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Showing posts from September, 2017

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #412: Heathers

Heathers is a movie that deals with school shootings, bullying, homophobia and teen suicides. Sadly it was not made this year, but in 1988 and remains relevant today. Fortunately it is also a dark comedy with a hints of hope buried amongst the many dead bodies. Also noteworthy, it was a critical hit for stars Christian Slater and Winona Ryder before their careers went off the rails but then got back on track thanks to lead roles in hit TV shows. Clearly some things change and some things stay the same.
Seeing it the first time I was struck by the tone balanced by director Michael Lehmann and writer Daniel Waters, and thought there is no way this could be made today. A lot of bad things have happened in schools in North America between 1988 and today, chief among them mass shootings. Bullying is ever present thanks to social media, and suicide is such a hot-button issue in schools that some organizations were afraid the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why might encourage teens to take their own…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #73: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) has a clever idea for a plot that is executed by a rather oddball crew of artists. In the director’s chair you have Michel Gondry, a French filmmaker whose creativity is always recognisable no matter the project. On writing duties you have Charlie Kaufman, known for writing screenplays that seem to take on a life of their own. Then in front of the camera you have Jim Carrey in serious mode, which doesn’t always work, but the results are always interesting.
When the movie came out I was still used to the idea of Jim Carrey as a manic comedian since I grew up watching him in movies like Ace Ventura and The Mask. When he is in a drama you almost always expect him to eventually burst out and talk out of his butt. That might be why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not one of his biggest box-office successes, but even 13 years ago I could see this is a very smart movie dealing with deep ideas. Its characters are all convinced that in order…