In the biggest news since the last time the title of a Star Wars movie was revealed, the title of the next Star Wars movie has been revealed. Disney’s Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – A Star Wars Story promises to be the next best film in the Star Wars saga for the three weeks after its December 15th release. Me, personally, I love the new title. But what can we predict now, 11 months before opening night, with nothing to go on but the title, a red outline, and the phrase, “the next chapter in the Skywalker saga”? Basically everything.
The very best satire establishes absurdity as commonplace, and Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ first English-language feature film The Lobster is a fascinating example. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, this dark romantic comedy imagines a dystopia where single people are sent to a hotel and given 45 days to find a new partner. Should they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into the wild. Some attendees don’t wait that long, and escape into the bordering forest to live in a kind of fugitive singleness. The Lobster viciously jests through this dichotomy, exploring the nature of relationships and how societal pressures can paradoxically be the cause of both settling and celibacy.