Domestic betrayal … Julianne Moore as Margaret and Matt Damon as Gardner in Suburbicon. Photograph: Hilary Bronwyn Gay/Paramount Pictures
For his latest directorial outing, George Clooney has given us a macabre comedy noir: watchable, lively, intricately designed, but with exotic plot contrivances and parallel storylines that don’t fully gel. Clooney and longtime producing partner Grant Heslov have rewritten an unproduced script by the Coen brothers, set in a satirically picture-perfect 1950s American suburb. Like the manicured locations of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet or Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven, this is a place where ugly realities hunch behind the picket fence and the Colgate smiles: racism, deceit, murder.
The Coens’ original screenplay was about a intimately horrible act of violence and domestic betrayal that goes farcically wrong. Clooney and Heslov have added a separate strand, making this drama work a double shift, attacking America’s postwar prejudice. It takes as its starting point the real-life case of the black family who tried moving to Levittown, the notorious whites-only development established by real-estate mogul William Levitt – praised only this summer in a rambling speech by President Donald J Trump to a baffled audience of boy scouts (and I have to admit that the bizarre juxtaposition of subject matter and audience fits rather well with this film).
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Canadian rock group delivers poignant lyrics, spooky style in new release
Destroyer’s twelfth studio album, Ken, lives, thrives in the dark. Dan Bejar evokes creepy, paranoid imagery and eludes to political undertones.
Out on Merge Records, this is Destroyer’s first release since 2015’s Poison Season. This record was produced by Josh Wells of Black Mountain, who has been the drummer in Destroyer for around five years.
Whereas many albums have one or two singles, supposed high points of the album, and maybe some low points, Ken, creeps around a middle ground, but hardly stagnates. Rather than creating separate songs, Bejar has crafted a strange, creepy world in 39 minutes filled with images of seedy men in dark alleyways, foggy parks with empty park benches, a few characters at a bar silently sipping on their own cocktails. He creates romantic, yet simultaneously repulsive characters with lines such as “the bride just pissed herself.”
With such visceral and vivid imagery, it is hard not to compare this album to the likes of directors such as Jim Jarmusch or David Lynch. These directors thrive in the dark and manipulate their viewers’ sense of intrigue and paranoia much like Bejar does on this album.
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Substitute teacher Madeline Marx was involved with two 11th grade students
Madeline Marx. (Kettering Police Department)
A substitute teacher at an Ohio high school told detectives that she performed oral sex with one student and had intercourse with another, police say. She also confessed to sending nude pictures through social media to a student, according to a warrant for her arrest.
Madeline Marx, 23, faces two charges of sexual battery.
She worked as a substitute teacher at Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio, according to police records.
“Teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of educating children who are becoming young adults,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said in a statement to the Dayton Daily News. “This defendant took advantage of her position and developed a sexual relationship with minor students.”
by Brad Hunter
The missing poster for Abby Patterson. She vanished in early September, stoking fears a serial killer is at work.
Every town has its secrets. Some terrifying. Some unspeakable.
In the classic David Lynch crime thriller Blue Velvet, behind the facade of homogeneous small town tranquillity lurked in monsters, heartache and pain.
Go to Podunkville anywhere and eventually you’ll get the 411 on dirty secrets and bad people.
Blue Velvet took place in Lumberton, N.C.
Abby Patterson has not been seen since early September. FACEBOOK
During the past six months, real life has begun imitating art with three young women dead and two more vanished off the face of the earth.
Severing Lumberton — about 100 km over the state line from Myrtle Beach — is I-95, the main Interstate artery on the U.S. eastern seaboard. It runs from the Canadian border to Miami.
For years, the FBI behavioural science unit has believed cold-blooded killers in the guise of truckers have been plying their vile trade on the nation’s interstate highway system.
By TOM BLUNT
Photo by Didier Descouens, Wikimedia Commons
David Lynch is every bit as much of a Franz Kafka fan as you might expect, and at one time he even had a yen to make a film based on The Metamorphosis — even going so far as to write a script -- before realizing he would never be able to do the printed version justice. In addition to the special effects budget required to convincingly film a story about a man transforming into a giant insect, the filmmaker decided that some stories are just most effective in their original medium. “Kafka’s beauty is in his words,” Lynch told a live audience in Italy last week. “That story is so full of words that, when I was finished writing, I realized it was better on paper than it could ever be on film.” If you ever change your mind, David, we promise to watch it anyway, book in hand.
“Stranger Things” gets lots of praise for its assortment of so-called “strong female characters,” but have you ever noticed that the characters in question — Nancy, Joyce, Eleven, and now Max — almost never cross paths? As Caroline Siede points out, this is a handy example of sexism in genre writing. Among the many problems with this style of writing, Siede points out that it’s wildly unrealistic. In a world where women make up half of the population, they are inevitably going to end up talking, working, fighting, and playing together. Keeping female leads isolated subtly informs the audience where the story’s priorities are, no matter how much screen time any of these badass characters end up with.
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