This weekend brings us no new major film releases surprisingly. There are a few limited releases but it looks like this is the calm before the storm of the holiday movie season. Both of the films below qualify as Monster Popcorn’s Pick of the Week.
Written and directed by Lars von Trier. Starring Kristen Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård, John Hurt, Udo Kier and Keifer Sutherland.
In this beautiful movie about the end of the world, Justine and Michael are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire, and brother-in-law John. Despite Claire’s best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth.
Melancholia is described (by the studio releasing it) as a psychological disaster film. I thought von Trier’s last film, Antichrist, was a beautiful and haunting movie. It kind of was von Trier’s horror film and Melancholia seems to be his sci-fi movie. It obviously is not overtly sci-fi, just like Antichrist was not overtly horror, and it combines that sci-fi element with a drama about people in turmoil. I’m really looking forward to checking this out because I’m curious to see what he does here but also because, as usual, his visuals are often beautiful and almost painterly. The film is limited in release, which may be bad news for me since I’m on a work trip for the next week and I’m not sure the independent theater here will be playing it for more than a week. I’d say give it a shot. I know Lars von Trier movies aren’t for everyone but I think at the very least everyone can walk out of the film with something to talk about.
Co-written and directed by Steve McQueen. Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale.
Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.
This film is limited in release largely in part due to it’s NC-17 rating. The story is about a sex addict and, apparently, they decided to be explicit with the sex in the film due to the nature of the story. I just watched the trailer for the first time and the film looks really interesting. I think human sexual nature is an interesting subject that is often skipped over because people don’t really like to talk about it generally, let alone share that information with many people. I don’t think this movie was destined for a large audience but I think there will be a decent sized amount of people that would be interested in this character study. If you’re city happens to be playing the film, I’d encourage going to see it but to be honest, with its rating and subject matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t hit a lot of markets.