I enjoyed "Harold and Kumar" as much as the next guy
(really!), but the films I'll recommend are the ones that profoundly moved me
and stayed with me a long time. Let me know if you enjoyed these films.
Alright, so I actually don't watch TV. But
I wanted to highlight some British shows I discovered on bootleg and
think are brilliant. Even though the American version of The Office
is now on NBC and you can catch the British reruns on BBC America, don't do it.
Rent the three British DVD's (Series 1, Series 2, and the X-mas Special) and
watch them like three films. The first few episodes seem like they might
push the "comedy of cringe" too far, but by the end you'll feel a surprising
range of emotions. Another series that's completely under the radar is the
more experimental Marion and Geoff, consisting entirely of a
dashboard-mounted camera pointed at an emotionally distressed cab driver.
It's both hilarious and heartbreaking to watch our hero deal with his
unemployment, divorce, and custody hearings.
the old list from the FAQ webpage that includes many of my favorite films:
No Regrets For
A Man Escaped
All About Lily
In each issue of the newsletter, I will suggest two films.
One selection will come from the longstanding list of favorites from the FAQ webpage, and the second film will not. This week's picks are The Son and Sherman's March.
If I had to pick my favorite living filmmakers, I often think
the Dardenne Brothers would be my choice. After watching The Son, they should at least be your favorite
Belgian filmmakers! Seemingly simple but far from it, the brothers'
background in documentaries well serves their brand of tense, naturalistic,
claustrophobic, emotionally devastating fiction. The plot follows the
developing relationship between a troubled youth and his trade-school mentor,
but I don't want to give away any more. If you like this film, go back and
watch Rosetta (winner of the Palm d'Or at Cannes) and La Promesse
(an earlier variation on the premise from The Son).
This documentary is often cited as the film that inspired
a generation of documentary filmmakers to pursue a career in cinema. When
Ross McElwee won a grant to trace the destructive path of Civil War general
Tecumseh Sherman across the Deep South for an historical documentary, no one
could have known he would emerge years later with perhaps the greatest personal
documentary ever made. With gentle humor and amazing insights, McElwee
ends up portraying his own quest for romantic love and family acceptance in a
rapidly-changing South. Sherman's brutal legacy at first seems to be an
afterthought but turns out to be surprisingly relevant and emotional. Even
if none of this sounds interesting, the film's secondary title should seal the
deal: "A Mediation on the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South
During an Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation".