We're subscribing to Netflix (again), so I thought I'd provide a quick look at what we've gotten so far (with the occasional capsule review thrown in here and there):
I was stunned by this drop dead gorgeous film about migratory birds. (If a bit disillusioned by the "Making Of" featurette.)
2001: A Space Odyssey
I like Stanley Kubrick. I like him because he had respect for his audience; he let them (and seemed to they could) think; he let them figure things out for themselves. He seemed to believed that the average moviegoer has an attention span longer than five minutes.
He was wrong of course, but that doesn't detract from his brilliance as a poet. Yes the film is demanding and (at times) confounding, but when was the last time Truth was served up on a silver platter?
Jeffrey Overstreet's favorite film of 2004 (though a actually from 2003) has "parable" written all over it; with such elements as father-son relationships, hidden money, a strange journey and the like. But it's something of a head-scratcher; if the goal of Art is to pose questions and explore (as opposed to making a statement or preaching) then this film's a triumph, if not, then this is merely beautiful film with strong acting all round.
I, of course, fall on the side of Art As Meditation; so I heartily recommend this film for group viewing and discussion. I think it would well worth your time.
The Year of Living Dangerously
A Man Escaped
The Story of the Weeping Camel
A Hard Day's Night
Four year old Victoire Thivisol gave a breathtaking performance as Ponette - a girl who has lost her mother to a car accident. And we, the audience are left to watch quietly as little Ponette grapples with this loss, as she brings her questions to her family, her friends and, in the end, God himself.
I don't quite know how to put into words how this film effected me; and maybe that's alright. I can say that this film broke my heart, and without the insulting manipulation that the filmmakers could easily could have used.
Oh dear, I'm doing a bad job at this: can I just link to Jeffrey Overstreet's review? Or would that be cheating?
Diary of a Country Priest