Bikini, Death: Małgorzata Szumowska’s Body

bodyMałgorzata Szumowska’s Body, which won her the Silver Bear for best director at Berlin, opens with one of the best visual gags I’ve seen at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. Continue reading


“No Victor, only Doom”: Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four

fantasticfourA cursory browse of the Internet suggests that the new Fantastic Four may as well be one of the worst films ever made: an Adam Sandleresque score on Low Hanging Fruit, unusually harsh user rating on the Internet Males Database, and widely reported tales of production woes and public handwringing, as though somehow humanity’s worst crime was to deliver a superhero film that failed to please its precious audience. Yet such is the power of the stunted fanboys and clickbait movie “journalists” fueling discussion of popular cinema in 2015: a depressing forum in which a perceived unsatisfactory Marvel film must be analyzed like the coming of the cultural holocaust, rather than simply being ignored for the unremarkable—and completely familiar—corporate bowel movement that it is. Continue reading

Method and Madness: The Dueling Brandos of Listen to Me Marlon and Lost Soul

brandodigitalWas latter-day Marlon Brando the corpulent madman of myth, or a visionary genius who’d already moved on to the next level of movie acting? While the perception of the 20th century’s most famous actor as a paycheck-cashing recluse in his later years endures in the public consciousness, two recent documentaries cast a different light on the unraveling of the man who revolutionized cinema performance—and in turn expose a method to his supposed madness. Continue reading