Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Fantasy Double Feature of 2016


From MUBI Notebook's 9th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2016, an annual poll in which contributors pair favorite new films of the year with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.

NEW: Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, France)
OLD: Hue and Cry (Charles Crichton, 1947)

Two propositions about Europe, enunciated through acts of dissatisfaction and revolt against two of its key cities, Paris and London. And if that’s vaguely the motivation for pairing the two films, yet it is a complementing contrast which curiously brings them together.

The comics in Hue and Cry intrigue the imagination of a group of east London teenagers. Then, the imaginary becomes real and transcends the post-war ruins. Nocturama is about the reverse process of reality evaporating into a shopping mall fantasy. The online world, instant communication, and the social media are the visual comics of contemporary life whose superheroes are the account holders. Eventually, the revenge of the Facebook-era les enfant terribles against consumerism and globalization sees a funny turn when they are consumed by the very goods that surround them and give them their identities—a predictable encounter between Dawn of the Dead and PlayTime. But here, in the shopping mall sequences of the two films (the British one is on Oxford Street), is where exactly the point of convergence lies, when the films reduce the difference between human figures and models to nothing.

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