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He decides it's time for revenge. And this is where Blue Ruin deviates from many genre films that might screen at Fantastic Fest. You all know how revenge films work -- well, this movie doesn't take that path. It's messier and more grim.
In many genre movies, the protagonist plans carefully, is skilled at killing people and stitching up any wounds, and returns to a normal-ish life after taking vengeance. It's easy to sympathize with Dwight because he makes mistakes that ordinary people might make -- he's not stupid, he's just ordinary.
Not only that, but the movie withholds that feeling of slightly smug satisfaction we all get after vengeance has been taken -- that's not what would happen in real life. The script by director Jeremy Saulnier Murder Party is spare, with little dialogue and no unnecessary scenes or characters.
Information is meted out frugally, characters appear as needed. Blair's subtle facial expressions convey more of Dwight's character than the dialogue. He carries the movie beautifully, radiating intensity and pain. Although admittedly between this and the Collins films, I hope someday to see him in a movie rattling off rapid-fire dialogue, just to compare. The one detail I had trouble with was Dwight's age -- Blair's timeless look made it impossible to figure out how old he's supposed to be, and I thought the character was much younger until the "20 years ago" info came to light.
I'd say that some parts of Blue Ruin are not for the squeamish but let's face it, I am the squeamish and I would watch this movie again tomorrow. The first aesthetic indicators — and, it must be stressed, not all friends of mumblecore make films like this — are improvised dialogue and naturalistic performances, often by non-actors.
The plots hinge on everyday events. Most characters are white and educated and pursue creative endeavors when not pursuing one another. A lot of tension ensues over the answering or non-answering of cell-phone calls.
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Characters frequently attend and perform in sparsely populated weeknight music shows. There is an abundance of road trips. Technology is ever present. Four Eyed Monsters is the story of its directors, Buice and Crumley. The two met online and decided to fall in love without speaking to each other in person, only via texts, emails, notes and MySpace. Swanberg especially, in LOL most of all, gets deep inside the effort to communicate through thick layers of screens. The suitcase-clutching heroine of Quiet City arrives in Brooklyn completely stranded, betrayed by her cell phone, waiting throughout the entire film for a voice mail to tell her where to go.
She stumbles into a real, live connection in the meantime. They had good, stable upbringings and are able to view their lives from a critical distance, without bitterness.
The focus is on the intricacies — and these are intricate intricacies — of dating and relationships. Commitment is a big problem. The climax might come when a commitment — to a job, relationship or opinion — is forced upon a confused hero. Is the purpose of these personal films partly to help their directors figure out their own lives?
The movie equivalent of writing a long, excruciating letter to someone that you never intend to send? Mark Duplass and Kathryn Aselton, whose characters in The Puffy Chair finally give up on a doomed relationship, tied the knot last year. She Kris Williams appears in almost all his films.
Film Academy Invites a Record 683 New Members: 46 Percent Female and 41 Percent People of Color
In making the movies, we really try to expose all our issues, whatever is hardest to deal with. They can see why some people feel affronted by their work. After two years on the road promoting The Puffy ChairJay Duplass has developed some insight into this process. We started making these shorts, which were just us making fun of ourselves, and suddenly people responded.
The Puffy Chair was a complete accident, or it came out of a process of seeing that the accidents were what we had to offer. They detailed the ensuing breakdown in their popular video podcasts.
According to the Academy, its membership was 75 percent male before this year's new members were recruited, and could move to 73 percent male once they join. Similarly, the Academy was 92 percent white before the latest list and could become 89 percent white in its wake. The class of includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees, who collectively represent nominations.How Jeremy Saulnier Went From Corporate Videos to Premiering ‘Blue Ruin’ at Cannes
Of the new invitees, are considered international members, representing 59 countries. And Nate Parker, who directed and stars in The Birth of a Nationwhich caused a sensation at Sundance and is expected to figure in the upcoming awards conversation, was also invited to join the actors branch. Some invitees got double invitations: If you're looking for full-on kink or group play, you'll get what you need here.
Fantastic Fest Review: Blue Ruin
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print! Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater Cast: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa Writer: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa Producer: Denise Di Novi Cast: