Friday 26 April 2019

We Don't Go Back #90: Requiem (2018)

Crikey, how long is it since I did a We Don't Go Back post? Obviously that's because other book projects are in the way. Still, from time to time I'm still going to pick up on stuff I missed or stuff that matters. Like Requiem, BBC1's prestige folk horror serial of 2018. For those who care, I should note that this is possibly one of the most spoilery essays I've ever done. Seriously, the spoilers start in the very first sentence.

Thursday 25 April 2019

On a Thousand Walls #18: Personal Shopper (2016)

Usually when I write a response to a film, I tend to avoid looking too hard at the technical stuff, things like the specifics of direction, mise-en-scene, the edit. And that's partly because I'm sort of laser focussed on writing, acting performances, and the tastiest, sexiest bit of all, the subtext. And that's partly because this technical stuff is right outside of what I call my field of expertise. And of course the shortcoming of my approach is that a film is an entire artefact. All of these things work as part of the story told by a film or a TV show. Consider how with selective editing reality shows routinely make friends appear to be enemies or entirely innocuous social cues to be actions of calculating villainy: fictions are like that too. The truism with conversation also holds with visual media – it's not what you're saying, it's how you're saying it.

And this is where I get to the films of Olivier Assayas, and Personal Shopper in particular.