To work with Mia Hansen-Løve on Bergman Island must be a fascinating experience. To take Tim Roth and Mia Wasikowska on a trip down memory lane, of memories they never had nor have the opportunity to create, is a strange opportunity to expunge the demons that Ingmar Bergman never knew he had. His filmography is rich with contempt for mankind and himself, but Bergman Island takes the venom out, not to protect its audience, but to help them understand and analyse the world around them. It is that fine line between gushing with thanks for the Swedish director and critiquing his work to the point of the piece becoming an arthouse critical essay. Hansen-Løve blurs that well and creates an exciting bit of drama that gets as meta as it does exciting.
Terrible secrets for those that swan around the titular character are the downfall of their misgivings and aims. Jane Eyre is a fascinating tale that, when translated to the screen, has the opportunity to make right with its consistent dialogue between Eyre and the reader. To stage that on the screen, with camera angles and pieces to camera, monologues that detail the heartbreak and sorrow of Eyre and her immediate friends and family, is far easier than referring to it on the pages and pages offered up by Charlotte Brontë. Her prose was good, but is no match for the cutting and directing of Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose English-language debut sees him tackle a strong literary work.
What we as audience members and movie lovers must remember is that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Not really, anyway. Adapting Alice in Wonderland to the live-action arena, for instance, is not a bad idea. Animation provided Disney with some magnificent visuals and a thoroughly well-defined feature that brought the characters written by Lewis Carroll to life with faithful effectiveness. What we as audience members and movie lovers must also remember is that, if there is even a little crux of whimsy found in a feature film, then Tim Burton would, probably, love to adapt it and slather his strange shtick all over it. Hence, Alice in Wonderland, of course starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
The various waves and styles there are to the work of director David Cronenberg make it very easy to digest his work. From his early days as a shlock creator, to the maturity he found in the body horror of his prime work, and the eventual spiral into more contemporary oriented, paranoid dramas. With such a level of consistency, it’s no surprise that every fan of his has their preferred era for his work. Me personally, I love his body horror films, and as someone that isn’t particularly fond of horror, I’d say that’s the best praise I could ever get a director. Maps to the Stars is the most recent film from Cronenberg, and by the looks of it, probably his last film. A shame to go out on a rather dud note, but there’s still merits to be found throughout.