1. The Cube: The reminds me of the play, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. Personally, I'm claustrophobic, so I hate stories in which the characters are stuck in one place. The exception to this rule is The Diary of Anne Frank which I love. The reason my professor mentioned this one, though, is that the script took a very interesting turn. He said that originally there was a hero cop and a villain, and they writers realized that it would be effective to combine the characters. And that did work very well. I can't imagine what a loss it would have been if they had not made this realization.
2. Fox and His Friends: This one was much more interesting for me to watch than The Cube. The relationships mystified me and I could not relate to the behaviors of these men (this movie is German, 1970's, and the main characters are gay men). The film is famous for its cynicism, and I am truly not a cynic. For the purposes of my current screenplay, though, it was helpful to see an imbalanced power dynamic play out.
3. The Woodsman: I am quite surprised that this film got made, because our society does not like sympathetic portraits of pedophiles. In this case, though, we do find ourselves feeling for this guy (played by Kevin Bacon). I have always thought that the way we characterize these people as 100% monsters may make it easier for us to deal, but people are more complicated than that.
4. L. I. E. Speaking of pedophiles, here's another one (played by Brian Cox). These films were recommended to me, because one of my screenplay ideas was one in which the point of view was from a pedophile who felt terribly ashamed of his behavior but that shame failed to put a halt to it. This is in the same vein as Dexter, who considers his killing to be an uncontrollable addiction. L.I.E. was disturbing on a number of fronts, and its ending was predictable, but here is yet another film that refuses to deny the complexity of human beings even if one of them has clearly given in to evil impulses.
5. Moonlight: The Academy got it right this time. I watched this, and took notes. I don't believe I've seen anything so perfectly executed. Maybe the fact that the writer and director are the same person. Then, I read online reviews of this - not by critics but by "regular" people. I couldn't believe how negative they were. Boring? This was boring?! Was that "reviewer" looking for a gun battle or something? I was holding my breath nearly every moment, so enthralled with the life of Shiron. One of the other criticisms that stood out to me is that the clothing wasn't correct for the time and place. Okay, I very well might have missed accuracy of 80s clothing in Miami while my heart was being torn inside out with feeling for Little.
6. Down to the Bone: Okay, of course, I've seen this a bunch of times. It was new to me because I made my husband watch it. I knew he'd get upset about the ending. He thinks it didn't have an ending, but I think it actually had more of an ending than Moonlight. In both cases, the audience probably craves to know more, but in Down to the Bone I think I can infer the future. The lead woman (my girl, Vera) stays straight, while her sexy former sponsor has a long, rocky, and addicted road ahead. Perhaps he never comes back to sobriety. This film seems like a documentary; I'm thinking the turkey guy and the snake guy were not actors -- just for real people. If they are actors, then they're beyond brilliant. Vera, just as Joe Sanfelippo says on AfterBuzzTV, is not practically perfect, but perfect.
7. Kong: Skull Island: I saw this film accidentally. I showed up a week early with my son to see Beauty and the Beast (not sure how I got the date wrong) and this was our last minute choice. I have to say I LOVED it! So much fun. I am not a fan of most action films, but this one (basically a retelling of Moby Dick but instead of a what it's a giant gorilla) was beautifully done. I haven't liked an action film this much since Raiders of the Lost Ark.
8. Burn Your Maps: I've been looking forward to this for months. The limited release date was Friday, and I can't even figure out whether I'll be able to see it on the 24th where it is supposed to expand its release. With the popularity of Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay you would think it would be coming to all theatres! Cinelou, help me!