April 19, 2008
Anamorph."Anamorph, a new film opening today at IFC Center on the same day it becomes available on cable, via IFC's on-demand service, is that increasingly rare commodity - a contemporary genre film that doesn't stumble as it looks backward to capture the spirit of the films that inspired it," writes Bruce Bennett in the New York Sun. Nick Schager in Slant: "It's not clear what's more irritating about Anamorph: that it's another shameless rip-off of Se7en or that its high-concept gobbledygook has almost no bearing on its mystery's conclusion." "25 years ago, the Dario Argento of Tenebre might've socked this style-baiting silliness into the stratosphere, or at least past its eye-rolling contrivances," writes Jim Ridley in the Voice. "Director/co-writer HS Miller just lays on the chilly blues and a wet-blanket mood of arty anguish." "Zodiac may well be the last word on serial-killer films, less because it's a work of genius than because it directly engages with our obsession - our moviegoing, spectacle-seeking, bloodletting obsession - with serial killers," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. "Anamorph is a far more modest endeavor in aesthetic and intellectual terms: It's self-conscious about its influences without being self-reflexive." "The killer's fine arts education seems far ahead of Kevin Spacey's theological savvy in Se7en or the snuff freak's cinéma-vérité chops in 8MM," notes Steven Boone at the House Next Door. "Each crime scene in Anamorph provides a lesson in art history and technique: sculptures, murals, animation flip books, tattoos and, of course, the killer's specialty, anamorphosis—the use of special optics or vantage points to transform one image into another. Styles and influences vary, from action painting to Bacon to Bosch, but the media remain blood, bone and flesh." Still, "The wonder and terror never take."
Posted by dwhudson at April 19, 2008 1:07 PM