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Ghost in the Shell, All this Panic, David Lynch: The Art Life

Our Film Daily team rounds up our picks of outside-the-box cinema out this weekend. Featuring 'Ghost in the Shell', 'All this Panic', and more.

Ghost in the Shell, All this Panic, David Lynch: The Art Life

Our Film Daily team rounds up our picks of outside-the-box cinema out this weekend. Enjoy.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

For years, animé fans waited patiently for Ghost in the Shell to be made into a live-action movie. The stunning manga comic series and 1995 animé film had everything going for it: a man-vs-machine plot, mystery, sociopolitical commentary. When it was finally announced that a live-action version was in the works, a lot of folks were shocked to learn that a white actor was chosen to play the lead role of Major. (For more on that, read our story “The ghost in the shell: Why is Hollywood still whitewashing everything?”).

But that’s not the only issue with this flashy remake. Somewhere along the way, some bright studio exec chose to rewrite the most pivotal parts of the plot and Frankenstein later stories in the series into the film. These decisions detract from, not to say collapse, the bold brilliance of the original work and all but silence the concepts of free will and autonomy that were such an important driver for the plot of the original. This film looks beautiful, and the CGI is impressive, but it entirely misses the point of the original – a badly missed opportunity.

Watch the trailer here.

All this Panic

Shot over three years in NYC, this documentary is a light-footed, free-flowing look at the lives of a group of Brooklyn teenage girls. This is Jenny Cage’s and husband Tom Betterton’s first feature, and it’s very easy to see their fashion photography background in the dreamy, intimate cinematography. The film gives a voice to their subjects, and under Cage’s nurturing direction, we are enveloped in the process of becoming a woman in today’s world.

Watch the trailer here.

Carrie Pilby

An adaptation of the well-liked book by Karen Lissner, the story’s protagonist is a female teenage genius who just sucks at life. The first-time directorial effort from talented producer Susan Johnson is carried by the effervescent Bel Powley. While it works well at describing the various entanglements that young and inexperienced people find themselves in, Carrie Pilby could have used a defter editing hand. If you want to get a true feel for girls becoming women, go see All this Panic instead.

Watch the trailer here.

David Lynch: The Art Life

This accomplished documentary is entirely narrated by the artist, directed by Jon Nguyen, who previously directed Lynch in 2007, which tracked the director while working on Inland Empire. The film’s nonlinear form will delight Lynch fans and might just confuse everyone else in its intimate study of the artist, rather than the films he creates. By chronicling the auteur’s formative years, it offers insight into Lynch’s psyche and motivation. At the end of the day, this work is a thoughtful study which focuses on why the artist makes the works he does. A must for Lynch fans and lovers of art.

Watch the trailer here.

Karl Marx City

Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker have created a fascinating work of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (process of coming to terms with the past) with this documentary. The narrative follows Epperlein, who was born in 1966 in the East German town which was once called Karl Marx City. She embarks on a mesmeric journey to discover if her father was a Stasi informant, with the filmmakers’ focus more on the Stasi operation itself than her father’s role in it. With the recent WikiLeaks dump confirming that everyday surveillance is rife in our society, this film feels incredibly contemporary. When we see the past presented in this way, it’s hard not to imagine our own dystopian present as a future in which “I’m sure the Stasi would have found Facebook very useful,” according to one interview subject.

Watch the trailer here.

God Knows Where I Am

A beautifully shot exploration of fragile mental health and what happens when we follow a life dictated by our psychic demons. The thoughtful documentary focuses on how lives destroyed by mental illness can have a deep effect on those they leave behind.

Watch the trailer here.

Frantz

Frantz is the wonderfully evocative new movie from director François Ozon that tells a story of love and remembrance in a German town that’s trying to move on after WW1. It’s shot almost entirely in enigmatic black and white, with a few scenes shifting into muted color to suggest the power of memory. A journey into secrets, lies and redemption, the stellar cast (Pierre Niney & Paula Beer) lead this occasionally unclear tale.

Watch the trailer here.

For Here or To Go

Not the most sparkling depiction of H-1B visa woes, but an important story which needs to be told regardless: the tale of a highly skilled Indian tech worker in Silicon Valley with only a year left on his visa and no guarantees he will be permitted to stay in the US. With H-1B visas hot for reform in Trump’s federal government, this is a timely release. We only wish it had a little more panache.

Watch the trailer here.

Donnie Darko (restored)

What can we say that hasn’t already been said? The cult movie which first graced our screens nearly 15 years ago is back in the cinema. Restored and now in ultra-high definition, you can watch it in over 70 U.S. theaters starting today. If, like us, you are a huge Donnie Darko fan, read our piece, “Why Donnie Darko is just as relevant today as ever“.

Watch the trailer here.

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Katy Cole is a festival administrator, pop culture addict, and writer of the latest goings-on. In her free time she sketches cats and bakes fabulous pies.

kcole@filmdaily.co

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