Katie Noelle Holmes has been running around New York City flaunting not only my most coveted pair of trousers, but their matching plaid Khaite coat, which I keep checking online over and over again just in case that $2,800 price tag decides to drop a zero. Yes, Katie Holmes (henceforth known as Khaitie Holmes) is currently having a style moment—and we’re all here for it. But let’s rewind back to a less glamorous time (2003), in a less glamorous New York, when Ms. Holmes starred in a movie I long avoided because its cover made it look like a very bad indie rom-com (I know, I’m sorry, I judged by a cover!) until my roommate Wilder made me watch it last year as part of his Thanksgiving tradition. And wow… my preconceptions were proven so wrong.
Pieces of April, directed by none other than Peter Hedges (a.k.a. LUCAS HEDGES’S DAD), is a pressure-cooker kitchen drama about the blunt-banged April (Holmes) trying to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for her somewhat estranged family. (Patricia Clarkson, who plays her mom, is so, so good in it.) Shot on a dimension-flattening, mini DV camera that lends a home-video aesthetic, this movie has all the domestic panic of a standard Thanksgiving meal, with tension cut perfectly by a neighbor who laughs at April for her low-stakes problems. Searching for something to be thankful for this year? Search no more: This unexpectedly iconic holiday movie is streaming on Hulu.
Speaking of Blunt Bangs…
Bowl-cutted Timothée is about to conquer ye hearts (and foot fetishists alike?) when The King hits Netflix on November 1. I don’t know if I’m actually in a rush to stream The King, but I am dying to see whatever fit Timo gets off next or which breakfast foods he’ll toss to his fans. Can I just say I’ve been wearing a lime turtleneck in my Twitter avatar, but have been getting significantly less attention for it?
If the It Boy duo of Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson in The King don’t do it for you, perhaps you are more into It Men? For the zaddy-loving crowd (ugh, I’m sorry), The Irishman arrives on Netflix at the end of the month (the 27th), with a theatrical release starting November 1. Strap the fuck in for this 3.5-hour Marty Scorsese crime drama that spans decades with expensive-ass de-aging technology bankrolled by Netflix (it’s done pretty well, actually!) starring the greats of gangster cinema: Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Robert DeNiro as the titular hitman. I woke up at 6 a.m. for the debut screening the morning of the New York Film Festival premiere, chugged a coffee, and peed just once throughout its 209-minute run. My look that morning involved rolling out of bed, putting a suit on over my pajama shirt, and topping it all off with a cap to conceal my unlaundered hair. Then I threw on some sunglasses to 1) conceal my puffy, sleep-deprived eyes, and 2) avoid human interaction.
Speaking of suits, Joe Pesci showed up to the press conference afterward absolutely stunting on everyone with his mob boss cuffs. The sheer drama of his look inspired me to change into a different suit later that evening for the film’s opening night party.
More NYFF Highlights
I’ve said this before but the two-week stretch during New York Film Festival is my favorite time of the year, and I’ve come to a new realization that elevates the experience even more, at least for this very column. Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the large auditorium used as a movie theater once a year, just during the fest, has the best selfie mirror (great lighting and full-length!), I’m so sad I don’t have access to it year-round.
Some highlights from the fest that you can look forward to: Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire is sure to fill this wintry season’s repressed lesbian love story void left behind by Carol. It’s about a short-lived, but no less impactful, affair that blossoms between a to-be-wed 18th-century French lady and the woman hired to covertly paint her portrait. The lady’s billowing skirt—which literally catches on fire—may be the lingering image of this year’s cinematic pickings but another flowy fabric that sends a pang in my heart is the pink dress shirt Adam Sandler wears in the Safdie brothers’s Uncut Gems (another festival fave) while walking around Manhattan’s diamond district on a late windy night. Swoon. Uncut Gems not only solidifies the fact that Adam Sandler is hot (yes, I said FACT), but also entertains the idea of the return of rimless glasses.
Other favorites included To the Ends of the Earth by Japanese horror auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa—though this ditched his usual genre for something quietly mysterious, a travelogue of sorts with a meta narrative involving its lead, the J-Pop star Atsuko Maeda. Another meta highlight was Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory (out now), starring Antonio Banderas as an eccentric, wavy-haired filmmaker (the connection to Almodóvar himself is not hard to draw). And then, of course, I loved Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite—it’s out now and is killing at the box office, in case you didn’t hear.
Killer Korean Flicks
The success of Parasite has only helped shine even more spotlight on the already bright corner that is South Korean cinema. A great place to check off your watchlist is at Lincoln Center next month for a New Korean Cinema series running from November 22–December 4. It’s a great beginner’s guide but also has so many under-seen gems. If you can’t make it out, do not fret, there are some great streaming options. On Amazon Prime, you’ll find the Parasite director’s best work (in my opinion), the 2003 true-crime masterpiece Memories of Murder. For something a bit more high-speed, Hulu’s got you covered with Na Hong-jin’s The Chaser, about a sadistic serial killer and a cop on his tail. Alternatively, you could hop aboard the Train to Busan (on Netflix) for a hellish ride trapped in claustrophobic compartments with zombies. For something much tamer, head over to the Criterion Channel for a trio of recent films by my favorite filmmaker, Hong Sang-soo. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Put on Your Best Vinyl
It’s been chilly and rainy in New York, the kind of weather that makes me want to stomp around in vinyl. Or maybe it’s because I recently rewatched The Matrix in one of those fancy Dolby theaters that feels like a 4D experience (by the way, you haven’t really lived until you’ve felt your chair shaking violently to the “Dragula” needledrop). Anyway, the Matrix trilogy is entering the Netflix matrix on November 1, sure to inspire vinyl envy (especially when Monica Bellucci shows up in Reloaded).
And on that note, Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater is showing films directed by Michèle Rosier next month. Rosier, along with being a journalist and filmmaker, also founded the vinyl-wear clothing label V de V. Oh so squeaky chic!
Rosier’s films are sadly hard to find online, but the Audrey Hepburn-starring Two for the Road is rentable. Hepburn’s cool-girl wardrobe was provided by Rosier, along with other designers, like Paco Rabanne.
If you are in New York, though, do not miss Rosier’s George Sand biopic George Qui?, starring the late, great Anne Wiazemsky as the pen-named 19th-century French writer. Because I’ve been rewatching Gossip Girl recently I simply must point out that George Sand was Blair Waldorf’s Yale dinner party answer to who she would want to dine with, dead or alive.
Speaking of multi-hyphenate filmmakers and literary icons, Metrograph is opening Susan Sontag’s directorial debut, Duet for Cannibals, on November 22, for its 50th anniversary. I read a synopsis that said it was “an erotic and confusing feature,” and the combination of those adjectives has colored me more intrigued than any other plot summary. Catch me at Metrograph in a black turtleneck.