It is what it is.
You’ve probably seen at least ten best of the decade lists by now and you think, Really? Another one?. Well we knew you’d say that so we thought we’d spice it up a bit. Instead of doing our usual “Best of …” format which usually includes ten to fifteen films ranked based on our individual lists, we are doing individual lists only. We felt that this way, we could present you with a more diverse list of films. We asked fourteen critics, academics and programmers to list their top twenty-films of the decade and write about their #1.But we still wondered if we made a big list, what would be our #1? What film was it that showed up on the list again and again? What film, to us, really captured the essence of this decade? The last ten years have been defined by loss, financial ruin, and anxiety about what world the next generation is going to inherit. But it’s also been a decade where seeds of revolution were planted, and the rise of social movements by people not afraid to fight the powers and systems that have become goliaths. Darkness rises, and light to meet it.
Much Ado About Cinema’s favourite film of the decade is Mad Max: Fury Road. Enjoy and happy new decade! Continue reading “Best Films of the Decade”
The world as seen through a kaleidoscope is not exactly real, but it’s not not real, either. It is a marvel of physics, filtering reality into dozens of refracted shapes and creating a world that belongs only to you, if only for a moment, in which the utterly ordinary is suddenly anything but.
Created by BoJack Horseman alum Kate Purdy and BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Amazon’s new animated series Undone follows Alma (Rosa Salazar, magnetic), a young woman whose mundane existence is one day, for lack of a more precise word, kaleidoscoped. Following a car accident, Alma unlocks an ability to see, manipulate, and travel across space and time. Soon after, the spirit figure of her dead father Jacob (Bob Odenkirk) tasks her with solving the mystery of his untimely death one Halloween night years ago.
Continue reading “Reality Unravels In The Dazzling, Slow-Burning ‘Undone’”
It’s back to school season and the eighth episode of the Much Ado About Cinema Podcast has arrived!
I talk to Mary Beth McAndrews and Alejandra Salazar about what we, personally have learned from film. We swap stories about films that struck a chord with our identities, experiences, and relationships. Through all of this, we try to parse out what these movies have taught us about ourselves and each other.
Thanks for listening, and enjoy!
Available on Spotify, iTunes, Sticher, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!
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Let’s talk about God. Or, rather, the Voice of God.
The Voice of God is the first thing we hear in the delightful Amazon and BBC series Good Omens. Played by the great Frances McDormand, the Voice of God creates the impression of a warm, lighthearted higher power who is also utterly unpredictable.
Within just a few seconds of knowing her, McDormand’s God lets us know exactly what we’re in for. Good Omens is set at the brink of Armageddon — the coming of the Antichrist, the ride of the Four Horsemen, the great war between Heaven and Hell, etcetera, etcetera — and the fate of an oblivious humankind hangs in the balance. But God at least has a fantastic sense of humor about it all, which we could stand to learn a thing or two from.
Continue reading “The End of the World is a Delight in ‘Good Omens’”
Cannes is just around the corner, and for those of us stuck at home wistfully thinking of the Croisette, there is no better place to turn than to the exceptional catalogue of past Cannes selections. MUBI have helpfully prepared a brilliant streaming lineup for their next twelve days of programming, presenting an iconic past Cannes film every day of the festival – surely enough to sate our cinematic appetites without even the need to even get up from the couch. Fantastique!
Read on to find out what our writers thought about the films included in this year’s Cannes MUBI lineup – from sadomasochistic horror, to the first movie to ever premiere in 3D at the festival, to a beloved Palme d’Or winner, there’s something here for everyone.
Continue reading “MUBI Cannes Takeover: 12 Great Films You Can Catch on MUBI During the Festival”
There is a macabre allure to the sight of an erupting volcano: the darkness, the blackened earth, the lava — thick, glowing, molten fire that transforms all it touches.
The volcano is an apt metaphor for long-term destruction and big-picture change, as sublimely embodied in Jia Zhangke’s newest film, Ash Is Purest White. The story follows Qiao (Zhao Tao) through her own trial by fire after an explosive incident leaves her to navigate romance, class, and social anxieties through a rapidly changing China.
The film opens in 2001 in the northern Chinese town of Datong. An ongoing power struggle between Datong’s exploited workforce and a faceless bourgeois serves as the backdrop for the movie’s first act. Qiao and her boyfriend Bin (Liao Fan), a small-time mob boss, have managed to carve a foothold for themselves within the crumbling local economy. He is a measured, intimidating leader of the criminal underground, she is his inquisitive and self-assured partner, and they revel in subtly flexing their power (one amusing recurring detail: Bin almost never lights his own cigarette — one lackey or another, arm outstretched, always has a lighter for available for him).
Continue reading “Review: “Ash Is Purest White” burns bright”