the rental. i got over the potential squickiness of staying at strangers' homes via airbnb a long time ago, which is helpful, as i've stayed at a shitload of airbnbs (most of which have been pretty good and a few of which have been spectacular: if americans are allowed into europe before the world ends, you should ask me about the rooftop terrace with a view of st. peter's basilica we scored for my 40th birthday, or the milanese jewel box to which we ended up retreating after the 2016 election). i even write about them for a living! well, i wrote about them for a living. anyway, this is dave franco's directorial debut, and the story of four earnest portland types who head to the coast for a weekend of the sort of disastrous interpersonal conflicts that crop up when you don't establish ground rules about drugs and hiking or acknowledge the fact that anyone who shares screen time with sheila vand (the star of a girl walks home alone at night, ana lily amarpour's exquisite iranian vampire western) will fall hopelessly in love with her. the excellent alison brie (franco's offscreen wife, of glow, who is also exquisite) is here too, but she's no match for vand's gravitational pull, and the non-murdery disasters in store for this quartet are pretty clear from the get-go. there is also a dog—dogs are big in horror right now—and if i found myself in this rental i would have absolutely survived, since i would have rejected the idea of breaking the no-dogs rule and jeopardizing my pristine user rating and refused to show up in the first place. these kids aren't so lucky, and nastiness ensues: it's even more harrowing than when i accidentally peed in our milanese host's bidet. like a number of reviewers, i think the rental would have been better without its final act, but you can't always get what you want. oh! dan stevens (of downton abbey, which i despise) is also in this, though he isn't anywhere near as entertaining as he is in eurovision song contest: the story of fire saga, which you should see immediately. i hope i get to sleep in another building someday, even if there's a hidden camera in the shower.

velvet buzzsaw. dan gilroy (nightcrawler) reunites rene russo and jake gyllenhaal and misses a golden opportunity to give the latter another terrible haircut; where nightcrawler satirized prurient local news, velvet buzzsaw goes after the los angeles art scene (and also ropes in john malkovich, toni collette, and daveed diggs; it's a crazy ensemble cast). an outsider artist dies and leaves instructions for his work to be destroyed; no one listens, so the work destroys everyone. i'm reminded a bit of bliss, another art-world slasher we saw at the tribeca film festival last year, but velvet buzzsaw is more fun; i'm no insider, but i've written a bit of curatorial copy in my time ("...meticulous scissorings, in turn, reveal her subjects’ poetic architecture: a gallery wall revealed in a cut is a caesura, not an absence"), and the silliness of the critical word salad here is entertaining. i feel pretty strongly that most if not all movies should probably end with john malkovich drawing with a stick, and i think that would have worked out rather nicely in the rental. did i ever tell you that my conceptual-artist brother-in-law's site-specific work in an old hospital is the reason kendall jenner painted her house baker-miller pink? true story.

1 comment:

furiousmuse said...

yes, FIRE SAGA! (also a fitting name for your pokémon buddy.)