This Beale Street soundtrack is just an absolute killer.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
On Saturday at the InterContinental in Century City, I was given the enviable task of presenting the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Supporting Actor award to Burning's Steven Yeun. (All our winners, and runners-up, are here.) Here's what I said from the stage:
Movies teach us how to spot monsters. They’re the creatures who have horns on their head or hockey masks on their face. But in real life, they’re not so easy to recognize because they look like us. And sometimes they come bearing a smile. Even worse, they may not be monsters at all—it just depends on your perspective.To have him and director Lee Chang-dong, whose Burning won Best Foreign-Language Film (alongside Shoplifters), in attendance was a thrill. May that film continue to find its audience.
Ben, the enigmatic playboy of Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, doesn’t enter the story until the half-hour mark, but once he does, he recalibrates this magnificent film’s internal rhythms. Ben doesn’t achieve this with a machete or an evil plan. All he needs is a noncommittal grin and a slightly condescending air.
Like so much of Burning, Ben is a bundle of mysteries, whether it’s the origins of his wealth or his intentions with Hae-mi, the film’s leading lady. Those mysteries float and linger within the character, and they’re brought to remarkable life by Steven Yeun.
Yeun plays Ben like a disguise, inviting us to project our own feelings and assumptions onto him. Jong-su, the film’s ostensible hero, views Ben as a romantic rival, and there’s something archetypal about Yeun’s portrayal: For many insecure guys, Ben represents that cooler, more confident and sophisticated man that we can’t ever hope to compete with. But is that superiority? Or is there something far more menacing behind his eyes?
Yeun seduces us in this film, refusing to give up his character’s secrets. Ben could be a psychopath or just a guy who likes torching greenhouses. He may be someone who’s never cried—or just the kind of person who says that to try to impress others. He may be Burning’s monster or maybe its most misunderstood character. Ben’s mysteries remain—but what I know for sure is that Steven Yeun is an absolute killer in this incredible film.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating our Best Supporting Actor winner, Mr. Steven Yeun.
(Photo by Matt Harbicht.)
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Every year, Rolling Stone previews 50 films worth getting excited about for the new year. Always a pleasure to take part in this list. Check out the whole thing here.
We're back! On this week's episode, we differ on The Upside, which was a surprise No. 1 hit over the weekend. Then, we make our predictions for the Oscar nominations. And then we confess to each other that we don't really like Idiocracy. Hear the whole thing down below.
The new issue of Revolver is devoted to dreams and nightmares. What a perfect time to speak to Mr. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. We talked about what keeps him up at night, among other things.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Adam Sandler and the Safdies! Brad Pitt and James Gray! Matthew McConaughey and Harmony Korine! New Jordan Peele! Whatever Knives Out is! So much Robert Pattinson! Here's my preview of this year's most intriguing (and completely original) films.
Saturday, January 05, 2019
For Screen International, I chatted with the very talented, very young Lucas Hedges. We talked Boy Erased, Ben Is Back and learning how to deal with downtime. (He's as bad with it as I am.) Hope you enjoy.