On May 9th 1988, at an ACT UP demonstration in Albany, New York, queer film critic and AIDS activist Vito Russo delivered his "Why We Fight" speech – an explosive statement of defiance on behalf of the AIDS-affected community; an insistence that they would not stop fighting for their lives.
As the United States becomes more calamitously divided, filmmakers have clearly recognised there is a national appetite for American introspect. Some examples bore less fruit than others (see: Joker) but in Knives Out, Rian Johnson’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed yet controversial Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Johnson slashes at the jugular of American exceptionalism and inherited wealth vis-à-vis murder mystery.
Adapting Shakespeare is a territory rife for mistakes: too rigid an adaptation, too close a bearing to the original language, and you can leave the whole thing inaccessible. Too abstract a display – see: most student theatre – and you run the risk of losing what made the work so powerful to begin with. Striking the balance of contemporary and classic is no easier, yet that's what David Michôd’s The King aims for.
At the crux of his melancholic, self-reflective essay “God’s Lonely Man”, Thomas Wolfe contends that loneliness is the inevitable fact of the human condition. It’s a very cynical notion to hold – life just isn’t that unequivocally tragic – but widely felt enough to become a common theme in the work of Hollywood auteurs.
Norman René’s compassionate opus remains the only theatrically released film to accurately reflect the epidemic’s impact.
Director Mark Waters on how his hit high school comedy turned into a font of gif-based rejoinders.
It’d be slightly over the top to say that The War of the Worlds is one of the most important stories in British history, but you can’t deny the impact its had on sci-fi. It’s the seminal alien invasion tale and H. G. Wells practically defined the genre with his book, before contemporary films like Independence Day took inspiration from his terrifying, technologically superior Martians that invaded Victorian England.
‘The New Pope’: The Second Coming Of The Acclaimed Paolo Sorrentino Series Is Dazzling [Venice Review]
If you’ve seen his Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty” or last year’s “Loro,” you’ll already be aware of Paolo Sorrentino’s directorial MO: he’s a stylistic auteur who readily embraces the ornate, the flamboyant, and the glamorous.
It’s some point in the near future. Humanity, for the umpteenth time in a wonderfully chaotic history, is on a path of rapid colonialism – only this time, it’s extra-terrestrial.
If your partner (or, perhaps, ex) is notching Emmy nominations while your play has just been shelved from Broadway, is it justifiable to be jealous? What if your marriage is actively obstructing your ambition? Where does the balance arise and, if push does eventually come to shove: what gives?
What is it, exactly, with all of this late-‘60s revivalism? Have the eighties played out already? Perhaps it’s a nostalgic symptom of turning into the next terrifyingly unsure decade – has America been so insecure in itself since Easy Riders, Woodstock and the Manson murders? – but we’ve become fascinated with a vision of America on the brink of sociocultural meltdown.
“We have the impression that the politicians don’t care. […] If you really want to make a revolution, you have to be in the streets every day.”
Ladj Ly’s supremely confident debut feature recalls the bitingly fierce critical voice of Victor Hugo’s classic novel, transplanting it into the estates and housing blocks of post-World Cup Paris. Set within the ‘93 district’ of Seine-Saint-Denis – a world predominantly inhabited by poor people of colour – Les Misérables pits a police squad against Paris’ underclass to incredible dramatic effect, employing a remarkable level of technical and creative fortitude, particularly for a debutant.
Director Levan Akin confronts Georgia’s (former USSR/Eastern Europe) conservative, moralising, antiquated attitude towards sexual freedom, the masculine tradition and gay love with an aggressive fervour. The structure, tone and central relationship will conjure warranted comparisons to Call Me by Your Name, but this feels timelier and more urgent, trading originality for nuance, specificity, and authenticity.