3 items from 2016
There's an interesting pattern that tends to happen when an actor becomes a seemingly overnight obession due to a pop culture megahit. They pull a 180 and do a movie that's radically different from what made them famous. We saw it happen when Kristen Stewart transitioned away from the Twilight franchise and became one of the most sought after actresses in independent cinema. Her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson took a similar direction, shifting away from glossy Hollywood and into more gritty, haunting fare like Cosmopolis and The Rover. And now it's Tom Hiddleston's turn to take the indie plunge. Hiddleston, who turned Loki from a simple trickster to a villain people kind of want to see win just so they can see more of him, stars in High-Rise, a very...
- Peter Hall
Late in Jacob Gentry’s thought-provoking but clumsy sci-fi time bender, Synchronicity, one character says to the other: “You have the power to cross the universe in an instant… All the things you could accomplish, all the questions you could answer, and you just want to get laid.” That monologue synthesizes the most important aspect of the latest crop of time travel movies: they’re all rooted in primal concerns. Like last year’s underrated Time Lapse, Synchronicity centrally revolves around the way a relationship feeds into a headier concept — in this case, time travel.
Unfortunately, even by the end when all the twists have been revealed that explain that central relationship, it still just doesn’t make sense. But even if Synchronicity doesn’t succeed on its own merits as a story, it’s another example of the possibilities of low-budget sci-fi alongside recent successes like Coherence and The One I Love. »
- Michael Snydel
We anxiously await news of whatever David Cronenberg might direct next, but there’s plenty of material to fill his absence. Think you’ve seen eXistenZ and Naked Lunch enough times to get nothing new from them? Wondering what, exactly, was in mind when producing Cosmopolis and Spider? We’ve compiled making-of documentaries, behind-the-scenes explorations, a video essay, and a feature-length commentary that will place you in the master’s process and, through the comments of collaborators, create a deeper understanding of how his cinema comes to life.
The finest is Citizens of Cosmopolis, a 110-minute (i.e. longer than the film itself) documentary that plumbs the depths of Cronenberg’s inscrutable masterpiece. What may at first resemble a bland Epk feature of actors telling you how brilliant their director is eventually reveals itself to be an incredibly revealing exploration, one littered with dailies, animatics, glimpses at the set, and »
- Nick Newman
3 items from 2016
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