Celine Dion once famously said, “I’d like to dedicate this next song to all of the parents and all the children of the world” — to which a not-quite-as-famous YouTuber famously responded, “All the parents + all of the children of the world = fucking everybody.” Yes, one of the most fundamental facts of life is that everyone is a child and most people are eventually parents. It is the universality of these familial absolutes, perhaps, that makes “the fam” such good fuel for horror in film, even in films that wouldn’t necessarily be categorized as “horror.” In fact, there’s such a bounty of films depicting inter-family horrors that organizing a filmic family trauma reunion (aka listicle) seems quite a Freudian headache. For this reason, I’ve decided to break down the most stomach-churning family relationships onscreen into slightly more digestible …Read More
It’s hard out there for a teenager. It’s even kind of hard out there for those of us who used to be teenagers — especially in these back-to-school months, when the nostalgia comes creeping up like those floods we used to wear and never, ever should again. But you know who was probably even stranger than you in high school? Your favorite cultural icon. Or maybe not — as is only to be expected, some had joyful (and/or prank-filled) teenage years, some suffered tragedies, some were completely weird, some were popular, and some deserve our respect for even getting through. Click through to read 50 cultural icons on their teenage …Read More
Darren Aronofsky will reportedly adapt Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, Year Of The Flood, and MaddAddam for the small screen. The …Read More
If your weirdo cinephile friend is all in a tizzy today, there’s a reason: Sorcerer, the much-maligned, long-neglected, yet freshly re-appreciated Wages of Fear remake from director William Friedkin, is making its Blu-ray debut today (and finally getting a proper anamorphic DVD release as well). When the film was originally released back in 1977, it was a highly anticipated, big-budget effort from Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The Exorcist and The French Connection. Unfortunately, its arrival in the moviegoing marketplace was preceded, by about a month, by a little movie called Star Wars, and that picture pretty much lay waste to everything in its path. It’s not a new story — filmmaking careers are made of highs and lows, and even the finest directors have seen falls that were difficult, or even impossible, to bounce back from.
We’ve been talking a lot about Lars von Trier lately, prompted by the release of Nymphomaniac, and now Criterion Collection has given us one more reason to think about his work: their new special edition of his 1996 masterpiece Breaking the Waves. It’s a key entry in the von Trier filmography, its themes echoing throughout Nymphomaniac and Melancholia, but it takes something big like the Criterion release to warrant a revisit; Breaking the Waves is both a masterful movie and one that’s incredibly difficult to subject yourself to. We’ve looked previously at great books and important albums that are just plain hard to take; here’s a few movies that warrant the same kind of …Read More
There are scenes and images in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah as astonishing as any in recent memory, surrealistic flashes that inspire immediate awe and reverberate long afterwards. And there are moments so goofy and tone-deaf that you wonder if the gifted and visionary filmmaker was asleep at the wheel. It’s as odd and schizophrenic a picture as you’re likely to see in the focus-grouped, play-it-safe moviemaking climate of the moment, and the fact that it exists at all is sort of a (ha ha) miracle. The fact that it takes itself so very seriously will, no doubt, lead its more cynical viewers to dub it an unintentional laugh riot — and you can choose to laugh at it. But you can also choose to wrestle with it, to engage as fully as Aronofsky has.
In 1991, following his brilliant The Thin Blue Line, director Errol Morris attempted something even harder than getting an innocent man off Death Row: making Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time into an accessible, audience-friendly, major motion picture. The resulting film is, at long last, available on DVD and Blu-ray via Criterion. It’s awfully good — though its in-depth discussions of quantum mechanics and black holes and the Big Bang are bound to make those of us who nodded off in science class feel a bit out of our element. Then again, some movies, with their convoluted storylines or surrealistic imagery or intellectual subject matter, have the unintended side effect of merely spotlighting our intellectual shortcomings. Here are a few others that made us feel just a little …Read More