credits: The Turin Horse cinematographer Fred Kelemen as one of the cops who Psych Tilda asks for help. Writer David Kajganich has also done a Body Snatchers remake and a Pet Sematary remake.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky compares it to “the movies Nicolas Roeg was making around the same time, confounding mosaics of predestination and psychoanalysis … It’s a movie where most of the characters are liminal figures, mid-phase between identities. It is packed with doors, mirrors, ceremonies, rehearsals, shared secrets, and make-up, suggesting commonalities between the backstage world and the supernatural through collage.”
Grotesquely happy, murderous singing cowboy Tim Blake Nelson explains that he’s not a misanthrope in the Coens’ most self-referential piece yet, before he’s killed by a Hail Caesar singer.
James Franco gets hanged for his comically failed bank robbery, then again after escaping on account of Indians killing the guys hanging him, the point of the episode seeming to be the joke where he turns to another guy getting hanged and says “first time?”
(Nearly?) mute Liam Neeson wheels a monologuing human torso (Harry Melling) from town to town until tastes change and Neeson finds new entertainment that’s cheaper to feed. A haunting and cynical segment – wonderful looking, with rich storybook color, as are they all.
Tom Waits as an ol’ prospector, the role he was born to play, just searching for gold in a gorgeous river valley amongst deer and owls. The lead character has died at the end of every segment so far, so I was afraid for Tom, but he turns the tables on would-be thief Sam Dillon.
Finally it’s a woman’s turn to meet a sorry end: nervous Zoe Kazan, a wagon train widow who is very nearly protected from Indians by Bill Heck and Grainger Hines.
Then five mismatched people in a coach, like a Stagecoach parody, ending up like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors with all of them already dead.
Watched at the Landmark, and reserving further comment until I either rewatch and get some sweet screenshots, or order that Adam Nayman book.
Ralph goes online and gets distracted by pop-up ads while Vanellope gets so obsessed with a Grand Theft Auto racing universe (led by Gal Gadot) that she decides not to come back. King Candy is dead, so Alan Tudyk returns as Ask Jeeves, while back at the arcade Felix and Calhoun raise a house full of adopted Sugar Rush racers. Maybe it suffered from high expectations because the first movie was great, and this one is just… cute. Corporate synergy both bad (any Fandango references) and good (room full of Disney princesses).
War becoming commodity… following the money (but not very specifically)… skims from a few Adam Curtis movie topics. Rough camerawork making it look like interviews were stolen, when they seem to be interviewing for this very movie. A Michael Hardt sighting. A way to pass the time on a Thanksgiving weekend afternoon, my sleepy viewing companion wanting more new information about the global arms trade, while I’m wanting more Double Take-ry.
Awkward Jongsu bumps into former classmate Haemi (Jong-seo Jun), who looks extremely cute peeling and eating a nonexistent orange. I thought about the orange for the rest of the movie – not really there, but appearing to be – as the story ambiguously unfolds, Jongsu constantly frustrated and starting to pin all his problems on the guy Haemi brings back from abroad before disappearing, Ben (Steven Yeun, union leader of Sorry To Bother You). Uncertainties pile up until Jongsu takes decisive action at the end.
It’s the promo still, but I really like it:
Blake Williams in Filmmaker:
The margins of the central enigma are steeped in uncertainty, every character untrustworthy — enhanced by an intensely unsettling mise en scène that feels simultaneously sacred and profane at every instant. Characters subtly morph — psychologically, physically — over the course of its running time, to the point where I was questioning my own perceptual stability; a remarkable effect that, in retrospect, is absolutely part of the film’s design. As I mentioned earlier, Burning could, in addition to being exemplary cinema, easily coast on being a handsome piece of genre-singed social commentary — the outward villain, Ben, is referred to as a “Gatsby” at one point, expressing a widespread ire toward those effortlessly, unconscionably wealthy Korean men who somehow dominate the country.
Slimeball Donnie Darko is introduced stealing wire and chainlink fence then beating up a security guard, but he’s not your ordinary lowlife – he wants to be an entrepreneur, learns everything he knows from online courses and speeches and always speaks formally to others, like a corporate simulacrum of a person. Good movie about ruthless capitalism, with amoral, manipulative Donnie destroying some lives and ending up on top.
Donnie watches a comedy on TV:
Donnie watches his coworker dying on TV:
“Our viewers are more interested in urban crime creeping into the suburbs.” After running into freelance videographer Bill Paxton at an auto accident, Donnie cuddles up to news anchor Rene Russo, hires flunky Riz Ahmed, and gets rich partly through calculated plotting and partly by being at the right crime scenes at the right time.
Oops, it’s not an overview of Grace Jones’s career for neophytes, but advanced studies for fans. There’s family therapy, scenes from a big concert, and the little TV appearances that pay the bills. As in the Mekons doc, I love when the edit the same song from studio to practice to performance.
Switches between sharp black and white, and hazy 16mm color – stylishly artificial looking, almost Maddinesque. Five bad kids try to impress their lit teacher, finally sexually assult and murder her, blaming it on the icon of their evil selves, TREVOR.
A sea captain claims he can make the boys obedient, takes them on his ship to a pleasure island with living plants, where they eat hairy fruit that turns them into girls.
The captain (Sam Louwyck of Ex Drummer) reconnects with his associate Dr. Séverine (Elina Löwensohn, who I watched yesterday in Let The Corpses Tan), is then murdered by the kids when he tries to remove them from the island.
Mandico is obviously a talent, and has a bunch of shorts I should dig up.
Nick Pinkerton in Reverse Shot:
The Wild Boys0 is a supremely assured piece of craftsmanship, evincing an active creative engagement and ample imagination in every minute of its nearly two-hour runtime … A maximalist to the core, Mandico has a natural enmity towards both an inactive camera and empty screen space, and when he isn’t stuffing the frame to bursting with whorls of fog, fleecy feathers, thickets of exotic foliage, bits of rigging, and the glisten of paillettes, seawater spray, or paralyzing sap, he takes pleasure in setting images within images: a fist glittering with jewelry clenching a revolver, for example, framed by the outline of the mountainous Île des Robes.
One of the only car-competent gearhead dudes in a computerized future is crippled in a suspicious attack after a self-driving car takes him into a bad neighborhood, right after meeting a reclusive tech giant named Eron (ha) who owns the self-driving car company. The gearhead’s wife is killed, and detective Betty Gabriel (Get Out) tries to figure out who could be responsible, but we know it’s Eron because so far he is the only other person in the movie. It becomes sort of a Black Mirror Robocop John Wick, as our now-crippled dude gets an Eron-designed brainstem chip that allows him to control his body again, then gives him enhanced abilities, then completely takes over. Whannell worked on all the Saw and Insidious movies, and Logan Marshall-Green, good at taking brutal actions that his voice and face say he’s not controlling, previously fathered an alien in Prometheus.