100 words each. Word counters are awesome.
Daredevil, Vol. Whatever, #5: Written by Mark Waid, Art by Marcos Martin, Color by Javier Rodriguez
A tour-de-force of art, obv., but what’s especially neat is how it forgoes the overt set pieces of, say, everything J.H. Williams or Martin’s own recent board-game prone double-page splashes in Amazing Spider-Man and opts for a more disciplined ingenuity, akin to Quitely, with the effects mostly enfolded into the panels themselves: SFX as actual palpable punctuation on the page (rather than bombastic clutter), Matt’s precise body language all throughout, etc. Martin can seemingly divine the storytelling momentum of any page, even plain exposition, so that your eye bounces from one precise detail to the next, like a trap. Cool.
The Flash #2: Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato, Art by Francis Manapul, Colors by Brian Buccellato
Also in the Art-driven superheroics dept.:
If Martin and Waid manage a cool coherence, story and art in a no-fuss tandem like the chain/sprockets on a bike, Manapul and Buccellato can’t quite meet that standard, but they do alright. Thus far, it’s been ambitious and disjointed – the script is decent, if inclined to jutting out at odd moments, with motivations elided and too-sudden scene shifts, but the dots do connect. Art-wise, Manapul’s chutzpah pushes him ahead into the above-average league – clumsy yet impressive moments (Barry parsing the implications of one instant, etc.) coasting into “pretty good” via sheer striving, really.
35 Shots Of Rum (D: Claire Denis, 2009)
Very much like an Ozu film, with 70% of the movie keyed into an everyday rhythm (work-school-home), an anxiety about a soon-to-change status quo of a father-daughter family unit, repeated (albeit nowhere near as rigid) visual motifs in domestic settings plus, of course, a bar scene. All the characters and subplots reflect that conflict: the ambivalent suitor and his dead parents, the neighbor eager to play mother, the lonely desperate retiree, the restaurant owner and her nephew. Denis’ signature tactility breaks loose during the “aborted concert” sequence, a mélange of shoulder blades, glances, and close faces that conveys tremendous eroticism.
Uncle Boonmee Who Remembers His Past Lives (D: Apichatpong Weerasethakul [aka “JOE”], 2010)
How the commonplace intermingles with the unreal, each quality quantifiable/casual, sans genre to skew emphasis.
CONSTANT READJUSTMENT OF THEMATIC FOCUS:
Grounded set-up (sister-in-law visiting dying Boonmee), followed by the return of his dead wife and long-lost son (now a monkey man); a shift into doc aesthetics (RE: fruit-picking, beekeeping); a princess’s affair with a catfish spirit (past life?); etc.
UPPING THE ANTE:
Possible extratextual rupture: still images of dudes in fatigues leading around a monkey-suited guy – the movie’s earlier solemn elements now plain artifice – juxtaposed against Boonmee’s dying speech; the film’s unreality embedded within itself.