DURING THE 1968 DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTIONS, ABC News brought Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley together to articulate opposing visions for the country’s future. While they were both white men of extreme material privilege, Vidal, a progressive writer and cultural critic, and Buckley, a conservative thinker and television host, were seen to embody a deep … Continue reading
“The Hard Stop” begins with a title card that borrows Martin Luther King’s famous aphorism, ‘A riot is the language of the unheard.’ But its content tells us something that challenges King’s premise.
Before any images, there are words: in the last 20 years, 15,000 people have died attempting to reach Lampedusa, an island off the southern coast of Sicily. What image could bear to follow this fact?
Mustang is a film that unravels amidst tumbling swathes of dark hair, flicked both moodily and exuberantly; ringlets that fly out and tangle, only to be dutifully combed through.
Deutschland 83 is not a representation of the past but a triumph over it. Its narrative elements – the shifting loyalties central to any spy thriller – are subordinated to a retro fetishism.
Even inattentive cinephiles will have noticed the generous helping of biopics up for awards this year. It’s easy to see why. The ingredients for critical success are already there: ‘true to life’ characters and an audience comfortably fixed in their attitude towards them; a story that’s familiar, with details and dialogue publically accessible (unless, as Ava DuVernay found while making Selma, they happen to be owned by Steven Spielberg). Still, few biopics achieved the vertiginous success of The Imitation Game (2014)…
Bracketing the bullshit surrounding a movie is tough. But you make a concerted effort. Forget how much it cost (and lost), you tell yourself. Forget the stories and reviews and legends. Simply consider the images and sounds. Remember those strings! You replay them from Youtube. Is Cimino simply manipulating us? The audience is told to be wistful, or that the characters are wistful, or that 1870s Wyoming was full of wistfulness, or that we’re wistful for it. And remember Nate Champion, sweeping bread crumbs from his table, in his home; nervous but excited, glancing at Ella Watson for any sign of approval. Is he manipulating us too?
As my concentration began to wane, I opened the ‘Voice Record’ application on my iPad. The app, skeuomorphed to resemble a 1950s recording desk complete with volume meter and Edward R. Murrow-style stainless-steel microphone, listened to the lecture for me so I could consult it later at my own convenience. Another discrete outsourcing of my mental faculties to the touch-screen nymphet, another day closer to the inevitable apocalypse, designed in California, assembled in China.
By Yohann Koshy
True Detective is a wrestle over time. As such, it fits into a southern American tradition, centred around William Faulkner, that attempted to understand the relationship between the South and varying perceptions of time. In Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Quentin Compson, sitting in his room at Harvard, reflects on his Southern past.
By Joe Sykes
In the 1950s and ’60s, a trend to stage extended scenes of wild and weird parties became fashionable in Italian cinema. Directors exhibited a consortium of mismatched, obscure people swaying to the rhythms of the time. In these striking spectacles, an audience was confronted with innovative ways of communicating social, sexual and religious conflicts. What sticks out, however, are not the stories of the protagonists but rather the portrayal of the old Roman nobility.
By Alex Bower