The Bad Batch [USA, 2O16]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

The Bad Batch follow the trials and tribulations of a [mostly] unnamed female protagonist in a cordoned-off section of Texas treated as some sort of laissez faire penal colony, where a bunch of genderfluid body builders survive off cannibalizing their prisoners. The Bad Batch is like a mean Escape from New York in the desert which somehow aims to address ethics and the social construction of morality but which gets distracted by babes, hunks, drugs and romance. The Bad Batch is full of style, attitude and personality, but is emotionally all over the place and narratively meandering. Parts of The Bad Batch are boring and pretentious, and yet it is a film with some new and interesting ideas and memorable characters. A standout scene features the demi-cannibalized protagonist suffering silently through some body-image issues, but like a wandering Philip K Dick book, it might be more enjoyable to remember the interesting parts of this film months from now than to actually enjoy yourself while watching it.

The main character [Suki Waterhouse [Love, Rosie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies]—who says one line in the first half hour, and whose name is revealed only about twenty minutes from the end—serves as Continue reading

Funeral Parade of Roses (Japan – 1969 – 4K Restoration)

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for Cinetalk.net

Apparently acknowledged by Stanley Kubrick as an influence on A Clockwork Orange, Toshio Matsumoto (1932-2017)’s Japanese cult film, Funeral Parade of Roses (1969), is released theatrically in a brand new 4K restoration.

Shot in glorious black and White, Funeral Parade of Roses follows the adventures of Eddie, a popular transgender figure active at nightclub Genet,  in the infamous Shinjuku district.  Eddie befriend a group of young revolutionaries, artists and filmmakers during a period of social unrest.

A personal rendering of the Oedipus myth (one sequence features the Japanese poster to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex),  Funeral Parade of Roses has much to do with avant-garde and contemporary art in portraying the subculture of 1969 Tokyo, especially Shinjuku. It uses constant fractured narrative (Matsumoto was Continue reading

The Postman’s White Nights (Konchalovsky, 2014)

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

Words like banal, uneventful and repetitive are normally viewed as having negative connotations. However, in Andrei Konchalovsky’s The Postman’s White Nights, they describe a life most modern iPhone and Android addicts wouldn’t understand. There are no game consoles; no fidget spinners. On these small Russian islands, one would be hard pressed to find a vehicle other than a fishing boat. Life by Kenozero Lake has its own rhythm and routine. As much as there are mundane daily tasks, there are also warm camaraderie and a familiarity between neighbors and colleagues that modern society lacks.

The region’s postman (Aleksey Tryapitsyn) deals with personal demons (or, more specifically, a mysterious grey cat) as he tends to his daily chores. Not only does he deliver mail to the villagers, but also checks in on them and brings them groceries. He even temporarily adopts a young boy to keep him entertained and enriched. Otherwise what would the child do all day while his mother takes secret lovers in the back room of their house? Possibly the best parts of The Postman are the Continue reading

It Comes at Night (USA – 2017) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

It Comes at Night is Trey Edward Shults’ second feature starring Joel Edgerton (Black mass, Midnight special) Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Alien: Covenant) and Christopher Abbott (A most violent year, James White)

A world threat, coming under the form of a virulent disease, forces a family to isolate itself under a set of rules. The sudden arrival of another family seeking refuge puts their domestic order and empathy to test.

It Comes at Night is your behind closed doors – let-them-come-I’m ready- minimalist take on the end of civilization. It shares the pessimistic views on the subject of pictures like Time of the Wolf (2003), The Road (2009) Take Shelter (2011) and countless others. It pretty much covers known territories to film buffs of the 21st century, basically making honest and efficient use of what looks like a shoestring budget. Yet it is not totally successful in Continue reading

KEDI (Turkey – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Turkish director Ceyda Torun’s Kedi propose a singular look at the city of Istanbul through the eyes of its emblematic inhabitant: the street cat.

Ceyda Torun, who grew up in Istanbul, provides numerous portraits of individual felines with an obvious sympathetic view of an animal arguably very difficult to shoot with. Today’s light camera offer the opportunity to trail the furry beast and follow it in its footsteps and into alley cats territory. The shooting certainly took a lot of patience. And it is the most rewarding asset of the project.

A feature that goes beyond the cat video, while sharing its cuteness, Kedi unfortunately runs slightly out of gas halfway through. It introduces some insight and stories about the pussy invasion within the walls of the city but it simply does not furnish enough content to fill 80 minutes. These links about the immigration of our fellow with claws should have been extended to keep it going. But it simply doesn’t. Still, Kedi is a pleasurable adventure into the world of our favorite flea bag.

First date movie? Sure.

*** For Montrealers, the film started May 26th at Cinéma du Parc.