The We and The I
Those in favor of the arts & crafts effects so often found in Michel Gondry‘s body of work (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind/The Science of Sleep/Be Kind Rewind) will be delighted to see that the playful Frenchman is at it once again. This time out his charming surreal moments are applied more sparsely, taking a backseat to the day-in-the-life story about a group of Bronx high schoolers on their last bus ride home of the school year. That’s right, the entire movie takes place during a singular bus ride. A high concept movie such as this shouldn’t work as an effective coming-of-age tale, yet somehow it does.
Most of this movie involves a bent over sickly protagonist spitting up blood and brooding his way through scene after scene.
Right off the bat it’s plain to see that the ability to handle cerebral/sci-fi/horror and possess a keen eye for interesting framing, timely close-ups, color scheming, and grotesque visuals are firmly intact within the Cronenberg genes. Antiviral‘s lack of color (saturated in white) gives the black market virus trading within a futuristic cold and sterile environment story an impassive pulse. It’s a pulse reminiscent of the Mantle brothers apartment in Dead Ringers and the embodiment of the Eric Parker character in Cosmopolis.
Aside from being a movie which is not meant for the faint of heart, Antiviral is also a worthy entry into the canon of films that the older Cronenberg is unquestionably the reigning king of.
I’m excited to see what’s next for young Brandon, and promise to try my hardest to cease any more comparisons to his farther in future post entries.
The Story of Luke
The Story of Luke is about a young man with special needs named, you guessed it, Luke. He’s not a retard though. As Luke points out early on in the movie, those who call him that are “Ignorant fools or retarded themselves.” After all, how many retards do you know have a highschool diploma and a certificate from advanced cooking technique. You go, Luke!
When Luke’s legal guardian/Grandmother dies and his Grandfather is put into a home, Luke must learn to either get his shit together and live on his own or remain a couch potato endlessly watching cooking shows in his Aunt and Uncle’s house, his new guardian’s.
Though not on par with other “special people” focused movies such as Forrest Gump, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, or Rain Man, what this movie does have that those others do not is the inclusion of weighted melodrama, though try as it does with an unnecessary and awkward addition of a subplot involving Luke’s birth mom. This movie is not without its faults – I’m looking at you, quirky indie Junoesque score – it still manages to touch all the right low-key indie tones that independent film fans are sure to love.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, Seth Green‘s in this too. I’m pretty sure, based on the opinions of one certain redhead I know, that women find him dreamy, no?
Showtimes for The We and The I: (See Trailer here)
Thursday, February 7th – 8:00pm (Brava Theatre)
Showtimes for Antiviral: (See Trailer here)
Saturday, February 9th – 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre)
Tuesday, February 12th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theatre)
Wednesday, February 13th – 9:00pm (Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley)
Showtimes for The Story of Luke: (See Trailer Here)
Saturday, February 9th – 7:00pm (Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley)
Saturday, February 16th – 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre)
Wednesday, February 20th – 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre)