I Don’t Feel at Home in the World Anymore captures that peculiar modern feeling that the world is a frustrating and mean place – but that ordinary folks can stand up and push back, though sometimes with hilarious and awkward results. Writer-director Macon Blair’s film contains bleak humor, affecting drama, and a bumbling crime story. The sad-sack characters and story compares well with Jeremy Saulnier’s film Blue Ruin, where Blair played the lead. Blair’s aesthetic is very much in line with his friend’s, but let’s be clear: Blair’s work in this film is not counterfeit Saulnier. Though they share sensibilities, Blair’s film is far more sarcastic and funny, which makes the harsher elements of the film pop quite effectively.
The Greasy Strangler might be what it feels like to go mad. The film is best described as a kind of John Waters fever dream (or maybe wet dream), that combines a penchant for bizarre sexuality with a tongue-in-cheek slasher film. The acting is purposely hammy, and each kill more absurd than the last. There are sequences that physically made me ill, and others that left me utterly befuddled. You can call it weird, disgusting, senseless, or even a fucking embarrassment of a film – but you can’t call it derivative or boring.
Robert Eggers’ horror darling from last year’s Sundance Film Festival begins with an unassuming title card in an archaic script: The VVitch – A New-England Folktale. The simplicity of this title belies the overwhelming terror that will unfold over the brisk 90 minute runtime of the film, yet also masterfully portends the ultimate conclusion. Through a studied accumulation of primary source materials, astounding performances from actors young, old, and animal, and a keen directorial eye, Eggers has reached back into yesteryear and delivered a bone-chilling campfire story in the guise of a period piece. Any audience with the patience – and courage – to indulge in his fantasy will be justly rewarded. Continue reading ““The VVitch” Capitalizes on the Style of a Period Piece to Spin a Horrifying Yarn of Yesteryear”
The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States, and every year near the end of January, thousands descend upon Utah to watch the latest offerings of independent filmmakers from all over the world. Indie darlings like Little Miss Sunshine often debut at the festival, and there is always at least one hot ticket that leaves everyone scrambling. Many of the filmmakers are seeking distribution, so beneath the surface of the program itself there is a lot of wheeling-and-dealing. This year was no exception, but the denizens of the Sundance bargaining tables looked a little different this time around. Indie studios like A24 and Fox Searchlight were still there, but the big players were Amazon Studios and Netflix, with each of the streaming services purchasing rights to five films! Continue reading “Second-Hand Sundance: Streaming Services Spend Big and Other Stories”