Brief comments on film by Amy.
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
Perhaps it has been the effects of the lingering winter, but of late I fear my taste in film viewing has tended more toward entertainment rather than substance. So rather than subjecting you to the less than artistic selection of films I have recently watched, I thought it better to recommend some of the best I have seen in the past. Three genres; three films per genre. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Bollywood: Water: The story of an eight-year-old Indian widow and her struggle against the traditions that hold her captive. This is a great example of bringing injustice to light while never sacrificing the narrative to agenda. Beware, this movie will rip your heart out but in a good way. A Peck on the Cheek: Once your heart has resumed its natural function, prepare to have it ripped out again with this movie. An Indian girl discovers she is adopted and begins the journey of finding her birth mother. Highlighting a conflict I was completely unaware of, this movie also teaches without being heavy-handed. Finally, Bride and Prejudice: Jane Austen meets the land of Gandhi. No political agenda. Just really cool dance moves, great outfits and a timeless story that translates to any culture.
Classics: The Red Shoes: I can’t remember where it was that I first heard this film recommended, but I have been anticipating watching it for quite some time. It was worth watching for the ballet scenes alone which I find transfixing in a sort of horrible way. The art of dance and ballet in particular seems a bit like self-torture, human beings willing their bodies to do things that seem to defy physics. A great tale of the struggle artists face between their personal and professional lives (For a real life example see the documentary Margot). The Hustler: Maybe this is an obvious one or maybe its one that you have heard so much about that you feel like you have already seen it. Either way, its worth seeing again or for the first time. Susan Slept Here: Just a sweet, little charmer worthy of a cup of hot chocolate and a snuggle on the couch. No heart ripping is involved and everything ends as it should. I just want to wrap up Debbie Reynolds and give her to someone for Christmas.
Kid’s Programming: Backyardigans: A good friend turned us on to this Nick Jr. show about a moose, a penguin, a hippo, a kangaroo and an unidentified creature with pink spots and antennae, and now the whole family (including Jim and I) are hooked. The plots are creative, the music unforgettable in a good way. A must for anyone with kids under the age of five who don’t want to lose brain cells watching Barney or, my personal nemesis, Clifford. Avatar: This was our first step into more mature shows for the boys and while I was skeptical at first, this fusion of Asian stylizing and Western wit quickly became a favorite. Redwall: The only bad thing about this series is that there aren’t more of them. Medieval mouse knights fighting for the cause of good against strange, one-eyed rats—why wouldn’t you like it? I also recommend anything involving dropping a man off in extreme climates to face the elements alone a la Man vs. Wild and Survivor Man. Just prepare yourself never to look at an animal carcass the same way again.
I’m embarrassed to say the only movie I’ve seen of your selection is Backyardigans. I need to broaden my horizons, I know. P.S. I try not to watch Backyardigans too early in the day… the theme song gets stuck in my head. I’ll even wobble like Pablo and pirouette like Tasha.
A Post-"Evangelical" Evangelical
I’ve only seen the Backyardigans as well, but thanks very much for the films to add to the Netflix queue! By the way, I recently saw American Beauty for the first time, and appreciated Jim’s take on the film that was available at an online journal.