House Logo
Explore categories +

Eric Stoltz (#110 of 5)

A Lover’s Discourse: Terence Davies’s Films

Comments Comments (...)

A Lover’s Discourse: Terence Davies’s Films
A Lover’s Discourse: Terence Davies’s Films

In a dark room, two women regard each other, the older one cloaked in shadow, the younger one better lit but turned away. The older is caring for her sick husband, wrapped up in bed sheets, while the younger thinks of killing herself due to the pangs of lost, despised love. “Sometimes it’s tough to judge when you’re caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” she says, a little bent over, to which her staunch, stiff counterpart snaps back: “A lot of rubbish is talked about love. You know what real love is? It’s wiping someone’s ass, or changing the sheets when they’ve wet themselves, and letting ’em keep their dignity so you can both go on. Suicide? No one’s worth it.”

The moment comes late in Terence Davies’s new film, The Deep Blue Sea, which opens theatrically tomorrow, and a sneak preview of which began the BAMcinématek’s retrospective of the British director’s nine-film career (next week, Film Forum will screen a new 35mm print of 1992’s gently gliding The Long Day Closes). This Deep Blue Sea scene, coming late into the story of a London woman struggling to move on post-WWII and post-love, in some ways sets the tone for all of Davies’s work.

Caprica Recap Season 1, Episode 8, “Ghosts in the Machine”

Comments Comments (...)

Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “Ghosts in the Machine”

Syfy

Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 8, “Ghosts in the Machine”

Yesterday’s mid-season finale could prove to be a make or break moment for the remaining fans that have hung in there for Caprica. The penultimate episode, “Ghosts in the Machine,” embodies much of what is wrong with this series. Everytime one gets caught up in a given plotline, the episode cuts away to another less interesting one. I would have bet early on in this show’s run that Esai Morales would have held my interest more than Eric Stoltz. But that’s not how it’s worked out.

The “A” story continues to follow Joseph’s Orpheic search for his daughter Tamara’s avatar in the virtual (under)world of New Cap City. The mysterious Emmanuelle, introduced at the climax of “The Imperfections of Memory,” continues to guide him, revealing that she was paid to help him. Emmanuelle’s most important contribution involves a virtual “drug” called Amp, a hack that heightens one’s senses while in the game in order to enhance performance. An Amp junkie tells Joseph he can find Tamara-A (known in New Cap as the “dead girl”) in a burlesque club called Mysteries. The club is presided over by a crossdresser known as Cerberus (Dmitry Chepovetsky), who asks Joseph a riddle that hearkens back to a speech his son made on Battlestar Galactica, “As the Gods overthrew the Titans, so has Man overthrown the Gods. But when Man visits his sins upon his children, how shall he be repaid?” Joseph is unable to solve it (in hindsight, of course, the clear answer would be “the Cylons”), so he doesn’t get an answer regarding Tamara-A’s whereabouts, but he does find some distinctive graffiti on the walls outside the club indicating she was there.

Caprica Recap Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

Comments Comments (...)

Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

Syfy

Caprica Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

While some felt that Battlestar Galactica’s finale repudiated much that came before it, both thematically and in its execution, others (like myself) felt the story had come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. Either way, disgruntled or devoted fans of the show—and even those who’ve never seen it—will find its new soapy spinoff, Caprica, of interest. Like its predecessor, which was couched in Bush-era “War on Terror” parallels, the show alludes to present day tensions stemming from Obama’s promise of change, something I discussed at length in a piece I wrote back in April after watching an early DVD release of the pilot.

“Caprica: 58 Years Before the Fall” reads the opening title card to the two-hour debut. The Fall refers to humanity’s near extinction at the hands of their robotic Cylon creations in BSG’s premiere. This prequel explores the fateful forces which led to their creation and rise to prominence. It begins with two young girls perishing in a terrorist attack orchestrated by a monotheistic cult known as the Soldiers of the One (the seed for the Cylon belief in one God; contrarian in the polytheistic society of Caprica). The girls’ respective fathers—Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz), a Bill Gates/Steve Jobs-like billionaire genius looking for the missing link in his robotics research, and Joseph Adams (Esai Morales), a Michael Corleone-type attorney reluctant to join the family (as in Family) business—are our portals into this show’s world.

Graystone and Adams also serve as doubles tied together by their very different reactions to the possibility that their daughters can be resurrected. Graystone sees it as a matter of science and intellect. If he can bring his daughter Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) back to life by imprinting her personality into a machine prototype he’s created, then why not? Ironically, it is his overwhelming emotional regret that blinds this intellectual to the unpredictable repercussions that shall ultimately play out. The earthier and more instinctual Adams comes to grasp the moral implications of trying to revive his own dead daughter. Paradoxically, it is his pragmatism that allows him to step back and view the situation dispassionately.

Caprica Pilot: A New Chapter for a New Era

Comments Comments (...)

Caprica Pilot: A New Chapter for a New Era
Caprica Pilot: A New Chapter for a New Era

With the recent demise of the much beloved Battlestar Galactica, this avid TV watcher found himself mourning the loss of its wonderful characters in a way he seldom has before. Perhaps it was because the series reached what is generally rare for television: a satisfying conclusion. I actually found myself wanting to follow the new adventures these characters had set out on in the final minutes of the show. It is fitting that the science fiction series, an allegory for Bush’s “War on Terror” era, would wrap up as America enters a new, hopeful, but more opaque era of economic uncertainty. The new prequel spinoff, Caprica, is a chapter in the Galactica saga that captures the feeling, characteristic of the Obama era, of American life at a crossroads.