The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines. This was my second viewing (cf. the first), and I really really liked it. The whole thing hung together for me better this time. One thing I noticed the second time around that I appreciated: the movie opens with the sound of Gosling’s breathing prominent; the second main chapter opens with Cooper’s. I would watch a feature film made entirely of those tracking road shots.

Killing Them Softly

Killing Them Softly. A steady chain of transactions – literal and figurative distancing from violence – with a constant undertow of economic collapse/politicking in the background. Very heavy-handed, thematically, but it works. Crummy neighborhoods, bare infrastructure, sweat and damp. The scene with Liotta reduced to tears was more disturbing than any movie violence in recent memory. Odd visuals with the shallow focus and vignetting. I love that hyper-experiential scene with the guy getting hight and his fitful conversation – zooms, speed changes, audio shifts, etc. Too bad the packaging was off. This was much more thoughtful and strange than they sold it.