Despite its narrative shortcomings and the miscasting of its two main characters, in particularly Dan DeHaan as the charming, playboy type character, Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is what I personally want out of science fiction filmmaking, being a film thats primary assertion is rooted in escapism, with the filmmakers transporting the viewer into a fantastical world that is creative and singular. The leads themselves lack chemistry, and I couldn't help but thinking that slightly older leads would have served these characterizations better, yet Besson's typical playful nature when it comes to action/adventure elevates the ho-hum nature of the plot and narrative design, with the ingenuity of the world building alone making Valerian a film worth seeing for any fans of science fiction.
A nightmarish cautionary fable which views christian theology through the lens of Mexican culture, Macario is a rags-to-riches story which blends magical realism with Mexican folklore to deliver a poignant tale about the importance of selflessness, even in the face of adversity.
An unlikely friendship between Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist JR sparks this one-of-a-kind film, a travelogue of sorts which follows these two artists through the countryside of rural France, documenting the people they meet along the way. Playful and endearing, due in large part to Anges Varda's charm and empathetic soul, Faces and Places begins as a documentation and celebration of the eclectic people they meet along the way, slowly divulging into a existential meditation on friendship, art, and life itself, with the filmmaker herself, and her genuine kindness, serving as a powerful reminder of the need for more empathy in this world.
While The Killing of a Sacred Deer is easily Yorgos Lanthimos least complex feature from a thematic perspective, the film's tonal blend of subversive horror and pitch black comedy make it endlessly alluring. Tapping into any parents worst nightmare on a primal level, the idea of choosing which of your children lives an which dies, Yorgos Lanthimos has delivered another meticulously crafted feature film which pushes the boundaries of typical dramatic filmmaking, juxtaposing fantasy with existential realism.
An utterly absurdist genre blender, Nabwana I.G.G's Bad Black is the latest entry in the 'so bad its good' or 'trash cinema' subgenre, a film thats narrative incoherence almost serves as a strength, as the filmmakers deliver a schizophrenic, bombastic redemption story full of action and absurdity straight outta Uganda. Featuring a shoestring budget full of low quality special effects and stunt-work, Bad Black's main appeal is in the dedication and genuine love in which its filmmakers exude in telling this story, with perhaps the most unique and endearing aspect being the fact that the entire film is narrated, giving the film a very Mystery Science Theater 3000 vibe, one which asserts a level of self awareness and genuine glee into this convoluted story about an American doctor and two ghetto kids named Wesley Snipes and Bad Black.
While Luc Besson's debut feature film does struggle with pacing and an overlong running time for a film featuring no dialogue, The Last Combat is a post-apocalyptic exercise full of ingenuity and intrigue, providing a slow-burning deconstruction of human pathos as it relates to personal solitude, exhibiting humanity's primal need for companionship and in turn, connection.
A harrowing cinematic endeavor that is a masterclass in ascetic cinema, Wang Bing's The Ditch blends classical drama storytelling with the sensibilities of documentary filmmaking to deliver a powerful and unforgettable tribute to the thousands of political prisoners sent to labour camps under Mao's authoritarian regime
Love of all things cinema brought me here.