The Cons of Cons

Even though I greatly enjoyed Looper, Brick and, yes, The Last Jedi, it took me until last weekend to check out Rian Johnson’s sophomore film, The Brothers Bloom. It’s a strange film, strongly recalling the arch constructions of Wes Anderson while still breathing with a fabulating, downright sexy verve that’s not frequently found in Anderson’s works. There’s a willfulness to The Brothers Bloom that, in my eyes, makes it the closest of Johnson’s works to The Last Jedi. And, last but not least, it has reminded me of two things:

I love a good con movie.

But I cannot, will not, trust a con movie.

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Fringe Benefits 2018

Every few years I head to the Edinburgh Fringe for a week of theatre, comedy and impromptu games of Avoid The Leafleteers. This year we were once again ready to brave the professional performances, the amateur dramatics and the wind, drizzle and fog. As always, the range of shows to see was immense: from queasy comedy (or is it?) about toxic masculinity via Korean mashups of Shakespeare, folklore and calligraphy to immersive flights on Schroedinger Airlines, but also from accomplished acting and acrobatics to the decidedly more homespun and rough around the edges – but often no less engaging for that.

Edinburgh Fringe

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The Rear-View Mirror: Rango (2011)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

Gore Verbinski has a lot to answer for.

Rango

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Some unhappy families are unluckier than others

Looks like A24, founded in 2012 and quickly becoming a major player in movie distribution, is pulling quality horror flicks out of a hat with disquieting regularity: they brought us The VVitch in 2015, It Comes At Night and The Killing of a Sacred Deer last year. Ok, for some, Sacred Deer is not exactly a horror movie, but like the others, it features a family in distress. And so does Hereditary. And if you find an unhappier, unluckier family than the Grahams anywhere in film or literature, you were looking maybe too hard. Continue reading

A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #13: The films of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3Join us for another A Damn Fine Cup of Culture podcast, in which we have a look at the indie horror and sci-fi films of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, from the huis-clos Resolution via Spring‘s dreamy summer body horror romance to cosmic horror/sibling drama The Endless. On the way, we also stop by 1970s New York with The Deuce and dark, original genre mix Colossal, in which Anne Hathaway inadvertently destroys much of downtown Seoul – hey, it’s happened to all of us.

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The Rear-View Mirror: Looper (2012)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

Bruce Willis has made far more stinkers during his career than really good movies. Time travel is often just a gimmick for action-loaded sci-fi flicks, and used in a wrong or physically impossible manner. If you are certain of these things, then obviously, you haven’t seen Rian Johnson’s Looper. And I think you should. I am not much of a sci-fi or fantasy fan, but Looper lets a few of my pet peeves come together and turns them into a pretty good flick. Continue reading

A fishy tale

Disney princesses they most certainly ain’t, even if like good old Ariel, the little mermaids of the (wait for it…) Polish horror fairy tale pop musical The Lure by director Agnieszka SmoczyƄska are based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. In spite of their fish-like tails they are decidedly different beasts from Disney’s red-haired teen heroine.

The Lure Continue reading