Germany Is Getting Netflix-Hot: Doch Noch Nicht Jetzt

Watch this trailer for Babylon Berlin. If this video does not convince you to watch the series (in German! God, don't ruin it by watching the dub!)...   zu Asche zu Staub recurs in various forms throughout season one—you'll know it by heart before long. This series is smart, informative, so creatively different! And has great acting.
Auch fantastische is Dark, a better version of Stranger Things. The atmosphere in this show is so affecting. As is Oliver Masucci. Very addictive. You're welcome. 

Mute, directed by Bowie's son Duncan Jones (2017) seems to be, according to the reviews, like Christmas cake: you either love it or you hate it. While I can see why some critique its sloppy elements, it's clearly a labour of love and is one of those interesting glimpses into our putative future. Similar feel to the urban fabric found in Altered Carbon. Worth a look if you're into dystopian projections. Alexander Skarsgård kills it, considering he only speaks about five sen…

But There IS Joel Kinnaman...

ALT: Joel Kinnaman as Tak Kovacs in a dark, strange world, wearing a blue coat and shirt; he's looking around in wonder.

Oh god, I didn't know whether I could get past the first episode: I love dystopian futures, but this seemed hackneyed... 
Altered Carbon has the feel of sometimes The Hunger Games, sometimes Harry Potter, often Repo! The Genetic Opera or Gotham City or Narcopolis.There's martial arts, comic booky treatments, digital effects and story content. Some of it is dumb, and the names for things in the future are lazy: The Array is the internet, a sleeve is a host, ONIs are basically smartphones, Poe is like TNG's Data, Meths are the 1%, and paying my chip-implanted fingers is technology that's already here. The "strong, independent woman cop" is the lamest character attempt/trope out there, and the actress is terrible. The producers seem to be trying to appease audiences on every front rather than trying to make a solid, consistent product. 
But I…

The Blind Christ

photo: Film Factory Entertainment
The Blind Christ or El Cristo Ciego(Christopher Murray, 2016, Chilean) with  Pedro Godoy, Ana María Henríquez, Bastián Insotroza, and local extras.
If you like quiet, slow films, you'll enjoy this story about pilgrimage, told by a prophet, often in parables. The character (and indeed the mood) often reminded me of the silent, watching Christ figure in Kieslowski's Dekalog.Fairly sure my film theology prof Adelmo Dunghe would put this on his list of transcendent films! Poetic and at times painful to watch, both visually and emotionally. Loved it. 

At age five, my son said, "I was born because God knew I needed a mum." Out of the mouths of babes...

Two Women Who Say "Fuck It!" in Two Very Different Ways

Two women, two decades apart, are fed up, and they both decide to do something about it.

You'll barely recognize Elijah Wood or Crazy Rose from Two and a Half Men: Melanie Lynskey is showing her true acting chops. This super-quirky film is violent, but the humour is a balm in this crazy story about a not crazy value. Basically, character Ruth just wants everyone to stop being assholes to each other. It's original in myriad ways, and a real delight as a change from Schmollywood productions, from the soundtrack right down to the real, Oregonian fireflies in the last scene.
2017, Accessed on Netflix. Director: Macon Blair Starring: Elijah Wood, Melanie Lynskey, David Yow, Devon Graye, Christine Woods, Jane Levy, Gary Anthony Williams, Robert Longstreet My Happy FamilyPeople being assholes in different, Georgian ways (and ways as yet unknown to our heroine), this is also funny but with a little more pathos than dark humour. And it has a great ending. I recently got hell from students …
Adaptationhas a pretty impressive cast, including my girl-crush Meryl Streep. Best line is when Brian Cox's writing-guru character advises the struggling screenwriter: "Don't you dare bring in a deus ex machina!"

Jury's still out on this Tarkovsky film. Lots of juicy Biblical allusions and themes, but it wasn't as visually postapocalyptically satisfying as I'd hoped. The TIFF audience was hardcore, though: for almost 3 hours, you couldn't hear a pin drop!
Every time I go to CanStage, I see something astounding and/or fascinating. Both boxes ticked with Triptyque: 

Gravity-defying athleticism, the lyricism of contemporary dance and the poetics of the imagination come together in this virtuosic triple bill from Quebec circus superstars The 7 Fingers (Cuisine & Confessions, Traces). For the first time, the innovative troupe joins forces with three internationally-renowned choreographers, weaving together a magical journey between circus and dance.

Anne e…


Judi Dench crush / RIP Tim Pigott-Smith

"Cows need their teas, like."

Holy crap...

Utterly Charming!

We've come a long way since The Railway Children... Wonderstruck is absolutely beautiful.

A Traffic Light of Movies

Omilord, I've been so consumed with work that posting the art I have gotten to has been impossible for months. I've seen a lot, and the title refers to the last three outings.

Green Light: Comedy
Usually I don't love comedies, but I made this exception because the star of Don't Talk to Irene, Michelle McLeod, is a friend of a friend. Not only was it fun and uplifting, Scott Thompson as the retirement-home director-who-wishes-he-wasn't is understatedly perfect!

Yellow Light: Pause for beauty Not saying this is the most important film in history, but I'm glad I saw Loving Vincent at TIFF. Taking it in full-size and with a sense of wonder was a lovely antidote to current affairs.

Red Light: Check your assumptions at the door This was not what I expected, but The Florida Project was very affecting. Insane acting, still sticks with me. Did not see this story or the ending coming.

Other recent experiences: Life After at CanStage

kd lang on tour

God x 3

I'm starting to think I should go to Iceland. I keep coming across movies and shows made there. And I am going across the Pond next year—hmmm... Meanwhile I'll stick to film. The Deep (2013, dir. Baltasar Kormákur) could be received anti-climactically, but I found it a quiet rumination on several themes. While it is somewhat an action piece, that's not the bulk of it. If you want a thought-provoking film, eat the popcorn during the first half and then settle down. The star, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, is a sort of Icelandic Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) here, and his understated performance is part of the reason the brakes go on during the narrative based on a true story.
Speaking of our late fave actor, I chose God's Pocket because I LOVE him and really appreciate John Turturro and Richard Jenkins. But a few minutes in, I realized I'd seen it (all Philip's indie pictures tend to conflate for me) and I wasn't in the mood for its violence and disconcerting effect o…