There is so many films coming out during the year that either we miss on some or others come our way late because of poor North American Distribution.Three that we did not review but have their place in our beloved list of top 15 2018…
UK’s eye (and ear?)-popping Peter Strickland (Duke of Burgundy, Berberian Sound Studio) is one underrated pastiche director. His new lavish extravagance, In fabric, involves a cursed dress. The setting: a tricky department store with head of sales, Miss Luckmoore, funnily acted with sarcastic humor by the director’s muse Fatma Mohamed. The era: contemporary meets the Victorians as the Art direction team seems to have fun, lots of it. A melange of genres. As always, sound and music-wise, Strickland got the Mojo. A director with an ear.
A colorful Hammeresque-Gialliesque, highly referential, dark, silly and delightful scrapbook.
Alli Abassi’s Border (from the book by Let The Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist) was the Swedish entry for possible inclusion into the Academy Awards happy five.
Great choice, but it was so predictable that the committees would pass on this one. So long Oscar! But who needs you? Beauty and the beast, except there is not much formal beauty and more beasts. It successfully deals with themes of rejection and differences and gender in conjunction with the frame of a thriller and a horror film. The smell of fear and unease are surprisingly quite convincing.
Matteo Garrone’s Dogman took home Best Actor Award from Cannes for Marcello Fonte’s top performance. Given the treatment his underrated Tale of Tales (2015) received, it seemed like a good return for the director of the critically acclaimed Gomorrah (2008). In this new film, we enter a world of desolation and poverty. Dog groomer, Marcello is also into pity crime, heavily influenced by the unpredictable violent behavior of so called friend, Simone. When a missed opportunity turns to sour, Marcello seeks revenge.
There is something apocalyptic and raw in Garrone’s confine universe of desolation and confrontational codes. The landscape and characters mirror each other. He brilliantly constructs a relation between his main character and the dogs. So infatuated is Marcello with a collection of despicable characters he calls friends, the dog aspect conveys the good side of Marcello. This allows the spectator to feel sympathy for him and Fonte makes the best of it.
Into dust and crass, into a world of survival, of everyday violence, Garrone patiently builds a climax.