Film

Tune into MUBI to celebrate women, including Andrea Arnold and Céline Sciamma

I had hoped to do something big! and bold! and political! and exciting! on Tuesday for International Women’s Day.

But typically – perhaps even ironically – I was too busy working to do it. Pfft. 🙄

Fortunately, it’s also Women’s History Month – or should that be Herstory?

That’s a good get-out clause for me. Yay! I’m still succeeding in life!

Why don’t you all head over to MUBI then? Although it hasn’t formally said so, seems to be celebrating two women directors in particular this month. And they couldn’t be more different!

American Honey (2016)

Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold is English and very much dedicated to social realism, particularly with regards to working class women. She won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005, and her feature films include Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey, all of which have won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s also recently shot her first documentary, Cow, which is all about… a cow.

MUBI has pretty much her entire catalogue and while my above précis of her work doesn’t sound like too much fun, as I found with Wasp, it’s not as bleak as you might think. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try, starting with her short movies:

And if you’d like to hear her discuss her most recent work, I’d recommended listening to this interview:

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma is easily one of the most important and accomplished female directors, perhaps even directors working in France and perhaps the world in the past decade. The New Yorker argued last month that she’s on a ‘quest for a new feminist grammar of cinema’ – while simultaneously arguing that her representation of Black women in Girlhood is unfeminist.

At the very least, with movies such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Water Lilies, Girlhood and Tomboy she has managed to bring into the mainstream feminist ideas and complex questions about gender and queer identity that previously have been poorly addressed by cinema. And with movies such as Petite maman, she shows she can do movies that are fantastic and beautiful, rather than political.

And here’s another lovely podcast where Sciamma talks about her work.

Film

The TMINE Multiplex: I Am Twenty, The Truth about Cats and Dogs and more

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?

I’m not saying I’m going to turn into a cat lady any time soon, but I’ve not been out in a while. At least, not to the movies. This is strange for me, particularly with a Robert Pattinson movie in the cinema at the moment (The Batman), but honestly, that just looks nasty. I know: after the entire Dark Knight trilogy, could Batman get any nastier? I’m reassured by people who enjoy such things that yes, Batman can get nastier. So I’m going to give it a miss.

I really hope, though, that are some lovely new films for me to watch at the cinema soon, though.

I’ve not been watching many new films at home, either. Not even that collection of all the James Bond movies I got given for Christmas.

(I really did.)

But I have been running a few retrospectives, which I’ll cover briefly after the jump. I’ve also been watching a few Russian movies. For understandable reasons, I hope? 😭

So here’s what you can look forward to discussing in the TMINE multiplex after the jump:

  1. Black Hawk Down (2001)
  2. Мне двадцать лет (I Am Twenty) (1965)
  3. Цапля и журавль (The Heron and the Crane) (1974)
  4. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
  5. The Truth About Cats And Dogs (1996)

Re: the last of those – I promise I’m not turning into a cat lady.

Continue reading “The TMINE Multiplex: I Am Twenty, The Truth about Cats and Dogs and more”
International TV

What have you been watching? Including The Endgame, Children Ruin Everything, Our Flag Means Death and Troppo

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

Doing this every two weeks seems to be working out for me right now. I think I can pull this off. Famous last words.

I’ve watched some new TV shows. One from pretty much every country of the world! Well, three of the four usual English-speaking ones. Most of them were rubbish, unfortunately. But at least one was fun. We can talk about those after the jump: Troppo (Australia: ABC), Our Flag Means Death (US: HBO Max), Children Ruin Everything (Canada: CTV) and The Endgame (US: NBC).

But first…

…four shows I didn’t manage to get around to watching

The Dropout (US: Hulu; UK: Disney+) is a switch of the usual ‘drama based on real-life’ offering that we’ve getting of late. It’s a mini-series that sees Amanda Seyfried playing Elizabeth Holmes, and Hulu/Disney+ summarise it thusly: “Elizabeth Holmes, an optimistic and determined young woman, drops out of Stanford to found a promising new blood testing startup.”

Yeah, I know all about Elizabeth Holmes. I know the twist and a whole lot more. Don’t really need to watch that, but I hear Seyfried is very good.

The Porter (Canada: CBC) is something a bit more of a period piece, but is still a real-life story. “The series will depict the history of Black Canadian and African-American men who worked as Pullman porters in the period following World War I, leading to the 1925 creation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters as the first Black-led labour union.”

Again, I hear it’s really good and it even numbers Alfre Woodard. But… I don’t care. Sorry, the history of the Canadian trade union movement is niche even for me.

Shining Vale (US: Starz; UK: Starzplay) isn’t real at all. It also didn’t hold my attention more than a minute, since it’s a horror comedy-drama about depression/demonic possession.

“A dysfunctional family moves from the city to a small town after Patricia “Pat” Phelps, a former “wild child” who became famous through writing raunchy female empowerment novels, is caught cheating on her husband. The house the family had moved into is a place where in the past, terrible atrocities have taken place. Nobody seems to suspect anything odd except for Pat who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed. Pat has been sober for 16 years, but begins to feel very unfulfilled in life – she still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband, and her teenage kids have grown up to the point they don’t want their mother in their lives. But soon, the demons haunting the family’s new home begin to appear much more real.”

It may star Greg Kinnear and Courtney Cox but no.

Lastly, there’s The Ipcress File (UK: ITV), the first UK drama I’ve been tempted to watch in a long time. In this case, I simply haven’t got round to watching it. But you know what, I think I will, since I not only love the Michael Caine movie, I’ve even read the book, so I’m interested to see what ITV have done with it.

The regulars

Superman & Lois (US: The CW; UK: BBC One/iPlayer) was great fun as usual, and of course the chance to reunite Supes and his brother was irresistible, so I’m looking forward to that. It’s fascinating that a show that was based on how compelling a performance one actor gave in a completely different TV show now has an equally compelling performance overshadowing it. I do also much admire the fact the show is ‘depatriarchying’ the entire Superman story, too.

Severance (AppleTV+) has continued to be fascinating and JustStark’s suggestion that it’s reminiscent of a Philip K Dick story was something I hadn’t noticed but is spot on the money. But the show alternates as well between interpretations, with allusions to the priesthood in the latest episode and there are also musical references to The Conversation (1974) as well. But the core considerations of whether work might actually be psychologically important to us – so what happens if we can’t – are also interesting. Really, really enjoying.

Bel-Air continues to be equally impressive and powerful. The characters are now evolving in fascinating ways and it’s fascinating to see Will ‘gentrifying’. One of the disadvantages of not watching UK TV any more is that I didn’t notice that this show’s Geoffrey is played by Jimmy Akingbola (In the Long Run, Kate & Koji, Holby City, Rev et al). And this Geoffrey is hardcore. Definitely a must-watch.

And back for a second season is Star Trek: Picard (US: Paramount+; UK: Amazon). That appears to have dumped the entire narrative it was setting up at the end of the first season in favour of yet more Borg stories. But we got Whoopi Goldberg back as Guinan and John de Lancie back as Q – that’s not a spoiler, as it’s in the trailer – all of which suggests better things are to come.

I should also point out that Wu Assassins (Netflix) mysteriously has a sequel movie, Fistful of Vengeance, set in Thailand and featuring all the Asian cast but almost no one else and is largely unrelated to the surprisingly good original in almost any way. The fights are poorly shot, even if the cast are good at them, making them pretty lacklustre, too. I quite enjoyed newcomer Francesca Corney, who was at least funny, but that was about it.

Join me after the jump for a brief rundown of the new shows.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including The Endgame, Children Ruin Everything, Our Flag Means Death and Troppo”
West Side Story
Film

What Nat added to her streaming queues this week, including West Side Story and Короткие встречи

All the movies added to streaming services in the past week that Natya has added to her watchlists and hopes to watch. But might not

I thought I’d go with a little mix this week! Some sublime options, some stupid options, I know – hello, Pierce, please tell me you sing in this one, too – but isn’t that the beauty of movies?

Netflix

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

A CIA researcher is shocked to see that all of his co-workers are dead. He is bookish and has little knowledge of how to outwit those responsible. How does he figure out who he can really trust?

Disney+

West Side Story (2021)

Love at first sight strikes when young Tony spots Maria at a high school dance in 1957 New York City. Their burgeoning romance helps to fuel the fire between the warring Jets and Sharks – two rival gangs vying for control of the streets.

Amazon

The Misfits (2021)

A band of modern-day Robin Hoods known as “The Misfits”, recruit renowned thief Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) to help them pull off the heist of the century. Hold on tight for a globe-trotting, action-packed thriller from the director of Die Hard 2.

MUBI

Petite Maman (Little Mother) (2021)

After the death of her beloved grandmother, eight-year-old Nelly meets a strangely familiar girl her own age in the woods. Instantly forming a connection with this mysterious new friend, Nelly embarks on a fantastical journey of discovery which helps her come to terms with this newfound loss.

Klassiki

Короткие встречи (Brief Encounters) (1967)

The debut feature from Kira Muratova, one of Russian-language cinema’s most fearless auteurs, Brief Encounters is a quietly devastating gem. Banned for twenty years and only rediscovered in the late ‘80s, this beautifully staged domestic drama uses flashbacks to tell the story of a love triangle, female rivalry, and dashed dreams. Starring Muratova herself opposite legendary singer Vladimir Vysotsky and debutante Nina Ruslanova, Brief Encounters marks the first step in the career of one of the most singular female directors of all time.

Film

TMINE reviews: 15 different movies, including Belfast and Hedgehog in the Fog

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?

Finally! Finally, I have time to write something!

That’s basically me, to every person who pays me, every time I’ve tried to write anything at all for the past month.

It’s going to be a quick trip through all the screens of the TMINE Multiplex this week, almost like when you’re trying to find your screen but you can’t see the number so end up going to each screen in turn to find the movie you booked.

So here we go! In no particular order at all, here’s what currently showing in the TMINE Multiplex.

  1. Броненосец «Потёмкин» (Battleship Potemkin) (1926)
  2. A Few Good Men (1992)
  3. Wasp (2003)
  4. Dave (1993)
  5. The American President (1995)
  6. Down With Love (2003)
  7. The Love Witch (2016)
  8. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  9. Belfast (2021)
  10. Time is Up (2021)
  11. Regarding Henry (1991)
  12. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
  13. The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
  14. Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)
  15. Ёжик в тумане (Hedgehog in the Fog) (1976)

That’s right: 15 different movies! Holy flerkens, I really wish I had more time to write reviews than it turns out, post-Covid, that I have.

Anyway, let’s see if we can find the screen we want together. Hopefully, we won’t end up seeing Sing 2 by accident.

Continue reading “TMINE reviews: 15 different movies, including Belfast and Hedgehog in the Fog”