Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A box office hit in its native Italy, this slapstick comedy of stereotypes is extremely politically incorrect but gets away with it because it spares no self deprecating humour to portray its own national culture. To be more specific, it's all about the posto fisso, the public servant life of perks many Italians dream of. If Adam Sandler were Italian maybe he'd be Checco Zalone. I am afraid I am not a fan of either but intermittent laughs were had! Though I was more impressed by the excellent special effects and the production design. Watch if you are on your third glass of wine?
Pauline Hanson needs to watch this! It might heal her racist heart because music has that kind of power and Johanna Schwartz is here to prove it. The beautiful and irresistible sound of Mali won't ever be silenced! There's a lot of girl power on display both in front of the camera with the legendaries Khaira Arby and Fadimata 'Disco' Walet Oumar as subjects and behind the camera under Schwartz's helm and Karelle Walker's cinematography. It's screening as part of the Australian Festival of African Film in Geelong's Pivotonian Cinema on October 28th. Take all the Islamophobics you know so they can learn how human we all are. I'm getting the soundtrack and will play at loud volume because freedom should never be taken for granted. Those looking for a clear geopolitical explanation about the situation in Mali should look elsewhere... At 105 minutes, it's not really achievable though Schwartz did the best she could.
In David Mackenzie's witty update to the ol' wild west many things may have changed but women are still either victims or whores and the only token character that is not a white male meets a very predictable end once his purpose is served. Jeff Bridges' performance is worthy of an Academy Award nomination. Music by Nick Cave helps proceedings. New West ain't starting to trend just yet though and that's probably a good thing because I have had enough of boys, guns and violence even when there's some beautiful political subtext.
Two women star in a film about the consequences of violence and war (among a plethora of other great themes) but there are no gun shots heard or any blood dripping to add to the devastation. The cinematography is flawless and absolutely stunning. Go Lukasz Zal (who got to replace the original cinematographer early on)! Polish cinema is such a gift and here is one of its finest offerings.
It sure took a while but here's a rare and important reminder of how the world we are living in was built. Here's a taste of what happens when black people get to tell their own stories. It's all the more poignant because slavery still exists (even if it has taken different forms and races). Based on the true story of Solomon Northup this is a tremendously uncomfortable lesson about freedom. Teachers should take note that a study guide is available (through the film's website) and try to make the most out of it while there's still time to build a better future. McQueen, as always, can do no wrong! It should be compulsory viewing really.