Like a drug that threatens to take my life, lust is a cancer, love is a vice

I can’t think of another director that successfully mixes the tactile and the intellectual more often than David Cronenberg. In his very best films–for me, that means Dead Ringers, eXistenZ and The History of Violence–there’s a remarkable thematic balance between … Continue reading Like a drug that threatens to take my life, lust is a cancer, love is a vice

Carpenter, Cronenberg, Ford, Truffaut, Wright

Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011). Well, I’ll say this for director Joe Wright: He’s not going to be pinned down. He made his feature debut with a Jane Austen adaptation and followed that with a prestige picture based on a Ian McEwan novel. Then came a fairly drab issues picture largely about the homeless community in Los Angeles. The bank shot away from that reunites him with Atonement Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan for a bizarre action film about a teenage girl who was raised in isolation to be an unstoppable assassin. The film is balanced awkwardly between stylish action and moody … Continue reading Carpenter, Cronenberg, Ford, Truffaut, Wright

Acker, Cronenberg, Denis, Heckerling, Sturges

Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995). I’m prepared to concede that Heckerling’s gum-snap reworking of Jane Austen’s Emma is better than I would have said after seeing it upon its original release. It’s also, despite its reputation, not some glistening pop gem. It’s an agreeable bit of fluff with some charming moments, and a suitably bright performance from Alicia Silverstone, who’s more a beneficiary of shrewd casting than anything. Writer-director Amy Heckerling–here fresh from a couple dippy crowdpleasers about the inner monologues of babies, let’s not forget–is a sloppy, unfocused filmmaker. Just because her attention span may sync up with those of … Continue reading Acker, Cronenberg, Denis, Heckerling, Sturges