Sunday, June 30, 2024

Films That I Saw: July 2024


Summer has officially begun and… IT’S HOT AS FUCK!!!!! Honestly, this is ridiculous heat for June and thank goodness I had gotten some money to repair a tube in the air conditioning two months ago. Seriously, this is not a good time to go outside these days and why would anyone want to go in 90-to-100-degree weather with horrible humidity. The fact that more than 1,300 pilgrims died at Mecca during Haji season is terrible while something happened to a friend of my mother where her grandchild’s car seat nearly went on fire because of the heat and thank goodness she got the kid out in time. My niece and nephew usually would want to go outside but this heat has forced them to stay in the house. Watch Disney+ or YouTube while I was fortunate to download a few games for Mateo to play including some learning games.

I’m just glad that I can stay home while my mother and I can pick up my niece and nephew during noon at a therapy center for them since they’re autistic as we would go to Chik-Fil-A once a week as the kids really like the food there and Mateo likes to play in the indoor playground at the place. I am aware of some of the horrible social/business affiliations the franchise has but I am more concerned with my niece and nephew eating good food and having a good time. Right now, I am just indifferent when it comes to politics and social matters. Plus, I am so over these fucking climate protesters who are just a nuisance in disrupting events and wreaking havoc at museums and certain world landmarks. What did Stonehenge ever do to them? Honestly, these protesters should be knocked on their asses by dancing dwarves with Spinal Tap playing in the background.

It has been five years since the passing of my father as I do think about him every now and then as I have learned some things about why this troubled relationship between my father and his sisters has been as if they have done some horrible things to him. One of my uncles who is married to one of those bitches fucked over my dad over money as there used to be this tradition where my parents, my sisters, and I would drive to Newnan every Christmas Eve to spend the holidays with them as it was a fucking bore. I hated going there and then in 2000, I told them “I’m not going” as I chose to stay home. The last time they went to that awful house was during the Christmas holidays in 2008 when my dad found out that my uncle had spent the money that was owed to my dad on these new trucks he bought. It pissed him off and my aunts were saying awful things about my youngest sister Cynthia who was at the party as my mother got mad as they left the party as they came home much earlier than I expected to as they were pissed. A month later, Cynthia died as my aunts were in my house for much of that month and it was terrible.

I tend to think that my sister’s passing, a lot of the toxic attitudes of my relatives from my father’s side, and all sorts of personal issues are what led to my own depression in 2010. My mother had told me about what they did as we have not seen them in five years and want nothing to do with them. I can forgive my father for his faults and issues as there were moments that were difficult. However, I cannot forgive my father’s siblings for not just lying to him and saying awful things about my mother, myself, and my siblings. They also stole from us and took advantage of us as they were envious of us because we had what we needed. Sure, they had bigger houses and all this lame shit with some horrible people around them, but they lack character, taste, and love.
In the month of June 2024, I saw a total of 23 films in 12 first timers and 11 re-watches with one first-timer being a film directed by a woman as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Not a bad month although I didn’t have much time to watch a lot of things due to the presence of my niece and nephew though I did get a major highlight this month in my Blind Spot film in The Informer. Here are the top ten first timers that I saw for June 2024:

1. Inside Out 2
2. Tori & Lokita
3. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
4. Lady Chatterley’s Lover
5. The Unknown Girl
6. Wham!
7. The Ratcatcher
8. Michael Hutchence: Mystify
9. The Swan
10. City Hunter
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I’m Watching

Mystify: Michael Hutchence
INXS is truly one of the great acts from Australia as their approach to post-punk, funk, pop, and rock n’ roll has made them one of the most enduring acts of the 1980s and 1990s. This documentary about its late singer Michael Hutchence is a fascinating film that explores a man who was truly one of the greatest frontmen ever in rock n’ roll as he had the look, charisma, voice, and a quality that few singers have had ever since. The documentary is told through archival footage as well as audio interviews from those who knew him including his bandmates in INXS, managers, Bono, other musicians, and a few of his former girlfriends including Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen. It does have a few flaws as it doesn’t do enough to explore some of his solo work while he was still in INXS, but it does tell a lot about his own insecurities and faults as it would escalate in August of 1992 when he got into a fight with an angry cab driver in Copenhagen where Hutchence fell on a street curb. The injury would not just cost him his sense of smell but also some changes as the film also had some revelations about his chaotic relationship with Paula Yates and everything that led to his suicide in November of 1997. It is a film worth seeing not just to know more about Hutchence but also essential for fans of INXS.

D.I.Y. Duck
This 3-minute short film from Disney Animation Studios that celebrates Donald Duck’s 90th birthday is a hilarious hand-drawn animated short in which Donald is hoping to read a book only for the lamp to not work. He tries to install a new lightbulb, but it does not work where he would constantly travel to a hardware store to get a bunch of things as everything goes wrong. It is truly what to expect in a Donald Duck short, but it is so fun to watch.

This documentary from Netflix about one of the big four acts of the Second British Invasion of the 1980s that included Duran Duran, Culture Club, and Spandau Ballet is about the rise of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in how they formed this duo that would rule pop music in the 1980s. Directed by Chris Smith and a film that also utilizes archival footage and interviews including some rare and unseen footage left in the vaults. The film shows the formation of this group from two schoolboys who had a love for music with Michael being someone who would get better at it as he would have a grand vision for how he wanted the music to be. Ridgeley’s role proves to be crucial as he was the one that encouraged Michael as part of the reason into why they split up is because Michael wanted to be taken seriously as an artist. Yet, Michael often gave Ridgeley a lot of credit for helping him in gaining the confidence to be a solo artist as this is a phenomenal film to see for not just fans of Wham! It is also a look into the art of pop music and how it took two young British kids to make it big.

City Hunter
Anyone who has followed the career of Jackie Chan will know that this film is not one of his favorites as it does not have much of a plot and it has some dumb and dated jokes that will not fly today. However, it is so fun to watch as it revolves around a detective and his often-neglected assistant, who is his late partner’s daughter, stowing away on a cruise ship where it had been taken over by terrorists. Adding to Chan’s conundrum is that he is hungry for food and is surrounded by beautiful women while trying to protect a business magnate’s daughter. Along the way, lots of shenanigans ensue including some fight scenes where Chan gets some help from Bruce Lee and one of the most hilarious fight sequences ever involving the video game Street Fighter in which Chan plays multiple characters from that game including Chun-Li where he looks beautiful in drag. Just watch the clip below:

Lady Chatterley’s Lover
This film is a true gem and certainly better than I thought it would be as it had a looseness that I did not expect to see and feel. Notably as Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre created something that is different from previous adaptations of D.H. Lawrence’s novel as it is also vastly superior to the famed 1981 film adaptation by Just Jaeckin starring the late, great Sylvia Kristel in the titular role that leaned a bit more towards softcore porn. This version does maintain its approach to explicit nudity but there is a more primal approach to the sex scenes as well as a sense of innocence thanks in part to Emma Corrin’s tremendous performance as Lady Chatterley with Jack O’Connell providing an incredible performance as her lover in the groundskeeper Oliver Mellors. It is a film filled with rich visuals with its usage of hand-held cameras and a majestic score by Isabella Summers. It also has a great supporting cast, including Joely Richardson as Sir Chatterley’s caretaker Mrs. Bolton as it is a bold choice since she played Lady Chatterley in the 1993 TV miniseries.

Who Killed WCW?
From VICE is a new documentary series made by the people of Dark Side of the Ring and co-produced by Dwayne “The Crock” Johnson is about the rise and fall of World Championship Wrestling as it is a four-part documentary series that features interviews with the Crock but also Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Diamond Dallas Page, Konnan, Booker T, Brad Siegel, Ted Turner’s son Teddy Jr., Madusa, and others as it talks about how WCW had risen from the ashes of Jim Crockett Promotions for the NWA when it got bought by Ted Turner in 1988 as a regional promotion into a big-time national promotion that was seen by many. The series unfortunately has some holes as it plays into a lot of things that did hurt WCW while they also went into conspiracy theory mode into how it got sold to WWE with several blaming head of Turner Programming in Jamie Kellner who had just died days before the final episode of this series aired.

However, one of the people who is interviewed was someone who wrote a book about WCW as that book revealed that the reason Kellner cancelled WCW programming was because Bischoff and Fusient Media had a clause in their contract over the ownership of the timeslots of TNT and TBS in case WCW programming got cancelled. It is a fine series, but it does not really go into a lot about what killed WCW where it was made to make WWE look great since the Crock is a member of the board of WWE’s new owners in TKO.

The Acolyte (season 1, episodes 1-5)
While I will admit that the show is not perfect and does not reach the heights of other series such as The Mandalorian, Andor, and Ahsoka. I do feel like some of the criticism the show has received has been unfair and it mostly comes from a bunch of whiny fanboys with sand in their vaginas. So far with episodes left in the season, it is a show with a lot of intrigue as it plays into the mystery into the deaths of three Jedi masters in the hands of a young woman trying to prove herself to her mysterious master. Starring Amandla Stenberg in a dual role as long-lost twin sisters Osha and Mae with the former being a former Jedi Padawan who has given up the life to be a mechanic-for-hire while the latter is a young woman seeking revenge on the Jedi masters whom she believed killed her family. Stenberg is impressive as is Lee Jung-Jae as Osha’s former master Sol who is among those that is targeted as it has some great appearances from Carrie Anne-Moss, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Dafne Keen as Sol’s new Padawan Jecki. The most recent episode is the most intense as it includes some serious lightsaber battles and deaths that rock the series as well as the reveal of Mae’s master.

Top 10 Re-Watches

1. Trainspotting
2. Betty Blue
3. Nebraska
4. Inside Out
5. Coco
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Pauline
8. Lava
9. Riley’s First Date
10. Termination Man
Well, that is all for June. Coming in July where I hope to watch a couple of theatrical releases in Kinds of Kindness and The Bikeriders while I also hope to watch films by Justine Triet and Michael Mann as the latter of which is for the Auteurs series as I have not gotten started on it. My next Blind Spot film will be Sergio Corbucci’s Django as well as whatever is available on streaming services that I have access to. Before I bid adieu, I want to express my condolences on those who have passed away this month as it includes such giant figures as Willie Mays, Anouk Aimee, Donald Sutherland, Jerry West, and Francoise Hardy along with other notable figures in Martin Mull, music producer Peter Collins, Orlando Cepeda, Sika Anoa’i of the Wild Samoans, Bill Cobbs, Tamayo Perry, editor Bud S. Smith, American football player Darren Lewis, Taylor Wily, No Wave music legend James Chance, costume designer Anthea Sylbert, Buzz Cason, actress Evan Evans, pro wrestler James Castle, voice actress Nancy MacKenzie, Tony Lo Bianco, Yoshiko Kuga, songwriter Mark James, Eric Vu-An, Chet Walker, Kinky Friedman, Larry Allen, and Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2024

Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Rat Catcher


Based on the short story by Roald Dahl, The Rat Catcher is the story of a reporter and a mechanic who follows an exterminator and learns about his methods in catching a rat. Written for the screen and directed by Wes Anderson, the short film is the third film in a series of adaptations of short stories by Dahl where it explores a man’s unconventional approach to catching rats. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Richard Ayoade, Rupert Friend, Eliel Ford, Benoit Herlin, and Till Sennhenn. The Rat Catcher is an exhilarating and haunting film by Wes Anderson.

The 18-minute short film revolves around a rat catcher who is asked to catch some rats for a reporter and a mechanic in a small English town as they deal with his methods. It is a film told through a reporter (Richard Ayoade) who talks about meeting this rat catcher (Ralph Fiennes) who has these unconventional methods in catching rats where the reporter and a mechanic (Rupert Friend) watch as they are baffled by this man’s unconventional methods. The script is straightforward in its narrative while it plays into these two men who are fascinated and later troubled by the methods of this rat catcher. Notably as he reveals things in what he does to catch rats as well as his own thoughts that eventually become off-putting to the two men.

Anderson’s direction is straightforward in its presentation as it is shot on location at Maidstone Studios in Kent, England where Anderson maintains a meticulous approach to detail in the overall setting. Shot in a 1:33:1 aspect ratio, Anderson would use some wide shots to get a scope in a few shots in the location including a haybale where the rat catcher would try to trap rats. Still, much of the direction has Anderson utilizing close-ups and medium shots including a brief stop-motion animated sequence involving a rat that would lead to a sequence in which the rat catcher and the mechanic pretending to be a rat have a showdown. Anderson still brings in some offbeat humor including a brief appearance of Roald Dahl (Ralph Fiennes) who comments on the methods of the rat catcher as well as some troubling revelations as it relates to rats. Overall, Anderson crafts a whimsical yet chilling film about a rat catcher and his unconventional methods of catching rats.

Cinematographer Robert Yeoman does brilliant work with the film’s cinematography with its emphasis on yellowish colors to heighten some of the exteriors while using some low-key lighting for the fight scene between the rat catcher and the rat. Editor Barney Pilling and Andrew Weisblum do excellent work with the editing as there are some jump-cuts in a few scenes including the fight while much of it is straightforward to play into its humor and drama. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, along with art director Claire Peerless plus set decorators Cathy Featherstone and Anna Pinnock, does amazing work with the sets including the buildings that both the reporter and mechanic work at as well as some backdrops and the design of the hay bale. Costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone does fantastic work with the costumes as it is straightforward in the suit that the reporter wears as well as the jumpsuit the mechanic wears.

Hair/makeup designer Frances Hannon does incredible work with the look of the rat catcher with his contact lenses, long fingernails, and long hair as he looks like a rat. Special effects supervisor Chris Reynolds does nice work with the film’s minimal visual effects that plays into the film’s lone stop-motion animated sequence involving the rat. Sound mixer Valentino Gianni does superb work with the sound in capturing the natural elements on set as well as the way a rat would sound from afar or up-close.

The film’s wonderful ensemble cast features some notable small roles from Eliel Ford, Benoit Herlin, and Till Sennhenn as stagehands who appear to bring in props or costumes. Rupert Friend is excellent as the mechanic who is fascinated by the rat catcher’s methods though is later troubled by them as well as playing the rat for the fight scene. Richard Ayoade is brilliant as the reporter who is also the film’s narrator as he observes everything the rat catcher does while also becoming uncomfortable with the rat catcher’s methods. Finally, there’s Ralph Fiennes in an incredible performance in a dual role as the titular character and Roald Dahl where he brings a northern accent in the former along with some exaggerated facial expressions where it is comical and eerie at times while he is more subdued in the latter.

The Rat Catcher is a phenomenal film by Wes Anderson. Featuring a great cast, gorgeous visuals, and a story of two men observing the actions of a rat catcher. It is an offbeat yet engaging short film that explores a man’s method of catching rats as well as some troubling revelations about what he does. In the end, The Rat Catcher is a sensational film from Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderson Films: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Hotel Chevalier - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - Moonrise Kingdom - Castello Cavalcanti - The Grand Budapest Hotel - Isle of Dogs - The French Dispatch - Asteroid City - The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - The Swan - Poison – (The Phoenician Scheme) - The Auteurs #8: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson Film Soundtracks: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Seu Jorge-The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - (Moonrise Kingdom) – (The Grand Budapest Hotel) – (Isle of Dogs) – (The French Dispatch) – (Asteroid City)

© thevoid99 2024

Sunday, June 23, 2024

2024 Blind Spot Series: The Informer


Based on the novel by Liam O’Flaherty, The Informer is the story of a former IRA soldier who decides to inform to the British about IRA activities in the hopes he can escape to America with his girlfriend where he would later deal with guilt of his actions. Directed by John Ford and screenplay by Dudley Nichols, the film is an exploration of man’s role in the Irish War of Independence conflict where he gets a chance to leave Ireland but must contend with what he must where he would alienate himself from those he cared about. Starring Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame, Wallace Ford, and Una O’Connor. The Informer is a gripping and somber film by John Ford.

Set in the span of 12 hours in 1922 during the Irish War of Independence, the film follows a disgraced IRA officer who decides to inform on his best friend to the British in the hopes he can use the reward to take himself and his girlfriend to America only for the IRA to become suspicious over what had happened. It is a film that explores a man’s decision to inform his friend to the British so he can take his girlfriend to America where he would spend the reward money getting drunk and lavish his spendings on the people who are unaware of how he got the money. Dudley Nichols’ screenplay is straightforward in its narrative as it follows Gypo Nolan (Victor McLaglen) who had just been ousted by the IRA for refusing to kill a British soldier as his girlfriend Katie (Margot Grahame) is hoping to go to America but a ticket for both costs 20 pounds.

Seeing a bounty for his friend Frankie McPhillip (Wallace Ford) for 20 pounds, Nolan rats out to the British army where they succeed in finding him as Nolan gets his reward where he would spend the rest of the night spending his money on getting drunk and entertaining the locals while IRA leader Dan Gallagher (Preston Foster) wants to know what happened to McPhillip where he asks Nolan only to later suspect Nolan. Even as the night becomes more chaotic when Gallagher realizes something is up, he is also personally involved since he is in a relationship with McPhillip’s sister (Heather Angel).

John Ford’s direction is atmospheric for the overall setting of the film as it is shot at the RKO Studios lot in Hollywood which plays as this small Irish town at night filled with fog and light. While there are some wide shots to establish the locations, much of Ford’s direction emphasizes on medium shots and close-ups with the latter playing into some of the emotional reactions that Nolan is dealing with. Even as he would get drunk throughout where the medium and wide shots have Ford highlight the space of a room or a pub where Nolan is the center of attention. Ford also maintains this air of intrigue as it relates to what Nolan has done and how it would affect the IRA, with Gallagher being a commandant who runs a local faction of the IRA as he is also a friend of McPhillip. Even as there are scenes of IRA members carrying pistols but also having to hide from the British soldiers who would often march in the streets as it adds to the sense of danger that is happening in Ireland at that time.

Ford also plays into this exploration of guilt in Nolan where he would hide his shame through drink and partying where he would even crash into a high-society party where he buys drinks a British woman for Kate. It is one of the few moments of humor that occurs in the film that involves Nolan and a friend of his in Terry (J.M. Kerrigan) though the film would remain serious and intense during its third act when a kangaroo court occurs where Nolan tries to accuse someone of being the informer. Ford would maintain this sense of dread while its climax is about Gallagher realizing the truth and what is at stake with Nolan’s act of selfishness would also come into play once Katie finds out what he did. Overall, Ford crafts a thrilling and compelling film about a man who informed on his friend during the Irish War of Independence.

Cinematographer Joseph H. August does incredible work with the film’s black-and-white photography with its usage of fog and shadow to help maintain a chilling atmosphere for the exteriors while using low-key lights for some interior scenes at the homes for a few characters. Editor George Hively does excellent work with the editing as it features some rhythmic cuts to play into the drama and suspense while most of it is straightforward. Art director Van Nest Polglase and set decorator Julia Heron do brilliant work with the look of the interior of the pubs as well as the secret places where IRA hold their meetings and the exterior of some of the buildings that Nolan goes into. Costume designer Walter Plunkett does terrific work with the costumes with some of the posh clothing the women wear along with more rugged look of the men including lots of trench coats the IRA wears.

Makeup artist Robert J. Schiffer does nice work with the makeup in the look of the women at the posh party scene. The special effects work of Harry Redmond Sr. and Harry Redmond Jr. is fantastic for some of the scenes involving gunplay as it plays into the chaos and conflict between the IRA and the British. The sound work of Hugh McDowell Jr. and Robert Wise is superb for the sound in the way a fight would sound in and out of a pub as well as the chaos that goes on in the pub and in the streets. The film’s music by Max Steiner is wonderful for its sweeping orchestral score that features elements of Irish woodwinds and melodies that play into the land of Ireland along with layers of drum cadences and soaring strings as well as a soundtrack that is filled with traditional Irish folk songs as the music is a highlight of the film.

The film’s remarkable cast feature some notable small roles and appearances from Dennis O’Dea as the street singer, Grizelda Harvey as the English lady living in a posh house who looks like Katie, May Boley as the owner of the posh house in Madame Betty, D’Arcy Corrigan as a blind man who was given a one-pound note from Nolan, Francis Ford as a judge in the kangaroo court, Joseph Sauers and Neil Fitzgerald as a couple of IRA officers respectively in Bartly Mulholland and Tommy Connor with the former being suspicious of Nolan, and Donald Meek as the local tailor Peter Mulligan whom Nolan accuses of being the informer. Una O’Connor is fantastic in her small role as McPhillips’ mother who is shocked over what has happened while J.M. Kerrigan is superb as Terry as a friend of Nolan who helps him spend the money and party where he unfortunately enables his actions. Wallace Ford is excellent as Frankie McPhillip as an IRA officer who was Nolan’s best friend as well as a target for the British for killing a British soldier where he hopes to see his mother and sister while still doing things for the IRA.

Margot Grahame is brilliant as Katie Madden as Nolan’s girlfriend who hopes to go to America as she becomes surprised by the idea becoming a reality until she learns about what Nolan did to get the money. Preston Foster is amazing as Dan Gallagher as an IRA commander who runs his own local faction where he becomes suspicious on what happened to McPhillip as he is also in love with McPhillip’s sister where he becomes suspicious towards Nolan as he knows that Nolan has become a liability to the IRA. Heather Angel is incredible as McPhillip’s sister Mary who is troubled by what had happened as well as becoming tired of the violence as she hopes Gallagher would smooth things out only to realize that Nolan is the one that has been making a mess. Finally, there’s Victor McLaglen in a phenomenal performance as Gypo Nolan as a former IRA officer who had been ousted for letting go a British soldier as he decides to rat out McPhillip to the British for money where he tries to not feel guilty by imagining him and Katie going to America as well as drinking a lot and accusing someone else as it is this chilling performance that requires a lot of physicality as it is one of McLaglen’s finest performances.

The Informer is an incredible film from John Ford that features a tremendous leading performance from Victor McLaglen. Along with its ensemble cast, intoxicating visuals, Max Steiner’s riveting music score, and a compelling story of guilt and greed during the Irish War of Independence. It is a suspense drama that explores a man’s willingness to get something good going in his life only to do something awful as it would cost him everything as well as the plight of the people who know him. In the end, The Informer is a phenomenal film from John Ford.

© thevoid99 2024

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Swan


Based on the short story by Roald Dahl, The Swan is the story of a young boy who is pursued by two ignorant bullies until one of them kills a swan to the horror of the young boy. Written for the screen and directed by Wes Anderson, the film is the second film in a series of short films based on short stories by Dahl as it explores a young boy coming of age. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Rupert Friend, Asa Jennings, Eliel Ford, Truman Hanks, Benoit Herlin, and Octavio Tapia. The Swan is a touching and somber film by Wes Anderson.

The film revolves around a young boy had been bullied by two ignorant older boys who get a kick out of killing small birds as they bully the boy and kill a swan in front of him. It is a 17-minute short film that explores a young boy who is pushed to the edge as he is a bird lover as it is told by a man named Peter Watson (Rupert Friend) who was that young boy as he recalls this entire incident that shaped his life. Wes Anderson’s script is largely told through Peter Watson as he accompanies his younger self (Asa Jennings) over this incident in which he witnesses two older boys shooting small birds with a rifle where he is put into a near-death experience and the witness the death of a swan as these bullies would push the young Peter to the edge. Notably as it would have this aftermath over what happened as Roald Dahl (Ralph Fiennes) tells it.

Anderson’s direction does have its sense of style with carefully tight compositions in the wide and medium shots while also in its usage of tracking and dolly shots in its 1:33:1 aspect ratio. Shot on location at the Maidstone Studios in Kent, England, Anderson maintains a stripped-down approach in the setting of long fields and a train track while stagehands appear every now and then. Anderson also maintains an intimacy in the direction in the usage of close-ups in a scene where the older Peter talks about his near-death experience with the younger Peter watching in the background. Anderson also plays into the violence though he doesn’t show anything but rather through older Peter’s narration and a scene where the older Peter wear swan wings as it would lead to this conclusion narrated by Dahl. Overall, Anderson creates a compelling and evocative film about a man reflecting on a terrible incident he dealt with as a child.

Cinematographer Roman Coppola does brilliant work with the film’s straightforward photography to play into the bright look of the fields as well as some low-key lighting for a few of the film’s interior scenes. Editors Barney Pilling and Andrew Weisblum do excellent work with the editing where it is straightforward with very few rhythmic cuts to play into the rhythm of Peter’s narration. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, along with art directors Claire Peerless and Kevin Timon Hill, does incredible work with the look of the pond and fields that is used for the environment along with a few interior settings to play into the artificiality to play into this man’s story. Costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone does nice work with the costumes with a few clothes the young Peter wears as well as the suit the older Peter wears.

Hair/makeup designers Naomi Donne and Frances Hannon do fantastic work with the look of the characters that include the haircuts that the characters have including a few wigs that the stagehands wear. Visual effects supervisor Jean-Francois Ferland does terrific work with the visual effects as it is set-dressing for a few backgrounds including the scene involving the swan. Sound editor Wayne Lemmer does superb work with the sound in the sound effects that are created including some of the sparse moments as it is a highlight of the film.

The film’s wonderful ensemble cast features some notable small roles from Eliel Ford, Truman Hanks, Benoit Herlin, and Octavio Tapia as stagehands who play various roles while providing props needed for the film. Asa Jennings is fantastic as the young Peter where he does maintain a low-key presence despite not having any dialogue yet does bring a lot of importance to this story of a kid being bullied. Ralph Fiennes is excellent in his brief appearance as Roald Dahl as the man who authored the story while adding some insight into the aftermath of the story that is being told. Finally, there’s Rupert Friend in an incredible performance as the older Peter who narrates his own story about a troubling incident he encountered as a kid where he narrates what happened to him while also doing so many things as it is a restrained yet engaging performance from Friend.

The Swan is a phenomenal film by Wes Anderson. Featuring a great cast, a compelling story of trauma, a stripped-down setting, and its unconventional approach to storytelling while breaking down the fourth wall. The short film is a charming yet simple short that plays into a man reflecting on a traumatic event while also reflecting on what pushed him to the edge. In the end, The Swan is an incredible film from Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderson Films: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Hotel Chevalier - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - Moonrise Kingdom - Castello Cavalcanti - The Grand Budapest Hotel - Isle of Dogs - The French Dispatch - Asteroid City - The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - The Rat CatcherPoison – (The Phoenician Scheme) - The Auteurs #8: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson Film Soundtracks: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Seu Jorge-The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - (Moonrise Kingdom) – (The Grand Budapest Hotel) – (Isle of Dogs) – (The French Dispatch) – (Asteroid City)

© thevoid99 2024

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Inside Out 2


Based on the 2015 film Inside Out, Inside Out 2 is the sequel to the film in which the character of Riley becomes a teenager where her five core emotions deal with new emotion avatars who are taking over during the weekend at a summer hockey camp. Directed by Kelsey Mann and screenplay by Meg LeFauve and Dave Holstein from a story by Mann and LeFauve is an exploration of teen angst and the many complexities that a teenage girl deals with while her five key emotions deal with these new changes as they try to deal with the new emotions who have taken over. Featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Tony Hale, Liza Lapira, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri, Adele Exarchopoulos, Paul Walter Hauser, Kensington Tallman, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, and June Squibb. Inside Out 2 is a majestic and riveting film from Kelsey Mann.

The film follows a young girl who is asked to attend a summer weekend hockey camp with her two friends until she gets news from them that would change everything where she deals with new emotions as well as the need to fit in with members of an elite high school hockey team. It is a film that explores a young girl becoming a teenager with her emotional avatars trying to figure out how to adjust to this new phase in her life while dealing with four new emotional avatars who are trying to take over. The film’s screenplay by Meg LaFauve and Dave Holstein, with additional contributions from Ronnie del Carmen, explore the five key emotions in Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Tony Hale), and Disgust (Liza Lapira) who are overseeing the emotional state of Riley Andersen (Kensington Tallman) while they have created a new section under their main console in a tree-like series of threads known as Sense of Self that gives Riley her identity and personality. When the puberty alarm goes off, the team deals with not just their headquarters becoming shambolic but also meeting four new emotional avatars in Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adele Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser).

The new team led by Anxiety is trying to come up with many scenarios that she believes would hurt Riley leading to a power struggle in which Joy and her team are cast out along with their symbol of Riley’s Sense of Self that is discarded along with a mountain of bad memories forcing Joy and the gang on a new quest to return to headquarters. It is in this journey where Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust all work together to try and stop Anxiety from creating a sense of chaos where Riley wouldn’t just alienate her friends but also try to win over the team’s captain Val (Lilimar) for a spot in their elite hockey team. The script also has more development in the characters in which Fear, Disgust, and Anger do bring in more ideas with Joy becoming overwhelmed in trying to maintain her optimism while Sadness finds a way to return to headquarters and take control of Joy’s new discarding device that would allow their Sense of Self to return. Still, things become more complicated with Anxiety trying to steer Riley into a place where she feels she can be accepted that only adds to more problems.

Kelsey Mann’s direction is broad in its overall presentation where she expands this world that Riley’s mind is in as there are more islands that represent her personality with the Sense of Self being an underground where memories could be stored in a river and create new threads. With the aid of animation directors David Torres and Amanda Wagner and character designers Dean Heezen and Deanna Marsigliese, Mann creates a world that is vast where the main headquarters where Joy and her team are overseeing Riley’s emotional and mental state while the room where Riley’s memories are planted for the Sense of Self tree is world that is unique until Anxiety and her team would take over where there is a shift in tone in the film as well as the look of the Sense of Self tree that Anxiety has created. Mann’s compositions in the wide and medium shots do add to the sense of wonderment in the world. They include the scenes outside of headquarters where Riley’s memories are stored and archived including a vault where Riley’s secrets are held.

With the aid of cinematographers Adam Habib and Jonathan Pytko, production designer Jason Deamer, along with art directors Rona Liu, Laura Meyer, Keiko Murayama, Joshua West, and Bill Zahn, and visual effects supervisor Sudeep Rangaswamy, Mann would create new variations of worlds including Imagination Land that Joy and Sadness used to go but Anxiety’s arrival has changed things. Joy and the gang would also meet a couple of 2D hand-drawn animated characters in Bloofy (Ron Fuches) who was a character that Riley liked as a kid as well as Floofy’s assistant Pouchy (James Austin Johnson) as it adds to this sense of surrealism to what Joy and her team would deal with. The sense of lighting and mindfulness in Riley’s face adds to the complexity of her emotions where Mann really plays into the ideas of emotional and mental chaos. Even where Joy faces realizations in what Anxiety is trying to do along with Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment where these nine emotions all play a role in Riley in who she is and what she can be. Overall, Mann crafts a rich and evocative film about emotional avatars dealing with the complexities of a girl becoming a teenager.

Editor Maurissa Horwitz does brilliant work with the editing as it is straightforward to play into the humor and action while allowing shots to linger for some of the dramatic moments in the film. Sound designer Ren Klyce and sound editor Coya Elliott do amazing work with the sound as it plays into some unique sound effects as well as how a keyboard sounds in a device that Anxiety uses. The film’s music by Andrea Datzman is wonderful as it features variations of Michael Giacchino’s themes while creating some flourishing and bombastic orchestral pieces along with some electronic bits while the music soundtrack features some mixture of pop and indie music including a song by the Linda Lindas.

The casting by Natalie Lyon and Kevin Reher is incredible as it features some notable small voice appearances from Flea, Paula Poundstone, and Bobby Moynihan as a few characters Joy and her team bump into, Frank Oz and Dave Goelz as a couple of mind cops, John Ratzenberger and Kirk Thatcher as a couple of construction people who destroy headquarters to create something new for the new avatars, Pete Docter as Dad’s Anger, Paula Pell as Mom’s Anger, Grace Lu and Sumayyah Nuridden-Green as Riley’s best friends in Grace and Bree respectively, Lilimar as the hockey team captain Val, Yvette Nicole Brown as Coach Roberts as the head of the hockey camp who takes the progress of her players seriously, and the duo of Kyle MacLachlan and Diane Lane as Riley’s parents who both deal with the fact that Riley is now a teenager with their emotional avatars realizing they’re about to enter a bumpy ride. The duo of Ron Fuches and James Austin Johnson are fantastic in their respective roles as the 2-D hand-drawn cartoon characters Bloofy and Pouchy whom Joy and her team meet in the back of the mind as they are childhood idols of Riley.

Yong Yea and Steve Purcell are superb in their respective roles as the video game character Lance Slashblade, who was a secret crush of Riley, and Deep Dark Secret as a gigantic figure who prefers to remain mysterious as he represents the deepest darkest secret that Riley does not want anyone to know. June Squibb is amazing in her brief role as a tenth avatar known as Nostalgia who pops in every now and then who arrives too early to be used. Kensington Tallman is excellent as Riley Andersen as the young girl who has become a teenager where she deals with many different emotions as well as a lot of uncertainty that plays into the many mistakes and confusion that teenagers often endure. Paul Walter Hauser and Adele Exarchopoulos are brilliant in their respective roles as the emotional avatars Embarrassment and Ennui with the former not saying much as he’s often shy and flustered over his actions where he unexpectedly bonds with Sadness while the latter is hilarious in how bored she is while having a rubbery look where Exarchopoulos allows Ennui to have some of the funniest lines in the film.

Ayo Edebiri is amazing as Envy as this tiny, cyan-colored avatar that is trying to do whatever she can to make Riley be impressive while is in awe of many things where Edebiri brings a lot of nuances to her voice. Tony Hale and Liza Lapira are incredible in their respective roles as Fear and Disgust with the former being more concerned with Riley’s state of mind while also being prepared for the worst while the latter brings a lot of humor in her own crush towards Slashblade while also dealing with Riley’s growing pains where she also must step up her game in trying to help Riley. Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black are great in their respective roles as Sadness and Anger with the former becoming concerned with what Anxiety is doing where she knows that Riley is going into emotional chaos while she befriends Embarrassment. Black’s voice role as Anger has a lot of humor in the way he overreacts and gets mad at while he also becomes aware of how overwhelmed Joy has become where he helps lead the charge to help Riley.

Maya Hawke is phenomenal in her voice role as Anxiety as this orange-like avatar that is this representation of anxiety that is trying to protect Riley by visualizing the worst possible case scenarios while also doing what she can to make Riley look cool in front of new people. Finally, there’s Amy Poehler in a spectacular voice performance of Joy as the leader of Riley’s emotional gang who is trying to maintain Riley’s emotional/mental state while hoping to discard bad memories as a way to protect her only to find herself in a power struggle with Anxiety as Poehler brings more emotional weight to her character who starts to become overwhelmed while also to coming to terms with the complexity of Riley’s emotional and mental well-being.

Inside Out 2 is a sensational film from Kelsey Mann and Pixar. Featuring a great ensemble voice cast, wondrous visuals, and its exploration of growing pains in the mind of a young teenage girl. The film is a coming-of-age film that does not just explore a girl’s mental state but also the many trials and tribulations that a bunch of emotions must endure to help this young girl’s state of mind as she is growing up and dealing with changes that can be horrifying but also welcoming. In the end, Inside Out 2 is a phenomenal film from Kelsey Mann.

Pixar Films: Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - (Monsters Inc.) – (Finding Nemo) – The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up (2009 film) - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave (2012 film) - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - (Finding Dory) – (Cars 3) – Coco - The Incredibles 2 - (Onward) – Soul (2020 film) - (Luca (2021 film)) – Turning Red - (Lightyear) - (Elemental (2023 film)) – (Elio (2024 film)) – (Toy Story 5)

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar


Based on the short story by Roald Dahl, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is about a man who learns about a guru who sees things without using his eyes hoping to master this technique to cheat at gambling. Written and directed for the screen by Wes Anderson, the 37-minute short film is the first of a four-part short film series that adapts the works of Dahl as it is told in the offbeat yet meticulous style that Anderson is known for. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, and Richard Ayoade. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is an imaginative and wonderous film from Wes Anderson.

The film is the simple story of a rich man who discovers a book about a doctor’s report on a guru who can see things without his eyes where the man hopes to master this skill to cheat at gambling. It is a film told in a multilayered style as it is told through different characters with Roald Dahl (Ralph Fiennes) doing the narration as well as how he authored this story with claims that it is based on a real man. Notably as the titular character (Benedict Cumberbatch) was at an event bored where he walked to the library where he discovered this book written by Dr. Chatterjee (Dev Patel) who recounts his meeting with a circus performer in Imdad Khan (Ben Kingsley) who asked to be blindfolded for an upcoming performance. Dr. Chatterjee and his colleague Dr. Marshall (Richard Ayoade) would ask Khan these questions about where he learned this trade where Khan would tell the story of how he met this guru (Richard Ayoade) as it plays into Henry Sugar’s obsession to learn this skill, yet it would succeed in learning it, but its aftermath would prove to be unfulfilling.

Wes Anderson’s direction plays in a style that includes a lot of static shots and so much mindfulness in the setting where it does feel like the fourth wall is broken. Shot on location at the Maidstone Studios in Kent, England, Anderson’s usage of un-broken long shots, unique camera angles, and sets being moved from set to another adds to this unconventional presentation where characters narrate this story and the layers upon which it plays into Sugar’s newfound obsession. While the film is shot in a 1:33:1 full-frame aspect ratio on 16mm film to maintain an intimate style while still using some wide shots. Anderson’s usage of medium shots and close-ups do add to the sense of whimsy as well as intrigue into whether these stories were true as the characters would talk to the camera to play into this ambiguity with actors also playing multiple roles. It would all play into this journey of a rich yet lonely man who wants more money and wealth, yet it is through this skill to see things without his eyes that would reveal so much more than what wealth can offer to him. Overall, Anderson crafts a delightful and rapturous film about a rich man’s discovery of a secret skill that can make him wealthier.

Cinematographer Robert Yeomen does incredible work with the film’s cinematography with the usage of vibrant colors and heightened lighting for some of the daytime exteriors as well as stylish lights and low-key lights for some scenes at night. Editors Barney Pilling and Andrew Weisblum do excellent work with the editing as it has a few jump-cuts while a lot of it is straightforward in its cutting in allowing shots to linger for a few minutes. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, with supervising art director Kevin Timon Hill plus set decorators Cathy Featherstone and Anna Pinnock, does brilliant work with the look of the sets in the interiors of Sugar’s home, the hospital in India, and some of the backdrops created for Khan’s story. Costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone does fantastic work with the costumes in the posh clothing that Sugar wears as well as the different clothing that Dahl and other characters wear.

Hair/makeup designer Frances Hannon does amazing work with the hair/makeup design in the different looks that the characters would have included Sugar late in the film. Special effects supervisor Chris Reynolds, along with visual effects supervisors Jep Hill, David Lebensfeld, Tim Ledbury, and Grant Miller, does terrific work with the special effects in some of the backdrops with some little mechanical animation in the background and rear projection in a few bits. Sound editors Wayne Lemmer and Christopher Scarabosio do superb work with the sound as it plays into some of the natural sound effects as well as some sound effects created to play into the environment the characters are in. Music supervisor Randall Poster creates a wonderful soundtrack that consists of a classical music piece that is played sparingly in parts of the film.

The film’s ensemble cast features a few small appearances from Jarvis Cocker in various roles as friends of Sugar as well as a casino receptionist and David Gant as a casino croupier. Richard Ayoade is excellent in a dual role as Dr. Marshall who assists Dr. Chatterjee in his study of Khan as well as the Great Yogi who would teach Khan this trick to see things without his eyes. Dev Patel is amazing in a dual role as Dr. Chatterjee who is fascinated by Khan’s story where he would author the book that Sugar would read and as Sugar’s family accountant John Winston who would oversee Sugar’s business later in the film. Ben Kingsley is brilliant in a dual role as the circus performer Imdad Khan who would gain fame through a trick in seeing things without his eyes where he presents himself in a calm manner and in another role as a casino blackjack dealer.

Ralph Fiennes is incredible in a dual role as Roald Dahl as the man who revealed how learned this story about Henry Sugar and his meetings with him and in a small role as a policeman who is upset with an incident that Sugar causes. Finally, there’s Benedict Cumberbatch in a phenomenal dual performance as the titular character who is this wealthy man that becomes obsessed in learning this skill so he can win at gambling only to gain something even more fulfilling while Cumberbatch also plays a small role as a makeup artist who works for Sugar later in the film.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a tremendous film by Wes Anderson. Featuring a great cast, wondrous visuals, and an inventive screenplay. It is a short film that takes one of Roald Dahl’s overlooked short stories and turns into a story of a man’s obsession in a story he read only to find something far more valuable than what he originally intended to use with this skill he discovered. In the end, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a spectacular film from Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderson Films: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Hotel Chevalier - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - Moonrise Kingdom - Castello Cavalcanti - The Grand Budapest Hotel - Isle of Dogs - The French Dispatch - Asteroid City - The SwanThe Rat CatcherPoison – (The Phoenician Scheme) - The Auteurs #8: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson Film Soundtracks: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Seu Jorge-The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - (Moonrise Kingdom) – (The Grand Budapest Hotel) – (Isle of Dogs) – (The French Dispatch) – (Asteroid City)

© thevoid99 2024

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Tori & Lokita


Written and directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Tori & Lokita is the story of two young African immigrants who arrive in Belgium as they hope to gain residence while pretending to be siblings. The film is a look into the migrant situation in Europe in which two different African immigrants try to survive and hope to find a home in Belgium. Starring Pablo Schills, Mbundu Joely, Alban Ukaj, Tijmen Govaerts, Charlotte De Bruyne, Nadege Ouedraogo, and Marc Zinga. Tori & Lokita is a riveting and somber film from the Dardenne Brothers.

The film revolves around two young and different African immigrants who live in Belgium as one of them hopes to get immigration papers while they both do all sorts of things including drug deals for a sleazy chef and such. It is a film with a simple premise, yet Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne create a story that does have a political slant as it relates to the plight that migrants deal with as they try to enter a country legally as well as the terrible social conditions, they must endure including the bureaucratic process into getting immigration papers. Yet, at the heart of the story are these titular characters as Tori (Pablo Schills) is a 12-year-old from Benin and Lokita (Mbundu Joely) is a 17-year-old from Cameroon as they pretend to be siblings as they work as couriers for a restaurant owner in Betim (Alban Ukaj) while the latter is forced to do sexual favors for him. Lokita also must deal with the people who brought here as she owes them money while is hoping to get money for her mother back in Cameroon and legal documents that Tori already has. Lokita takes an offer from Betim to make some more money and get legal documents but what she learns is that she must be separated from Tori to work in a remote marijuana farm.

The direction of the Dardenne Brothers is engaging for the sense of urgency that occurs but also in its simplicity. Shot on location in Liege and areas around the city in Belgium, the Dardenne Brothers maintain a sense of intimacy with the close-ups and medium shots with some wide shots in some of the locations including a few scenes in its third act. Still, there is that sense of realism in their direction with some long shots that linger for a few minutes with hand-held cameras as if they are making a documentary film. The direction also displays the sense of location in where the titular characters must go to sell the drugs to Betim’s clients including a club doorman who feels like he is overpaying though Tori, later in its third act, offers to sell him some weed cheap. Though being couriers for Betim has its benefits financially and the food they eat, Lokita unfortunately must do more to get money as she is in a terrifying position due to the money, she owes to a smuggler in Firmin (Marc Zinga).

The direction also plays into this underworld that migrants must take part in as Lokita is sent to a remote farm where she must do a lot of duties in remote isolation as it is hard for her to deal with. Even as she deals with being away from Tori who still goes to school while he is concerned for Lokita knowing she also has health issues. The third act does not just play into Tori’s willingness to help Lokita as well as finding where she is where he discovers this underworld that is terrifying. Still, Tori is someone that has a lot of determination and street smart to get things done yet he also must contend with the dark underworld that he and Lokita are to get the latter her immigration papers. Overall, the Dardenne Brothers craft a gripping yet mesmerizing film about two African migrants struggling to get by and find a home in Belgium.

Cinematographer Benoit Dervaux does brilliant work with the film’s cinematography as it is straightforward for much of the film’s daytime scenes with its natural lighting while using some stylish lighting for the interior/exterior scenes at night. Editor Marie-Helene Dozo does excellent work with the editing as it is straightforward in its presentation with a few jump cuts for some of the suspenseful moments in the film. Production designer Igor Gabriel, along with art directors Julien Denis and Paul Rouschop, does amazing work with the look of the kitchen where Betim works as well as the room where Lokita lives in the farm.

Costume designer Dorothee Guiraud does nice work with the costumes as it is casual with some coats and colorful clothing. Sound editor Valene Leroy and sound engineer Jean-Pierre Duret do superb work with the sound in how it plays at a certain location through small sparse moments as well as loud moments including scenes where music is played including a few songs that the titular characters sing.

The casting by Kevin Dardenne is wonderful as it features some notable small roles from Nadage Ouedraogo as an associate of Firmin, Thomas Doret and Annette Closset as a couple of Lokita’s caseworkers, Emma Cohen-Hadria as Tori’s teacher, Tijem Govaerts as a marijuana farmer who runs everything for Betim while not giving Lokita access to a phone so that no one can find the farm, and Charlotte De Bruyne as a drug farmer in Margot who tries to warn Lokita of what she has to deal with. Marc Zinga is fantastic as the smuggler Firmin as the man that brought Lokita to Belgium as he is also this cruel figure that wants Lokita to pay him the money she owes though he is someone that could not intimidate Tori knowing Tori already has legal papers. Alban Ukaj is excellent as Betim as an Italian restaurant owner who is also a drug dealer that is trying run things despite overcharging for some clients while he also forces Lokita to do sexual favors for him.

Finally, there is the duo Pablo Schills and Mbundu Joely in tremendous leading performances in their respective roles as Tori and Lokita. Schills’ performance is full of energy and street-smart as this 12-year-old kid who always finds a solution while also knows how to deal with clients where he presents himself as a mature kid while also being a kid who does attend school. Joely’s performance as Lokita is more reserved as this 17-year-old young woman who is dealing with a lot on her plate in owing money to her smuggler, doing interviews to get legal documents, and working for Betim whom she must do sexual favors for him. Schills and Joely together bring this sense of camaraderie as well as this sense of urgency into the situations they are in as well as help each other by pretending to be siblings as they are a highlight of the film.

The 2023 Region A Blu-Ray from the Criterion Collection as part of the Janus Contemporaries series presents the film in a 1:85:1 aspect ratio with an uncompressed 5.1 Surround Sound in French with English subtitles. The lone special feature in the Blu-Ray is a 24-minute interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne as they talk about the film as well as their own background in documentary that includes footage of the early documentary films they have done since the late 1970s. They also reveal their approach to directing actors and how it had evolved in their career along with mentioning a few key collaborators in sound engineer Jean-Pierre Duret, editor Marie-Helene Dozo, production designer Igor Gabriel, and one of their sons in Kevin who was a prop master and has become their casting director.

The Blu-Ray set also features a booklet that contains an essay by film critic Michael Joshua Rowin entitled Tori and Lokita: No Safe Harbors. The essay discusses the film as well as the subject matter as it relates to the migrant situation that had been occurring since the late 2010s. Even as the essay reveals how the Dardenne Brothers produced the story by talking to educators to young migrant children along with information about their troubled situations as they hoped the film would give voice to these children. Since Schills and Joely are not professional actors and this was the first film for both, the Dardennes revealed how they had to adjust their own filmmaking process to get the two to find what they need for the characters they play as the essay is a fine read.

Tori & Lokita is a tremendous film from the Dardenne Brothers that features great performances from Pablo Schills and Mbundu Joely in their respective titular roles. Along with its ensemble cast, natural visuals, and a gripping story of survival and the plight of young African migrants living in Europe. It is a film that explores the journey of two outsiders living in a foreign world where they try to survive and find a home there while dealing with many obstacles. In the end, Tori & Lokita is a spectacular film from the Dardenne Brothers.

Dardenne Brothers Films: (Falsch) – (I Think of You) – La Promesse - Rosetta - Le Fils - L'Enfant - To Each His Own Cinema-Darkness - Lorna's Silence - The Kid with a Bike - Two Days, One Night - The Unknown Girl - Young Ahmed

© thevoid99 2024