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Going Gently Into That Good Night, by Tober Corrigan

22 Apr

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,

Or what’s a heaven for?…”

This portion of Robert Browning’s poem, “Andrea del Sarto,” directly referenced in the final moments of The Lost City of Z, sums up both the film’s form and its function. For it is James Gray, directing with his usual grace and manners, that leads us by the hand for two and a half hours, imploring us to reach for the ineffable each time Percival Fawcett, the title character upon whose real story this movie is based, does. Like Fawcett, the reach for heaven ultimately fails, but in the way Samuel Beckett (“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”) would approve. It’s the sort of failure one can expect to learn much from.

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The Quintessential Festival Film, by Tober Corrigan

17 Apr

It’s Monday night of the 2017 South by Southwest Festival. All of the big premieres—anticipated movies by important directors (Malick, Wright, Franco!)—have come and gone. Yet my three friends and I, the only ones currently in the general admission line, are here for the shoot-‘em-up movie boasting a cast known by face if not by name. This isn’t even a premiere in the pure sense; it’s just the stateside debut. By all the above accounts, Ben Wheatley’s film should be a severely mediocre night at the movies—a merely fine film.

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