Movies reviewed this week: Rainy Dog, Veronika Voss, Not Okay, and Medusa.
8/9/2022: Rainy Dog (1997): ***1/2
Surprisingly serene for a Miike movie. I mean, it’s gritty and it’s not like it doesn’t open on a shot of long rows of pig corpses, ready to be butchered. But it’s pretty contemplative too.
8/12/2022: Veronika Voss (1982): ****1/2
If we kill those who collaborated with monsters, and maybe some of the victims, then we can pretend that none of it happened. If we pretend hard enough, we can dream that we’re at a party instead of slowly dying in a room alone. If we dream hard enough, we can pretend that the actress loves us more than she loves drugs.
Fassbinder’s contempt for humanity shines through here a bit more than I like, but it’s balanced.
8/13/2022: Not Okay (2022): **1/2
It’s crisp but when you stick Caroline Calloway in a cameo, surely you realize that you’re not actually making a satire? This is just stuff that happens. I would sort of like to see the movie from Rowan’s point of view.
8/14/2022: Medusa (2021): ****
There were a couple of places in Medusa where I was wondering if Anita Rocha da Silveira could find another gear, and the answer was always yes. She was always in control, too: this is a delirious fever dream of a movie, but it’s tightly constructed. One character’s hair models her emotional journey without anyone ever calling attention to it, and that’s a good example of how da Silveira knows what she’s doing.
Besides being a coming of age movie, it’s also about religious extremism in the service of politics. So that’s cool. The soundtrack is likewise cool: deep Carpenter-esque 80s synths. There is, in general, a certain degree of giallo influence here.