The Drop (2014) Michaël R. Roskam

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The Drop (2014)
Directed by Michaël R. Roskam
Produced by Blair Breard, Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, David Greenbaum, Mike Larocca, Chuck Ryant
Cinematography by Nicolas Karakatsanis
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Screenplay by Dennis Lehane based on his short story “Animal Rescue”
Fox Serachlight
20th Century Fox DVD – library (1:47)

The Drop barely registered on my radar when it was released in theaters two years ago. I don’t go to theaters much (preferring to watch movies at home) and tend to gravitate towards films made between 1940 and 1980. But my friend Michael Kronenberg recommended this one, and since he was right on target with his recommendation of the Mesrine films, I figured I was in for a pretty good movie. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m stunned that more people don’t talk about this superb crime picture. Not only does The Drop contain James Gandolfini’s last film performance (which is excellent), it also features a bravura performance by Tom Hardy.

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River (TV 2015) Abi Morgan

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River (TV 2015) Created by Abi Morgan
Netflix (6 episodes, approx. one hour each)

It’s a show you probably haven’t seen and probably haven’t even heard anyone talking about, which is understandable. With all of the TV shows to choose from out there, this Netflix original (borrowed from BBC One) could easily slip past you. But it shouldn’t.

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Lost Highway (1997) David Lynch

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Lost Highway (1997)
Directed by David Lynch
Produced by Deepak Nayar, Tom Sternberg, Mary Sweeney
Screenplay by David Lynch, Barry Gifford
Cinematography by Peter Deming
Edited by Mary Sweeney
Casting by Johanna Ray, Elaine J. Huzzar
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
October Films
Universal UK Blu-ray
(color; 2:15)

The David Lynch Project Part VII

Here’s a statement that will probably be disputed among several readers: David Lynch’s films really aren’t that hard to understand. Oh sure, we may not know what every symbol or image represents (if anything), we may not know if a certain character is a real person or a representation of something else, on and on. Such things we can debate forever, but the basic stories of most of Lynch’s films are pretty clear if you understand one thing:

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Insomnia (1997) Erik Skjoldbjærg

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Insomnia (1997) Erik Skjoldbjærg
(1:36)
Criterion Collection DVD (library)

Watching Insomnia, you have to keep reminding yourself that this was Erik Skjoldbjærg’s feature film debut. It certainly doesn’t have the look or feel of a first-time director, although Skjoldbjærg had completed shorter films previous to Insomnia (two of which are included on the Criterion release). As far as I can tell, none of Skjoldbjærg’s subsequent films have had the influence or impact of Insomnia.

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