Things Fall Apart

Marty's been reading a lot of Virginia Woolf latelyIt’s an interesting week at the megaplex — a Cannes hit, a TIFF triumph, a delayed Scorsese picture and a Belgian toy story, among others. Shall we plunge in?

Defendor“: I’ve written at length about the appeal and the gravity of Peter Stebbings’ directorial debut, so what are you waiting for? Go see! Go see!

Fish Tank“: Andrea Arnold’s exquisitely observed kitchen-sink drama charts the coming of age of a fifteen-year-old Essex teen who forms a dangerous bond with her mother’s new boyfriend. Katie Jarvis is amazing; Michael Fassbender is pretty damn great himself.

“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”: The most notorious whistleblower in American history — and possibly the most important — gets his due in this Oscar-nominated documentary, opening for a limited run at the Bloor. Susan found it competent but cold.

“Reel Injun”: Neil Diamond (no, the other one) examines the American cinema’s treatment of First Nations characters, and their ensuing stereotypes, in an engaging and insightful documentary. Andrew agrees with my assessment.

Shutter Island“: Martin Scorsese tries to make a 1950s pulp thriller, and the result is a weird mixture of exquisite mood and banal storytelling. You can admire its accomplishments without ever caring about the characters or enjoying the story … but I don’t think that’s the point. Not sure why my review isn’t up yet, but I’ll post the link as soon as it is. UPDATE: There it is!

A Town Called Panic“: Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s antic animated comedy — produced in stop-motion, with scaled-up replicas of children’s toys — is a truly unique experience. It’s also sort of exhausting, which works against it even at 75 minutes. But if you ever wanted to see Jeanne Balibar play a horse, this is the only game in town.

Until the Light Takes Us“: I know very little about the intense world of Norwegian Black Metal — basically, just what I saw in Sam Dunn’s “Global Metal” — and after watching Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell’s tale of rivalry, delusion and murder among musicians, I feel like I know even less. Also, Norwegians are crazy. UPDATE: Review’s up now, for what it’s worth.