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4 Responses

  1. Juhani Kenttä says:

    Many blind spots, due to a variety of reasons. My 4-8 are all Finnish movies. The theaters here have been open on/off and the programming has had to rely on those more than in normal years but luckily they were at least pretty solid. I guess I’ll elaborate a little bit on those.

    1. Sound of Metal
    2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
    3. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
    4. Lost Boys
    In 2010, a bleak fly-on-the-wall documentary about a group of drug abusing friends called Reindeerspotting came out. The release of that film enabled three of them to travel to Southeast Asia to keep the party going. Eventually the director lost track of the other two and this film is an attempt to find out what actually happened. It’s cobbled together from footage of the initial trip, a follow-up trip made by the director alone and a dramatized section of him in solitary confinement due to drug charges. In many ways even bleaker than the first film, especially when depicting the life of sex workers in Southeast Asia, but also more formally daring with a narrative that builds several layers of distancing from the actual events. It’s a very knowing provocation that’ll make one question the ethics of the production due to its uncomfortably voyeuristic sequences but the push-and-pull between a vérité documentation and a stream-of-consciousness narrative does make for a fascinating experience, if not quite excusing the most exploitative moments.
    5. Eden
    At the age of fifteen, all members of the Lutheran church in Finland need to partake in several activities to receive their confirmation. The most significant one is a week-long summer camp organized by the church. It’s weird that it’s such a common rite of passage here and yet it hasn’t really been depicted in a lot of art. Often quite funny and compassionate towards all its characters, Eden fills that gap beautifully.
    6. Aalto
    I often find myself wishing I knew more about architecture but not knowing where to start. Here’s one way in, a beautiful and insightful documentary about our most renowned architect, Alvar Aalto. Made me appreciate architecture in ways I hadn’t before.
    7. Seurapeli (Games People Play)
    A Heartbreak House-ish dramedy about old friends celebrating a weekend out at a secluded villa and wouldn’t you know it, some tensions arise. Not the most original premise but is able to mine some fresh insights along the way.
    8. Orkesterin edessä (Conductivity)
    A documentary about three conductor students in Sibelius Academy, apparently the only music academy in Europe where the students get to practice weekly with a full orchestra. All the scenes depicting that are really fascinating but the film as a whole is only pretty good. I guess here is where my blind spots start to show.
    9. Disclosure
    10. Miss Americana

  2. FictionIsntReal says:

    I don’t think the characters of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” ever actually express any political views. It’s not really about that.
    Jesse Plemons’ character may be the more important person around whom the film revolves (it’s his childhood home, his parents, his school, etc) but in cinematic terms I would say Jessie Buckley is the lead actor. The title character of “Mohammad, Messenger of God” never actually appears onscreen, so the lead of the film is Anthony Quinn as his uncle.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I don’t think the character has to express political views for people to have a social/political objection to a movie. I was referring to a kneejerk reaction along the lines of, “Do we really need to see another movie about a sad, white man? And one who can be kind of a creep at that?” It’s a reaction to which I’m not unsympathetic but that doesn’t mean that any one movie about a sad, white creep can’t be great.

      – David

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