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Entries in Jeremy Saulnier (3)

Tuesday
Jun112019

The New Classics - Blue Ruin

Michael Cusumano here to nominate a New Classic that doesn't get discussed much around these parts.

Scene: Self-surgery
Nolan’s Batman trilogy is supposed to be the grounded version of the Bruce Wayne mythology, but really, that movie arrived eight years later in the form of Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin.  

Like Bruce Wayne, Blue Ruin’s Dwight Evans (played memorably by Macon Blair) finds himself unable to process the murder of his parents. Unlike the Caped Crusader however, the trauma doesn’t set him on the path to becoming a crime-fighting ninja, so much as it leaves him a haunted vagrant who survives by trash-picking down by the boardwalk. When he embarks on a spree of vigilante retribution, Dwight has no lofty ideas about the betterment of society. It’s more of an indirect suicide attempt... 

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Cannes Lineups: Director's Fortnight

Previously in Cannes news
The Coen Bros led Jury and the Lineups for Competition and Un Certain Regard 

While the competition & un certain regard films are the "star headliners" as it were, they aren't always the ones that garner the most critical buzz or sales or what not. So let's look at what's coming in the Director's Fortnight sidebar. While this section is non competitive, the films are eligible for the Camera D'Or prize if they are among the first films in a director's career, though that's tough to win since they're competing with first films in other sections, too. The last few winners of this prize were: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar nominee Best Picture), Ilo Ilo (Oscar submission Best Foreign Film) and France's Party Girl.

Opening Film

In the Shadow of Women

In the Shadow of Women (France) dir: Philippe Garrel. 
A romantic drama about documentary filmmakers in Paris 

Closing Film

Dope (US) dir: Rick Famuyiwa
This action comedy about high school hip-hop fans who get caught up in a drug deal gone wrong was a huge hit at Sundance (our quick take). It has supposedly been edited since then, which would probably only strengthen it. It's very funny but a bit bloated. 

The Rest of the Lineup is after the jump

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Saturday
Jan252014

Sundance: "Blue Ruin"  

Our Sundance Film Festival coverage continues with Michael Cusumano on "Blue Ruin".  

Thrillers like Jeremry Saulnier’s Blue Ruin live or die by the quality of their plotting. Events must unfold with an airtight logic, each dreadful event spinning inevitably out from the last.  The suspense evaporates if we feel the character being pushed by the writer’s hand instead of being pulled helpless forward by their own irresistible urges. Blue Ruin pitiless screenplay meets this standard and then some. It is an uncommonly absorbing film that goes on a list with other great tales of venality and murder like of Blood Simple and One False Move. And if isn’t necessarily the equal of those masterpieces, it is awfully close.

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