Before Midnight (USA 2013)
4.5 out of 5
Nine years after the last film, Before Sunset, it is once again time to check up on Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke). I do not intend on revealing too much because it is far more rewarding to watch the film with no prior knowledge, but needless to say, the two are still connected in some way. They are older and more disillusioned yet their core has stayed the same. There is a reason why audiences are so curious about how their lives will pan out: director/writer Richard Linklater and co-writers Delpy and Hawke have created intelligent, complex, and consistent characters that are still a joy to witness after all these years. In the screening I went to, Linklater hinted that there might be a new film in 2022, and I personally cannot wait to see what those three have in store.
Interior. Leather Bar. (USA 2013)
4 out of 5
Directors James Franco and Travis Matthews wanted to show their version of the 40 minutes that were censored from William Friedkin’s controversial 1980 film Cruising. Those 40 minutes were deemed to be too sexually inappropriate and Matthews and Franco intended on breaking the taboo and showing that a dark scary leather gay bar is, in fact, not threatening at all. Val, the protagonist of this documentary/fiction film hybrid, is a heterosexual friend of Franco’s who agreed to be in the project because of ‘Franco’s vision’ even though he clearly feels uncomfortable about the endeavor. It is interesting to note that the heterosexual actors in the film agreed to participate in the film because of Franco’s magnetism and celebrity status; the homoerotic elements of this cannot be ignored. Interior. Leather Bar. works like a successful queer theory exercise and though it is a tad too self-aware at times it tackles a very important issue.