Tag: Dee Jefferson
Spring Breakers: Harmony Korine’s Beach Noir By Dee Jefferson Until recently, Harmony Korine has been the underdog of a fiercely independent, provocative subculture of American cinema, along with filmmakers like Vincent Gallo and Larry Clark. A skater, painter, author and photographer, his films have been decidedly on the experimental and performance-art end of the spectrum [...]
Melissa McCarthy is a funny, likeable actress with perfect comic timing, and Jason Bateman is a funny, likeable mensch – the perfect straight-man foil for the pratfalls of others, in Arrested Development, The Switch, The Change Up, Couples Retreat, Horrible Bosses (director Seth Gordon’s previous film), and many, many other films. Put these two together in a plot that mashes up Planes, Trains & Automobiles and its modern permutation Due Date with The Hangover series, and you have a recipe for success – which accounts for how much money Identity Thief has taken at the US box office. And it’s hard to begrudge either of its stars that success.
In the late ’30s, producer Irving Thalberg made the Marx Brothers take their routines on a tour of vaudeville houses, to test them out on live audiences. By so doing, they were able to not only gauge the strength of each joke, but time the average audience reaction precisely – and adjust their film routines to include dialogue-free buffer zones around the big ones. It’s a neat comic trick to ensure the ensuing ‘straight’ lines don’t get lost in audience laughter, and it was picked up by consummate comedy director Billy Wilder, among many other pros.
Sydney Film Festival flashed their program bits last week with a teaser lineup of 25 films in their 2013 program. So we did the Smart Thing: we asked the experts what we should see. Here’s what they said… Rear Window This is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most daring experiments, taking place as it does entirely [...]
Takashi Miike’s latest film is a bento box of connected tales comprising a meal of love, honour and revenge – served cool, rather than hot. Surprisingly light on violence, gore and fight scenes (compared to his cult hits Ichi The Killer and Audition, or even his prior film, 13 Assassins), it’s rather more like a fable, or morality tale. As a genre, samurai films are, like Westerns, typically reassuring: there’s a very clear morality and codes of honour in samurai society, and a certain inevitable logic of cause and effect (notwithstanding the twists and reveals of the plot). Here Miike subverts the genre to the extent that although the universe and hero are moral, the outcome is not.