‘Black Adam,’ ‘Ticket to Paradise,’ ‘Decision to Leave,’ and Annie Ernaux
We go high and we go low on this edition of the BFG Podcast. Let’s start with contributor Michael Washburn, in to discuss his “nuanced” take on Annie Ernaux, the French writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Washburn praises Ernaux’s spare, deeply-personal, highly-emotional novels. But he also wonders if she might be more emblematic of a certain style of French writing than an actual master herself. He has high words for other French writers who take a broader, more global perspective. Host Neal Pollack says “what about Michel Houllebecq”? But he’s about as likely to win a Nobel Prize as Jordan Peterson is. C’est bon!
Our brows remain elevated with a discussion of ‘Decision To Leave,’ a new romantic thriller/film noir homage from Korean director Park Chan-Wook. Contributor Omar Gallaga and editor Neal Pollack marvel at the film’s shifting perspectives, unique camera angles, and moral ambiguity, while also making sure to let us know that the movie isn’t boring. There are chase scenes and murders. A highly-recommended film for us, and a possible Oscar contender.
You can’t say the same thing about ‘Ticket to Paradise,’ and ‘Black Adam,’ the two big hits of last weekend. Critic Sara Stewart saw ‘Ticket to Paradise’ and “laughed exactly once.” That’s not very many times. And it’s about the same number of times that Pollack laughed during ‘Black Adam.’ ‘Ticket’ does not take full advantage of its stars, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, while ‘Black Adam’ takes FULL advantage of The Rock. If you want to see The Rock bulge out of a Spandex suit, this is your dream movie. Also, Hawkman is in it, for all you Hawkman fans. It won’t win any awards except for maybe the odd Razzie. But it will make a lot of money.
Enjoy the show!