Despite continuing rumblings about the demise of movies-on-disk, numerous companies continue to produce excellent editions on disk of a vast range of movies covering the entire history of cinema. Once again in 2018 there were far more releases than even an obsessive viewer could keep up with.
Imagination, if followed honestly, can easily trump coherence and plausibility; what matters is how sincerely a filmmaker follows the narrative ideas out of which a movie arises. Three relatively recent movies offer a great deal of pleasure as they disappear enthusiastically down their own respective rabbit holes.
Recent theatrical viewing has included some very dark comedies and fantasies, but the real horrors were supplied by the faceless corporate types who have transformed movie going into an unpleasant ordeal.
A round-up of recent reviewing across multiple genres – western, black comedy, musical, animation, road movie.
Recent viewing has included three pairs of movies – two Anime features from 2016 (In This Corner of the World and Your Name), two thrillers from 1967 and 1972 by English directors (Point Blank and Pulp), and a pair of gritty horror-tinged thrillers from 1979 and 1981 which transcend their exploitation roots (The Driller Killer and Ms. 45).
Very brief comments on several dozen disks viewed over the past few months.
More notes on recent viewing, from a sadistic thriller to emotionally resonant anime, from a literary adaptation to two investigations of racism in America.
Revisiting old favourites like the original Star Trek series and familiar genres from samurai sword fights to supernatural monsters is like eating comfort food, triggering familiar emotions; even Satanic horrors can be paradoxically soothing.
With Kubo and the Two Strings, Laika Entertainment continue to expand the possibilities of stop-motion animation in a fantasy which takes the nature of storytelling as its main subject.
Sex runs through the history of the movies as both spectacle and disrupter of narrative; Russ Meyer reveled in it, while Charlie Kaufman finds in sex poignant emotional depths.