Friday, January 28, 2011

What I've been watching:

I saw this one in the theatre and watched it again over the holiday. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful, joyous film and insisted that my family watch it. On second viewing I still thought it was wonderful and joyous. My family, on the other hand, said “what was the point: just to show the differences in the different countries?” Well, it’s true that there is no plot, no story. This is just a film showing babies in 4 different countries from birth to age 1. But for me seeing the differences and the similarities in the lives of babies in different countries and different cultures is enough to keep me interested. Just watching babies be babies is enough to keep me hanging on for more.

Phyllis and Harold
Since childhood director Cindy Kleine wondered how her parents ever managed to get together: they seemed like such an unlikely couple. In conversations with her parents, looking at old family movies and reading old love letters she pieces together their relationship from their courtship through her parents’ deaths. The film could not be released until after her fathers’ death so that she could explore her mothers’ relationship with another man, the love of her life. Kleine’s film is an honest, illuminating and ultimately melancholy portrayal of her parents’ lives and relationship. While it is captivating to watch, and has in fact won awards at some film festivals, it is a film that will have a hard time finding its audience. Although providing profound insight into a marriage, this small, personal film is rather narrow in its subject matter.

Disappearance of Alice Creed
This was a very interesting film. It only had 3 characters and very few settings: it had to have been cheap to make. Given that, it didn’t look or feel like a low budget film at all. The acting was very good, the story, which is about a kidnapping, is full of twists and turns. Surprisingly good!

A Dog Year
Author Jon Katz, who is suffering from writer’s block, has adopted a rescue dog who he quickly names “the dog from hell!” The dog wreaks havoc on his already troubled life but he vows to not let the dog win. He moves to a farm in the middle of nowhere and takes some lessons in life and in understanding dogs from a farm woman/sheep herder. I was afraid that this movie would be a tear jerker but instead it was a nice, inspirational film. Watch it with your dog. If you don’t have a dog, you’ll want one after watching this movie.

Heat of the Sun

I am a total sucker for BBC mystery series and this one didn’t disappoint. This is an historical series taking place in Kenya during the time of British rule. In Private Lives, the detective investigates the disappearance of a wealthy British woman.

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