Over the past couple of years, there have been few films I actually felt compelled, like as in compelled in Italics, to purchased directly after seeing (or in these cases, experiencing) them. Going slightly further back (if only to illustrate my point), over the past five years, I'd rarely experienced something cinematic that inspired further consumerism on my part, the most recent one previous to this list that's about to be in front of you was Only God Forgives, which I feel I was lucky enough to catch in its limited theatrical release back in 2013 -- but that's another story. Following this, my consumerist involvement in new cinema has been... well, shall we say, limited. However, over the last two years, there's been a slight resurgence in my energy towards supporting modern cinema, thanks to some very inspiring films and filmmakers. All five films on this forthcoming (I promise, I'm getting to it) list had quite varied platforms of experience-delivery into my system between 2015-2017 -- the first one being Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy, to which I had been invited to a cinema press screening pre-limited-release in Vancouver. Following this, my wife and I had rented Neon Demon, the follow-up to Only God Forgives, from a local (and one of the only remaining) video stores. Said video store was also responsible for me finding Roman Polanski's latest and weirdly quiet release, Venus In Fur, which is a phenomenal follow-up to his previous filmed-play Carnage, the latter which featured only four actors. In Venus In Fur, there are but two actors throughout the entire affair, but two is all that was needed to tell the surprisingly erotic and energetic story of an about-to-be-cast-play-within-a-film. Nearly a year to the day after seeing Venus In Fur, in 2017, it was Netflix Time and a casual click of a remote control button engaged me with Ex Machina, the hugely impressive and multi-layered directing debut of frequent Danny Boyle collaborator Alex Garland. For the last on this list, we're back to the video store and an initially trepidative rental of Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals, which turned out to be one of the most in-depth, quiet, and surprising revenge-thrillers I'd ever watched.
A thank you to all of the filmmakers who provided these hours of amazed entertainment for this rabidly curious viewer. And now, to share...
(The Duke of Burgundy)
(Venus in Fur)
(The Neon Demon)