The Danish-born director, Nicolas Winding Refn, has helmed a few popular movies such as Drive (2011), Bronson (2008), and the Pusher trilogy. This success has been only slightly marred by a handful of far-less-favored works including Fear X (2003) and Only God Forgives (2013) starring Ryan Gosling.
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards," noted Soren Kierkgaard, but what if you don't see much of a future for yourself and those around you? Will you just become mired in the past? That's the plight of many of the characters in the critically acclaimed offerings of Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, whose contentious works have twice been nominated for Best Foreign Film Oscars: Paradise Now in 2006 and Omar in 2014.
What happens when the private persona of a performer bleeds over into the public creative sphere? The line is so fragile it often rends our ability to lose ourselves in the fictional world of art.
Will maggot fat oust coconut oil as a foodie favorite? Is PepsiCo replacing the corn flour in its Fritos with ground cricket corpses? And, hey! Who doesn't want to bite into some chicken with garlic and saffron sauce topped with crumbled buffalo worms?
Answers: Possibly. Not yet. Less people than you might think.
Everybody Wants Some directed and written by the Texas-based Richard Linklater, and billed as "the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused," is not very good. First and foremost it lacks any real narrative. It's more of a tone poem on a place and time in history. In this case, the year is 1980 and the campus is an East Texas college and horn-dogs of that college's baseball team -- a collection of predictable cliches that we've seen better served in better period piece comedies. It's not nearly as funny as Animal House or insightful or enlightening. Look, I was in my senior year of college in 1980 and in a fraternity much hornier and crazier than this fictitious baseball team.
"It's a real potboiler that is boiling and boiling and boiling and erupts in a way that few films ever do," director Dan Trachtenberg, 34, exclaimed over his first full-length feature, 10 Cloverfield Lane. Well, it's certainly hard to argue with him.
Pablo Larraín's latest release, The Club, has been the recipient of a variety of awards including the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, Best Film at Fantastic Fest, Chile's official Academy Award submission for Best Foreign Language Film 2016. Diving into the secretive world of religious exile, Larraín investigates the shrouded lives of 4 men with existence-shattering pasts, whose futures are both stifled and protected by the Catholic Church.
Amos Gitai. If you can recall when Vincent D'Onofrio was sexy, Gitai has that sort of confrontational charm. He turns you on while he sets you on edge, even at age 66.
One of Israel's most prolific directors, this constant provocateur has let loose with over 80 shorts, documentaries and narratives since 1972, many of them exploring Israel in an acutely critical manner, from Orthodox misogyny (Kadosh (1999)) to his war experiences during which he was wounded (Kippur (2000) ), to a story of a residence, from its Arab owners to the Israelis who took ownership (House (1980)). The latter documentary was made for Israeli TV but was deemed inappropriate, and if Gitai hadn't smuggled it out of the station, it would have been destroyed.
Lately, if you feel unworthy because God has given you just too good a life...just too much joy... and your hair shirt is at the cleaners, you can do your penance by watching J Blakeson's The 5th Wave.