The Lobster – dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
Watch this film if you are a: Writer
Mood of the film : Deadpan
Overall Score 7/10
It’s unfortunate that short films are so looked down on both commercially and in the circles of the film communities. Every so often a film will come along that will leave me thinking, “Man, that really ran out of steam towards the end. Why didn’t they just cut off the lack several minutes? It would’ve made a really great short film.”
The Lobster is one of those films.
Though in this case, one can’t avoid thinking that perhaps writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos might have just bit off more than he could chew.
I should probably mention now that I recommend watching this film wholeheartedly. The first hour is a sombre masterpiece in absurdist comedy. The hotel in which we spend that first hour feels like a complete world, where no thought has been spared about what makes it tick. In this world, being in a relationship is paramount. If you don’t already realise this, prepare to be indoctrinated about it through art, physical interactions and what can only be called “hotel torture.” To top it all off, those who are single are either hunted down like animals or quite literally turned into them. I’m always a fan of a film which can employ sci-fi elements without ever feeling the need to be abashed by them or constrict itself to being a “genre film.”
It’s a shame, however, that all of this work proves for naught after the half-way point. The film’s ingenious and stylistic hotel setting is thrown out for an uninteresting woodland. Quirky, funny characters are exchanged for boring, shockingly, more tyrannical ones. The mood of the film, itself, is changed and not for the better. It’s obvious what Lanthimos was trying to do. The forest dwellers, (the “loners”) have their own set of rules and punishments designed to keep people apart. It creates this sense of a grander dystopia where both warring nations are forcing their people into loneliness. That’s clearly the film’s main topic of exploration and it is good to see both sides being addressed, so that the film feels less like an answer to the current reality of online dating and forced couple dating shows. But it should have been apparent that a world where you’re forced to be single is far less interesting than a world where you’re forced into a relationship. The taboo of being in love is tired and feels very Hollywood, in what is otherwise a very non-confirmative film.
High Fidelity- dir. Stephen Frears
Watch this film if you are a: Actor
Mood of the film : Comedy – Self Pity and Reflective
Overall Score 9/10
“High Fidelity” is a comedy based on real life and real people. This film is the ultimate contrast to a rom com although based wholly around relationships and love. We follow Rob ( the movie’s narrator) telling his tales of breakups and self analyzing the ups and down of every relationship he has experienced. We are ultimately given a insight into his highs and lows and memories of his past relationship in a hope tackling is inability to create a lasting connection. Alongside understanding that he appears more into the ex girlfriends when he can longer have them.
What makes this film so great is the character development complementing the outstanding acting. Rob works at a record shop with his two fellow employees who are at work six days, instead of the three days they are paid for, out of pure enjoyment of their job. The characters all feel familiar and like anyone you could meet on the street.
My favorite aspect of this film is the direction to the camera of the narrative. This allows the script to feel unforced , personal and honest. I would highly recommend this film for anyone looking for a quirky comedy with a fantastic soundtrack.
Miss Stevens – dir. Julia Hart
Watch this film if you are an: Actor
Mood of the film : Relatable
Overall Score 7/10
The directorial debut from Julia Hart, Miss Stevens is the indie film you didn’t know you needed. A lost high school English teacher (Lily Rabe) takes on the task of chaperoning three disoriented students to a drama competition, only to be faced with hurdle after hurdle.
The film takes you on a surprising, and relatable, rollercoaster of events in the short time of just 84 minutes, winding through themes of friendship, love, self identity, and loss.
Featuring a stand out performance by Timothee Chalamet, who will tear your heart into a hundred tiny pieces, Miss Stevens is a well written and certainly unmissable film for anyone young, or anyone trying to navigate through the mystery of life.