*Week 5 – Movie Recommendations from #ADAF

Perfect Sense (David Mackenzie, 2011)
Perfect Sense (David Mackenzie, 2011)

A chef and a scientist fall in love as an epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions.

Don’t expect an apocalyptic romance after reading the logline above. It’s more than that! When I first watched this movie, I didn’t know anything about it. I came home from work, chose a DVD, sat on my couch, and started to eat my sandwich as “Perfect Sense” started: “There is darkness. There is light. There are men and women. There’s food. There are restaurants. Disease. There is work. Traffic. The days as we knew them. The world as we imagine the world.” The impressive intro slowly took me into the film. After that, it was a different experience all together! It is not a film you would feel comfortable watching, but different for sure. You won’t be able stop thinking about the “What if…” question in your head. Eva Green and Ewan McGregor share the screen and their performances are intense! And the cinematography, magnificent! After the film, I sat on my couch feeling as if all my senses have been awakened.

Recommended by Merve Tekin @anotherdayanotherfilm

Frank (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)
Frank (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)

An aspiring musician (Domhnall Gleeson) joins an experimental rock band by happenstance and soon finds out he’s gotten more than he bargained for when he meets Frank (Michael Fassbender), the band’s eccentric lead singer who mysteriously wears an oversized, paper-mache mask.

A year before the Oscar nominated “Room” in 2015, Lenny Abrahamson directed “Frank” and made very little waves. Which is unfortunate, because “Frank” is a solid drama dealing with the brittle nature of friendships. But there are also many moments of laughter scattered throughout. The well balanced dramatic and comedic tones are proficiently crafted through Abrahamson’s direction, but may have been carefully considered as early as the screenwriting stage. At the very least, one can say that main characters are very well developed. Most remarkably: the title character, Frank. Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of an emotionally/clinically damaged artist is definitely something to behold. And who needs facial expressions to act? Apparently not Fassbender. Because the Frank wears a mask, Fassbender can only convey emotions only through his voice and bodily gestures. Watch the movie and you’ll see that he’s got enough acting chops to pull it off. Besides the superbly written story and great acting, another reason why I’m recommending this movie is the music. Experimental rock music may not be your cup of tea, but tie it with the movie’s characters and plot elements and suddenly it becomes everything. To put it differently, if you like Joy Division, you’ll probably like “Frank” and also Frank himself.

Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon @anotherdayanotherfilm

In a Better World (Susanne Bier, 2010)
In a Better World (Susanne Bier, 2010)

The lives of two Danish families cross each other and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty, and sorrow lie in wait.

I read articles and comments about this film. The movie is about revenge which is also in the movie’s original title “Hævnen,” which translate to “the revenge.” I think the title distorts people’s perspective. Revenge drives the story, but there is a bigger underlying theme concerning men’s role in society. We’ve see  many movies about the woman’s role in society, but the men, likewise, have always been powerful. With this film, my perspective on men changed! I don’t want to spoil it but this Oscar winning film more than worthy to be seen. Susanne Bier made a lot of good movies prior to this one, but this film is her greatest ever!

Recommended by Merve Tekin @anotherdayanotherfilm

 

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

Thierry Guetta, an LA-based French shopkeeper turned amateur documentary filmmaker attempts to locate and befriend Banksy, the famous graffiti artist who guards his anonymity to avoid prosecution.

Here’s a short list of modern illustrators whose talents I wish I had: H.R. Giger, Ralph Steadman, Ben Templesmith. Then there’s Banksy, in a league of his own. He’s not an illustrator per se, but more accurately categorized as a street/graffiti artist. I admire his work not just because I like the visuals, but also because behind every piece is some kind of social or political commentary. If you’ve never heard of him, I urge you to search “Banksy” on Instagram or google or wherever else. He’s a unique figure in the arts and has a very unique art style. When I first heard about “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” a documentary on street art — and BY Banksy — I was immediately sold. The documentary, narrated by Rhys Ifans, starts off simple enough: a man named Thierry Guetta sets out to meet Banksy and dives in head-first into the world of graffiti art. But then it gets a little weird by the time Banksy himself decides to turn the tables and the documentary starts to focus on Thierry’s “transformation” of sorts. Hard to describe it… is it a straight-up documentary? Nope, there’s something else at play. Is it a mockumentary like “This is Spinal Tap”? Maybe, but not really. So could it be some kind of “scripted” documentary that blends truth with fiction? Haha, could be. Whatever it is, it’s great fun. And it’s enlightening for both diehard Banksy fans and for those who aren’t even aware of his existence. Or does he even… exist? Yes he does. Maybe. Maybe?

Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon @anotherdayanotherfilm

In the Mood for Love (Kar-Wai Wong, 2000)
In the Mood for Love (Kar-Wai Wong, 2000)

“‪In the Mood for Love‬” is one of my favorite films. Many people consider it to be Kar-Wai Wong’s best film and the best romantic film made in the 21st century. “‘‪In the Mood for Love‬’ is probably the most breathtakingly gorgeous film of the year, dizzy with a nose-against-the-glass romantic spirit that has been missing from the cinema forever,” says Elvis Mitchell in NY Times Magazine. It’s about two neighbors whose spouses are having an affair and their loneliness become their bond to each other. The story is simple, don’t expect a big plot. The director tells the story in a very unique and elegant way. The gorgeous poetic love story is captured by Christopher Doyle, an award-winning cinematographer. He creates a beautiful environment that will have you captivated throughout the film. As a filmmaker, it is almost impossible to emulate this beauty. This is a more than a film, it is an art piece!

Recommended by Merve Tekin @anotherdayanotherfilm

 

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)
Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)

Having known each other since childhood during their years at an idyllic English boarding school, three close friends (Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, and Carey Mulligan), grow into their young adulthood and prepare for the harsh reality that awaits them.

Before making his directorial debut with last year’s (2015) widely praised “Ex Machina,” Alex Garland was busy writing science fiction screenplays for Hollywood. You may not be aware that he wrote the script for “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine” (both directed by Danny Boyle). In addition, Garland also penned the underrated “Dredd,” a movie I recommended some weeks ago on ADAF. So the segue is obvious: Alex Garland is the screenwriter behind “Never Let Me Go,” an adaptation of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel by the same name. But what may not be so obvious is that “Never Let Me Go” is, in fact, a work of science fiction (aka, Garland’s area of expertise). If you decide to watch this movie and are about halfway through, you might conclude that I’m just yanking your chain about the genre (but hey, I was fooled too). But keep watching and it’ll soon become apparent. “Never Let Me Go” is a perspective-changing sci-fi disguised as an emotionally charged drama. Whichever genre you think it belongs to, it’s a movie that’ll be hard to let go.

Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon @anotherdayanotherfilm

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Lasse Hallström, 2014)
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Lasse Hallström, 2014)

‪”The Hundred-Foot Journey‬,” based on a popular novel by Richard C. Morais, is about food, culture, and family. Maybe this isn’t your typical Thanksgiving movie, but in so many ways it highlights similar values that we celebrate at our Thanksgiving tables. Hassan and his family flee Mumbai in the wake of political violence described as following from “some election or other” and they welcomed by French xenophobia.  At the end, the “‪The Hundred-Foot Journey‬”  becomes a story in which cultural opposites not only learn to coexist, but also harmonize. If you want to spend this evening watching a film with your family, this is great choice.

Recommended by Merve Tekin @anotherdayanotherfilm

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