Queen of the Desert does not rule the movie releases

Take a look at Frantz, Mine, The Void, The Ticket, and Your Name

Nicole Kidman makes for an oddly chilly Queen of the Desert in the latest from Werner Herzog.
  • Nicole Kidman makes for an oddly chilly Queen of the Desert in the latest from Werner Herzog.

If you are a certain sort of enterprising soul — that is, the sort who doesn’t want to pay for stuff — you can find the video of Werner Herzog’s masterclass in filmmaking out there on the Internet for free. Or you can pay for it here. Or you can read about it here and then think about whether you want to pay for it.

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Frantz 2.0

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And if you do pay for it, it will probably prove a better instance of Herzogian spending than buying a ticket for Queen of the Desert. From Scott Marks’s review, it sounds conventional, even polite. Which is shocking. A man with Herzog’s track record is certainly allowed to experiment, but when your experiments start to resemble everybody else’s standard work you risk losing the audience.

Speaking of politeness, there’s a muffled accusation of it in Marks’s review of Frantz, the new one from François Ozon. Again, shocking, considering the source. Perhaps because he’s remaking the work of an old master? At least Mine sounds like it offers a little rudeness and grit, if not quite excellence.

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Mine 2.0

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And speaking of rudeness (and grossness, and gooeyness, and gore and glop, and gloriously grotty practical effects), I saw The Void this week. Its sloppy viscerality made a neat contrast with the controlled formality of The Ticket’s moral fable. I don’t necessarily prefer one or the other, but in this case the latter was a job well done from director and co-writer Ido Fluk.

I also saw Your Name, which is the highest-grossing anime film ever. Perhaps this says something about anime, or at least the sort of audience it attracts. I’m puzzled — why this one? — but I think I get something of the film’s appeal: longing, longing, longing.

As for the rest of us, Scott hopes to have a review of Going in Style up before too long, so that’s something to long for. Maybe. We’ll see.

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Comments

Instead of Queen of the Desert, rent or stream The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It's brilliant and so funny, with superb actors and lots of zingers. Amazon Prime has it for free.

I give "Priscilla" an 8.5. And I paid to see it originally in a theater.

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