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Out in Theaters: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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SXSW ’16 Review: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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Out in Theaters: LOVE & MERCY

Film originally seen at Seattle International Film Festival ’15.

It’s no mystery that Brian Wilson was a tortured soul. Look no further than single “Heroes and Villains”, originally released on 1967’s Smiley Smile, and peel back the oily layer of Wilson’s lyrical metaphors to glance into the depths of his tortured soul. In the tune’s restless battlescape, cowboys and indians facing off in a dust-blown shanty town stood in for the forces of “good” and “evil” he saw himself trapped between. A perennial internal tug-of-war born from his turbulent upbringing and inbred insecurity. Psychedelics informed much of Wilson’s Pet Sounds/Smile era – and would later lead to a misdiagnosis that was almost the end of the pop genius – and allowed Wilson the power to probe the darkest corners of his painful past with bright melodies and rich orchestral arrangements. Similarly, Love & Mercy is dark and tender – like a good chunk of turkey – journey into deeper meaning; a filmic psychoanalysis of a man balancing on piano wire at the height of his fame and fortune. Read More