Thursday, 5 January 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Edge of Seventeen", "The Eyes of My Mother", "Paterson", "Author: The JT Leroy Story"

Julien Faddoul

The Edge of Seventeen **

Two high school girls are best friends until one dates the other’s older brother, who is, like, totally his sister’s nemesis, you know.
A movie that suffers from a lot of “first film” problems: schizophrenic theses, abandoned narration, some faulty casting and an inauthentic accentuation of teen relationships. But as a coming-of-age comedy it functions fairly well and gains immeasurably from its lead performance.

wd – Kelly Fremon Craig
ph – Doug Emmett
pd – William Arnold
m – Atli Örvarsson
ed – Tracey Wadmore-Smith
cos – Carla Hetland

p – James L. Brooks

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Hayden Szeto

The Eyes of My Mother *

A young, lonely woman is consumed by her darkest desires to surgically dismember everyone in sight after tragedy strikes her quiet country life.
Gross, graphic, elegantly shot horror film about childhood trauma that frustratingly relies on way too much dramatic ambiguity to be effective; a shame, for its nightmarish scenario is a fierce one.

wd – Nicolas Pesce
ph – Zach Kuperstein
pd – Sam Hensen
m – Ariel Loh
ed – Nicolas Pesce, Connor Sullivan
cos – Whitney Anne Adams

p – Jacob Wasserman, Schuyler Weiss, Max Born

Cast: Kika Magalhaes, Diana Agostini, Will Brill, Olivia Bond, Joey Curtis-Green, Flora Diaz, Paul Nazak, Clara Wong

Paterson **

A week in the life of a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who writes poetry in his spare time.
Lyrical, experiential entry in the oeuvre of a filmmaker whom I have always admired but never really loved. He is less in his own way here than ever before, concentrating on the everyday oddities that can inspire creative writing.

wd – Jim Jarmusch
ph – Frederick Elmes
pd – Mark Friedberg
ed РAffonso Gon̤alves
cos – Catherine George

p – Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan

Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Method Man, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper, Masatoshi Nagase, Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman

Author: The JT Leroy Story *

The boy, the girl, the legend, the illusion, the elaborate con. The creation of JT Leroy, starting from a call on a suicide hotline. New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked the wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. Laura Albert tells her own story.
Thorny documentary about an infamous lunatic – who here, in not only providing almost the entire story from her own perspective, but in also supplying the film with an astonishing amount of recorded phone messages, comes across as even more mentally unstable than her reputation. But the psychology isn’t particularly interesting and the film’s decision to keep intact the air of mystery to the hoax with a certain reveal that excuses Albert’s disgraceful conduct, is infuriating.

wd – Jeff Feuerzeig
ph – Richard Henkels
m – Walter Werzowa
ed – Michelle M. Witten

p – Jim Czarnecki, Danny Gabai, Brett Ratner, Molly Thompson

Cast: Laura Albert

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