Mia Wasikowska

Paul Éluard’s Poem “Liberty” Is the Unseen Star of ‘Maps to the Stars’

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Spoiler alert: this post contains vague references to occurrences at the end of Maps to the Stars.

Maps to the Stars begins in a mode of straightforward, Hollywood-brutalizing satire. We’re introduced, via Cronenberg’s bloodlessly still lens, to the players in the tritest of Hollywood nightmares. Each character reflects a Hollywood type so dominant as to seem, when rendered fictionally, hugely self-evident.
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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in February

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There’s plenty to talk about in the indie film world right now, but most of it is coming off of Sundance — and, sadly, we won’t get to see most of those movies for several more months. But the art houses certainly aren’t going dark this month; we’ve got several terrific new indies out for February (many hitting theaters and home screens after running the festival gauntlet last year). Here are eight that you shouldn’t miss, particularly if you find yourself heading out with someone who’s dead set on, say, Fifty Shades of …Read More

Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars’ Is Wickedly Funny and Deliciously Dark

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So here’s a mean, nasty little piece of work — and I have a feeling director David Cronenberg would take that as the compliment it’s intended to be. Maps to the Stars is part vicious Hollywood satire, part portrait of horrifying dysfunction, and part (no kidding) Greek mythology. Early on, I found myself jotting down echoes and influences: The Player, Douglas Sirk, Mulholland Drive, Cronenberg’s own Cosmopolis. At some point, I stopped playing connect-the-dots, because that’s missing the point: you can trace its genealogy all you want, but at the end of the day, Maps is its own, utterly deranged thing.
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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in May

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Tonight, a certain overworked web slinger will swing into something like 4000 screens across the country, kicking off the summer movie season in an appropriate fashion: with a big, dumb, terrible franchise movie that will gross more money than most of us can even imagine. But don’t worry — contrary to what the ubiquitous marketing campaigns of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a handful of others might indicate, there are other movies coming out this summer, and here are a few worth seeking out this month.
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Jim Jarmusch and Tilda Swinton on Creating the Vampire Hangout Movie ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

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Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (which screens this week at the New York Film Festival) opens with a needle drop, the pop and crackle of an old record, and the image of a moody rock 45 whose spinning is matched by overhead shots of our protagonists, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). They are vampires, but not your typical movie vampires; they spend most of their time in their rooms, devouring books and music and bottled blood. Jarmusch inserts few of the tropes of vampire fiction — there is, for example, a serious shortage of neck-sucking (dismissed by Eve as “so fucking 15th century”). Somewhere around the lovely scene of Tilda Swinton dancing, freely and wholeheartedly, to the old soul record, Jarmusch’s M.O. becomes clear: Only Lovers Left Alive is a hanging-out move, just with vampires.
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‘Stoker': Park Chan-wook Pays Grisly Homage to Hitchcock

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It’s certainly no coincidence that Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), the enigma at the center of Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, shares the name of the murderous uncle in Hitchcock’s classic Shadow of a Doubt. That’s not all the films have in common; both take place in seemingly idyllic, isolated communities (the family’s house is less a home than an island), and leave us with the impression that quiet evil can lurk behind every door and around every corner. But from an emotional standpoint, Stoker is like an inversed Shadow. In that film, a young woman who loves her uncle unlocks his past and is repulsed. In this one, a young woman who loathes her uncle unlocks his past, and responds with a bit more moral ambiguity.
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