David Lynch – The Art Life

3 Stars

A dose of inspiration and an art gallery in one.

David Lynch – The Art Life isn’t just for David Lynch fans, but for all creatives. There’s nothing like seeing someone with such passion for their work to get you itching to start new projects yourself.

This Kickstarter-funded film is very much a documentary’s documentary, clocking only 90 minutes in length. I’m sure many know Lynch predominantly for television and film work; but for those who haven’t seen his multimedia paintings and illustrations they are just as wonderfully disturbing and this is worth checking out just for the art alone.

David Lynch - The Art Life

You might think from the darkness he manages to conjure up through his work and art that Lynch was from a broken home or had a traumatic childhood, but this was actually not the case. In fact his life story isn’t especially eventful and perhaps this is why it took so long to be told in the first place. But the spotlight is always brought back to the art life, as Lynch himself describes: art, coffee and cigarettes.

The story ends quite abruptly after we reach the point where Lynch has shot his first feature-length film, Eraserhead. I suppose the die-hard fans whom this is targeted towards already know the rest from that point onwards, but I would still have liked to know his thoughts on how his life changed after he tasted success.

I’m not sure if others will find this as inspiring as I did; it made me want to start up all the creative endeavours I had let slide. But there’s one thing I know for sure: this is one incredibly cool 70-year-old!

David Lynch – The Art Life premieres in Sweden on 14 April.

Split

4 Stars

One of those rare, good-quality horror flicks.

Split should satisfy both horror and thriller fans, and most certainly M. Night Shyamalan fans will see this as a strong return to form.

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Teen classmates Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lou Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy), who suffers from Disassociative Identity Disorder. With 23 different personalities and talk of a frightening new personality to soon show himself, the girls must try to find a way to escape.

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James McAvoy does an amazing job at projecting Kevin’s different personalities with clarity and ease; in some scenes doing one after the other. Anya Taylor-Joy does well as the troubled Casey but I wish she didn’t remind me so much of Kendall Jenner as I think I could have warmed to her character a bit more otherwise.

Disassociative Identity Disorder is an extremely interesting subject in and of itself, and this gives it an extra dimension when compared to a bog-standard horror film.

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As director, producer and writer of the film, Shyamalan is in full knowledge that his audience will be expecting plot twists. He doesn’t disappoint here, you may even find yourself being double-bluffed as I did!

The film is probably more of a 3.8 than a 4, but i’ve rounded it up for simplicity’s sake.

Split premieres in Sweden on 20 January.

Jackie

1.5 Stars

For the most part sleep-inducingly boring, Jackie has a few fleeting moments of brilliance.

JFK (Caspar Phillipson) has recently been shot dead, and Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) is recounting recent events to a journalist (Billy Crudup).

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Limiting the timeline of events to shortly before and after JFK’s death, there is so little story to work with. Perhaps the makers wanted to avoid copying too much from the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys, starring Katie Holmes. However the lack of material brings all focus in on Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy.

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Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jackie has its good points and bad points. Impersonations aside, she brings her acting chops into play. Especially in one harrowing scene, where Jackie has the heart-wrenching task of wiping her face of the remains from the gunshot that just killed her husband. But convincingly mimicking the former first lady for the full film is beyond her. She manages to get glimpses of Jackie at best. For one she simply doesn’t look enough like her. But it’s the inconsistency of her vocal performance which is the major flaw. Sometimes it sounds remarkably good and sometimes it sounds forced or exaggerated. This makes quite a big difference – rather than being able to forget about the voice and move on, you are constantly reminded that this is Natalie Portman doing her best Jackie Kennedy impression.

The casting department at least did well finding decent lookalikes for JFK and Robert Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard). The costumes and overall feel is also very well done. Unfortunately the bad points outweigh the good by a long way here.

Jackie premieres in Sweden on 3 February.