David, an almost-30 mostly-failed comedy writer, moves back to his Sacramento hometown to live with his parents after possibly the worst year of his life. Just broken up with his boyfriend of 5 years, David (Jesse Plemons) now resides in his old childhood bedroom in the house of his homophobic father (Bradley Whitford) and cancer-ridden … Continue reading Other People (Chris Kelly, 2016)
An Austrian psychological thriller, reminiscent of other European works such as The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011) and Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960), Goodnight Mommy is a recognisable narrative that seems to draw influence from well-known Korean horror A Tale of Two Sisters (Jee-woon Kim, 2003). The film is elevated through … Continue reading Goodnight Mommy (Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz, 2014) – an empty narrative in a beautiful landscape.
Jonze and Kaufman’s second collaboration after the well-received Being John Malkovich (1999), the duo take another dive into the mind of real person in Adaption.. This time, the focus is on the film’s own writer Charlie Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage, and his attempt to adapt a non-fiction book about orchids into a successful screenplay. … Continue reading Adaption. (Spike Jonze, 2002) – convolution masked as clever self-reference.
To go into Monster with assumptions and expectations of the following 1 hour and 44 minutes is a pointless feat; no matter what you know about the story, of Aileen Wuornos, or of the killing spree that led her to notorious fame as a serial killer when she was finally arrested in 1991, nothing will … Continue reading Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003) – Theron’s brilliant transformation that captures the true nature of human desire.
Ansel Elgort stars alongside Kevin Spacey, Lily James, and Jamie Foxx in this car-chase heavy, cliché-ridden film that features its lead Elgort as the titular Baby, a young man suffering from tinnitus after a traumatising childhood incident involving a car. He’s constantly plugged in to his array of classic iPods, the music seeping into the … Continue reading Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017) – tunes, tension, and terrible female characters.
Jeremy Saulnier’s film Green Room (2015) impressed many with its unique twist on the horror genre. Macon Blair, the star of Saulnier’s previous film Blue Ruin,had a directorial debut with the 2017 drama I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. The combination of Blair’s vast creative abilities and Saulnier’s directingled me to believe … Continue reading Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013) – a quiet take on the revenge genre.
THE FEMININE and the female function The female representation in The Uninvited is totally different to A Tale of Two Sisters in that the characters are motivated by sex, whereas Two Sisters doesn’t rely on that specific Western horror trope to direct the stepmother and two daughters. The opening of The Uninvited shows the teenage … Continue reading South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART THREE
THE STORY OF ROSE AND LOTUS - Janghwa Hongryeon jeon To summarise the tale of ‘Janghwa Hongryeon jeon’, a.k.a The Story of Rose and Lotus, that A Tale of Two Sisters was based on, a mother dies when her two daughters are still children and the father, her husband, remarries. The stepmother fortunately bore sons … Continue reading South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART TWO
INTRODUCTION to South Korean Horror and its international acclamation With the success of the thriller Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, 2019), winner of four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, its come as no surprise that more non-Korean audiences are looking towards its industry with more anticipation than ever before. Parasite is not … Continue reading South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART ONE
Adapted from the stage production by playwright August Wilson and produced by actor Denzel Washington, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is less about the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey herself and more about the appropriation of black culture and music, explored over one afternoon at a recording session for her and the band. This … Continue reading Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, 2020) – blues, bands, and Boseman’s best performance.