The TMINE multiplex: Footsteps On The Wind and Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

Just like at any other multiplex, the screens of the TMINE multiplex are themed. The first is usually the main attraction, a big new film that you can see in the cinema or on a streaming service. The second is likely to be a smaller film, perhaps one with fewer explosions or more dialogue.

Meanwhile, the other screens are going to be something more niche: something arthouse, something classic, something there just for the joy of it.

Guess what? Next week, I’m hoping to start a Russian cinema strand – for obvious reasons. See! Where else are you going to get that from?

Russia. The answer’s Russia, isn’t it? But you’ll probably need to have had Putin’s Sputnik to go back there – Боже мой! – and the visa process is a nightmare anyway, so the chances are you’re not going to get to return for a while. Soz!

So here is where it’s at!

At least, as the manageress of this cinema, that’s my plan. The TMINE Multiplex – and TMINE itself, as far as I can see – is really a non-profit operation, though, so as long as you’re all happy and you’re all entertained, that’s all I could ever hope and plan for, anyway.

That was the plan. However, this week, I was a little bit sabotaged. Oopsy. Scatty Natty.

You’ve already seen the main attraction this week, Dune (2021), so I can’t talk about it again here.

Another screen is out of order: Movie Night with my friend didn’t happen – life! Why are you so cruel?!

Another screen was probably a bit too warm and dark after a particularly carb-tastic tea: I was going to watch Green Lantern (2011) with my husband, but we both fell asleep while we were watching it. At the same point. Like a minute apart. I saw his eyes close and then felt mine go, too. It was so spooky!

Plus it turns out Rob reviewed it when it came out (if you can call that a review 🤣).

Pfft.

This has basically robbed me of a chance to talk about and post pictures of Ryan Reynolds in his underwear.

Pfft again.

(For what it’s worth, for the life of me, based on those scenes of Ryan Reynolds in his underwear, I have no idea why my identical twin sister chose to divorce Ryan Reynolds at this time. I don’t think even Green Lantern can be blamed for that.)

Maybe it’s for the best. It’s a really mean-spirited superhero movie, as well as very stupid. It’s so bad, Ryan Reynolds regularly disowns it, even in other movies.

He and Taika Waititi both try to disown it in fact.

But it does have one of the best ever scenes in a superhero movie, so it’s not totally awful, even if it can send two people to sleep simultaneously.

So this week, I’m only doing one movie and it’s showing in screen eight, which is that really small door down by the gents that you only ever see used by the ghost who runs the projection equipment – and only when the rest of his Legion are marching down the old Roman road.

It doesn’t really count as a movie, since it’s only seven minutes long. You also might never get to see it. It’s been shown at various film festivals and you can currently see it at the Free Speech Film Festival, but the movie’s PR people say it’s “too soon to say” if it’ll be available to view online.

But let’s talk about Footsteps on the Wind (2021) and Sting after the jump. I’ll get the wine from the bar. Do you think we can drink a whole bottle in seven minutes? I know I can, but how about you?

Footsteps on the Wind (2021)

Maya Sanbar’s animated short film, Footsteps On The Wind, tells the story of two siblings who go on a mysterious journey after tragically losing their parents. The 17-time Grammy Award-winning Artist Sting gave his refugee-inspired song “Inshallah” to Maya Sanbar so that she could create an animation film as a therapy tool for traumatised refugee children and to raise awareness of the growing refugee crisis around the world. It is the first animated short film ever made to a song by Sting. Footsteps On the Wind has won a variety of Awards including the Oscar-qualifying Awards at Cinequest Film Festival and Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Nat says: ‘A film you want to be better than it actually is’

I really wanted to like Footsteps on the Wind more than I did. I really did. The plight of refugees around the world is something with which many of us may be suffering compassion fatigue, and the thing I liked most about Footsteps on the Wind was that it made us reconsider refugees as human beings.

It starts with a happy family in their home. There’s then a cataclysm that forces the family to be separated. The children then have to go on an epic voyage to find safety together. The message, of course, is that most refugees aren’t criminals or economic migrants – they’re people who are escaping terrible situations in the hope of finding safety elsewhere. They just don’t want to die.

The epic journey is surprisingly surreal, reminding me almost of Yellow Submarine (1968) at times, rather than something harrowing. There’s no dialogue, so the communication of emotions is through universal body language, making the movie suitable for viewing in almost any country.

But that universality is also its biggest problem. Nothing specifically causes the problem from which they’re fleeing; the refugees are from no specific country; they don’t escape using anything specific to them; they don’t escape to any specific destination.

So the parents are Parents, the children are Children. It’s a seven-minute movie and there’s a lot of story in those seven minutes, but there’s no depth, just Sting singing and Children being separated from their Parents and sticking together through Love.

I think that’s not necessarily a huge flaw though. It does what it’s supposed to, in that it gives us a universal view of refugees. It makes us feel sympathy and even empathy for them – or reminds us of the sympathy and empathy we used to feel before we became jaded by the enormity of the problem.

It’s also perhaps not intended as anything except a reminder, something to show at events, and as something to help traumatised children. It’s not a great movie, but it’s not bad. The animation is good. Sting is… well, insert your feelings about Sting here, since that might be a deal breaker for you. I thought it was a decent enough song. And while it may not be something you’d sit down and watch, rent from an online store or seek out at a cinema, I’m not sure that’s what it’s supposed to be.

But if it helps refugees and children, that’s a good thing to be applauded.

Author

  • Natalia Romanova

    TMINE's publisher and Official Movie Reviewer in Residence. I've written for numerous magazines, including Death Ray and Filmstar, and I've been a contributor to TMINE since I was at university and first discovered I really wanted to write about movies, oh so many years ago. Sob.

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