It was a “slow week” by my standards, but they were all gems in my opinion.
James White (2015)
Directed by Josh Mond
I first caught this film during TIFF this past September, and actually included it in my top ten of 2015 (which you can read the whole list here). I love this film for it’s brutal realism with this constant intimate close-up of our “hero”, the titular James White that is played so exceptionally well by Chris Abbott. Not an easy film to sit and watch, but one that is felt throughout the entire run time.
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Directed by Michel Gondry
My brother showed me the film around the time it was released, and at the time I really liked it. I thought it was clever, silly and funny. The Jack Black portion of the film is one reason I was nervous about returning to see the film because I just felt like this is a film that doesn’t stand up anymore, but I was wrong. Be Kind Rewind is a very lovely love letter to cinema from Gondry. In the final reel when both Jack Black and Yasiin Bey (previously Mos Def) show the film that the entire city made together, Gondry shows the reactions of the audiences (and technically crew). Gondry wasn’t interested in the film the crew made (talking about the film within the film), but rather the feeling it gave them. One of awe, wonder, excitement, and it was absolutely beautiful to watch. It was very easy to become emotional.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)
Directed by Jeremy Coon & Tim Skousen
A documentary about the shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark by teenaged boys. The documentary is both fascinating as it cuts from the “past” (talking heads dictating the journey to today) to the now full-grown adults who almost lose their jobs to try and finish their childhood dreams. And it’s that feeling that makes the film a gem as they try and make their dreams come true.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
The documentary showed so many clips of the actual film that I couldn’t help put the blu-ray in after the documentary had ended. Spielberg at possibly his finest on a non-stop journey with one of the greatest characters ever realized on film.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Directed by Sidney Lumet
I haven’t seen many Lumet films (12 Angry Men, Network, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) and I’ve realized one thing: Lumet’s way with actors is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Since his career began Off-Broadway, it’s clear that the acting is where Lumet’s films shine. Even though Dog Day Afternoon takes place in limited locations, the film is so cinematic.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
I’ve written enough about this film on the site already, so let me just re-instate it very quickly.
This may be my favourite film of the year so far.