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Movies

 More movies? So soon? Yup! I realized that I left out some really good ones last time. Enjoy!

 

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s – Regardless of your take on fashion, this documentary is pretty cool. Meet the people and learn the history behind the iconic New York institution, Bergdorf Goodman. The genius window dressers, the trend spotters, the sales people. Fascinating!

The Silence – A young girl disappears in the precise location another girl disappeared some twenty-three years earlier. A story of loneliness, friendship, and the past we can’t escape.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Wowie zowie! This is a spectacular documentary series that looks at film and film making, from the very first to present day. Broad in scope, each of the fifteen hour-long episodes covers a different genre, era, or innovation from around the world. Mark Cousins, the talented writer/director/narrator has a fabulous voice, too. In particular, I enjoy his use and pronunciation of the word “sweep.”

Robot & Frank – In a not so far off future, children concerned about their father but too busy or distant to care for him on a regular basis buy him a robot. Oh, and Frank is a cat burglar with dementia, too, and learns how to get his robot in on the action in between bouts of forgetting. Deception and mayhem ensue.

Rust & Bone – A woman wakes up with her legs amputated after a freak accident with the killer whale she was training. A man with a passion for fighting. They meet and become friends. Sweet things happen. Sad, depressing things happen. People make horrible mistakes. Rights are wronged as best they can be. A happy ending, of sorts. Brilliant!

Frequencies – In this mind bender of a fil-um, success and intelligence are determined by a person’s frequency, the higher the better. When people of mixed frequency interact, chaos ensues (earthquakes! lightning! thunderstorms!), usually within a minute. Very low frequency Zak, in love with very high frequency Marie is determined to find a solution. Terrific!

Dear White People – Meet four black students at an Ivy League school, each unique and with very different ambitions, each mixed up in a heated battle in the one all-black house on campus. Whip smart, laugh out loud funny, and incredibly sad and horrifying, at times.

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Movies

It’s been almost a YEAR since I talked about fine fil-ums. Jeepers. It’s not as though I haven’t seen any, either. I spend so much time with Netflix that I consider it a BFF. Anyhoo, here we go…

Advanced Style profiles the oft ignored, yet completely marvelous style of New York women over the age of sixty (it’s also a blog!). Fun, funny, beautiful, and absolutely inspirational, the film really challenges women to dress like we mean it and with great for love our bodies, despite the number of wrinkles and birthdays under our belt. I was especially charmed by the woman in red, Ilona Royce Smithkin. She’s a fabulously talented artist, makes her fake eyelashes from her own hair, and is one of the most positive, warm, and vivacious women I have ever seen.

Cairo Time follows a married woman (the always fabulous Patricia Clarkson) unexpectedly traveling on her own in Cairo. Beautiful and langorous, I felt as though I was spying  as she’s challenged, delighted, and surprised by this very foreign city and its magical river, which is as much a character as the actors. Cherry Blossoms is a beautiful story of lasting love, grief, and appreciating the here and now, for you never know how much time you have.

Departures is the touching story of a man who abandons his dreams of becoming a world class cellist to discover his rather surprising true calling of dressing the dead for burial.

Electrick Children – A young woman believes she’s been impregnated with the son of God by listening to music and goes on a quest to Las Vegas to find the maker of the song. Her innocence is simply dazzling!

I binge watched series two of The Fall over one spectacular afternoon. Gillian Anderson deftly plays a strong, intelligent, albeit flawed (a.k.a. human) detective eager to stop a serial killer.  Love this show!

The History of Future Folk - An alien sent to earth to kill humans and begin colonization changes his plans after hearing music for the first time (a being after my own heart). When an assassin comes to finish the work he never started and save their home planet, they form a band and other mayhem ensues. This was so much fun!

G-Dog – Gregory Boyle is a priest and, as far as I am concerned, a real life saint. Through tenacity, innovation, and so very much love, he created Homeboy Industries, a program that provides gang members with the emotional, spiritual, and vocational skills they need to become lawful, productive members of society, because, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” I wish every city had a program like this in place!

Living on One Dollar – Another inspirational story about four friends who stay in a remote Guatemalan village for 56 days. Through illness and uncertainty, they grow their own food, make lasting friendships with their neighbors, and learn what it means to struggle and thrive with so very little.

The Matador – This movie always takes me and the hubster to our happy place. In a role that is the antithesis of James Bond, Pierce Brosnan plays a contract killer with a penchant for sex, alcohol, and bull fighting, but without a single friend. Enter Greg Kinnear, do-gooder with a string of bad luck. Hilarity, friendship, and murder ensue.

Rectify – Exonerated for the murder of his girlfriend after nearly twenty years in prison, a man returns home to the oddities of freedom, the complications of family, and a community unsure of his innocence. Another binge-watch!

 

 

Sunday, early evening, my hand delightedly skimming the summer air. We had a lovely afternoon, with an early dinner at Guero. I had my favorite, and what I consider to be the best torta in town, the #3. It’s basically a bean sandwich, which seems unfair, because in their hands it is so much more.

We wandered around in the heat, taking in the fun and funny wares along 28th before enjoying the latest dazzler from Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive. It follows the measured, highly intellectual, and occasionally melancholy lives of vampires. It is neither glamorous nor frightening, at least not in the conventional sense. It is stunningly beautiful, a marvelous juxtapostion of life in Tangier and Detroit, cities and people alive and dead in their own way, full of zombies, beautiful music, and a certain yearning. Marvelous!

Home again, wandering again, the hour of vampires and the full warmth of an evening plucked from childhood. There were bats about, very apropos, we thought, and windows obscuring their occupants golden secrets. All was hushed, the breeze a whipping, jaunty exclamation point to a peach of a day.

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It’s amazing how much a person can see when really looking. I wonder how much I miss on a daily basis, how much I don’t spy with my little eye: drops of water, chimes on high, giggle worthy stickers, and creepy looking heads; all fun, all magic, that quotidian spark.

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Movies, etc.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – I would like to preface this by saying that I do not like The Office, and, in particular, Steve Carell’s character. The hubster and I tried and tried but could only get through one episode without turning it off. Believe me when I say that was one of the longest twenty-two minute stretches of our lives. Different strokes for different folks. I say this because I learned there are others like us (who knew?!), and every time I mention how much I liked this movie, they said they would not see it because he was in it. Food for naysayers thoughts. Anyhoo, the world is ending, and Steve Carell’s wife left him for another man. He decides to find his first love and help his neighbor try to get back to her family, despite the fact that her bumbling ways have left him behind the game. It’s a bit of a wild road trip movie, with every kind of madness and kindness. And love, too! Very sweet.

Drew: The Man Behind the Poster – If you are my age and do not know Drew Struzan by name, you most certainly know his work, for he is the artist behind some spectacularly iconic movie posters, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Police Academy, just to name a few.  It is a starving artist makes it big story, with Drew literally choosing paint over food early in his career. As much as I hate the thought of it, I am grateful for the work that came of his sacrifice. Growing up, I thought many of the posters were photographs, not the meticulous works of art they are. So cool!

Jeepers, this is a doozie of a fil-um, under my skin and spooking my dreams for days. Martha escapes a creepy and violent cult (is there any other kind?) to live with her estranged sister. Her mind thoroughly changed by her experience, Martha has difficulty separating fiction and memory from reality, among other quirks, and that is putting it kindly. Beautifully filmed and fluid in the storytelling (is this past or present?), this kept the hubster and I on the edge of our seats!

Three Iron – A young man breaks into the homes of people on vacation. He stays a while and generally leaves the house in a fairer state than he found it, cleaning, doing laundry, making small repairs. He encounters the wife of a violent and controlling man, who chooses to leave with the vagrant rather than stay with her husband. Their life together follows his previous and rather beautiful rhythm, with some tragic bumps along the way. Spare, lovely, and meditative, unlike anything I have ever seen.

Snow Cake – Oh my goodness, is this ever sweet! A man enters the unusual world of an autistic woman when her daughter is killed in a car crash while hitchhiking with him. A great tale of compassion, forgiveness, and friendship.

Beauty is Embarrassing - Follow the exploits of Wayne White, from his humble beginnings as an outcast in Alabama, to working on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, to being the guy who makes the irreverent and awesome thrift store found paintings. He’s talented, funny, and says FUCK a lot. And the reason why beauty IS embarrassing is worth waiting until the end to learn. I promise!

Les Revenants / The Returned – Dead people return to their small town home. They reunite with families and search for others. They are neither entirely evil nor entirely good, though there is one cannibal among them, which makes for rather unpleasant viewing. Why are they back? It’s a tad creepy and mysterious and so very addictive. The hubster and I can’t wait for season two!

Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive – Oh me, oh my, does he make me laugh! Aside from one weird riff on child molesters at the beginning, this is quite stellar. He is also one of my live and in person celebrity sightings. I saw him walking down the street in Montreal a couple summers ago. We shared a smile! Hi Aziz! BOOM!

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