MCN Originals

All Parts: A Review of Alex Ross Perry’s HER SMELL

“I can’t point to any movie, recent or otherwise,” writer-director Alex Ross Perry has noted of his intently, intensely ambitious sixth feature, “that combines the two things I wanted to explore in ‘Her Smell’: lowbrow popular music and highbrow theatrical productions going back to Shakespeare’s five-act tragedies.”

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Fluid Mechanic: Claire Denis Talks High Life

“Deny them your essence, Mandrake!”

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Vertiginous Scale: Thoughts on WELCOME TO MARWEN

Welcome to Marwen is something else, but what is it?

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The DVD Wrapup: Bumblebee, Ginsburg, Buster, Silent Voice, Nazi Junkies, Prisoner, Golden Vampires, Highway Rat, Terra Formars, No Alternative … More

The studio decided to downscale the size of the sixth installment, by reducing the budget drastically, bringing in fresh behind-the-camera talent , keeping the running time under 120 minutes for the first time in 12 years, putting the focus on fewer characters and de-emphasizing the brand in the publicity material. It would promote the presence of a formidable teenage heroine, alongside the already popular Bumblebee and formidable Decepticon enemy, and add a malleable American warrior.

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Unapologetic Stuff: A Review Of KNIFE + HEART

“Knife + Heart” (Un couteau dans le coeur) has all kinds of stuff. It’s a tumultuous original, dragging worlds of cinema sensation that came before screaming and punching behind it. Begin with “Phantom of the Paradise,” stir in “Peeping Tom,” and “Body Double”; don’t stop at “Poison” or “Cruising” and “Blow Out.” Sex and art commingle…

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American Charmer: A Review Of The Brink

Alison Klayman’s “The Brink,” an avatar of cinema-vérité observation, arrives in a hush and escalates with precision. Recording political consultant and purported intellectual powerhouse Stephen K. “Steve” Bannon after his dismissal from the arms of Trump power, captured by a filmmaker-cinematographer-sound recordist on their own, edited to a fierce ninety-minute form from day-after-day of close…

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Kent Jones on Arriving With DIANE

Mary Kay Place is a quiet revelation in writer-director Kent Jones’ fiction feature debut, but she’s surrounded by history: Jones’ own.

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The DVD Wrapup: Capernaum, Perfect Blue, Cameron Post, Tyrel, Ailes, Body Snatcher, Sam J. Jones, Sonny Chiba, Phantom Lady, Victoria’s Wedding … More

In Capernaum, Zain is a victim of a nearly universal legal system that allows unsuitable parents to retain control of their children. Here, Zain helps support the family by hauling goods to costumers in the street market. It’s more than his old man contributes.

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A Review of US (some spoilers)

You don’t want to be Them.

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The DVD Wrapup: Mary Returns, Becoming Astrid, Quake, Holiday, Vengeance, Out of Love, HoneyGlue, Born in East L.A., Greasy Strangler, Mystery Road … More

At 130 minutes, I doubt that most younger viewers possess the stamina to stay with Mary Poppins Returns until the uplifting ending, which transcends the darkness by adding some pixie dust.

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Climax Daddy: The Modern Dance With Filmmaker Gaspar Noe

Beauty suffers.

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The DVD Wrapup: Ritual, She Wolf, Over the Top, Dark River, Man’s Best Friend, Mr & Mrs Adelman, Mad Dog & Glory, A.I. Rising, Deadly Mantis, Watch Over Me … More

The chief selling point is spelled out on the jacket: “Inspired by the philosophy of, and featuring an appearance by the father of ‘psychomagic,’ Alejandro Jodorowsky.” The marketing team might just as easily summoned the memory of Luis Bunuel.

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What is a Harmony Korine?

The man, the myth, the Vaudeville.

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Who’s A Hero: A Review of Captain Marvel

Sometimes silly, largely disposable yet lightly likable, the bulk of “Captain Marvel” is set in 1995 but exists for this moment. Its love for its heroine radiates outward, through the busy narrative and out into the streets afterward. Self-realization: what’s there not to admire about the sense of self that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) beams with at the end of “Captain Marvel” on her way to “Avengers: Endgame”?

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The DVD Wrapup: Instant Family, Burning, Clovehitch Killer, Vanishing, Marquise, Kalifornia, Donna Haraway, Walking Dead … More

If everything that happens outside the group-therapy sessions plays out according to Hollywood standards, the interaction between the prospective parents and the social workers effectively serves as a counterbalance to the Wagners’ misery.

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The DVD Wrapup: Sleep With Anger, Ralph Wrecks Internet, Liz & Blue Bird, Hannah Grace, Unseen, Jupiter’s Moon, Legally Blonde, Willard, Bang … More

The PG-rated To Sleep With Anger features three of Burnett’s favorite themes: family, community and tradition. It is set in a middle-class section of South-Central L.A., before the Watts riots changed the outside world’s perception of the LAPD and the willingness of residents to stand up for their community.

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The Gurus Weigh In, Post-Oscar

Not quite round-ups, but a jolt or three.

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The Gurus o’ Gold Oscar Blowout – Part 1

The Gurus make their final estimations of the field as seen by the Academy… no huge surprises, but Vice tumbled in almost all categories, with a few stray hopes for an editing nod.

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The Gurus o’ Gold Oscar Blowout – Part 2

First (and final) surmises of the shorts categories, and a few familiar crafts staying about the same from recent weeks.

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The DVD Wrap: Robin Hood, Overlord, Alexanderplatz, Rodrigo D., Happy Hour, Moko Jumbie, Last Race, Joseph H. Lewis, Backtrace, Backbeat … More

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the geniuses decided that a Robin Hood that borrowed liberally from the Wachowskis’ V for Vendetta (2005) and Baz Luhrmann and DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) could pump fresh blood into a character whose cinematic career began in… 1908.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I remember very much the iconography and the images and the statues in church were very emotional for me. Just the power of that, and even still — just seeing prayer card, what that image can evoke. I have a lot of friends that are involved in the esoteric, and I know some girls in New York that are also into the supernatural. I don’t feel that I have that gift. But I am leaning towards mysticism… Maybe men are more practical, maybe they don’t give into that as much… And then also, they don’t convene in the same way that women do. But I don’t know, I am not a man, I don’t want to speak for men. For me, I tend to gravitate towards people who are open to those kinds of things. And the idea for my film, White Echo, I guess stemmed from that — I find that the girls in New York are more credible. What is it about the way that they communicate their ideas with the supernatural that I find more credible? And that is where it began. All the characters are also based on friends of mine. I worked with Refinery29 on that film, and found that they really invest in you which is so rare in this industry.”
Chloë Sevigny

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier