Halifax screening picks—April 20-22 [weekend edition]

You Were Never Really Here, the latest from Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, We Need to Talk About Kevin) features a searing performance from Joaquin Phoenix, an amazing musical score by Jonny Greenwood, and some remarkable directorial choices by Ramsay—and is somehow much less than the sum of its parts. “Nagging in its grimness and, were it not for the rooted presence of Joaquin Phoenix, difficult to believe in,” says Anthony Lane in the New Yorker; “The gravity and force of Mr. Phoenix’s performance and Ms. Ramsay’s direction are impressive, but it’s hard not to feel that their talents have been misapplied, and that there is less to the movie than meets the eye,” says Tony Scott in the New York Times. Well, yeah.

In Monday’s edition of the picks, I mentioned that Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs has set off quite a discussion of the continuing acceptance of Orientalism in Western media. I took in a screening on Wednesday, and I have to say that there was more, not less of this than I was expecting. An actual white saviour empowers the masses to rise up against an Oriental despot at the fulcrum of this plot, but the most shocking moments entail the usage of a mushroom cloud as a kind of glib narrative punctuation. I can’t tell whether ignorance or cynicism is more at fault here, but the former is inexcusable and the latter is pretty tiresome.

In the Fade was absolutely shredded by some critics at the festivals last fall, but there are numerous smart people who really like it, too, so… I dunno? Carbon Arc have picked it as tonight’s (Friday’s) screening, so that is at least a promising sign.

    • In theatres, seen & recommended:
    • In theatres, seen & notable:
    • Halifax screenings this weekend:
      • Friday (Apr 20) — In the Fade, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $8.75. Fatih Akin, Germany/France, 2017, 106 minutes.
    • Wolfville screenings this week:
      • Sunday (Apr 22) —The Shape of Water, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Guillermo del Toro, USA, 2017, 123 minutes.
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