Monthly Archives

October 2015

by Matt Lynch Current Film

Crimson Peak | Guillermo del Toro

October 14, 2015
Crimson Peak (2015)

Guillermo del Toro’s sympathies have always been with his orphan, discarded monsters: the aging vampire in Cronos, the beautiful, malevolent creatures of Pan’s Labyrinth, or the dying fairy kingdom of Hellboy II. They may be cruel and violent but they are also irreparably misunderstood, tragically separate from us, forever unloved, forced to exist in these exquisitely rendered worlds of perfect designs straight out of del Toro’s prolific imagination.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Steve Jobs | Danny Boyle

October 14, 2015
Steve-Jobs-2015

It’s hard to tell if Steve Jobs is better or worse for its general avoidance of “how we live now” handwringing. Even The Social Network, to which this is certainly meant as some sort of foll0w-up given its Aaron Sorkin fact-based tech-biography screenplay, concerned itself with our market-driven culture, the allure and pitfalls of becoming a capitalist hero, and the ways in which technology has disrupted human relationships. Steve Jobs is barely even about legendary iconoclast Steve Jobs.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Bridge of Spies | Steven Spielberg

October 14, 2015
Bridge of Spies (2015)

It’s not new to describe Steven Spielberg as a sort of father figure in Hollywood filmmaking. A film like War of the Worlds, just to take a somewhat recent example, is so skillfully unnerving it might as well be a bedtime story told by a parent with intimate knowledge of what will terrify their child. His latest, Bridge of Spies, is the kind of simple but fiercely moral lesson that feels all of a piece with that paternal instinct, and its executed with an…

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by Sam C. Mac Current Film

The Assassin | Hou Hsiao-hsien

October 13, 2015
The Assassin (2015)

At the core of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s cinema is a deep investment in the rift formed between an independent Taiwan and a possessive mainland China. Tender stories of unrequited romance (Three Times, Flowers of Shanghai) become bracingly political, and coming-of-age stories (The Boys from Feng Kuei, Millennium Mambo) gain the added pathos of exploring uncertain national identities. Crucially, these subtexts never overwhelm Hou’s characters, many of whom…

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by Luke Gorham Current Film

Everest | Baltasar Kormákur

October 5, 2015
Everest (2015)

Everest is based largely on Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, a true-life tale of survival and death atop the titular mountain that is, at its core, both stark and cerebral. The text is an examination of memory, and its role in feeding the ghosts that haunt us, imbedded within a gripping disaster narrative. Director Baltasar Kormákur’s adaptation is generally unable to find that same balance. Visually, his Everest is a visceral wonder: the camera swirls, glides, and plunges over peaks…

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