Beau Is Afraid

Joaquin Phoenix as Beau

Three’s a trend, so they say, and with Beau Is Afraid writer/director Ari Aster does just what his previous two films, Hereditary and Midsommar, did – he gets everyone talking. Terrible, some said. Brilliant, said others. Maybe it can be both at the same time, you could conclude, sitting right on the fence. And, fence-sitting coming naturally to some people, that is what it is – a brilliant meta-movie that simply doesn’t know when to stop and so outstays its welcome. In one of many comedy moments which seem less well advised the longer Beau Is Afraid goes on – it’s three hours long – Aster starts the action at the moment Beau … Read more

Dazed and Confused

Rory Cochrane, Jason London and Sasha Jenson

Dazed and Confused is Richard Linklater’s 1993 film doing for 1976 what George Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973) did for 1962. That is, it looks back fondly at a group of teenagers on the cusp of adult life on their last day/night of high school, while also observing how long ago it now all was, and in more than plain old years. Like Lucas’s gang, Linklater’s crew are a mixed crowd of jocks and nerds, lookers and plain-Janes and Johns, sensitive souls and bozos, cool kids and the terminally awkward, kids whose best days are to come and those whose lives have already peaked. The style builds on the loose, superficially disorganised approach of … Read more

Broken English

Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud in Broken English

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 August Paris liberated, 1944 On this day in 1944 the German garrison in Paris surrendered and Paris was liberated, after a battle lasting six days. It had started with an uprising by the French Resistance on 19 August, who were augmented by General de Gaulle’s Free French Army of Liberation and Third Army troops under General Patton. France had been occupied since June 1940, but the allies had considered it a low priority for liberation; the thrust was towards Berlin. However, the issue was forced by the outbreak of a general strike and the uprising of the Resistance, and compounded … Read more