The Favourite works in an idiosyncratic register that distills his austere and sometimes brutal gaze to darkly comic effect. Here, he reimagines the period piece as an acerbic battleground of wits, where no behavior, interaction, or pastime is too eccentric or primal.
I do not build out from an idea because I feel that is too restricting. In a sense, the final film is what I have learned. The final film has to be a dramatic narrative, which among other things expresses what I have learned about the place. It is not until the last stages of the editing process that the story is even found.
Liu measures time through familial ritual, and her project is aligned with the work of Ozu and Akerman, tracking the process by which the passing hours accumulate into the passing of one generation into the next and onward into the flow of history.
In the films of Corneliu Porumboiu, seemingly insignificant details, questions, and disagreements ripple outward, like pebbles tossed into a still pond, until they become deep inquiries into history, language, and ethics.
A Few Great Pumpkins
The Invitation, The Ghost Train, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, A Scary Time, Messiah of Evil, Panna a netvor
A casual approach to queer sexuality, a presiding interest in the displaced self, a protean yet unshowy approach to film style: such qualities preclude the sort of press-release-ready bromides that accompany more commercially successful filmmakers of his generation.
As she relates the basic historical facts behind the international seed preservation project, the camera leads us through verdant Syrian fields, capturing the beauty of stalks swept by the wind. Again and again, Manna will mix sensuous imagery with more prosaic words.
The crowning achievement of this drama is the game and invigorating performance of Regina Williams, from her flinty exasperation to her no-guff candor to her sly, self-protective sarcasm. Hers is a performance suffused with compassion yet devoid of cheap and easy sentiment.