2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

The 91st Academy Awards: Comments and Concerns

It has been an absolutely astonishing year for the cinema. But for as amazing a year as 2018 had been, we’re also left with facing one of the most insulting awards seasons to have come by in recent memory. You’d think that given last year’s set of nominees they actually would have been growing progressively better, especially having given a film like Moonlight the top honour for the 2016 ceremony (and a well-deserved one at that), but after the Golden Globes came by, I was already worried that we’d already be in store for one of the absolute worst in recent memory. To think that the Oscars would already have gone far beyond that “popular film” award in order to try and raise their viewership, as if the ceremonies themselves haven’t already been stale enough (i.e. overlong montages praising the industry and shallow activism that amounts to nothing), who knew that we’d be in store for one that was so out of touch – particularly in last year’s amazingly bad timing (with it being only barely ahead of the Olympics rather than in February like they usually were)? As a supposed celebration for the cinema comes by within the year, there are many things here to be concerned about.

Continue reading →

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite is His Funniest, Most Beautiful, and Most Tragic Effort Yet: Review

✯✯✯✯✯

The Favourite marks another shift in pace for Yorgos Lanthimos, but it’s still one that feels every bit as absurd as one you would expect for him. But his style had always been an acquired taste and I’ve never exactly found it easy to get into his work, but the case with The Favourite is something else entirely. This is the sort of film that feels perfect for the sort of style that Yorgos Lanthimos has been known for over the years, for every moment of it that carries his distinctively dark sense of humour also finds itself in a perfect spot, by making fun of the monarchy – for their interactions only ever feel every bit as stinted and as awkward as one would ever expect them to be, trying to cope with how much power they have over the worlds in which they control. But The Favourite also may be a fitting enough title when talking about what Yorgos Lanthimos has accomplished here, for not only might it be my favourite of his filmography but it’s also the hardest that I’ve ever found myself laughing during a comedy in so long.

Continue reading →

The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Review

???

At least a whole day has passed since I had seen Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer in theaters and I am still struggling to put together how I actually felt about it. After a rewatch of The Lobster had gone horribly for me, I was rather skeptical that his next English-language effort would end up leaving the same effect on me but I didn’t get exactly that. Perhaps there’s something about this that I had missed because I know Lanthimos’s films are characterized by social commentary under the guise of incredibly morbid humour and for every moment that I laughed in The Killing of a Sacred Deer I also felt like I wasn’t fully within the moment. But for everything that I admired about The Killing of a Sacred Deer there was also so much that I could not get behind at the exact same time.

Continue reading →

The Lobster – Review

✯✯½

I think I find myself enjoying Yorgos Lanthimos more in theory rather than in storytelling. The first time I saw Dogtooth I remember having been so shaken by its satire to the point that I ended up feeling guilty about myself for having found it so darkly funny and I found Alps to be one that echoes that same sort of dryness although not with the same impact. Something about The Lobster just hits me in that manner but I can’t put my finger on it, because I just find myself at odds with how I end up feeling about the final effect it leaves behind. At times brilliant and other times maybe a tad too weird for its own sake, it’s easy to see why one would be put off. On first watch I remember having found myself extremely impressed but on a second watch, said effect seems to have faded.

Continue reading →