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Everything Everywhere All at Once – 2022

And now for something more recent. In this age of soulless reboots and sequels, any encounter with a true original is to be treasured. Daniels, the duo behind Swiss Army Man, return with a bigger budget, their creativity in overdrive, for a mad tale of multiverses, galactic tyranny, and the complicated relationship between a mother and her daughter. It is every bit as joyfully bonkers as the trailers and word-of-mouth suggested, but it is the touching relationships at its core that really make it work, as well as the fantastic performances that convey them. Michele Yeoh is truly a legend, as is the ubiquitous James Hong, and we look forward to seeing more of Ke Huy Qan and Stephanie Hsu in the future.

King of New York – 1990

This just might be the coolest American gangster film of all time. Not just « cool » as in « hip », but for the stone-cold bloodymindedness of its characters and their actions. Abel Ferrera, somewhat of an institution in grungy New York filmmaking, had his moment of grace when he combined the dream cast for this thriller: Christopher Walken firing on all cylinders, Lawrence Fishburn finding his start mojo, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Steve Buscemi… While featuring career-best turns from the likes of David Caruso and Victor Argo.

My Dinner with Andre – 1981

What are the bear minimum requirements to make a film in the broadly accepted sense? Characters? A location? Louis Malle gives us little more, by combining beloved collaborators Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn (whose performance is a masterclass in that most crucial of acting tools: listening) and a restaurent, and just goes on a riff. Two old friends reconnect, but one has significantly changed. He opens a massive rabbit hole before his bemused counterpart, daring him to enter. Watching 3 masters make so much with so little is truly a mesmerizing experience.

Brewster McCloud – 1970

Oh, the wonderful things that happen when madmen are given a blank check. Robert Altman followed his breakthrough hit MASH with this mad caper featuring murder by bird-shit, and while the result is a bit bloated, it also oozes with creativity and a destructive relish that is hard to find in today’s big-budget cinema. It almost did his career in, but the man learned his lesson. He gave us only too few films like this one, but at least it now exists for all time, and that is something to be treasured.

Reds – 1981

In what many expected to be an embarrassing vanity project, Warren Beatty translates the life and passion of American vanguard socialist John Reed – as seen mostly through the eyes of his partner and lover Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) – to the screen as an energetic epic. Sometimes grand in scope, often grippingly intimate, this 3-hour beauty lensed by Italian master Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, 1900, The Last Emperor) also acts as a playground for some of the greatest stars of the era, with Beatty generously front-lining Keaton and giving the likes of Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman and Paul Sorvino room to shine. It is a beautiful story masterfully told, and a fascinating look at an obscure chapter of American and world history.

Danton – 1983

Danton is far from the dusty historical film one might expect, and though the powdered wigs might put you off at first, the world on display could not possibly be further removed from the stately tableaux of, say, Barry Lyndon. This is a filthy, sweaty world on the brink of chaos, as dissimilar to Kubrick’s masterpiece as Deadwood was to John Ford’s Westerns, all grounded in a titanic duel between two epic characters: the whirlwind Danton (Depardieu at his peak) and the icy Robespierre (a mesmerizing Wojciech Pszoniak). Though it has every ounce of technical proficiency of a Hollywood film, it has a very distinct character, and it positively reeks of death. The stench of murder and betrayal threatens to suffocate the film at any moment, making this viewing experience that as enthralling as it is draining. Demanding but infinitely rewarding filmmaking!

Pigs and Battleships – 1961

Post-war Tokyo. Various lowlives try to make ends meet with half-baked schemes, including raising pigs to feed American battleship crews (hence the title). Of course, human incompetence quickly catches up with almost every single character’s aspirations by the end. Every once in a while, a film pops up and you wonder « where has this thing been all my life? ». Shohei Imamura’s wry, non-judgmental style fits the story to a tee, allowing you to feel unexpected tenderness for his characters, no matter how idiotic or vile they are, making this the crown jewel of his illustrious career, and a perfect gateway drug to his work.

Nightcrawler – 2014

There’s something very 70s about Nightcrawler, in the best way possible: an anthropologist’s fascination for a difficult protagonist (played masterfully by Jake Gyllenhall), a seedy world where everybody is, at best, a shade of grey, and a deeply concerning look at modern consumption. But while it has one foot in the gritty past, technically and thematically, Nightcrawler is very much a creature of the times, from its fascination with gory breaking news to the technical wizardry on display. Go watch this one if you missed it upon release!

Happy New Year!

Dear friends, clients and colleagues,

We hope this year 2021 saw a return to form to you and loved ones.

The whole extended Grey Wolf team wishes you an amazing 2022!

The General – 1926

Charlie Chaplin is our shared reference when it comes to madcap silent film shenanigans, but chances are Buster Keaton’s legacy has been just as important, if not greater. In this bonkers Civil War adventure, Keaton’s wild stunts – many of which you’d be hard pressed to replicate today – create and instantly perfect a type of slapstick that has informed every successful physical comedy since. Not only do you get to witness the first fluent expression of the grammar later found in the animated films ranging from Tom and Jerry, Tex Avery, all the way to Rick and Morty today, but you get to do so while engrossed in a compelling adventure that, nearly 100 years on, is still a hoot, and one of the greatest comedies ever made.