Friday, October 21, 2011

Take Shelter

Leaving the theater after seeing Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols), I heard thunder and felt big raindrops starting to hit my face. Once you see this movie, which you absolutely should, you'll understand why I pretty much had a panic attack on the sidewalk.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Restless, a tragic coming of age tale

Restless, A-

Restless, directed by master auteur Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), is a tragic coming of age tale. The film focuses on Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper), an angry death-obsessed teenager who often speaks with his ghost friend, a former Japanese kamikaze pilot (Ryo Kase). Since, for reasons unknown, Enoch dropped out of school, he spends much of his time crashing funerals. At one particular funeral he meets Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska), a terminal cancer patient. In Van Sant’s eccentric way the film becomes their love story, delving into the tragic details of the two teens lives, and exploring their connection, which is unfortunately through their familiarity with death.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Netflix Instant Watch: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, A

Winner of the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Uncle Boonmee is a mysterious film that feels more like a dream than a story. The film explores the waning moments of Boonmee, an elderly man in northern Thailand who’s dying from kidney failure. Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours, Syndromes and a Century) directs with a masterful sense of unity with nature. I left the film feeling different, looking at the world and, more importantly, nature from the lens of Weerasethakul. To me, this always marks a truly powerful and effective vision. If you’re into art film and/or visual storytelling, Uncle Boonmee is a must-see. Remember to be patient, and “adjust your eyes and expectations…after a while…you will start to feel at home.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Netflix Instant Watch: The League

A few years ago, when everyone was tuning into FX for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I was too lazy to get off the couch after the show was over and ended up watching what was next on FX's Thursday lineup: The League. This show has since become one of my favorite weekly TV indulgences, along with 30 Rock and Bored to Death.

The first season is an engaging introduction to the overall series. Even as the show gets off to a slow start in the first few episodes (it seems to struggle initially with character development), The League only makes forgivable mistakes. Like in many sitcoms, the writing assumes its audience to be ultra-familiar with the characters immediately; however, on The League, unlike these other sitcoms, the characters aren't really recognizable types. They're always surprising and a little bit disgusting (which is FX's favorite quality in shows if you look at The League, Sunny, and Archer). That's what makes this show so fundamentally enjoyable; you're never exactly sure what's going on, and then it uncompromisingly offends and delights.