Rian Johnson has developed into one of those filmmakers that I will go and see everything he puts on the screen. His fifth feature film had big shoes to fill, it has to follow his blockbuster Star Wars: The Last Jedi which grossed 1.3 billion worldwide. It’s a hard task to do but Johnson decided to do this by having an all-star cast and a modern take on the whodunit film that has been done over and over again in films. In Johnson’s hand, Knives Out becomes something special, a fresh take on the genre and a film that takes aim at today’s society.
Just try to imagine the pitch meeting for Jojo Rabbit; a satire about a young boy living in Nazi Germany whose imaginary best friend happens to be Adolph Hitler. Jojo Rabbit is wild, funny and at times warm. You will feel bad for about 20 minutes for laughing at something Adolph Hitler said but then you relax and everything is okay. All of this would not have been possible had the film not been in the brilliant hand of Taika Waititi. I can’t imagine this film being made had Waititi not directed Thor: Ragnarok and the film had not been a commercial success. It’s hard to imagine any executive saying yes to this had he not been so successful with his films beforehand. But I am so glad someone said yes to this because it’s something special. While it will be interesting to see how Disney, yes Disney, market this film since it is now part of their slate since the acquisition of Fox, I will continue to hope that they do it right and this becomes a hit because it deserves it.
Walking out of The Lighthouse a big sense of uneasiness inhabited me. A feeling I couldn’t shake away even hours after seeing the film. It left its mark, an impression that wouldn’t leave me even after leaving the comfort of my chair. But even in front of all this uneasiness, my eyes never looked away from the action that unfolded in front of me. I was mesmerized by what I was witnessing. The Lighthouse is powerful when you think about it: a spectacle that is shot on 35mm in black and white with only two characters and that never loses your attention. As the film progresses, you can feel the madness slowly invade your being. You feel trap, you are transported on the island with them. As they go deeper into their madness, you follow them along. Even when it’s all over, when everything is wrapped up and you sit in the darkness of the theatre as the credit play, your body is frozen in space. The Lighthouse is an experience, an experience that will leave you wanting more but also dreading more.
Quirky feminist comedies are my thing, the sort of movies that I look for as often as possible. They are what I enjoy the most out of films because I can connect to them on a deeper level. They always make me feel like I am seen and more often than none I walk away with a feeling that no other film gives me. That is exactly how I expected to feel for How to Build a Girl a new comedy coming from director Coky Giedroyc and written by Caitlin Moran based on her own memoir. It was a film that appealed to me in every way but while it worked really well at times, it also failed at others.
While in line for this film, someone approached me and asked about the film. About why I decided to buy a ticket for this film that has no trailer and knows very little about it. Outside of the fact that it’s something exciting and fun to do as many films for a festival as possible, but to me it boiled down to three things, H.P. Lovecraft, Nicolas Cage, and that single still. It is gorgeous and otherworldly and exciting enough to want me to be brought into this other world.
Jean Seberg became an icon after starring in the film that would start the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Goddard’s Breathless. She became a staple in French cinema and her star burned bright after. While never really being able to escape her feature debut as Joan of Arc, a role that left permanent scars not only on her body but also on her mind, Seberg disappeared from Hollywood and would go on to die from what appeared to be suicide after disappearing for ten days just a few days after the anniversary of her daughter’s death. But the real mystery came between those years before she left Hollywood where a few years she found herself being a political activist in the United States and found herself at the centre of an FBI investigation that would end up kind of ruining her life. This is period of her life is explored in the biopic Seberg starring Kristen Stewart in the titular role.
Now, while Arianne has already seen the film (and you can read her review here), I have not. Nor have I been keeping up with the discourse of the film. In fact, outside of the title, the winning of best screenplay at Cannes, and the universal acclaim, I know virtually nothing about the film. And that’s what trailers are for.
British feel-good films have a very specific feel to them. They are a template that we have seen but they are also very effective to make you feel happy for their duration. And in a period where most films are depressing and hard to watch, sitting down for two hours and watching a group of women who supports each other is a nice change of pace. It might not be a pitch-perfect film but the fact that you walk away crying of joy is a nice change from the emotional wreckage that most Festival films will give you,
Oscar bait films are something we know, something that we have seen grow in number years after years. But that doesn’t always mean that they are bad, sometimes they actually are good. They just don’t try and change the norm. For me, Just Mercy falls into a category. A film packaged for the Oscar that hits hard but also doesn’t try and change anything in the way it tells its story. But the truth is that I was a mess after Just Mercy while I can see how it fails to innovate, it did hit me so hard that I was hiding in my shirt to try and to be loud. You know how it will end, just like any other courtroom movies of the sort, but you can’t help to get sucked into the story.
So, I’m glad and surprised that we are only getting two trailers for Doctor Sleep. I’m aware it’s close by, but I’m rather over the 300 Marvel trailers per film. It seems like Warner Brothers finally learned something.