I’m halfway through Sense8, the new Netflix series by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), and against every possible prediction (based on my previous experiences with the creators of… Speed Racer and Jupiter Ascending) and despite the reviews out there, I must admit that it’s actually a fascinating and awe-inspiring tale within its own grandiloquence. 8 stories, 8 characters, 8 cities around the world… and 8 genres?
I’m still afraid of Fortitude’s sixth episode. This thriller’s atmosphere has become so dark and oppressive that you can hardly breathe or blink during its 48 minutes. Mainly because you believe that the most horrifying monster can appear and tear everyone and everything apart in any second. The scariest part is that it never appears.
1986, Blue Velvet, by cult author David Lynch, opens with the sequence below: the perfect life of an American suburban neighborhood is suddenly halted. A middle-age man, who watering his yard, seems to suffer a heart attack and he drops dead in an instant. The camera dives slowly into the perfectly cut grass, deeper and deeper. At the bottom, we find the insects, the filthy, the rotten… Lynch showed us with this shot, together with the well-known ear with ants, that under the superficial, seemingly perfect, American way of life in the small idillic communities there’s always a dark hidden shadow, a place where people bury their most infame secrets and desires.
Life. It’s literally all we have. But is it any good? I’m a reviewer, but I don’t review food, books, or movies. I review life itself. – Review with Forrest MacNeil
My name is Nathan Fielder, and I graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades. Now, I’m using my knowledge to help struggling small business owners make it in this competitive world. This is Nathan For You. – Nathan For You
Modern cinema took off with two stares into camera: Harriet Andersson challenged the audience to judge her for her new affair in Summer with Monika (Bergman, 1953), and Jean Seberg did the same thing seven years later in À bout de souffle (Godard), probably a direct quotation of the previous film, when in its last shot she pretended to be something she was not. The look at the camera was thus established as a breach in form, the characters acknowledge their own performative act, related also to a subversion of the social and genre conventions, both women betray their lovers. Cinema would never be the same again, self-consciousness and reflexivity would become the main features of contemporary cinema, from films about the essence of cinema and acting (Persona) to studies of the generic and the thin barrier between reality and fiction disappearing in our current society (Synecdoche New York). Viewer, actor and character converge into one single entity.
A corpse on a West Coast beach, a pair of detectives wearing sunglasses, mysteries at sunset… are some of the elements that compound a recently coined genre: surf noir. The term, originated from Kem Nunn’s novels that mixed “dark themes and a surfing setting”, has been examined in the past years by the hands of two American television gurus: Shawn Ryan, creator of probably the best crime series, The Shield, and David Milch, creator of the (no probably here) best western series, Deadwood.