Sunday, November 25, 2012

Celluloid #160

In Theaters

Holy Motors (2012) Carax - I really cannot begin to explain what this film is about, but I loved it. A man goes on a series of "appointment" throughout the day, working as some sort of existential actor fulfilling emotional scenarios in others' lives. These appointments involve elaborate disguises and range from heartfelt to absurd. There's motion capture fucking, a song by Kylie Minogue, a naked dwarf who kidnaps Eva Mendes, murders, grief, etc. This film has plenty of ecstatic imagery to spare. 9/10

In Home

the Deep Blue Sea (2012) Davies - Hester is having an affair with Freddie. Her husband is just a little too rulesy and seems to be under his mother's thumb despite his advanced age. Freddie is not necessarily much of a prize given his mood swings and violent temper, but even so, they have extreme passion and lust for one another. Hester is unlucky to live in a time that won't grant her freedom. This is maybe the best that I've ever seen Rachel Weisz (not that she's a particular favorite of mine), but the non-linear structure of the film undercuts much of the weight that I assume is associated with certain emotional scenes. 6/10

Goodbye First Love (2012) Hansen-Love - Camille is 15 and in love with 19 year-old Sullivan. They have a lot of sex and possess the naivete monopolized by adolescents. Sullivan struggles to know what to do with himself in life and is planning a trip to South America with some friends. Camille is devastated even though the trip is only supposed to be for ten months. Her fears are confirmed when Sullivan fails to return for many years beyond that and the two lose touch. Camille tries to move on with her life and even falls for one of her professors, but when Sullivan reenters her life, the chemistry just cannot be denied. 7/10

Keyhole (2012) Maddin - Guy Maddin's version of a ghost story? Ulysses is a gangster who ends up in a haunted house version of his previous home. He vows to win back his wife. There are plenty of disturbing things going on in the rooms - the wife has her naked father chained to the bed, Ulysses' son Manners is trying to revive his drowned sweetheart, and other family dysfunction. Features typical Maddin style and obsession with silent film era-style. This film is also notable for featuring one of the "Kids in the Hall" raping a ghost. 8/10

Perfect Sense (2012) Mackenzie  An interesting little indie sci-fi where the apocalypse is experience as a series of epidemics attacking one of the five senses. It starts when people begin losing their sense of smell, but after a few months, everyone gets used to this way of life and copes well until another syndrome strikes, leaving people without their sense of taste. Amidst these calamities, Susan (an epidemiologist) and Michael (a chef) strike up a precarious romance. 8/10

Trishna (2012) Winterbottom - I've never read Tess of D'Urbervilles but apparently this is a modern version of that story set in India. Trishna is the oldest daughter in a poor family and is given an opportunity to make a lot of money when a tourist offers her a job in his father's hotel. The son, Jay, also finds Trishna very beautiful and the two fall in love despite their different classes. However, the power dynamics quickly take their toll and it's clear this romance is doomed early on.. 7/10

Tyrannosaur (2011) Considine - An old drunk is maybe at the lowest point of his downward spiral. He has killed his dog during a drunken fit and has gotten into a brawl with some local hoodlums when he seeks refuge in a charity store run by a middle-aged Christian woman. She responds to his obvious distress by praying for him. Joseph visits Hannah several more times, sometimes to harass her, but soon the two develop a friendship when it becomes clear the Hannah's seemingly easy life is actually full of a lot of darkness and struggle. 7/10

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