Connect with us

Gossips

‘The Inner Glow’ Review: The Desperate Tale of a Dying Single Mother of One

Published

on

The Inner Glow Oscar

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And bleak times, it seems, call for bleak urban dramas. Not that the Venezuelan film “The Inner Glow” deserves to be reduced to such a moniker. But there is no escaping that the dour sentiment that pervades Andrés Eduardo and Luis Alejandro Rodríguez’s latest feature is very much the point — even as its title wants to push us out of such darkness. Venezuela’s submission to the Oscar international film category and the winner of 11 awards at the Festival de Cine Venezolano, “The Inner Glow” tells the story of Silvia (Jericó Montilla), a young mother facing her own impending mortality who’s struggling to figure out what she’s to do with her six year-old daughter once she’s gone.

Silvia’s tale, small and intimate as it may be presented, is very much exemplary of a country in crisis. The obvious places where a woman like Silvia would first turn to when she learns of a terminal illness like the one she’s set to battle are all dead ends. The father of her child is in prison. Her estranged mother and father are both, in their own ways, incapable (or outright unable) to take on the responsibility of caring for a child; she’s lost herself in her religious devotion while he’s long lived alone, in a cave, no less. The pharmacy where Silvia’s to get her medication can’t fulfill her prescriptions because of supply chain issues. Even the makeshift daycare where she’s used to leaving Sara (a luminous Sol Vázquez) during the day refuses to do so without squaring her outstanding bills (two months and counting).

The precariousness of Silvia’s position is the driving engine of “The Inner Glow.” The Rodríguez brothers stay close on Montilla throughout the film, capturing the actress’s every anguished gesture. This is a woman who’s been alienated by her family, who can barely scrape by with her service job, and who at times looks at her daughter not with tenderness but with an aggrieved sense of regret. When they walk down the street together, in haste and exasperation, you catch Silvia letting go of Sara’s hand, as if the mere touch of her daughter were repellent — a reminder not just of how inadequate she feels as a mother but, perhaps, even a glint of recognition that maybe she could just leave her behind and find peace there.

Advertisement

The script, which the Rodríguez brothers co-wrote with Julián Balam, is sparse on details. We learn few specifics about Silvia’s terminal illness and gather scant details about the company she works at as a cleaner (or of the boss she interacts with briefly and who may well offer Silvia a way out of her predicament). Her sallow complexion and the squalor she lives in are enough to capture the dire straits she’s in; she spends much of the film at her wits’ end, desperately trying to find an answer to a problem that feels unbearably overwhelming.

Andres Levell’s score is left to do a lot of the heavy lifting. At times it twinkles and matches Sara’s guileless innocence. At others it trills and captures the dizzying way Silvia sees the inhospitable world around her. Weaving in and out of gritty naturalism, capturing the cacophonous urban sprawl that pulsates around Silvia, DP Alexander Barroeta gives us hints of the increasingly dissociative state Silvia’s in. Dreamlike images flicker in and out of focus, at times leaving us to wonder how much of what she’s seeing is a fantasy. She may be present physically, but the more the film careens toward its surprising ending, the more it feels untethered from reality, closer in tenor to the fairy tales Sara and Silvia tell each other in their shared bed when all else around them feels especially bleak.

In the hands of the Rodríguez brothers, this at times unbearably claustrophobic movie is constantly pushing us into the specific so as to get at something bigger, something more universal. There are scenes where it feels like Silvia’s ailment is but an inner symptom of a larger, social ill, where her need to finally let go is less a choice she’s open to and more an inevitable conclusion. “The Inner Glow” may touch on familiar themes and tropes, but taken as a minimalist portrait of a broken system and an indifferent social fabric, it is a remarkable (albeit disheartening) snapshot of modern-day Venezuela.

Advertisement

Gossips

Daryl Hall Plots New Solo Collection, Tour With Todd Rundgren

Published

on

M3HR

Daryl Hall will put the spotlight on his 40-plus-year solo career outside of Hall and Oates with the release of a new compilation and a solo tour with special guest Todd Rundgren this spring. The 30-track “BeforeAfter” will arrive via Legacy Recordings on April 1, the same day Hall returns to the live stage at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.

“I picked the songs I thought were right and significant and meaningful throughout this whole body of work,” Hall tells Variety of “BeforeAfter,” which spans his 1980 Robert Fripp-produced solo debut “Sacred Songs” up through 2011’s “Laughing Down Crying,” which was co-produced by Hall and Oates’ longtime associate, the late T-Bone Wolk.

Of Fripp, whose adventurous work with King Crimson may have seemed an odd bedfellow alongside Hall’s soulful style, Hall says, “We were friends before we did ’Sacred Songs” and have a lot of common ground — more than people realize. He would just play things and I’d sing lyrics out of the blue and come up with things spontaneously. We had the ability to do that together and do something that I think was pretty unique.” 

Advertisement

“BeforeAfter” also includes a host of previously unreleased songs recorded for Hall’s long-running performance series “Live From Daryl’s House,” including lead track “Can We Still Be Friends” with Rundgren, Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain” with that group’s Dave Stewart and a version of “North Star” with singer/guitarist Monte Montgomery. “It just blew me away,” Hall says of the latter. “I see ‘Live From Daryl’s House’ as much a part of my body of work as any of my recorded albums I’ve done.”

On the April tour, which will visit such storied venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, both Rundgren and Hall will be backed by the ‘Live From Daryl’s House’ core band, featuring guitarist Shane Theriot, bassist Klyde Jones, saxophonist Charlie DeChant, keyboardist Elliott Lewis, drummer Brian Dunne and percussionist/vocalist Porter Carroll. Hall expects he and Rundgren will duet on “Can We Still Be Friends” at the shows and says he will sprinkle some Hall and Oates tunes in alongside solo selections from “BeforeAfter.” 

“I’ve known Todd since we were kids,” Hall says of fellow Philadelphia native Rundgren. “We have what I consider ultimate respect for each other. I think he’s a phenomenal artist who has carved his own path. Whenever we get together, sparks fly. Something good happens. We sing really well together.”

Although there are no plans at the moment for Hall and Oates to tour in 2022, Hall has already written nine songs with Stewart for a new solo project, which he plans to work on throughout the year. Fripp may also make an appearance at some point, according to Hall. “He wants to do something with me in the studio, so I think this album will be some combination of me getting together with a lot of friends,” he reports.

Advertisement

Daryl Hall and John Oates remain popular fodder for film, TV and commercial syncs, but Hall says he enjoys when lesser-known songs are utilized, such as the recent appearance of the 1976 track “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” in an episode of HBO’s “Euphoria.”

“I’m all about deeper cuts,” he says. “I play ‘Do What You Want’ a lot on stage with Hall and Oates and there’s a good chance I’ll play that on the solo tour too. On ‘Live From Daryl’s House,’ I’d always say to the guest, what do you want to do? And they’ll say, let’s play ‘You Make My Dreams,’ and I’d say, ‘No. no. Go deep. Find a song you just discovered and we’ll play that.’”

As for “Live From Daryl’s House,” which began life as a web show in 2007 and more recently begin airing on AXS-TV, Hall says he is “very much into the idea of bringing it back” after a 2020 pandemic-related hiatus. The show has featured collaborations with everyone from Cheap Trick and Smokey Robinson to Chromeo and Aloe Blacc. “We have some plans and they have not been finalized, but I’m trying to get it back out into the world again.”

Here are Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren’s tour dates:

Advertisement

April 1: Chicago (Auditorium Theatre)
April 3: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
April 5: Atlanta (Symphony Hall)
April 7: Northfield, Ohio (MGM Northfield Park)
April 9: Philadelphia (The Met)
April 11: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
April 14: New York (Carnegie Hall)
April 16: National Harbor, Md. (The Theatre at MGM National Harbor)

The track list for “BeforeAfter”:

Disc One:
“Dreamtime”
“Babs and Babs”
“Foolish Pride”
“Can’t Stop Dreaming”
“Here Comes the Rain Again” (Live From Daryl’s House) with Dave Stewart
“Someone Like You”
“Talking to You (Is Like Talking to Myself)”
“Sacred Songs”
“Right as Rain”
“Survive”
“North Star” (Live From Daryl’s House) with Monte Montgomery
“In My Own Dream” (Live From Daryl’s House)
“NYCNY”
“What’s Gonna Happen to Us”

Disc Two:
“Love Revelation”
“Fools Rush In”
“I’m in a Philly Mood”
“Send Me”
“Justify”
“Borderline”
“Stop Loving Me, Stop Loving You”
“Eyes for You (Ain’t No Doubt About It)”
“The Farther Away I Am”
“Why Was It So Easy”
“Can We Still Be Friends” (Live From Daryl’s House) with Todd Rundgren
“Cab Driver”
“Our Day Will Come” (Live From Daryl’s House)
“Laughing Down Crying” (Live From Daryl’s House)
“Problem with You” (Live From Daryl’s House)
“Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” (Live From Daryl’s House)

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Gossips

Sky Group Implements Hybrid Work From Home Policy, Re-Designs London Headquarters

Published

on

Dana Strong 2

Comcast-owned Sky Group has implemented hybrid working across its European arm.

The U.K. government’s work from home directive ended Monday.

But Sky, led by group chief executive Dana Strong, has implemented a new model that will see its employees continue to split their time between Sky’s offices and home.

Advertisement

And in order to ensure every staff member has a primary office location to work from, the company is also opening a new building, set to house 600 staff in Covid-secure conditions, on its London campus. When opened, the building will be Sky’s first fully net zero carbon property. It will also include over 5,000 sq feet of solar panels.

Sky’s London campus, which as well as offices includes food outlets, gyms, sports shop, hair and beauty services, mailroom and dry cleaning, currently caters to 8,000 employees.

Employees won’t be able to work from just anywhere, however. They will need to ensure their location has connectivity and privacy and they must work in the same country in which they’re employed. The model will also be adapted around local legislation and conditions in each territory.

“Our people appreciate the flexibility that comes with working from home, but they also value the greater energy and creativity when we come together in person,” said Strong in a statement.

Advertisement

“Hybrid working will increase the collaboration and inclusivity that underpins our business, while giving our people more balance. It will give Sky staff the best of both worlds. So we’re excited to expand our London campus this year as we welcome people back.”

Continue Reading