My Mother’s Castle

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Four stars

A picture like a walk on a breezy, sunny day.  Submissive, girl-crazy, young boy, early 20th century, French country summer.  Bittersweet memories, the ghost of your childhood.  A family uses a secret key to shortcut through the canals in the backyards of Marseilles’ wealthy elites.  Most everyone is full of love and help but there are a few dickheads (just like life).  Pages turn to dust, families turn to death.  World War 1 looms, casts a shadow.  Novelists cast a spell.  This movie is a spell.  This movie is sweet, sunny insects buzzing and river water lapping in concrete sluice.

D & W: Yves Robert, More W: Marcel Pagnol & Jérôme Tonnerre, P by: Robert Alazraki, E by: Pierre Gillette, M by: Vladimir Cosma, w/Nathalie Roussel, Phillippe Caubère, Julian Ciamanca, Phillipe Uchan, Didier Paine, Thérèse Liotard, Julie Timmerman, jean Rochefort, etc…98 min, France, 1991

Primer

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Four stars

Whiteshirt Redtie shoots some hoops.  Whiteshirt Blacktie orders  the steak.  Whiteshirts Redandblackties cradled in coffins of aluminum, flooded in magnetic fields, await the hour of emergence.  Travel back in time to stop themselves from traveling back in time to stop themselves to stop.  It is quiet in the box where eardrums burst and blood dribbles.  They share a dream of oceans.

 D,W,M & E by: Shane Carruth, P by: Troy Dick, w/Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Carrie Crawford, Anand Upadhyaya, Samantha Thomson, Jay Butler, John Carruth, Chip Carruth, etc…77 min, USA, 2004

Panther

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Three stars

On July 13th, 2013 George Zimmerman was acquitted of the heinous slaughter of innocent Trayvon Martin and with the verdict a bit of my own naiveté died.  The justice system seemed broken and I awoke to the privilege I’d been dealt all along by the dumb luck of my skin’s low melanin count.  Just last week the police acted out of fear and prejudice and shot Philando Castille & Alton Sterling on camera in MN and LA respectively.  It’s past time to join peaceful protestors.  To recognize that all lives can’t matter until black lives do.  To open my heart and soul to blackness.  To practice the humanity I preach.  Watching movies is not enough, but here’s a black one.  Huey Newton & Bobby Seale’s lives are dramatized.  A black child dies because a stoplight isn’t installed in the ghetto. 

D by: Mario Van Peebles, W by: Melvin Van Peebles, P by: Edward J. Pei, E by: Earl Watson & Kevin Lindstrom, w/Kadeem Hardison, Marcus Chong, Bokem Woodbine, Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett, Joe Don Baker, Nefertiti, Chris Rock, etc…124 min, USA, 1995

9 to 5

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Three stars

In dreams Dolly’s office opens on the Mojave.  She steps away from staplers and collating machines and enters that hot home of the desert tortoise.  The sun is very bright out here, the air dry.  The trees are named Joshua and aren’t trees at all.  Cartoon birds flit down from the mountain and whisper memories into her Cinderella shoulders.  They take pratfalls and scream “guh-guh-guh-ghost!”  This is a cheerful reminder to be militantly feminist.  By evening she’s on top of a gulch looking down.  The moon is a glowing sliver of thumb nail behind her and the stars are manifold.  She sits.  She breathes.

D & W by: Colin Higgins, More W: Patricia Resnick, P by: Reynaldo Villalobos, E by: Pembroke J. Herring, M by: Charles Fox & Dolly Parton, A by: Nicholas Eliopoulos & Fred Lucky,  w/Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman, Peggy Pope, Elizabeth Wilson, Marian Mercer, Sterling Hayden, etc…, 110 min, USA, 1980

Blind Chance

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Three stars

This is east bloc Sliding Doors.  The colors are moss, wood and jaundice.  Our protagonist has three different shitty lives depending on whether he chooses, rejects, or is indifferent to communism.  No matter what he gets laid.  He finds a message in a bottle, he stands in line for hours for bread.  The sun peeks sickly out of clouds in train stations and airports.  We are all the mutable results of fate and action.

D & W by: Krzysztof Kieślowski, P by: Krzysztof Pakulski, E by: Elżbieta Kurkowska, M by Wojciech Kilar, w/Bogusław Linda, Bogusława Paweler, Tadeusz Łomnicki, Marzena Trybala, Jacek Borkowski, Adam Ferency, Monika Gozdzik, Zygmunt Hubner, etc.., 114 min, Poland, 1981

Two Days, One Night

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Three stars

Smoky tendrils of gaseous white depression, leaking from the furnace she left fallow all fall, punctuated by sudden bursts of joyous AM/FM radio.  A woman travels by bus and foot and ride to the doors of her co-workers and asks them to take a pay-cut so she isn’t fired.  This is a great movie to discuss with bros around the proverbial water cooler.  It inspires questions like, “How can we take care of each other better?” and, “What ain’t working?”  Namaste you guys, I love you.

D & W by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, P by: Alain Marcoen, E by: Marie-Hélène Dozo, w/Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Christelle Comil, Hicham Slaoui, Catherine Salée, Alain Eloy, Timur Magomedgadzhiev, Batiste Sornin, etc…, 95 min, Belgium, 2014