Saturday, September 30, 2023

Films That I Saw: September 2023


The fall season has arrived which usually means (hopefully) cooler weather as well as a lot of other things such as American football season including college football. Yet, I’m more concerned with what is happening in baseball as the Atlanta Braves just won another division title while remaining the best team in Major League Baseball as the playoffs are about to happen yet I’m trying not to jinx anything. Even as the Braves have been breaking records and dominating all year though I’m also aware that the Oakland A’s have completely fallen apart as they’ve lost more than 100 games this year as they’re set to finish dead last. A sad way to end a year that has seen a lot of drama for a team that is about to move to Las Vegas despite the protest of their fans.

The WAG-SAG strike is coming to an end for the Writer’s Guild though the Screen Actors Guild is still on strike though it looks like it might end soon as a deal is being made. Yet, the strike has sadly caused several shows to be cancelled while there are those like Bill Maher who tried to re-start his own show without writers as an act of defiance though it only proves that he’s a fucking asshole with outdated views and guests who have nothing interesting to say about anything. While Drew Barrymore tried to do the same in order to pay her staff, she at least apologized for trying to get her show back on the air though I think her intentions were honorable though she should’ve not have done anything in order to support her writers and her fellow actors.

While there’s a lot happening in the world, professional wrestling is often a place where I can escape from the realities of the world although sometimes things get too real. Last August should’ve been a historical and triumphant moment for All Elite Wrestling as they were able to put their first show in London at Wembley Stadium for AEW All In where they did break a paid attendance record though only 72,265 people attended the event due to the turnstile numbers recorded. Still, it was a success for the company but not without controversy due to the backstage fight between CM Punk and Jack Perry as more was revealed where it is clear that Punk had absolutely lost it. The incident happened after Perry’s match with Hook for the pre-show and just before Punk was to face Samoa Joe to open the main show. Perry never threw a punch as it was Punk who was getting physical to the point that he was putting others in danger including his boss Tony Khan as TV monitors were falling around him. Punk also went after Khan as Joe was the one mediating everything and after their match (which Joe should’ve won) is when things just unraveled. Perry is currently suspended for his comments at the show while there was no word about to what to do with Punk.

Then on September 2, 2023 before AEW Collision was to air and Punk was supposed to face Ricky Starks at All Out the next day. Tony Khan made the decision to fire Punk just one year after the incident following the media scrum at the previous All Out event as Khan made the right decision. As a now former fan of CM Punk, I’m glad Khan made the decision as I should’ve known that things weren’t going to work out the day Punk made his return this past June at the first episode of Collision where he mentioned David Zaslav’s name. That should’ve been a red flag as Zaslav is already disliked by many people in the entertainment industry. Plus, the fact that Punk was the one sort of running things in Collision only made things worse as he banned the company’s head of talent relations in Christopher Daniels all because he is close to the Elite whom Punk had gotten into a fight with the year before after the 2022 All Out media scrum. Then there was Ryan Nemeth, who is also friends with the Elite, as he made a tweet about Punk being the softest person in the room and Punk got confrontational with him and banned him from Collision.

It is things like this that makes you wonder what Khan is doing as his greatest flaw as a boss is that he likes to be friends with everyone and you can’t do that to run a business. The Elite were considering about meeting Punk to sort things out because of these little things that were happening before All In made them not wanting to do business with him and I don’t blame them. Especially what would happen later as nearly everyone behind the scenes wanted Punk gone as Khan made the decision to not only fire Punk but also his longtime friend Ace Steel who had been a producer for Punk via zoom due to the fact that he had gotten physical with the Elite including biting Kenny Omega’s arm at the post-All Out media scrum. Now that Punk is gone, AEW still has a lot to figure out in terms of their booking as they’ve gotten some criticism for playing it safe though they should be grateful for at least having Bryan Danielson around as he would take Punk’s place for the strap match with Ricky Starks as many see him as a leader. Even as Danielson has made the announcement that he might retire as a full-time wrestler sometime next year to spend more time with his family.

With WWE having just finalized their merger with Endeavor as part of this new thing in TKO and releasing several people due to budget cuts including wrestlers such as Mustafa Ali and Dolph Ziggler (real name Nick Nemeth). It is a shame that many people are out of the job but thankfully there’s opportunities that these performers could take. Even in the independent wrestling scene where former WWE star Matt Cardona (previously known as Zack Ryder) has become this mega star in the indies winning many titles including the New York City-based House of Glory promotion as its top champion. Cardona expressed some words of wisdom for those who have been released about what to do with this next stage of their careers though many of them have to wait in 90 days due to a no-compete clause in their contracts. There’s AEW, Ring of Honor, Impact, GCW, and many other promotions in North America they can go to. Ziggler and Ali could find a home in AEW due to the fact that they have friends and family who work there while others could find a new home somewhere else.
In the month of September 2023, I saw a total of 28 films in 13 first-timers and 15 re-watches with 8 of those first-timers being films directed/co-directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge which I have surpassed with 54 films so far as I think it’s been a pretty good month. A highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot film in India Song. Here is the top 10 first-timers that I saw for September 2023:

1. Air
2. Under the Sun of Satan
3. Showing Up
4. Stane
5. I Thought the World of You
6. Outer Space
7. Groot’s Sweet Treat
8. Groot’s Snow Day
9. Groot and the Great Prophecy
10. Are You My Groot?
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching


The newest entry in Miu Miu short film anthology series known as Women’s Tales is from Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic as it follows a Croatian-American woman who is about to become the head of a Croatian church that is to be built near New York City as she deals with a lot of personal chaos in her life as well as the men trying to maintain some control into her own fate. Starring Danica Curcic, the short is a strong one as it plays into this woman who is also protective of her son due to the fact that her husband has been cheating on her while her father is also trying to maintain control as she just couldn’t take it anymore.

I Thought the World of You
The second of four shorts I watched on MUBI as this experimental short by Kurt Walker revolves around a young man who rediscovers this album from the 1980s that was lost in obscurity as it was created by someone who would put a lot of work into this record. It is largely a silent film yet it is filled with wondrous imagery as it is worth seeking out.

Outer Space
Peter Tscherkassky has been a filmmaker that I discovered through MUBI as he has made these strange yet incredible short films that definitely break the rules of what films could be. This short he made in 1999 where he takes footage from Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity starring Barbara Hershey and completely butchers it to the point that it becomes this weird sci-fi film with collages and distorted imagery as it’s just a phenomenal watch.

Radical Hardcore
This short that I saw on MUBI by Thomas Hardiman that stars Natalie Gavin and Shahid Ahmed revolves around a woman who goes to a carpet store where she falls for a clerk while trying to the perfect carpet. The plot is simple yet it is largely dominated by this electronic music that is all over the place as it makes the film offbeat as it’s worth watching.

I Am Groot (season 2)
The second season of the MCU short film series has definitely been a joy to watch as my nephew Mateo got to watch a few of them and really liked them. The first episode revolved around Groot finding a bird and taking care of it while the second episode has Groot gaining a nose where he discovers the concept of smelling as it is a funny one though the weakest one of the season. The episode of Groot in the snow is hilarious as it’s just Groot creating a snow man and things go wrong but the best episode of the season is the fourth one involving Groot seeing an ice cream spaceship and trying to find money to get the ice cream as this was the episode that Mateo loved. He laughed so much over it. The fifth and final episode features a guest voice appearance from Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher who narrates the episode as it plays into a prophecy that Groot ruined. This is something that both kids and adults can watch and just have a laugh.

Ahsoka (season 1 episodes 4-7)
The one major complaint about the series early on is how short the episodes are as things do pick up in the fourth episode of the season yet it is the fifth one that isn’t just the best episode of the season and series so far but it is up there with some of the great moments Disney and Lucasfilms have created with their TV series. It’s an episode that features Hayden Christensen returning as Anakin Skywalker and man, he delivers as he is able to provide a more restrained approach to the character and it works while having Ariana Greenblatt playing the young Ahsoka in a flashback scene of sorts also worked. It is a show filled with suspense and action while its sixth episode brought in the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn as Lars Mikkelsen completely embodies all of the gravitas of that character while also making Thrawn one of the most cunning and insightful antagonists on this show. There is one episode left as the long-awaited reunion between Sabine and Ezra Bridger finally happened as let’s hope it brings in an awesome ending and hopefully a second season.

Wrestling Match of the Month: Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs – AEW All Out – 9/2/23

AEW All Out ended up being an incredible event despite the lack of build as well as major changes being made in the coming days due to CM Punk’s termination from the company. Yet, the show had incredible matches that included Jon Moxley challenging Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship as its main event plus Bryan Danielson and Ricky Starks having what many consider to be one of the best strap matches ever as it was violence galore. The show also had Konosuke Takeshita beating Kenny Omega as it would put him on another level yet the match that stole the show was a hoss fight between two big men in Miro and Powerhouse Hobbs. Great wrestling matches often involve telling a story or some kind of technical wizardry but not this match as this was two big guys beating the shit out of each other. What made the match even more special were the fans chanting for “meat”. Stuff like “meat forever” and “holy meat” whenever the two men hit each other. It added the entertainment value of the match with a post-match event in which Miro’s real-life wife in C.J. Parker (formerly known as Lana in WWE) making her debut to help her husband. After all, like what Big E says...
Top 10 Re-Watches (that isn’t Lost in Translation)

1. Ms. Marvel
2. The Big Sick
3. Frozen
4. Young and Beautiful
5. Mulan
6. For the Birds
7. The Lover
8. Raw Justice
9. Point of Impact
10. Sensation
Well, that is all for September. Next month will be devoted largely to horror, suspense, and other weird shit in celebration to Halloween as well as the new shorts from Wes Anderson. As for theatrical releases, I hope to see Priscilla and whatever big is coming out in the month while my Blind Spot for October is definitely going to be Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Before I leave, I want to express my condolences of those that passed away this month in Dianne Feinstein, Sir Michael Gambon, pro wrestler Joyce Grable, the Sycamore Gap Tree, Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles, David McCallum, Terry Kirkman of the Association, Katherine Anderson of the Marvelettes, Phil Sellers of the Detroit Pistons, actor Byun Hee-bong, pro wrestler/promoter Emelie Dupree, Billy Miller of the Young and the Restless, actor Michael McGrath, pro wrestler Brett Sawyer, actor John Cairney, Atlanta movie theater owner George Lefont, pro wrestler Adnan Al-Kaissie aka General Adnan, American football coach Paul Roach, Gary Wright, and Mr. Jimmy Buffett. We will miss you all. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2023

Sunday, September 24, 2023

2023 Blind Spot Series: India Song


Written and directed by Marguerite Duras that is based on her unproduced play and the novel Le Vice-Consul, India Song is the story of a promiscuous wife of a French ambassador in 1930s India as she deals with its lack of emotional fulfillment as well as the appearance of an old lover. The film is an exploration of a woman’s unhappy life as she deals with the presence of a former lover as well as the chaos surrounding around her. Starring Delphine Seyrig, Michael Lonsdale, Matheiu Carriere, Claude Mann, Vernon Dobtcheff, Didier Flamand, and Claude Juan. India Song is a majestic yet unconventional film from Marguerite Duras.

Set in late 1930s Calcutta at the French embassy, the film follows the wife of a French ambassador as she goes through boredom as she surrounded by different lovers at the embassy while also dealing with the arrival of a former lover. It is a film that plays into the life of this woman who feels trapped by her surroundings as well as the voices that loom throughout the house as she juggles her many affairs as well as shielding herself from the outside world including India. Marguerite Duras’ screenplay is largely minimalist as much of the film is told through voice-over monologues and dialogues that would dominate the film as it play into the emotions of the characters that spend a lot of time at the embassy and its grounds. They also deal with the voices from outside of the embassy such as an old beggar woman where much of the time has these people having small parties and such as well as walking in the grounds at the embassy.

Duras’ direction is stylish for not just her unconventional approach to voiceovers but also in the fact that much of the film for its first two acts is set inside this house and the grounds outside of the home. Shot on location at the Chateau Rothschild in Boulogne, France with areas outside of the chateau include the Grand Trianon at Versailles and two interior shots at apartments in Paris. Duras does use the location as this world that is ever-changing with an abandoned tennis court, a pond, and other places as if it’s going into ruins as well as not being tended to due to the lack of interest of those living at the embassy. The sense of ennui that looms throughout the film including its main protagonist in Anne-Marie Stretter (Delphine Seyrig) as she wanders around the house either in a lavish dress or in a robe. Even as there’s a shot where she and two of her lovers are lying on the floor sleeping with her right breast exposed from her robe as her former lover in the Vice-Consul of Lahore (Michael Lonsdale) watches from afar.

Duras’ direction also has these unique compositions while there are very little close-ups she uses in favor of these striking compositions in the medium and wide shots of the rooms an exteriors of the embassy. Even as the way Duras would have the actors appear in a shot and at a certain place in the frame as there’s an intricacy and attention to detail she would put into these shots. Even as it plays into this sense of disconnect with what is happening outside of the embassy where they spend much of the time at the embassy with voices playing to what is happening outside of the world as it relates to the idea of colonialism and France’s decline in that world. The film’s third act has a moment where all of the characters take a break from being in the embassy to go to a hotel to eat lunch where everyone is wearing some form of white with the exception of one character who is wearing the same clothes throughout the entirety of the film. It all plays into this sense of reality that everyone is dealing with as well as Stetter who becomes aware that her time in India within the home that she’s been living is running out. Overall, Duras crafts a haunting yet ravishing film about an ambassador’s wife growing sense of ennui at the French embassy in late 1930s Calcutta.

Cinematographer Bruno Nuytten does brilliant work with the photography as it largely emphasizes on low-key lighting and other stylish lighting for many of the scenes in and out of the embassy as it plays into this sense of artificiality these people are living in while the third act would showcase elements of natural lighting for some of its exteriors. Editor Solange Leprince does excellent work with the editing as it is largely straightforward by allowing shots to linger for more than a few minutes while the editing would be more abrupt in a few places for dramatic effect. The sound work of Antoine Bonfanti and Michel Vionnet is incredible for the mixing of the voice overs and the music as well as playing into this haunting atmosphere into the home that these characters are in. The film’s music by Carlos d’Alessio is wonderful for its low-key orchestral score while much of its music soundtrack features a lot of the music that was prevalent during those times.

The film’s superb ensemble cast as it features an array of voice actors including Marguerite Duras providing voices that would be prevalent during the film while other small roles include Claude Juan as the domestic who works at the embassy, Didier Flamand a young guest whom Stretter takes a liking to, and Vernon Dobtcheff as a government official in Georges Crawn who is also another lover of Stretter. Claude Mann and Matheiu Carriere are excellent in their respective roles as the official Michael Richardson and the embassy’s young attaché` as two of Stretter’s lovers with the former being a married official who could help her socially while the latter is someone who also spends time with Stretter and keep her attention at bay.

Michael Lonsdale is brilliant as the Vice-Consul of Lahore as a former lover of Stretter who had been exiled to India following an incident as he is someone eager to resume their old affair while being anguished over their break-up many years ago. Finally, there’s Delphine Seyrig in a phenomenal performance as Anne-Marie Stettler as the wife of India’s French ambassador as a woman who has many lovers but has become bored by her lifestyle while dealing with a world that is becoming chaotic. Even as she becomes unfulfilled by her many affairs while is clinging on to this lifestyle that is disconnected from the world including France’s own decline in their colonial powers as it is one of Seyrig’s finest performances.

India Song is an incredible film from Marguerite Duras that features a radiant leading performance from Delphine Seyrig. Along with its supporting cast, rapturous visuals, eerie sound design, and an exploration of a lifestyle that has gone past its due date during a tumultuous time in India and the rest of the world. It is a film that isn’t easy to watch in terms of its unconventional presentation yet it is rewarding for showcasing a woman and the world she couldn’t break away from. In the end, India Song is a sensational film from Marguerite Duras.

Marguerite Duras Films: (La Musica) – (Destroy, She Said) – (Jaune le soleil) – (Nathalie Granger) – (La Femme du Gange) – (Her Venetian Name in Deserted Calcutta) – (Entire Days in the Trees) – (The Lorry) – (Baxter, Vera Baxter) – (Les Mains negatives) – (Cesaree) – (Le Navire Night) – (Aurelia Steiner (Melbourne)) – (Aurelia Steiner (Vancouver)) – (Agatha et les lectures illimitees) – (L’Homme atlanique) – (Il dialogo di Roma) – (Les Enfants (1985 film))

© thevoid99 2023

Thursday, September 21, 2023

10 Things I Want to See in a Criterion UHD 4K Blu-Ray for Lost in Translation


Every September 21st (with the exception of the 2020 pandemic that temporarily destroyed any sense of time) which is Bill Murray’s birthday, I watch what I consider to be the greatest film of all time in Lost in Translation as I have written a lot about the film including an essay and a list of 10 reasons why I think it’s the best film ever made. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, I was hoping to do a massive project devoted to the film that would uncover some of its mysteries and other things about the film. Unfortunately, an essay that I was writing that was meant to be an introduction to this project didn’t meet to my expectations. Plus, I was hoping to do a lot of things on a visual level but I have no clue on any of those things I don’t know how to create backgrounds for a blog or anything to save my life. I also was hoping to present some visual stills from the film but I feel like my DVD copy isn’t good enough even though I did get the Blu-Ray recently but I feel like it’s not enough.

There is still this feeling that I want to do to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary just as Sofia Coppola has premiered her eighth feature film in Priscilla at this year’s Venice Film Festival to an excellent reception that won its star Cailee Spaeny the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. Of course the film can be seen in various streaming services though there are those who still prefer to have a physical copy of the film despite the fact that its Blu-Ray release from 2010 could do so much more. Even as there’s companies like Arrow and Kino that puts out amazing Blu-Ray releases with lots of extras and such for fans to get. Yet, I feel like Lost in Translation deserves more than that as its original DVD does have extras that are still worth watching. However, there’s more that a solid Blu-Ray release can do for that film and while Kino is set to release a 4K Blu-Ray release for the film sometime this year. It is probably best that a film like this should be given a release from the Criterion Collection.

The Criterion Collection has a library of amazing films (and a few duds) with its dedication to classic foreign films, American cinema of the past, silent films, cult movies, and anything else. While Arrow has done the same though it leans more towards some mainstream titles and notable cult classics. Criterion is the top place for home video releases as they do great work with not just the films they release but also in some of the extras and essays they put into their releases. Some which have been upgraded to 4K ultra-high definition format as one of those films that was released is Coppola’s 1999 feature film debut in The Virgin Suicides which came out in that format last year following a DVD/Blu-Ray release from Criterion four years earlier. Fans of Coppola probably would’ve expected the same for Lost in Translation yet nothing hasn’t been confirmed for this year.

Yet, let’s say there is a future Criterion release for the film that is to come out and what would fans of the film want. Well, here are ten things I want from a Criterion release for Lost in Translation:

1. A Newly Remastered 4K UHD version supervised by Sofia Coppola in Collaboration with cinematographer Lance Acord, film editor Sarah Flack, and sound designer Richard Beggs.
When the film was released in the U.S. on Region 1 DVD on February 3, 2004 at the time when the film was still in theaters after Oscar nominations were announced. It would be a film that was popular in rental and for purchase as the DVD was still sort of new since its emergence in the late 1990s. The DVD release was a popular release as it sold well and helped bring more money to the film as the DVD was a big thing at the time. Then in 2007 came the short-lived HD-DVD and three years on December 7, 2010 is the Blu-Ray release as home video technology would evolve and such with some filmmakers being involved with these releases to ensure that their films are given the best presentation for home video.

In June of this year, Kino announced a release for a new 4K release for an Ultra HD Blu-Ray release for the film set sometime late in 2023 yet there hasn’t been any word if this release has any involvement from Sofia Coppola. If it was to be released from the Criterion Collection, there would be a mention into the involvement on who supervised the new transfer as many films under these new 4K digital transfers often involved the filmmakers or those were associated with that filmmaker. Coppola has had involvement with Criterion for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Virgin Suicides when it was released in 2018 under the supervision of the film’s cinematographer Ed Lachman that was approved by Coppola herself as she also took part in some of the special features in its release including the most recent 4K UHD-Blu-Ray last year.

Now there are a lot of technical things that need to be involved in a 4K digital transfer for a film that was shot on 35mm as it wouldn’t just need to have Coppola’s involvement but also the involvement of cinematographer Lance Acord as well as film editor Sarah Flack who both played a key role in the film. There’s also the sound as longtime Coppola collaborator in sound designer Richard Beggs would also play a major role for the film’s sound as a Blu-Ray/UHD-Blu-Ray release would present the film in an uncompressed soundtrack that would do more for the film from an audio perspective. A casual consumer might not care for these things but for anyone that loves this film will want a lot to expect to recapture something close to what they might’ve seen when the film was released in theaters in the fall of 2003.

2. Retaining the Original Special Features from its 2004 DVD Release.
One of the key aspects of the film’s 2004 DVD release that made it so special were its special features as they’re something fans of the film wanted when it first came out. Among those features include a music video for the song City Girl by Kevin Shields that was directed by Coppola as well as a making-of documentary, a 10-minute conversation with Coppola and Bill Murray on the set of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, five deleted scenes cut from the film, and the full version of Bob Harris’ appearance on Matthew’s Best Hit TV Show. The only special features that was added to the 2010 Blu-Ray was a trailer for Coppola’s 2010 film Somewhere and a promotion for the film where Coppola, cast, and crew members talk about the film (as it was an unnecessary extra).

With the exception of promotional stuff relating to Somewhere, many of the features of the original DVD release should be included as part of the release in a newly-remastered form as it will allow fans have something as they can watch these special features on their big TVs and such.

3. New Interviews with Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson.
For years ever since the inception of DVDs and the extra material involved with the film, one of those extra features would be the audio commentary as it is a fun viewing experience to hear a filmmaker talk about the film with the cast or crew members. Yet, Sofia Coppola is among those that has no interest in doing audio commentaries as she prefers to do interviews and not reveal too much about her work. A new interview with her on the film and its legacy would be a nice addition to the many interviews she had done about the film while it would allow her to close the book on a key chapter in her life.

Then there’s film’s lead actors in Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as getting the two to do new interviews would be a challenge. Notably as Murray is often elusive and doesn’t do a lot of interviews as well as the fact that he’s a target in the world of cancel culture due to his behaviors in the past which is just fucking stupid. Murray’s involvement would likely happen if he’s asked by Coppola as the two have collaborated on two other projects directed by Coppola. Then there’s Johansson who is currently one of the biggest film stars as of 2023 as the film was a major career breakthrough for her. An interview with is iffy due to her schedule and such though she is willing to discuss the film and her role while questions about why she and Coppola hadn’t collaborated since might be a question she and Coppola won’t answer. 4. A Perspective from the Japanese and Asian on the Film and its Polarizing Response.
Since the film was set in Tokyo and areas in Japan, the film had gained criticism from Asian audiences and film critics over the way people are depicted in Japan. While Coppola has maintained that her intentions wasn’t to insult the Japanese or Asians in general. A documentary about the response in Japan and why the film has garnered mixed reactions in the country is something that is needed where a balanced perspective of where Asians are coming from on their critique on the film but also a perspective on those who think the film isn’t trying to be insulting to the Japanese. It would be something that modern audiences will need without deviating into this realm of cancel culture which has unfortunately done a lot of damage in making people accept the ideas of what is entertainment and such.

5. New Interviews with Music Supervisor Brian Reitzell and Score Composer Kevin Shields on the Film’s Music.
The film’s music soundtrack was a key factor to the film’s success yet the film did the unthinkable in obtaining the services of My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields in creating new and original music since the release of the band’s 1991 landmark album Loveless. With Shields being more available in recent years to do interviews, him having to talk about the soundtrack and what took him so long to create new music. Brian Reitzell should also be interviewed not just cultivating the soundtrack but also playing a key role in the music with Roger Joseph Manning as they also go into depth about the film’s soundtrack including the karaoke scene in the film.

6. New Art Work for the Blu-Ray release.
Criterion isn’t just regarded into the work they put into the Blu-Rays as far as extra features and the overall presentation but it is also in the packaging of these Blu-Rays. Criterion is lauded for their art work in not just the front and back covers but also in the booklets as they do a lot in creating packaging that is suitable for the film. Fortunately, there’s fans that have created ideas of what a Criterion packaging for the film should look like instead of just a bland recreation of the film’s poster as its DVD/Blu-Ray cover. It should look like the film itself as well as maintain a color scheme that is faithful to the film.

7. Anatomy of a Scene on the Commercial Shoot & the Mysterious Dialogue in the Film’s Finale.
The film is notable for 2 key scenes in the film as it adds a lot of intrigue for the film. The first is the commercial shoot where a director is talking to Bob Harris in Japanese as to American/Western audiences. They have very little clue in what this man is saying as the translator is telling Harris “with intensity” though Harris is aware that he’s saying a lot more. It was a scene presented without subtitles as it should get some insight into why Coppola chooses to shoot that whole scene without subtitles as it would then be re-presented with the subtitles. Then there’s the film’s ending as it relates to mysterious words that Bob whispered to Charlotte before he leaves to return to the U.S. as it is one of the great mysterious events in the film. Some insight from Coppola, Murray, and Johansson could divulge into what was said but it’s probably best if it remains a mystery.

8. A Documentary on the Film’s Famous Locations back in 2002.
Tokyo is a major character in the film as the many locations that Coppola picked out in the film are unique including the Hyatt Hilton Hotel that the characters were staying in. Tokyo is a city with some notable landmarks including the Shibuya walkway in the middle of the city as a documentary on some of these locations should be noted including the restaurants Bob and Charlotte went to as well as the key location in Kyoto where Charlotte made a visit there. It’s something that hardcore fans of the film should want if they ever decide to travel to Tokyo and Kyoto in the hope of seeing the places of their favorite film.

9. A Documentary on the Film’s Promotional Trip from Telluride to the Oscars.
The film’s theatrical journey from its premiere at Telluride in late August of 2003 that was followed by its screening at the Venice Film Festival that year where the film won two awards for Coppola and Johansson. It would be a documentary that should consist largely of archival footage and interviews from that time and the buzz it got into the Oscars.

10. Essays on the film from various film scholars (myself for consideration) and filmmakers.
One of the great things about Criterion are the booklets as they often have essays that are fascinating to read along with interviews and such from other publications. It is a film that has gained a lot of acclaim and love from a lot of people including filmmakers and film scholars. It’s not just film scholars and critics that have something but also various film bloggers including myself as I have written a lot about the film. I would also include an excerpt from Hannah Strong’s book on Sofia Coppola that was released last year as she had some great things to say about the film.

It’s been 20 years since the film has come out and it’s high time for a proper UHD 4K Blu-Ray release from Criterion. Hopefully, it would set the way for more films from Sofia Coppola to be released from Criterion as it is a great home video label. Until then…
Related: Lost in Translation - Lost in Translation OST - Favorite Films #1: Lost in Translation - 10 Reasons Why Lost in Translation is the Best Film Ever...

© thevoid99 2023

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Air (2023 film)


Directed and co-starring Ben Affleck and written by Alex Convery, Air is the story about the origin of the Air Jordan shoe line by Nike and how an employee from Nike makes a discovery about the then-unknown Michael Jordan and to build a shoe line around him. The film is about the creation of a shoe line that wouldn’t just save Nike from shutting down but create something that would play a key role in the world of popular culture. Also starring Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan. Air is a riveting and exhilarating film from Ben Affleck.

Set in 1984, the film follows talent scout Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) who works for Nike’s basketball division as it is on the verge of shutting down due to low sales where he decides to bet on an idea in the hope of saving the division by building a shoe line for a future NBA prospect in Michael Jordan. It is a film that is about the creation of the Air Jordan shoe line and its origins as well as the impact it would have on Nike at a time when they were falling behind other competitive rivals in Converse and Adidas as Nike’s CEO Phil Knight (Ben Affleck) was forced to lay off people ever since the company has gone public. The film’s screenplay by Alex Convery, with un-credited contributions from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, is largely straightforward in its narrative as it follows Vaccaro who is tasked by Knight and marketing VP Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) to come up with a new spokesperson for Nike’s basketball shoes with a limited $250,000 budget. Yet, the choices he is given aren’t impressive with the exception of Charles Barkley while trying to nab Michael Jordan is impossible as he has already expressed interests from both Converse and Adidas who are preparing to make their offers.

While re-watching the 1982 NCAA championship where Jordan scored the winning shot, Vaccaro makes a discovery about that winning shot while also watching a commercial that Arthur Ashe did for Head tennis rackets as he came up with an idea that he knows is a major risk since he knows Jordan has no interest in Nike. After a dinner with George Raveling who coached Jordan for the 1984 Olympics, Vaccaro makes the decision to visit the Jordans at their home in Wilmington, North Carolina against the advice of Knight, Strasser, and Jordan’s agent David Falk who doesn’t like Vaccaro. Yet, Vaccaro’s meeting with Deloris Jordan about what he wants to do for her son has her intrigued as well as influence her about her upcoming meetings with Converse and Adidas. Vaccaro’s determination would win over Strasser as well as another VP in Howard White (Chris Tucker) and shoe designer Peter Moore (Matthew Maher) as they realize what they have to do to stand out against their competitors despite a rule by the NBA about shoes. Even as Nike knows they have a lot against them as well as trying to convince Jordan to sign with Nike where they would make a move that would prove to be groundbreaking.

Affleck’s direction is definitely stylish as it is shot in areas around Los Angeles but also places in Oregon including its headquarters at Beaverton, Oregon to create a world set during a fruitful period in time as basketball was about to reach newfound popularity in the NBA due to the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. While there are some wide shots to establish some of the locations including the look of the basketball division floor at the Nike headquarters. Affleck maintains an intimacy into the direction with its usage of close-ups and medium shots as well as some unique tracking shots with the usage of the Steadicam to get a look at the entire basketball division floor as it would show people at work as it feels more like a place where everyone is enjoying themselves despite the fact that they might lose their jobs. Affleck also plays up to a certain look and feel of the times that is the 1980s as it does evoke some nostalgia but it also plays into a world that is changing with American basketball becoming big business as Nike struggles to keep up with their competitors.

A key aspect in Affleck’s direction that is very notable relates to Michael Jordan (Damian Young) as his face is never shown throughout the film while he rarely speaks as Affleck focuses more on the people at Nike as well as Jordan’s parents as they play a major role in his ascent. The conversation between Vaccaro and Deloris Jordan at the latter’s backyard is a key conversation where Vaccaro reveals certain small details about her upcoming meetings with the people at Converse and Adidas as the meetings would reveal what Deloris sees in those small details but also in questions she needed to ask. The meeting between the Jordans and Nike is a key moment that begins the film’s third act as it relates to what Nike wants for Jordan where Vaccaro talks to Michael about his future and what he will face as it raises a lot into the decisions they would make. A decision that Deloris Jordan would make that isn’t just game-changing but also would give Vaccaro a wider view on the future of sports. Overall, Affleck crafts a riveting and evocative film about a Nike talent scout who takes a big risk in nabbing a future icon to be the face of a new shoe line made exclusively for him.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson does brilliant work with the film’s cinematography with its low-key yet colorful look to play into the look of the 1980s with its emphasis on low-level lighting as well as maintaining some grainy colors for some of the daytime exteriors as it is a highlight of the film. Editor William Goldenberg does excellent work with the editing as it has some stylish montage-style cutting but also some straightforward cutting to play into the drama and some of the comedic moments in the film. Production designer Francois Audouy, along with supervising art director A. Todd Holland plus set decorators David Smith and Henry Somarriba, does amazing work with the look of the Nike building interiors including Knight’s office as well as the exterior of the Jordan family home. Costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones does fantastic work as it plays into the style of the 80s clothing including some of the Nike tracksuits that Knight wears as cheesy as it looks.

Hair stylist Jessica Allen and makeup artist Kerrin Jackson does nice work with the look of the characters with Knight being the most notable with his hairdo as well as the look of Deloris Jordan. Special effects supervisor Mark R. Byers and visual effects supervisor Hansjeet Duggal do terrific work with the visual effects as it plays into some of the TV footage as well as some set-dressing for some of the exterior shots. Sound editor Susan Dawes, plus sound designers Ai-Ling Lee and Tobias Poppe, does superb work with the sound as it play into the atmosphere of the offices and phone calls as well as the sounds of cars and such to play into the atmosphere of the 1980s.

Music supervisor Andrea von Forester does incredible work with the film’s soundtrack in cultivating a slew of music from late 1970s/early 1980s that include music from Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, Run-DMC, Violent Femmes, Mike + the Mechanics, Dan Hartman, the Alan Parsons Project, the Clash, Cyndi Lauper, Harold Faltemeyer, His Name is Alive, Tangerine Dream with additional score music by Paul Haslinger from the group, Squeeze, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Night Ranger, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Big Country, George Clinton, Grandmaster Flash with Melle Mel and the Furious 5, the Dazz Band, Miami Nights 1984, Chris Boardman, Zapp, Pino Donaggio, Thomas Newman, Alexandre Desplat, Andy Partridge and Harold Budd, Mark Isham, and Be Chi. It is a soundtrack that is filled with a lot of the music from that time and it is such a fun soundtrack to listen to.

The casting by Lindsay Graham and Mary Vernieu does wonderful work with the film’s ensemble cast as it feature some notable small roles from Jessica Green as Knight’s secretary Katrina Sainz, Asante Deshon as a 711 clerk that Vaccaro chats with often about basketball, Jay Mohr as the American Adidas executive John Fisher, Gustav Skarsgard and Barbara Sukowa as the Adidas sibling executives in Kathe and Horst Dassler, Julius Tennon as James R. Jordan Sr. and Damian Young as Michael Jordan. Matthew Maher is terrific as shoe designer Peter Moore as an eccentric man who is going through a mid-life crisis as he also figures out the kind of shoe that would be marketable but also be something beautiful. Marlon Wayans is fantastic as George Raveling as Jordan’s coach during the Olympics who converses with Vaccaro about Jordan but also reveals to have owned something historical as he gives Vaccaro some words of wisdom in approaching the Jordans.

Chris Messina is excellent as Jordan’s agent David Falk who came up with the name Air Jordan as someone who is quite volatile towards Vaccaro while trying to do everything in the best interest of the Jordans. Chris Tucker is brilliant as Howard White as a Nike executive who is reluctant to get Jordan due to the fact that Jordan doesn’t like Nike’s products as well as understanding the culture though he is won over by Vaccaro’s determination. Jason Bateman is amazing as marketing VP Rob Strasser as a man who is often baffled and frustrated by Vaccaro yet is won over as he realizes there’s a chance that this move to get Jordan could save his job and hopefully more time with his daughter. Ben Affleck is incredible as Nike CEO Phil Knight as a man that is trying to keep his company away from a board of directors while is also trying to run Nike in the hope that he doesn’t shut down their basketball division as Affleck brings a lot of humor to his character but also some grounded aspects that makes him someone who does care about Nike and its employees.

Viola Davis is phenomenal as Deloris Jordan as Michael Jordan’s mother who is surprised by Vaccaro’s visit as she is aware about her son being a hot prospect as she also understands what Converse and Adidas are offering yet she realizes that Nike is offering something more that she wants to ensure her son’s financial future. Finally, there’s Matt Damon in a tremendous leading performance as Sonny Vaccaro as this talent scout who is trying to find a new spokesman for Nike’s basketball shoes as he makes a discovery in Michael Jordan where he is aware of the risk he is taking but is also someone that is direct in his pursuit where Damon brings the everyman quality to his character from his physical appearance as well as the sense of humility he brings as it’s one of his finest performances to date.

Air is a spectacular film from Ben Affleck that features a great ensemble cast led by Affleck, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, Chris Messina, and Marlon Wayans. Along with its stylish yet nostalgic look, its study of a man taking a risk to capture an once-in-a-lifetime megastar, and a killer music soundtrack. It’s a film that isn’t just this fascinating sports film of sorts but also a film that shows the origin of one of the greatest shoe lines ever created. In the end, Air is a tremendous film from Ben Affleck.

Ben Affleck Films: (Gone Baby Gone) – The Town (2010 film) - Argo - (Live By Night)

© thevoid99 2023

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Showing Up


Directed and edited by Kelly Reichardt and written by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, Showing Up is the story of a sculptor who is about to open her own exhibition while she also tends to her family life as well as friends and competing artists just as she is convinced she’s going to get her big break. The film is an exploration into the art scene in Portland, Oregon where a woman is eager to make it while trying to devote much attention to her job, family life, and friendships. Starring Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Andre Benjamin, James LeGros, Maryann Plunkett, John Magaro, and Judd Hirsch. Showing Up is an engaging and somber film from Kelly Reichardt.

The film follows the week and the life of a sculptor living in Portland, Oregon where she works for her mother at the Oregon College of Arts and Craft while is set to have her first major art exhibition while dealing her neighbor who is a competing artist as well as issues with her family and tending to a wounded pigeon that her cat attacked. It is a film that follows a woman who is struggling to work on her sculptors and manage other things in her life yet her apartment doesn’t have hot water as her neighbor isn’t fixing it in favor of her own work with her own exhibition. The film’s screenplay by Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond largely explores the life that Lizzy (Michelle Williams) has as her father Bill (Judd Hirsch) is a retired artist while she works at the college with her mother Jean (Maryann Plunkett) who is trying to do her work but also have this major exhibition that could be the break she needs as an artist.

Yet, her neighbor Jo (Hong Chau) hasn’t been able to fix Lizzy’s water heater as she is often distracted with other things relating to her own exhibit as well as having to care for a pigeon that Jo found which had been attacked by Lizzy’s cat. It all plays into the many things that are keeping Lizzy from completing her work for the exhibition as well as some family issues as it includes her reclusive brother Sean (John Magaro) who had been estranged from the family. Lizzy is also dealing with the fact that there’s other artists who have been doing exhibits that has been very successful as there is a pressure for her to get some attention as well as get some validity as an artist.

Reichardt’s direction definitely has some style as it is shot on location in Portland as well as places at the Oregon College of Arts and Craft in Portland, Oregon as it is a character in the film. Reichardt would maintain a simplistic presentation as she emphasizes on some long shots and a few static shots in either some medium or wide shots in certain rooms. Yet, the film opens with a shot that lingers for a few minutes as it moves around various sculptures that Lizzy has created. Much of the sculptures that Lizzy creates is mainly created by artist Cynthia Lahti as it has a unique style as a lot of the art work such as the work that Jo has created showcases a vibrant world that emphasizes on craftsmanship through all sorts of means in the world of art. Even as the college that Lizzy and her mother work at is filled with things that are unique where Reichardt maintains a looseness to the world and the many things that occur to ensure someone is always being creative or how sculptures are refined in a kiln. The attention to detail that Reichardt shows in what Lizzy would do to create her sculptures with its close-ups on her hands is a key aspect of the film.

Also serving as the film’s editor, Reichardt would allow shots to linger while deviating into stylish fast cuts in order to play into the drama that includes Lizzy’s family life as she is upset that her father would often surround himself with drifters. Reichardt’s careful framing and sense of looseness in her direction does give the film a tone that feels free where there are moments where nothing is staged. Notably in the film’s climax at Lizzy’s exhibition is where a lot of the characters come in to support her including this pigeon that she has grown fond of while is also trying to resolve issues with Jo. Overall, Reichardt creates a compelling and wondrous film about an artist trying to get her break while dealing with the chaos in both her professional and personal life.

Cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt does brilliant work with the film’s cinematography with its naturalistic yet low-key approach to the photography as well as giving it a grainy look of sorts for some of its interior scenes as it is a highlight of the film. Production designer Anthony Gasparo, with set decorator Amy Beth Silver and art director Lisa Ward, does amazing work with not just the homes of the characters but also some of the art exhibitions as a lot of it were created by local artists. Costume designer April Napier does nice work with the costumes as it is largely casual and low-key to play into the personality of these characters with some of whom are wearing hippie-inspired clothing.

Visual effects supervisor Chris Connolly does terrific with the film’s minimal visual effects as it is largely based on the pigeon in a few key scenes with a lot of emphasized on animatronics rather than computer effects. Sound editor Daniel Timmons does superb work with the sound to play into the natural elements of the locations as well as how sound is presented from afar or up close. The film’s music by Ethan Rose is wonderful as it is largely a low-key electronic/ambient score with some woodwinds that includes flute performances by Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000 while music supervisor Dawn Sutter Madell creates a soundtrack that is largely low-key and played on radios with a lot of being indie music.

The casting by Simon Max Hill is marvelous as it feature some notable small roles and appearances from Amanda Plummer and Matt Malloy as a couple of drifters who are crashing at Bill’s home, Lauren Lakis as a colleague in Terri, Denzel Rodriguez as a young administrator in William, James LeGros as an older administrator in Ira, Heather Lawless as an artist in Marlene who just had her own successful exhibit, and Theo Taplitz as a young neighbor of Sean who watches over Sean. Judd Hirsch is fantastic as Lizzy’s father Bill as a former artist who still creates pots yet prefers to enjoy retirement and hang out with drifters which worries Lizzy. John Magaro is superb as Lizzy’s brother Sean as a former artist who has turned into a recluse as he becomes paranoid as it relates to his own mental illness and such as he hasn’t talked to his parents in months.

Andre Benjamin is excellent as Eric as an artist/teacher who watches over the kilns as he is a colleague of both Jo and Lizzy as he does what he can to help the latter while is more interested in the former. Maryann Plunkett is brilliant as Lizzy’s mother Jean as a top administrator at the college who is hoping to keep Lizzy busy while knowing that she has an exhibit to present that she wants to attend with the whole family. Hong Chau is amazing as Jo as this artist who is also Lizzy’s next door neighbor/landlord who is already on the verge of a breakthrough with her own exhibition yet is often distracted to help out Lizzy as it causes some tension and such. Finally, there’s Michelle Williams in a phenomenal performance as Lizzy as this artist who is set to have breakthrough moment as an artist yet is coping with dealing with things in her family life as well as work and other distractions where Williams captures a lot of the struggles and anguish an artist has while also coping with her own family issues as Williams brings a lot of restraint as well as realism to the character as it’s one of her finest performances to date.

Showing Up is an incredible film by Kelly Reichardt that features a great leading performance from Michelle Williams. Along with its supporting cast, realistic visuals, and its study of artists struggling to get a break. It is a film that follows a week in the life of an artist who is trying to get her moment but also deal with the many struggles that artists go through in trying to balance their lives with their art and the people around them. In the end, Showing Up is a sensational film from Kelly Reichardt.

Kelly Reichardt Films: River of Grass - Old Joy - Wendy & Lucy - Meek's Cutoff - Night Moves (2013 film) - Certain Women - First Cow - The Auteurs #72: Kelly Reichardt

© thevoid99 2023

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Under the Sun of Satan


Based on the novel by Georges Bernanos, Sous le soleil de Satan (Under the Sun of Satan) is the story of a priest who is tormented by the world in general despite his gift to do good amidst a tumultuous time in 1920s France. Directed by Maurice Pialat and screenplay by Pialat and Sylvie Danton, the film is an exploration of faith and a priest’s attempt to save a young woman and others from sin and the evils of the world. Starring Gerard Depardieu, Sandrine Bonnaire, and Maurice Pialat. Sous le soleil de Satan is an eerie and evocative film from Maurice Pialat.

The film follows a priest working at parish in a small town in 1920s France as he is consumed with doubt and uncertainty as he also deals with the chaos created by a young woman who seeks help only to be tempted by her own vices. It is a film that is an exploration of faith in a tumultuous world where this priest has just been ordained by the Catholic Church though he is convinced that he isn’t ready to be a priest. Especially as he asks God about his worth after learning about what this young woman had done as she is the daughter of the local brewer. The film’s screenplay by Maurice Pialat and Sylvie Danton explores the many doubts that Donissan (Gerard Depardieu) is going through as he would punish himself at times as the first act is about Donissan’s insecurities but also this story about Mouchette (Sandrine Bonnaire) who has been having affairs with a local marquis and a doctor as she learns she is pregnant with the former’s baby but things have gotten complicated as she’s also the local brewer’s daughter.

Donissan and Mouchette wouldn’t meet until the halfway point in the film in its second act as the former would have this encounter with a horse dealer (Jean-Christophe Bouvet) who isn’t exactly who he seems as he is a much darker figure that would play into Donissan’s faith. Especially as he would add more doubt to Donissan upon his meeting with Mouchette where he realizes what she had done as he wants her to confess in order to save herself yet she isn’t interested as she is filled with her own turmoil in her life. It would add to these things that Donissan would see as he turns to his mentor Menou-Segrais (Maurice Pialat) who is trying assure Donissan in that he can be a good priest though he also becomes aware of Donissan’s mental issues. The film’s third act plays into the things that Donissan had seen as well as his own struggles with faith as people see him as someone they can go to for a miracle but he sees it more as a burden.

Pialat’s direction is entrancing for the way it plays into a man’s struggle with faith in this small French town set in the 1920s as it is shot on different locations in the small towns of Montreuil-sur-Mer and Fressin. Pialat’s usage of wide and medium shots don’t just play into the locations that the characters are in but also into Donissan’s disconnect with the world around him as he feels like he is unworthy to serve God. Pialat also uses a lot of long shots for some of the conversations including the ones that Mouchette would have with her lovers where Pialat’s close-ups add to the striking look of the film. Even in the conversation between Donissan and Mouchette is added with intrigue as they talk with a destroyed house in the background as it play into the chaos that both characters are dealing with in their respective lives. There are also these intense acts of violence that is committed by Mouchette as it plays into her troubled state as well as the fact that she’s a young woman that feels like she has no control of her emotions and desires.

Pialat also plays into these elements of surrealism as it relates to Donissan’s encounter with the horse dealer as the look of the film changes into something far colder as the film would progress into something much bleaker. Yet, there are these elements of hope that the small town would see in Donissan but it only adds to his own anxieties. Even as he tends to a family with a boy that is dying as it plays into his desires to be worthy of God’s love though he is tempted by hate and doubt. Pialat also has these moments that play into people eager to be saved through Donissan as it plays into him figuring out his role but also the fact that evil still looms as its finale is about him giving in to God or Satan. Overall, Pialat crafts a riveting and haunting film about a priest’s struggle with his faith and his attempt to save a young woman from madness.

Cinematographer Willy Kurant does incredible work with the film’s cinematography with its naturalistic look for some of the film’s daytime exterior scenes along with unique lighting for some of the film’s interior shots along with some stylish blue filters for the scenes where Donissan meets the horse dealer. Editor Yann Dedet does brilliant work with the editing with its stylish usage of jump-cuts that allows the long shots to be cut abruptly yet it works to enhance the dramatic effect including Donissan’s meeting with Mouchette. Production designer Katia Wyszkop and set decorator Gerard Marcireau do excellent work with the look of the rooms that Donissan would live in during his time in different parishes but also the posh home of one of Mouchette’s lover in the marquis.

Costume designer Gil Noir does fantastic work with the costumes from the robes many of the priests wear as well as some of the posh-like clothing that Mouchette wears. The sound work of Louis Gimel is superb for its natural approach to sound in capturing everything that is happening on the location while enhancing some of Mouchette’s screams. The film’s music by Henri Dutilleux is wonderful as it is this low-key classical piece that plays into Donissan’s doubt and struggles with its soft yet brooding string arrangements.

The film’s terrific ensemble cast feature notable small roles from Marcel Anselin as the Bishop Gerbier, Philippe Pallut as a young quarryman whom Donissan meets on his walk, Marie-Antoinette Lorge as a housemaid at the home where Donissan and Menou-Segrais live in, Corinne Bourdon as a woman whose child is dying as she turns to Donissan, Brigitte Legendre as Mouchette’s mother, Jean-Claude Bourlat as a priest in Malorthy, and Jean-Christophe Bouvet as a horse dealer that Donissan meets during his walk as he is revealed to be something far more sinister. Yann Dedet and Alain Arthur are fantastic in their respective roles as Mouchette’s lovers in the doctor Gallet and the marquis Cadignan with the former being concerned and troubled by Mouchette’s confessions and desires while the latter is someone who is also married but is unsure about wanting to continue until things suddenly go wrong.

Maurice Pialat is brilliant as Menou-Segrais as a veteran priest who mentors Donissan as he also becomes concerned about Donissan’s struggles and other mysterious events as he also tries to assure his protégé about what to do. Sandrine Bonnaire is incredible as Mouchette as a young woman who is pregnant yet consumed with guilt and anger as well as her own sense of uncertainty in her many affairs and her own place in the world. Finally, there’s Gerard Depardieu in a phenomenal performance as Donissan as a newly-ordained priest who struggles with his role as well as his own faith where he often questions his worth but also the world around him believing he couldn’t do anything as the sense of anguish and humility adds to the restrained and grounded performance that Depardieu brings.

Sous le soleil de Satan is a tremendous film from Maurice Pialat that features great leading performances from Gerard Depardieu and Sandrine Bonnaire. Along with its ensemble cast, eerie visuals, a haunting music soundtrack, stylish editing, and its exploration of doubt and devotion. It is a film that explores a priest’s struggle to maintain his faith in a chaotic world while trying to save a young woman from her own sins. In the end, Sous le soleil de Satan is a sensational film from Maurice Pialat.

Maurice Pialat Films: (L’amour existe) – (Naked Childhood) – (We Won’t Grow Old Together) – (The Mouth Agape) – (Graduate First) – (Loulou) – (A Nos Amour) – (Police (1985 film)) – (Van Gogh (1991 film)) – (Le Garcu)

© thevoid99 2023