Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The enormity of collective alienation is one of many central themes driving Luis Buñuel’s “The Exterminating Angel,” and within that suggestion exists a mystery of unfathomable density that continues to incite varying degrees of confusion and dread, sometimes in shared measures. What gives it a decidedly potent edge has less to do with the conceptual audacity of the idea and much more to do with the delivery. Nothing going on in the film – save for key dialogue exchanges that occasionally frame the crisis – comes from a dependable perspective; like witnesses twisted by the absurdity of a predicament, the camera sees things as if displaced from certainty, and the screenplay relays details in broad strokes that merely imply what might be occurring. Are there supernatural elements at play? Is the title, a biblical reference, inferring greater energies are at work? Or are there only simple explanations staring back at us dressed up in the misleading strokes of minimalism? Because so little of what occurs to this ensemble of characters happens in a conventional sense, there is no clear way to decipher agendas, reasoning or solutions. Our eyes meet the gaze of a screen that stares back with a resilient poker face, and sparse are the opportunities for us to gauge the general intention – assuming it amounts to something so easily classified.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Titus” and Branagh’s “Hamlet,” easily the benchmark). But if they are the byproduct of years upon years of intense research and careful comprehension, then that club must now welcome Justin Kurzel, who has not made a great film about the Scottish king but has essentially crafted the defining interpretation of his long and horrifying descent into madness, and done it with production wizards that perceive the details through a texture of grand artistic value.