3 posts categorized "NYFF"

September 21, 2017

THELMA — NYFF 55

Cole SmitheyJoachim Trier’s paranormal-inflected lesbian coming of age thriller zigs where it should zag. Eli Harboe plays the title character, a hard-bitten Christian girl from the country who tells her strict father “everything.” Never mind that he once wanted to kill Thelma when she was young. 

Now at college, Thelma experiences bizarre seizures seemingly set off by close proximity to Anja (Kaya Wilkins). Love at first sight isn’t such a good thing for Thelma who returns home after receiving a series of medical tests to diagnose her condition which has an ill effect on birds.

Colesmithey.com

It turns out that Thelma’s paranormal control of objects and people has a malicious history. Still, Trier never gets specific in a narrative that demands specificity. What exactly are her powers and why does she have them? She doesn't seem to be a moral or ethical person in spite of her religious upbringing. Why does her father want to kill her, and why does she want to kill him? So many questions arise, but answers to not.

Thelma7

The performances are competent, but “Thelma” is a movie of ill-defined genre intentions. It fails as a love story, it fails as a thriller, it fails as social satire, and it fails as horror. What’s left is a two-hour hole where your life was before you watched this unsatisfying film from Norway.

Not Rated. 116 mins. 

2 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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October 04, 2011

THE SKIN I LIVE IN — NYFF 2011

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

Skin Pedro Almodóvar proves himself an apt technician at sustaining suspense in the thriller genre. Antonio Banderas returns to work with Almodóvar for the first time in over 20-years, since his memorable performance "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!."

The years have been kind to Banderas who brings his A-game to a deliciously diabolical role. Plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Banderas) is a mad scientist with plenty of method to his particular madness of creating an indestructible skin. His wife died in a car fire. His daughter committed suicide. He harbors vengeance. But why?

The Skin I Live In - Is The Skin I Live In on Netflix - FlixList

The Toledo-based doctor conducts experiments in the privacy of his luxurious mansion laboratory. Not even Dr. Frankenstein had it so good. His mother (Marisa Paredes) serves as his dutiful maid. Almodovar's meticulous attention to detail keeps you hypnotized. Every visual component is exact in color, placement, and scale.

The Skin I Live In': Pedro Almodovar on Jean Paul Gaultier's Film Fashions,  Friendship | Hollywood Reporter

The evil doctor uses a human being to live inside the hybrid-pig-DNA membrane he has perfected. His comely patient Vera (Elena Anaya) is confined to a large room. Vera wears a skin-tight body suit and practices yoga for hours on end. Dr. Ledgard secretly observes his human specimen through a large two-way mirror. Elena Anaya is an exquisite object of fetishistic delight for Almodovar to pour his patient camera over. 

The skin i live in

Based on Thierry Jonquet's novel "Mygale" "The Skin I Live In" is a haunting film that tips its hat to Alfred Hitchcock. There's a goodly dose of Georges Franju's 1960 French horror classic "Eyes Without a Face" at play here. Elliptical time shifts tell the story in a disjointed fashion that makes you want to see the film twice even as you're watching it. There's mystery here to savor as you would any great piece of cinematic art. Pedro Almodóvar has created a masterpiece.

Horror Queers: Dissecting the Moral Dilemma of 'The Skin I Live In' -  Bloody Disgusting

Rated R. 120 mins.

4 Stars“ColeSmithey.com”

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

September 07, 2011

THE AUTIOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU — NYFF 2011

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

ColeSmithey.com Filmmaker Andrei Ujica's editorial-free compilation of Romanian-produced official newsreel footage of Eastern Europe's notorious dictator isn't so much a documentary as it is three hours of raw propaganda. It’s a stretch to say that Ujica “wrote and directed” anything. All he did was edit.

The archive footage was cut from over 1000 hours of self-loving propaganda Ceausescu commissioned from his staff. He loved playing to the camera.

ColeSmithey.com

Nicolae Ceausescu was obsessed with creating and maintaining a cult of personality. The strategy worked for a very long time. Watching Ceausescu’s decades-long political career through the rose-colored glasses of carefully staged public appearances hardly sheds any light on the numerous atrocities he committed against the Romanian populace.

ColeSmithey.com

Some of Ceausescu's detestable actions--such as bugging every citizen's telephone — have since been adopted by the U.S. Government. Ceausescu also outlawed abortion. However, you won't learn any such things about the dark side of Ceausescu's reign from this “autobiography.” As such, his eventual capture and execution arrives with no context to give the viewer a sense about why he and his wife met with such a violent end before a gleeful public.

ColeSmithey.com

“The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu” functions only as a textbook example of historic propaganda. It might work in a classroom, but it doesn’t fly as theatrical entertainment.

Not Rated. 180 mins.

1 Star

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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