The Italian Renaissance was the birth of Western art as it is known today. When asked to think of “great” paintings, minds often conjure Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Michelangelo’s program on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.” These works were revolutionary, especially compared to the Byzantine iconography which they succeeded. It brought a new emphasis on naturalism and modeling, an attempt to show nature as it is (or, perhaps, as better than it is).
“Climax,” Gasper Noé’s latest film venture, is designed to push its audience over the edge. Everything about it, from the plot to the music to the cinematography, is beyond disturbing. And I absolutely loved it.
The Academy’s failure to recognize these films demonstrates its complete disinterest in celebrating movies that challenge their audiences. Horror clearly doesn’t fit the Academy’s ideal of a safe, impactless movie, best exemplified by this year’s Best Picture winner “Green Book”.
An old Daily Film writer used to call the Academy Awards “our Superbowl” in the sense that this was to be the Sunday night in February where we get wine-drunk and yell at our illegal streams HDMI-ed to the T.V. That being said, we went on and made this year’s Oscars as close the Superbowl as we could.
“Roma” is verbally a nostalgia piece (Cuarón told IndieWire that “90 percent of the scenes” came straight from his memory). The filmmaker leans on what he knows and what he can recall, bringing the events of his childhood to life in crisp, clean, digitally captured black and white.
Nostalgia as a raw emotion is something powerful, but when crafted into a story and weaved throughout other feelings, it becomes a tool for connection and understanding. Instead of simply being a means of entertainment, it becomes a piece of art.