Friday, July 01, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016
A review of the films I've seen this past week.
THE NEON DEMON (2016)
This was exactly what I was hoping for. Elle Fanning, in a performance that proves she's very talented and I'm not just being forgiving, plays Jessie, a 16 year-old who starts modeling. Almost immediately, everyone she comes in contact with is fascinated by the unattainable quality of her natural beauty, and how exploitable it could be. An expressionistic sort of movie, almost like a giallo film, but not an overt horror film. I did need a little while afterwards to decompress. Stunning to look at (and to listen to; the score works incredibly well with the feeling director Nicolas Wending Refn is trying to create in the viewer), with its neon colors and its flashbulbs as everyone around Jessie tries to make her the thing they want her to be (and she sheds layers of societal misogyny to allow herself to be who she is). Refn clearly sees the beauty industry as something that consumes its own, and in The Neon Demon he deals in the weird hostility that beauty can create. I can't stop thinking about it. It's not for everyone, but I thought it was beautiful and strange. Jena Malone, as a make-up artist who supports Jessie, is pretty bold and fearless in the movie. An excellent, polarizing film, and finally a worthy successor to Refn's Drive. (Let's just move past Only God Forgives.) ****
Interesting drama about a 12 year-old boy who lives near a ski resort in Canada. Living in poverty with his sister (Lea Seydoux), he heads up to the resort each day to steal skis and other equipment that he can re-sell to feed himself. He doesn't appear to go to school. His sister, who is obviously prostituting herself between jobs that she quits because they're boring, disappears for days at a time. It's a story about doing what you have to do to survive, and it's very compelling, but then something re-contextualizes everything and the real desperation of the boy's life is shown in relief. I was quite moved by it. ****
Sunday, June 26, 2016
It goes like this: no matter who you are--friend, family member, casual acquaintance, frequent commenter, whomever--if you support Donald Trump for President of the United States, never speak to me again.
It's that simple.
If you support this bigot, this racist, this climate change denier, this advocate for the lax gun regulations that lead to regular massacres, you are not the kind of person I will listen to. You are not reasonable. And if you can overlook such things because of some other empty campaign promise, you're a coward.
I'm not one of those "Well, I have to keep peace with this racist or Islamophobe or homophobe or misogynist or gun evangelist because I'm related to him/her" kind of people. I'm sick of living in your world.
And if you want something that affects me even more personally, this is a guy who wants to repeal Obamacare, which is something that I need to live. If you think I don't have the right to live because I happen to be poor and handicapped, then why, oh, why would I ever need to talk to you? You don't respect me. Why bother trying to talk to someone who doesn't even respect that I should be alive?
No, fuck Trump. And if you support him, I don't want you in my life.
Randomly came across this cover of the old Commodores tune by Faith No More. Rough, but surprisingly soothing. Apparently they recorded this around '92 or '93 and would perform it in concert to spite heavy metal fans. I'm feeling easy like a sunny side up egg this morning, alone in quiet apartment with a light rain falling, so I'm just groovin' with this.