40. Don’t Look Now (1973) Directed by: Nicholas Roeg A …
While the 1996 adaption of J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name isn’t entirely Cronenberg’s deformed brainchild, his chilly, detached direction lends itself perfectly to the atmosphere and mood of the film that portrays the streets of Toronto as a sea of machinery and metallic debauchery. This doesn’t, however, undermine the layer of humanism that’s trying to budge above the surface. The film ultimately chronicles characters trying to do something they don’t know how to achieve, and the inherent sadness and contradiction of trying to connect on a humanistic level through the passionless, cut off nature of machinery.
A lot of even very excitable David Cronenberg fans have never seen his 1970 film Crimes of the Future: it seems to be seen as something of a curate’s egg and dark and imaginative, of course, like everything he does, but perhaps made too long ago now, and surely overshadowed by his later work. It was his second film, after Stereo in 1969. Stereo is a similarly short feature film dealing with telepathy, sexual exploration and, like Crimes of the Future, had its commentary added later: it also starts Ronald Mlodzik wearing black and looking terrifying.
Creating cool fight scenes has never been easier in the current age of filmmaking. Special effects have evolved to the point where the eye can rarely discriminate between what is real and what isn’t, while choreography is much more sophisticated than it was in the past, and there’s no shortage of cash to throw at action films to get everything done just right. So with all of these advances going in modern film’s favor, why aren’t more fight scenes memorable?
Underneath the bass drops and the electronic harmony of the garage music scene of 1990s Paris is melancholy and loneliness. The parties are bursting with verve and energy, but when the music stops, so does that joy. Hansen-Løve’s examination of a young DJ over the course of twenty years is warm and tender, an incredible look at the pros and cons of following your passion, allowing art to be your escape, and the joy of music.