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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood  (Read 18313 times)

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #150 on: January 22, 2022, 09:02:07 PM »
The Perfect Candidate

To put it mildly, the state of gender equality in Saudi Arabia is not ideal. It would no doubt be easy to make a very punishing, sad film about mistreatment that would be accurate to a lived experience. But first with Wadjda and now with The Perfect Candidate, Haifaa al-Mansour opts for a lighter touch. They are films that don't ignore that women and girls are held to different standards, but films that opt for optimism, centering on determined characters who push against the cloaks that bind them, leaving them just that bit looser. I am sure you could say this lets the regime off too lightly (or maybe is the extent of criticism you can get away with and still get official recognition like being submitted as the country's nomination for Best International Film...it's the Academy's fault neither was nominated). But I also just think there is a great political wisdom in the films...people want an upbeat story that presents a slight bit of change for them to get comfortable with that shows that things will still be alright.

In this case we focus on Maryam, a doctor in a clinic in a smaller town outside of Riyadh that is essential to its medical services, but is significantly cut off to the town due to a decrepit road. When her attempt to rise professionally by leaving town are derailed by bureaucracy, and in light of her local official's lack of attention to this important issue, she decides to run for office. This naturally is an idea that draws a certain amount of unwelcome attention and faces long odds. She certainly has other issues she things could stand to change, including the role and rights of women, but above all, she speaks to the road because it is an issue that has broad/popular resonance and can really put the incumbent in bad light. This called to mind Danica Roem, a trans woman elected to State House in Virginia by focusing on transportation concerns, unseating an incumbent Republican, and continuing to hold the seat through the tough 2021 election year by a comfortable margin. It speaks to the power of focusing squarely on the issues that the voters ultimately care about, while trying to do some other good things in the process. Here it doesn't mean electoral victory, but it is still policy victory, and a shot across the bow that the incumbent needs to do better at constituent service.  The likes of AOC swept into Congress not necessarily because her constituents are demanding Medicare For All or a Green New Deal, but because the incumbent Democrat took the constituents for granted.

Anyway, the characters and performances here are very winning. There is passion but also levity. And ultimately, I do like a testament to the slow boring of hard boards, often at some personal sacrifice, and the subsequent positive changes building up like compound interest to really amount to something important in people's lives.

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I did start watching Penguin Highway but it didn't really work for me. Seemed a bit too horny. Girls are magic I guess.

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #151 on: January 24, 2022, 04:13:55 PM »
Car Wash - I cannot hear the words "Car Wash" without thinking of this (NSFW language)

Anyway, this was quite an enjoyable time. Although the DVD case spotlights Pryor and Carlin, but their roles are rather small and frankly not that great. But the rest of the cast is great, including a lot of familiar faces (Bill Duke, Garrett Morris, Franklin Ajaye, Antonio Fargas) and many unfamiliar. It's kind of an urban 70's version of American Graffiti, showcasing a day-in-the-life of all the various characters. Some of the subplots are humorous, some romantic, most with at least a dash of social commentary. No one (excepting Pryor and Carlin) seems there just for a joke, they all have relatable personalities. On top of that, there's a kickass soundtrack. Really fun "hang out" film (does that term apply here? I dunno) that I could see myself watching again. Rating: Very Good (81)

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #152 on: January 25, 2022, 07:23:15 AM »
Bondo - With your love of infrastructure and the rolling up of the sleeves to get practical things done in government, The Perfect Candidate has you written all over it. That the ending is the doctor driving on the road she helped get paved is a little payoff that doesn't feel little.

On Penguin Highway - lol...I mean, it's a boy's crush. I don't think it's too far off what that could look like.

MT - What is that little scene? Haha. I am not familiar with the car wash youknowwhat. This is another pick though that seems like a natural fit for its viewer. Definitely hangout stuff. And I think Pryor and Carlin have their roles to play in terms of the haves and have nots and the subtly racist, but it is super weird that they're on the poster.
A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #153 on: January 25, 2022, 09:05:26 AM »
MT - What is that little scene? Haha. I am not familiar with the car wash youknowwhat.

It's from Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #154 on: January 28, 2022, 09:41:58 PM »
The Spirit of the Beehive



"Okay, there are two things that I remember about my childhood. I just don't remember it being this orange." - While You Were Sleeping.

It's interesting how our childhood memories are imbued with faded, sepiad color like old photographs. As a child of the 70's I look back at that time as the beige and brown years. The clothes and furniture were those colors and the movies were too. I remember long road trips with miles of dirt and bare hills, with the occasional beige house. And the economy, well, that also was a sad, stale blah. This is a gross exaggeration of course, because if I focus backwards, I can see the emerald green of the sod we all helped lay at our little, new house in Walla Walla and the pink and red I tried to wear, but my mom kept reminding me they didn't go together. I also was lucky to have a blue bike. It was used, but it was my favorite color and I didn't have to share it. These thoughts take effort though and my mind would rather just wash it all in neutral and let it be.

I think the intriguing thing about The Spirit of the Beehive is that even though it is set in a time past, it's not muted memories it's dealing with, but childhood in the now; unfiltered moments of boredom, confusion, fear and imagination. I'm not getting a perspective of an adult's backward glance, but instead am looking directly into the haunting brown eyes of a child. It's unsettling and a bit heavy as it brings up child experiences in my own life. I find myself thankful that I've been there done that and don't have to return.

This 70's movie can't help but carry on the decade's color scheme. It fits so well, the emotional fatigue and isolation of 1940 Spain. Speaking of emotional fatigue and isolation, I wonder if the early 2020's will be remembered as the beige and brown years. It would be fitting.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2022, 04:41:08 PM by Sandy »

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #155 on: February 06, 2022, 12:04:52 AM »
Sin Nombre



Bless the beasts and the children,
For in this world they have no voice,
They have no choice.


Odd to have a Carpenter song playing in my head during such a starkly, brutal film. But, if the ear worm fits, play on. These kids don't stand a chance and I'm at a loss to express how debilitating that feels. It's generational reiteration, with no end in sight. Though, the glimmer here is the power of story. A film, a book, a conversation... Someone sees this narrative for what it is, then others' awareness grows and perhaps the dismantling of hijacked lives can begin.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2022, 12:08:30 AM by Sandy »

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #156 on: February 17, 2022, 11:03:57 PM »
The Spirit of the Beehive

"Okay, there are two things that I remember about my childhood. I just don't remember it being this orange." - While You Were Sleeping.

It's interesting how our childhood memories are imbued with faded, sepiad color like old photographs. As a child of the 70's I look back at that time as the beige and brown years. The clothes and furniture were those colors and the movies were too. I remember long road trips with miles of dirt and bare hills, with the occasional beige house. And the economy, well, that also was a sad, stale blah. This is a gross exaggeration of course, because if I focus backwards, I can see the emerald green of the sod we all helped lay at our little, new house in Walla Walla and the pink and red I tried to wear, but my mom kept reminding me they didn't go together. I also was lucky to have a blue bike. It was used, but it was my favorite color and I didn't have to share it. These thoughts take effort though and my mind would rather just wash it all in neutral and let it be.

I think the intriguing thing about The Spirit of the Beehive is that even though it is set in a time past, it's not muted memories it's dealing with, but childhood in the now; unfiltered moments of boredom, confusion, fear and imagination. I'm not getting a perspective of an adult's backward glance, but instead am looking directly into the haunting brown eyes of a child. It's unsettling and a bit heavy as it brings up child experiences in my own life. I find myself thankful that I've been there done that and don't have to return.

This 70's movie can't help but carry on the decade's color scheme. It fits so well, the emotional fatigue and isolation of 1940 Spain. Speaking of emotional fatigue and isolation, I wonder if the early 2020's will be remembered as the beige and brown years. It would be fitting.

I am the keeper of the family photos, so that sepia is a filter of the past that I know well. While I don't think this was Erice's intent - it's probably just how color worked then - that classic coloring, which I think often triggers nostalgia, can be seen as deep contrast to the reality of the time Erice, his crew, and all of his characters are living, that of the Franco regime.

I agree with what you have to say about the portrayal of childhood in the film. I watch and enjoy a lot of films starring kids, but this to me is about as authentic as it gets of capturing the nascent consciousness as it struggles assimilate all of its experiences into a coherent whole; into something resembling a perspective. Although my personal childhood was pretty ideal, I can still relate to the sorting of concepts and understandings that Ana goes through. It's not a time I would go back to, either, though. I'm always telling my students that growing up, finding a career path, and being able to take care of yourself financially, and overall being independent is amazing - just don't rush toooooo fast.

For me, the early 2020's have come and gone in a fog or haze. The cloudy days.

Sin Nombre

Bless the beasts and the children,
For in this world they have no voice,
They have no choice.


Odd to have a Carpenter song playing in my head during such a starkly, brutal film. But, if the ear worm fits, play on. These kids don't stand a chance and I'm at a loss to express how debilitating that feels. It's generational reiteration, with no end in sight. Though, the glimmer here is the power of story. A film, a book, a conversation... Someone sees this narrative for what it is, then others' awareness grows and perhaps the dismantling of hijacked lives can begin.

Everything to get Sayra across. It is brutal, but the calculus some people use to get to the U.S. (or one of several European countries) is also pretty brutal. To put options on the table that include possible death, you have to be desperate. I first saw this early on in my nine-year stay on the border, and it opened a line of inquiry for me that yielded interesting results. And I also got to see quite a bit just with my own two eyes. Not violence, but certainly desperation. The final shot will forever haunt me.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 11:07:36 PM by Eric/E.T. »
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: etdoesgood
« Reply #157 on: February 18, 2022, 08:44:42 PM »
I am the keeper of the family photos, so that sepia is a filter of the past that I know well. While I don't think this was Erice's intent - it's probably just how color worked then - that classic coloring, which I think often triggers nostalgia, can be seen as deep contrast to the reality of the time Erice, his crew, and all of his characters are living, that of the Franco regime.

I agree with what you have to say about the portrayal of childhood in the film. I watch and enjoy a lot of films starring kids, but this to me is about as authentic as it gets of capturing the nascent consciousness as it struggles assimilate all of its experiences into a coherent whole; into something resembling a perspective. Although my personal childhood was pretty ideal, I can still relate to the sorting of concepts and understandings that Ana goes through. It's not a time I would go back to, either, though. I'm always telling my students that growing up, finding a career path, and being able to take care of yourself financially, and overall being independent is amazing - just don't rush toooooo fast.

For me, the early 2020's have come and gone is a fog or haze. The cloudy days.

Yes, cloudy days seems fitting. Like an Emily Brontë poem

Lonely at her window sitting
While the evening steals away,
Fitful winds foreboding, flitting
Through a sky of cloudy grey.


I appreciate your words, especially "into something resembling a perspective." That's a nice turn of phrase. Trying to express the experience of observing life through Ana's eyes isn't easy, but you've captured it well.

Quote
Everything to get Sayra across. It is brutal, but the calculus some people use to get to the U.S. (or one of several European countries) is also pretty brutal. To put options on the table that include possible death, you have to be desperate. I first saw this early on in my nine-year stay on the border, and it opened a line of inquiry for me that yielded interesting results. And I also got to see quite a bit just with my own two eyes. Not violence, but certainly desperation. The final shot will forever haunt me.

I can't stop thinking about that final shot either. What is the matter with us? How have we not evolved as people more than this? I'm sickened that we haven't found a better way. :(