A short trip to the Melbourne International Film Festival saw this month have a healthy 22 films viewed, 13 of those at the cinema. While MIFF contained my two favourite viewings of the month, it also saw me walk out of a film for only the second time in my life, and saw me fall asleep in two other films. Oh dear. My film and TV viewing round-up for August 2015 is after the jump.
Screenings: refers to anything I have seen at the cinema/on the big screen.
New at home: encompasses new-to-me, first-time viewings on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD/Screeners
Rewatches: are [obviously] things I’ve seen before , which I’m viewing again at home
Best viewing: my favourite viewing in each of the categories listed above
Best viewing: A Perfect Day
Belluscone: A Sicilian Story
7 Chinese Brothers
The Ground We Won
The Thoughts That Once We Had
A Walk in the Woods
New at Home
Best viewing: The Thread
A Cat in Paris
Best viewing: Tom at the Farm
In the Loop
A Perfect Day was the best new-to-me film of August. It was a great blend of humour, drama, and palpable tension. The premise is a group of aid workers need to find a rope so that they can remove a dead body from a well, and clean the water supply for the locals. This small task has so many obstacles, and we spend just over a day with Del Toro and his crew as they embark on this seemingly simple mission. Tim Robbins was absolutely hilarious as the hardened aid worker; while smooth-talking Benicio Del Toro effortlessly balanced comedy and moments of pure sadness.
I also thoroughly enjoyed New Zealand documentary, The Ground We Won. A beautiful film shot in black and white which focuses on a rural rugby team and the farmers that play on it. It was such a refreshing, honest portrait of a group of men that I thought I could pigeon-hole, but actually knew hardly anything about. When a film causes you to think differently about something you thought you understood, it’s a winner.
The film I walked out of at MIFF was the absolutely hack-job mess, Belluscone: A Sicilian Story. The MIFF guide had me believe it was a documentary about politician Belluscone and the filmmaker who disappeared while making a documentary about him. It turned out it was a little about that, but mostly about all these seemingly unrelated people and things, including a local Sicilian music promoter and the popular local pop acts.
Macbeth was intense and I am still processing. I don’t know that I have the words and knowledge to adequately review Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of the famous Shakespeare play, but I will think on it.
Coming up in September? I suspect it will be a quieter month. I am very much looking forward to seeing Sicario and also Joel Edgerton’s The Gift, which I indeed to catch up on this week.
2015 viewing totals
New at Home: 73
Bloodline – Season 1
BoJack Horseman – Season 1, episodes 1-3
Freaks and Geeks – episodes 1-2
Parenthood – Season 2- Season 4, episode 6
I don’t know that I love Parenthood as a whole, but there are certain characters I am very fond of, especially Crosby. I expect I’ll power through and finish that during September. Andrew and I have started Freaks and Geeks and BoJack Horseman, both of which I am very much enjoying. The opening credits for Bojack are really fun.
This month, only one show really mattered, and that was Bloodline. Lots of people have sad that this is a slow burner, that they like but don’t love. Well I loved this show from episode one, and apart from one week episode mid-season, I thought it was captivating and just wonderful. There were just so many layers going on, particularly with Ben Mendelsohn’s character, who was far more complex that he seemed. I don’t know that it needs a season 2, but it was a hell of a single season of television.