The current cinematic trend toward “explainer culture” — the need to dissect art to discern its true meaning and the demand for directors to explain their creative intentions — is counterintuitive to the enjoyment of art. As David Lynch once said, “The film is the thing.” The movie is the conversation; the only explanation that really matters is your own. And yet, walking out of Brawl in Cell Block 99, it’s almost impossible to not wonder about writer and director S. Craig Zahler’s intentions. Is this a genuine exploitation film, or is it merely exploitative? And if it’s the former, what place do those films have and what purpose do they serve in 2017?
Yorgos Lanthimos delivered one of the best films of 2016 with The Lobster, a darkly comedic and comprehensive satire of relationships and dating, featuring a wonderful performance from a schlubby Colin Farrell. If you walked away from that film thinking that maybe the director of Dogtooth was softening a bit, Lanthimos returns this year — schlubby Colin Farrell in tow — with his darkest film yet. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a predictably uncanny, pitch-black tragicomedy that pits a narcissistic surgeon against a sociopathic teenager for what is undoubtedly one of the most disturbing cinematic experiences of the year.
IT is on track to best The Exorcist as the top-grossing horror film of all time, making it safe to assume the latest adaptation of the Stephen King classic will be just as much of a hit when it arrives on Blu-ray. In addition to the longer director’s cut recently confirmed by Andres Muschietti, the home release of IT will likely also include some deleted or alternate scenes. And according to one of the film’s young stars, we might know what at least one of those scenes could be.
Sorry not sorry about that headline, folks, but a trailer for a new Wes Anderson movie is something to get super-silly-stoked about. For his second stop-motion animated film, the director who’s made a habit of killing dogs in his movies finally gives canines their due. The first trailer for Isle of Dogs has arrived, and I regret to inform you that it’s going to make the wait until next March that much more painful.
A young woman sits in a college library by herself, separate from the rest of her peers. You can tell from her body language that she’s an introvert; uncertain, insecure, perhaps a little unusual. When a female classmate sits next to her, something strange begins to happen: Birds deliberately fly into the large glass windows of the library. Moments later, the young woman has a seizure, falls to the floor and urinates on herself. This is how Thelma formally introduces the eponymous character to her classmates, and, in some ways, it is Thelma’s first meaningful interaction with herself — and it won’t be her last.
By now you’ve probably heard that 30 Rock is leaving Netflix Instant, and if you’re anything like me, you are distraught. Inconsolable, even. The good news is that we still have Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Parks and Recreation, so there’s that, at least. Anyway, 30 Rock isn’t the only title expiring from Netflix in October, so let’s commence the mourning, shall we?
The new trailer for Wonderstruck is really lovely on its own, with its parallel stories of two children — one in 1927, the other in 1977 — searching for prominent but elusive figures in their lives. But the use of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” makes the trailer for Todd Haynes’ latest film even more wonderful, particularly as it transitions from a cover sung by children into the late singer’s classic version.
It’s been three years since Wes Anderson released The Grand Budapest Hotel, but fans of the director (Fandersons? Is that a thing?) will have to wait a little longer to see his next film. Isle of Dogs doesn’t hit theaters until next spring, but we’ll have the first trailer tomorrow — until then, Fox Searchlight has released a brief teaser to get you ready for Anderson’s new stop-motion animated film.
Following last week’s final wave announcement, Fantastic Fest has a handful of late additions for this year’s genre film festival. Joining what is already a pretty exciting lineup for 2017 are seven more titles, including new features, shorts and two television series. The most notable of those titles is Bodied, the new rap battle flick from Joseph Kahn (Detention), which recently had a divisive world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival — where it instantly became a must-see.
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