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‘HER SMELL’ Writer/Director Alex Ross Perry Talks Misanthropic Characters, Universality of Rock Band Break Ups

Alex Ross Perry has been making movies for a decade now, even if his name only really registers with the festival crowd or dedicated indie connoisseurs. The filmmaker behind such critical darlings as Queen of Earth, Listen Up Phillip and The Color Wheel has a very distinctive taste and rarely shies away from nerve-wracking, challenging characters and with his latest, Her Smell, a daring punk-rock character study that circles Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss), is his greatest and most difficult work yet. I spoke with Alex about team effort, Elisabeth Moss’ singular talent, inspiration from Axl Rose and Charles Manson, tight shooting schedules, building a breakdown, influence from 70s horror movies, and the universal experience of bands breaking up. Read More

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Awesomely Poisonous ‘HER SMELL’ Turns Elisabeth Moss’ Punk-Rock Stardom into Horror Show

There’s a heartbeat cadence throbbing in the background of Her Smell. Racing like a speed addict’s BPM, undulating and omnipresence, it thrums. Maybe it’s the pulsing cry of the expectant crowd. Or the muted surge of an opening act bleeding through thick subterranean walls. But it’s there, subtly informing the uneasy tension and amplifying the sense that things could go desperately wrong at any given moment. With Becky Something, disaster – in the form of a looming overdose, public implosion, or full mental break – lurks in every corner. Read More

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‘US’ a Superfly Flurry of Inventive Horror-Comedy World Building

Comedy and horror exist in harmonious marriage to one another. Even the grimmest horror exploits regularly squeeze uncomfortable laughs from packed crowds, too hopped up on their own nerves not to giggle with anticipation or great relief after a big scare. Screams and laughs are the wine and cheese of any good horror movie, a perfect pairing, and Jordan Peele’s uncompromisingly cool Us comes boasting a delicious vintage of both.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN’

There’s a timeless charm to The Old Man and the Gun, easily obsessed in the breezy chemistry of its two elegant stars. The sparkle dancing in Robert Redford’s eye reflects off the Golden Era glimmer of Sissy Spacek’s gentle curl of a smile. Their attraction is palpable, enchanting. Like sweet senior citizens slow dancing to a Sinatra classic. Imported from the height of 1970s quirk, this true story is cool in much the same way a stand-up bass is cool; it’s an old-timey classy caper, outdated though it may be, that serves as a fitting send-off for the always reliable Redford.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘HIGH-RISE’

In 2011, Ben Wheatley proffered one of the horror genre’s best new finds in Kill List. In this sophomore feature, Wheatley showed a fierce command of the film medium, creating a dizzying religious parable set among a world of violent crime and ethereal justice with dreamlike sadistic cults operating levers best left unmolested. And though Kill List fit most easily into the horrorscape because of its acrid use of bloodshed and razor wire tension, it also established a director predominantly preoccupied with splicing genres together. He did so again with 2012’s brilliant black comedy Sightseers, blending elements of horror and dark English satire, and once more in 2013’s wildly experimental, black and white historical drama/“horror” film A Field in England, though to lesser effect.   Read More

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Sundance ’16 Review: ‘THE FREE WORLD’

Jason Lew presents a bleak world of second chances and doomed romance in impact drama The Free World. Lew’s feature gives a Bonnie and Clyde twist to the “Romeo and Juliet” story and those willing to overlook some obvious symbolism will find a feature rich in subtext and striking performances. Featuring the always phenomenal Elisabeth Moss and a breakout performance from Boyd Halbrook as a pair of social outcasts who’ve found each other (and themselves) on the wrong side of the law – one an ex-con, the other the (ex-)wife of a violent cop – The Free World explores the spiritual poetry of redemption and religion through the lens of besting your former shadow. To quote Hemingway, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility to being superior to your former self.” Again, this idea of self-transcendence isn’t necessarily broached with a fistful of subtlety but the thematic elements are bolstered by the two convincing, whirlwind performances at its center. Read More

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Tom Hiddleston Totally Loses It in Insanely Awesome ‘HIGH-RISE’ Trailer

Director Ben Wheatley is perhaps the most underrated name in the horror game and his latest, High-Rise, looks to continue his streak of being a total badass with a camera. High-Rise will be the director’s fifth feature film effort – coming off the heels of the rather eccentric A Field in England – and has the potential to live up to Kill List and Sightseers, easily two of the best post-millennium horror movies bar none. Wheatley has proved a capacity to drastically alter his style, with Kill List being an unrelenting, absolutely terrifying horror show, Sightseers landing with much more darkly-tinted comedic barbs and A Field in England being, well, A Field in England, so it makes sense that High-Rise looks nothing like anything the director has delivered in the past. Read More