I was pretty inebriated when I watched the end of Pathology (2008) last night. I had not been for the first two-thirds of the film, which I had quite enjoyed, but around the time that Alyssa Milano was moving in with the main character, I was fighting to hold on to coherency. It may not all have been my fault, it seemed to get a bit rushed and drift even further away from believability, but even so, when the film reached the final scene, and the credits began to roll, I was distressed and confused. Did that ending really just happen? It was so sudden and wildly sadistic. Yet, it was also kind of immature. I wasn’t sure if it was just the booze causing me to become hazy and susceptible, but I found myself extremely disturbed. The slick, graphic horror film had done its job, the story had clearly gotten under my skin. I determined the blame was owed to the writer-producers, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
When it comes to directors I like my Oliver Stone like I like my women – bat shit crazy. I want images to fly off the screen that have little to do with the story at hand but everything to do with the emotion you should be feelings. Why is there suddenly an animated sequence in Natural Born Killers? Who knows? But it helps covey the feeling of madness that takes hold of that satire on media. Somehow the weird choices he makes work. The quick cuts and black and white footage of JFK are obviously the reason it works. It keeps the story moving. Doesn’t let the audience rest for a single minute. It’s why we are able to process so much complex information so clearly. We are wide eyed. Our senses working overtime. It’s why JFK is one of the greatest films ever made. The technique again was used to perfection in Nixon. These became the trademarks of an Oliver Stone production and I loved them.
Here are some figures for you: 40 films, 24 stage plays, and 2 multi-hour television miniseries – all in the span of 13 years. Who is this prolific monster? That would be German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of cinematic geniuses of the 1970s.
For a long time I thought Lena Dunham was my little secret. Sure, her feature Tiny Furniture (in which she wrote/directed/stars in) was getting critical buzz, but I was the only one in my circle of cinephile friends who had actually seen it. It played for a week at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles and after seeing a trailer I knew immediately it was my kind of film. Young entitled New Yorkers. A woman lost in a post collegiate haze. People making obviously poor romantic decision. These things are my bread and butter. Hey, I love The Avengers as much as the next person, but I do long for the day super hero teams add a neurotic upper eastside Jewish girl like Dunham to their mix. Loki would be left powerless by her sarcasm. She would begin a hopeless one sided romance with Bruce Banner, or better yet, The Hulk. Two hundred million opening weekend? Try three hundred.