I can practically taste the 80s.
I can practically taste the 80s.
For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior’s only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God, or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.
The work of Stockholm based artist Anders Krisár often deals with the human body. It is discomfiting, presenting objects of simultaneous horror and beauty. Krisár takes realistic casts of human body parts, torso, arms or faces to modify hem in ways that lend them a surreal quality. His aim is to explore interpersonal relationships and examine the complexities of the human condition.
A thing I shot and cut last week. Check it out.
185. The Rover (2014) Dir. David Michod
Animal Kingdom is one of my favourite films from the past few years so whatever David Michod was going to serve up next was sure to be something I had my eyes open for. The Rover joins a long tradition of Australian post-apocalyptic movies, a sub-genre I’m extremely fond of, and it climbs right to the top amidst the best of the bunch. The thing I loved so much about this film was how committed it was to it’s protagonist. Guy Pearce’s Eric is a tough glass to crack and an even harder one to see through. Made up of tense muscles and a squinting glare, he takes us through The Rover as an unpredictable and unreliable guide. Take one look at this guy and all the blanks we have about the “collapse” are filled in. Some bad shit went down and this is what a hero looks like in the cigarette burn that now passes as Australia. The Rover is structured like a thriller and in showier hands would have moved like one but Michod isn’t interested in that, he’s interested in the quiet after the storm, not the one before it. The film opens with one of the most unique chase sequences I’ve ever seen. It’s awkward and clumsy but no less tense and impressive. It’s really funny too but not in a way that will make you laugh. The film is full of subtle invention in the way it takes you through familiar beats but lets them unfold in an unexpected way, slightly askew and without heavy emphasis. There are glorious outbursts of harsh violence in this film but the most disturbing thing about it is how little consequence that violence ultimately carries. That’s just the way of the world in The Rover. Another great thing here is that you get Robert Pattinson’s finest performance to date. After his turn in Cosmopolis it was clear that Pattinson had no urge to continue down the heart-throb path set in front of him post-Twlilight. Here is a movie star who wants nothing more than to be challenged and redfined. As Rey, his good-looks are squashed to soft pulp and his magnetic charm is blunted to dumb edges. He’s the perfect foil for Pearce’s gruff avenger and their scenes together are among the film’s most enjoyable. I was just totally with this film from frame one. I loved the sharp edges of the score, the harsh drones and intrusive beats. I loved how Michod reveals the post-collapse society subtly and slowly. The rules and laws, if any, are never made explicit and it adds to the film’s tension. You never know when one character’s decision is going to lead to a bullet in their head. The Rover easily one of the best films of the year. A quiet yet blistering portrait of turmoil and despair. David Michod is one of our great new young filmmakers and I can’t wait to see what hell he puts us through on movie number three.
184. Coherence (2014) Dir. James Ward Byrkit
I was put onto this movie by the wave of great press it has received upon it’s recent release and while I admired the central concept and efficiency of the filmmaking, the film itself left me cold and disappointed. Coherence is a terrific idea for a low-budget movie. It uses it’s minimal locations and ideas to maximum effect and relies on the conflict of the characters rather than glossy effects for drama and excitement. Still, I felt like the film became a bit too heady and loopy for its own good, to the point where I simply lost interest in it’s final moments. It reminded me a lot of Primer, a film I both admire and enjoy for it’s convolutions, but unlike that film Coherence lacks a certain spark and touch that elevates it beyond being just a clever narrative stunt. The film looks pretty unremarkable, the handheld digital camerawork does little to inspire awe and while that may have been Byrkit’s intention, it made the whole thing feel just a tad too mundane and bland. The cast is great and in the same way Joss Whedon’s recent adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing felt like a bunch of friends getting together at a house to make a film over a weekend, they all connect and contrast each other wonderfully. I have no doubt that the plot was mathematically set in stone while the actors were given free-reign to fill in the dialogue blanks but their naturalism goes a long way to sell the twisty premise. As much as I liked all of the individual elements the film as a whole just fell rather flat on me. I know I need to see it again, I just have very little desire to. Not necessarily a bad film, but not one that has left much of a mark on me.
183. The Inbetweeners 2 (2014) Dirs. Damon Beesley & Iain Morris
I actually thought this was better than the first movie. The gross-out comedy is admittedly more heightened but the laughs are fast and constant and the film never loses sight of the characters. It’s impressive that Beesley and Morris have managed to get this far with this quartet of fuck-ups without them becoming tiresome stereotypes or one-joke ponies. Saying that though, it feels like the door should be closed on these guys for good as there’s only so far you can take them and to take them any further than The Inbetweeners 2 might be a little to far.