The first half of Lucy contains the most energetic and purely entertaining filmmaking Besson has produced since The Fifth Element, packed with pulpy action, pseudoscience, title cards, sped-up montages, and teasing associative cuts. (A turn in a conversation is interrupted by a close-up of a mousetrap, an explosion is replaced by a man exhaling cigarette smoke, and so on and so forth.)
Calling the whole thing dumb would be a disservice, but not because there’s anything especially smart going on under the movie’s surface. Rather, the sheer weirdness of Lucy’s imagery—a telekinesis-assisted car chase, a USB stick containing all the knowledge of the universe, people growing animal limbs—prevents it from registering as run-of-the-mill summertime “dumb fun.” It comes across, instead, as a directorial flight of fancy, an imaginatively goofy take on an already goofy idea, exaggerated by Besson’s blunt style and an uncommonly fast pace.
Imagine the standard Star Wars crawl, and when it ends the camera pans up to the stars. But instead of a spaceship zooming into frame we see… a hand! A severed hand, tumbling through space. A severed hand gripping a light saber.
That hand falls onto a desert planet, where it is discovered by characters who will be our heroes.
“Exclusive Star Wars Episode VII Plot Details" are probably the dumbest fucking thing i’ve ever heard?
luke’s hand? falling to tatooine? after 30 years? what?
or is it a new hand that he lost? is this a prometheus-style “exact events that led up to the original film except they’re a completely separate incident” thing?
i dunno the moment you start caring about star wars continuity is the day you lose, but this is real silly even if it’s UNtrue.
guess we’ll wait to see what FILM CRIT HULK has to say about how this fits into three-act structure or whatever
The house decays. We needed to have the house feel a little bit like an organism. There’s a line I already cut in the editing room where it says it lays down like an animal and it goes slowly mad. The house in the screenplay and in the movie has certain features that make it seem like a living organism. So, it’s decaying. It’s sitting in the middle of a field, rotting.
We knew that the top needed to be sort of the most weathered part of the house. The bottom and the areas where you received visitors are live and slightly more kept. But the top is the head. The people in the movie are insane. So the head is all rotted away.
I don’t like what I call “class porn,” where everybody’s all gooey over, “If only the aristocracy was still in charge, life would be so civilized.” Fuck that. It’s not true. It was never true. This is a movie about a…very incredibly decadent trait of the aristocracy, rotting away in a mansion on a hill.
Guillermo del Toro on Crimson Peak. I’ll take it. He also references Hammer and giallo w/r/t the color palette, Polanski’s knack for “precise” staging, and in-camera effects.
If we take The Devil’s Backbone as the closest del Toro’s ever come to a great film (right?), this sounds more like that and less like most everything since then. He’s one of those dudes that is so cinema-literate that it hamstrings him; his reference points are always clear, and his tributes suffer for the comparison. He doesn’t want for creativity or technical skill, but to hear him talk about Suspiria or Juliet of the Spirits or anything, you can totally feel his excitement and passion for this shit. I just wish more of his films were that electric, that effective - like, Pacific Rim has some incredible stuff in it. But did it need the rote A-to-B clogging its arteries in between? Even if you didn’t hate that stuff, no one’s going to watch a whole movie of that.
Del Toro’s best at pure visual storytelling. Imagine a near-wordless stripped-back At the Mountains of Madness, images bereft of talky context, dropping the viewer into the alien uncanny just enough to unsettle them. Then again, everything he designs looks like it came from the same sketchbook. Maybe outsource it?
Mulholland Drive - Angelo Badalamenti from Mulholland Drive