Sundance London 2018 Preview - An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn
Dir: Jim Hosking
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Jermaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson
Jim Hosking was last upon us with The Greasy Strangler, a film that was so desperate to be embraced as an instant cult, midnite movie kinda thing that we all just went along with it. Well, Hosking is back to let us know we shouldn’t have.
His latest movie certainly plays into his already established style, and on this second outing it becomes clearer what the man is aiming for. He wants to be a funny David Lynch – his movies are set in desolate, forgotten pockets of middle America, populated by eccentrics that border on being grotesques, spewing forth inane drivel that passes for dialogue which, through a combination of repetition or just sheer inanity, Hosking hopes will somehow win us over. Well, the truth is, Lynch already knows how to be funny. And at his mildest he does it a lot better than this man.
You could argue there’s a plot here – people get robbed, revenge is sought, wives leave husbands, entertainer show up and grunts – but it’s really just Hosking trying to create his own world. One which you may find yourself visiting via this movie – but definitely one you would never want to see again. Where Lynch aims for some sense of the absurd writ large in light of the real world, Hosking goes for oppression, a bludgeoning effect exacerbated by the film’s incredibly annoying and overwhelming ‘80s synth style score. All of which lends this movie an acute feeling of claustrophobia. And where there is no oxygen, comedy will not burn.
So we’re calling “Emperor’s New Clothes” on both Hosking and his latest, dire movie. Despite the best efforts of Plaza and Berry to play in a different key and keep things afloat, this is just very simply incredibly unfunny. Painfully so, even.
The Sundance Festival ’18 London runs from May 31 to June 3 - https://spotlight.picturehouses.com/category/sundance-film-festival/
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