*Week 10 – Movie Recommendations from #ADAF

Deadly Code (Gabriele Salvatores, 2013)

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“Deadly Code,” aka “Siberian Education,” is a memoir about the criminal socialisation of young people growing up in a community of banished criminals, in a forgotten corner of the former Soviet Union. The film is mainly a duet between the young hero and his guru-grandfather, played by John Malkovich. Philosopher/storyteller Malkovich steals the show. Everything is told in a series of flashbacks from the future. This film isn’t about violence and mayhem, it’s more about relationships and honoring the code… a criminal code to be exact. In short, the code is an unwritten law that brings law to the lawless. This film is directed by Gabriele Salvatores, who won an academy award for his 1992 film “Mediterraneo.”

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

The Triplets of Belleville (Sylvain Chomet, 2003)

When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her trusty dog team up to rescue him with the help of the Belleville Triplets, a now elderly song-and-dance troupe from the early days of vaudeville.

Japan is anime. Pixar is CGI. Disney is, well, Disney. Then there’s French director Sylvain Chomet’s brand of animation, in a category in and of itself. I first saw “Triplets of Belleville” in the mid-2000s for a lower division film class (to teach us the concept of mise-en-scène, if I remember correctly). I didn’t know how to describe what I was seeing on the screen then. And now, more than a decade later, it’s still difficult. But if I had to describe “Triplets of Belleville,” I would have to say that it’s (deep breath) a nostalgic, whimsical, hallucinatory, gluttonous, comically jarring, sensory-loaded animated gem that manages to work out a dizzying hodgepodge of vaudeville entertainers, Tour de France cyclists, monolith-shaped gangsters, the homogenized cityscapes of New York and Paris, and frog popsicles. Yes, frog popsicles. And as if to save your head from exploding from processing all that stiumuli, the movie is largely devoid of dialogue, much like Chomet’s other animated feature, “The Illusionist” (which is also marvelous). The mainstream American audience seems to be preoccupied with “Toy Story,” “Attack on Titan,” and “Star Wars Rebels” when it comes to animated entertainment. Such are the champions of the modern animation industry. Meanwhile, in a niche corner of stardom, “The Triplets of Belleville” are singing and dancing the days away in their own peculiar way, as merry as they’ve always been, with or without the attention they’ve always deserved.

See also: the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)

Xavier Dolan, a French Canadian director and writer made his debut film at age 20 with “I Killed My Mother,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, he has won many awards. “I Killed My Mother” was a autobiographical story which was really impressive. Then in 2004, he made the movie “Mommy” which is also about the mother-son relationship. And I love it! The widowed mother Diane takes her son, who has ADHD with violent tendencies, from an institution and brings him home. She struggles to take care of him under financial distress. However, whatever happens, they love to be together. Kyla, the neighbour enters their life and everything seems good for while… then… Okay, I’ll shut my mouth now. I don’t want to spoil the story! What impresses me most about Xavier’s work are the liberties that he takes. He doesn’t worry about breaking the rules and he dives into new things! Check out Xavier’s works, but see this movie first.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)

A destitute teenager (Sasha Lane) joins a traveling sales crew of young misfits (two played by Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough) and gets caught up in their storm of hard partying and law bending as they criss-cross the American Midwest.

Sex, drugs, and bass-fueled rap. Newcomer actress Sasha Lane plays a character that represents a member of the millennial generation struggling to keep her head above the water. Her road trip across the American Midwest and her willingness to work despite the distractions become a central cross-section of the country teetering on the poverty line. The shaky hand-held cam cinematography, shallow depth of field, and the abundance of close-up b-roll footage act as the top layer of realism to the loose plot structure that plays like a string of artsy music videos. This movie just screams indie filmmaking and you’ll hear it even from a great distance. “American Honey” explores a sun-drenched America and its modern societal hang-ups, an ode to today’s wayward youth, who chase the American Dream even without realizing it.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, 2010)

An American truck driver wakes up in a coffin, buried underground. He doesn’t have any information about what happened to him, who put him there, and where he is. He only has his cell phone and 90 minutes to get out because of the limited oxygen inside. 

There are dozens of movies about the Iraq war and I’m not a fan of most of them. But “Buried” builds a feeling inside me and I respect any movie that can do that. I felt the same as the main character during the movie. I felt stuck. I felt the texture of the things around him, I smelled the earth, and I even felt the heat and stress he went through. He’s stuck in a coffin and so does the audience. And here’s the shocker: the entire movie takes place inside the coffin! Having one location and one character might make the movie sound boring. But it’s really well done! Also, my comment as a filmmaker would be: “it’s pure genius.” I wish I could dream up such a story that I can shoot in one location. I don’t think the filmmaker needed much except the idea and the actor’s talent. There is also another film very similar to this. “Locke” starring Tom Hardy takes place in a car during the entire hour and a half. If you have claustrophobia, don’t watch “Buried.” And maybe not even “Locke.” Go with “Gravity” instead. There’s a lot of space in space.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

A paranoid and secretive surveillance technology expert (Gene Hackman) has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will soon be murdered.

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You may have noticed that I seldomly recommend movies released during the previous century. I’m not trying to purposely shun old movies, it’s just that I tend to form opinions more quickly on recent ones. But to be honest, it’s actually now rare for me to watch a title that was made before 1990. So yeah, maybe I AM shunning older films. But I feel bad about it, okay? So here’s one. Even though “The Conversation” was popular during its release and was helmed by a world-famous director, I’m willing to bet that, out of all the millennials on Instagram, less than half of them have seen this classic. “The Conversation” is a quiet thriller with a cloud of mystery following the main character in every step of the way. He spies on people as a profession, but it slowly turns the table on him. The story is a thought-provoking game of paranoia and murder that, interestingly enough, is accompanied by the mellow yet mesmerizing, meandering yet gorgeous piano score by David Shire. The ending of “The Conversation” — one of my favorite movie endings of all time — is so haunting and puzzling, that even the camerawork of the very last shot of the movie serves as a clue to a story that’s already ripe with intrigue.

@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Hysteria (Tanya Wexler, 2011)

We’ve seen movies about the invention of the plane, the computer, electricity, light, the car, and even space ships. But how about… the vibrator? Who invented it and how?  Anyone curious? Well, it was Mortimer Granville, someone you’ve probably never heard of. But that’s okay. “Hysteria” is about him and his “little” invention. I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a laugh and an easy evening.

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@anotherdayanohterfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

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