Fiction - Commercial - Corporate - Animation - Documentary
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 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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Look for a ranking of Jack Nicholson’s performances and all the usual suspects pop up. It’s a strong body of work to plough through, and nestled toward the top of his second-tier output is this criminally under-appreciated thriller. As relevant today as it was upon release, this gnarly sunbaked tale follows Nicholson as a recent transfer to a Texan border town, where some morally dubious shenanigans are afoot. What sets this a cut above the rest is the brutally honest treatment of a situation with no clear winners, and where moral integrity has a heavy cost. Ole Jack is perfect in this, even though the tacked on modified ending prevents this from becoming one of his top 3 films. It might be from 1982 but has that gritty 70s vibe, enhanced by some truly creative and unflinching kills. Check it out!
While the world loses its collective mind over « Squid Game », another welcome recent global nod to Korean cinematic creativity and mastery, why not try this tense thriller. « I Saw The Devil » is a dark, violent twist on the serial killer genre, worlds removed from what any Hollywood effort might attempt. A grieving secret agent decides to take revenge on the serial killer who murdered his pregnant fiance. From that point on, nothing unfolds as you’d expect, probing extremes of cruelty and even pitch-black comedy that will linger in your mind for a long, long time.
Olivier Assayas’s polyglot satyre is that rare film that can have its cake and eat it too. It skewers French cinema, whilst acting as a subversive love letter to an often surreal industry, and it makes us revel in the frailties of its odd characters, especially the incomparable Maggie Cheung, who can convey entire worlds of meaning with just a raised eyebrow. Magical stuff.
It’s a kaiju Summer for us at Grey Wolf, and having worked our way through the Criterion Collection’s beautiful edition of the first 15 Godzilla films, we had to pick a favorite. Yes, the original remains unmatched, but when it comes to sheer fun, inventiveness, and sheer bonkers experimentation, it doesn’t get any better than this duel between Big G and sludge-oozing smog-monster Hedorah. Part kaiju romp, part 70s acid fever dream with visuals that forever sear themselves into your brain, this is 100% awesome.