5 items from 2017
The actress is mostly remembered for her good looks, but what about her impressive performances?
In Richard Dyer’s book Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society, he writes that Marilyn Monroe was “the most visible star”: an actress whose life was put on display, and remains so over 50 years after her death. She is one of the most iconic Hollywood stars of all time, her face instantly recognizable to even those who have never seen any of her movies. She is a symbol of beauty, glamor, cinema, femininity, blondness, sexuality, and tragedy. While the world speculates about her personal life — who was she romantically involved with? How did she die? What was she really like? — her career as an actress is overshadowed by her fame.
While she may not have been the greatest actress of all time, she certainly had her fair share of talent and intelligence, and always worked incredibly hard to bring her »
- Angela Morrison
Andrew Haigh’s quiet, two-person relationship tale won a lot of friends last year. A revelation from the past changes everything in the marriage of Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. We read the faces, read the gestures — just like we do in our own close relationships.
The Criterion Collection 861
2015/ Color / 1:85 widescreen / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date March 7, 2017 / 39.95
Cinematography: Lol Crawley
Film Editor: Jonathan Alberts
Production Designer: Sarah Finlay
From the short story by David Constantine
Produced by Tristan Goligher
Written and Directed by Andrew Haigh
Most filmmakers must find a way to chop down 800-page novels and still retain some semblance of the original. Others have the opposite problem, fleshing a short story to fill a feature length movie. The classic example is Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers, which is less than three thousand words in length. »
- Glenn Erickson
Regularly, in articles and essays, in posts and tweets, Virginia Woolf's quote, “...on or about December 1910 human character changed,” gets bandied about as the coming of the modern age. It is claimed, by such a writer as Edward Mendelson, that her statement was a serious joke. And according to him, her pronouncement was a hundred years premature. “Human character changed on or about December 2010, when everyone, it seemed, started carrying a smartphone,” he wrote in a recent New York Review of Books article. That is a serious joke, too. Each is probably not right; besides, trying to pinpoint something as elastic and elusive as human character is better left to the hacks. Few persons living or dead would attest to these dates when asked about human character, which most people probably think falls under the rubric we call life. Someone much more divested than Woolf or Mendelson, Thich Nacht Than, »
Untitled. © Lotus-FilmA pretty amazing aspect of the Berlinale is that a lot of the festival venues are multiplexes usually devoted to blockbusters, meaning that smaller films from the sidebars are often screened in theaters with gigantic screens and state-of-the-art sound systems. It’s in one such cinema that I got to experience the chromesthetic delirium of Ulysses in the Subway by Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs and Ken Jacobs. And, let me tell you, it was mind-blowing. Describing the film is about as difficult as describing a drug trip—indeed, watching Ulysses in the Subway is what it might be like if you were to drop acid and ride around the New York subway with your eyes closed. With the intention of visualizing sound, the four artists took an audio recording Ken Jacobs made of a long subway ride home (Jacobs used the same recording in live performances of »
Volker Schlöndorff’s scalding film of The Tin Drum shared the Palme d’Or with Apocalypse Now in 1979. The director turns 78 next month and is no longer at the peak of his powers. But Return to Montauk proves that he still has it in him to startle and wrongfoot an audience.
What appears to be a clunky, tasteful, middle-aged rehash of Before Sunset, with two former lovers reunited after one of them writes a novel about their affair, turns out at the eleventh hour to have a sting in its tail. Schlöndorff and the novelist Cólm Toibín wrote the screenplay, which is adapted in part from the memoir Montauk by the late Swiss playwright and novelist Max Frisch, to whom the picture is dedicated. »
- Ryan Gilbey
5 items from 2017
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