| Flicks

FLICKS: Unsane, The Death of Stalin & The Last Suit

Posted on 22 March 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Between a week before Christmas in 1997 until a week after Easter in 1998, Titanic ruled the box office. The Black Panther juggernaut feels similar, as films like Tomb Raider, A Wrinkle in Time and Red Sparrow were poised to take the weekend box office crown only to fall short. Perhaps Steven Spielberg’s much hyped Ready Player One might take the Box Office crown Easter weekend, but this weekend features a slew of independent movies arriving at a theater near you.

A student of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Soderbergh was “the man” in 2000 for releasing two Oscar-winning motion pictures, Traffic and Erin Brockovich. Through the years, Soderbergh has enjoyed mainstream success with films like Logan Lucky and his Ocean’s 11 trilogy. Yet, one forgets that Soderbergh was a founding father of the independent film movement nearly 30 years ago with the release of Sex, Lies and Videotape.

Opening tomorrow, Unsane returns Soderbergh to his “auteur” filmmaking roots. Shot with iPhone technology, Unsane presents creative use of shot composition with natural lighting, presenting hyper-reality of the everyday world. From the opening narration to the character revealing confessions in the blue padded room, Unsane feels like an Alfred Hitchcock B-movie like Psycho and Vertigo.

Sawyer (Claire Foy) has started a new life with a good job in Pennsylvania. She departed her New England home to escape David (Joshua Leonard), a man Sawyer claims is stalking her. Her pain is deep and, one day, Sawyer seeks counseling. Upon her first consultation, Sawyer is told that she is staying overnight in the institution.

Despite her protests, Sawyer is confined to the ward with Violet (Juno Temple), a disgusting cornrow-haired patient who goads Sawyer into violent actions. Sawyer forms an alliance with Nate (Jay Pharoah), who has managed to smuggle a cell phone into the clinic. As her stay becomes prolonged, Sawyer spots her stalker, David, working as an orderly.

Combining conspiracy theories with a debate about the nature of sanity, Unsane is a film that will be talked about for many years. While the story does not hold up for the full 98 minutes, there are many nifty Easter eggs for film fans, including a cameo appearance from Jimmy Kimmel’s arch rival.

The Death of Stalin opens this weekend at the legendary Gateway Theater in Ft. Lauderdale and features broad comic performances from Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Michael Palin. For more info., keep an eye on http://classicgateway.com/gateway.

This Saturday afternoon, March 24, film director Pablo Solarz will be visiting The Living Room Theater at the FAU Boca Raton campus. He will introduce his film, The Last Suit, about an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who goes on one last adventure to resolve his past. Keep an eye on www.fau.livingroomtheaters.com for movie times and more info.

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