By: Henry J. Fromage –
Week seven of my 2017 365 Days of Movies Challenge was cut short by a lethal double-tap of a work trip and Valentine’s day happenings, but I got some good stuff in.
52. Rules Don’t Apply
I can’t really count this as “good stuff”, exactly. Warren Beatty’s cinematic return/Hollywood farce meets Howard Hughes drama feels like a much-longer film whittled down into a greatest hits edit of a bunch of stories we never get enough of an idea of what he’s going for to care. Several alluring performances, but all on different registers. Nothing gels.
53. Beware the Slenderman
The latest in the slickly-assembled true crime documentary craze we’re in right now tells the story of two teen girls who stabbed their friend almost to death because the internet boogey man Slenderman told them to. This doc maybe doesn’t successfully prove all its thesises about teenage alienation and the unique role the internet is playing in kids feeling that typical malaise these days, but it is a pretty damn creepy depiction of two girls who probably are mentally ill, and a court system not well-equipped to deal with this sort of crime.
54. Toni Erdmann
This unclassifiable shock comedy Euro-drama is an incredible calling card for director Maren Ade, low brow comedy delivered in the highest browed way leading to a sneaky emotional payoff. The inevitable American remake is pretty much setting itself up for failure, but if they attempt anything half as brassy as this, will be a clusterfuck not to miss, that’s for sure.
55. Doggie Woggiez Poochie Woochiez
Oberst insisted we finish our movie-watching night with this full-length Everything is Terrible supercut of dog movie scenes and internet videos based around the same framework as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. If anything, this hour-long dog-themed, apparently actually theatrically released assault to the senses is even weirder than that description would suggest.
Paul Verhoeven has not lost his ability to attack social sensibilities in the most shocking, taboo-breaking of manners, as he and an incredibly layered Isabelle Huppert invert and satirize the rape revenge drama in a way that only probably he could have pulled off. Now that we’ve confirmed he’s lost no steps, here’s hoping he’s back to terrorizing big-budget Hollywood productions again after this, as it’s probably just the kick in the pants it needs.