Friday, November 8, 2019

The Banality of Evil: Notes on an Appearance

Bingham Bryant in Notes on an Appearance (2018).

Notes on an Appearance (2018), writer-director-editor Ricky D'Ambrose's no-budget feature debut, runs an hour long but feels much longer, in both good ways and bad (the good and bad are mutually constitutive). D'Ambrose has made two previous shorts, using them as experiments to prepare for Notes, and the thought and consideration that went into this film shine through.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The King: Get Me Rewrite!

Timothée Chalamet in The King (2019).

This review contains spoilers.
In a capsule review of a 1932 straight-dramatic movie of Madame Butterfly, the critic Pauline Kael wrote, “Is there someone out there who has always wanted to know what the opera was about, without being distracted from the plot by the music?” The new film The King (which was in some theatres in October and is currently streaming on Netflix) sets out on an equally dunderheaded mission: rewriting Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V without the distractions of, you know, the verse and the humor and the greatest coming-of-age narrative ever written and the most complex treatment of war ever put on a stage.