Sunday, May 20

The Coda Presents: For Your Consideration 7

So, Netflix was getting lots of negative press about film updating and lackluster catalogue selection, so they did an overhaul and added a wealth of music documentaries, film classics, Oscar selections, and some new films that added a much needed breath of fresh air. With the better selection (and yes, just because the films aren’t recent and some are in black and white doesn’t mean the selection is boring, there are a wealth of quality films available) comes more options for film fans to branch out, away from the typically choices you might make, into new areas of film interest. Another great thing, two of my top films are available to watch as well, Certified Copy and Melancholia, as well as some others on the list like Drive, Rango, Meeks Cutoff, Weekend, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and Le Quattro Volte. So, here some other films FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

Secret Sunshine
Director: Chang-dong Lee
Starring: Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song,
And Yeong-jin Jo  

Secret Sunshine is a long movie, 142 minutes long, which for some of you might require dedication when one film almost meets the length of two films. However, Secret Sunshine is captivating, it wasn’t until my second viewing that I realized that I spent two hours watching a movie. This is a sad film, devastating at times because of the overwhelming emotional content the characters are dragged through. A widowed woman and her son move to small town in South Korea called Miryang. While trying to establish a new foundation/life in a town of rigged structure, her family is upended by yet another terrible life altering act. I don’t want to give too much away, since much of the films power depends on this narrative element. While this film might not be for every film taste, and trust me it’s a difficult film to watch, it is nonetheless a powerfully acted and written film.

Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas,
 and Emilie de Ravin

Rian Johnson is a great writer and director, and he’s only done three full-length films. Johnson has a film coming out later this year called Looper, and from the trailer it looks to be a really interesting film that takes a stab at time travel elements. However, Brick was my first encounter with Johnson and I was completely floored after watching it. Brick plays with elements of film noir and classic detective crime stories.  The film utilizes character to promote a mix of contemporary lifestyles with archetypes of hard-boiled personalities usually seen in detective stories of the early 1930’s. The fact that the story surrounds a murder is secondary to the characters interacting within a structure. There is a distance felt early on between the characters, a strategy used to create tension and atmosphere since the viewer is left to wander through the story and around unexpected corners with the characters, a technique typical in noir films. This is a film that excels at execution, both from the character and story perspectives.   

For the Horror Fans!!!

Visiting Hours
Director: Jean-Claude Lord
Starring: Michael Ironside, Lee Grant, William Shatner,
and Linda Pur

80’s horror films have a special place in my horror heart because it was the era I grew up in. Slasher cinema seemed to have new contribution every week; the local video store had cardboard, six-foot tall standing advertisements promoting the next big horror film. While all of the slasher films weren’t spectacular there are a few that I’ve remembered, some terrible, some terrific.  Visiting Hours falls somewhere in the middle, it’s not particularly great from a story perspective, but it’s not terrible partly due to the effects and cast. Lee Grant is a great actress, Michael Ironside (coming off of Scanners) is perfect as the demented villain, and just for kicks…William Shatner makes an appearance. The film was fairly controversial at the time and landed on the U.K.’s “Video Nasty” list, primarily because of the subject matter of a misogynistic killer who targets a reporter who is advocating woman’s right. Visiting Hours is an underrated entry into 80’s slasher cinema

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