Only God Forgives and Repressed Fantasies

Kristin Scott Thomas

Ugly and beautiful, alluring and repulsive, fluid and convulsive all at once, Winding’s latest exercise in ambivalence is as polarizing as the views it garnered though not without retaining a signature style. Combining a neon rich palette and bankrupt morals, featuring viscera for the sake of showcase, and a dreamy suspension amid poetic visuals, times stops in the striking and frustrating Only God Forgives. And in spite of a deeply intimated symbolism, maybe even a hidden meaning, one feels a better editing session may have been enough to vault it toward wider acceptance. That along with a second viewing. I would put money on the latter. Continue reading

La Haine: a Viewing begets more viewings.

Far from the tour de force treatments of similar subject matter often aspire to, La Haine is no less a poetic coup de maitre of filmmaking. Inspired by the mid 80s Paris demonstrations, footage of which is used to open the film, it required a little creative license of Kassovitz to fuel a meandering raison d’etre. Its ending allegedly borrowed from events occurring nearly a decade later after the protests in opening montage. Yet without making too much of disenfranchisement, relegating it instead to a motif rather than its core, la Haine allows other thematic hues to float in and out. It’s a ‘day in the life of’ affair, handled very much like Clerks and Do the Right Thing except the principal trio drift in and out of trouble as opposed to having drifters loiter around them. Unlike both aforementioned films, La Haine is not a prisoner of its locale—the trio spend a large portion of their day outside their element and the comical results are therefore amplified however much the film intends to stay serious. How serious? Police brutality, to keep things simple as possible. Continue reading