The We and the I—which is set entirely on a Bronx public bus that's mostly occupied by teenagers who have just completed their last day of school—is not so much about a group of teenagers but the constantly shifting bonds between these teenagers. Some bonds are strong, others are weak; some are ending, others are becoming; some are sexually charged, others are all about power; some are not what they seem to be, others are exactly what they seem to be; and so on. As the bus moves through the Bronx, as the teens interact with each other and adults who board the bus, we get a sense of the creative, ethnically mixed energy of the city itself.....What comes out of all this mixing is a mode and way of being that is utterly urban. The We and the I is the best film Michel Gondry has made since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the most important film about teens since Kids.
Wm. Steven Humphrey cannot resist the jailbait bikini carnage of Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers:
There are some of the problems you may have with director Harmony Korine's already-infamous Spring Breakers: (1) The young college gals depicted in the film invite degradation upon themselves with voracious, proud abandon. (2) Plotwise, there's probably less here than meets the eye. And (3) perhaps most importantly, Spring Breakers may make you come to the sudden, surprising realization that you have a big stick up your ass.
(I also saw Spring Breakers, and loved the stylish rush of the first half, but as the film progressed, I realized that Korine has no more insight into his female characters than Joe Francis has into his Girls Gone Wild subjects. What could have been a 21st-century Thelma & Louise peters out as non-insertive porn.)
And Jen Graves had a perfectly good time watching Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa:
Potter directed Ginger & Rosa but made her reputation with the wild, gorgeous movie Orlando in 1992, based on the writings of Virginia Woolf and introducing an actress named Tilda Swinton to the wider world. Ginger & Rosa is no Orlando. It’s inordinately handsome, essentially flawless in its acting, cinematography, casting, and design, but ultimately it’s a melodrama that telegraphs its plot in the first frames. Still, if you wanted to create a demonstration of the heartbreakingly many ways in which women turn against each other while forgiving even the worst behavior of the men in their lives, this is it in a beautiful nutshell.