Thursday, July 20, 2023

No Country for Old Men (USA: Ethan Coen and Joel Cohen, 2007)

No Country for Old Men (USA: Ethan Coen and Joel Cohen, 2007: 122 mins)

Flight, Thomas. "Why Do Movies Feel So Different Now?" (Posted on Youtube: May 23, 2023) ["In this video I dive into what Metamodernism is and what it looks like in film, and chart how the movies have evolved since their modernist origins."]

Lindert, Hattie. "Why No Country For Old Men is still the gold standard for page-to-screen adaptations." A.V. Club (November 9, 2022)  

Long, Ericca and Cole Roulain. "No Country for Old Men." The Magic Lantern #8 (November 9, 2015) ["There aren’t many films more personal to me than Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men (2007). I grew up at the foot of the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, so I am intimately familiar with this scrub brush landscape and these hard-bitten, laconic plainsfolk. They are my people. That land and that mindset are never far away, as I carry that red dirt in my heart however far I may roam. My father is the thing that ties this film to me the most, though. I know that one of these days he’ll go out there ahead of me and make a fire in all that dark and all that cold and he’ll be waiting for me. It will be a privilege and a reward to sit with my old man by that fire, not having to say a thing. Until then, we carry on. What you’ll find in this episode: fate versus self-determination, Cormac McCarthy book recommendations, how spoilers are for sissies, fathers and sons (and uncles), and how to steal two million dollars."]

Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "All the Pretty Carnage." The Chicago Reader (November 8, 2007) ["Remorseless murder isn't all there is to No Country for Old Men, but it's all anyone seems to care about."]

Sudhakaran, Sareesh. "Cinematography of Roger Deakins." Wolfcrow (February 16, 2016)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Crimes of the Future (Canada/France/Greece: David Cronenberg, 2022)

 Crimes of the Future (Canada/France/Greece: David Cronenberg, 2022: 107 mins)

Booker, M. Keith. "The Imagination of Deterioration: Dystopia, Climate Change, and the Society of the Spectacle in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future." Comments on Culture (ND)

---. "The Imagination of Deterioration: Human Exceptionalism, Climate Change, and the Weird Eco-Horror of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future." Monstrum 6.1 (June 2023) ["To an extent, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (2022) represents a rousing return to the body horror with which its director exploded onto the independent-film scene in the 1970s and 1980s. In this case, though, the film updates Cronenberg’s earlier concerns via an especially strong focus on the impact of environmental deterioration on human beings and human society, placing the film in the realm of eco-horror as well. The action of the film occurs in a decaying near-future world in which climate change and other worsening conditions have led not only to a general decline in the quality of life (both material and emotional) but also to strange (and sometimes macabre) mutations in the human body itself. The strangeness of these climate-related mutations places Crimes of the Future in the realm of ecological horror, and especially of the recent turn toward the “weird” in eco-horror. Nature seems to have been almost obliterated in this future world, but these weird mutations, beyond the control of any of the human forces in the film, challenge the notion that humans stand apart from a nature that they can easily understand, dominate, and control. These mutations also contribute to a growing sense in the future world of the film that things are getting out of hand and that there is no identifiable fix for the general deterioration of conditions, a sense that resonates with widespread attitudes in the world of the early 2020s."]

Brody, Richard. "Crimes of the Future: It’s the End of the World as David Cronenberg Knew It." The New Yorker (June 6, 2022)

Devi, Gayatri. "'A Great Future in Plastics': Crimes of the Future and Cronenberg’s Story of Evolution." Bright Lights Film Journal (October 5, 2022) ["The voice-over tells us that as a result of this neo-venereal disease, his colleague’s body is creating new organs, each one complex, perfect, unique, but without function. Each time these superfluous organs are surgically removed, new ones immediately regenerate inside his body. The patient has begun to steal these organs since he considers his body a galaxy and these new organs solar systems. He cannot bear to part with them. So he steals them. A nurse calls them his “creative cancer."]

Eggert, Brian. "Crimes of the Future." Deep Focus Review (June 5, 2022)

Goi, Leonardo. "The Current Debate: The Shocks of Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future." Notebook (June 9, 2022) ["It’s in the unsettling, eerily prophetic ideas that Cronenberg’s latest body-horror foray finds its most shocking material."]

Hudson, David. "Cronebergiana." The Current (July 5, 2022)

Loayza, Beatrice. "David Cronenberg’s Tableaux of Pain and Pleasure." The Nation (July 21, 2022) ["The body, that object of eternal obsession, perpetually surveilled and self-policed, is a site of great danger. Errant bodies, then, are as much a threat to the status quo, testing our willingness to embrace the monstrous. In Crimes of the Future, prior to a scene in which a live surgery is staged as a public performance, the phrase “Body is reality” flashes on a small television set: It is through the body, Cronenberg argues, that we experience and make sense of our lives; through the body that ideas, desires, and fears find palpable expression. If his films promiscuously stake out the possibilities of the future and the novel ways in which we might inhabit it, then the body is a testing ground where the ineffable and the unthinkable might be grasped for the first time."]

Rice, David Leo. "Art is the New Puberty: David Cronenberg's Portraits in Flesh." The Baffler (July 7, 2022)  ["The 2020s have come to resemble the ’60s and ’70s in all of these ways and many more. A shortlist would include wild inflation, racial and sexual unrest, bitterness at the prospect of any collective values, escalating conflict with Russia and China, a weak and out-of-touch government, mounting street violence and militia activity, and a massive growth in doomsday cults, psychotropic drugs, and alternative realities. Given such a post-millennium redux, it’s no surprise that the film’s central conceit, that of humanity evolving to meet its moment by metabolizing that moment’s poisoned atmosphere, is so resonant right now. It speaks directly to an era where we, too, must wonder whether we’re evolving. And, if so, into what?"]

Zaretsky, Adam. "Love and Radio." Future Ecologies (June 5, 2023) ["Adam Zaretsky is a bioartist who explores the manipulation of DNA, the fringes of genetic modification, and butts up against the ethical boundaries of science and beyond."]