Archive for July 7th, 2019

Revolting though utterly brilliant horror film “Midsommar”

by Sam Juliano

Now the 4th is behind us and we move forward with scorching temperatures and air conditioner overtime.  Some of us are presently on vacation, others still attending to their regular employment.  Yours Truly is working the summer literature and writing enrichment program until Wednesday July 31st and then the one month of the year a break is awarded to us, though the dog days of August are normally the time heat is redefined.  This past week J.D. Lafrance gave us a terrific essay on Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break, and Jim Clark will soon be posting his own addition in his great Ingmar Bergman series.

Extreme gore, terrifying images, a “Handmaid’s Tale” sensibility, and “Wicker Man” execution, nightmarish tapestries and a touch of dark humor collide in Ari (Hereditary) Aster’s unique horror film Midsommar, a tale of twisted revenge set in a remote Swedish village. The film is sometimes indescribably revolting yet visceral, sublime, atmospheric and undeniably brilliant. Florence Pugh is extraordinary! 4.5 of 5.0 methinks. Lucille and I saw it in Secaucus on Friday night and I have to admit it had me shaken.

The Beatles, Pavarotti and an Australian pelican

As I regard the Beatles as the greatest band of all-time from any country and Luciano Pavarotti as the most titanic voice I’ve heard in my lifetime, (I witnessed him three times at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Opera) I would have told anyone who predicted I’d like a slow-moving Australian drama about a boy and his pet Pelican Mr. Percival better than films about the music legends in serious need of psychiatric help. Yet there it is. The Down-Under drama, Storm Boy a bonafide tear jerker starring Geoffrey Rush and newcomer Finn Little is a shattering little film which is lovingly lensed and movingly performed, deserves wider distribution. I certainly liked the Pavarotti documentary by Ron Howard for a host of reasons, but it isn’t cohesive and could have been much better.

As to Yesterday there is charm but also a sense that the film’s time-travel novelty devise wears thin. Always fabulous though to hear some of the greatest songs ever written on-screen of course. Lucille and I spent our July 4th in the Montclair Claridge multiplex watching all three films in succession. NOTE: Sadly Storm Boy bombed at the box office, losing about 10 million for its independent distributor.


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