WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 11/26

TITANE

(If you like films that come with a warning)

Vincent Georgie: Some people have sex IN cars…others have sex, well, WITH cars. And so the tale goes of Julia Ducournau’s deeply autonomous film TITANE, winning nothing less than the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. It’s exceedingly violent, raw, confrontational, courageous, and original. Buckle up, and be warned – it’s unlike anything you have ever seen (that I am certain of).

Synopsis: With a titanium plate surgically fused to her skull following a car crash as a child, car model Alexia embarks on a wild and ultimately unpredictable journey that questions our assumptions about family, identity, and love.

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L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

(If you want a top-notch drama)

Vincent Georgie: Adapting the ultra-complicated Hollywood crime novel of the same name, filmmaker Curtis Hanson has made a film that is top quality on all fronts: from his impeccable cast (a pre-breakout Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger in her Oscar-winning role), meticulous production design and costume design, perfect score and, most of all, a masterfully intricate screenplay. Hollywood has never looked so, well, “Hollywood”. This is top-shelf stuff, right across the board.

Synopsis: Three policemen, each with his own motives and obsessions, tackle the corruption surrounding an unsolved murder at a downtown Los Angeles coffee shop in the early 1950s. Detective Lieutenant Exley, the son of a murdered detective, is out to avenge his father’s killing. The ex-partner of Officer White, implicated in a scandal rooted out by Exley, was one of the victims. Sergeant Vincennes feeds classified information to a tabloid magnate.

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NASHVILLE

(If you want to see a masterpiece)

Vincent Georgie: Filmmaker Robert Altman tells a story about the highs and lows of a bunch of country western singers and the people that surround them in a film that, incredibly, ends up being a perfect microcosm for life in mid-1970’s USA. With his signature cast of dozens and dozens, and overlapping dialogue on full display, this is Altman’s masterful chronicle of American Life. Starring Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine, and just about every great character actor and actress working at the time. Great music, to boot.

Synopsis: Following 24 characters through 5 days in the country music capital, Robert Altman’s 1975 epic presents a complexly textured portrayal (and critique) of American obsessions with celebrity and power. Among the various stars, aspirants, hangers-on, observers, and media folk are politically ambitious country icon and his fragile star protegée, a self-absorbed rock star who woos a lonely married gospel singer, a talentless waitress painfully humiliated at her first singing gig, a runaway wife with dreams of stardom, and a campaign guru who is trying to organize a concert rally for an unseen presidential candidate. Featuring the award-winning song, “I’m Easy,” Nashville is regarded as one of the greatest American films ever made.

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DOUBLE FEATURE

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Both of these films confront its audience with a salacious situation that asks you to consider how you would respond. While DAMAGE is a high-quality, moody, and elegant European sex drama, INDECENT PROPOSAL is a bag-of-Doritos-and-a-cigarette pot-stirrer. Ultimately, both films place the audience at the center of their moral dilemmas.

DAMAGE

Upper-crust British politician Stephen is in a dull but stable marriage with Ingrid. When Stephen meets the alluring fiancée of his son, Anna, he is overcome with passion and starts an intense but dangerous affair with her. That Anna is engaged to his son and says she is haunted by personal demons is not enough to stop Stephen. Continuing the sordid relationship, Stephen struggles to avoid destroying himself and his family.

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INDECENT PROPOSAL

David and Diana Murphy are a loving couple with a bright future. David is a talented architect; Diana is a top-notch real estate agent. But when the recession hits, their finances take a nosedive. In a last-ditch effort to save their dream home, they head to Las Vegas to win their mortgage money gambling. After they lose everything, a mysterious billionaire offers the solution to their money problems: $1 million — if he can sleep with Diana.

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