The claustrophobic story of four characters trapped in a submersible vessel is a bold move for a feature directorial debut. While it’s a choice that affords writer-director Ben Parker control over his location, it’s also one that offers him little flexibility—trapped on his own claustrophobic stage with his small ensemble cast.
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In theaters now is a movie that serves as an unexpected but welcome respite from the current political firestorm of absurdity and anxiety that’s engulfed the entirety of the United States. Southside With You follows young Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) on their first date back in 1989 as they roam the streets of Chicago and have philosophical jousting matches inspired by their culture-rich surroundings.
She only appears in the last 15 minutes of the film. Mrs. Voorhees’ presence is, at first, rather disorienting, since we’ve seen so few adults during the course of the carnage. As she tries to comfort a distraught and very upset Alice, her almost blasé response to the concept of a killer on the loose makes her instantly suspect.
Still, we’re willing to go with this well-meaning matriarch, at least, up to a point. And then Betsy Palmer, TV star from decades past, opens up her predatory pearly whites and starts telling the story of a boy named Jason, and soon we see the light. As the mother of the drowned lad, Mrs. Voorhees means business, and in her line of work (carving up teenagers), business is booming.
So American Sniper didn’t sneak into the Winner’s circle for either Best Picture and/or Best Actor. Boyhood, ballyhooed by almost everyone who saw it at Sundance last year as “the film to beat”, had to settle for a single Academy Award (for Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette).
Host Neil Patrick Harris neither saved nor sunk the annual combination of critical reevaluation and industry backslapping, and while at least one long standing wrong was righted (we can now call Julianne Moore “Academy Award Winner…”), Richard Linklater et. al. must feel like the rest of Selma right now (which picked up a trophy for Best Song).
He is, perhaps, the most influential surrealist of all time, arguably more important than Salvador Dali and better known than movement’s founder, Andre Breton. For some, however, the categorization doesn’t fully give Swiss artist Hans Ruedi “H.R.” Giger enough credit. To them, he was more than just a critical delineation. As a genre prophet, his impact on science fiction, fantasy, and horror is unquestioned. As an inspiration, he’s the godfather of too many cultural connections (Cyberpunk, Goth, Future Shock) to name. While some consider his work borderline pornographic (and have persecuted him for such over the years), Giger remains an embedded part of our contemporary consciousness. After all, who can look at the dual mouthed monster from Ridley Scott’s Alien and not instantly distinguish the man’s amazing style. Both instantly recognizable and frighteningly foreign, it marks the culmination, and the mere surface, of his entire creative canon.