THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, Sennia Nanua
screenplay by Mike Carey, based on his novel
directed by Colm McCarthy
starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen
screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
directed by James Mangold
by Walter Chaw Movements start this way, with one or two events that could be thought of as coincidence in response to some greater trend in our culture, perhaps--or, more likely, in response to some greater corruption. I've long referred to movies, especially genre movies, as indicator species in our cultural swamp. They're the first to show evidence of introduced toxins; at minimum, they're the first major art form to disseminate warnings widely. Jordan Peele's sleeper hit Get Out is just the latest in a recent spate of pictures that have caught the zeitgeist. Test the theory: would it have been as popular in another time? Movies are not unlike Percy Shelley's "dead thoughts... Like wither'd leaves" carried on divine winds to quicken new births. It's a florid reference to justify an unpopular concept. Not religious in any way, I find sublimity in the idea that human hands work in concert sometimes, and the close study of their products can provide insight into the world as it is, not simply as it was. Find in James Mangold's Logan and Colm McCarthy's more or less contemporaneous The Girl with All the Gifts (hereafter Girl) complementary, near identical concepts executed in largely the same way--proof for me of a body politic reacting in concert to poison. As grim as they are (with Logan actually verging on vile and mean-spirited), they are nonetheless to me evidence of at least some collective immune response. Artifacts of resistance left for the anthropologists. Despite their apparent nihilism, they are proof, as referenced explicitly in Girl, of hope.