Arteta, Bergman, Howard, Newman, van Heijningen

Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972). This intricate, cerebral, elusive drama from the acknowledged master of intricate, cerebral, elusive dramas takes place at stately mansion at the end of the 19th century. A woman named Agnes, played by Harriet Andersson, is on her deathbed and is seen to by her two sisters, both returned home due to their sibling’s terrible need, and the loving household maid. Each character gets their own individual segment, usually devoted to a flashback to some terrible emotional incident in the past, Bergman scraping at their existential agony like a merciless physician slicing at a poisonous … Continue reading Arteta, Bergman, Howard, Newman, van Heijningen

Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie

Youth in Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2009). This was Arteta’s first film in almost a decade after some quick, buzzy success to kick off his career. All the time between features didn’t eliminate his slightly arid style, which has a tendency to deaden the drama after a while. More problematically, the film exhibits a offbeat pushiness as it heaps in quirky details and disaffected anguish. It simply tries to hard. Michael Cera plays a sweet, timidly pining young man who conjures up an imaginary tough-talking alter ego who drives him to get the girl while also slipping deeper into a quicksand … Continue reading Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie