Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Selma", "A Most Violent Year", "I Origins"

Julien Faddoul

Selma **

Selma, Alabama: the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march lead by Martin Luther King Jr that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act.
Fairly conventional piece of cine-history, that ventures forward with many different perspectives without ever really choosing an anchored direction to go with. Historical figures enter and leave the frame, many of them in scenes of arresting dramatic power and intrigue.

d – Ava DuVernay 
w – Paul Webb
ph – Bradford Young
ad – Kim Jennings
ed – Spencer Averick
cos – Ruth E. Carter

p – Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

Cast: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Common, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Lorraine Toussaint, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Niecy Nash, Colman Domingo, Giovanni Ribisi, Alessandro Nivola, Keith Stanfield, Andre Holland, Tessa Thompson, Wendell Pierce, Omar Dorsey, Ledisi Young, Trai Byers, Stephan James, Kent Faulcon, John Lavelle, Henry G. Sanders, Jeremy Strong, Dylan Baker, Nigel Thatch, Charity Jordan, Haviland Stillwell, Tara Ochs, Martin Sheen, Michael Shikany, Stephen Root

A Most Violent Year **

In New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history, an immigrant and his family try to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the days drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.
Deliberate, Lumetian plunge into the corruption and arrogance of American businessmen with a vigilant grip on pace and period detail. Ethical dilemmas, √©migr√© predicaments and the dangers of that New York period all serve the film’s muscular, if not particularly substantial, themes.

wd – JC Chandor
ph – Bradford Young
pd – John P. Goldsmith
m – Alex Ebert
ed – Ron Patane
cos – Kasia Walicka-Maimone

p – JC Chandor, Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks, Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno

I Origins

A molecular biologist studies the evolution of the human eye and finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman who slips away from him.
Phony, pseudo-intellectual drama that consistently mistakes portentousness for severity.

wd – Mike Cahill
ph – Markus Forderer
pd – Tania Bajlani
m – Will Bates, Phil Mossman
ed – Mike Cahill
cos – Megan Gray

p – Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Alex Orlovsky

Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi, William Mapother, Cara Seymour

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