7 Things About Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is venezia-75-roma-alfonso-cuaron-la-biennale-di-venezia.jpg
Roma ▴ Dir. Alfonso Cuarón ▴ Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Memories

Roma is set in the early 1970s following a young domestic worker living in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma, Mexico City.

Oscar-winner director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Gravity) takes us on a deeply personal journey in an autobiographical ode to his childhood, and to the women who reared him.

“Eighty to ninety percent of the scenes represented in the film are scenes taken out of my memory,” Cuarón said during a Directors Guild of America interview, “sometimes directly, sometimes a bit more obliquely.”

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Characters

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is alfonso-cuaron-roma.jpg
Roma ▴ Dir. Alfonso Cuarón with Yalitza Aparicio ▴ Photo courtesy of Asac – la Biennale di Venezia.

Just as the memories are real, so are the characters, including Cleo, played to perfection by Yalitza Aparicio, who had no previous acting experience. Cleo is a fictionalised version of the Cuarón family’s live-in-maid Liboria “Libo” Rodríguez.

Cuarón embarked on a painstaking search through countless villages in Mexico auditioning thousands of women for the role. When he met Aparicio, who is from the same small town as Libo, his search was over.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Corpus Christi Massacre

Cuarón draws on his childhood amidst political turmoil of the 1970s, most notably the devastating Corpus Christi massacre of 1971. Soldiers and police disguised as civilians opened fire on thousands of high school and university student demonstrators killing over 120 people.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Masculinity

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is roma-pic.jpg
Roma ▴ Dir. Alfonso Cuarón ▴ Photo courtesy of Netflix

In many movies being made right now men seem to be suffering from a form of toxic masculinity syndrome – a disorder associated with brutal, abusive behaviour, with tendencies to lie, cheat, and often drink too much, ultimately letting everyone and themselves down.  

Roma serves as a testament to the women who raised Cuarón who are left to pick up the pieces after being betrayed by the men in their lives.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Cinematography

Along with directing the picture, Cuarón wrote the screenplay and also helmed the cinematography.

Due to a scheduling conflict Cuarón’s go-to guy, and three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, who has worked with him on almost every film he has made, was unavailable, leading Cuarón to step into the role himself.

This decision ended up being hugely beneficial to the creative process and the result is stunning.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Simplicity

There are plenty of high-impact parts throughout: a blazing forest fire; an earthquake; violent street riots; and an unsettling seaside scene.

But it’s the softer scenes that say so much. Cuarón has a talent of making the ordinary seem extraordinary: soapy water sloshing across a courtyard; a plane reflected in a puddle; laundry swaying on a clothesline. 

These moments of magic seem like a dream – these memories of one of the greatest directors of our time.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Score

There isn’t really a score as such, the soundtrack to Cuarón’s latest opus is made up of an occasional song drifting in and out of a radio or stereo, the rumble of city streets, cars vrooming, people babbling, waves crashing, fireworks, rifles, dogs… the sound design is instrumental to the experience allowing us to completely immerse ourselves into this world.

Academy Award contenders aren’t usually black-and-white, Mexican, subtitled movies with a relatively unknown cast and no soundtrack – yet Roma has been cleaning up on the road to the Oscars and has already won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, 2018.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is roma-poster.jpeg
Roma billboard in Venice ▴ Dir. Alfonso Cuarón ▴ Photo courtesy of 7 Deadly Things 
 

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy writing for 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.
Copyright infringement is never intended. If there is anything on this site you wish to be taken down just get in touch and we’ll sort it out no problem.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The House That Jack Built

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy writing for 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.
Copyright infringement is never intended. If there is anything on this site you wish to be taken down just get in touch and we’ll sort it out no problem.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

7 Deadly Things About the Psychedelic Fantasy Movie Mandy

The following post (sort of) contains spoilers for the movie Mandy.

Mandy is like watching a fairytale

As well as being a ferocious fever-dream revenge story, Mandy has the simplicity of a tender love story slowly drawing you in to its dreamlike fairytale mood.

The story tells of star-crossed lovers Red Miller and his beloved Mandy, a princess taken from her knight, by evil forces that live in the hills and lurk in the forest.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Goodies

Mandy is a love story between lumberjack Red, played by Nicolas Cage, and his shop-clerk girlfriend, Mandy, played by Andrea Riseborough.

Cage reminds us of the talent he possesses, in by far his finest work since his iguana-hallucinating turn in Bad Lieutenant or his Oscar-nominated role in Adaptation.

Birdman and Black Mirror actor Riseborough remains as stalwart as ever, gracing the screen in Mötley Crüe tees, reading fantasy novels in her magical world.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Baddies

Mandy ft. on 7deadlythings
The demonic Black Skulls biker gang, Mandy. RLJE Films.

Utopia gets destroyed when a deranged, Manson-esque hippy cult shows up known as the Children of the New Dawn.

They summon up a demonic biker gang called the Black Skulls who have a taste for human flesh and a highly potent form of liquid LSD.

Havoc ensues.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Axes and chainsaws and spears, oh my!

Poor ol Red is propelled into a spiraling nightmarish rampage of vengeance battling all the bad guys. It’s skull-crushing, axe-wielding, chainsaw-dueling, insane pulpy madness – and it’s bloody awesome!

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Beautiful animated interludes

Throughout the movie – yes!

Mandy ft. on 7deadlythings
Mandy (2018). RLJE Films.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Cheddar Goblin

In an interview with Thrillist, Mandy director Panos Cosmatos said that after the most traumatic scene in the film, he “wanted it to be a moment where the horror and the absurdity of the universe slap Cage in the face at exactly the wrong time.”

And that it does.

Roll the “Cheddar Goblin” – a mac-and-cheese-puking green goblin and “It’s Gobblin’ Good.”

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The Soundtrack by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson

Mandy would be nowhere near as powerful without that ominous score throbbing throughout the entire film, somber one minute, striking the next.

It’s one of the final scores written by Icelandic multi-Oscar nominated composer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, whose repertoire includes Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival, — and Darren Aronofsky’s mother!

Sadly Jóhannsson passed away shortly after Mandy premiered at Sundance. The film is dedicated to him.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy being a guest contributor on 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

7 Deadly Songs Forever Tainted by Freaky Films

“Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus ▴ The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

“Goodbye Horses” will to be forever be synonymous with serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. It’s also the perfect choice for karaoke where you can really get into character – simply strip naked, tuck away your bits and then give it your best sexual desirability dance. Or “…Baby One More Time.” Up to you.


“Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds ▴ Scream (1996)

Wes Craven’s Scream was an unexpected smasher of a slasher that redefined the horror genre completely. Its most iconic song “Red Right Hand” was a shoo-in on the soundtrack for its all-out ominous vibe, sharing a similar storyline about a spooky figure who wreaks bloody havoc and will “appear out of nowhere but he ain’t what he seems.”


“I Want Your (Hands on Me)” by Sinéad O’Connor ▴ A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

This underrated song by Sinéad O’Connor appears twice in this surprisingly watchable surreal sequel. A big downer for Debbie in this A Nightmare on Elm Street death scene as she is unlucky enough to be turned into a cockroach and crushed by Krueger. Lucky for us the song plays in the end credits too.


“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival ▴ An American Werewolf in London (1981)

The definite werewolf transformation sequence ever made is set up nicely with these jaunty lyrics that basically spell out what’s about to happen. There is a bad moon rising and we’re told, “don’t go around tonight, well, it’s bound to take your life…” It was even the scene that inspired Michael Jackson to make “Thriller.”

https://dailymotion.com/video/xfbwh1


“In Dreams” by Roy Orbison ▴ Blue Velvet (1986)

This surrealist scene is a total nightmare, albeit a beautifully composed one, complete with a dreamy Orbison ballad. You can’t help but empathise with poor Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) remembering those times when you should’ve just gone home but stayed out way past your bedtime and ended up with a bunch of absolute loons.


“Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donavan ▴ Zodiac (2007)

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” by the Scotsman Donovan is a hippy-dippy tune about a hurdy-gurdy player and his roly-poly pal “singing songs of love,” (a hurdy-gurdy is an odd bagpipe/violin type instrument). Juxtaposed with the mindless murder on screen in that Zodiac scene the tonality of the tune changes in our minds forever.


“Tiptoe Through the Tulips” by Tiny Tim ▴ Insidious (2010)

Could this be the scariest song ever? There’s something so sinister about the singer “waiting by the window” to go “tiptoeing through the tulips.” Or is there? The song was originally intended to be a romantic one, but its presence in Insidious has turned it into music you’d imagine demons like sharpen their claws to.


Fancy being a guest contributor on 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.

7 Deadly Masks in Horror Movies

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the scariest of them all?

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy being a guest contributor on 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

The 7 Deadly Sessions Vol. 16

The 7 Deadly Sessions Vol. 16 features reviews on movies we saw at the Venice Film Festival including First Man, Suspiria, Charlie Says, and Friedkin Uncut; Ryan Gosling’s portrayal of Neil Armstrong; Thom Yorke scores Suspiria; the bizarre relationship between The Beach Boys and Charles Manson; with songs from William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘To Live And Die In LA’…..

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy being a guest contributor on 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

7 Charms on the Spellbinding new Suspiria

Suspiria ft. on 7deadlythings
Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino. Photo courtesy Amazon Studios.

Suspiria is gonna be divisive

Like last year’s mother! by Darren Aronofsky, Suspiria has already divided audiences at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Whilst I clapped my palms off once the credits rolled an irate audience member beside me booed furiously (we exchanged disapproving glances). The Guardian reports “it fails to bewitch,” but I beg to differ.

Some scenes in Suspiria are spectacularly unnerving

Lucky for us the talented directer Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, A Bigger Splash) and smart screenwriter David Kajganich have taken this spooky subject matter very seriously. The result is some prima orrore assoluta – particularly the shocking sequence where some ubiquitous evil forces choreograph an ill-fated dance student into a très grave finale.

This Suspiria is not a remake

You don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy this movie (although I’d highly recommend that you do). It’s much more of a reimagining of Argento’s dream-tale than a remake. Guadagnino intertwines German politics and terrorism – the film is set in Berlin, 1977 (the year the original was unleashed). Plus lead character Susie gets a much meatier backstory. And dancing, there’s a lot more dancing.

Original Suspiria star Jessica Harper pops up

Deliberately avoiding all media about the movie so I could go in knowing little it was a pleasant surprise to see Jessica Harper make an appearance. Harper played the title role of Susie in Argento’s version and with Guadagnino being Argento’s biggest fan, and good pal, this cameo was a nice nod to the original and to the fans.

The performances in Suspiria are spellbinding

Dakota Johnson is enchanting as the elite ballet dancer; Tilda Swinton is captivating, of course, as the mysterious headmistress; yet it was rising star Mia Goth’s performance that did it for me. Chloë Grace Moretz along with the other fellow students are very good, as are the teachers (or coven of witches) at the Markos Dance Academy.

Suspiria ft. on 7deadlythings
Dakota Johnson in Suspiria. Photo courtesy Amazon Studios.

Swindled by Swinton

Speculation sparked controversy that the role of psychoanalyst Josef Klemperer, played by a German actor named Lutz Ebersdorf in his screen debut, was in fact Tilda Swinton in heavy makeup. During the Venice Film Festival press conference when asked what it was like playing the two roles, Swinton replied, “what two roles?” followed by a wink. She even read out a letter from Klemperer himself excusing his absence from the panel.

Thom Yorke scores with the Suspiria soundtrack

The soundtrack to the original Suspiria is legendary. Italian band Goblin composed it working closely with Argento throughout production. This time, Guadagnino called upon Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to bring the magic, and he doesn’t disappoint. The music is definitely more mellow than it’s predecessor but suits the autumnal tone of the film.

42873-Suspiria_-_Luca_Guadagnino__Photos_credit_Alessio_Bolzoni__Courtesy_of_Amazon_Studios___4_
Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino. Photo courtesy Amazon Studios.

Suspiria premiered at the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival and is scheduled to be released in Ireland in November, 2018.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Fancy being a guest contributor on 7 Deadly Things?
EMAIL 7DEADLYTHINGS@GMAIL.COM OR HIT TWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM, LINKEDINYOUTUBE or MIXCLOUD.

▴▴▴▴▴▴▴

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: