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10/31/2018

"It's Time to Break the Noses of All Beautiful Things"

Suspiria
(Italy/USA, 152 min.)
Dir. Luca Guadagnino, Writ. David Kajganich
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Chloë Moretz, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Jessica Harper
Dakota Johnson and cast
“It’s time to break the noses of all beautiful things,” declares Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton) to Susie (Dakota Johnson) during a devilish dance in Suspiria. There are many broken bones and bloodied beauties in Luca Guadagnino’s gorgeously macabre Suspiria, and many a horror fan is bound to be tickled pink by the cries of pain and pleasure that echo throughout the film. One major difference between this Suspiria and the 1977 Dario Argento original is the sheer amount of dancing as sequences punctuate the film with violent, staccato rhythms. Both films take place in a dance studio/coven in divided Berlin, but the dancing in the classic is almost incidental whereas the stylish moves of the new film are essential to the spell it casts. This wild dance party is even better than the original Suspiria.


10/26/2018

Mid90s: Hill Flips the 'Bird

Mid90s
(USA, 84 min.)
Written and directed by Jonah Hill
Starring: Sunny Suljic, Na-Kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, Gio Galicia, Ryder McLaughlin, Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston
Sunny Suljic and Na-Kel Smith star in Jonah Hill's Mid90s
VVS Films
Bradley Cooper isn’t the only actor who can direct! Superbad and Wolf of Wall Street star Jonah Hill makes a respectable feature debut as a director with Mid90s. While Mid90s isn’t the out of the park grand slam of Cooper’s A Star is Born, complete with fireworks and somersaulting cheerleaders, Hill’s flick bats a solid triple and lands a hot dog on the side. Hill crafts a goofy, tough, and surprisingly sweet coming of age story in Mid90s.


10/25/2018

'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' a Feat of Tragicomedy


Can You Ever Forgive Me?
(USA, 106 min.)
Dir. Marielle Heller, Writ. Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Lee Israel is pathetic. When we meet the writer circa 1991, she’s a 51-year-old has been, clinging to her fifteen minutes of fame while churning out entry level work during the graveyard shift. Israel achieved some measure of repute thanks to her literary biographies on Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder, and reporter/game show panelist Dorothy Kilgallen, the latter of which was a New York Times bestseller. Israel thinks this modest success entitles her to more out of life, but as a bitterly depressed and resentful alcoholic, she squanders her talent far more than she uses it.


Room for Rent: Awkwardness Included


Room for Rent
(Canada, 89 min.)
Written and directed by Matthew Atkinson
Starring: Mark Little, Brett Gelman, Mark McKinney, Carla Gallo, Stephnie Weir
Living with random roommates is an experience that everyone should face at least once, if only to appreciate how normal and kind one’s friends and family are. For example, when I moved to Toronto, I answered a Craig’s List ad for a house that was led by someone who seemed perfectly chill and relatable. She turned out to be a batshit crazy hoarder who cleaned the shower for an hour every week (usually at midnight) and ran an amateur massage studio out of our messy living room—an expected everybody to vamoosh when her clients arrived. Not the most pleasant year, but it gave some perspective.

10/20/2018

Oscar Predictions: Round 1 - Getting Back in the Game

Clockwise: Roma, The Favourite, BlacKkKlansman, A Star is Born, First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk
And we are back in the game with Oscar predictions! I apologize that this has been such a quiet year on Cinemablographer. I hope that things pick up here heading into the end of the year. It’s been a crazy year at POV and I’ve been doing some other freelancing, so I’ve simply been a bit busy elsewhere. (Thanks to everyone for sticking around!)


10/18/2018

Chalamet a Star to Stay

Beautiful Boy
(USA, 120 min.)
Dir. Felix van Groeningen, Writ. Luke Davies, Felix van Groeningen
Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Kaitlyn Dever
VVS Films
Steve Carell wants an Oscar. Timothée Chalamet deserves one.

10/11/2018

Knuckleball: Kids Slay the Darnedest Things

Knuckleball
(Canada, 89 min.)
Dir. Michael Peterson, Writ. Michael Peterson, Kevin Cockle
Starring: Luca Villacis, Michael Ironside, Munro Chambers, Kathleen Munroe, Chenier Mundal

The appeal of children generally eludes me, but the little hellions seem to be awfully good tools to have whilst trapped in a creepy home with a maniac. Video games and movies have taught kids to be resourceful, and as the new horror-comedy Knuckleball shows, there’s at least one practical benefit to having children.  Kids slay the darnedest things—at least they’re good for something.


10/03/2018

First Man: From the Space Race to the Oscar Race

First Man
(USA, 142 min.)
Dir. Damien Chazelle, Writ. Josh Singer
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas, Olivia Hamilton
Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong might have been the first man to walk on the moon, but we’ll all feel like we’ve been there after seeing First Man. La La Land director Damien Chazelle takes audiences to the moon with such heart-pounding skill that one could swear he shot the film in space. This technically accomplished achievement chronicles the landmark Space Race that culminated with the Apollo 11 landing on the moon with Armstrong (played by La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling) taking a major leap for all of humanity.