Knight of Cups (2015)

It’s easy, and not entirely inaccurate, to regard Knight of Cups as the apotheosis of “Malickian.” Terrence Malick’s latest film, centring on the idle thoughts and innumerable conquests of Christian Bale’s Hollywood A-lister (think Coppola’s Somewhere – Los Angeles as purgatory), has all the easily-parodied tropes that have come to define the director’s work. The…

It Follows (2014)

The main point of comparison for most people reviewing It Follows is Halloween. Undeniably, David Robert Mitchell’s debut feature, an insidious, diamond-sharp indie horror flick, draws heavily from John Carpenter’s classic. That’s apparent from its opening frame, an image of an American suburban street whose expansive front lawns carpeted by auburn autumn leaves could be…

Marie Antoinette (2006)

I’m not sure if this is an overreach, but I feel like Sofia Coppola’s choice to make a biopic of sorts about Marie Antoinette is a feminist statement in of itself. That probably requires some justification, so here goes: what comes to mind when you hear ‘Marie Antoinette’? For me – and I imagine for…

Rock the Casbah (2013)

Rock the Casbah (2013)

The funeral is a fertile ground for familial drama in the cinema. It’s easy to see why, what with the reunion of family members long separated by distance and/or estrangement born of malignant buried secrets unearthing those secrets in the heightened emotionality necessarily produced by grief and nostalgia. There are countless films in the ‘genre’…

Anton Yelchin and Amanda Seyfried in Alpha Dog (2003)

Alpha Dog (2003)

A decade on, Alpha Dog is most notable for establishing both Justin Timberlake and Anton Yelchin as respectable actors. This plucked-from-the-headlines crime picture put Timberlake in the role of a charismatic kidnapper and Yelchin as his fifteen-year-old abductee, and they both do great work. It’s worth remembering, though, that Alpha Dog also stands as a…

The Bling Ring (2013)

If you’ve seen the trailer for Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, you already know the plot: Rich kids steal from richer celebrities, get caught. This kind of plot-certainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it frees up the filmmaker to focus on tone and character rather than story. The Bling Ring portrays its protagonists’ crime…