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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in LUCY, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
Check out a performance by the up-and-coming British indie rockers Young Rebel Set at the intimate Sofar venue in London, the National-indebted "Yesca and the Fear".

One would be forgiven for calling Young Rebel Set a British-ier version of the National. The gruff vocals of Matthew Chipchase and the minor seventh chords favored by the guitars certainly carry with them echoes of LPs like The National’s Alligator and Boxer. (Young Rebel Set’s most recent album is called Crocodile, which is but one indication that it is a spiritual successor to the former LP by its American counterparts.)


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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
If you surgically grafted a snippet of Flowers for Algernon and a low-end documentary about the human brain onto a Cliff Notes summary of La Femme Nikita, the result might approach the lazy schizophrenia of Luc Besson's latest fembot warrior fantasy.

Luc Besson has been impatient when it comes to shootouts ever since 1990’s La Femme Nikita. A typical scene that we’ve seen him repeat from that film to 1997’s The Fifth Element to his newest, Lucy, goes as follows: a lone armed hero or villain walks swiftly into a room filled with many other characters with guns. The lone gunperson lets off many, many rounds in the blink of an eye. Everybody else falls down dead.


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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
Can we overcome the Darkness through the power of dance? We’ll see.

I’ve been thinking about dancing in video games and not in the Dance Central, “you are the dancer” sense. I’m talking about games where dancing is far from (at least as far as I can tell) the central interest of the game. I’m talking about the Destiny beta, a weird place where you are the universe’s savior and also its interstellar b-boy. Dancing is seemingly a light hearted and minor action in the game, but it is an important illustration of how difficult it is to maintain a game’s thematic tone.


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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
In these two films, Robbe-Grillet hones in on the plastic and empirical qualities of film, which expose entirely subjective and unreal states.

Dead women tied to bedposts can be found at the center of the hall-of-mirrors plots in these two popular hits from postmodern fetishist Alain Robbe-Grillet. In light of the female nudity, forgiving French audiences didn’t object to the teasing pseudo-narratives.


As himself, Robbe-Grillet rides on the titular train in Trans-Europ-Express, inventing and revising a narrative in which actor Jean-Louis Trintignant (also on the train as “himself”) plays a drug courier on an endless cycle of transfers and messages. Shot in gorgeous black and white, the movie borrows a page from Alphaville or Shoot the Piano Player in its cavalier mockery of pulpy plots. Amid the narrative feints, the filmmaker’s unconscious (or too conscious) fantasies rise to the surface as the story zeros in on a prostitute-spy (Marie-France Pisier), whose primary function is more femme fatality than femme fatale.


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