LARS VON TRIER WRITES A SCREENPLAY
David Lynch does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with iced coffee [x]
"I was a couple of films in before I realized, ‘Oh gosh, this must be who I am. I guess I’ll never be that other thing.’ It’s kind of a sad day. Before you’ve done anything, the world is completely open, just like any actor starting out saying, ‘Oh, I want to be Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro.’ At some point you look in the mirror and go, ‘Shit, okay, here’s who I am. I’m not that, but I am this.’ You sense your limitations and learn to live with it."
- Richard Linklater on knowing what kind of filmmaker you want to be
Cary Joji Fukunaga accepts the award for outstanding directing for a drama series for his work on “True Detective” - “Who Goes There” at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
So today I finally watched The Conformist and it was fucking amazing. Bit behind on my reviews but I also saw The Rover last week and it did not disappoint one bit.
Boy Meets Girl (dir. Leos Carax, 1984)
182. Calvary (2014) Dir. John Michael McDonagh
I feel like 2014 has been particularly strong for movies. We say this every year but that statement feels especially true this time around. Amidst form-challenging masterworks (Under the Skin, Boyhood), intelligent blockbusters (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and crowd pleasing entertainments (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego Movie, Grand Budapest Hotel) sits John Michael McDonagh’s simple and effortlessly constructed Calvary.
Calvary isn’t a showy film and John Michael McDonagh isn’t a showy filmmaker but he doesn’t need to be. He’s an absolute maverick with a pen and he paints with such deliberate, gentle strokes that the bigger picture takes care of itself. From it’s jaw-dropping opening line to the final showdown, it’s a film full of dark laughs but also plenty of heartbreak and poignancy. Part western, part Bergman-esque dissection of the human soul it’s a film coloured by many shades but with a steady, serious tone that never waivers. While The Guard was primarily a blacker-than-black comedy, Calvary is an altogether meatier and deeper experience that announces McDonagh as one of the most distinctive voices to emerge in contemporary cinema. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got Brendan Gleeson to anchor his story with. This might be his finest performance to date. He’s in every scene and shows great restraint but the cracks are always on show. I could watch Gleeson for days on end, he’s so unique and magnetic. Masculine yet fragile. He is one of our most reliable actors around but he’s often sidelined into supporting roles in bigger movies, nevertheless he is quietly carving out his own rogues gallery of tortured leading men here in England and Ireland. It’s saying something that the actors supporting him, which include Kelly Reilly, Dylan Moran and an especially strong Chris O’Dowd, hold their own against him and with McDonagh’s pitch perfect writing on their side they manage to be just as memorable and fully-formed as Gleeson’s Father James.
The great thing about Calvary is that it never goes where you expect it to. The story never loses it’s tight focus and the revolving door of supporting players never become rambling or forgettable. Everything about it feels very precise and authored. It’s easily one of the best films of the year and one that deserves a lot more attention and exposure. It’s not often I feel like I’ve seen a perfect film but I absolutely felt that way after seeing Calvary. McDonagh knows what he’s trying to say and knows exactly how to say it without being heavy handed. He shows great restraint and keeps his themes and tone, both dark and the light totally in check. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and go see it. Right now.