Tag Archives: George MacKay

1917 (2019) Movie Review

The buzz surrounding 1917, the new film by Sam Mendes in tribute to his grandfather, is its technical achievement of appearing as if it is two extremely long takes. Aside from one pointedly hard cut, the film hides its edits in its pans across surfaces which cover the frame or in tunnels of darkness.

It is a technique reminiscent of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (Hitchcock would have attempted a completely one-take film if he were not limited by the technical capabilities of the time, which only allowed about seven minutes of footage before the film had to be changed out). The long tracking shots through trenches might also bring to mind Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, whose long takes make the film feel surprisingly modern.

If you are a long take purist, however, you may Continue reading 1917 (2019) Movie Review

Captain Fantastic (2016) Movie Review

Ben (Viggo Mortensen) raises his children under a strict survivalist patriarchy in the woods. They wear caked mud as camouflage to stalk and hunt game. They train in knife combat. At night they read books on quantum mechanics and high literature. It is an extreme form of home schooling, in a way, if home was a forest and school taught you how to skin a deer.

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Ben is trying, but he is a loving father. The family’s life appears serene in its isolation and in spite of nature’s harshness, but, like the ever-pressing power of globalization, the outside world Continue reading Captain Fantastic (2016) Movie Review