Andres’ Film Queue: Jan. 11 – Jan. 17

Welcome to our weekly Film Queue.

This is a segment in which we will discuss the films we have watched from one week to the next. We will try and keep it brief unless one film has an impact that inspires us to go a little more in-depth.

So, before I dive in, I have to state that I didn’t realize how many films I’ve seen until I started working on this. I frankly don’t want to take up too much time so I’m going to begin and try to keep it quick.

Monday January 11th – Sunday January 17th

The Danish Girl (2015)
Directed by Tom Hooper

I guess I just don’t like Tom Hooper very much. I think he’s a fine director who has a relatively interesting eye, but I find him to be a bit of a bore. His films aren’t for me. I’m sorry to those that enjoy his work, but it’s not that I think his films are necessarily bad, they just don’t interest me. Alicia Vikander is great in this (really, really great) and Eddie Redmayne is good.

Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

The initial spark which started the fire that caused a huge revolution in independent cinema. It’s a safe argument that without this film, we wouldn’t have some of our contemporary directors working in their field. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but it picks up and surprises you in the climatic finale (no pun intended).

Young Frankenstein (1972)
Directed by Mel Brooks

I grew up watching Spaceballs, and that was about the only Mel Brooks film that I had seen until the incredible Blazing Saddles. I was looking forward to see more of his films, and I went into this being extremely excited, but, unfortunately, it just didn’t do too much for me. It doesn’t dissuade me from watching more of his filmography, it just allows me to space them out a little as I do.

The Pinochet Case (2001)
Directed by Patricio Guzman

A documentary regarding the aftermath of the crimes and coup that was committed by Augusto Pinochet in Chile. As my parents and family were born in Chile, and as they needed to move out of the country to Canada to keep themselves safe, this film hit very close to home. At times, it was a bit of a tough watch.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Directed by J.J. Abrams

I have officially seen this film three times in the theatres now, so I have finally figured out how I feel about the film: I like it. It’s a lot of fun to see the universe back on the big screen.

Side by Side (2012)
Directed by Christopher Kenneally

An informative documentary about the differences between film and digital photography. It continues the ongoing debate about the pros and cons of each format. We hear them first-hand as Keanu Reeves interviews some of the best working directors, including: Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, and much more. They keep it simple and put their arguments into layman’s terms as they explain their reasoning for why they’ll stay with film or move to digital.

About Time (2013)
Directed by Richard Curtis

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, and, for a brief moment, Margot Robbie, this film easily oozes charm and sweetness. It’s a time travel film that doesn’t really focus on the actual science or understanding of traveling through time. It’s told matter-of-factly, and Tim (and the audience, for that matter) just have to accept it as so. The film cares more about making sure that the people within the film (and again, the audience as well) cherish life. Even the bad days.

Cloverfield (2008)
Directed by Matt Reeves

Take it as you may, but this and Paranormal Activity helped bring found footage to the forefront of cinema. Unfortunately, not everything that comes out is as strong or justified in its use of the format, but nevertheless, people realized you can take the audience out of their seats and immerse them in the story. You are one with the events in the film.

127 Hours (2010)
Directed by Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle may have been the perfect person to tell this version of 127 Hours. Boyle, who’s used his fair share of digital cameras, uses them in such a great manner to tell this rewarding story. We are with Aron with every step, jump, fall and cut. James Franco, as Aron, is charming. Aron is in his second home out there and couldn’t be happier. Until tragedy befalls him. But, he’s in his element. Due to the film being shot digitally and handheld, it feels entirely immediate.

Shallow Grave (1995)
Directed by Danny Boyle

After familiarizing myself with a director’s work and style, I always enjoy going back to the first film they made and seeing if there are any early flourishes of their style. They’re usually minimal, but they’re there. Shallow Grave is wonderfully dark and twisted, and it is an absolute joy to watch. A wonderfully dark debut to an under appreciated director.

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