FORCE MAJEURE

There is nothing about Force Majeure that puts you at ease. From the opening shot, to Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor, to the seemingly endless explosions being set off on the mountains, to the unsettling long takes, to how writer/director Ruben Östlund frames his subjects, to the family that seems ready to come unhinged at any moment, to just about everything. Within a few minutes, this existential drama announces that something tragic will tear this family apart. It is to Swedish director’s credit that something is not apocalyptic. That family is Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) and Ebba (Lisa Loven … Continue reading FORCE MAJEURE

Born On This Day – October 31, 1961

“The weird thing about being a director of films that have a certain popularity and a following is that you are forced to have to deal with things that you have no interest in but they become part of your life. Like you have to deal with increased security. You have to deal with privacy issues. A lot of things that really don’t have anything to do with filmmaking. You have to have a team around you, assistants, and people that look after you. I never imagined that sort of filmmaking when I was young. I never thought I’d find … Continue reading Born On This Day – October 31, 1961

WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD

Why are there so many stories about teenage sexual awakening? Is it because the events, emotions and desire connected to that fragile moment are so vivid that it lodges deep into our mind, staying with us for as long as we live? I would assume that writer/director Gregg Araki agrees with that assessment, as he has made a career out of exploring those very moments. The bi-sexual, California-based filmmaker has been one of the standouts of the New Queer Cinema (e.g. Nowhere, Mysterious Skin, Kaboom). Araki’s eleventh feature, White Bird in a Blizzard, Araki focuses on a female protagonist going … Continue reading WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD

Born On This Day – October 27, 1957

“I have become tired of cinema. The so-called entertainment value of films in recent years, the mechanisms of the market, and the constant pandering to popular taste, all disgust me. I don’t feel the need to keep making films or, to put it more bluntly, to make the kinds of films that expect the patronage of cinema audiences anymore. I keep asking myself: what is cinema? Why make films? Who am I doing this for? Who is the mass audience? Are they the people who watch Spielberg movies? Frankly speaking, I am not interested in this at all… I can’t … Continue reading Born On This Day – October 27, 1957

Born On This Day – October 25, 1960

“Some things I come across in every day life sparks curiosity in me. My films are a way for me to unravel these things. “I start with a very ordinary, banal situation, and this situation usually has something in it that makes me feel strongly. It’s a stereotypical feeling, but very strong. I have this desire to look at it… Perhaps it’s a blind feeling. I put it on the table, and I look at it. I open up, and these pieces surface. They are not related, they conflict with each other. But I try to find a pattern that … Continue reading Born On This Day – October 25, 1960

Born On This Day – October 23, 1959

“I look at myself as an entertainer, more than anything else. I wanted to make the movie a little more different than the previous films. … That was less about me growing as a craftsman. That was more about me trying to provide an element to the audience that I thought they might need something different, that came from a different place.” –Sam Raimi Continue reading Born On This Day – October 23, 1959