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Entries by Chris Feil (629)

Wednesday
Apr 24 2019

Soundtracking: Teen Spirit

byChris Feil

Cover songs used to be a pop music regularity,whether they were outright hijacked by artists like Elvis or a staple regurgitated among contemporaries.Recent decades have made them pop culture artifacts or ironic reimaginings that overturn the original mood - the era of somber takes on upbeat tunes really fooled us for awhile.And then another cycle came for the cover song: televised singing competitions.This phase comes to life in bisexually lighting in Max Minghella'sTeen Spirit.

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Wednesday
Apr 17 2019

Soundtracking: Take This Waltz

byChris Feil

Sarah Polley'sTake This Waltzgets its name from Leonard Cohen's indelible song,announcing itself immediately as musically astute.The film is a nuanced look at love and personhood,following Michelle Williams' Margot through her affectionately dull marriage and flirtatious dalliance with a handsome neighbor.Cohen's track arrives towards the film's close,a swirling punctuation point on the film's observations on love and sex as escape before reality (and mounting baggage) sets in.It's the film's largest stylistic flourish,but its richest musical insights lie elsewhere.

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Friday
Apr 12 2019

Review: Missing Link

byChris Feil

Laika is back with another idiosyncratic stop-motion wonder and its their most chipper effort yet.Missing Linkfollows the animation house's unique imagination down a rabbit hole of globe-trotting legend,delivering a buddy comedy that's also about self-love and self-respect.As ever,Laika serves us such spectacular visuals and winning charm that it's easy to overlook what is more familiar in the film.But this one finds the studio at their most unfettered,giving us a breezy treat that rings of a new level of confidence.

Hugh Jackman leads a surprisingly delightful voice cast as a seeker of rare creatures named Sir Lionel Frost.Attempting to join an elite society of beast hunters that mocks him,he sets off to America in search of Big Foot.What he finds is the gentile apeman Mr.Link,who in turn enlists Frost to guide him to the other side of the globe in search of  a storied tribe of yetis that could be Link's closest biological kinfolk.With those uppercrust poachers pursuing them to usurp Frost's discovery,Frost and Link are joined by the widowed Adelina Fortnight,and the three set off on a self-actualization journey into the unknown.

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Thursday
Apr 11 2019

Review: Her Smell

byChris Feil

Some audiences may be unprepared for the full force slap that Alex Ross Perry'sHer Smellhas in store.It pulls no punches from the jump,immediately plopping us into the halls of a hellish backstage captured in serpentine camera fluidity.We're immediately caught in the circus of early-90s addict punk rocker Becky Something,a monstrous and damaged creation from Perry's muse Elisabeth Moss.And just as you get used to the manic construction around her,as Perry douses us in a fecund sound design and sweaty neon palette,the film shifts into something quite moving and rigorous on all of its levels.This is something more ambitious and soul-baring than the music dramas to which we've grown accustomed.

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Wednesday
Apr 10 2019

Soundtracking: Other People

byChris Feil

Writer/director Chris Kelly has quietly become one of our sharpest surveyors of gay life in a very straight world.His is a gay perspective adept at illuminating the very specific mileage between not only queer folk and the straight people who think they understand them,but also between gay generations often lumped into one.

We saw this at play this year in the new beloved series he co-created,The Other Two,but we first got that insight in his underrated debut featureOther People.This semi-autobiographical dramatic comedy saw a thirty-year-old gay writer David (played beautifully by Jesse Plemons) returning to his suburban home to care for his mother Joanne (the immaculate Molly Shannon),recently diagnosed with cancer.All of that human drama,including its gay textures,get embodied in one perfect song choice that Kelly uses throughout...

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Tuesday
Apr 09 2019

Fosse/Verdon - EP 1: "Life is a Cabaret"

byChris Feil

FX'sFosse/Verdonbegins with two intriguingly quiet moments for a series founded in musical theatre.First,an older Bob Fosse waits alone in a hotel room,and someone comes knocking.Then we flash back to the genius working in tandem with his wife and partner Gwen Verdon,perfecting a piece of choreography in his iconic style.Gwen offers a slight adjustment to his angular positioning,and they proceed."Yours is better,"he says decisively.This kind of personal and creative symbiosis,which has made the two depicted here into the stuff of Broadway hallowed history,is sadly only fleeting in the premiere of this new limited series.

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