Phantom Thread offered us so much to think about that we decided to revisit it, this time with Stephen Glass, who is both a filmmaker and Mike’s brother: very handy. This is our second viewing, Stephen’s fourth. We note how little time these great films now remain onscreen in Birmingham but focus on various aspects of mise-en-scène and performance: are the dresses meant to be not quite right? How fantastic is the Chelsea Arts Ball scene and the wonderful superimposition from the Alps? We discuss the power struggle between Alma and Cyril; the connection between Alma and Reynolds’ mother; the changes of lighting in relation to the characters from the beginning of the film to the end; the narrative deployment of the Barbara Rose character and the use of music. A film that’s endlessly interesting.
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Mike and I discuss scandinoir, why Tomas Alfredson — who is not Thomas Anderson — is such a great director, how some shots in this film made me swoon, why Chloë Sevigny’s performance is so great and Michael Fassbender’s, gloriously handsome as he is in this movie, is not. Was Val Kilmer dubbed? Why does a film that has so many extraordinary elements not quite add up to the sum of its parts? Is Snowman a Europudding? Spoilers abound