miercuri, 14 februarie 2024

Poor Things (2023)

Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos won the Golden Lion in Venice, all top awards around (just now Five BAFTA's) and is nominated for 11 Oscars. It's amazing for a film like this, a one-of-a kind extravaganza with no limits. Gun blazing sort of cinema, risque acting from the top three actors, Emma Stone (she will win an Oscar, her second  for this, no doubt), an epic makeup-ed Scottish accented Willem Dafoe and an incredibly funny offbeat Marc Ruffalo (an uncanny Nae Girimea impersonation ;), career best of going against type.

Mixed feelings, and would've been even better if I didn't find out about the book, by Scottish writer Alasdair Grey. The book was published in 1992 and the author died in 2019. He sold the rights to the book to Yorgos Lanthimos in 2009. There are huge huge differences from the book in the film and Tony McNamara script relocated it from  Glasgow to London, and got rid of on the recent different timeline hooks. The book is told by different characters, through letters and it's supposed to be a found true story. Also at a running time of 2h21, it's at least a half-an-hour too indulgent longeur. Things begin to be too repetitive, esp. in the Paris episode.  There is a fish, aquatic-like theme that runs along the whole film, a dark humour surreal atmosphere and a manifesto of Shock & Panic cinema. 

Impecable tech credits, brilliant cinematography (by Robbie Ryan who did The Favourite too, in Technicolor, black and white, with grand angular, fisheyed lenses, 16 mm, etc), gorgeous set and production design, costumes and great music (pop musician Jerskin Fendrix' debut score), with a very original sound, also because its his first and Lanthimos' first film with an original film score.

Shot in Budapest at the Korda Studios for  a mere 35 million $. I mean, really, it looks alike a much more expensive picture.

Great title lettering inspired by Pablo Ferro. Via Kubrick maybe (dr. Strangelove), he is Lanthimos most revered mentor. Early Tim Burton, Elephant Man, Young Frankenstein, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Fellini's E la Nave Va. I saw some Jodorowski in the Belle du Jour chapter, some Quay Bros. on the fisheye and iris black and whites. The fillmakers acknowledge Roy Andresson also as an inspiration and the primary Technicolors of Powell & Pressburger's Black Narcissus. I'll add some Hammer color too.

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