Recommended if you like Godspeed You! Black Emperor
I am in love with Thomasin McKenzie.
I think Saoirse Ronan has lost her touch.
Kat Dennings doesn’t even bother with films anymore.
And Thora Birch is too much of a liberal moron.
But then all actors are liberal morons, aren’t they?
Except for a precious few.
This film is a masterpiece.
Edgar Wright is the best filmmaker in the world right now.
Is he better than Jean-Luc Godard?
But Godard is not making films for mass consumption.
Is he better than Wes Anderson?
BY A MILLION FUCKING MILES!!!
Don’t get me wrong.
Wes Anderson made one perfect film.
And that film was The Grand Budapest Hotel.
And that film wouldn’t have been perfect without Saoirse Ronan.
That’s how important her presence in that film was.
Saoirse has made another perfect film.
But her others are mediocre.
Even more meh (not a good thing).
Saoirse has gone astray.
Just as Thora Birch went astray.
Ghost World is a perfect film.
And American Beauty is close to perfect.
For my money, Homeless to Harvard is her other perfect film.
Kat Dennings films kinda suck.
Her masterpiece is actually 2 Broke Girls.
But that’s not cinema.
Twin Peaks is cinema.
Even though it’s a TV show.
Histoire(s) du cinéma is the best film ever made.
And it was made for TV.
Homeless to Harvard is a Lifetime movie.
Made for TV.
It is not cinema.
But it may be a perfect film.
Wes Anderson made his perfect film with Saoirse Ronan.
And he made a good film (Tenenbaums).
The rest are shite.
I did not understand Edgar Wright’s film language when I first saw Shaun of the Dead.
I thought it was crap.
How wrong I was!
Here is my contention.
Every Edgar Wright film is perfect.
Shaun of the Dead?
The World’s End?
And this film is perfect too.
But this is not quite the Wright you are used to.
This is a genuinely scary film.
But it stands up with Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Shining as one of the four best horror films ever made.
Edgar Wright films are all about detail.
But not the twee obsession with detail that Wes Anderson has.
Edgar Wright is overflowing with talent.
Wes Anderson is not.
Anderson needed Saoirse Ronan to make his perfect film.
And there was a bit (just a bit!) of grit in Grand Budapest.
Saoirse is missing from his other films.
And there is no real grit in any of the others.
Tenenbaums is good.
But the Wes Anderson players are tiresome.
Is Bill Murray amazing?
But are his performances in Wes Anderson films his best work?
No more Jason Schwatzman (for fuck’s sake!).
Is Luke Wilson a great actor?
What’s his best film?
Masked and Anonymous.
Maybe it’s Paltrow and Hackman which make Tenenbaums good.
For my money, Luke Wilson is the one who makes that film go.
But it is not on the same level as Grand Budapest.
Last Night in Soho is the Grand Budapest of the ’20s.
We’re in the ’20s now.
Are they roaring?
Like a fucking mouse.
Last Night in Soho is a gazillion times better than No Time to Die.
This film has everything the Bond film didn’t.
A story worth sticking with.
And so it is fitting that Diana Rigg’s last role should absolutely trump the death of James Bond.
The one George Lazenby film was WAY better than No Time to Die.
The death of love is more sad than the death of the hero.
Diana Rigg is the linchpin in the Bond franchise.
Pull that thread, and the sweater unravels.
Léa Seydoux is boring as fuck in the Bond films.
She was great in Blue.
But she was nothing compared to the one who carried that film (Adele Exarchopoulos).
Exarchopoulos made one perfect film.
Blue is the Warmest Color.
None of her other films are even good.
Wright makes what Youth in Revolt might have been.
He is not glib.
This is not a hipster film.
Michael Cera (who has made one perfect film [Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist]) is, mercifully, NOT in Last Night in Soho.
[correction…Kat Dennings DID make one perfect film]
Thomasin McKenzie’s obsession with ’60s London music is real.
It’s not a fucking Austin Powers joke.
Rita Tushingham is wonderful as Gram.
[take note, Bond franchise]
Thomasin hooks up with a black dude.
No big deal.
Take note, Bond franchise.
NOT EVERY FUCKING PERSON HAS TO BE BLACK IN ORDER FOR A FILM TO BE VIABLE!!!
Thomasin’s love interest is a black fellow.
I have no problem with that.
He does a good job.
For fuck’s sake…he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page!
There can be important black characters WITHOUT A FILM BEING A WOKE FUCKING JOKE (like the recent Bond film).
No big deal.
Don’t make it a big deal.
It has to fit with the story.
The story is the most important thing.
The writers of the Bond film (Purvis and Wade) have allowed their name to be attached to the fucking pathetic shit of No Time to Die.
So you get a kiwi to speak in a Cornish accent.
Say that name with me.
Jacinda Ardern’s father (or mother?) was a horse.
Thomasin McKenzie is the best thing to ever come out of New Zealand.
However, there has been one perfect kiwi movie: Eagle vs Shark.
Synnøve Karlsen is so fucking annoying in Soho.
And she was supposed to be.
So, good job (I guess).
Every film needs a villain.
And Jocasta (Karlsen’s character) is the real villain of this film.
Thomasin is different.
Jocasta beats her down.
A stingy spirit.
Can never share in any of her joys.
Do you know anyone like that?
But Thomasin is troubled.
We’re trying to solve a case here.
Maybe a lot of cold cases.
Maybe a serial killer.
To the Belle and Sebastian bedsit.
Salad days are short-lived.
Don’t underestimate Sandie Shaw.
Always something there to remind me.
Puppet on a string.
Gotta pay your dues.
As a wind-up bird girl.
Andrew Loog Oldham.
The influence of Vertigo upon Last Night in Soho cannot be understated.
The red of the Café de Paris.
The blonde of Anya Taylor-Joy’s hair.
And Thomasin’s hair.
[also, don’t underestimate Bergman’s Persona]
The glance to the side.
It’s not Jimmy Stewart.
Allusions to The Way of the Dragon and The Lady from Shanghai in the mirrors.
Sure, a bit of Pulp Fiction.
But that’s just for the kids.
Edgar Wright’s grasp of cinema history is way deeper than some Tarantino bullshit.
And yet, he likes zombies.
And shitty horror films from the ’80s.
I mean REALLY shitty, camp ones.
Back to Vertigo.
Kim Novak’s apartment is bathed in green neon.
But Thomasin’s bedsit is a red, white, and blue homage to Godard.
An homage to Une Femme est une femme.
Vivre sa vie.
Pink dress fembot.
Thomasin is way sexier than Anya Taylor-Joy.
Thomasin is the girl next door.
The frumpy hair of Homeless to Harvard.
I love it.
It must be this way.
To juxtapose the transition to Swinging Sixties glamour.
Is Trump just culture jamming with his vaccine tack?
Either that, or the hero has become the villain.
Did the D.C. swamp make Trump into a swamp zombie?
Maybe no one comes out clean.
International law was broken.
All these Wright films have zombies.
A bit of Dragon Tattoo.
We all like a good microfiche scene!
Is Terence Stamp her father?
If Sandie is her mother?
Otherwise, she would be the daughter of a prick.
But Stamp tried to save Sandie.
Arsenic and old lace.
The ones you never suspect.
“Buried” in the walls.
Wright’s “sympathy for the serial killer”.
What happened to these people that made them monsters?
Don’t underestimate Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 (his only English-language film…and a flat-out masterpiece).
In the world of Edgar Wright, it is records.
And sometimes the elderly want to die with their memories.
They are not going anywhere.
They are not fleeing.
It’s been a good life.
Going down with the ship.
Up in flames.
The shitbags want their deaths avenged.
After all, they were just horny, well-to-do dads who needed a little excitement.
It’s the law, after all.
Murder is murder.
Crimes of passion.
By reason of insanity.
But Thomasin has been on the adventure.
She knows what Sandie has been through.
Trump was abused for four years.
That is true.
And he fought like a champ.
Is there no justice?
Is it culture jamming (I ask again)?
Keeping his enemies off balance.
Getting a foot in the door.
Truth Social will censor “hate speech” with a Silicon Valley AI bot.
In order to get on Apple App Store and Google Play.
But the roll out is delayed?
Lie about the vaccines.
“Safe and effective”.
Move in for the kill shot.
Big Pharma and the New World Order.
But we have to call out serial killers for who they are.
If you are saying the COVID vaccines are “safe and effective”, you are spreading misinformation that is endangering the lives of those who hear and trust you.
Open VAERS: 23,149
10,000-20,000 vaccine deaths should be read as 100,000-200,000 vaccine deaths because of this:
And correlation does not necessarily equal causation…unless this (peep the myocarditis…you think that’s all JnJ? [nigga please!]):
But the election was stolen.
Or was it allowed to be stolen?
When will the other shoe drop?
Or does the other shoe even exist?
This charade is going to go on until 2024?
Maybe Sandie is not her mother.
Cobra and phases.
Emptying a sampler.
Always Flaming Lips.
A twist on bass.
The church of Michael Ivins’ hair.
He wrote this.
Bold start to Pauly Deathwish’s 5th album.
Watch for upcoming single.
Hit to death.
Tribute to Jack Johnson.
Steve Gadd slow nerve action.
Tom and Richard.
Hippies cool at CBGB.
Are you experienced?
Paul Simon never sounded this tough.
Always too cool.
But the lyrics give him a run.
Another COVID album.
McAfee didn’t uninstall himself.
A dentist chair in Florida.
Soros’s scumbag Rubin.
Forgot a fuck.
Not for kids.
Not safe for work.
John Paul Jones keys.
Frustration key of E.
The pitched song.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Remember this connection.
Hal Blaine on Harvest.
Trying to make it pay.
Hotel to Tango.
Stopped in Oklahoma.
Back when concerts were played in Austins.
Tonight’s the night.
Neil in Ontario.
A Canadian pastiche.
The only artist to review his own albums.
Because, you know, fuck it!
9/11 will come out.
Everything building to a head.
First Zeppelin album.
Black mountain side.
Jimmy’s eyes glowing magenta.
They tell me he’s evil.
But you gotta know the story of the blues.
I tried to sell my soul to the Devil.
But I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Jesus protected me.
Satan wasn’t buying.
Down in the basement of the Gunter Hotel.
I tried to sell my soul for the world.
But God didn’t let it happen.
Thinking it was bad enough.
Only through Jesus am I saved.
The worst among sinners.
Trying to gain the whole world.
Willing to forfeit my soul.
God is good.
And I can out-produce Jimmy Page.
Because God is my guide.
I have a dirty mouth.
Go and sin no more.
We’re in a fucking war.
We gotta put Jesus first.
On the battlefield.
Out greatest stealth.
I don’t know how to make copies.
And my black neighbors don’t know how to use the internet.
Joe Biden can get fucked.
But me, I like women with big tits.
Alex Jones quote.
I don’t wanna be a part of this sick cult.
We need God on the battlefield.
Mercy is waiting even for Jimmy Page.
Turn from the evil ways.
Recognize King Jesus.
The sky is crying.
Second jazz tune.
Straight off blues.
The Monk solo.
Dissonant as a motherfucker.
Is a joke?
Watch for first cover.
Straight into a QAnon song.
Flynn, in fact, did not go to jail.
Bob Marley gets all conspiratorial.
Obama gets arrested at his own birthday party.
Strzok blocked on Twitter.
A bunch of cunts?
Not Seth Keshel.
The real deal.
Will the FBI be shut down?
Department of Justice is the very heart of the Deep State.
Rosenstein is linchpin.
Bill Barr was miss.
Cymbals Eat Guitars.
Each given a chance.
Music like this hasn’t been made in 30 years.
Bowie would be proud.
The debris from the Nirvana signing.
The truly good bands.
Some Boo Radleys here.
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Black (Oak) Ark.
A disgusting record collection.
Lovingly preserved in filth.
Vinyl still good.
Cop shoot cop.
Strong statement against Antifa.
This guy is bold.
Dylan tongue cheek.
Only person to listen to this.
Give the anarchist a cigarette.
This is a fucked up record.
Calling David Lynch.
Gonna be hard for the Left to write off this guy.
This dude troublemaker.
Trail of dead.
We know you, but do you know us?
Deep Pieczenik research.
And the beloved NSA.
More accurately: CYBERCOM.
Not yet split?
Nakasone double duty?
Who could bring down?
Two QAnon songs in a row.
Macca bass line.
Welcome to the revolution.
The jazz and blues build up into rock and roll.
Fort Meade on repeat.
Cheyenne Mountain Alerts.
Air Force Cyber.
Rhythm of the saints.
Tettix Wave Accumulator?
Berry Gordy trippin’ balls.
A Lisbeth Salander ballad.
FBI + CIA.
But serves to delineate.
Interior and exterior.
Smarter than Strzok and Page.
Too fucked up to catch Velvets.
I hear you.
It’s a bitch.
Thom Yorke knob twiddler.
Eno in Roxy.
The big sleep date.
Noir and chill.
The harder they fall.
Shoot the piano player.
We are here in San Antonio.
We are making the best of it.
Eating ZZ Top nachos.
Beer drinkers and hell raisers.
A real jalapeno.
Australia to steam like teapot.
Comes with new iPhone.
An anthem like U2 ain’t written for a bit.
This is Dublin territory.
Sexy God believers.
And Jack Nitzsche.
But Bono can sing opera.
A good dude.
Needs to drop the carbon bullshit.
Global warming is giant fucking hoax.
Just like COVID.
The Edge knows.
Grow some balls.
Stop kissing the Pope’s ass.
This commie Pope is a fucker.
Pauly can play guitar!
Album builds up to last song.
Even last song builds up.
Toecutter is Wayne Coyne. Hugh Keays-Byrne. On Highway 61. In a forrest-green Ford Focus? Oklahoma plates. Near Emerald Mound. Flaming Lips poster tucked into the back of the driver’s seat. Soft Bulletin era. Before Yoshimi. Dead in December of last year in New South Wales. Peacefully? In a hospital? At age 73? 12/2/2020. Gay Bubba is Marc Almond. Satanist. Now says it was a joke. This is quintessential Antifa. As if Johnny the Boy had his eyes gouged out. Dumb driver runs away. Left his woman. Pitiful. Steve Bisley with compassion. Goose is Max von Sydow. We are going to win Australia back for Australians. And win Canada back for Canadians. And win the U.K. back for the English and Scottish and Welsh. And the Irish of Belfast. My mates in The Answer. Google me. No one showed up. And Johnny walked free. It’s time to show up, Australia. Here is your song, Australia. We will make it together. https://soundcloud.com/paulydeathwish/australia-here-i-come-original Bernard Kerik is now on our side. Goose. We won’t lose. Lori “Eraserhead” Lightfoot.
That THING is not the Mayor of Chicago. Intel from Bobby Piton that she is a CCP operative. Interesting. Singer licking her lips. Could suck a golf ball through a garden hose. Goose’s last taste of life. Went out with a bang. But burnt to a crisp. And not out. Alive and suffering. Bike in the back of a fuck-ugly ute. Under which Goose is cooked. Antifa tactics. Mean, nasty people. Cowards. Sadists. Unhappy adolescents who remain unhappy adolescents for their entire lives. Sick utopians. If only everyone saw things their way, then the world would be a wonderful place. They think. Rebels without an understanding of their cause. Which is to say, without a cause. The cause is only a prop. And so nebulous as to be virtually nonexistent. West side story. Cascadia. Rosa Brooks. Nils Gilman. Transition Integrity Project. Brooks involved in Soros projects like Open Society Foundations. Gilman with Berggruen in California. Which is to say, China. Intimate connection. Berggruen Institute. Satellite offices mainland. Tries to quit and get out. Some good times. Family time. Swimming. A child. Tender moments between man and wife. Sharing childhood memories in vulnerability. Fifi needed him. McAfee. Abandoned. Had to make a choice. Chose family. I chose family. And now I can buy Bitcoin and shrink Abbey Road to the size of a matchbox. More or less. At least as passable as Radiohead glitch fidelity. Sprog is sperg. Autists activate.
Reconcile. Contempt meets Rambo. Again it’s Cascadia. Twin Peaks. Knives in movies. They drew first blood, not me. Paul Hogan. Mel Gibson never finished fixing the fan belt. If you wait, it’s too late. Death Wish. True romance. It would seem they needed Toecutter for the sequel. Good versus evil. The Flaming Lips versus me. Versus the Devil in fuckery. You can saw through the cuffs in 10, or your ankle in 5. Joanne Samuel beautiful and great acting. The Mel Gibson contingent is taking back the world. Just you watch.
Research will be the star.
You must know the history of Scandinavian film to understand this movie.
Nordisk Film A/S [later].
Sjöström = Taube.
But also Nyqvist.
Flashbacks to idyllic female visions.
B2 = Bill Barr.
Laura Palmer = Harriet Vanger.
Speaking from beyond the grave.
Always return to the photo.
Hire the investigator.
Who will it be?
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
The bathroom tile.
A sickening act.
George H.W. Bush.
Of the CIA.
In front of depository?
Study the photo.
Study the angles.
Strangers on a Train.
Robert Walker is uninterested in the tennis match.
What is he so (dis)interested in?
Research will win the day.
The hunter has become the hunted.
Vengeance (is mine).
Refer to the possession of Ray Wise.
Silence of the Lambs.
Ted Bundy’s photographs.
Symbolism will be their downfall.
Rising from the dead.
Visionary + nerd.
2011 Norway attacks.
Youth summer camp.
In a cage while they had dinner.
For “film installations”.
Ayoola Ajayi inquiring about soundproof basement.
Hell is hot.
The things that make people crazy.
And yet the survivors press on.
Requiem for a Dream.
Niels Arden Oplev directed a magnificent film here.
Noomi Rapace is marvelous.
Michael Nyqvist is perfect.
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
–2 counts of obstruction of justice
—3 counts of lying to Congress
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
—3 counts, obstruction of justice
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
—3 counts of lying to Congress
–2 counts of lying to investigators
-1 count of conspiracy to commit treason
—3 counts of obstruction of justice
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
–2 counts of lying to Congress
Four CIA operatives:
–no charges listed
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
——6 counts of perjury
—-4 counts of obstruction of justice
—-4 counts of falsifying government documents
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
–2 counts of perjury
—3 counts of lying to Congress
-1 count of falsifying documents
—3 counts conspiracy […]
-1 count of falsifying documents
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
—-4 counts of perjury
—3 counts of falsifying documents
—3 counts, conspiracy to overthrow the government
—3 counts of perjury
-1 count of obstruction of justice
—–5 various charges
–exact unknown at this time
–illegal use of government systems
—3 counts of perjury
-1 count of obstruction”
Let’s recap, shall we?
First, lets group those who (if the information in the link I provided above [and here ] is correct) are rumored to have been indicted for CONSPIRACY TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT of the United States of America:
–Loretta Lynch [former Attorney General of the U.S., 2015-2017]
–Sally Yates [former Deputy Attorney General of the U.S., 2015-2017]
–John Brennan [former Director of the CIA, 2013-2017]
–James Clapper [former Director of National Intelligence, 2010-2017]
–James Comey [former Director of the FBI, 2013-2017]
–Andrew McCabe [former Deputy Director of the FBI, 2016-2018]
–Peter Strzok [former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI (Counterintelligence Division)]
–Lisa Page [former FBI attorney]
Could this list, ostensibly leaked to a radio show run by “James R” (who goes by realpersonpltcs [sic] on Twitter) by an anonymous U.S. Department of Justice source, be true?
It sounds like the stuff of tabloid journalism, doesn’t it?
Except for one thing:
it’s completely plausible.
Tabloids are curious.
And that’s where this hidden gem of a movie comes in.
Because, after all, this is a film review.
What if tabloid journalists (who usually cover sensational, “engineered” stories) ACCIDENTALLY came across the real thing?
In other words, what if they actually found a real-life Bat Boy?
It bears mentioning at this point that Avril Haines, one of the “players” in Bill Gates’ amazingly-prescient bat coronavirus simulation Event 201 which was held in NYC on 10/18/19, worked for one of the aforementioned conspirators listed above: John Brennan.
Jeffrey Jones [Ferris Bueller] plays the corrupt mayor.
Laughing with incredulity.
Michael Richards is absolutely genius here.
And the head of the local police is in on the corrupt conspiracy with the mayor.
Geena Davis looks stunning!
Joseph Bologna plays the mad scientist.
He laments that his father’s reputation was maligned for injecting viruses into animals in his lifelong quest to cure the common cold.
A “monster” fleeing from a laboratory.
There is even a delineation of evil (in the sense of “demonic possession”) which mirrors the tone of David Lynch’s television masterpiece Twin Peaks.
The evil is in a place.
Enter that place and you may become possessed.
This happens to Bologna’s character in textbook “Jekyll and Hyde” fashion.
The missing child is a trope from Frankenstein.
Those who are trying to tell the truth are arrested.
Because the truth, if told, would reveal the criminality of this particular police force.
So what, I ask you, will happen when Frankenstein enters the American psyche from stage left?
What will the shock be like?
How will CNN and MSNBC (and ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post…) attempt to spin it?
Jeff Goldblum is excellent here.
Ed Begley, Jr. does a great job.
Carol Kane is as hilarious and adorable as she was on Taxi.
And Rudy De Luca, against all odds, created a minor masterpiece with this film.
There are two lit lamps in the window of the Old North Church.
There’s something very weird going on in Hollywood.
And it has been going on for a long time.
You can look for yourself in Kenneth Anger’s books.
Strange stories about Clara Bow.
The first “It” girl.
From the film of the same name.
And how she kept her skin so soft (ostensibly).
But the range of weirdness in Hollywood seems to move along a continuum.
There are levels.
Not unlike Freemasonry.
The hedonism of Henry Miller would be a very low level.
But what we are dealing with here, in this film, is an allusion to a higher level.
Really, the highest level.
There really isn’t a more mot juste for this phenomenon than Satanism.
And, perhaps, even that word does not fully describe what is at issue.
If one was hard-pressed to boil it down–to refine it further, perhaps “evil” would be the essential element.
Recently, the internet collective known only as QAnon “dropped” a crumb of information regarding an establishment in Los Angeles known as the Cannibal Club.
You can find all Q drops here.
The drop in question is #3917 from April 8th of this month.
Here is the website to which Q linked.
It indeed follows the train of thought I delineated above.
You will see the Henry Miller quote (an author I deeply admire).
But then you will see a perversion far beyond (to my knowledge) anything Henry Miller ever wrote about.
What you see on the Cannibal Club website appears to be a restaurant which serves human flesh.
However, with a bit of research, I came to the conclusion that this particular institution (as it is presented) is likely fake.
The names of the principals all come back empty. None of them have a digital footprint that I can find. Sophie Lafitte. Elspeth Blake. Hero Conners. Raven Chan.
The photo of Cannibal Club’s proprietress, Elspeth Blake, was first cached as a stock photo in 2012.
The photo of Raven Chan also was first cached (before it was used on the Cannibal Club website) as a stock photo. Both photos appear to have originated on the website istockphoto.com . They are generic pictures.
The Cannibal Club website went live with content in 2009. Neither the menu, nor the “events” have changed.
My conclusion was that this was a joke made by demented, artsy liberals in order to seed panic in America’s conservative population.
That was my hypothesis: it is almost certainly a sick joke.
But here’s the rub…
Things like this very well may exist.
Indeed, they probably do.
And thereby we come to the film Lost River.
It came out a mere two years before Trump was elected.
Before Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sex crimes and sent to prison (where, last I heard, he had coronavirus).
Before jet-setter Jeffrey Epstein “hung himself” in a Manhattan jail cell.
You know, Epstein…the guy who flew Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey to Africa.
All this was before Kevin Spacey had numerous sex crime charges brought against him.
And two of his accusers recently dropped dead (over the past year) bringing both cases to a halt.
I appreciate the style.
Very heavy on the David Lynch (with a modicum of Harmony Korine thrown in).
The focus on “place” is very similar to the technique David Lynch and Mark Frost used to ground the town of Twin Peaks in the TV series of the same name.
In the woods.
And in secret clubs.
Director Ryan Gosling did a pretty good job with this film.
We will forgive him for lifting the ambiance of that Orbison scene from Mulholland Dr. to repurpose it in his Lost River blood-and-guts cabaret.
Because the reason I watched this film at all was for Christina Hendricks.
She has the potential to join a modern pantheon which, at this time, includes only Thora Birch and Kat Dennings.
Though we are never told this in the film, it is set in Detroit.
And that makes sense.
Deserted neighborhoods with crumbling houses.
But it could be anywhere in America if China’s economic warfare (COVID-19) is not soon countered.
Matt Smith does a good job as Bully: the embodiment of serial-killer animalism.
The cartel head.
Gosling did a great job location scouting for the zoo scene.
The abandoned zoo.
Very much like the film Hanna and its scenes in the abandoned Spreepark of East Berlin.
Ben Mendelsohn is a fucker.
Such a prick.
He’s not an animal like Bully, though he has rage inside him.
He is more of a predator.
And he is much more powerful.
His character, Dave, is a banker.
And Dave tells us, during the course of the film, that he sets up a little “club” in each of the towns he goes to.
Seems Dave gets moved around a lot.
Gets the books on a firmer footing.
And moves on to the next town where he can oblige the poor and demented with a bit of blood lust with his clubs.
Lots of blood.
Lots of lust.
Dave overlaps nicely onto the persona of Harvey Weinstein.
Christina Hendricks is immediately propositioned by the bank manager.
Dave is a thoroughly-unscrupulous scumbag.
Hendricks just wants to hang on to her home…dilapidated though it may be.
Saoirse Ronan does a nice job in a relatively-minor role here.
She glitters occasionally…as she plays her Casio on her bed with sparkly finger polish.
Whispering out a little song.
Or as she tucks in her pet rat for the night.
But it is not the ginger Ronan we are used to.
Her hair is black.
To fit with the landscape.
And to let Hendricks (also a redhead) stand out as the star.
Saoirse is the “girl next door”…literally.
In the tradition of American Beauty.
By this method we can trace Gosling’s influences.
The overarching one is David Lynch.
This film is creepy.
Much of the creepiness comes from the casting.
It really is an amalgam of Lynch’s freaks with Harmony Korine’s amateurs.
There is the grief of the mute grandmother.
Caught in a loop of family films.
Mourning her late-husband who died tragically.
It is sad.
The inability to talk for some time after a shock.
The family films are sad.
Watching how they used to be.
The way they were.
And the grandmother still a widow…with a fishnet veil for mourning.
There is some rubbish in this movie.
Kind of how the second season of Twin Peaks went off the rails.
Eva Mendes is good here.
In the basement is something very Ex Machina (also 2014).
And even more so John Cale’s Vintage Violence.
Apparently, customers can come down and “murder” real people in these shells.
The shells are of a hard, clear plastic.
The shells supposedly prevent any real bodily harm.
But we never really see them in action.
Iain De Caestecker is pretty good here.
There is a realness in the urgency of his running.
Gosling’s editing crystalizes this.
Running for love.
Running to save.
To set off running.
Unprepared for how long the journey really is.
Something special here.
Good vs. evil.
To be selfish.
To ignore the needs of others.
To follow the voice of God.
To follow the instruction of the Holy Spirit.
To be humble before God.
To fear God.
To feel evil all around.
When it comes, and when it goes.
But the most quizzical scene is when Christina Hendricks cuts her own face off (in simulation, of course) in exactly the way we have heard about in the infamous, rumored Frazzledrip video.
Two years before such a thing came to light.
What a strange coincidence.
Let us synthesize more.
Could there be clubs (in L.A., for instance) where children have their faces cut off (for real) in front of an audience of sickos?
Further question, how does Hollywood (in L.A.) have the “imagination” to write these sorts of scenes?
Sure, there’s the old French film Eyes Without a Face.
But that was cosmetic.
It wasn’t for the thrill of spectators.
It was a medical procedure gone wrong.
Gory as it was, it was to SAVE the face of his daughter that the misguided doctor went on a hunt for faces.
Here, the faces are potlatched (apparently).
But again, this is just a “cabaret”, we are told.
We see behind the scenes.
So where is the truth in these “jokes”?
What kinds of personalities find humor in this?
John Podesta famously jokes about cannibalism in Time magazine and elsewhere.
He jokes about the cannibalistic Donner party.
He had cannibal art hanging on his office wall (a loan from his art-collector-brother Tony Podesta).
Strange fixation, that.
Verging on Silence of the Lambs.
Really vile stuff.
This is an interesting movie.
Gosling has talent as a director.
He should make more films.
This was his debut.
He has directed nothing sense.
My only quibble is this: Christina Hendricks was so misused here.
Saoirse Ronan was almost equally misused.
Gosling needs to watch more Godard.
You don’t cast Grace Kelly only to have her wear the same sweater for the whole film.
But it’s also Hendricks’ fault.
She has talent.
But she must embrace who she is.
She is not a good enough actor to be a puritan.
By the grace of God I bring you this film review tonight.
Last night I was not feeling well enough to write.
And so I am happy to give you my first review of an Indonesian film.
It is a wonderful piece of cinema and is available on Netflix in the U.S. currently as What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love.
I will just say this.
Any film which includes a character sneezing his glass eye out of his head is ok by me.
Which is to say, this is a pretty strange film.
But it is not strange in an uptight, contrived, David Lynch sort of way.
Perhaps it is the basic situation which makes this film quixotic.
The bulk of the “action” takes place at a “special” school (as it is called in the subtitles).
The beautiful young people at this school all struggle with visual impairment.
There is, however, one very important character who is sighted yet cannot hear.
[We will get to him in due time]
When I tried to watch this film last night, I was not feeling very well (as mentioned previously).
And so in my debilitating moments of bubbling, dull panic I was trying to first situate this film culturally.
There was some blurb about a Dutch film fund.
And the real bit of text at the head of the film which threw me off the scent: a reference to the Busan film fund.
Knowing Busan, I figured, “Great! I am watching a South Korean film.”
I felt somewhat comfortable marginally knowing the cinema tradition in which I had just entered.
But as I saw women and young girls in Muslim garb, I began to question.
Indeed, even on tonight’s complete viewing, it was only 3/4 of the way through the film that I realized I was watching an Indonesian production.
Call me stupid.
But this is not a cinema (nor a language) with which I have any experience.
It was only when I saw Jakarta on the side of a bus that I felt fairly confident where the story had been set.
So yes, this is an Indonesian film in Indonesian (or dare I say Malay).
The scope and breadth of this language is not altogether clear to me, but it seems that Indonesian is a “register” (in linguistic terms) of Malay.
Being the dunce that I am, “register” seems an awful lot like “dialect”, but I’m sure most linguists would roundly dismiss this generalization.
Perhaps “jargon” is a better synonym for “register”.
In any case, Malay (of one type or another) is spoken by about 290 million people worldwide.
But we will stick to the term Indonesian (as per the language).
Our whole film is in that language (except for one line in Javanese).
Javanese, unlike Indonesian, is not a form of Malay.
It is quite distinct.
But on to the movie!
First we must pay our respects to the highly-talented director: Mouly Surya.
Based on a cursory search, this would be Mr. Surya (Mouly being far more common as a male name).
Ah…but thank God for research!
Our director, in fact, is MS. Surya.
She is a 36-year-old native of Jakarta.
But really, male or female, this is an obvious work of cinematic art.
What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love isn’t perfect, but it’s frighteningly close.
Which isn’t to say it’s frightening.
But it’s a film which sneaks up on you.
Cineastes may be familiar with the term “slow cinema” which has been bandied about here and there especially in recent years.
There may be some of that here…like when the character Diana combs her hair exactly 100 times.
[I was sure she was going to stop at 88…that number being good luck in Southeast Asian cultures]
Indeed, we are with the character for a seemingly interminable session of hair-brushing at her “boudoir”.
However, that is one of the few times where the “slow cinema” idea has our film run astray temporarily.
Other uses of the technique (an extreme of Deleuze’s “time-image”?) are quite effective and evoke the loneliness of sightless life.
Granted, no two lives are the same.
But the Indonesia pictured in our film is not an economic wonderland.
Quite the opposite.
It is a rather humble school in which students have very basic accommodations.
And as is so often the case, economic struggles exacerbate and compound coexisting problems.
But don’t get me wrong: it appears that the students portrayed actually have it very lucky in the context of their nation (all things considered).
Arguably the star of the film is Karina Salim.
Her situation is one of ballet lessons…and a doting mother.
That said, her roommate has a family which is struggling economically.
It is a strange juxtaposition.
But let’s focus on Ms. Salim.
Her acting is really fantastic.
Whether she is blind in real life, I know not.
But her portrayal of the character Diana is in the great tradition of pathos which touched on the works of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
The French adjective pathétique.
In English, we (if I may speak for us English speakers) tend to regard pathétique as descriptive of poetic pathos.
And that is exactly what Karina Salim exhibits in her delicate acting throughout this film.
Her character, Diana, is right on the cusp of womanhood.
And in a very moving set of sequences, we see her quietly preparing her underwear for the week.
The moment of her first menstruation is a cause for secret celebration.
Indeed, she shares this ascent to adulthood with only her mother…on a joyous little phone call which we overhear.
Which brings us to culture.
We almost feel embarrassed knowing this intimate detail of character Diana’s life.
But American films are so much more explicit in so many ways.
Perhaps we are shocked because the reality of womanhood is rarely addressed in Hollywood movies.
And so we see that Hollywood still has taboos.
In this age in which anything goes, honest depiction of mundane-yet-visceral life realities (such as menstruation) are all but absent (save from a film like Carrie ).
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this particular kind of honesty about femininity onscreen.
But what the hell do I know? I’m a dude.
So let’s back to the film.
While Ayushita is very good as Diana’s roommate, it is really Nicholas Saputra who is the other star of this film.
His character is a deaf punk rocker.
[Let that one sink in for a second]
Every day he has a different shirt.
The Sex Pistols. Led Zeppelin (?!?). The Clash. Joan Jett.
He definitely has the best hairstyle in the film.
[A strange zig-zag bleach job which I’ve never seen previously]
His character Edo is a social engineer par excellence.
Yes, there is some trickery in this film.
But it is not malicious.
Or if it begins as malicious, it is transformed into something quite beautiful.
But here’s where things get really strange.
There is really no decorous way of putting this, but there are a few characters in this film which pop up from time to time…AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE!
There is a rather tasteless meme going back generations that all Chinese people look the same to a Westerner.
[And, perhaps, all Brits (for instance) look the same to a Chinese person]
But, again, there are some characters in this film which seem to be playing out some subplot which escaped me completely.
Indeed, I have so rarely seen anything like it that I can only associate my confusion with that felt by so many in relation to the surreal Howard Hawks narrative in The Big Sleep.
Granted, in our film this is a very minor element.
But it is still disorienting.
Was there some series of edits which mangled this film?
Can I really not tell one Indonesian person from another?
I don’t know.
You’ll have to see it for yourself.
And explain to me exactly what is going on.
For instance, does the blind character Andhika somehow learn how to drive a Vespa around town?
And is he cheating on Diana?
Or is Diana cheating on herself?
Are there two Dianas?
Again, a few scenes completely lost me.
But they do not ruin the general continuity of this film.
If anything, they add a mercurial charm to the whole affair.
And so I wholeheartedly recommend this film which portrays a side of life on which many of us are completely uninformed.
Visual impairment. Braille. Hearing impairment. The difficulty of asking a clerk at 7-Eleven, “what kind of cigarettes do girls buy” in sign language.
And there is beauty in this world.
The appreciation for just a glimmer of sight (however blurry).
And yet, the difficulty of EVERY SINGLE TASK.
Most of all, this is a love story.
Two love stories (at least).
[not counting the extraneous players which pop up here and there]
But it is a very, VERY unique love story.
For me, it is an incredibly moving film because of the acting of Karina Salim and also Anggun Priambodo (who plays Andhika).
So take an adventure to Jakarta. Capital of Indonesia. World’s fourth-most-populous country.
While Indonesia is approximately 87% Muslim, this film portrays a diversity of religious devotion.
Indeed, while one student prays, another listens to a radio play (as one would have heard in the days of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce on The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes [1939-1946]).
Indeed, this scene of overlap…with religion in the background (the praying student) and learning in the foreground (listening to a lesson? or just a bit of entertainment for the girls who live at this school?) is one of the most fascinating from a visual and cultural perspective.
I cannot pretend to know what is going on in all of the footage.
And so an expert on education for the visually impaired in Indonesia would perhaps be able to elucidate some of the more esoteric aspects of this film.
In the meantime, enjoy!
I was very apprehensive.
Because I loved the original so much.
Trying to remake one of the best films ever.
An unenviable task.
But Tim Burton was bringing it all back home.
1964. Roald Dahl.
But let’s take a step further back.
Camp X. Ontario.
“Established” December 6, 1941.
Yes. You read that right.
The day before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It was established by the “real” James Bond: a Canadian by the name of William Stephenson.
His codename? Intrepid.
He oversaw British intelligence, MI6, for the entire Western hemisphere during WWII.
Roald Dahl, the author of the children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was one of the men trained at Camp X (today known as Intrepid Park).
So it should go without saying that we are not dealing with just any children’s author.
And herein lies the secret of Tim Burton’s success.
I fully expected full-on ball-tripping excess in homage to Mel Stuart’s “wondrous boat ride” of 1971, but Burton managed to restrain himself.
Indeed, the psychedelia of this film (and weirdness in general) is evident throughout almost every part of the film…EXCEPT THERE.
And so I must hesitantly call 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a masterpiece.
Against all odds.
It’s only fitting that the lead child actor who plays Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) was born on Valentine’s Day.
Yes Virginia, perhaps some things are fated.
Highmore is fantastic in a role created by Peter Ostrum.
And though we miss Diana Sowle and her priceless rendition of “Cheer Up, Charlie”, Helena Bonham Carter is quite magnificent in her limited scenes as the cabbage-cutting Mrs. Bucket.
But Tim Burton updates our story considerably to make it more relatable to the Harry Potter generation (and the service-industry pipe dream known as the “third industrial revolution”…for the “adults” in the crowd).
Yes, we needs must only revisit Eliyahu Goldratt’s “business novel” The Goal to remember the shortsighted “local efficiencies” which factory robots can produce.
By the way: there’s a father Bucket. And he runs into a patch of robot trouble.
But Tim Burton does not stop there. Whereas the original film focused tentatively on child spies (remember the purloined Everlasting Gobstopper?), the film under review seems to situate itself amidst the full-scale industrial espionage (and, in particular, intellectual property theft) which the United States attributes to China.
But let us pay our respects here.
David Kelly was fantastic as Grandpa Joe. Truly a wonderful performance! And we are sad to have lost his talents in 2012.
Reading from back to front:
-our Augustus Gloop is somewhat forgettable (save for his Low–era Bowie hair tint)
-AnnaSophia Robb is appropriately snotty as the overachieving brat Violet Beauregarde [How did Tarantino not hire this girl for his next refried kung-fu film?!?]
-Julia Winter (who strangely has no Wikipedia page) is really special as the mouthy tart Veruca Salt
-and Jordan Fry plays Mike Teevee (though they might as well have gone with “Hacker” Mike Xbox or some such first-person shooter sobriquet).
And that leaves us with the big dog himself: Johnny Depp.
Stepping into some very big shoes.
Gene Wilder. Taken from us just months ago. A truly magical being.
And so Depp and Burton needed a strategy.
And it appears it was something like, “Ok, let’s make him weirder. Like, lots weirder. Remember those sunglasses Keith Richards wore on Between the Buttons? And the hair like Brian Jones. Prim. Proper. Rocker. Ok, ok…but we want the Salinger recluse thing with some Prince or Michael Jackson oddity. Purple velvet. Ok, yes…we’re getting somewhere.”
Most striking, however, is Depp’s accent. Very Ned Flanders…but possessed by the thoughts of Salvador Dalí.
But the Burton touch shows through. That macabre glee.
A little cannibalism joke here. “Which half of your child would you prefer?”
Though tempered by quick-tongued childlike wonder, Depp is still a rather darker Wonka than Wilder’s fatherly archetype.
Yes, Depp could fit fairly well into Kraftwerk (especially germane had Augustus from Düsseldorf won the grand prize).
Johnny and his purple latex gloves.
Not a touchy-feely Wonka.
Doesn’t even bother to learn the kids names. [there’s only five]
Totally off his rocker.
Makes Gene Wilder’s Wonka seem like Mister Rogers in comparison.
But this is mostly secondary to the success of this film.
Tim Burton evidently didn’t feel making a true family film was beneath him.
And so, perhaps with a bit of inspiration from Wes Anderson, he made an immensely touching picture here.
Charlie Bucket is the kid we need in the world.
The chosen one.
The needle in the haystack.
And it is Wonka’s quest to find such a unique child.
Charlie almost gives up the ticket (sells it) to help his desperately poor family, but one of his four bedridden grandparents must have read Hunter S. Thompson at some point. And so Charlie is convinced to “buy the ticket, take the ride” so to speak.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Enter Deep Roy (Mohinder Purba) as ALL (and I mean all) of the Oompa-Loompas.
It is in the short (!) song sequences where Burton’s debt to David Lynch emerges.
Kind of like Danny Elfman’s debt to Tom Waits.
Comes and goes.
Burton, being the mischievous connoisseur of all things dark, manages to make Veruca’s exit an homage to Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren (albeit with squirrels).
Sure, there’s some crap CGI in this film (not to be confused with the even more insidious Clinton Global Initiative), but it is generally restrained.
At a few points, it gets off the rails and threatens to damage an otherwise fine film.
But I tell you this…there are plot twists here which for someone who has merely seen the first film (like myself) truly baffle and surprise.
And they are touching.
So it is with no reservations that I call this a family film.
Sure, some of the jokes are a bit obtuse.
But the framing story (the Bucket family’s existence) is indescribably magical.
It is then, only fitting, that Christopher Lee be the one to welcome the prodigal oddball Depp.
Which is to say, this film has a sort of false ending…which is inexplicable…and genius.
It is at that moment where the film finds its soul.
Happily, Burton gives us a fairy tale ending in which the young mind can work with the eccentric master…and the eccentric master can once again know what home is like.
This is one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen.
Directed by Juraj Herz.
Even if you are familiar with the Czechoslovak New Wave, this film will still take you by surprise.
It is a mélange of times and themes.
And truly a horror story.
But there is a Brechtian detachment at work.
This would explain labels such as “comedy horror”.
It’s perhaps more absurd and surreal than it is funny.
But it is certainly frightening.
A very creepy piece of cinema.
Everything revolves around a crematory official/director named Kopfrkingl.
That name alone is enough to jar the most languid viewer at each pronunciation.
Historically speaking, this was not a successful film upon release.
No, it was too weird to be incorporated into the Czechoslovak communist pantheon moving forward. And so the world would have to wait until 1989 to get a look at this thing.
The whole film feels like a dream.
A bad dream. With some particularly vivid violence. [Or vintage violence.]
Mr. Kopfrkingl is a truly, outrageously delusional man.
And he only becomes more so as the film goes on.
Modern viewers might notice a bit of Eric Cartman in Rudolf Hrušínský’s performance as Kopfrkingl.
Seen behind an iconic ribbon microphone, Kopfrkingl invokes the manic strains of Hitler and we feel the sick surge of idiocy grab hold of our dear cremator.
The strangest part of Kopfrkingl’s delusion is his obsession with Tibet.
It makes me wonder whether David Lynch saw this prior to Twin Peaks?
Thubten Gyatso dies, and Hitler comes to power.
Based on a novel by Ladislav Fuks, this tale must be seen to be believed.
There are short-circuit edits akin to Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker.
Indeed, director Herz is himself Jewish.
Truth be told, there have been few films which deal with the Holocaust as effectively (if obliquely) as The Cremator
Every shot of Hrušínský from the back evokes the Peter Lorre of M.
This is a thoroughly fascinating cinematic experience.