Category Archives: VODzilla.co

Aaron Katz on ‘Gemini’, LA, noir, and Bad Influence(s)

A few years on from his mystery comedy Cold Weather, affectionately dubbed ‘mumblenoir’ by some, writer-director Aaron Katz returns to the narrative territory of a non-detective investigating a crime. And this one’s set in Los Angeles, the home of film noir.

Led by Lola Kirke and Zoë Kravitz, Gemini concerns the complex relationship between a personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. After maybe 30 minutes of getting to know the pair, the film switches gears and sees the PA, Jill (Kirke), go sleuth, after she is connected to a major crime, with a suspicious detective (John Cho) on her trail. Michelle Forbes, James Ransone, Nelson Franklin, Reeve Carney and Ricki Lake are among the supporting cast.

With Gemini now available to rent or buy on UK streaming platforms, here’s our conversation with Katz about Hollywood films, noir, and him not being the biggest David Lynch fan…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

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The Dark (Justin P. Lange, 2018)

Writer-director Justin P. Lange’s debut feature, The Dark, opens with an extended sequence of a wanted criminal on the run. Played by Austrian actor Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters), the man, Josef, has a fatal encounter with a testy gas station clerk before heading to a woodland area to hide out; in the back of his car is an unseen figure and presumed kidnap victim to whom he mutters some instructions. Where the man arrives is a place cursed by some sort of regular threat, as briefly laid out by the deceased clerk, and, sure enough, Josef is pursued by a cloaked figure through an abandoned property and out among the trees. Nearly 20 minutes long, this tense opening stretch would work well as an isolated short film in its own right (Lange’s earlier short of the same name that this expands from encompasses more of the story that follows in the rest of the full feature)…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Mark Cousins on ‘The Eyes of Orson Welles’, documentaries and Netflix

Director, critic and curator Mark Cousins returns with essay feature The Eyes of Orson Welles, a documentary, divided into five chapters, that explores the legendary filmmaker through a subject that’s rarely come up in the multiple existing biographical portraits of the man: his paintings and sketches, many of which have never before been displayed for public consumption outside of this film.

Invited to his Edinburgh flat to see a few of Welles’ drawings up close, prior to a summer exhibition in the city, we spoke to Cousins about collaborating with Welles’ daughter, Beatrice, avoiding clichés about the filmmaker, inspiring documentaries, Donald Trump, and his thoughts on Netflix’s handling of Welles’ final film, which is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

Terminal (Vaughn Stein, 2018)

One of the funnier personality types in a good comedy is an incredibly stupid character who thinks they’re incredibly smart. On the other hand, one of the most unbearable types of film to sit through is one where a projection of wily intelligence proves to be masking a dunderheaded vacuum. On that note, here’s a review of Terminal

Full review for VODzilla.co

Xavier Giannoli talks MUBI’s ‘The Apparition’

From the director of Marguerite and The Singer, The Apparition is a French drama concerning a journalist (Vincent Lindon) being hired by the Vatican to assist with a canonical investigation into a young woman (Galatéa Bellugi) in a small French village, who claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary.

With MUBI now releasing The Apparition in British cinemas and on their service at a later date, we spoke to writer-director Xavier Giannoli about his procedural drama just before the film’s British premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

The Apparition (Xavier Giannoli, 2018)

Following his 2015 film Marguerite, a comedy drama loosely inspired by a true story, writer-director Xavier Giannoli returns with a drama that’s all about determining the truth in a story…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Set It Up (Claire Scanlon, 2018)

While the American rom-com has hardly been a rare beast in the last few years, a majority of the prominent mainstream examples – e.g. Trainwreck from studio fare, Sleeping with Other People from the independent side – have leaned into cynicism, raunchiness and a subversion of genre trappings. Netflix’s Set It Up, the debut feature of TV directing veteran Claire Scanlon, does not fit alongside them. The closest it comes to raunchiness is one use of the ‘c’ word and its female lead making a mini golf-based sexual euphemism concerning her vagina – this one is probably safe not to hide behind parental controls, compared to, say, Bridesmaids

Full review for VODzilla.co