The Sacrament (2013)

The Sacrament (2013)

I finally watched The Sacrament after watching Ti West’s featurette on the Criterion House release, where he articulately advocated for art-horror films that are “challenging films.” Ti West’s prior films – well, The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, anyway – weren’t for everyone, but they were interesting – and, in my book, quality…

The Grand Seduction (2014)

The Grand Seduction (2014)

Your enjoyment of The Grand Seduction is entirely dependent on having a healthy suspension of disbelief and a broad tolerance for the rom-com formula – if you’re in possession of both those qualities, then you’ll likely have a good time with the film. Starring Brendan Gleeson as the mayor of a sparsely populated Canadian harbour…

Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Kimbra – The Golden Echo

“90s Music” – the first single from Kimbra’s The Golden Echo – is a misleading introduction in more ways than one. The off-kilter danciness of the track reminds me of Kanye West’s “Power”, in that it’s the kind of pop song that manages to combine infectious glee with intentional abrasiveness; it simultaneously sounds like it…

Sarah Snook in Predestination (2014)

Predestination (2014)

As a teenager, I would’ve loved the Spierig Brothers’ time travel thriller Predestination; over a decade later, I’m not as enamoured of its conceptual ambition. The film sees Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook dart and swerve through an entwined net of plot twists taken from a conceptual short story (“All You Zombies”) by Robert Heinlein.…

Joel Edgerton in Felony (2013)

Felony (2013)

Australian cop flick Felony opens with a perfunctory action scene – the only scene in the film that fits that description. Detective Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton, star and screenwriter) gives chase to a crim fleeing the scene, and earns a deposit of lead in his bulletproof vest for his trouble. Struggling to his feet, he…

Sorcerer

Sorcerer (1977)

Within the rusted, mud-splattered framework of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer is a distillation of 1970s American cinema. It has the bruised masculinity of Taxi Driver, the abiding pessimism of Chinatown and the nightmarish madness that would send Coppola deep into the jungles of the Philippines for Apocalypse Now. It’s fitting that its release would be eclipsed…

The One I Love (2014)

There’s a conspiratorial tenor to the discourse about Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love, as critics are driven to conniptions contemplating how to discuss the film’s concept. A quarter hour into The One I Love, the rug is pulled from under you as a secluded couple’s getaway – that troubled spouses Mark Duplass and Elisabeth…