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"This genre gives actresses some really juicy lines and roles,but denies them the acclaim that comes from more 'serious' roles.Kidder was a gifted actress who was indelible in a few films."-Lady Edith

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Entries in My Son My Son What Have Ye Done (2)

Tuesday
Sep 05 2017

Happy Birthday Herzog

byJason Adams

Film director Werner Herzog is marking three quarters of a century on this planet today - a planet that he has probably explored the weirdness hidden away at every single obscure corner of.We should cherish him while we have him,people - even if some of his more recent efforts have been iffier than most.Go see every damn one,reviews be damned.

Funnily enough last night I was readinga reviewof theTwin Peaksfinale (no spoilers here,don't worry!) that called that series mastermind David Lynch "American pop culture's answer to Werner Herzog,"and I got to thinking about these two directors in relation to each other.Besides Herzog and Lynch easily making my list of Top Five Greatest Living Film-makers I don't usually think about them in relation to each other,but it's not an invalid point.

So here,for Werner's birthday,let's latch him onto the zeitgeist's momentarily hottest art-house auteur,and list three similarities,with one glaring dissimilarity...

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Sunday
Jul 03 2011

Take Three: Michael Shannon

CraigfromDark Eye Sockethere withTake Three.Today:Michael Shannon

Take One:Shotgun Stories(2007)
Shannon looks to be getting the best raves of his career for the ominous apocalyptic mysteryTake Shelter,which stunned critics at Sundance and Cannes.It's the second feature from Jeff Nichols whose debut,Shotgun Stories,also starred Shannon.In that film he plays Son Hayes,the eldest of three brothers along with Kid (Barlow Jacobs) and Boy (Tim Blackwood)  who alternately avoid and pursues conflict with their recently-deceased father'sotherfamily.(Maybe the conflict was originally over the father's terrible child-naming skills,who knows?) Son is a quiet,intense guy.It seems like fortuitous casting: Shannon,in shape and presence,and with his innate ability to show us exactly what his characters are thinking whilst doing very little,is ideally suited to the role.He brings perceptive silent intelligence to this role of an unlucky man who keeps his cards,and all else,close to his chest.(Son has numerous shotgun-bullet scars on his back and only late in the film do we discover their origins.)

Although outwardly Shannon doesn't appear to transmit much emotionally,there are many minor moments when he imparts a great deal with shuffling body movements and facial expressions.He turns a scene in which he hears devastating news in a hospital into a painful,sincere display of grief.His face turns red,crumples and then empties out in vacant disbelief.Even when Shannon is filmed working at the fishery or wandering his quiet house he never lets one minor aspect of his character slip.

Take Two:Revolutionary Road(2008)

Shannon's most high-profile role to date is undoubtedly John Givings in Sam Mendes' Richard Yates adaptationRevolutionary Road.

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