FILM JOURNAL

As He Quarantines for His Next Film, Noah Jupe Watches the Classics

Published October 9, 2020

At just 15 years old, Noah Jupe has been the recipient of a film education that most of us can’t touch. He’s dodged bloodthirsty space monsters in the blockbuster horror A Quiet Place (and its upcoming sequel), gone head-to-head with Christian Bale in the racing drama Ford v Ferrari, and played a young version of Shia LaBeouf in the meta biopic Honey Boy. But despite that stint in experiential film school, Jupe still had a major blind spot when it came to his chosen craft. Until just recently, his mother kept him away from some of cinema’s greatest works, on account of his age. “My mom’s always tried to keep me away because of the age-limit, but also because I have such a crazy imagination,” he says. “But recently she’s seen my love of movies grow dramatically, because I’m old enough now to understand all the different elements that go into a movie, so she’s taken off the restrictions.” So when Jupe, along with his mother, recently spent two weeks in a Detroit hotel room as he quarantined ahead of shooting Steven Soderbergh’s next film No Sudden Move, he used the opportunity to watch some of the best movies ever made, for the very first time. These are his instant reactions.

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TRAINSPOTTING

I don’t think my heartbeat dropped below 100bpm throughout this entire movie. I loved the pace, the editing, all the transitions between scenes. The harshness of the white and yellow lighting made me feel so unsettled. I felt exposed, but then I laughed–hard. I felt anxious, exhilarated, guilty, and then had huge empathy. The accents were difficult to understand–you had to really listen–but it felt like that’s what they wanted from you. Like you had a ringside seat to this strange new world. Danny Boyle is a G!

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SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE

This movie is one of a kind. I was shocked to find out when it was made because it feels so contemporary. I loved this movie because it leaves a lot of the plot and interactions between the characters open to interpretation. It was so layered and complex. The acting was emotional and elegant. You get lost in James Spader’s eyes. This movie made me feel uncomfortable but in a way that caused me to reflect. The cinematography is FIRE, so gentle but so powerful. This is a masterclass in moviemaking. It felt short but my god, it left its mark on me.

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AMERICAN PSYCHO

This movie left me with extreme anxiety. It was unnerving, edgy, shocking, and gruesome. It has a cracking cast, but Bale’s performance is on another level. He took me on a dark, dark journey. This grotesque piece of art was strangely yet surely cut together. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but it definitely had a powerful impact on my mind and was a punch to my gut. The cinematography in this movie is almost too beautiful. The scenes themselves have such an awkward tone. This really helps showcase Patrick Bateman’s state of mind. The direction was extremely interesting, especially as Bale created this almost brittle, plastic personality with such a dark undertone and such a chilling smile. If it wasn’t associated with such horrific acts, I would have said the soundtrack rocks.

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THE ROYAL TENEMBAUMS

This movie had a style and a mind of its own. Extraordinary and ordinary at the same time. I loved every single frame. You could take a snapshot of any moment in the movie and it could be a painting. Every small detail was thought out, as was every costume, every line of dialogue, every location. The dynamics of the characters were so fluid and free. I could have watched them all day. The comedic level of the movie was so entertaining but also made it really hard-hitting. The way the actors played the scenes made my heart hurt. It could have been cringe and awkward, but it walked a fine line, making me want to laugh and cry at the same time. So much pain and too much sadness embedded into such a colourful, quirky landscape.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

This movie is a whirlwind. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is a twisted, gruesome fairytale and and it took my breath away. The two hours forty something minutes flew by in a roller coaster ride of revenge. It was thrilling and intense but most of all I loved all the ACTION. Jamie Foxx has a stellar emotional journey. Jonah Hill was a highlight in his pissed off cameo. Tarantino’s movies feel old and modern at the same time. The super-fast push-in shots were by far my favourite feature. I also loved how he used slow motion, especially in the end fight scene. It was incredible because he captured every nuance of the character’s thought processes, you didn’t miss a single reaction. It felt like you were watching a dialogue scene even though they were fighting. And although it was dark and gory, I also felt like it had a lot of redemption and hope. It left me in a positive place.

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THE PIANO

This movie struck a deep chord (excuse the pun) in my soul. From the first image I was fully invested and fascinated by the characters and the world I had entered. To be honest, I’m a bit lost for words. All I feel is this deep sense of passion. This movie wrenched my heart out of my body, plunged it into the ocean, and then re-planted it back into my rib cage. The power play, the pain, the freedom, the LOVE, THE MUSIC. Damn, the music was utterly beautiful. The scenes had wings. I loved the locations. I felt trapped, almost within nature itself, forcing my animal instincts to make their escape and run wild. Any kind of formality or manners were lost or seemed irrelevant. The way the camera absorbed itself into the environment made me feel voyeuristic and sensual. It will stay with me forever. 

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Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN

This beautiful piece of art had a big effect on me. Fantastic direction, superb acting, framed  beautifully. I didn’t notice the camera for one second throughout the movie and because of that I felt like I was on a road trip with the trio. This is exactly what a romance movie should be. The chemistry between them was electric. I found the script spectacular. The flow and truth of it is so normal, nothing felt forced, everything was fluid, fast-paced and free. There were lots of wide shots and handhelds which made it rooted and peaceful. There was a voyeuristic tone to it that felt so natural. We were allowed to take a step back from the scenes and breathe, then focus in on sections and characters until the director gently pulled us back in. The intimacy was powerful and erotic. The ending is beautiful in a sad, inevitable way. Probably the most realistic ending to a love story I have ever seen.

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THE SHINING

For the record, I’m not a horror guy. But this movie scared the living hell out of me! But not with jump scares or blood or gore. It got inside my mind and would not leave. This was psychological warfare. It crept around my mind like Jack Torrance crept around the maze. I was astonished by the artistry and look of every scene. Each frame held a dark and twisted tale. Every scene felt like it was its own entity, yet Kubrick weaved a haunting look throughout the movie, fully hooking you in. If you showed me any still from that movie, I would instantly know it was The Shining. My respect and love for Jack Nicholson’s work is growing and growing the more of his movies I see. After finishing this movie, I immediately went and researched how it was made and was intrigued by all the conspiracy theories and the fact that steadicam was pretty much invented for this movie. It is a seminal movie, a gear-shift in movie making history. Kubrick is a magician. I will be watching this one again and again.

 

MAGNOLIA

I was in awe of this movie from the first frame. It had unbelievable pace and energy, all while managing to sustain this steady state of pure emotion. I loved the way the camera was locked off for the set-pieces and then just ran wild, crossing the line, embracing steadicam for the more fluid sections. Usually in a movie with loads of different storylines and lead characters, it can get messy and you can lose your way. Not this one. It was so sure of itself, jumping around the lives of the inhabitants of L.A. in such an intricate, intimate, and darkly funny way. The performances leapt off the screen, they were so vivid and detailed. This was Tom Cruise like I have never seen him before, and Philip Seymour Hoffman was the embodiment of the purest emotionality. Everything was so deeply truthful, it hurt. PTA always chose the unorthodox path and owned it with such confidence. He focused on things we would normally miss in a scene.  He made the invisible, visible. 

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THE DEER HUNTER

I have only just recovered. This movie is a masterpiece. I have never sobbed so much after watching a movie in my whole life. I have no words. Direction. Acting. Shot choices. Music. All spectacular, bewitching, and utterly unforgettable. I now understand what Russian Roulette is, and it’s brutal, ugly and shocking. This harrowing story tore me up inside. De Niro’s performance is so intense and free. Christopher Walken is mesmerizing. His performance was striking, so different to everything else I have seen him in. He was a beautiful, vulnerable, positive spirit who was irrevocably damaged by the horrors of war. His PTSD trapped him in the past, denying him any kind of future. I thought the direction was stunning, every scene so full of energy, so active and emotional. The background actors were something else. The whole first section at the wedding was so rich in character and detail. Every single person had a story. Totally compelling, you couldn’t take your eyes off it. Meryl Streep is a goddess.