As in the America of the 1970s -- with its political corruption, war, economic straits, and fatalism -- Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud resonates loudly in these times. Shall we join the circus freaks dancing on the grave of an absurd and unjust society?
Adjustment Day may not be peak Palahniuk, but it is nonetheless entertaining and twistedly educational, providing abundantly peculiar and original paths within one of his most astute and necessary social commentaries to date.
While Anthony Asquith's Shooting Stars and Underground look excellent on Kino Lorber's digital restoration, Arthur Robison's The Informer, looks most spectacular, thanks to working from the original negative and a tinted nitrate print.
In rendering his most avant-garde characters as members of a kind of self-help conspiracy in The Made-Up Man, Joseph Scapellato offers not an update but a revision of absurdism, and as such, many social phenomena ripe for satire get off easy.
If Shirley Jackson's simple parable, "The Lottery", couldn't inspire self-reflection in an arguably simpler time, one has to wonder what messages today -- such as that of Bojack Horseman's "The Lottery" episode -- are falling on deaf ears in these times of increasing gun violence in America.
In the Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, there's something altogether new about having revisionist western ideas filtered through their rich sense of character, black comedy, and their penetrating awareness of humanity's fatal imperfections.