On this week’s Cinemaball, Ebony and Carolyn discuss the complex family drama Louder Than Bombs, which stars the captivating actor Gabriel Byrne as Gene, a man still trying to fully process the death of his wife, war photographer Isabelle. His sons, high-schooler Conrad and professor Jonah (played by Jesse Eisenberg) each have their own struggles, and over the course of the film we gain insight into the different meaning that Isabelle had for each of them.
Our conversation touches on what makes Gabriel Byrne such a fascinating actor, the use of video games as an easy shorthand for “this kid is troubled,” the prioritization of the inner lives of white men over just about anyone else as a pattern in cinema, and the ways in which photography works as a metaphor in the context of the film’s narrative. In the end, Ebony announces our next film, and the selection makes Carolyn very, very happy.
View the basic rules of Cinemaball and a history of all episodes here.
One of Isabelle’s photos:
“Mom once showed me how she could change the meaning of a picture by framing it differently.”
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