Images courtesy Solstice Studios.
3/10 And we’re back.
In New Orleans, where only two bridges service the mighty river that bisects the metro area, Rachel Hunter (Caren Pistorius) honks her horn at a grey Super Duty stopped in front of a green light. Unfortunately, behind the wheel of that truck is Tom Cooper (Russell Crowe), unemployed, recently divorced and is shown taking several medications for a presumed mood disorder, looking for someone to take it all out on. Cooper follows Hunter to a gas station, steals her phone and leaves his own, then starts taking her appointments and murdering the people she was going to see. He calls her constantly with threats and demands and uses the tracking feature on his own phone to keep tabs on her.
Images courtesy Amazon Studios.
The 2018 Suspiria remake is a daunting masterpiece of queer and anti-fascist cinema that demands to be understood on its own terms. I’ve ‘splained this movie enough times during quarantine, or tried to, that I think it’s time to put a reference article together.
Images courtesy A24.
I’ve been revisiting a lot of recently streaming favorites in quarantine, and I wanted to take a few minutes to write about a movie that I don’t think I gave its due on initial examination.
Uncut Gems is a frustrating film to analyze because everything characteristic about it is in its technique and atmosphere, but it’s so focused on Howie Ratner (Adam Sandler) as a character that my strongest instinct is to focus on its narrative. You can ram your head into a wall trying to find some grand meaning in the story, but that’s not what writer/director duo Josh and Benny Safdie were doing here.
Images courtesy Focus Features.
3/10 In early 2020, a nightmare virus – highly contagious for up to two weeks before symptoms start to show and triggering an agonizing, potentially deadly pneumonia in a significant percentage of its victims – made its way to the Pacific Northwest. Despite several months advance warning as this virus overwhelmed Chinese and European hospitals and despite having been specifically trained on emergencies of this nature, President Donald Trump’s government spent months in denial, trying to avoid shutting the economy down because he thought it would increase his reelection chances. Despite knowing full well that the disease is on essentially a two-week delay, several decisions that were always seen as eventualities were made weeks, sometimes a full month too late, leading to dramatically inflated loss of life.
As of this Independence Day, an estimated 132,000 Americans have died of the virus out of an estimated 525,000 deaths worldwide. This means the U.S. has accounted for more than 25% of global deaths despite representing just over 4% of the total global population, and that ratio is only going to get worse as cases continue to spike in several states long after the rest of the world has gotten the virus under control. An estimated 70-99% of these deaths could have been prevented if Trump had simply taken the precautions that other countries had already proved effective.