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Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Another dazzling suburban phantasm from writer-director Todd Haynes, Dottie Gets Spanked (made post-Poison and pre-Safe) is a stylized, bittersweet nod to his childhood fascination with I ... See full summary »
J. Evan Bonifant,
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is ... See full summary »
Petra von Kant is a successful fashion designer -- arrogant, caustic, and self-satisfied. She mistreats Marlene (her secretary, maid, and co-designer). Enter Karin, a 23-year-old beauty who... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
"Safe" has been described as a horror movie of the soul, a description that director Todd Haynes relishes. California housewife Carol White seems to have it all in life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful house, servants, beauty, and a lot of friends. The only thing she lacks is a strong personality: Carol seems timid and empty during all of her interactions with the world around her. At the beginning of the film, one would consider her to be more safe in life than just about anyone. That doesn't turn out to be the case. Starting with headaches and leading to a grandmal seizure, Carol becomes more and more sick, claiming that she's become sensitive to the common toxins in today's world: exhaust, fumes, aerosol spray, etc. She pulls back from the sexual advances of her husband and spends her nights alone by the TV or wandering around the outside of her well-protected home like an animal in a cage. Her physician examines her and can find nothing wrong. An allergist finds that she has an ... Written by
David Eschatfische <email@example.com>
Beautifully focused but open-ended modernist essay
A minor masterpiece of poised ambiguity. A quiet, unviolent - but malevolent - film, there are no great dramatic set pieces. Instead there is a super-smooth, Hitchcock-like spooling out of tension but, crucially, without the comfort of being told either what's actually wrong or which characters are good or bad.
If there weren't a careful equilibrium between pacing and script then the film would be worth watching for two reasons alone. First is the brilliant composition of each shot, celluloid recreations of an (Edward) Hopperian existentialism. Secondly is the central performance of Julianne Moore. I'm not a huge fan but her default mode of pale, brittle neurosis is precisely what's needed for this film. In addition to this she follows the tide of Haynes' film perfectly, drifting in and out of control of herself just as Haynes pulls us toward and then away from centres of trust and security.
I didn't find the film frightening; rather I felt great pity for Moore's Carol, and disturbed that the self-interest of her friends and benevolence of her carers appears increasingly interchangeable. Peculiarly gripping 8/10
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