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Showing posts from November, 2016

Was that everything that came out of the case?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
(SPOILERS) It can definitely be a positive to approach a picture with lowered expectations. I could quite easily have skipped JK Rowling’s self-penned Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the big screen, as I did the latter five Harry Potters. While I’ve never been a devotee of the series, I’ve never had much against either, and a few of them (The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Half-Blood Prince) I was even rather impressed by. But there was a nagging feeling that, whenever I caught up with the latest instalment, they were foremost intended for devotees of the books, dutifully faithful and lacking the necessary flair and individuality to become truly cinematic affairs in their own right. At this point, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has no such encumbrances (even if it looks to be weighed down with Potter lore subsequently, much as Lucas’ prequel trilogy was), and it benefits enormously. It also benefits from an array of top-flight talent i…

Rockin’ good news.

Wild at Heart (1990)
(SPOILERS) 1990 was a banner year for all things David Lynch. In April, Twin Peaks began, exposing him to a far wider audience than he had probably envisaged, and a month later Wild at Heart premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, going on to win the Palme d’Or. Sometimes the recipients of the award are richly deserved, sometimes it’s a case of “What were they thinking?” and certainly, the film was greeted with as many boos as cheers when victory was announced. Controversy followed in its wake, agitating critics over its sex and violence. While I was (and am) a cheerleader of Twin Peaks, I can’t say I was ever that wild about Wild at Heart. I found it distinctive and fitfully inspired, but in general I didn’t vibe with the adulation it received. As such, this is the first time in several decades I’ve revisited the picture, and even given my non-committal response then, I have to say it hasn’t stood the test of time.

One would almost think Lynch was actively trying to …

A fish by any other name is still a fish!

Hotel Room (1993)
(SPOILERS) In terms of visual flourish and scope, Hotel Room couldn’t be more different from David Lynch’s previous couple of features. Even in comparison to his two prior TV series. This trio of shaggy dog stories, centring on the Railroad Hotel at different intervals in its history, is theatrical in its minimalism, consisting mostly (in the two Lynch-directed segments) of two or three-handers. Barry Gifford, the writer of the Lynch episodes, fully gets on board with the eccentric Lynch quality, but it’s channelled into something for more verbalised and so less stylistically provocative. As such, it’s interesting that the most fully-fledged of these, Blackout, which is therefore in theory the least Lynchian, is the most satisfying.
1.1: Tricks
Set in September 1969, Harry Dean Stanton’s Moe takes prostitute Darlene (Glenne Headly) to Room 603. But, before he can get up to anything you’d rather not see Harry Dean Stanton get up to, his associate Lou (Freddie Jones) arriv…