OK, so this isn’t promo material for Julia Ducournau’s 2016 French horror film Raw, but whatever this is for was probably more entertaining. The coming of age cannibal film received outstanding compliments on the festival circuit but did not live up to its praise. Don’t let that poster up there distract you from the rest of this review.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, or for the sake of this review, AGWHAAN, is an Iranian film noir focused on a slew of deadbeats in “Bad City” whose lives all become intertwined with a young vampire. The film is beautifully shot, with the black and white giving it a gloomy tone. Between the male lead’s ’50s bad boy attitude/style and the female lead’s angst-ridden record collection at some point I was waiting for The Smiths to start playing and for them to ditch the school dance to go read poems to each other in the woods. On a scale of grindhouse to arthouse AGWHAAN definitely throws its weight more on the stylistic side, lacking the substance to make first time director Ana Lily Amirpour’s effort really hit home (similar to the trap The Neon Demon fell into). Continue reading →
Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive [high up on my favorites list], [the abysmal] Only God Forgives) and Cliff Martinez (ditto) have teamed up once again to bring forth a new movie featuring beautiful scenery, subtle themes, mesmerizing music, and, of course, actors taking long pauses to gaze into their colleague’s eyes before delivering their lines. The Neon Demon puts a magnifying glass up against the ROTTEN underbelly of the L.A. fashion industry and the obsessed models attempting to claw their way to the top. Elle Fanning’s (Super 8) sixteen-year-old new-in-town model Jesse starts off sweet and innocent but soon starts blossoming into something she can’t take back, leaving her to question how far she will go and if it is all really worth it. Continue reading →