The young actors of “Bodies Bodies Bodies” make fun of themselves

Good morning! I am Mark Olsen. Welcome to another edition of your usual field guide to a world of Only Good Movies.

Alma’s Rainbow”, recently restored. The American Cinematheque is screening the new restoration of Ayoka Chenzira’s 1994 film, “Alma’s Rainbow,” as well as Chenzira’s 1984 short, “Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People.” “Rainbow,” a salvaged gem of ’90s black indie cinema (and a glimpse into ’90s fashion and aesthetics), is a coming-of-age comedy-drama about three young women living in Brooklyn. and trying to figure out what to do next with their lives. For RogerEbert.com, Marya E. Gates interviewed Chenzira, and her childhood reminiscences and inspirations are good reads.

Tribute to Agnes Godard. The UCLA Film and Television Archive is launching a program called “This Woman’s Work: Cinematographer Agnès Godard” that will run to ages 14. The series begins with “Beau Travail” by Claire Denis and “Jacquot de Nantes” by Agnès Varda. Other films include “Nénette et Boni” by Denis and “35 shots of rum”, as well as “The Dream Life of Angels” by Erick Zonca and “Sister” by Ursula Meier. It’s a rare chance to see many of these films in a theater.

“Guitar” by Garrel. The Mezzanine Series continues to be a vital addition to the Los Angeles movie scene. On Thursday, the series will feature Philippe Garrel’s 1991 film, “I don’t hear the guitar anymore,” in 35mm at Brain Dead Studios on Fairfax Avenue. Garrel – known to some as the father of actors Louis and Esther – remains perpetually underrated as a filmmaker, crafting deeply personal works that are intimate in their storytelling yet epic in their emotions. “Guitar” is a fiction of his long affair with the musician Nico.

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‘Body Body Body’

Directed by Halina Reijn from a script by playwright Sarah DeLappe, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is a summer slasher that’s also a satire of contemporary youth culture. A group of friends (and a few strangers) gather at a remote mansion to party as a storm approaches. When they begin to die violent deaths one by one, they quickly turn on each other. The cast includes Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders and Lee Pace. The film is currently in theaters.

For The Times, Justin Chang wrote, “It’s kinda funny and kinda scary, if ultimately neither funny enough nor scary enough to keep the two modes from canceling each other out. Director Halina Reijn…is trying to achieve something quite ambitious here: the nihilistic crowd pleaser, the cynically tossed generational statement, the gutting of insufferably vapid characters who somehow avoid tipping into his own unbearable emptiness. She’s also determined to craft a smart, slick genre image that’ll have you guessing, laughing, and screaming simultaneously – and that, too, proves her own devilishly tricky proposition.

I’ve written about how “Bodies Bodies Bodies”—featuring Lena Dunham’s “Sharp Stick” and Quinn Shephard’s “Not Okay”—attempts to capture Gen Z sensibilities. As Stenberg said, “We We’re being asked a lot on this press tour for ‘Bodies’ if we’re spending less time on our phones after working on this movie And that’s really not what it’s about because the phones are here They’re not going anywhere.

For the AP, Lindsey Bahr wrote, “‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ might just be Gen Z’s first great thriller. In director Halina Reijn’s film, there’s a sharp satire of a very specific type of modern privilege set in a growing murder mystery in a remote mansion as a hurricane rages outside. …And yet, even as things evolve and more and more friends are murdered, the dwindling survivor characters do their best to avoid microaggressions and trigger words as if navigating a fight on Twitter.

For IndieWire, Robert Daniels wrote, “It all comes together, primarily, because Reijin mirrors compellingly against a super online audience. Its staging gives this film a striking originality, where relentless tension and paranoid humor combine to disconcerting ends. … That it all ages well is a guess, and probably secondary to the point of view of this very present film. But it’s the tumultuous image of rich kids with no wifi, descending into foam-mouthed, gory madness, that makes Reijin’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies” an unmistakable Gen Z anthem for blood.

For Deadline, Valerie Complex wrote, “Spoiled rich kids who have been traumatized for too long must watch their circle of best friends crumble like a house of cards. It’s the real horror behind DeLappe’s script, not the blood and guts. Although the narrative and plot aren’t always tight, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” serves more as a warning of what can happen when you’re not honest about what company you keep and what happens. when everyone in your group of friends is toxic, including yourself.”

Rachel Sennott in “Bodies Bodies Bodies”.

(Gwen Capistran / A24)

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“High-speed train”

Directed by David Leitch from a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz adapted from a novel by Kotaro Isaka, “Bullet Train” is meant to be a fun summer thrill ride complete with popcorn. (That he happens at this station, though… see below.) Brad Pitt plays an assassin known as Ladybug who is looking to get out of the game and takes a job, to retrieve a suitcase, which he thinks be low-impact. He is wrong. With a cast that also includes Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (aka Bad Bunny), Joey King, Zazie Beetz, Sandra Bullock and more, the film is in theaters now.

For The New York Times, Manohla Dargis is always a must-read when it comes to big, loud action movies. As she wrote, “The dizzyingly violent ‘Bullet Train’ is set in Japan on a bullet train that turns into a theater of death. It’s watchable – it stars Brad Pitt – prankish, occasionally funny and, predictably, silly. Hollywood has long churned out silly, brutal stories, one difference being that today filmmakers no longer need to rationalize carnage with moralizing or chatter about heroic codes. … The hero of ‘John Wick’ is on a mission; Ladybug is at work. In other words, “John Wick”, in classic American (cinematic) fashion, presents a moral justification for his slaughter. ‘Bullet Train’ doesn’t even bother to serve up such self-elevating, audience-flattering fantasies – its bloodlust is honest.

For Vulture, Bilge Ebiri wrote: “’Bullet Train’ feels like someone crossed ‘Kill Bill’ with a ‘Final Destination’ movie. And at times, David Leitch’s film is almost as glorious as that description would imply – elaborate and ridiculous but dedicated to making the elaborate and ridiculous…well, implausible, exactly, but certainly compelling and fun. Not to mention the film’s belief that there’s no level of baroque narrative digression that a modern audience won’t tolerate. I took like 50 pages of notes, and I still feel like I understood about half of what happened.

For Rolling Stone, David Fear wrote: “It takes a certain kind of acting to transcend mediocre to massively disappointing material. However, it takes a truly rare movie star to not only rise above a mess, but to convince you that her mere presence is what keeps it from turning into a complete wreck. The amount of laid-back charisma and commitment that Pitt brings to this is the only thing that really differentiates this from being just another stylishly lit and silly snarkfest. … The sheer pleasure of seeing him do what he does best is almost like balancing your suffering through everything else.

For Slate, Dana Stevens wrote, “On a hot August afternoon in the middle of a cinematic year where the future of cinema as an art and a business has never been so uncertain, a part of me doesn’t like having to sit down and write about a movie like “Bullet Train”. … At a point in his career when Pitt seems to be considering how to move on to a third act, hopefully he’ll consider another mode of transportation next time around.

Two men fight on a train.

Brad Pitt and Bad Bunny in “Bullet Train”.

(Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures)

“Ali and Ava”

Written and directed by Clio Barnard, “Ali & Ava” is another of the English filmmaker’s explorations into the lives of people who rarely make it to the screen. Ali (Adeel Akhtar), recently separated and moonlighting as a DJ, and Ava (Claire Rushbrook), a widowed schoolteacher, meet and begin a tentative romance, two lonely people bonding in part over their shared love of the music. The film is now in a limited release.

For The Times, Justin Chang wrote: “You might be slightly off balance by this movie, which is a good approximation of how Ali and Ava feel most of the time. Their tenacity of good humor is a natural response to years of grief and hardship, which they spent serving as emotional cement to their large, restless extended families. …Barnard made an ode to the beauty of messy, imperfect lives and their ability to converge at impossibly perfect moments. Maybe it’s ending too soon, but so are some of your favorite songs.

For RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny wrote, “This is a sweet, unassuming film about sweet, unassuming people. It is possible that many viewers find this too sweet. Barnard isn’t as interested in narrative momentum as she is in simply letting the viewer sit with these people. Not just to enjoy their company, as it is, but to contemplate the vicissitudes of life and love in this particular working-class environment, an environment in which isolation is, for better or for worse, practically impossible. … In its understated way, the film is a celebration of the miracle of connection. Ava and Ali initially communicate through musical modes, but these signals reveal a deeper need: two warm hearts that need a place to share that warmth.

For The New York Times, Beandrea July wrote, “The on-screen chemistry between them feels forced and flat, and the decidedly tame depictions of physical intimacy only accentuate that absence. The tension that surfaces in Ali and Ava’s interracial relationship within Ava’s white family and neighborhood is barely captured in the film, and the result is an unconvincing fairy tale of racial reconciliation in a beleaguered industrial town in Yorkshire.

A man and a woman stand close together outdoors near a stone wall.

Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar in “Ali & Ava”.

(Greenwich Entertainment)

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