Like father, like son, it works well here. Brandon Cronenberg not only became a film director like his father, the well-known David Cronenberg but has also been inclined to recreate the visually challenging and surreal universes that his father has accustomed us to. Infinity Pool is Brandon’s third feature film and with it, he confirms his directing style and his preferences when it comes to presenting his narrative. It is impossible not to refer to the cinema that we know of his father and the heap of sequences that he has bequeathed to the cinema. Each scene seems to be covered by a large shadow that eclipses Brandon’s hand and only lets us see Cronenberg.
In 1999 M. Night Shyamalan shook the world with his movie The Sixth Sense. Nor did the studios expect the then-young director’s film to perform the way it did in theaters. Revenues exceeded 600 million dollars and, in the VHS, and DVD rental market, it was requested by more than 80 million people. The psychological horror-thriller drama thrust the director into the spotlight and enshrined him in almost immediate cult status.
Darren Aronofsky’s universe is one of the most interesting. The New York filmmaker has always challenged the audience with his proposals. The Whale (2022) is his most recent film and with it, he reaffirms the previous approach, after causing a sensation at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, the film began its commercial circuit. All eyes have focused on its protagonist Brendan Fraser and specialized critics have not stopped insinuating that Fraser has conceived the best role of his career. Aronofsky has faded into the background while the shadow of his Whale seems to overshadow him.
Finding the stories is the easy part. The difficult thing is to tell them in such a way that they become relevant. Michael Morris’s debut feature To Leslie (2022) does just the latter. The family drama of his story transcends by the way it is told and by the precision with which the narrative rhythm is carried out. When we approach the film, we can feel that what it is going to tell us is too familiar, that there is room to fall into the trite, but Morris’s hand is firm, and he relies on a magnificent cast to make his bet a winner.
Why don’t you ever tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, the same end, and the same agony?
Erich Maria Remarque
Perhaps Erich Maria Remarque would have wished he had never had the experiences that inspired his transcendental novel. All Quiet on the Western Front marked a turning point in the world of literature and its adaptation for the cinema in 1930 by Lewis Milestone paved the way for anti-war films. Director Delbert Mann also adapted Remarque’s play into a television movie in 1972. Now it’s Edward Berger’s turn, almost a hundred years after the first adaptation hit the big screen.