For Week 5, we venture through a variety of different types of films, by some of our favorites as well as some new ones!
(John Carroll Lynch)
Harry Dean Stanton ended his 60 year career with Lucky, perhaps the most personal (and almost biographical) role in Stanton’s career. John Carroll Lynch, who you might remember from Fargo, made his directorial debut with Lucky and tells the tale of an elderly man coming to terms with his inevitable demise. (Trust me, it’s not as depressing as it sounds)
The Third Man
Carol Reed’s famous film noir was revolutionary for its use of dutch angles, harsh lighting, and rigid set designs reminiscent to the German Expression days. Starring Joseph Cotten, Valli, and Orson Welles, The Third Man still holds up as one of the most powerful noir’s ever made!
*FILM OF THE WEEK
(Brian De Palma)
De Palma himself said “You can’t say I ripped off Hitchcock with this one” and he’s totally right. Wise Guys isn’t like any of the other films in the modern master of suspense’s filmography, but it does have quite a few stylistic techniques that all De Palma fans go crazy over like the split diopter and long tracking shots, but this time it’s in a cute little buddy comedy starring Danny Devito and Joe Piscopo.
Well, after many weeks since I watched The Killing of a Sacred Deer, I’ve returned home to Yorgos Lanthimos to check out his first acclaimed film Dogtooth. Just like all of his other pictures, Dogtooth is an incredibly absurd and uncomfortable analysis on human behavior. Contrasting the always exciting camera movement of De Palma’s work, Lanthimos forces you to sit and watch the most uncomfortable scenes without the camera moving or cutting at all. Thanks for the anxiety, Yorgos.
(Brian De Palma)
Brian De Palma’s second film Greetings was actually the first ever film to ever receive an ‘X’ rating before eventually being cut down to an ‘R’! Greetings actually plays as the prequel to Hi, Mom!, which we talked about on Day 14 and centers around 3 friends in 1960’s New York just living life. You know, online dating, casually trying to avoid getting drafted into the war, stuff like that.
Basic Instinct is a fun exercise in suspense and sexual deviancy, and it actually garnered quite a bit of controversy before it’s release in 1992 for it’s portrayal of sex, homosexuals, and violence. (Wow lol). Like I said, Basic Instinct is super fun and it’s probably because it pretty much plays out like a De Palma film. The elevator scene in this film is a pretty cool homage taken right out of Dressed to Kill. Verhoeven, who also directed Total Recall and Robocop clearly wanted to take a stab at a Hitchcockian type of film with this one. While he succeeds in achieving pure suspense throughout the film, the end product comes across more like a cheap attempt at competing with De Palma than it does anything else.
Back with our boy Yorgos for Alps, the follow up to his film Dogtooth. Alps is about a group of actors who portray and guise themselves as the recently deceased to help their friends and family with the grieving process. It’s one of the easier films of Lanthimos’ to watch, but it’s not necessarily as exciting as the work he put out before and coincidentally puts out after.