Runtime: 1h 52m
Director: Viggo Mortensen
Writer: Viggo Mortensen
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Lance Henriksen, Sverrir Gudnason
“It’s called a piercing, and, no, it doesn’t bother me.”
“Is it a dumbass fashion thing or a dyke thing?”
“Can’t it be both?”
Initial: Viggo Mortensen and Lance Henriksen. There was no way I wasn’t going to watch this movie.
Production Notes: Not only did Mortensen write, direct, act in, and produce Falling, he also composed the score.
What Did I Think:
First, it’s a beautiful movie. In interviews, Mortensen has talked about how, since getting money for the production took so long, he took to filming things, moments and places, when he could and when he saw something that he felt fit the film. All those little things end up giving this film a handcrafted and deliberate feel without feeling overly staged (like, for instance, in Oz Perkins’ films). The editing (by Ronald Sanders) is vital too. As the audience we’re experiencing many things from the point of view of a man suffering from dementia. We slip in and out of memories with Willis, and, while this is sometimes disconcerting, it doesn’t feel forced. We’re never being fed the past narrative, we’re simply experiencing it along with the characters.
Second, Willis could easily be a angry, bigoted old man that the audience never has any sympathy for. A lot of credit has to go to Mortensen’s writing and Henriksen’s acting for giving the character, if not ambiguity, nuance. It really is a very good performance in a very well-made film.
Sound of Metal
Director: Darius Marder
Writers: Darius Marder, Abraham Marder, Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci
“Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.”
Initial: The Sound of Metal has been on quite a few “best of” list for the last year or so.
What Did I Think: (possible spoilers)
From a great looking movie to one with immersive sound design. As Ruben goes deaf so do we as the audience: the sound design takes on a muted, hollow, claustrophobic feel. It’s frustrating because, as a hearing person, I was straining to hear and understand other characters. It’s slightly anxiety-inducing. Likewise when Ruben has his cochlear implants turned on we hear the world through the tinny, screechy way someone with implants would experience the world. And sometimes, the film is just silent.
The Sound of Metal is a character piece and in that it is very effective.