‘Louder Than Bombs’ is an audacious and uncompromising collage of the joys and sorrows that punctuate our humanity.
The End of the Tour is the next offering from director James Ponsoldt, who brought us Smashed and The Spectacular Now. With The End of the Tour he takes us on another odyssey of a mind struggling to survive itself. The late author David Foster Wallace was revered during his time for the novel Infinite Jest and made a significant impact on literature before killing himself in 2008. This film dramatizes a few days in 1996 when Foster Wallace allowed a Rolling Stone reporter to visit and interview him at length. What emerges during the course of their casual and profound conversations is a cinematic think piece about loneliness, success, and American consumerism.
There is that old adage that states if one does not stand for something they very well could fall for anything. Well, this apt sentiment certainly applies in co-writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s simmering eco-terrorism thriller Night Moves. Methodical, moody and breezily reflective, Reichardt’s suspense piece has a slow-footed pacing but registers with quiet resonance in its message about lingering environmental indifference and the retaliation against the establishment that allows for such blatant negligence.
The Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky has been well served by cinema, especially his major works Crime & Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot, all of which have received numerous adaptations throughout the decades. The latter was lavished with a recent Estonian take, after receiving a Japanese decoding by Kurosawa no less, as well as Indian and (naturally) Soviet versions. It has taken until 2013 for a filmmaker brave enough to approach Dostoyevsky’s binary second novel; there is a certain numerical sense of doubling, since Richard Ayoade has decided to allocate his second film as The Double, an ambitiously promising plea following Submarine back in 2010.
In the midst of a horrific zombie apocalypse that has put paid to much of civilization, an action survivor anti-hero attempts to make an escape from a parking lot with a small crowd of diseased flesh devourers in hot pursuit. He reaches his car, but in his haste drops his keys to the ground, losing vital time.
Better to have an ungainly surplus of ideas than none at all; that seems to be Richard Ayoade’s philosophy behind The Double, a wild, uneven, but never dull sci-fi black comedy that purports to tackle Dostoevsky’s novella of the same name, but is at least as interested in pilfering visual ideas from films gone by while marrying them to Ayoade’s winningly dry comic sensibility.