It Comes at Night

It Comes at Night. It’s great! Movies like this remind you of what a simple, almost primal pleasure it is just to watch how light fills and moves through a dark place. I also like that it doesn’t bother with answers about the general state of the world, and doesn’t waste time with half-hearted attempts. People seek and accept what’s practical, and move on. Backstory is irrelevant to a degree. The red door in the house – like a church, perhaps? I’ve really come to love this survival-cabin subgenre. Other recent ones that are worth a look: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Into the Forest, Z for Zachariah. What else?


Selma. Amazing stuff. Mad respect for movies that take inherently interesting subjects, and then actually measure up. Not just summarizing the events, but giving them dramatic weight. Not just telling what their goal is, but something of their emotional life. (cough) One particularly refreshing thing in this movie: seeing religion treated as a source of solace and comfort. Another thing that struck me about both is the “period” look. Selma a bit sepia and has this constant lens distortion at the edge of the frame (you can see it in the still above). I saw The Imitation Game the day before, and noticed its own “historic” palette is desaturated, but with some hues just exploding, like they were manually re-tinted black-and-whites. In both cases the movies resemble some extant photographs from those times. Which is a bit odd. Like, the world itself wasn’t sepia or desaturated back then. Just got me thinking of whether that “period look” that helps transport us back in the storytelling could also over-distance us from the events and the people. Hems them in, keeps them at arms length, makes it easier to see and forget when we need to remember.