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memories of murder.

My love affair with “Every Frame a Painting” is no secret. I mean, I’m writing about it on the internet for like the sixth time, so it’s the opposite of a secret. Tony Zhou’s most recent installment is centered on Joon Ho Bong’s Memories of Murder. After watching the video last week Emily and I ended up watching the movie later that day, because obviously.

The film’s story is closely inspired by the first recorded serial killer in South Korean history. It’s my third of Bong’s films following Snowpiercer and The Host, and while I still have plenty of his films to work through I would be really surprised if this doesn’t end up being my favorite. Even this early in the year I would actually be surprised if this wasn’t in my favorite ten films I saw for the first time this year, if not top five.

12_memories_of_murder_blu-ray

Memories of Murder is so visually competent, so beautifully acted, so haunting and powerful. It’s one of those films that I just couldn’t stop thinking about after it ended. It’s amazing that Tony Zhou can show six and a half minutes of a film in a video showcasing its brilliance and still barely scratch the surface. “Every Frame” was showcasing how Bong handles blocking and character positioning in a frame, but that’s just one small part of the amazing technical prowess on display here.

There were probably a dozen scenes I immediately wanted to back up and watch all over again immediately. Roger Ebert used to do this thing with auditoriums full of people where he would watch a movie and freeze it over and over to talk about a given scene or moment, and anyone could yell “freeze” and they would all dissect what was going on. This would be a really great film to do that with.

Also, Kang-ho Song is a fucking international treasure. All the acting in Memories was great, but Song is the highlight. He actually reminds me a lot of Toshiro Mifune. Although Song is physically more of an everyman to Toshiro’s handsome movie star looks, both actors display(ed) an amazing electricity as performers. Understated moments are imbued with an extra intensity and depth; large, crazy performances are layered with an impressive heart and wisdom. Watching either of these guys is a masterclass. I suppose that’s why each man stars in a disproportionate number of my favorite films from a particular country over a certain era.

Also, here is that installment of “Every Frame a Painting”:

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hunt for the wilderpeople. [trailer park.]

It’s a big day for Taika Waititi fans. First, the spinoff/sequel for What We Do in the Shadows got an official title: We’re Wolves (Get it? Werewolves… We are wolves). He’s apparently going to do that as soon as he wraps on Thor: Ragnarok. Then, the teaser for his Sundance film Hunt for the Wilderpeople came out, and the bit of footage we’ve been gifted looks as great as one would expect.

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keanu. [trailer park.]

Yup. Yup yup yup.

I already would have been excited/intrigued by what Key and Peele would do for their first big film, but that kitten, though!

Also, two different George Michael songs. That’s my guilt pleasure jam right there.

Put the pussy on the chain wax!

More Key and Peele references, etc. etc.

keanu

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suicide squad. [trailer park.]

Suicide Squad has a new trailer. As with all trailers, who really knows what the final product will be, but this trailer is another great sign for this film. It looks like it will at least be visually competent (which wouldn’t be surprising with David Ayer directing and Roman Vasyanov on photography), and the performances look tight so far (which wouldn’t be particularly surprising with folks like Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Octavia Spencer, and Will Smith involved).

I love the Queen score, even if this is clearly trying to borrow from the original trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. Just replace “Hooked on a Feeling,” with the more commonly credible song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and replace the “You’re Welcome” tag line with “Worst Heroes Ever.” It makes sense they’d try to connect the films tonally, since we all know how well Guardians turned out critically and commercially. It’s a big reason this project was greenlit in the first place.

suicide squad poster

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‘sunday candy,’ by donnie trumpet & the social experiment.

Recently, two friends of mine were discussing how much they hate end of year lists. As is obvious from this blog most years, when I actually get around to making my own year end lists, I have to respectfully disagree.

My favorite thing about end of year lists is that I inevitably miss a bunch of stuff through the year, now more than ever. When other folks share their favorite stuff from the year, it makes it easy for me to discover great things from the year that would have otherwise slipped through the cracks. I can adjust my must-watch and listen and download lists accordingly. I love it.

Case in point. Last April, Chance the Rapper gave me a really great belated birthday gift. I’d already experienced and loved the album, but the music video for “Sunday Candy” I’d missed entirely.

Then Stereogum’s “50 Best Music Video’s of 2015” remedied that.

This single take music video of a fake high school musical is a delightful companion to the unabashedly joyful song Chance wrote for his grandmother.

Maybe you can make it through watching this video without smiling, but I definitely can’t. After we watched it I made Emily watch it again immediately. I’ve watched it another time since then. I’m going to go watch it again now.

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