Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year-End Reflections of 2015




2015 is coming to an ending and honestly, thank goodness it was over. It was an alright year that had a lot of things happening but it was also a tough one where I didn’t get to see as many films as I wanted to as I was also dealing with personal things. Notably the passing of my dog Prissy on October 9 as it’s something I’m still not over as the recent passing of Lemmy Kilmister and Scott Weiland has hit me quite hard as well. It was a tough year as the only thing to do left is to see what I saw in the entire year and reflect on it.

In the year of 2015, I saw a total of 420 films in 258 first-timers and 162 re-watches. Not bad though it was very short of a personal goal that I was aiming for in 2015 which was to see 500 films for the year. Maybe I’ll try that again for another time. Among these highlights are the films that I saw for the 2015 Blind Spot Series as here is how I rank them:

1. Suspiria

2. The Long Goodbye

3. Singin' in the Rain

4. Man with a Movie Camera

5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

6. The Human Condition Trilogy

7. Scarface

8. My Darling Clementine

9. Charulata

10. The General

11. Sullivan's Travels

12. Alphaville

2015 was a damn good year in not just the Blind Spots that I saw but also in the numerous amount of first-timers that I saw. Some of which were old films and some were new or recent films. This list of the 50 best First-Timers that I saw for 2015 as there were some that were better than my Blind Spot choices. I should note that the list will feature films that came out before the year 2010 as the films from 2010 to 2015 will be part of a future list of the best films of the 2010s coming in 2020. Maybe. Here are the 50 Best First-Timers that I saw for 2015:

1. House

2. Hiroshima Mon Amour

3. Patton

4. Cleo from 5 to 7

5. The Straight Story

6. Children of Paradise

7. Red Desert

8. Dressed to Kill

9. Sherlock Jr.

10. Mother

11. My Life as a Dog

12. Escape from New York

13. El Sur

14. La Cienaga

15. The Freshman

16. Au Revoir Les Enfants

17. Il Sorpasso

18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

19. Cria Cuervos

20. I Stand Alone

21. Trafic

22. The Ascent

23. Bay of Angels

24. The Great Train Robbery

25. Elevator to the Gallows

26. A Night at the Opera

27. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

28. The Headless Woman

29. The Cameraman

30. Tess

31. Du cote de la cote

32. The Fire Within

33. Ride the High Country

34. Zazie Dans Le Metro

35. Beauty and the Beast

36. In the Mouth of Madness

37. Pierrot Le Fou

38. The Crowd

39. To Catch a Thief

40. Intolerance

41. Horse Feathers

42. The Magician

43. Donkey Skin

44. Reds

45. Stromboli

46. Europa '51

47. Journey to Italy

48. Dial M for Murder

49. Sweet Smell of Success

50. The Earrings of Madame de...

2015 was a big year in terms of the film I saw but it was also a year of some major discoveries and events that came throughout the year. Here are things that were important to me in 2015:

1. Xavier Dolan



No filmmaker this year made an impact for me than Xavier Dolan. Before 2015, I had heard of him but hadn’t seen anything about him. There was no way to ignore him as I decided to see his films for an Auteurs piece on him and it is clear that man is for real. What is more surprising that he is in his 20s and is already making films that wannabe filmmakers or established filmmakers wish they could do. For me, he’s made three films that will be among the some of the best films ever along with music videos that are phenomenal and two more films that add to his status as the best filmmaker working today.

2. Ring of Honor







 
Having now becoming disconnected with the WWE and its awful product, there was a need for me to find an alternative. While there is New Japan and Lucha Underground, I couldn’t find the time to watch and record the former while I don’t have access to watch the latter. I have heard of Ring of Honor for years but never found the chance to watch them on TV as they have been a source of comfort for me. It took me a while to get used to their production values as well as the fact that they’re all wrestling and nothing else but it was exactly what I needed. Just good in-ring action with amazing talent and champions that are credible.

3. The Rise of Strong Female Protagonists



For me, this was a great year for great women characters in films. Whether it’s Melissa McCarthy being funny and kicking ass in Spy, Brie Larson trying to be strong and deal with reality for her son in Room, or Mia Wasikowska being in a haunted house with ghosts in Crimson Peak. It was a year where some of the world’s best filmmakers and some of Hollywood’s key players decide to let the ladies rule. Yet, the best example come in not one but two of some of the best features of the year in the world of blockbuster cinema. Charlize Theron’s performance as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road and Daisy Ridley’s breakthrough performance as Rey in The Force Awakens are a key example of women being the ones kicking ass and taking names.

4. Finally Attending a 70mm Screening.



Having been immersed in the world of films, there were a lot of things that I want to do and there’s still some things I would love to do as someone that loves films. This past Monday, I finally crossed something off the bucket list where I finally attended my first 70mm screening for The Hateful Eight. This is second time I attended a roadshow screening (the first was Che in early 2009) as I knew this was going to be an event. Especially for a film like this as I felt I was experience something that rarely happens in film as it still feels fresh. At the same time, you get a sense of what it was like back then and what it could be in an age where movies are being treated as commodities rather than something else.

5. David Lynch



Knowing that Twin Peaks is going to return in 2017, I knew it was time to do an Auteurs piece on him as it would also allow me to revisit some of his work as well as see the short films that he did. It also gave me the chance to see the show that made him an icon in Twin Peaks though I’m about half-way finished with the second and final season which I hope to complete in early 2016. It is no question that he is one of the finest figures in popular culture and in cinema as maybe the return of Twin Peaks will give him the chance to make possibly one more film.


Well, that is all for 2015. It was a rough year but one that was also kind of fun. Now it’s time to move on and get ready for the New Year. Until then, this is thevoid99 saying Happy New Year and goodbye to 2015.

© thevoid99 2015

The Films That I Saw: December 2015




Despite the awful rain and inconsistent weather that had been looming throughout the holiday season, Christmas was still a good one as I got not just some money but used it to buy some DVDs and a new book shelf for those DVDs. I still have some money left but it’s really for clothes as I’m waiting for the post-New Years sale. I’m ready for putting 2015 out of the way as I’m also working on a final post for the year.



In the month of December, I saw a total of 36 films in 23 first-timers and 13 re-watches. Not bad as I did end the year on a high note as one of the highlights of the year was my final Blind Sport assignment for the year in Scarface. Here are the top 10 First-Timers of December 2015:

1. The Hateful Eight



2. Room



3. The Force Awakens



4. Love



5. Spotlight



6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia



7. Kingsman: The Secret Service



8. The Deadly Companions



9. The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?



10. A Very Murray Christmas



Monthly Mini-Reviews

Unbroken



This film had all of the elements that couldn’t fail. A script co-written by the Coen Brothers, shot by Roger Deakins, and a score from Alexandre Desplat. Yet, the final result is just fucking boring. While Jack O’Connell tries to do all he can to create a captivating performance, it’s bogged down by many tropes that is expected in bio-pics. Much of the blame should go to Angelina Jolie for just going by the books with the film and to try to create something that is inspirational. It looks good but it never gets its hand dirty while just being way too conventional as Jolie should just stick to acting.

Frozen Fever



A short-sequel to the 2013 film that annoyed the hell out of many fathers and brothers is actually a very delightful short. It revolves around Elsa trying to create the ultimate birthday party for her sister Anna while dealing a cold. Along the way, hilarity ensues involving little snowmen and all sorts of shenanigans. Though the songs aren’t as memorable as the ones in Frozen. It is at least fun to see those characters again including Sven, Olaf, and Kristoff.

Fifty Shades of Grey



What happens when you take away the dangerous elements and fully-realized characters of Secretary as well as the playfulness of 9 ½ Weeks? You get this piece of shit film as it isn’t just one of the worst films ever made. It’s also a very misogynistic one for the fact that Dakota Johnson spends her time being a submissive and doing everything for this asswipe who looks like he had some dildo shoved up his ass. While Johnson does try to inject some life into the film while looking really good naked, there’s so much about the film that is so bad as well as being very fucking boring. Porno films are far more imaginative than this bullshit. No, actually. That’s insulting to porno films since they actually put time and effort into capturing sex on film no matter if there’s a story or not. Plus, why does Johnson have to be the one fully nude (despite sporting digitized pubic hair) yet Jamie Dornan only shows his ass? That is bullshit.

Toy Story That Time Forgot



I missed this when it first air the year before so I finally decided to see this and once again, Pixar delivers. It’s a TV special that manages to convey not just the humor and whimsical elements of the franchise but also gives Buzz, Woody, Rex, and Trixie a new adventure where they encounter new toys who haven’t been played with as they have no clue that they’re toys. It adds not just a lot of adventure where the character of Trixie would get a chance to be a key character of the franchise but also display the idea of what toys mean in a world where video games often take away the attention of playtime for children.

The Book of Life



This animated film that is produced by Guillermo del Toro is actually one of the most imaginative and creative films that I had ever seen. Largely as it’s set in Mexico about the Day of the Dead and revolves around three friends. It’s a film that has all sorts of things from being a comedy, a musical, a romance, and an adventure yet manages to be a lot without giving in to being identified as one kind of film. The casting of the voices from Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Hector Elizondo, Kate del Castillo, Ron Perlman, Placido Domingo, Ice Cube, Cheech Marin, and many others add a sense of vibrancy to the film as it manages to work and do a whole lot more.

Get a Horse!



This blend of old-school 2D hand-drawn animation and new-school 3-D computer animation is probably one of Disney Animation Studios’ finest experimental shorts. Yet, it is also one of their most accessible films to date where it took elements of an old Mickey Mouse cartoon from the past and then find ways to fuse it with new ideas as it also features archival voices from Walt Disney himself. It’s really a must-see for anyone that loves animated films as well as what Walt Disney has done for the genre.

Insurgent



OK, this young adult film adaptation genre has got to go as this film is the best example of why it’s jumped the shark. I do like Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Kate Winslet but man, they’re not given anything to do as they really don’t belong in this film. Woodley tries her best to make Tris important but the film is just a fucking mess. Awful visual effects, confusing storylines, and lots and lots and lots of emoting. I’d say it’s time for the franchise to just fucking die.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Breaking the Waves



2. Enter the Dragon



3. Brokeback Mountain



4. Macbeth



5. Three Amigos!



6. The Big Chill



7. Home Alone



8. Four Weddings and a Funeral



9. D.C. Cab



10. Borat



Well, that is all for December. Later in the day, I will post a final list of what I saw in 2015 while January will be completely different. Aside from theatrical releases that I hope to see like The Revenant, Carol, Anamolisa, and Regression as well as Thesis by Alejandro Amenabar to start the next wave of the Auteurs pieces. I have no clue what I’ll watch for January as I’m just going to wing it and see what Blind Spot I will do to begin for the New Year. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Hateful Eight



Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is the story of eight different people who seek refuge at a stagecoach stopover in a mountain pass as they deal with a chilling blizzard. Set years after the American Civil War, the film is a western that plays into a group of people who find themselves in a shelter where it’s a mixture of people who are forced to deal with each other despite their differences. Starring Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum, Zoe Bell, and James Parks. The Hateful Eight is a tremendously grand and rapturous film from Quentin Tarantino.

The film revolves a group of different people who are trekking towards a small town in the middle of Wyoming as they deal with a blizzard where they stop and meet an assortment of characters at a stagecoach stopover where there’s a lot of tension looming between eight different people. It’s a film that plays into a group of people who doesn’t just deal with a blizzard that is deadly but also what is at stake as a woman named Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is being driven to a town where she is to be hanged for many murders as the bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is accompanying her to make sure that she will die by hanging and collect a $10,000 bounty. Along the way, they encounter two different men who join them on the stagecoach and then meet more at the stopover where something sinister starts to happen.

Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay is set in a very traditional three-act narrative with six chapters as each one doesn’t just play and introduce key characters into the story. It’s also in what is at stake as it relates to Daisy whose bounty is huge as the men she and Ruth encounter either have their own motives in what to do with her or are there for their own reasons that has nothing to do with her. Among them is another bounty hunter in a former cavalry officer in Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) who is also going to this town of Red Rocks, Wyoming to collect a separate bounty of his own while a young Southerner named Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) is also going to the town to become its new sheriff. All of that happens in its first act where these four characters meet and ride on this stagecoach where Mannix, Ruth, and Warren all have some background and history where Mannix is the son of a marauders leader who refused to accept the defeat of the South.

By the film’s second act where they stop at this stopover, they meet another group of diverse characters including a Mexican named Bob (Demian Bichir), a British hangman named Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), a quiet cowboy named Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and a former Confederate leader in General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern). Along with the stagecoach driver O.B. Jackson (James Parks), these people find themselves inside the house where paranoia and mistrust ensues which includes some tension involving Smithers and Warren where the film’s first half ends with a chilling story from the latter about the former’s son. It is told with such style and detail as it has this mix of dark humor and gruesome imagery. By the film’s second half, the drama and suspense becomes more prominent as it’s not just what is happening inside the house but also the fact that there’s a sense that there’s some people that is going to die. It’s not just who is in this house that is scary but also the fact that there is this blizzard out there. No one is safe where something will break as the third act reveals more into what is happening and who wants what with Daisy being the prize.

Tarantino’s direction is definitely vast in not just the richness of the images he creates but also in the way he sets it. Shot entirely on location in Telluride, Colorado, Tarantino takes great advantage of the locations from the look of the Rocky Mountains to the ravishing attention to detail with the locations as well as the snow which is crucial to the film itself. Notably as Tarantino takes great stock into shooting these locations not just in rich wide and medium shots but also shoot it in a format that hadn’t been used for many years which is 65 mm film stock. In that grand film stock and in an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2:76:1 which was a common format in the 1950s and 1960s that is also similar to the Cinerama process of the times. Tarantino doesn’t just go for images and moods that play into those films of the times with these wide lenses but also brings it back to Earth while creating an intimacy and tension for scenes inside the house.

The scenes set in the house are gripping as it’s small but also has some space where the film stock captures much of the lighting with great detail. Even in some of these smaller moments such as a lone jellybean on the floor or the close-up of a coffee pot. Tarantino’s usage of close-ups as well as some intricate crane shots and some long shots help play into the drama and suspense that looms in the film. The film stock helps with these scenes as well as in what Tarantino does in his compositions in a key scene where Daisy sings a song as she is in the foreground and Ruth is in the background. By the time the film reaches its third act, that is where the violence starts to really take shape. While violence is something that is expected with Tarantino, it is presented with a sense of urgency that adds to the suspense. Especially in the film’s climax where it is about survival and who can out-wit who. Overall, Tarantino creates a gripping yet tremendous film about a group of individuals dealing with themselves and a cold blizzard in the West.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson does incredible work with the film‘s cinematography with its gorgeous yet evocative look of the daytime exterior settings in the Rocky Mountains to the lighting schemes and textures that he uses in the interior scenes as it is among one of the highlights of the film. Editor Fred Raskin does excellent work with the editing with its usage of jump-cuts and slow-motion cuts as well as creating rhythms that help play into the suspense and drama that unfolds throughout the film. Production designer Yohei Taneda, with set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg and art director Richard L. Johnson, do amazing work with not just the design of the stagecoach where some of the main characters ride on but also the look of the stopover house and its different farms as it plays into this world in the middle of the Rocky Mountains that is remote but also filled with some dread as the look of the stone cross in the film‘s opening scene is also one of the key touchstones of the film. Costume designer Courtney Hoffman does nice work with the clothes from the old military uniforms that Warren and Smithers wear to the array of fur and heavy clothes the many characters wear to deal with the cold winter.

Makeup designers Greg Funk and Jake Garber do brilliant work with the look of the characters such as the facial hair of characters like Ruth and Bob as well as the black eye that Daisy sports. Special effects director Greg Nicotero and visual effects supervisors Laurent Gillet and Darren Poe do fantastic work with some of the special effects as it relates to some of the violent moments in the film as well as a few set dressing for some of the exteriors. Sound editor Wylie Stateman does superb work with the sound as it adds a lot to the film‘s suspense and drama from the way the cold winds sound from inside the house as well as the sounds of gunfire. The film’s music by Ennio Morricone is phenomenal as it bears many of the hallmarks that is expected of Morricone in terms of operatic vocal and orchestral arrangements to the usage of quirky hooks and melodies as the music is a true highlight of the film music supervisor Mary Ramos creates an offbeat soundtrack that features songs by David Hess, Crystal Gayle, the White Stripes, and Roy Orbison.

The casting by Victoria Thomas is wonderful for the cast that is created as it features some notable small appearances from Lee Horsley, Belinda Owin, Keith Jefferson, and Bruce Del Castillo as employees/patrons of the stopover house, Zoe Bell as a stagecoach driver, Dana Gourrier as the stopover house owner Minnie Mink, Gene Jones as her lover Sweet Dave, and Craig Stark as Smithers’ son Chester in a chilling sequence that Warren tells General Smithers to. Channing Tatum is fantastic in a small but very memorable role as a gang leader named Jody who is a man that is full of charm but is also very dangerous. James Parks is terrific as the stagecoach driver O.B. Jackson as one of the few men that Ruth trusts as he deals with the brutality that is the cold weather. Bruce Dern is excellent as General Sandy Smithers as a legendary hero of the Confederate army whom Mannix admires while being aware that he and Warren had an encounter in the past that leads to some very intense moments.

Demian Bichir is superb as Bob as this Mexican who is looking after the stopover house as he is quite ambiguous but also someone that is charismatic while saying some very funny shit that baffles Warren. Michael Madsen is brilliant as Joe Gage as this quiet cowboy who is at the stopover on his way to his mother as it’s a very restrained yet cool performance as someone who could be very deadly. Tim Roth is amazing as Oswaldo Mobray as this British hangman who is the film’s comic relief as someone that is quite energetic but also says some funny things as he is among the group of individuals who is also very odd. Walton Goggins is incredible as Chris Mannix as the son of a marauders gang who is supposed to become a sheriff as he deals with Warren’s presence as well as admiration for General Smithers where it’s a complex performance that is part humor but also dramatic in the fact that he isn’t a smart man but a character that is fully aware that something isn’t right at all.

Samuel L. Jackson is remarkable as Major Marquis Warren as a former cavalry officer who bears the notoriety of doing a lot of killing in the Civil War as he is quite devious in what he does but also understands what is at stake where he tries to help Ruth. Kurt Russell is great as John Ruth as this notorious bounty hunter that likes to do things the hard way where also lives by old school rules as it’s a performance that has Russell be gritty but also someone that doesn’t take shit from anyone. Finally, there’s Jennifer Jason Leigh in a wild performance as Daisy Domergue as this woman who has a $10,000 bounty on her head for killing people as she is a character that is just off-the-wall in terms of the things she says and what she does where she isn’t to be trusted while being just as ruthless and devious as the men around her.

***The Following is a Description of the 70mm Roadshow Presentation***


For audiences who are going to see the film in its 167-minute general release are going to see the film in a more traditional format that is often common with today’s films. Yet, it doesn’t have exactly what Tarantino would want for the film which he shot in a format that is very different from what is often expected in cinema. For this special roadshow presentation which was a common thing for big films back in the 1950s and the 1960s, the film is given a wider scope that manages to capture every attention to detail into what Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson had captured while the sound itself is also just as big.

Sorry for the bad lighting...
For this special presentation, audiences don’t just receive a special program for the film but would also be given the chance to experience something that is rare. In this 187-minute version of the film, the film opens with an orchestral overture that lasts for about a few minutes and then the film would play. During the middle of the film comes an intermission that lasts for fifteen minutes. There’s no trailers that precedes the film that is often the case with traditional films of the day. Instead, audiences would see the film and that is it while getting a chance to take a break in between as it plays into a presentation that is rare in today’s more commercialized idea of cinema.

***End of 70mm Roadshow Presentation Tidbits***

The Hateful Eight is a tremendously visceral and exhilarating film from Quentin Tarantino. Headlined by a hell of an ensemble cast as well as gorgeous photography, grand visuals, eerie suspense, high-octane violence, and a monstrous score by Ennio Morricone. The film is truly an example of what epic cinema is and what it should be in an era where the term is misused while being a western that is very dark and filled with intrigue that is gripping to watch. In the end, The Hateful Eight is an outstanding film from Quentin Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino Films: Reservoir Dogs - Pulp Fiction - Four Room-The Man from Hollywood - Jackie Brown - Kill Bill - Grindhouse-Death Proof - Inglourious Basterds - Django Unchained

The Auteurs #17: Quentin Tarantino - Growing Up with Quentin Tarantino

© thevoid99 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Love (2015 film)



Written and directed by Gaspar Noe, Love is the story of a film student who copes with the fallout of an affair he had with another woman as well as the dissolution of a relationship he holds dear to his heart. The film is a raw exploration into the idea of love told in a fascinating style that blurs the line into the realm of pornography and art. Starring Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin, Deborah Revy, Isabelle Nicouf, and Aomi Muyock. Love is a provocative yet exhilarating film from Gaspar Noe.

The film plays into a young man who reflects on his life with a young woman he loved dearly while coping with the affair that ended their relationship as he has a child with that woman whom he’s become not fond of. It’s a film with a simple premise where this young film student named Murphy (Karl Glusman) doesn’t just deal with the life he has as a parent and husband but also the life he had before where he receives word that his former girlfriend Electra (Aomi Muyock) has disappeared. For Murphy, he doesn’t look into the life he had with Electra but also why it fell apart through a series of events.

Gaspar Noe’s script has a very offbeat narrative where its first act is about Murphy dealing with the news about Electra where he looks back at the events of their break-up but also how a simple menage-a-trois with a young woman named Omi (Klara Kristin) would be the catalyst for the end. The second act plays into life with Electra through the good and bad times while the third act would play into reasons into their dissolution but also how they met. The narrative is largely told from Murphy‘s perspective that features a lot of voice-over narration where he deals with his actions.

Noe’s direction is quite stylish in terms of the world he creates as it is shot on location in Paris. Yet, it is also restrained in terms of the compositions he creates where it doesn’t just involve some tracking shots and some long takes. Noe’s approach to framing in terms of the medium and wide shots not only play into how much Murphy and Electra love each other but also the intensity of their love. With the usage of the steadicam to follow the characters or to capture places they go to, Noe makes it very evident that these people who are in love and were willing to display that. Even as they would dabble in drugs and all sorts of things where they would also find ways to test their commitments such as attending an orgy or do other things. It is as if Noe wanted to create these places out of a sense of temptation where Murphy and Electra are willing to push themselves to see how it can fall apart.

Then there’s the film’s sexual content where it makes not qualms that it’s going for realism where the actors do have realistic sex in the film as the film opens with Murphy and Electra each giving themselves hand jobs until one of them cums. Noe obviously makes it aware that he’s blurring the lines into what is pornography and what is art. On the surface, the idea that a film like this that features oral sex, anal sex, orgies, penetration, and ejaculation would bear the hallmarks of what is pornography. Yet, since the film is a love story. The sex displays not just the intensity of Murphy and Electra’s love for each other but also in how sex can be destructive as it relates to what Murphy would do in a simple sexual act with Omi. Noe’s approach to close-ups and how he would frame Murphy behind his head to display his own faults as a man showcase someone who would cope with the mistakes he makes. Especially as it is showcases the concept of love in its simplicity and complexities as well as how crucial sex is in the world of love. Overall, Noe creates a very visceral yet dazzling film about love at its most primal.

Cinematographer Benoit Debie does incredible work with the film‘s cinematography with its array of colored lights and moods to play into the world of the clubs and some of the places the characters go to as well as some naturalistic lighting for some of the scenes as the photography is one of the film‘s highlights. Editors Gaspar Noe and Denis Bedlow do excellent work with the editing with its stylish approach to jump-cuts and blinking cuts as it play into the sense of memory and the reflective approach to the narrative. Production designer Samantha Benne and art director Virginie Verdeaux do amazing work with the set design from the look of the clubs and some of the places Murphy and Electra go to as well as the apartment Murphy lives in as it features nods to a couple of films by Noe.

Visual effects supervisor Pierre Buffin do terrific work with some of the film‘s minimal visual effects that includes some of the moments captured on 3D that would involve some of the film‘s explicit moments. Sound editor Ken Yasumoto does brilliant work with the sound for its many sound textures in the mixing and creating an atmosphere in some of the scenes set in clubs and such along with the intimate moments in the film. Music supervisor Pascal Meyer does a fantastic job with the film‘s music as he creates a very diverse collection of music that features contributions from Pink Floyd, Funkadelic, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, Death in Vegas, Coil, Brian Eno, John Frusciante, Salem, Glenn Gould, John Carpenter, Goblin, and Sebastian along with classical music pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach and Erik Satie.

The film’s superb cast includes some notable appearances from Juan Saavedra as Murphy and Electra’s drug dealer friend Julio, Isabelle Nicouf as Electra’s mother Nora, Ugo Fox as Murphy’s son Gaspar, Deborah Revy as an actress named Paula that Murphy meets at a party, and Gaspar Noe as an art gallery owner Electra used to be with. Klara Kristin is wonderful as Murphy’s wife Omi as the woman he would impregnate as she starts off as this young student that Murphy and Electra have an interest with only to become a woman that is unhappy married to Murphy. Aomi Muyock is radiant as Electra as this young art student who falls for Murphy while being someone that’s been in and out of love with men as she ponders if Murphy can be faithful while questioning her own commitment. Finally, there’s Karl Glusman in a remarkable performance as Murphy as this film student who is in love with Electra as he tries to hold on to her only to find ways to fuck it up as he later deals with the consequences of his own actions and copes with the life he has now.

Love is a phenomenal film from Gaspar Noe. Featuring a fantastic cast, gorgeous visuals, a mesmerizing premise, and a rapturous soundtrack. It’s a film that’s not afraid to be very visceral into the raw and primal nature that is love in many of its complexities. Especially as it isn’t afraid to be very explicit in its sexual content without the need to tease or sugarcoat it. In the end, Love is a spectacular film from Gaspar Noe.

Gaspar Noe Films: Carne - I Stand Alone - Irreversible - Enter the Void - The Auteurs #48: Gaspar Noe

© thevoid99 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blog News 12/22/15: Blog Plans for 2016



2015 is coming to an end as the time has come into what should happen for the next year. 2016 won't be as big as 2015 as it means that I'm kind of scaling things back a bit as I've done numerous projects in 2015 as some of it is unfinished such as the Twin Peaks marathon as well as a review on The Story of Film series. I'm definitely having those finished for 2016 and just get them out of the way. After that, no more marathons with the exception of the annual Cannes Film Festival marathon. 2016 will mean that I'm going to slow things down a bit and not having to push myself to do something.

Having done an essay of sorts on Quentin Tarantino definitely has me thinking about reviving the Favorite Film Essay series as I have a few ideas of what films I might write about. I'm not sure if it will return but it is up in the air so it might return after a long hiatus. As for my music and wrestling blogs, the former might come back due to the upcoming releases of acts like Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, and M83 as well as the Cure comping back on the road for a U.S. tour in 2016. The latter however I would say is dead because I've lost interest in wrestling thanks in part to WWE's bullshit brand of sports entertainment.

Having just fulfilled my 2015 Blind Spot obligations as I'm going to get ready for the 2016 Blind Spot Series. It is clear that there's a bunch of films I want to see as I have a lot of them in my DVR so I made a list of films that is in my DVR that I'm definitely going to see. There is also a list of 50 films that hope to see for next year in the hopes I want to do. Some of the choices are made are based on the most recent edition of 1001 Movies to See Before You Die list as here is what I hope to do for 2016:

  • Do more films of the French New Wave as well as complete the films of Jean-Luc Godard from the New Wave Period as well as the Six Moral Tales of Eric Rohmer.
  • More films in the genre of horror from the classic Universal Studio films to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Find and watch films from established New Hollywood filmmakers like Robert Altman and Brian de Palma as well as films from the late 60s and early 70s that would be part of that new movement.
  • More films by women filmmakers like Chantal Akerman, Lina Wertmuller, Kelly Reichardt, and Lucrecia Martel.
  • Films by the old-school filmmakers like John Ford, Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, and Otto Preminger in order to get a broader view of the world of cinema.

Now that I've profiled 50 filmmakers as my piece on David Lynch is finished but currently in the editing stage for a possible January release. The time has come to make the announcement on the next batch of filmmakers in the series. This time around, I've decided not to get into anymore big filmmakers having done a four-part piece on Lynch. Still, there are names that are important to the world of cinema as it's diverse but also filled with films that are considered some of the best. Here are the 12 filmmakers that I'm going to profile for the Auteurs series for 2016:

January-Alejandro Amenabar


February-Steve McQueen


March-Terry Zwigoff


April-Spike Jonze


May-Rahmin Bahrani


June-Bob Fosse


July-Richard Linklater


August-Jeff Nichols


September-Alejandro Jodorowsky


October-John Carpenter


November-David Fincher


December-Sam Peckinpah


Here is a list of the films by these filmmakers I'm going to watch for the year as two of them are likely to be two-part series considering their importance to the world of films. That is pretty much what is ahead as I'm just hoping for a good year in 2016.

© thevoid99 2015