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🍿67: Beau Is Afraid
Scorsese's next (next) film, three new trailers and the sheer disappointment of Ari Aster's latest release.
“"Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
~ The Fly, 1986
Who turned on the lights?
First off, I’d like to thank Chris offor taking the Salty helm a couple of weeks ago. I always enjoy reading other people’s reviews, and seeing how a new voice can shape an issue of SP.
All of our guest editors take great care, and pride, in the issues they put together and I’m very thankful for their hard work and dedication. For those of you who enjoy reading as much as watching, I fully recommend subscribing to Toasted Fiction.
While Chris was handling all things Salty, I was in Sicily making small but meaningful progress on the house I bought, with SP’s greatest supporter Mia — who regularly “volunteers” to proofread an issue before it’s sent out.
We first saw the house a year ago, and for the first time ever, we slept in it. Despite the lack of electricity, running water, clean air, or the crumbling plaster and millions of millipedes.
We pitched a tent in the living room (the weather was rubbish) but we only managed to “sleep” in it for a total of three nights. After a terrifying bat experience in an Irish Airbnb a year ago, we’re not very good at ignoring the unfamiliar sounds of a new place anymore. And the lack of basic utilities made it harder — but we did manage to cook pasta on a camping stove and drink wine on our terrace. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
We also managed to get rid of the black mould, sort through (and clean) cups and crockery, take junk to the dump, and, on the day we left out Sicilian mountain town, we even managed to get the lights turned on.
But you’re not here for holiday/house updates, you’re here for film! So let’s get on with the show.
Here are the headlines:
Following a private audience with the Pope, Martin Scorsese plans to make another film about Jesus. Read more.
Quentin Tarantino is starting work on his next (and apparently final film), The Movie Critic, which will be based on a real person. Read more.
The Little Mermaid fished almost $100m at the North American box office during its opening weekend. Read more.
People can now “own” a pieces cinema, with digital collectables (such as NFTs), with LALA - the world’s first digital collectable marketplace. Find out more.
Salty Popcorn is 100% free, but if you enjoy SP, please consider buying us a cinema ticket for just £5 per month - or a bunch of tickets for just £30 per year. Thank you!
Killers of the Flower Moon
UK: 6 October // USA: 6 October
Martin Scorses’s latest, and long-awaited film, explores the true story of the mysterious Osage murders, which sparked a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.
The trailer dropped two weeks ago, but just in case you’ve not seen it yet, we thought we’d throw it in the mix.
UK: 25 August // USA: 14 July
Eccentric staff members of an upstate New York theatre camp must band together when their beloved founder falls into a coma.
UK: 7 July // USA: 7 July
Gia (Tia Nomore), a pregnant single mother with two children in foster care embraces her San Francisco Bay Area community as she fights to reclaim her family.
Fact of the week
Ever wondered where the world’s largest cinema screen is? Well, thanks to a reader that calls themselves “The Queen of Sleepy”, you’re about to find out.
Measuring 814.8 square metres (38.80m x 21.00 m) — bearing in mind that a Boeing 737 is 40m long — this whopping IMAX screen can be found in Leonberg, Germany, and has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest permanent screen in the world.
Review: Beau is Afraid
2 (out of 5)
Where to watch:
USA: Select cinemas
UK: Select cinemas
Following the sudden death of his mother, the mild-mannered (but anxiety-ridden) Beau (Joaquin Phoenix) confronts his darkest fears as he embarks on an epic, Kafkaesque odyssey back home.
The review (NO spoilers):
Despite a strong cast and a decent production, Beau is Afraid is far from the odyssey it sets out to be. With a murky and disjointed narrative and a menagerie of mostly irrelevant characters, this film resembles little more than a drug-fuelled fever dream.
This so-called “horror comedy” is neither funny nor scary. Now, comedy doesn’t always travel well over the Atlantic and there’s a chance that American audiences would ‘get’ the humour that went over my head - so we’ll forgive that aspect. But, Ari Aster, director of Hereditary — a film that terrified me — has fallen short of my estimations.
The longer this film goes on, the more farcical and frustrating it becomes. At three hours long, this was a gruelling watch without a climax. Or rather, the climax was there but it didn’t mean anything. It felt like there was really no point in any of it.
I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been this bored in the cinema for a very long time. In fact, if it wasn’t for you, dear reader, I would have walked after the first 90 minutes (just as the older couple sitting in front of me did after 30). And I would have had no regrets.
The irony is, this film was originally titled Disappointment Blvd, which I’d argue would have been much more apt.
Scroll down to see what’s in the next issue.
If you liked Beau is Afraid…
2017 | UK: Amazon Prime (£2.49) // USA: Paramount+
There are much better films than Beau is Afraid, but if you genuinely enjoyed it then I think you’ll also like Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, which is just as mad and self-indulgent. In fact, I thought of Mother! a lot while watching Beau — though it’s scarier and an hour shorter.
On the other hand, if you didn’t Beau, then don’t let it put you off Ari Aster’s other work. Hereditary terrified me when I saw it a few years ago, and the trailer still gives me shivers.
In the next issue:
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
UK: 2 June // USA: 2 June | Watch the Trailer