Film Features

How A24 is Saving Movies

How the Small Distribution Company is Giving a Much Needed Voice to First-Time Directors

a24films.com

My first proper date with my first ever girlfriend was to see Spring Breakers, the weirdest movie granted a wide theatrical release in 2013.

Directed by the mostly-underground Harmony Korrine, the film became notorious for James Franco's performance as Alien, an off-beat, very colorful gangster with a head covered in dreadlocks and an accent somewhere between a Tallahassee truck driver and Marcellus Wallace. I saw that movie in theatres. I didn't know it at the time, but the A24 Productions logo that kickstarted the experience would go on to become one of the most important symbols you could pin to a movie in the 2010's. It's since become a mark of excellence. Now, in 2020, you see a movie distributed by A24, and you know one thing: that movie will certainly be awesome, but might even be visionary, too. A24 is very quietly saving movies, and they're doing it by going against the most time-held and obvious of box office rules: They invest in uncertainties.

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CULTURE

"The Witch," Lana Del Rey, and Satanic Feminism: The Trope of the Wicked Woman

Given feminism's occult origins, it makes sense that witchcraft and activism are both so popular right now.

This article contains spoilers for "The Witch."

At the end of Robert Eggers' movie The Witch, the main character—a young girl named Thomasin—removes her bloodstained clothes and wanders into the woods, following what appears to be an iteration of the devil who's been masquerading as the family goat.

She stumbles upon a circle of other naked women, convulsing and dancing around a fire. They start to levitate. So does Thomasin. In the film's final frames, her face breaks out into an expression of ecstasy.

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Fall has just begun, meaning Halloween is right around the corner. But something else is lurking around the corner too, and it's not pumpkin spice lattes...

Okay, it is pumpkin spice lattes.

But also, October is all about snuggling up under a blanket and streaming scary movies on Netflix. Unfortunately, Netflix's horror movie section is a minefield of hot garbage with a few spooky gems strewn amongst the trash. Luckily, we're here to guide you to the right choices. Think of this list kind of like your own personal Netflix Halloween Minesweeper.

The Conjuring

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Conjuring may have spawned an infinite number of mediocre sequels, but the original deserves all of its success. James Wan directs with subtlety, earning scares through well-crafted tension-building instead of cheap jump spooks.

FILM

Robert Eggers' "The Lighthouse" Actually Looks Like an Original Movie Concept

In a world of remakes and sequels, "The Lighthouse" shines.

The trailer is out for horror director Robert Eggers' new movie, The Lighthouse, and amazingly, it looks like a totally original Hollywood movie.

Is this even possible? Would Hollywood really, truly release a movie in 2019 that isn't a sequel, prequel, reboot, or generic, derivative, paint-by-numbers? Watch the trailer and see for yourself:

The Lighthouse | Official Trailer HD | A24 www.youtube.com

Eggers' first film, The Witch, established him as a fresh, original voice in the horror genre. From the looks of it, The Lighthouse will solidify his spot in the modern horror canon.

The aesthetic is deeply unique. The black and white color scheme coupled with intriguing set design (a diagonal ceiling, a spiral staircase) recall silent Expressionist horror of the 1920s like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. At the same time, Eggers' use of harsh lighting and tight, close shots on his two lead actors (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) feel reminiscent of a theater production.

The movie already received rave reviews after its premiere at Cannes, with critics lauding the direction, horror, and performances of both leads in equal measure. Willem Dafoe's greatness should probably come as no surprise, but it's great to hear that Robert Pattinson holds his own, too.

The Lighthouse looks excellent, and more importantly, unlike anything else that's hit theaters over the past few decades. Considering the current state of the Hollywood landscape, this is quite the feat. Let's hope it delivers.

Make sure to check out The Lighthouse in theaters on October 18th.