Last night I watched Colo(u)r out of Space. A film in which Nic Cage playing an alpaca farmer is the most normal element. It’s a modern adaptation of the Lovecraft story of the same name. It does an interesting job of updating the tone and atmosphere of the piece, although it is far more graphic in it’s horror elements and visually more pyschedelic than perhaps the dark foreboding dread of Lovecraft’s writing.
It mostly works though and you are left with a sense of having watched something that gives you a window into an unfathomable otherworld, both from the characters’ fragmenting minds and the excellent creature design that feels inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing.
It is let down by Nic Cage though, inevitably. He goes full on zany at times, which makes many of his scenes funny rather than harrowing. At times, it feels like he is trying to channel Nicholson from The Shining, but he doesn’t pull it off anywhere near as terrifyingly. Instead, he gurns and overemphasises every last syllable increasingly just to make sure you know he isn’t completely all there. There is also a witchcraft side plot that feels completely unnecessary and doesn’t really go anywhere.
Still, a very enjoyable film and Nic Cage is really fun to watch in his role, even if I think the film would be better overall with a more subdued performance. I don’t think it got much of a release in the cinema, but I can see this being a cult classic in a few years.
Also watched Your Name last week. Absolutely beautiful film. It is an anime body swap film, in which a teenage boy from Tokyo swaps bodies with a teenage girl from a small rural town for random days.
Just from an aesthetic perspective, the film is a delight to look at and it uses music really well (I watched with the Japanese music, so not sure if the English music is the same pieces translated or completely different). The story itself is really touching too, as the two manage to develop a friendship and, unsurprisingly, romantic feelings through messages left on each others phone.
Really loved this. Anime is a genre that I’ve not really explored massively, but has surprised me of late with some fantastic pieces (Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop). This joins that list. I’ll certainly be checking out more from the director, Makoto Shinkai.