10 REELS: Death as trauma, humor, mystery, therapy and after.

DEATH AS TRAUMA 

REEL I

The Tracey Fragments, 2007
Dir. Bruce McDonald
Writer: Maureen Medved
Starring: Ellen Page, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Ari Cohen and Erin McMurtry and Slim Twig.

Ellen Page is a girl running from and haunted by something. A something that lies buried between the fragments of her repressed memory. Without giving the plot away, the film is less about this ‘something’ and more about the trauma that exists between the fragments, the lump in the throat and the body that has shattered memory, image and representation. It is the guilt and burden of female sexuality. This film also has a very humorous Bob Dylan parody.Warning: The film is told through split screens, which may annoy some individuals. It will be a giant mind scramble, as your brain readjusts to the multiple image attacks.

Watch the trailer here


REEL II

The White Ribbon, 2009
Writer: Michael Haneke
Dir. Michael Haneke
Starring: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi and Leonie Benesch

There is a trauma festering in a small village in Germany, left like Haneke’s infamous trope in the peripheries of the frame. This trauma erupts in strange events, rituals, violence and death. This trauma is unnamed but is ‘something’ bound to Germanys identity, a trauma that can never be erased nor cleansed through a national amnesia. This film is shot in black and white, however it is enraptured by grey areas.

Watch the Trailer


DEATH AS HUMOR

REEL III

Fargo, 1996
Directors: The Coen Brothers
Writers: The Coen Brothers
Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi

Steve Buscemi in a wood chipper. Enough said.

Ya Betcha. Watch the trailer here


REEL IV

Rope,1948
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Hume Cronyn
Starring: James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Hamilton.

A film based on the true case of Leopold and Loeb, the comrades who murdered a 14-year old is hardly what you call humorous content. Molded, however in the macabre hands of Alfred Hitchcock, this becomes a black humored tale of the murderous extremes of intellectualism. Moments of black humor involve a banquet for dinner guests (including the murdered’s family) laid out on top of the corpse, a swinging door and the various roles of the rope.

Watch the trailer here


DEATH AS MYSTERY

REEL V

Brick, 2005
Dir. Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas and Emilie de Ravin.


High school noir, hardboiled Joseph Gordon-Levitt, oral sex in the dressing room, drug ring, underworld aka parents basement, a brick, pin, tug … intrigued? Watch now.

Watch the trailer here



REEL VI

Mulholland Drive, 2001
Dir. David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux

Ever experienced a Lynch fuck? If you haven’t then Mulholland Drive is good place to pop the Lynchian cherry. True to form, Lynch is the digger, digging away at buried American unease, this time in the founding soil of ‘American’ myths: LA/Hollywood or the City of Fatalism as I like to call it. This film is a bizarre montage of Hollywood musical dream sequences, ghostly archetypes from studios past, a noir fatalism, a decaying corpse called mythicism, female masturbation and a mysterious blue box. What’s reel?

Trailer here

DEATH AS THERAPY

 REEL VII

Movern Callar, 2002
Dir. Lynne Ramsey
Writers: Liana Dognini, Lynne Ramsey
Starring: Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott

There is nothing like sawing up ones boyfriend to the Velvet Underground to mourn his suicide and to ultimately write a space of ones own. This film also has a rad soundtrack.

P.S Samantha Morton is brilliant.

Watch a scene here


REEL VIII

Incendies, 2010
Dir. Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Denis Villeneuve, Wajdi Mouawad(play)
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette

Twins, Jeanne and Simon are each given an envelope after their mothers passing, with a quest to find their father and brother. This quest will walk them through the fire, inciting a return of the repressed  – woe, origins, family secrets, shame, war and taboos. This film is an operatic therapy, featuring one of the most chilling mirroring of music (Radiohead’s, You and Whose Army) to image.

Watch the Opening Scene


AFTER DEATH

 REEL IX

The Ghost and Mrs Muir, 1947
Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Writer: Philip Dunne, R.A. Dick (Novel)
Starring: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders and Natalie Wood

Doomed romance between a widower (Mrs Muir) and a ghost (Sea Captain Gregg) in a house that Keats built,
“Magic casements, opening on the foam, of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.”
It also has what modern films have forsaken: the romance of language.  Add some fine moments of witticisms and banter.
Lucy Muir:[referring to her romance with Miles Fairley] You, yourself, said I should mix with people, that I should see… men.
Captain Gregg: I said men, not perfumed parlor snakes!
Bernard Herrmans haunting score serenades this romantic tale. I Suggest watching this by yourself on a stormy night.

Watch a montage of images from the film here


REEL X

Let the Right One In, 2008
Dir. Tomas Alferdson
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist (screenplay and novel)
Starring: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson and Per Ragner.

An introverted, bullied, morbid and extremely blonde boy, befriends a girl(?) with a secret. She is extremely strong, cold, undead, drinks blood and no her skin does not sparkle (thank god). Don’t let the children fool you, this film deals with suburban anxiety, bullying and human morbidity. The child actors are amazing.

Watch the trailer here

Yours Invisibly,
Anyones Ghost

 

 

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