レッドライン Redline (2010)

Still from Redline

Trainspotting 1996

Still from Trainspotting

Gone Girl 2014

Still from Gone Girl

神探大戰 Detective vs. Sleuths (2022)

Still from Detective vs. Sleuths

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie 1995

It’s interesting to compare this with recent costumed hero movies.

Those lack the physicality of this movie. Sure, there’s no Hemsworth in this cast, but these actors move, flip, kick. Tommy dives head first over caution tape. Love & Thunder resorts to camera tricks to show Thor land on his feet.

This also has on-location shooting with occasionally lovely lighting. Watching the camera track backwards in Bombo Quarry, or capture a dramatic crash of a wave, there’s a sense of presence that was well beyond what I expected given my exposure to the show.

It even had a mid-credits scene!

Still from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Nope 2022

Had some really spectacular images (especially around the house in the rain). I was a skeptic until the Star Lasso, when the stakes finally revealed themselves. The (long) finale squandered that excitement. The pursuit of “the Oprah shot” is a poor mechanism for identification or interest. I found far more compelling the notion of “anything with a spirit can be broken”. It better tied into all that had been set up thus far (e.g. the farm and the Eadward Muybridge photos), but I guess mattered less than the wishing well.

Still from Nope

Cam 2018

Still from Cam

Before Sunrise 1995

I turned 21 in an unfamiliar country riding trains as far west as I could without falling into the ocean. Stepping off whenever whatever out the window looked interesting. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with friends. Often with people somewhere in between.

I think I understand that romance. But now, practically a lifetime later, I don’t miss it. And powerful though the images and feelings of being in that listening booth might be, I’ve landed where Céline suspected: loving more after knowing deeply. The thrill of having found far above the thrill of finding.

Still from Before Sunrise

A Room with a View 1985

Still from A Room with a View

The Quick and the Dead 1995

Still from The Quick and the Dead

I'm British But... 1990

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Still from Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Mansfield Park 2007

The omission of Portsmouth was a great surprise in the moment, and may have been principally a cost matter, but I think it had artistic benefits. Very little of this focuses on the conflicted feelings of home, and so can better focus on the relationships at Mansfield.

This adaptation decenters Fanny a bit, which proved valuable for me. While present in the book, I hadn’t fully absorbed the conflicts of internal/external selves that occur throughout the story (particularly some choice lines from Edmund and Sir Thomas) for relationships that don’t involve Fanny. Due to the lack of the narrator’s perspective, it was easier for me to see them everywhere.

Still from Mansfield Park

Thor: Love and Thunder 2022

Still from Thor: Love and Thunder

Mansfield Park 1999

The way the camera moved at the start was exciting and interesting. Once Fanny becomes an adult, the camera largely steadies itself, even though Fanny herself isn’t as settled.

Fanny is a weird superposition of two different characters rather than a blend. In moments, she’s the shy and careful observer. In others a bold outspoken writer. Which version she is depends on the needs of the particular scene, producing an incoherent portrait of a character I really liked and connected with in the novel.

Her acceptance of Mr. Crawford’s proposal is baffling and I can’t understand its purpose.

Still from Mansfield Park