Thursday, January 30, 2020

The SequelQuest Podcast: A Sequel to Plan 9 from Outer Space

After a very busy holiday season, I've kind of taken a break from podcast editing in January. I'll get back on that horse soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy this episode of the SequelQuest podcast in which the hosts and I talked about the terrible Ed Wood classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space. And then of course pitched our ideas for possible sequels to it.

If you're not familiar with SequelQuest, I highly recommend the show. The commentary on the original movies is insightful and the sequel ideas are always fun.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

It's fun to think about what's coming out and which movies I'm most interested in, then compare that at the end of the year to what I actually enjoyed. For instance, even though last year was a really good one for enjoyable movies, my favorites weren't the ones I was most looking forward to.

Of my 20 Most Anticipated last year, only nine of them turned out to be Top 20 movies for me. Those were Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, The Kid, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, It 2, How to Train Your Dragon 3, The Lego Movie 2, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Of the other 11, I lost interest in seeing four of them (Jumanji 3, Zombieland 2, the animated Addams Family movie, and the Charlie's Angels remake) in the theater because of trailers or reviews. Then there were six that simply failed to crack my Top 20, but when I look at what those are (Rise of SkywalkerSpider-Man: Far from HomeHellboyJohn Wick 3Men in Black: International, and Shazam), I enjoyed all of them on some level. There was just a bunch of better stuff that I didn't see coming.

If you're doing the math, that leaves one movie unaccounted for. That's because one of my most anticipated last year was The New Mutants which got pushed back to 2020. And sure enough, it's on this year's list again.

20. Last Night in Soho

I'm not a huge Edgar Wright fan, but I do like his movies quite a bit (Hot Fuzz being most my cup of tea). The draws here are the horror elements and Anya Taylor-Joy's involvement. Her name's going to pop up at least a couple of more times on this list. I'm sure that some day she'll pick a movie to be in that I don't at least think is interesting, but it hasn't happened yet. She is to Present Day Michael what Johnny Depp was to '90s Michael.

19. Dune

Dune adaptations are always super flawed, but fascinating nonetheless. Denis Villeneuve is a super interesting filmmaker and I'm eager to see how he interprets Herbert's story.

18. Eternals

I'm deeply interested in this new phase at Marvel Studios. With Endgame behind us, they seem to be starting over and rebuilding, which I think is super smart. I'm very very curious to see how Eternals fits into that.

I know nothing about the characters in the comics and care even less, but that's a cool challenge and I'm reminded that most of the world felt the same way about Guardians of the Galaxy before those movies came out. I'm also very interested in Chloé Zhao as a filmmaker and she's assembled a cool cast, including Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, and the Other Stark Boys: Kit Harington and Richard Madden.

17. First Cow

Lately, A24's logo is all a movie needs to at least get my attention. The stuff they produce is always artfully made, compellingly told, and usually has a cool genre twist. In this case, the genre is Western and the story is about a cook for a bunch of fur trappers in Oregon who teams up with a Chinese immigrant to start a new business that somehow involves that cow.

16. Jungle Cruise

One of my favorite Disney rides gets a movie starring two of my favorite actors these days.

15. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

I've liked all three of the Ghostbusters movies so far on some level, but I'm not crazy about any of them. The blend of comedy and horror has never been just right for me, but the concept is great and with some tweaking to boost the chills, I could get right on board. Afterlife seems like it may be headed that direction.

14. The New Mutants

This keeps getting pushed back, which doesn't bode well, but I like these characters in the comics and I especially like that the movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik and Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane. There's been some speculation that the delays have in part been due to Disney's figuring out how to incorporate it into the MCU somehow to make it the first X-Men movie as part of that rather than the last X-Men movie from the defunct Fox universe. I hope that's the case, but whatever universe it's a part of, the horror angle sounds great. I'm rooting for it.

13. The Gentlemen

I'm always into Guy Ritchie doing his Guy Ritchie thing. I love that this includes Michelle Dockery, Hugh Grant, and Matthew McConaughey.

12. Birds of Prey

Margot Robbie was definitely the best thing about Suicide Squad, so I was mildly interested in more of her as Harley Quinn, but I didn't get excited until I realized that Renee Montoya and Cassie Cain are making their live-action debuts and that Mary Elizabeth Winstead is playing Huntress. And oh crap, I just now connected that Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Black Canary) was Rosalee from Underground and now I kind of want to bump this up to Number 1.

11. Gretel & Hansel

Everything about this sounds so cool. One of my favorite fairy tales as a horror story with Gretel as the older, main character protecting her little brother and the Borg Queen Alice Krige herself as the witch. I'm afraid that I may be too excited for it.

10. Death on the Nile

Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express was fantastic and I'm eager for more. The rest of the cast isn't quite as exciting this time, but Gal Gadot is enough all by herself.

9. Emma

Anya Taylor-Joy in a Jane Austen adaptation.

8. Bill & Ted Face the Music

I'm nervous that it can't be as good as the other two films, but it's encouraging that this has been a passion project of Alex Winter's pretty much since Bogus Journey wrapped. The idea of it doesn't feel like a late in the game cash grab, but like a long-standing dream finally come true. I hope the movie feels that way, too.

7. The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel is a great gothic story for all ages, so I'm always excited by a new adaptation. And this one has Colin Firth in it.

6. Godzilla vs. Kong

Let them fight.

5. Wonder Woman 1984

I have questions and concerns, but I'm not about to start distrusting Patty Jenkins or Gal Gadot at this point.

4. The Turning

Another classic gothic novel gets adapted. I read Henry James' The Turn of the Screw a couple of years ago and my first reaction was that I kind of hated it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are multiple ways of interpreting it and that the more mundane interpretations are ironically the more haunting ones. I wish I could read it again before the film comes out, but I know I'm not going to have time. I'm very eager about the setting and atmosphere though and curious to see what approach the film takes in interpreting the novel.

3. Enola Holmes

Millie Bobby Brown plays Sherlock Holmes' younger sister with Henry Cavill as Holmes and Helena Bonham Carter as their mom. Cavill doesn't seem like natural casting for Holmes, but I'm not complaining.

2. No Time to Die

I mostly enjoyed SPECTRE, but I didn't love it the way I love the other Daniel Craig Bond movies (yes, even Quantum of Solace). I'm assuming this is Craig's last one and am hoping it's a super strong end to his run.

1. Black Widow

One of my favorite Marvel characters in any medium, but I've loved Scarlett Johansson in the role since Iron Man 2. Seeing a whole movie with her sounds fantastic and I also love the supporting cast of Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and especially (thanks to Little Women) Florence Pugh. And if this is setting up Pugh as a new Black Widow to move forward in the MCU, even better.

Monday, January 20, 2020

My Top 10 Movies of 2019

10. The Wind

So good. The Wind uses the isolation of pioneer life to create a scary, atmospheric, Western horror. It's beautifully gothic, it's psychological, and above all it's super spooky. Also: I love the title. You know how in horror movies someone hears something scary and someone else says, "Don't worry, it's only the wind?" What if that was true, but the fact only made the situation more frightening?

9. Dora and the Lost City of Gold

A fun, exciting, super positive version of Tomb Raider / Indiana Jones-style stories with attention paid to why exploration is better than treasure-hunting. Teen Dora is delightful while also being badass. And I love how the movie acknowledges the fantasy of the cartoon while modifying it to fit with the (mostly) grounded reality of the film. The one thing I scratch my head over is making a masked, talking fox a character that no one ever questions, but I can roll with it.

8. Mary Magdalene

Amazing. It takes some liberties with the Biblical narrative, but in service to presenting an accurate vision of Christ's message and the challenges that his contemporaries - including his own followers - had in understanding it.

The movie is deeply feminist and presents Mary as one of the few followers not only to actually understand what she was being called to do, but also to support Jesus through his struggles while also encouraging her fellow followers to rethink their perceptions of Christ's role.

It's a beautiful story, one of Mara's best performances, and extremely relevant today as it encourages its audience to not just rage against injustice, but to find and act on ways to relieve actual suffering.

7. It Chapter Two

Oh my God these characters.

I haven't read the book and hadn't yet seen the TV miniseries when I watched this, so the two feature films were my introduction to this story. And even now that I've seen the TV version, this is the adaptation that everything else gets compared to, because I love all of these characters, as kids and adults.

I'm also fascinated by what the story says about memory. If I understand correctly, its thesis is that our presents are defined by which memories of the past we hold onto and feed. I agree.

I was momentarily confused by the symbolism of extinguishing evil light with darkness. I'm conditioned to relate light to goodness and darkness to evil, but I think I get it if the light in this case represents bad memories that cripple us if we allow ourselves to be defined by them. Darkness then would represent extinguishing those memories so that other, better memories can replace them as dominant in our thinking. I'm not a psychologist, but if I'm right in my understanding, the film doesn't encourage a harmful repression of painful memories, but a conscious, willful choice not to dwell on them. I dig that.

6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle

A beautiful, creepy, horrifying adaptation of a beautiful, creepy, horrifying book. So Southern. So gothic. The film works on every level from the casting to the locations (Ireland works shockingly well for the American South) to the actual acting (Alexandra Daddario is especially surprising and effective) and the photography.

5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Absolutely lovely. I wouldn't want to choose between it and the first one. What a beautiful, bittersweet finish to the trilogy. And F Murray Abraham's Grimmel is an even better villain than the awesomely deadly Drago from the second film. I love Grimmel's dangerous intelligence and sense of humor.

4. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

I've had mixed feelings about Tarantino's films his whole career. I generally love the narrative structure, characters, and a lot of the dialogue, but get irritated by the excessive violence and Tarantino's insistence on the n-word. I can usually get past those things when the film has an optimistic arc (as in Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained), but I hate the nihilism of The Hateful Eight. And I had a hard time adjusting to the revelation that Inglourious Basterds is set in an alternate reality instead of being a straight-up WWII movie. But all of these other experiences shaped my perception of what a Quentin Tarantino film is and led me to the place where I'd perfectly enjoy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I have a lot to say about it and I'll get into SPOILERS, SO BE WARNED.

The film spends a lot of time just hanging out with characters that I fell in love with, starting with Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton, but especially Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth (and his dog Brandy), and surprisingly Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate and Emile Hirsch's Jay Sebring. I've seen some of Tate's movies, but never thought much about her outside of the tragedy of her death. Up until a week or so before seeing Once Upon a Time, I don't think I even knew that she was almost full term in her pregnancy when she was murdered. In Once Upon a Time, I got to spend an afternoon with her, watching her go the movies and see one of her own films, delighted just to be a part of it and thrilled with the enjoyment of the rest of the audience.

Knowing that that Once Upon a Time was leading to her murder - and knowing how Tarantino typically presents violence - I grew more and more uneasy as I got to know and like her. And the same thing was going on with the fictional (and therefore expendable) Cliff and Rick as their stories started intersecting with the Manson cult. Coming right behind The Hateful Eight, I fully expected Once Upon a Time to get super dark and ugly. But then it went Inglourious Basterds instead.

If I hadn't been familiar with Inglourious Basterds, I don't know how I'd have reacted to the alternate reality ending of Once Upon a Time (even though the hint is right there in the title). But with precedence already being set, I was just relieved and profoundly moved to see things play out the way I wanted them to instead of how they really did. Which, weirdly, makes me mourn even more the deaths of Tate and Sebring and their friends, knowing that there were no real Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton in their lives.

Since seeing the movie, I spent a lot of time reading about the murders and trying to understand what led to them. I've spent even more time reflecting on this beautiful, beautiful film and looking forward to seeing it again.

3. Knives Out

It's possible that Knives Out nudges in front of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood only because I've seen it more recently. But Knives Out is an absolutely perfect example of one of my favorite story genres: the whodunnit. I never doubted for a second that Rian Johnson could pull this off, but it was even better than I expected. Just perfect, with a great cast of characters, plenty of fun twists (while always playing fair with new information and clues), and also powerfully challenging attitudes of condescension and entitlement (particularly in the super wealthy, but there's a message here for all of us).

2. Avengers: Endgame

Did not take enough tissues.

I expected Endgame to complete the story begun in Infinity War (with of course references to earlier films), but did not expect it to complete the stories begun in Iron Man, First Avenger, and really the entire saga so far. It's deeply emotional and a satisfying conclusion in so many ways. An amazing achievement.

The only reason it's at Number 2 and not Number 1 is that it does rest heavily on the foundation of nearly two dozen films that came before. That's not in any way a criticism. It's unbelievable that Endgame completes such an ambitious project so, so successfully. But if there was a movie that could touch me as deeply without having the benefit of almost 48 hours of previous material to help it... well, that would be Number 1.

1. Little Women

I was somewhat familiar with the story, mostly through the '90s movie and that episode of Friends where Rachel challenges Joey to read it in exchange for her reading The Shining. But I wasn't at all prepared for how intensely I would connect to the characters in Greta Gerwig's version. She gives everyone - not just the four title characters - powerful moments of longing and failure and success and love and every single actor absolutely nails it. There are so many different kinds of dreams and motivations. Some of them are heartbreaking. All of them are relatable.

From a narrative standpoint, I appreciated Gerwig's tactic of starting the film later in the story and then flashing back to earlier events. That kept me from getting impatient as I waited for certain plot points to develop. I was concerned for a little while that I'd get confused by the flashbacks, but I never did. Even before I realized that Gerwig was using different color filters for each time period, I was able to stay on track with just hairstyles or the context of the scene.

Diane and I went back a second time with some friends and agreed that it was even more rewarding on repeat. We noticed subtle foreshadowing that we'd missed the first time. And there was a lot of proactive weeping in anticipation of scenes we knew were coming. Just so incredibly rewarding.

Friday, January 17, 2020

10 Movies from 2019 That I Loved on Some Level

20. The Kid

This is the Young Guns 2 I wanted.

Dane DeHaan is a hilarious and charming, but also terrifyingly unpredictable Billy the Kid. And the film goes to a lot of effort to make him physically resemble the historical Billy as much as possible.

Ethan Hawke is a sympathetic and heroic, though flawed Pat Garrett. Chris Pratt is also excellent as a shocking, disturbingly evil character, but that's unrelated to my hopes for a new Billy the Kid movie.

One of my disappointments with Young Guns 2 was that it clearly wanted to explore the effect of Billy's fame on him and his friends, but the first film had already done that and in a more entertaining way. And the sequel undermines its own effort with a framing device that's only tangentially related to the theme. Structurally, Young Guns 2 is actually about convincing Bradley Whitford that Billy is still alive. Which could have been a cool movie, too, but isn't what any of the bulk of the movie is really about.

The Kid doesn't have that problem. It's very much about fame and the consequences of actions, but it explores this through a couple of new characters who meet Billy and Pat and have to make some decisions about what path they're going to choose. It's a focused story with great characters.

19. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

As a fan, I feel extremely well-serviced. Great kaiju action with some updated favorite classic monsters. Excellent cast of human characters. I have nothing to complain about.

18. Captain Marvel

Hardcore. Emotional and inspirational. Captain Marvel got me stoked for Endgame in a whole, different way than I had been before. If Endgame can be said to be disappointing on any level, it was in not giving enough time to Carol's return and role in fighting Thanos, but Endgame already had a lot to do.

17. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

More ambitious than the first one. It builds the world out in some cool ways. It doesn't quite hit everything it shoots for, but it succeeds at what's most important to me: the Maleficent / Aurora relationship and the theme of Love's triumph over Fear. Maleficent herself is a glorious goth goddess and I want twelve more movies in this series.

16. Ready or Not

As scary, exciting, and funny as I hoped. Samara Weaving is badass. There are a couple of situations where she requires rescuing when I would have preferred her getting out on her own, but she's plenty active. A great character with a great look. Running around fighting bad guys in a wedding dress and sneakers is amazing. More people should do it.

15. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

It's hard to surprise while delivering more of what people liked the first time. But even though Second Part uses the same techniques as the first one did to present its story, it does it in service to a theme that I appreciated even more than the earlier one.

14. Crawl

I grew up in Florida near areas like this, so I have a lot of love for the setting of Crawl. That means that I also know that gators don't usually behave this way, but they're unpredictable enough that I was able to accept that - for the purposes of the film - maybe these gators do. Anyway, it's a great setting filled with a couple of great characters in a great predicament. I really liked Haley (Kaya Scodelario) and her dad (Barry Pepper) and was super invested in seeing them get out of the gator-infested crawlspace beneath their house as hurricane floodwaters rise and rise some more and oh, there are even more gators outside.

It's more survival movie than horror, but that made it even better. Haley and her dad are smart, talented people who make good decisions that are constantly complicated by circumstances they can't control. That kind of tension always works for me and Crawl is a straight-up hour-and-a-half of it.

13. Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Super cute.

Seems like every few years there's a new Nancy Drew movie or comic or something that never catches on to become a series. I don't understand why. She's a great character with a cool supporting cast. And this is one of my favorite versions so far. (Another being the recent comic for Dynamite by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St Onge.)

In the new movie, Sophia Lillis is a bright and spirited, but also flawed Nancy who's trying to navigate a lot of things. Her mother recently died, she's moving to a new town (where she's spent some previous summers, so at least she knows some people, but still), and she's being pulled in multiple directions by competing cliques that are interested in either her friendship or detective skills. It's a lot and I loved watching her figure it out.

The rest of the cast is great too, especially Linda Lavin as an eccentric woman who thinks her house may be haunted. Lavin was a staple on my childhood TV thanks to Alice and it's nice to see her again. She was also great in How to Be a Latin Lover a couple of years ago and she may be even funnier now than she was in the '70s.

12. The Rise of Skywalker

Rise of Skywalker bounced all over my list before settling here. And I'm not even sure this is where it should stay.

Right after I first watched it, I probably would have put it in my Top 10, even though I had big issues with the first quarter. The pace in the beginning is way too fast, not necessarily because of the plot, but just for reconnecting emotionally with these characters. And I've never been on board with the Emperor's return or Abrams' taking back Johnson's revelation that Rey's parents were "nobody." These are weaknesses and there are others, but like with the other two movies in the trilogy, I was so pulled into it by the end that the flaws didn't matter on first viewing. I spent the last twenty minutes in happy tears and I loved that last line. (Still do.)

But dang if if the movie didn't lose a lot of appeal the second time around. As much as I was touched by the climax the first time, I could also tell I was being manipulated. Which isn't a problem so long as I'm being manipulated well... and I believed Skywalker was doing that. But on second try, I wasn't so sure. If I'd ranked all my movies then, this would probably have been about 10-15 slots lower. The Nerd Lunch Star Wars panel will be doing a big episode on this, so I'll get into my issues in more detail there.

But for all the stuff that really bugs me, there's still a lot that I love as well. I'll get into that on the podcast, too, but the reason Skywalker ends up this high on my list is that I enjoyed it more the third time than I did the second. There are still big problems. Some of them are basic storytelling problems and some are just events or developments that rub me the wrong way. I expect that, given time, the things that rub me the wrong way will become less important. The storytelling flaws will keep it from being a great film, but I can live with even that.

11. Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Our family dynamic is often that David and I get super excited to see a movie and Diane decides that it looks cool enough to see with us. Detective Pikachu flipped that. David grew up with Pokémon and Diane's a faithful player of Pokémon Go. I like Ryan Reynolds and a good mystery.

If it had been a typical Pokémon story about capturing pocket monsters and making them fight, I'd have skipped it. But Pokémon Detective Pikachu goes broad enough for me while including enough Easter eggs for David and Diane. It's funny, it's cute, it's twisty enough to surprise me in some key places, and it's surprisingly emotional. Justice Smith is great in it and makes me want to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom again because I forgot he's in that.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

10 Movies from 2019 That I Liked a Lot

30. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

The new-series smell has worn off a little, but not the inventive and beautifully choreographed action nor the surprisingly insightful character work. There was a place near the middle where I thought I'd probably gotten everything I was going to out of the series, but it rallied at the end and made me at least interested in (if not crazy excited about) a fourth chapter.

29. Spider-Man: Far from Home

I appreciate that it deals with the fallout of Endgame, but I mostly love it for capturing the feel of an extended high school trip and all the romance and drama that come with one of those. And for giving me a great, cinematic version of one of my favorite Spider-Man villains. The thing I don't love about it is the cliffhanger ending and the fact that no sequel has been announced yet. But it's a great Spider-Man film and a great epilogue / palate-cleanser after the epic Thanos saga. The fact that it's this low on my list is a testament to how strong the year was as a whole.

28. Crypto

I expected a cheaply made thriller, but was curious to see it because of Alexis Bledel and Kurt Russell. To my surprise, Crypto is superbly directed, beautifully shot, compellingly edited, and has a story that kept me constantly guessing about where it was going next.

Beau Knapp plays a bank investigator who's assigned to audit the branch in his hometown. As he deals with his estranged family (with relatable, emotional performances by both Kurt Russell and Luke Hemsworth), he begins to uncover evidence that the bank may be involved in money laundering with Russian mafia and a local art gallery.

27. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

A movie with this awesome a title and as awesome a lead as Sam Elliott doesn't deserve to be artful and dramatic as well. But it totally is. This isn't the SyFy channel cheese it's disguised as. It's The Hero in stealth mode.

26. Sweetheart

What would have been just a pretty good B-level creature feature is elevated by Kiersey Clemons (whom I also loved in Hearts Beat Loud). She believably alternates between terrified and determined as her circumstances dictate. I also enjoyed the mystery of how she arrived on the island, what she was like before she got there, and what happened to the other survivors of the boat accident. Some of the questions have more concrete answers than others, but I even love the ambiguity in the ones that are left to my imagination.

25. The Dead Don't Die

The Dead Don't Die could be Jim Jarmusch's most accessible film so far. Which might be why cinephiles and critics were pretty harsh on it. But I love the cast and the humor and the use of zombies to personify modern fears about climate change, immigration, and other concerns. Or, more accurately, to allow its characters to comment on those fears. I don't know that it has anything especially new to say about any of that, but I appreciate the urgency it expresses and I love the way that Jarmusch conveys it.

24. Stuber

I'm all in for both Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani and they're great together. And I was very pleasantly surprised to discover Natalie Morales and Mira Sorvino in prominent roles. Super entertaining movie with some great heart.

23. Never Grow Old

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. There have been a lot of B-Westerns lately with recognizable actors and the quality is usually Good Enough without being great. Never Grow Old is pretty great (despite it's generic title).

I always enjoy Emile Hirsch and he's excellent as a family man who's also the carpenter / undertaker in a small Western community. John Cusack's usual charisma makes him shockingly creepy as an extremely bad man who comes to town and sort of takes a liking to Hirsch. As the town becomes more violent, business gets better for Hirsch, which of course creates a moral dilemma.

It's deeper and more complicated than I expected and the acting is super good by everyone (not just the two leads). Special shout out to Déborah François who plays Hirsch's smart and resourceful wife.

22. The Vanishing

The other lighthouse movie from last year is based on historical events and is much more straightforward than Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse. And the best thing is that it's made me love Gerard Butler again. He's a cool actor who's been in some horrible movies, but this is a great, slow burning, tense thriller about three guys keeping a lighthouse on an otherwise empty island. And then something happens. It's sort of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre meets "Horror of Fang Rock."

21. The Golem

I was concerned that The Golem might turn out to be a low-budget gore-fest, but I'm a fan of the creature it's based on and hoped the film might have more to it than just dismembered bodies. It does.

I just happened to watch it over Mothers Day weekend, which was fortuitously appropriate, because it draws heavy parallels between the creation of the golem and motherhood. Hani Furstenberg plays an 18th Century Jewish woman named Hanna who lost her son several years earlier and has been unwilling to have another child since. When the village comes under threat of violence from outsiders, Hanna uses knowledge that she's not supposed to have in order to construct and animate an earthen protector. Much warning is given about how difficult a golem is to control and the film also connects this to motherhood by creating a tight connection between Hanna and her new "child," so that it intuitively knows what she wants. Controlling it is as impossible as controlling our deepest impulses.

The Golem offers a lot to think about and covers it in an emotional, but also fast-paced way.


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