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Showing posts from August, 2012

Killer Joe

You may never look at your K-Fry-C quite the same again.   The strange, salacious fate of a chicken leg in Killer Joe is but the sharpest note in a kind of white trash opera written by Tracy Letts, based on his 1993 play of the same name.  The lurid proceedings are directed with grim energy (and little else) by veteran William Friedkin.

Killer Joe will be referred to elsewhere as a Southern Gothic.  But let us not demean the many dark, bold and original works of art that properly fall under that heading by associating it with the clumsily lurid film at hand.  Such ventures, southern gothic stories, are often strange and not without intervals of sharp violence, but usually there's a point, some truth around which the weirdness revolves.  Ultimately, Killer Joe has no more to say about trailer parks, hired killers, or socio-economics than it does about the proper use of fried chicken.  And despite Mr. Letts' Oklahoma origins and the story's Texas setting, Killer Joe is about…

Moonrise Kingdom

Devotees of Wes Anderson seem to regard the release of a new film from the director as a kind of cinematic holiday. Not quite an annual event, but always a cause for celebration. To film lovers so inclined, Anderson's latest feature, Moonrise Kingdom, should offer more of the festive same. And more yet; sort of Christmas and the Fourth of July. But to those of us - we few, we grouchy few - who come to this latest work from the writer/director with any sense of reservation, Moonrise Kingdom might prove to be rather too much, a holiday that's lost all meaning while clinging to its ceremonial excess. Sure, it's a lovely parade, a richly constructed 94-minute show complete with fireworks. But would it be impertinent to ask the point of all this?

As the busy closing credits indicate over a child-narrated Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, a small army of individuals were involved to achieve the look of Moonrise Kingdom. Nonetheless, the culmination of this varied inpu…