Boyle, Tarantino and the beauty of the ‘could have been’

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Alert: major spoilers ahead!

In July, Danny Boyle’s latest film Yesterday hit British cinemas with a simple premise: a world without The Beatles. The film made the most out of the idea of this parallel reality by bringing to the viewers a scene in which the main character, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), gets to meet John Lennon, well and alive and, enjoying a tranquil life by the sea. 

Quentin Tarantino’s newest project, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also utilises film to propose a different ending to a well-known real-life event. The director twists the heart-breaking Tate Murders of 1969,  by bringing a completely different massacre to the screen. 

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Vox Lux

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  • Original title: Vox Lux
  • Director: Brady Corbet
  • Release year: 2018
  • Original language: English

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The sequence at the early start of Vox Lux is one unfortunately too familiar. One disturbed student enters a classroom with a gun in hand and nothing but hatred in mind. One of the bullets fired on the day lodged itself in the spine of young Celeste, who was turned into a symbol for the grieving community. Her voice, in the form of a touching song, sends the girl into the eye of the media hurricane. A beat later and Celeste has an agent and a record label, travelling around the world with her older sister, carefully planning every step of her then early career.

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Jon S. Baird and the importance of the final scene

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At first glance, there are not many similarities between the last two features directed by Scottish filmmaker Jon S. Baird. Whilst 2013’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth thrives on its ability to turn one’s stomach, 2018’s biopic Stan and Ollie is a sweet ode to the iconic duo Laurel and Hardy.

Their one – and strongest – similarity is the beauty of their final scenes. Baird skillfully approaches the concept of finality in two drastically different but equally effective ways. The final moments of Filth see Bruce “Robbo” Robertson about to end his life. Seconds before he lets go of his body towards hanging from the ceiling, he spots a glimpse of a new future in the shape of the silhouette of a woman whose deceased husband he tried to save. Her shadow, accompanied by her infant son, disappears from the semi-transparent doors as we all see Bruce’s neck snap, suddenly ending his twisted, painful existence. The lesson here could not be any clearer: there are no happy endings and love is a bittersweet illusion, not salvation.

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On The Basis of Sex

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  • Original title: On The Basis of Sex
  • Director: Mimi Leder
  • Release year: 2018
  • Original language: English

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Unarguably one the most important figures when it comes to gender equality and women’s rights, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s has been part of popular American culture for years (she is widely known by youngsters on social media as “Notorious RBG”). Mimi Leder’s new feature, On The Basis of Sex explores the early days of Ginsberg’s career and fight against gender discrimination.

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The Post – A Guerra Secreta

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  • Ano de Lançamento: 2017
  • País: Estados Unidos
  • Língua: Inglês
  • Título Original: The Post
  • Diretor: Steven Spielberg
  • Avaliação: A arbez

Quando o The New York Times publicou o que eles intitularam Pentagon Papers, ou Papéis do Pentágono, foi aberta uma caixa de Pandora que terminou por derrubar o presidente dos Estados Unidos. Obviamente, após a publicação inicial, o Times foi banido de difundir qualquer material adicional sobre o dossiê, abrindo a janela para que outro jornal assumisse a perigosa responsabilidade de continuar a publicação do caso. O jornal responsável por fazê-lo foi o The Washington Post, que, ao tomar a decisão de continuar a publicar sobre os Papéis do Pentágono, colocou todas as sua fichas em uma aposta que poderia tê-lo arruinado, mas, ao contrário, o elevou ao patamar de grandes como o próprio The New York Times.

A história por si só já é icônica, mas ganha uma importância ainda maior quando sabemos que quem comandava o jornal na época era Kay Graham, viúva de Phil Graham, até então proprietário do Post. Como bem se sabe, naquela época, raras eram as mulheres em posições de poder e foi Kay quem teve a coragem de permitir a publicação do dossiê e levar o Post ao topo.

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