3 items from 2016
Now in limited release is one of the summer’s must-see films, Luca Guadagnino‘s I Am Love follow-up A Bigger Splash, which we called “a sweaty, kinetic, dangerously unpredictable ride of a film” back at Venice last year. To celebrate its arrival, today we’re highlighting the Italian director’s 10 favorite films, which he submitted for the last Sight & Sound poll.
An eclectic batch of titles from all over the world, they include an underrated Brian De Palma thriller, Nagisa Oshima‘s controversial erotic drama, an 8-part project from Jean-Luc Godard, an Italian staple from Roberto Rossellini, and more. Expanding upon one of his picks, he told The Guardian, “I am a Hitchcockian – I still believe that Psycho sets the standard for mother/ son relations.”
Speaking about another one of his choices, Fanny and Alexander, he recently discussed the behind-the-scenes documentary available on Criterion’s excellent box set. “You see the master at work. »
- Jordan Raup
If I had to select the contemporary filmmaker who’s most attuned to the relationship between thought and action — more specifically, the contemporary filmmaker who can best articulate the gap between these modes through cinema’s tools of expression — Arnaud Desplechin might be my strongest answer. Deeply empathetic toward its wounded characters, formally energized to the point of a viewer’s (appreciated) exhaustion, and often marked by a wicked sense of humor, they’re so alive because a writer and director of total ingenuity is branding them with his sensibilities.
His newest picture, My Golden Days — a prequel to 1996’s My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument, which you should see in the first place but don’t have to see in order to understand this effort, because such is the nature of prequels — jumps between decades, countries, and states of mind via protagonist Paul Dedalus, played »
- Nick Newman
For a classic novel whose fans insist that Hjalmar Soderberg’s 1912 romance not only holds up but reads with fresh relevance today, “A Serious Game” yields a drearily old-fashioned costume drama — one that’s mired less by its turn-of-the-century setting than an unfortunate early-1980s directorial style, when such productions had a regular home on the small screen. Around that time, actress-turned-helmer Pernilla August herself appeared in Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” which might have been a fine model, had not her every creative choice — from the fusty Euro-tv acting to an almost-square Academy aspect ratio — made this Lone Scherfig-scripted adaptation feel so airlessly uncinematic.
Funny how a two-hour film can sometimes feel longer than a six-hour miniseries, if only because it fails to supply the qualities that might bring its characters to life. Perhaps those already familiar with Soderberg’s “The Serious Game” (source material beloved in Sweden, »
- Peter Debruge
3 items from 2016
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