Image for post
Image for post

Despite being about solving a murder mystery, the most surprising thing about The Lovebirds might be that it was ever meant to get a theatrical release. …


Image for post
Image for post

Forget about gingerbread houses and white pebbles: if Oz Perkins’ Gretel and Hansel takes its inspiration in the classic Grimm story, what he shows us has little to do with a children’s story. The inherent eerie nature of fairytales has been an inspiration for many horror films in the past, from its most mainstream representants in Pan’s Labyrinth to the more obscure in The Lure. It was only a matter of time before the most famous abandoned kids of German literature would get their own time to shine in the ever-changing world of arthouse horror.

As the inversion of the title hints towards, the film takes a deeper interest in the female component of the duo. Now a young teenager (Sophia Lillis) on the verge of womanhood looking over her frankly annoying little brother (Samuel Leakey in his first role), Gretel is soon promoted to protagonist status as their mother evicts them from their small house, possibly more because of her daughter’s rebellious tendencies than the family’s poverty. The imbalance of power between the two siblings gives the perspective of a fresh relationship between the two as the young woman takes on a caretaker role that she never signed up for. …


Image for post
Image for post

If the verbally abusive calls that Jane gets from her anonymous boss are the most explicit depiction of the extent of his cruelty, the most terrifying scene of Kitty Green’s The Assistant isn’t one of direct abuse. About halfway through the film, the young woman leaves her usual spot at her desk to go knock on another door - presumably, one of a HR representative. Visibly uncomfortable, Jane struggles to find her place as the man in front of her reassures her that she came to the right person for whatever it is that is causing her distress. He smiles, encourages her to take off her coat. …


Image for post
Image for post

It is rare to get everything you will ever need to know about a film’s main character simply by looking at its poster. Standing straight and staring directly at us, Anya Taylor-Joy’s Emma Woodhouse refuses to be an enigma. She towers above her land, a bright sun in what would otherwise be little more than a bleak oversight of 18th century rural England. Her presence alone is enough to give us an idea of who the young woman we’re about to meet will turn out to be.

Yet the biggest piece of information we can get about the film’s main character even before laying our eyes on a single frame lies in her name: Emma., punctuation fully intended. Do not dare doubt it for a second: Miss Woodhouse is a full sentence by herself. She has spent her entire life with the firm notion that the world was hers to play with, not the other way around — and if we are to accept the invitation to spend the next two hours with her, it will have to be on her terms. …


Image for post
Image for post

Some stories thrive in the unsaid. Asking the readers to fill gaps in a story can make for a unique experience for each of them, without having anything to do with any kind of laziness on the author’s part. On the contrary, by letting us believe that we are smart enough to only need a few words to understand their message, we feel closer to the novel and its universe than we ever would have had the author laid down everything to simply passively consume. …


Image for post
Image for post

Watched as part of a Twitter Watch Party hosted by Allison M. — Thank you for the fun experience, it’s always interesting to watch something you probably would have never picked by yourself!

There’s an unmistakable feeling of being trapped when watching this. The hot Florida weather makes every character heavy with sweat and their words equally lethargic; all the interactions within this little world feel like they already have a fixed outcome. …


Image for post
Image for post

The Talented Mr Ripley’s sequels continually suffer from comparison with its original. As the series reaches its end, the disconnect between the first dark thriller and the novels that followed it is more obvious than ever. Ripley is no longer the menacing psychopath we once met on the beautiful coasts of Italy back in 1955; here, he almost feels like an old friend, save for the homicidal tendencies. How easily Highsmith can make us sympathise with a serial killer is proof enough of her writing talents; how melancholic it feels to finally leave him, even more.

We’re back once more in the familiar settings of Belle Ombre, along with the characters that have been the stars of Tom’s little world since his arrival in France: Héloïse is as charming as ever, Madame Annette her good old generous self, the neighbours still just as rich as they are kind, and the people from the gallery in London as unbothered by crime as could be expected from forgery experts. The neighbourhood thrives still on routine as much as gossip; and even the small trip that Tom and his beloved wife take to Tangier do little to dissipate the resolutely French rural atmosphere of the book. …


Image for post
Image for post

Here’s a little game for you: close your eyes and picture these two people.

One is a failed writer. Like all good fictional writer characters, he’s also very, very depressed. You know what he doesn’t find depressing though? Wine. But he’s not a drunk, no way: just a connoisseur. The type of guy to say every varietal’s name with an obnoxious French accent and complain that the reason he’s not getting published is because his work is just too smart for common people. …


Image for post
Image for post

I long for the day when I’ll be able to finish a Wes Anderson film and feel anything more than “that was okay”. I fell hard for GRAND BUDAPEST in my early “teenager trying to become a cinephile by watching movie lists made by people on Tumblr” days — the pink skies and quirky lines, the famous actors I didn’t know were famous yet, the symmetry of the frame and the continuous optimism all worked together in a unique way I had never even dreamed of before.

The years passed and I grew older, and although “wiser” probably isn’t the right way to describe the way I changed over the years, I did end up watching a whole lot of other movies. Anderson still occasionally worked for me — I loved LIFE AQUATIC even more than GRAND BUDAPEST, and I never came out of any of his films feeling like I had a really bad time. But the more time went on and the less I felt connected to what he had to say — and that was if I could even identify what that was at all. It felt sad, like being the only one not in on a joke that everyone else seemed to find hilarious. I was waiting for the day when things would finally click again, when one of his stories would resonate in just the right way and I would finally be enchanted again. …


Image for post
Image for post

Here’s the thing about fire: it always dies out. Sometimes it is a relief to know it has an end — like when a sleeve comes too close to a candle or a particularly clumsy friend tries to have a barbecue party. Sometimes, it comes with sadness, like spending a cold winter evening telling jokes by the fireplace and feeling your eyes struggling to stay open as you’d wish the night could go on forever. …

About

callie

writers be writing

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store