The Buzz

Posted 2020-02-06

I saw Attack The Block, quickly followed by Uncut Gems (again) last night. Attack The Block was a pleasant surprise! I forgot that I enjoyed those Cornetto Trilogy-esque productions from Big Talk. The comedic writing was propped up and made more out-of-place and inappropriate (read: more funny) by the fact that all of the cuts were done very seriously, like any other slasher horror or action film, something that also elevated Hot Fuzz to excellence for me in my teenage years. There's a lot to be said for the praise movies like these get from mass-media consuming types I consider tasteless. Is that why I'm quick to respect Attack The Block for its relatively more cult status? I think everyone agrees the aliens are pretty goofy, though. I figure it was a budget thing.

So! On to the Safdie Brothers' Gems, a movie that feels like a window into the next decade. It's all me and a handful of friends seem to talk about, and I imagine not just us, either. It's so good that it wasn't even put up for an Oscar, which usually equates to rejection by older, out-of-touch generations and acceptance by youths. A friend mentioned that basically only Jews, millennials and people who live in hectic cities like New York really enjoy the film: they're already used to being surrounded by tons of voices at once, whether in open office plans, subway cars, shitty bars, twitter feeds, big family dinner conversations-cum-arguments, whatever, and they're always on edge already, too. That the film currently holds 52% on Rotten Tomatoes initially surprised me until I absorbed my friend's statement. For a lot of us, this film reads like a challenge to the next generation of movies, from the music (Oneohtrix Point Never truly works in the present moment) to the superb claustrophobic cuts (albeit toned-down from the Safdies' excellent Good Time) which are leaving the academy in the dust. Who could have written a review like this other than a boomer?

Tagged: daily film uncut-gems attack-the-block safdie a24