Friday, February 19, 2016
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 165
Antarctica: A Year On Ice (2014, dir. Anthony Powell) Anthony Powell works in the communication industry and is an amateur filmmaker. For the past few years Anthony has been one of 700 people (on the continent) to stay all year in Antarctica. Teaching himself time-lapse photography and making his own rigs, Anthony spent a full year in Antarctica working and filming on the side. It took me a while to watch this one because I was pretty sure it was going to be boring as hell, but I could not have been more wrong. Antarctica is an absolutely beautiful movie with some of the most gorgeous shots and images I have ever seen. I am so upset I didn’t get a chance to see it on the big screen. If they were told they were going to spend five months in with no sun in an area with an average temperature of -40 degrees, most people would find a way to run away. Antarctica not only shows the people who volunteer for this, but why they volunteer. The movie and narrative are told by a person who loves Antartica and is surrounded by people who love Antarctica. It is a great documentary and I’m better for experiencing it.
Atonement (2007, dir. Joe Wright) Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, Atonement stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy as a pair of lovers who find their lives drastically altered when McAvoy is accused of a crime he didn't commit. Sprawling in scope, the story travels from wealthy English estates to the battlefields of World War II, and is almost too much movie for its two hour running time. It's great to see McAvoy before he became recognizable in America, and Knightley is the definition of a movie star here. Joe Wright (Pan) excels at period drama and brings that skill to this film, which quickly evolves past its Jane Austen aesthetic and becomes something else. Some people say this movie is too slow, but I disagree. Definitely haunting, this one could stay with you for a long time.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002, dir. Park Chan-wook) I searched all over the site because I couldn't imagine not having recommended this before but couldn't find any sign of it (both Lady Vengeance and Oldboy, the other two films that make up Park's "vengeance trilogy," have been represented elsewhere). Hopefully you've already seen this, but if you haven't please clear two hours this weekend and check out an essential work from one of the most exciting filmmakers of the 2000s. I don't want to say much about the story except that it centers around a deaf mute man whose sister needs a kidney transplant. The lengths to which he goes to earn the money for her surgery lead to a domino effect of trouble and devastation. The less you know about where the movie is going the better, though I would argue that it's almost impossible to ever guess what's going to happen next. One of the great things about contemporary Korean cinema is that it refuses to follow traditional narrative rules; even when you think you've got your bearings, Park pulls the rug out from under you. This is the entry in the "Vengeance Trilogy" I revisit the least, but that doesn't make it any less brilliant.
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For what it's worth, I'm backing up Patrick's recommendation this week. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a lot of fun. I guess that's the right word for it.ReplyDelete
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the only 1 of those 3 I haven't seen, which is weird considering how much I loved the other 2. I also like how those Korean films tend to be more unpredictable. The Chaser is really good too...more stupid action/chasing than plot twists, but is a really fun movie.Delete
Highly recommend watching Dope and Gaspar Noe's Love. Both were recently added to Netflix.ReplyDelete
I was just about to write a rec for Dope.Delete
I really liked Dope, but fell asleep half way through. When I went back to watch the 2nd half, I found myself liking is much less. Maybe just my mood. Or maybe there was just throwback 90's hip-hop nostalgia in the first half.Delete
Dope was really good, but the tone switches drasrically 2 or 3 times. That might explain it.Delete
Atonement is worth a watch if just for the 6 minute Dunkirk shot. That shot says more about Dunkirk than most anything I've seen.ReplyDelete
Atonement is so good and, I think, underrated. The double bombshell in the finale, when you find out what really happened to Robbie and Cecelia, is shattering. Briony is an amazing character, too -- someone whose dependance on narrative makes her life less lived than dreamed. Fate's ultimate punishment for her is dementia: what's a storyteller without her ability to recall?ReplyDelete
Agree. And coincidentally two of my favorite actresses in the sameDelete
Movie playing the same
Person- Romola Garai and Saoirse Ronan. Romola Garai is so underrated.
When I first saw it, and Briony goes to visit Robbie and Cecilia to apologize in person at their flat before Robbie deployed, something was gnawing in my mind, thinking, "Huh? Isn't there a timeline contradiction in the placement of this scene? Did I miss something?" And then... BOOM. From Briony in the Underground to an absolutely epic hard cut to a different scene entirely. Great film. :)Delete