I’m sure like many a soul who is fortunate enough to happen upon the quite exceptional new documentary by seasoned director Raoul Peck ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ (2016) won’t be aware of the voice, words and actions of it’s subject, the equally eminent ringmaster of storytelling (in this case via words) James Baldwin.
Set in 1948 Chile, the times are changing daily. The USA is flexing it’s might and characteristically instigating regime change in any country it sees fit, to serve it’s own purpose.
Depending on your knowledge of the late actor Paul Robeson, it will no doubt have an effect of your experience of this latest gem from the STUDIOCANAL movie colliery. ‘The Proud Valley’ (1940) stars the American actor and renowned bass singer who had the stature of Mohammed Ali in his prime, but rather than hitting with his fists, he knocked people out with the power and depth of his voice, it’s stunning.
I’ve no idea if that painting (American Gothic) was an influence on new kid on the horror butcher block Nicolas Pesce’s ‘The Eyes of My Mother’ (2016) but the parents in this horrific pastoral tale bare such a striking resemblance to the painting,
We are also told who our heroes are, or at least who should be according to said media, using these so called noble bastions of excellence to dictate our moral barometers and aspirations. But now and again this control is swept away in the winds of reality, which can blow gently, or storm strong.
At the beginning of the (deservedly) Oscar winning ‘The Salesman’ (2016) by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (who also won an Oscar in 2011 for ‘A Separation’) we see an empty forlorn bed as part of a stage set for a local theatre group’s rendition of ‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller.
A week or so prior to the documentary I saw the brilliantly made and very enjoyable ‘Get Out’ (2017) directed by Jordan Peele. It’s his first time behind the camera, but he’s a highly established and rightly well loved American comedian as part of the sketch show ‘Key & Peele’, both of whom had a very funny turn in last years delight ‘Keanu’ (2016).
Naoko Yamada’s chosen method of contributing to the further betterment of mankind (hopefully forever) is through the medium of anime, with her latest being the incredibly beautiful ‘A Silent Voice’ (2016).
I’ve always been a big fan of indie film company Oscilloscope Laboratories founded by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch and A24 founder David Fenkel. Every time their very distinct logo pops up in the opening credits of a film you know you’re going to be presented with something wonderfully idiosyncratic, unique and rewarding.
here’s a delightfully mischievous visual joke at the beginning of Billy O’Brien’s wonderful dark comedy (axe) slash horror movie ‘I Am Not A Serial Killer’ (2016) that metaphorically immediately lays all it’s cards on the table……
There has been some turmoil in Ruth (Alice Lowe) and unborn baby’s life. Recently widowed, the future looks an insurmountable peak, thankfully for Ruth (but not anyone around her) guidance comes from the internal voice of baby who informs her how to slice the pain away, and literally gut and bury the suffering that has been caused.
If the performances weren’t enough, the movie is stunningly beautiful looking. To be honest, there’s a visual joke that starts the opening credits harking back to the Golden Age, the second I saw it, I knew I was going to worship this movie, and I did.
There’s something beautifully and tragically Shakespearean about Ken (Kenneth) Loach’s breakthrough movie and ode to the working class ‘Kes’ (1969).
There are so many things happening of late that represent the worst of humanity, it can be at times overwhelming when we see the deliberate constant onslaught of suffering, apparent chaos, indifference soundtracked to the angry screams of discontent, dejection, intolerance and mistrust.