10 on the 10th – March 2017

The only real disappointment amongst the last 10 movies I’ve watched was Searchers (1986), an Inuit take on John Ford’s The Searchers (1956). While having a fascinating sound design and an impressive arctic re-imagining of Monument Valley, it’s little more than home invasion genre exercise and is beneath Kunuk’s usual standard. Best in Show is shared between The Gate, a wonderful kids’ horror flick with stellar special effects, and Millennium Actress, an impressive survey of Japanese national and cinema histories told through a personal meta-narrative. The fact that there will be no more films by Satoshi Kon is tragic.

  1. The Gate (Tibor Takács, 1987)
  2. Sólo con tu pareja (Alfonso Cuarón, 1991)
  3. Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon, 2001)
  4. Santo vs. las lobas (Rubén Galindo and Jaime Jiménez Pons, 1972)
  5. Dead End Drive-In (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1986)
  6. Babo 73 (Robert Downey Sr., 1964)
  7. Searchers (Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq, 2016)
  8. Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017)
  9. Tora-san’s Lovesick (Yoji Yamada, 1974)
  10. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016)

I saw I Am Not Your Negro and Get Out about 12 hours apart, making them into something of a double bill and I very much recommend that pairing. James Baldwin’s commentaries in I Am Not Your Negro movingly describe the challenge of living in an environment that is openly resistant to your presence, yet dubiously blind to that opposition. Taking Baldwin’s frustration and lament at being an alien within your own country and transposing that into the experience of Get Out is particularly informative, as the micro-aggression paranoia of this post-racial Twilight Zone episode encapsulates then allegorizes Baldwin’s view of American racial hegemony. Get Out isn’t a perfect film. It’s premise is easily foreseeable, making it slow to progress toward its reveal, then brief in its resolution, but its concept and execution display a confidence and an intelligence that makes Jordan Peele a rising new voice in feature filmmaking.

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