Sunday, December 24, 2017
Netflix Year End Catch Up: ONE OF US, FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER, CASTING JON BENET and OKJA
Excellent look at the Hasidic community through the lives of three people seeking to leave it. Seeking to break with the Orthodox community puts them in target for danger as some members see their leaving as a betrayal. It also puts them on the long road of trying to how to come to terms with the rest of the world since in some cases their education and skills are limited making it difficult for them to function like everyone else. This is a great film that is rightly on the Oscar short list. Its a frank style is eye opening even for someone who has had contact with the community.
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
Angelina Jolie's recounting of the Khmer Rogue's raping of Cambodia was tat countries submission for the Foreign Language Oscar. A kind of child's eye portrait of what happened the film is a vital remembrance of the horrors of a country gone insane. For those who don't know what happened- and many people don't- it's a shocking wake up call.
As good as the film is the film never quite achieves the greatness it's reaching for. Blame it on Jolie's eye which gives the film a bit too much a finely finished quality which takes away from any sense of a lived in quality. The result is we never fully connect with it and while we are moved by events we aren't moved as far as we could go.
Still the film is recommended.
Intriguing film about the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey and the media is not what you think its about. Nominally a film about the casting of a film about the murder it turns that notion on its head as te people being "cast" instead talk about the media and how it was portrayed in the news and how it affected their lives.
An intriguing think piece about how we view news events and other media stories its film that boomeranged back on me after it was over as I pondered what it ad done. While personally not on my best of the year list I completly understand how several of my friends have raved about it. I also understand why some people don't like it.
Bong Joon-ho's masterpiece film concerns a teenage girl whose best friend is a giant super pig named Okja which she has been raising for a giant corporation. When the company comes to take it back for a media event she gives chase getting mixed up with a group of animal rights activists.
Impossible to fully explain thanks to a narrative complexity that springs up on you and tonal shifts that perfectly and seismically shift from comedy to drama to farce to tragedy, OKJA is a film that sneaks up with you and brains you from behind. This is a film that has both one of the years most beautiful sequences in the use of John Denver as well as one of the most harrowing in a slaughter house sequence that may be the most horrifying concentration camp sequence ever put on film.
This film is a stunner in the truest sense of the word and perfect example of why Netflix allowing filmmakers to have complete creative freedom is a good thing.
I loved it.