Showing posts from April, 2021

Roy Andersson's "About Endlessness"

By Moira Jean Sullivan I have seen many Roy Andersson films through the years. His latest About Endlessness (2019) which won the best director award in Venice that year, is a good term to describe all of his previous films of the last years. Though they are different in themes, they are always the same, a still mise en scene - composition of the frame. There is no camera action but one long take and Andersson has been working this way since 2000. You are forced to concentrate on what is within the scene, and because of the stillness, the endlessness, you have the opportunity to focus on every detail. This is different from nearly all films, and there is probably only one filmmaker in the world that does this: Roy Andersson. He perfected this style by making commercials for years, which were usually one take scenes, and he took this style to feature film. The first one he made won the Palme d’Or in 2000 – Songs from the Second Floor. The colors in his films are drab, the dec

"Best Summer Ever": feel good musical on respecting disability

By Moira Jean Sullivan Best Summer Ever is a spirited high school musical directed by Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli. It is filmed in Vermont and produced by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Amy Brenneman and Jamie Lee Curtis. Only Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard have speaking roles in the film and play a TV producer and a cameraman. Also in the film is Benjamin Bratt as the father of one of the high school girls. Many of the actors are mentally or physically challenged and the way the film is edited and shot is that they are incorporated in the film with equal or correspondingly equal abilities with everyone. Everyone has amazing talent whether they are in wheel chairs, or have artificial limbs, or speech impediments or are able bodied. The story is about Sage (Shannon DeVido), a young woman in a wheelchair that falls in love at a summer camp with a dancer , Tony (Rickey Alexander Wilson Jr). The ambitious and scheming Madeline Rhodes (MuM

French Exit

By Moira Jean Sullivan French Exit is an Irish/Canadian/US coproduction from 2020 playing at the Landmark Theaters. It is directed by Azazel Jacobs and based on a novel by Patrick deWitt. The fact that Michelle Pfieffer is in the film is the real pull and appeal of this independent production and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Frances Price, a Manhattan upper class widow whose husband has left her without any financial security. She has to discretely sell off the furniture and valuables in the apartment to survive and move with her 24-year-old son Malcolm (Lukas Hedges). Pieces do fall into place in her early 60’s and she is lent Joan’s empty apartment in Paris for a getaway. The assorted characters in the film that back up the story accompany the largess of Pfeiffer and are admirable co-players together with Hedges as her deadpan son Malcolm. After passage by ocean liner, Frances and Malcolm arrive and for a moment the relationship with a young