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Showing posts from January, 2017

Thank you very much. And I hope, really I don't deserve this, but I hope to win some other Oscars!

Prediction - 2017 Oscars

It’s not as if the Academy Awards aren’t prone to wallowing in a mire of self-congratulatory massaging of the ego at the best of times, as its members flaunt their purportedly progressive consciences, so being thoroughly knee-capped last year over the (lack of) representation of persons of colour must have shaken members up a bit (whether or not the criticism was deserved). As such, only the least cynical would see a subsequent year featuring the most black acting nominees as a coincidence, but since seven minority actors were also nominated in 2007, it may suggest shaming the Academy into nominating is to little overall effect, except that maybe there’s now a hint of “Did they deserve, or were the members pushed?” (of course, the extent to which any selection of contenders is on merit is often moot anyway, it’s just that this way the mechanisms of the process may become more unflatteringly exposed).
But such matters must get in line behind Tinseltown’s almost …

Room Two-Fourteen! Gotta be seen!

The Neon Demon (2016)
(SPOILERS) I found the first hour of The Neon Demon mesmerising, an elliptical, synth-driven fever dream and tonal cousin to Beyond the Black Rainbow, ostensibly charting the seductive and destructive path to success in the superficial world of modelling but possibly being about something very much more than that. By the end, however, it had diminished somewhat in my estimation, its cool, retro poise reframed by the most OTT, Grand Guignol, head-on charge. I was left with a shrug, rather than the rapt sense of having been fed through a wringer of revelation. And that’s even with Nicolas Winding Refn’s film being over-ripe for interpretation, so loaded with subtext it’s tantamount to a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream.

I suppose the full-on left turn the picture takes shouldn’t have been a surprise. Refn is as wilfully perverse a filmmaker as his fellow countryman Lars von Trier, but whereas I find von Trier’s work consistently unpalatable, in the vomiting-up-eyeballs…