‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ (★★), return to Pandora and other releases of the week

These are the movie premieres that hit the screens starting this December 16:

Avatar: The Sense of Water (★★)
Direction: James Cameron. Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet. Production: USA, 2022. Science fiction

There will be ‘Avatar 3’, ‘Avatar 4’ and ‘Avatar 5’ for 2024, 2026 and 2028

By Jordi Batlle Caminal

It is not numbered but everyone knows that it is number 2. Because everyone saw Avatareveryone remembers Avatar and the whole world, thirteen years after visiting it for the first time, will return these days to the planet Pandora. Avatar it was sold to us as the film that would revolutionize fantastic and science fiction cinema, that would divide the history of the genre into a before and after, as Kubrick did in 1968. A prediction that was only fulfilled at a technological and digital level, a field in which yes it was Avatar an evolutionary work for the cinema of great, great spectacle. For the rest, it was nothing more than a brilliant hybrid of war film, pro-Indian western and jungle adventure film: a bit of distant drumsa bit of Pocahontasa few drops of ecology and “new age” spirituality, etc.

Screenshot of the trailer for the new James Cameron installment ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’

20 century studios

Lost the initial impact, Avatar: The Sense of Water It unsurprisingly maintains a dazzling visual display through over three grueling hours of herculean visual grandeur, but it’s decidedly underwhelming on the story side. One of the novelties is that the role now shifts to the children of the protagonists of Avatar (the ex-marine and the indigenous woman), giving the story adolescent fever. And another, the incorporation of the ocean to the adventure, Cameronian holy water (abyss, titanic) with a handful of underwater scenes shot with never-before-seen clarity. And between seas and youth, a very silly, childish and naive plot, which sometimes makes one think of an inflamed version of my friend flipper. Little substance for such a long wait.

Well then, after giving us this gargantuan retinal banquet although lacking in vitamins, it is urgent to remember that things do not end here: according to biennial forecasts, there will be avatar 3, avatar 4 Y avatar 5 (already in production) for 2024, 2026 and 2028. Upon reaching the fifth, cameron He will be 74 years old and will have spent the last 19 (19 years!, what a barbarity!) locked up with a single toy. who we admire Terminator, Aliens, Risky lies either titanic We would have preferred that he spend this time on a greater variety of toys: now a scalextric, then a magic box, a fire truck, some lead gladiators…

Eo (★★★)
Directed by: Jerzy Skolimowski. Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Isabelle Huppert. Production: Poland-Italy, 2022. Drama

jerzy is always reborn

By J. Batlle

Jerzy Skolimowski is a resister, a survivor, a Polish filmmaker of the generation of Roman Polanski (he was his co-writer in the knife on the water) and, like Polanski himself, a wandering exile. Little joke, he has been making movies for more than sixty years although, unlike the author of chinatown, with a regular presence (and success) on the screens, his career is littered with ups and downs, gray periods and occasional revivals, perhaps because his films, very personal and visceral, do not flirt with the industry like those of his compatriot. Skolimowski has widely spaced the turning points of him: walkower, I departed either deep end They are paradigmatic titles of that period, which lasted until the end of the sixties, of radical, aggressive cinema of the new European waves. A decade later he would roar with force again in quality works such as The Scream Y clandestine work. and the excellent The ship-lighthouse soon after, although it will be necessary to wait a few years for its next revival: Essential killingfrom 2010, unpublished in our rooms.

A still from 'Eo'

A still from ‘Eo’

Well, behold, at 84 years of age, Skolimowski reappears again and in top form in hey. Its plot base is a tribute to Au Hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson’s classic starring a donkey, here taken to another aesthetic and conceptual dimension. The vicissitudes and misfortunes of a donkey are, in effect, the center of this somewhat deranged, Dantesque journey (there are scenes directly turned red), through various European countries, from Poland to Italy, structured in episodes with few dialogues, much and rather thunderous music, nervous strokes, stark violence and humor with a surreal accent. Faced with the purity of the animal, the human being reveals himself as a despicable and ruinous species, condemned to extinction. Far from the sermon or the moral lesson, hey It is an exercise in cinema in a state of freedom, hard and rough but truly fascinating.

After Sun (★★★)
Direction: Charlotte Wells. Cast: Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, Celia Rowlson-Hall. Production: Great Britain, 2022. Drama

the holiday routine

By J. Batlle

We have 45 minutes of footage, half the movie, and nothing has happened. Nothing dramatic, nothing funny, nothing epic, no apparent conflict… A still young and estranged father and his eleven-year-old daughter spend a vacation together in Turkey: bedroom scenes, pool scenes, beach scenes, scuba diving, dinners in the hotel terrace (with The Macarena of foreign desserts), arcade machines, billiards, ice creams, walks and natural, inconsequential conversations… All very bright, sunny, blue sky and blue sea. Wells shows that you can film the routine leisure of others without causing our boredom, on the contrary: we don’t mind spending the remaining 45 minutes contemplating the same thing, since everything is magnificently expressed in very pure, clear and transparent images. However, there is something disturbing and hidden, invisible, enigmatic in the story, concerning the family relationship (and the off-screen figure of the mother), which is already intuited in the video that the girl shoots at the beginning of the film and manifests itself. one night, towards the end, during a karaoke, the only moment in which they argue and separate. It is a very complex work, soft and serene on the outside, tremendously convulsed on the inside.

Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio, father and daughter in 'Aftersun'

Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio, father and daughter in ‘Aftersun’

Little Nicholas (★★★)
Direction: Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre. Production: France, 2022. Animation

a little delight

By J. Batlle

Like the clown Koko by Max Fleischer, who came out of the inkwell to rebuke the cartoonist and star in tangles, a hundred years ago, little Nicolás also comes to life from Sempé’s brush and converses with him. Jean-Jacques Sempé and his friend René Goscinny, the creator of Asterix and Lucky Luke, conceived the mischievous and funny Nicholas in the late 1950s and during the 1960s he was one of the most popular characters in France. The feature film by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre is about all this: about the solid friendship between Goscinny and Sempé until the death of the former in 1977 (Sempé died last year), about the adventures of the boy and also about the life and childhood of each of its creators. The animation is gorgeous. It obviously refers to the model of the recreated albums and has a clear, precise, synthetic line and with the most beautiful and soft colors. A delicious watercolor that, on top of that, celebrates life (although it also talks about death), friendship, creation, art, culture, knowledge… It is an essential event to see with the family before, during or after these holidays Christmas and an enjoyment for audiences of all ages.

'Little Nicholas' frame

‘Little Nicholas’ frame

The groc bra (★★)
Direction: Isabel Coixet. Production: Spain, 2022. Documentary

the victims speak

By J. Batlle

The Groc Bender is a simple and necessary denunciation documentary, because it gives voice to a group of women who, in their day, as teenagers or still minors, suffered sexual abuse by Antonio Gómez, their teacher at the Aula de Teatre Municipal de Lleida. The film is divided into nine chapters, following a chronological structure: he, the classroom, the unstable (name of the downtown theater company), The travels, The rumors, The director, The silence, The complaint Y they. The victims tell everything, without mincing words, and from the plurality and coherence of their voices it can be deduced that we are facing an irrefutable truth. Their statements alternate with archive images of their activities when they were students: rehearsals, performances, trips abroad and local television programs, in some of them with the presence of the then mayor Àngel Ros, who praises both the training center and the figure from Gómez himself, whom Coixet failed to convince to participate in the documentary. When the complaints began to pour in, the crime had already prescribed and Gómez was fired from the Classroom with compensation, according to a teacher, of almost 60,000 euros, a fact that adds a plus of indignation.

'El sostre groc' frame

‘El sostre groc’ frame

‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ (★★), return to Pandora and other releases of the week