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Entries in Elisabeth Moss (37)

Wednesday
May082019

Soundtracking: Her Smell

by Chris Feil

It’s not incorrect to call Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell a musical, it just feels like a simple categorization doesn’t contain all of the levels that the film operates on. It’s also King Lear on downstairs cocaine, a Cassavettes character study, and an epic saga of female friendship. And of course it’s also a subtle period piece, unfolding over the years when Spin magazine reigned supreme, bad behavior was a natural extension of star persona, and grunge and punk excesses converged into a million different stylistic offshoots.

But music remains the film’s connective tissue, whether it is pushed to the background by the impossible behavior of Elisabeth Moss’s demonic antihero Becky Something or returns because of her genius. What makes it all work is that the music feels authentic both to the period and the specific, fractious aesthetic Perry is going for.

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Thursday
Apr112019

Review: Her Smell

by Chris Feil

Some audiences may be unprepared for the full force slap that Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell has in store. It pulls no punches from the jump, immediately plopping us into the halls of a hellish backstage captured in serpentine camera fluidity. We’re immediately caught in the circus of early-90s addict punk rocker Becky Something, a monstrous and damaged creation from Perry’s muse Elisabeth Moss. And just as you get used to the manic construction around her, as Perry douses us in a fecund sound design and sweaty neon palette, the film shifts into something quite moving and rigorous on all of its levels. This is something more ambitious and soul-baring than the music dramas to which we’ve grown accustomed.

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Monday
Mar112019

SXSW: Jordan Peele has another winner with "Us"

Guest contributor Tony Ruggio reporting from SXSW

Between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five years-old I witnessed what they would call the 11:11 “phenomenon.” Essentially, I saw a three or four-number combination of 1 in all walks of life. I saw it on television, often the last four of a Crash Bandicoot lawyer’s telephone number. I saw it during lunch time, the split-second moment a microwave hit that magic number. Most of all, I saw it on a clock, at least once a day every day. The paranoid and pretty rad among us consider this phenomenon many things: good luck, a sign from God, a glitch in the Matrix, a pang of the end times, or even a calling to those chosen to effect change and save the world from itself. Jordan Peele must have been a “witness” himself or simply heard about it and did his research, because Us is littered with references to this numeral phenomenon and the conspiracy theories that have sprung of it. More traditional horror than Get Out, and a better film too, Us gets hung up on making a big statement, but ends up making a great horror film regardless.

This might be sacrilegious to those already devoted to Peele: Get Out is a good film, one whose merits lay more in writing than in directing. Silly folks label it a thriller, denying it “horror” status. Even if you grant that Get Out was not a horror film in concept, it's definitely a horror film in execution. Therefore, I knocked it at the time for not being scary enough. With Us, Peele is firing on all scary-movie cylinders, and doing so with a wider array of tools at his disposal, chief of all his confidence...

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Wednesday
Dec262018

YNMS: "Us"

by Chris Feil

Yesterday, Jordan Peele was our Santa Claus doling out cinematic gifts. First thing Christmas morning, the writer/director of the Oscar winning Get Out dropped the trailer to his follow-up to that mega-smash, the cryptically titled Us. And the internet promptly snapped - or snipped, given the film's scissor fascination.

Curiosity would naturally be at a fever pitch for what Peele has in store for us for his sophomore feature, and Us has smartly been quiet until now. The film centers around Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide, a mother taking her family (including Winston Duke as her husband) on a beachside vacation only to be visited by a menacing family of their doppelgangers, The Tethered.

The trailer, which really plays like an extended teaser, gives us hints at the themes Peele is working with - family, trauma, self-reflection. And if Peele's promises that this film would be more firmly planted in horror elements hadn't convinced you, hold onto your butts...

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Wednesday
Sep262018

NYFF: Elisabeth Moss's Primal Scream in "Her Smell"

Jason Adams reporting on the New York Film Festival which kicks off Friday

On The Handmaid's Tale Elisabeth Moss is all internalized feminist rage - a sublimated sneer, her Offred says one thing ("Under His eye"), but her eyes, the curl of her mouth, (and also her voice-over) say quite another. But what of her smell? Oh no, Handmaids don't get to stink. They are clean and holy vessels, scrubbed raw of female afflictions. Rock Stars, on the other hand... the real world ain't Gilead (not quite yet anyway) and we're still gonna scream and stink and scream. And Alex Ross Perry's Her Smell screams. Primal screams. This is the rage we've been waiting for...

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Friday
Sep142018

Who will win the Emmy for Leading Actress in a Drama? 

By Spencer Coile 

The Leading Actress in a Drama Series category has been an embarrassment of riches this past decade. With previous winners including Glenn Close for Damages, Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife, Claire Danes for Homeland, and Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder, the Emmy’s are giving the gays everything they want. 

This year is particularly competitive, an eclectic diverse group of actresses at the top of their game. We have two previous winners, two who only have one last chance to win, one on an HBO blockbuster, and one making history as the first Asian American actress in the category. In a perfect world, they would all be victorious. Yet only one can win...

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