Author: David Shreve

Wind River Is Cold As Snow And Tough As Tree Bark

Overview: A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent in Wyoming discovers a dead body, kicking off an investigation that opens old wounds. The Weinstein Company; 2017; Rated R: 111 Minutes. Snow and Silence: For movies like Wind River, we often like to use summary phrases like “meditation on grief.” But the new sophomore effort from Director Taylor Sheridan (the screenwriter behind Sicario and Hell or High Water) might unravel with a distinct stillness and quiet—the first and second acts see Ben Richardson’s camera pursue a handful of basic elements: snow falling as thick as television static, rigid trees, dead bodies...

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Hitchcock Flashback: Vertigo

Originally published on August 13, 2015. Overview:  A former detective struggling with vertigo and acrophobia  is hired to shadow the wife of an acquaintance. Paramount Pictures/Universal; 1958; Rated PG; 129 Minutes. A Balanced Perspective:  Every ten years, British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine polls hundreds of critics to rank the Greatest Films of All Time. In 2012, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo earned the top honor, dethroning Citizen Kane from the spot for the first time in fifty years.  The response from the film community was mixed, a predictable reaction given that that Vertigo was a film that was released...

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6 Times Alfred Hitchcock Influenced Modern Masters

Originally Published on August 13, 2014 There’s a meta-theatrical episode of the Comedy Central cartoon South Park wherein the characters labor under the frustration that the more-legendary cartoon The Simpsons has already made every joke available to make for a cartoon of crass adult themes.  As the boys of South Park pursue different comedic plot-lines, their neighbors quickly interject “Simpsons did it!” with increasing rapidness until the episode unravels into frustrated absurdity. When I watch that episode, I imagine it must be a relateable one for the modern filmmaker.  No matter how inventive the technique or fresh the storytelling...

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Ten Years Ago, Hot Rod Made Me Laugh So Hard I Can’t Even Explain It

There’s a running joke amongst a few of the staff and writers here at Audiences Everywhere about how I am magnetically attracted to sad films. I write best about cinematic tragedy, anxiety, fear, and despair. If you were judging by my writing, you would get a pretty clear impression that I’m a straight up humorless guy. And while a quick search through my last year’s history of posts would confirm that conclusion as the only logical conclusion to draw based on the evidence, I’d like to think the same perpetrators of that joke would agree that the evidence is...

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A Ghost Story Carries the Sad Weight of Life and Haunts With Inspiration

Overview: A man dies in a car crash and his spirit mournfully watches his lover and their home; A24; 2017; Rated R; 92 Minutes. I’ve Hungered For Your Touch: We don’t see much of the lives of A Ghost Story‘s two main characters, listed as C (Casey Affleck) and M (Rooney Mara) in the film’s credits. Even the most important event, C’s death in a car crash, happens off screen and is observed instead in aftermath by a shot panning from their house, across tendrils of light mechanical smoke, to the wreckage of a collision with a young boy...

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New on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Chef

Originally published on July 1, 2014. Chef is now available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Overview: A once celebrated chef hits a streak of (amusing) bad fortune that sends his career in an unexpected direction. Aldamissa Entertainment; 2014; Rated R; 114 Minutes. In Control of His Kitchen: The first act of Chef displays a downward-spiraling Carl Casper, a culinary artist losing touch of his professional, creative, and personal life. As the film’s lead actor, Jon Favreau injects into Carl as much humor and likability as possible while convincingly selling the loose footing that leads the titular chef to fall...

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Paris, Texas: The Great American Poem About The Great American Nothingness

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to the Audiences Everywhere staff: What movie best represents your understanding of America and your experience as an American? The current moment is a complicated moment to live in America, and a bit of introspection and cultural self-evaluation seems in order for everyone. So, starting on July 4th and continuing through the entire month, we will be running essay responses to this inquiry in an attempt to understand who we are as a nation. Today, we close the series with a look at the American poetry of Paris, Texas. — In...

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Overcomes Valerian to Thrill With Its Planets

Overview: Two government special ops agents are tasked with saving an intergalactic space station that serves as a home for species from all over the universe; STX Entertainment; 2017; PG-13; 137 Minutes. Love on the Brain: We know that this movie is going to end with the guy finally getting the kiss from the girl and, along the way, every countdown is going to stop on the last available second. We know this not just because Director Luc Besson already employed both basic plot devices in his 1997 film The Fifth Element, somehow both a divisive cult classic and...

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The Disaster Artist, New Film About Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, Gets a Teaser

It’s cult film inception! This morning, A24 released a teaser to their forthcoming film The Disaster Artist, which is directed by James Franco and based on the book by the same name from writer Greg Sestero. The movie recounts the maddened process filming of Tommy Wiseau’s cult-celebrated disasterpiece The Room. Starring Franco and his standard pal and partner Seth Rogen, The Disaster Artist is scheduled for release on December 1, 2017. We’ll have more as it comes, but for now, enjoy the teaser below....

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Wish Upon Couldn’t Be A Crazier Failure If It Asked For It

Overview: A socially struggling high school student who carries the trauma of witnessing her mother’s suicide is given a Chinese music box that seems to grant wishes at a dark cost. A Useless Proposition: Sometimes you know pretty quickly that a movie has no interest in your critical assessment. Sometimes, an opening act fails all analytical tests so thoroughly that you end your evaluation on the front-end and spend the rest of the film hoping that the film’s badness pursues cult classic status with increasingly absurd missteps. Wish Upon, the new teenager-aimed horror from John R. Leonetti, opens with...

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David Shreve Talks Lost in Translation with Pop Culture Case Study!

With Sofia Coppola’s new film The Beguiled opening to divisive reviews and sparking controversy about the stylistic director’s new and historical problems with representation, this week is the perfect week for your favorite two white-as-hell Daves, myself and AE-contributing writer and host of Pop Culture Case Study David Hart, to pair up and set the record straight. The latest episode Pop Culture Case Study gave me an opportunity to discuss Lost in Translation, Coppola’s beautiful, intimate, and, yes, problematic film through the scope of social intimacy. You can listen to the full episode below, but make sure you subscribe...

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America the Spiteful: Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories and the Violence in Our Blood

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to the Audiences Everywhere staff: What movie best represents your understanding of America and your experience as an American? The current moment is a complicated moment to live in America, and a bit of introspection and cultural self-evaluation seems in order for everyone. So, starting on July 4th and continuing through the entire month, we will be running essay responses to this inquiry in an attempt to understand who we are as a nation. If you’re interested in participating, send your essay or pitch to submissions@audienceseverywhere.net. Today, we kick off the...

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Raising Bertie is a Beautiful Rumination of Poetry and Truth

Overview: In a rural county in North Carolina, three young men face hardship and triumph; Kartemquin Films; 2017; 90 Minutes. The Facts of Life: There’s a striking statistic about Bertie, North Carolina presented at the end of the first act of Raising Bertie, a new documentary from Director Margaret Byrne: There are 27 prisons within a 100 mile radius of the county, whose population is predominantly people of color. In cinematic form, it’s a jarring line of text, but one has to imagine that in the real life-goings on of the county, for the residents (particularly younger males) this...

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Okja Hides Sneaky Smart Stuff In Its Cute Pockets

Overview: A young girl tries to take her pet super-pig back from an insidious corporation with bad intent; Netflix; 2017; 120 Minutes. Starting Big and Slow: After an inspired opening that introduces yet another eccentric role from screen chameleon Tilda Swinton, you can feel Director Bong Joon-ho’s maddened ambition yearning to burst the seams of his new film’s quieter, calmer pockets. After the zany dystopian-like opening (it’s a bit too contemporary to call it out-and-out dystopia, really, but it feels inspired by like-minded sci-fi, so maybe our world has finally caught up to its late 20th Century literary doomsayers),...

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Spike Jonze: A Boy and His Toys

In an unspecific way, it seems, these four movies have always been about me in the way that they are specifically unspecific in being about Spike Jonze. And everyone else. Everyone was mad at me for months after the release of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Since my early twenties, since before the movie was in production, I have had the image of the wild thing most prominently featured in the artwork of Maurice Sendak’s children’s book tattooed on either side of my collarbone. That character doesn’t have a name in the book, but Spike Jonze named...

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