Do you want to know what surprised me the most about Sad Vacation: The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy? What surprised me was how very young Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen were at the height of their infamy and subsequent deaths. Sid was 21 when he died, and Nancy just 20. They were just babies.
By Tyler Hodg
It’s been an inarguably great year to be a Netflix subscriber; the catalogue of lush original content has grown to its highest peak to date and while the service still provides a large amount of stinkers–we shall never talk about Fuller House, Marco Polo, or any of those new Adam Sandler films again—its substantial programs far outweigh its competitors. Below is a list of some standout content that Netflix has delivered over the past year. (more…)
2016 sucked!! Honestly I think it was a shit year for everyone, especially on a global/political level. And still going… yay! It was very successful at driving me further into my fear of humans.
That being said, humans keep creating good art. Somewhere, right now, a masterpiece is being made.
Being more than slightly agoraphobic I can’t recommend any particular live/concert experiences, but I would recommend not being agoraphobic if you can help it. I’m starting to consider YouTube vloggers as legit friends.
Divines: A French-Qatari project from director Uda Benyamina. I don’t remember the last time I had an art-induced cry quite like that. Super solid. The acting was maybe the freshest and realest I’ve ever seen. It’s that good.
Moonlight: Directed by Barry Jenkins. Tense, heavy, sincere, deserving of all its praise. Elegantly crafted, with awesome details in the cinematography as well as editing. It’s hard to watch films where the characters age and look like new people sometimes, but it’s worth it for the perfect meeting of content and style.
Under the Sun: Russian made, Directed by Vitaliy Mansky. This faux documentary (?) filmed in North Korea is technically from 2015, but I’m including it because it only reached US theaters in July of 2016 (I don’t know about everywhere else). This film will blow your brain open and give you some terrifying perspective about real-life social/political shit. You will understand the question mark once you are immersed in the film.
13th: A documentary by the scholar Ava DuVernay. Good reminders for those lucky enough to be in the know; good first exposure for those who accidentally ingested a full dose of US propaganda.
Requiem for the American Dream: Noam Chomsky laying it all out. (I think this is also from 2015 but I don’t care.) I had to watch it a couple of times to catch everything.
I stay on Rihanna’s Anti. So much fire. I always wash dishes to it. I usually listen up to “Yeah I Said It” and then start it over, if the kitchen’s not clean yet.
Anderson Paak’s Malibu definitely felt like a musical revival, rebirth, and new birth, feeling fresh and familiar in all the good ways.
Kaytranada’s .0001 mixtape was super dope and I strongly prefer it over his more official album release of the year, 99.9%. It’s great for solo dance parties.
Though it was made in 2006, New Orleans Music In Exile, is finally getting a Blu-ray release. The film, made by famed music documentarian Robert Mugge (Last Of The Mississippi Jukes, Gospel According To Al Green, The Kingdom Of Zydeco, among a great many), was shot in the rather immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: two months later. Mugge and his crew had open access to a who’s who of New Orleans musicians and luminaries as they try to pick of the pieces of their lives and careers.
The lure of a colourful mask, high-flying and fast-paced energy, and over-the-top characters can’t be denied, even among non-fans of pro wrestling. Lucha libre, Mexico’s own brand of pro wrestling, is an intrinsic part of Mexican culture, and Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz’s documentary Lucha Mexico puts this phenomenon on full display, warts and all.
By Tyler Hodg
The chilling story of “philanthropist” John du Pont and his shocking murder of Dave Shultz is eerily depicted in the Netflix original documentary, Team Foxcatcher. The story was previously fictionalized in the five-time Academy Award-nominated film simply titled Foxcatcher. (more…)
Doglegs co-founder, and star of the film, Shintaro Yano (ring name “Sambo” Shintaro) strikes a fighting pose. © Alfie Goodrich
Japanese wrestling or “puroresu” is a tradition that goes back to the 1950s, and is most closely associated with a more realistic, hard-hitting “strong style” than we normally see in Western pro wrestling, which is far more choreographed. Strikes usually land for real, though the intention is still primarily to put on a show, not actually hurt one’s opponent. The style is tough on the performers, and those that thrive in the competitive landscape of “puro” are considered some of the best and most resilient wrestlers in the business. Still, the style is often hard to watch, given what we know now about concussions and other injuries that can be commonplace in puro.
You can imagine, then, how hard it is to watch a puro match, not between able-bodied athletes in peak physical condition, but with disabled wrestlers. Heath Cozens’ Doglegs, a documentary about an eponymous group of mostly disabled Japanese wrestlers, is certainly difficult to sit through, but is ultimately worthwhile for its ability to wring triumph from tragedy.
By Tyler Hodg
Some say life is stranger than fiction; The Fear of 13, a documentary by British filmmaker David Sington, is a whirlwind collection of unbelievable anecdotes told by Death Row prisoner Nick Yarris, which seem too crazy not to be true. Now available on streaming giant Netflix, the film publicizes humane perspectives of criminals, and those often unfairly tossed aside by society.
Since childhood, I’ve wanted to make movies. Last night I got to watch a documentary about a group of kids who were determined to make a shot for shot remake of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Raiders! The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made tells the story of this incredible attempt and the resulting admirable success.