Tag Archives: Alicia Vikander

Review: Ex Machina

The directorial debut of Alex Garland – he who wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine, two of the finest genre films of the 2000s – is a fascinating beast for two reasons. First, it is not a particularly sterling work of writing at all, opting too often to tell when showing would be a better service, and uneasily dancing around some particularly flat-footed dialogue from time to time that causes the film to stumble over itself more often than is acceptable. Second, and this may prove the more important fact in the long haul, it is a shockingly forward-thinking, challenging work of direction from a man who has never formally directed before (although one can be sure he has osmosis-ed his fair share of tips and tricks from working with Danny Boyle, one of the finest stylists of the modern era). Part of the visual craft has to do with what I hope will be the big coming up party of cinematographer Rob Hardy, who consistently hints at the Kubricks and the Tarkovskys of the world without ever outright quoting them. But too much of what makes Ex Machina work is too tied into the framing and the mise-en-scene beyond the cinematographer that credit must be given where credit is due. Flaws aside, Garland has learned how to create a cinematic vision that is always, sometimes even in spite of itself, refreshingly cinematic. Continue reading