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Showing posts from June, 2014

Cold In July

"Are you alright?"  "Uh-uh."  This question and answer occurs between Ann and Richard Dane, not long after their home has been invaded and the husband has shot dead the intruder.  Unfortunately, the answer applies as well to Michael C. Hall, playing the everyman increasingly in over his head as director Jim Mickle's Cold in July proceeds along its dark and meandering way, something of a dangerous idea that almost makes sense.

Employing Hall to labor beneath a starter mullet that enhances his already prominent brow, the producers of Cold in July would seem to have overshot East Texas of the late-1980's and placed him somewhere up (or down) The March of Progress.  He never quite finds the character of the framing store manager, rendered vaguely to begin with by writers Mickle and Nick Damici.  As with Emile Hirsch in another story of Texas mayhem, Killer Joe (2011), Hall is a non-entity with a half-hearted drawl at the center of the film.  This is unexpecte…

Only Lovers Left Alive

"So this is your wilderness...Detroit."  So says Eve to Adam as they drive by night through the moribund Motor City in a white Jaguar.  Only Lovers Left Alive is not, as it happens, an update of the book of Genesis that Jim Jarmusch has overlaid onto the urban wasteland of Detroit.  The action Only Lovers Left Alive occurs by night, as Adam and Eve are vampires.  While they're not the primeval lovers of the Bible, the names do obviously carry significance.  Mr. Jarmusch's eleventh feature is an elegaic one, lamenting not only the tenuous existence of analog recording, lovely old guitars and other beautiful objects, but the looming loss of our very own paradise of a planet.

There would seem a certain inevitability in Detroit if you happen to be a vampire.  What better place to take up residence?  A city built for two million now now home 700,000. It is in significant ways -  figurative and quite literal - a city of night.  Former residential blocks now exist as open…