2 Best Movies To Watch After Vivarium (2019)

The Spool Staff

Retratos Fantasmas

Watch afterBlue Beetle (2023),

Filmmakers and general film enthusiasts worldwide share a deep distress over the slow erosion of theatrical projection and film preservation. Most recently, Martin Scorsese spoke extensively about the state of cinema in a high-profile interview, sparking a round of online arguments. Shivendra Singh Dungarpur of the Film Heritage Foundation has been working to preserve much of India’s old film reels, previously left rotting away in government closets for decades. Restored film prints of previously thought to be lost or incomplete films like Mohammed Reza Aslani’s Chess Game of the Wind and Abel Gance’s La Roue (which plays this year at NYFF) have proven that, with dedicated effort, people can salvage film history.  Continue Reading →

The Rhythm Section

Though cinematographer Reed Morano shows some directing chops, the Blake Lively thriller is uneven in style & tone. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Reed Morano’s bracing The Rhythm Section follows its own beat. Misleading marketing and the dreaded late January dump positioned it as a gender-reversed thriller in the vein of Liam Neeson’s recent run of revenge thrillers with expert journeyman Jaume Collet-Serra -- but the film is exhilaratingly out of step with the autopilot assassin stylings of the John Wicks of the world. Whereas Keanu Reeves’ multiplex conquering series has largely thrived as moody but absurdist routines of grotesque precision; nothing about the capabilities of Stephanie Patrick (an unusually wan Blake Lively) could be considered automatic. If anything, DP Sean Bobbit and Morano shoot every scene with a life-or-death urgency – all trembling limbs and determined close ups – that refuse to shy away from the physical realities of a brittle frame faced with hardened professionals who won’t hesitate to pull the trigger, let alone, level a young woman with a body blow to the gut. Stephanie isn’t a damsel in distress by any means, but the film has been almost completely drained of the usual power fantasy element that courses through these tales of vengeance to the point that she begins the film coded at her rock bottom as a sex worker and addict beaten down by losing her whole family in a mysterious plane crash. That choice outlines the film’s occasional jarring limits of empathy, but it’s nonetheless telling in placing the first half of the film closer to melodrama than genre film. Continue Reading →