Enemy—an adaptation of The Double, a 2002 novel by the late Portuguese Nobel winner José Saramago—centers around the time-honored doppelgänger conceit, and the film itself looks as if it was torn straight from the pages of a slim paperback, with each frame yellowed to the hue of a foxed volume.
At once sinuous and almost mournfully droll, Vic + Flo Saw a Bear itself feels a bit like an obstacle course, setting up a number of genre elements (ex-con romance, end-of-the-line resignation, cat-and-mouse games, etc.) only to bob and weave around them.
If the primary stuff of narrative is conflict, then The Duchess of Langeais—which tours through a series of nested rooms, carefully unpacking live-wire tensions and eerie doublings—reveals the past as a practically boundless narrative resource.
Writer-director Cristian Mungiu presents us with both sides of a dilemma, and then with mounting evidence that it will be irresolvable. He has, in effect, made an austere realist suspense film, not unlike his celebrated previous feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
The first feature film written and directed by Sopranos creator David Chase, Not Fade Away is principally a period film: a small-scale dramedy set against the backdrop of the tumultuous sixties as they unfold in a tri-state town within spitting distance of—but a world away from—the Village’s bohemian mecca.
Watching Here and There, the Mexico-set debut feature by the Spanish-born Antonio Méndez Esparza, one might anticipate a big-event sucker punch, as frequently occurs in films showcasing festival-circuit realism with a strong sense of place and a societal-problem subject.
It turns out that Jarecki’s amalgam of Miller’s real-world counterparts is more of a bid to scramble audience sympathies (by now, Buffett and Madoff couldn’t have more divergent public profiles) than a rather crude entrée to financial-crisis commentary.
True to this association, the movie treats Sebald with great solemnity, as a sort of Stonehenge-like ruin in and of himself, posthumously trying to make him something like a novelty subsection of the great themes of his own antiquarian German poetry and prose—Civilization, History, Memory.
Though Herzog has lately seemed to delight in upending viewer expectations (how else to explain his 2009 Nicolas Cage–starring reboot of Bad Lieutenant?), his superb new documentary, Into the Abyss—its title very much of a piece with his recent ones’—still comes as something of a surprise
In The Interrupters, a valuable yet seemingly incomplete documentary, director-producer-cinematographer-editor Steve James and producer-interviewer Alex Kotlowitz shadow three “violence interrupters,” all of them employees of the Chicago-based organization CeaseFire.