Monthly Archives: May 2012
To Catch a Thief is unique among Hitchcock films. It’s the only Hitchcock film produced by Paramount to remain distributed by Paramount. The rest reverted to Hitchcock and are now distributed by Universal. More than that, however, the film feels remarkably “light” as measured against some of his other work. It feels almost like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are just supporting players, with the French Riviera serving as the headlining star of the film. That not to dismiss To Catch a Thief entirely – it’s still a beautiful and well constructed piece of cinema from a master director, just one that feels a little shallow compared to his better work.
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I’ve always felt that Wes Anderson sees the world through the eyes of child. Events take on a surreal larger-than-life significance, characters are exaggerated, emotional interactions are somewhat simplistic, yet peppered with nuance and hidden depth. To be entirely honest, I’ve found this has a tendency to make Anderson’s adult characters difficult to relate to and his movies difficult to engage with. That’s why I think The Fantastic Mr. Fox worked so well, because it was a childish view of an adult work through the prism of a children’s story.
That’s also why, I think, Moonrise Kingdom works just as well as Anderson’s quirky foray into the world of stop motion animation. While many of Anderson’s films are tragedies about overgrown children living in the bodies of adults, Moonrise Kingdom is more keenly focused on how adults and children interact with one another – giving the movie a depth to…
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Snow White and the Huntsman can’t help but feel like it misses the mark. Its intentions are clear, its objectives very firmly set. It’s an attempt to “reclaim” the age old fairytale for a more modern audience, to revisit all the tropes and the plot devices from the story we all know and rework them so that they speak to today. The result is a massive misfire, as the attempt to craft a feminist fable from the story of Snow White makes the same fatal misstep as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: just because you put a sword in the hand of your leading female, and just because she wears a suit of armour, does not immediately reinvent her as a feminist icon.
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