Cinema 2017 Half-Time Report: Moments 2/2

In my view there are too many fine moments to mentions from 2017 so far. As we enter the second half, we mentally clock up even more. Are we bored yet? Are we thrilled? Are we still afloat the tide of anticipation? Are we experiencing high blood pressure over the comic book movie success? Here’s the second 7 moments or scenes from the year in film that made an impression:

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Monster Dance from Colossal

Mixing science fiction with monster movie with comedy with who knows what else, Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal is a rare, unexpected victory for the cinema of 2017. Anne Hathaway’s recovering alcoholic is literally scratching her head when she realizes that somehow all her actions on a childhood stomping ground are mimicked by a huge monster which causes city-destroying mayhem at the other side of the world. One of the comedy high points hits home when Hathaway demonstrates to her male buddies that she is the monster making headline news. The manner in which she does so is to dance and shimmy, projecting a rather hilarious image across news channels, as well as aghast expressions of her friends, of the monster breaking out the moves.. —– Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

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Different Views from Stockholm, My Love

Mark Cousins turns from his own study of his own city in I Am Belfast to someone else’s study of theirs – Neneh Cherry reminisces upon her past, present and future in Stockholm, My Love, and that of the city itself. We see Stockholm as we recognize it, and thus come to understand it, in her part-fictional voice-over narration, though a Stockholm we do not recognize, and perhaps never come to understand, emerges midway. Cherry visits a most special cemetery and peers through the peephole of its church, a construction analysed verbally in her role as an architecture specialist. The view indoors is blurry and indistinct; the view outdoors is rich and full of a colour otherwise largely absent from the film. It’s a sumptuous segue from one half of our city tour to the next, and the most memorable moment in one of the year’s most memorable features. —– Paddy Mulholland @screenonscreen

An Education from Divines

Houda Benyamina made an impassioned, powerful drama in Divines, a teen movie without the sugar-coating, this is an in-your-face, life-on-the-streets wake-up call. As teenager girl slash hustler Dounia, Oulaya Amamra (the director’s little sibling) is a force to be reckoned with in the lead, a bone-crunching performance demonstrating various strands of emotional highs and lows. Literally in the classroom, Dounia shows such varying layers of her persona as an educational role-play turns into an out-and-out verbal slanging match. Feelings are hurt, wicked things are said, and for Dounia stubborn pride collides with unadulterated ambition. —– Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

The Deep Dive from Ghost in the Shell

If you listened to episode 5 of the Woo L.A. podcast, you’ll know I wasn’t a huge fan of the live-action version of the classic ’95 Anime, but I must give props to Ghost in the Shell for staging a really immersive sequence which has the Major hacking into a dead geisha-bot’s memories for a clue into the whereabouts of cyber-terrorist Kuze. The scene itself feels as if it’s paying homage to a film series which took inspiration from the original source material – “The Matrix”. —– Jonathan Holmes @MisterBrown_23

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There Will Be Blood from Grave (Raw)

Within its slow-burning, appetizing execution and prepping, Julia Ducournau lands chilling and compelling jolts of drama in Raw that you ultimately cannot stop entering your bloodstream. With spoilers on the verge, I can easily describe one such brilliant moment in comparison to a melting ice lolly that you instinctively lap up with your tongue so not to make a mess. Following a Brazilian waxing gone wrong, sisters Justine (Garance Marillier) and Alexia (Ella Rumpf), not being careful with those very sharp scissors, find themselves in a precarious position – the very second Justine’s hunger finally gets the better of her is exhilaratingly affecting, combining the music cue, editing, acting et al to perfection. —– Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

Showdown at the House of Mirrors from John Wick: Chapter 2

I could have chosen the gunfight in Rome’s catacombs for it’s spectacular fight choreography, or I could have gone with Wick fighting and killing assassins as he tears through New York City for D’Antonio for placing a hit on him after he competed a job on his behalf. But I chose Wick facing off against the Italian crime lord’s thugs in a museum who’s motif is perception through a hallway of mirrors as one of the standout movie moments of the year, partly due to how incredibly well-choreographed the whole affair is (Chad Staheliski was a stuntman for many action film stars, and his knowledge on how to stage and effectively put together a fight scene shines through) and partly because it’s a great reference to Orson Wells’ The Lady From Shanghai. —– Jonathan Holmes @MisterBrown_23

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An Eventful Finale from I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

A remarkable closing fiasco just about brings Macon Blair’s deftly original (we don’t say that much these days) to a fitting end. His story has already carried us through dark humor of the modern suburban life, in which Ruth (an inch-perfect Melanie Lynskey) crosses paths with neighbor Tony (a great role for Elijah Wood), firstly in dispute, but soon enough as allies. The dog shit has hit the fan full-on by the time Ruth has lost a finger, and she and Tony find themselves in the midst of kidnapping / robbery / gun-wielding psychos. The unpredictability and madcap execution (pun intended) of the violent finale still manages to be exhilarating and funny – too many spoilers, of course, to drag the wondrous details from this one. —– Robin Write @WriteoutofLA

What are your favorite moments or scenes from 2017 thus far. Let us know in the comments below.

 

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