Biopics seem to be the trend these days. But who …
Twenty years ago, if someone said that ‘zombie romantic comedy’ was going to become an actual cinematic sub-genre, they’d have been called a witch and burned at the stake. And yet, they would have been right, and Fantasia 2014 has seen the unveiling of yet another film in the rapidly expanding genre, Life After Beth. Starring Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation and Dane DeHaan, recently of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Life After Beth is best described as a zombie breakup comedy. It’s also best described as “decent, but not amazing”, a serviceable enough zom-rom-com kept afloat mostly by the supporting cast.
John Krokidas’ film debut Kill Your Darlings follows the turbulent University years of famed American beat writers Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), Lucien Carr (Dane DeHann) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). Set in the early 1940s at Columbia University and on the streets of New York City, the film centers around the murder of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) and the months that led up to it.
The Place Beyond the Pines, so called for the English translation of the Mohawk word “Schenectady,” is close to a carousel in structure, one that would not be out of place at that traveling carnival where we first meet Luke in an extended tracking shot. Round and round it goes, taking the audience on an exacting, circular up-and-down ride. Cianfrance, along with co-writers Ben Coccio and Darius Marder, lets the film linger in moments, allowing it a hypnotic, novelistic pacing.