Posts Tagged ‘Rooney Mara’


Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

November 17, 2015


After an opening credits sequence in which we follow a male individual through the streets of 1950s New York and into an indoors encounter with a female acquaintance, director Todd Haynes drops a fairly explicit reference to another film in the beginning of his new movie, Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt. The film he references is David Lean’s 1945 effort Brief Encounter, oft-considered one of the great works about the intertwining of romance and repression. The reference comes through this male individual’s unfortunate interruption of a meeting between that female acquaintance, Therese (Rooney Mara), and the woman she has been listening to with such intent, Carol (Cate Blanchett). The male’s unbeknownst disturbance upon a most important meeting sees Carol make an early departure, touching the seated Therese on the shoulder as she leaves the public venue, just as Trevor Howard does to Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter.

Like in Lean’s film, there is a sense that this may be the last time the pair meets, and that their precious time together has been cruelly cut short by a frivolous link to their lives outside of each other (the male acquaintance is a friend of Therese’s male beau). In what’s also a similar structural conceit toBrief Encounter, this scene will repeat itself towards the end of Carol, as what’s in between fills in the blanks, revealing what this relationship is all about. It’s a bold move to so overtly bring to mind another major romantic work at the very beginning of your own, but it’s a gambit that doesn’t see Haynes’ efforts flounder. As premature as it might be to say in a review for an initial theatrical run,Carol more than earns the right of comparison to Brief Encounter in terms of quality. Frankly, it’s one of the new great romantic films…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages


Seen Your Video #16: We Need You To Get Naked Because Art

April 10, 2013


The Seen Your Video podcast has returned after a long hiatus, which coincidentally followed my previous guest appearance on the show. I am now an acting co-host for the podcast’s film-heavy episodes, and the latest episode sees Chris Ward and I discuss two recent thrillers that have been getting lumped together, at least in British film circles: Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Danny Boyle’s Trance. We also touch on the late Roger Ebert, as well as a highlight of each of our recent film viewings; Chris spotlights Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, while I talk about Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water.

Stream the episode here.
Alternatively, you can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast by looking up Seen Your Video on iTunes.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

January 14, 2012

David Fincher’s return to the murder mystery genre proves especially notable in the context of his cinematic output to date, providing a blend of various aesthetic and thematic concerns of some of his previous films. The detailed, analytical investigative aspects of Zodiac encounter the outsider character study elements of The Social Network, as well as that film’s rapid-fire depiction of digital technology and what pursuits involved with it can expose about people; there’s also a reprisal of the explicit serial killer and abuse content of his breakthrough film Se7en. Much of this is made quite overt in the film’s opening credits sequence, which bring to mind the dark but mischievous opening of his 1995 film. Set to a blistering cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, with vocals from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O, among its oily blackened images is the sight of tentacle-like USB cables ensnaring figures both male and female, penetrating and destroying them. The murder investigated in the film’s narrative occurs around the time of those unsolved killings in Zodiac, but the contemporary tools of the digital era of the film’s main setting in the 2000s mean that issues of the past can still be dug up and resolved, allowing actions to finally have devastating consequences. If The Social Network had some commentary about digital technology’s means of destroying people’s connections, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s opening titles and thematic exploration go further to suggest that the digital can destroy people as a whole. Read the rest of this entry ?