‘Sorry to Bother You’ Apologizes for Nothing

Boots Riley has asked critics not to spoil his movie, so this is me telling you that I won’t. But if you want to experience Sorry to Bother You in all its glory, I would recommend coming back to this review (and others) after your first go-round.

In a quieter moment within the off-the-wall final act of Sorry to Bother You, artist Detroit (Tessa Thompson) stares up at a giant, vulgar statue, erected haphazardly in the night, that shows sarong-wearing CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) fucking an animal. The statue is lovely in its awfulness, with comically inaccurate proportions and a flimsiness that suggests it might be made of papier-mache. As a crowd gathers to admire the monstrosity, one woman asks, “But what does it mean?” To which Detroit responds, “Maybe the artist is being literal.”

Sorry to Bother You 1
Tessa Thompson in ‘Sorry to Bother You’ © Annapurna Pictures

While nothing more than a small, satisfying in-joke in the context of the onscreen action, this line is the closest Sorry to Bother You gets to a thesis statement. Like the protest statue, the film is loud, declarative and unsubtle, delightfully surreal yet demanding to be seen for what it is—and like Detroit suggests, that might just be the point. Continue reading “‘Sorry to Bother You’ Apologizes for Nothing”

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BFI London Film Festival ’17 Review: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a sun-soaked masterpiece

Like most people on Film Twitter, I first discovered ‘Call Me By Your Name’ after hearing its rapturous reception from Sundance and reading the flurry of tweets hailing it as a masterpiece. I was instantly dying to see it and the thought of waiting until the end of the year bothered me and refused to go away, like an itch that’s impossible to reach. I think I might just be addicted to good cinema, willing to go to any lengths to get another fix. So I did what any person without self-restraint would do — I bought plane tickets to Berlin, and dragged my friend to see the film on the last day of Berlinale, under the pretense of a mid-term holiday. She thought the film was fine, but it affected me far more than I ever anticipated. That very same week, I came out as bisexual. 

Continue reading “BFI London Film Festival ’17 Review: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a sun-soaked masterpiece”