Terribly Happy

It’s oddball, it’s strange, it’s Danish, and it’s a super gem of a film. I’ve watched it twice in two days (Netflix). At a mere 100 minutes, give it a try!

Speeding up time

Last year I took out a subscription to Netflix. I can usually find enough to watch for a month but then not enough to keep the subscription going for any longer. For Christmas 2020 I reactivated the subscription, again probably just for a month.

So far I have watched and can recommend:

  • The Fear Of 13 – astonishing documentary about a man on death row
  • American Murder: The Family Next Door – fascinating documentary using social media content, text messages and police video footage
  • 22 July – brutal but honest dramatization of the massacre of 77 Norwegian teens
  • The Crown (series 4) – hilarious fabrication of the life of our royal family. The Duke of Edinburgh is my favourite!
  • The Queen’s Gambit (series) – very enjoyable tale about a young, female chess genius

With Netflix you can choose what speed to watch a film at. I’ve found it’s perfectly watchable to view at 1.25 times the normal speed and even at 1.5 times.

Watching at a faster speed means less time spent / wasted / indulged (a 60 minute episode only lasts 40 minutes at 1.5 times normal speed, whilst a 90 minute film only lasts an hour)!

Try it and save time!


So Long, My Son

We watched this highly rated film by streaming from Curzon Home Cinema. At over 3 hours, this slow-moving, subtitled, Chinese film tested our concentration and we ended up watching it over 3, or was it 4, sessions. This didn’t help our understanding of the story, particularly as there are random time jumps as well as there being two characters with the same name. Subsequently reading some reviews and synopses has helped, but without sitting through it again I suspect we’ll have pretty negative feelings about the film.

Visages Villages (Faces Places)

What a delightful film Visages Villages is. It’s a documentary by, and starring film director and photographer Agnès Varda and photographer JR, who travel through France visiting villages, taking photos of the people and then plastering large images of them on walls and buildings. The two artists form a warm bond whilst engaging with the villagers. The film looks terrific, from the opening credits to the very end. We watched it on Netflix and is highly recommended.

Calibre

Calibre is an extremely taut and tense film set in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands. At the first major scene I wondered whether I would be up to dealing with the shocking development, but my motto is “it’s only dots on a screen”, so I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. A terrific, tense thriller, though not suitable for all.

I viewed this on Netflix using my free, 1-month, introductory offer. Thank you Netflix.

Cold War

We watched the 2018 award-winning Polish film, Cold War, via Curzon Home Cinema, a first for us. Shot in black-and-white, it’s a visually stunning love story inspired by the director’s own parents. It looks and sounds great and well worth a viewing.

Ricky Jay

The American actor and magician, Ricky Jay, has died.


In one of my favourite films, Things Change, Ricky Jay has a small part with some memorable David Mamet lines. The film opens as follows:

Shoe-shop owner: “May I help you?”
Silver (Ricky Jay): “A friend of ours would like to speak to you this evening.”
Shoe-shop owner: “I just shine shoes.”
Silver (Ricky Jay): “There’ll be shoes there.”

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a highly rated film which for me failed to live up to its reputation. Not a lot happens, you don’t get to learn much about the two main characters who are on screen almost the entire film. It’s OK but nothing special.
Oh and I’m not keen on these auditoriums that only have half a dozen rows – it’s just too close to the screen.

Beast

What a terrific film Beast is, with a tremendous performance from Jessie Buckley in the leading role as a troubled young woman rebelling against a stifling home and mother. A thriller, with surprises right up until the end – go see it!

No sunshine is expected here until Tuesday, so one might as well be in the cinema. Three cheers to the Wimbledon Curzon for not dimming the lights during the adverts and trailers, which meant that I could read my novel!