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Showing posts from 2019

Wild Rose

"Three chords and the truth" reads the tattoo on the right forearm of Rose-Lynn Harlan.  That fundamental recipe was coined by another Harlan, American songwriter Harlan Howard providing his abiding definition of country music in the 1950's.  This is the sort of thing Rose Harlan would know, country music historian and aspirant that she is.

Unlike many a music enthusiast from the United Kingdom, Rose has a deeper knowledge of and feeling for American roots music than most Americans.  One of the strengths of Wild Rose is that we are dealing in a fairly genuine country music here (not "Country & Western;" Rose bristles whenever anyone attaches that common old term to her singing), as opposed to the sort of bathetic sludge that tends to clog "country" radio these days in America.  Wild Rose is like a deeply felt old country song, a bit careworn and certainly predictable.  But thanks to Jessie Buckley, playing Rose with a bone-deep consistency, the f…

Us

We have seen the red-jumpsuit-wearing, scissors wielding, disturbingly feral enemy and they are...us?  So it does appear in the second film from the enormously successful Jordan Peele.    Mr. Peele has given us another horror film of sorts, one  in which the doppelgangers, the ones in the jumpsuits, are none to happy.   And who can blame them, really?  
For starters, this apparently large population of doppelgangers has been waiting.  A long time.  A pre-title sequence goes to some pains to let us know, both explicitly and with tokens of Reagan Administration America, that it's 1986.  Like Josh Baskin in Big, little Adelaide Thomas (Madison Curry), wanders toward a mysterious, set apart attraction at a boardwalk carnival and much chaos ensues several decades on.
Adelaide enters a kind of funhouse called "Find Yourself."  There's something of a Native American theme to this attraction, and we hear a Native American voice speaking as the little girl wanders into the b…

The Favourite

What-ho! Yorgos Lanthimos down some dark, rich, reimagined corridor of English history?  The Greek filmmaker has generally confined himself to the relative present.  Much as he has charted out unique little worlds in his films beyond the obvious grasp of time or place, each has occurred in an astringently modern setting.  You know - cars, electricity and whatnot.  
And yet Mr. Lanthimos has followed his most punishing work, The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) with a kind of dark comedy set, however fancifully, during the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714).  But this being Yorgos Lanthimos, his latest film is nothing so simple as black comedy or period piece.  Through a fairly quick ascension of features - this is somehow only his seventh - Lanthimos has brought us characters that don't move side by side or passionately embrace so much as collide like bumper cars, even as they might be moving in for some needed bit of affection.


In films like Alps,Dogtooth and The Lobster, characters…