See I guess it goes like this. David Leitch co-directs John Wick (uncredited though) with Chad Stahelski. Around the same time Charlize Theron is coming off filming Mad Max: Fury Road and now she got the hard proof of her action chops she moves into production of an adaptation of The Coldest City, a passion project that she’d been chasing for a while. She poaches Leitch from John Wick 2 and the two projects start shooting within basically a month of each other. They’re like legitimately, duelling pictures.
When I left the screening of Detroit I felt sick. Katheryn Bigelow’s exploration of the killings in the Algiers Hotel during the Detroit race riots of 1967 seems pretty much designed to do that. It’s so unflinching and brazen in its depiction of the brutalisation and murder of its characters that it just pulls a reaction out of you. It ain’t hard to feel emotional and exhausted when a film puts you against the wall for two hours with a gun to your back. It ain’t hard to generate empathy when the faces of these great actors are slick with blood and tears. It harder to turn that into something, make the sorta film that’ll turn that empathy into meaning.
Somewhere downhill, a short distance away, the men are talking. Their voices tickle the edge of our comprehension. “What are they talking about?” someone asks, “Were you told?” “They’re talking about whether to hang Stephen Meek.” A slight pause, the women on the bluff go back to collecting their kindling. The camera lingers on this image for a while. Later on, we will find out how that discussion in the valley went, one of the men will relay proceedings to us, and we trust that he is being truthful. For now, there’s work that needs doing.
There this thing which happen when comedians create autobiographical material and then cast themselves in it. Like, it’s an extension of everything they put up on stage, the way they turn experiences into stories, how their life is deliberately distorted around this stage persona they create. Everything around a comedian has to turn into comedy. Otherwise it never happened. It’s where the power of confession comedians comes from, the most unexpected thing we could possibly see on the stage is life.
It’s nice to see a studio comedy which is defined by its earnestness. Girls Trip engages full on with every moving cog part of its machinery. From the opening narration by a character who is unironically labelled the new Oprah, or perhaps the modern Oprah, it’s trying to be a film about connection. That old getting the band back together type deal. We’ve seen it in a lot of films recently, the old group of friends struggling to rebuild their connection over the unstable foundation of past slights, what sets Girls Trip apart is how much it cares.
Y’all know going through this I was struggling to put the pieces together. Like, it seems almost impossible. Modern feminist filmmaker making a joint in which a bunch of women are all doting and fighting over this one man. What? Why? Feels like a misstep, I eventually got it though and once I did it became so much simpler.
David Lynch is one of those dudes who just seems to be good at everything. Like the dude paints, makes films and music, he writes. Somehow he’s managed to maintain his legitimacy as a visual and video artist even during his experimental periods where he did a syndicated newspaper comic strip or weird aggressive internet flash animations or Rabbits. Folks actually manage to take Rabbits seriously. He’s like this multifaceted supergenius who is all at once the strangest person and the most charming person you’ve ever met.