It’s the one year anniversary of the Films Uncorked Podcast, so this episode is going to be Alessandro, Tonia, and Andrew talking about all that we’ve accomplished in the past year and the fun we’ve had!
My film choice will be a little different this week as I’d like to highlight a short film, Vicky, by Indian filmmaker Manu Antony. Many films we have covered on the podcast have dealt with such concepts as captivity and the value of freedom, but Vicky does so in a unique way, in that the film takes place entirely through the point of view of a golden retriever. However, unlike other animal films, Vicky features no human dubbing or narration, as well as no CG. The doggo pulls off a compelling performance all on their own, which is just one of the ways this movie is technically magnificent. However, I don’t know if the theme of the short was executed as well as it could have been, although it was a credit to this movie that all the questions that were raised were because of the subtleties of the character played by a non-human actor.
The short is available on youtube so go ahead and watch the dang thing yourself and tell me how much of a schmuck I am for overanalyzing the dog movie.
Dallas Buyers Club is my movie pick of the week. It is a flawed and yet perfect example of the Hollywood biopic due to it being so flawed.
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both play their roles wonderfully, and were recognized as such by the Academy, they are let down by a meat-fisted biopic story that loses its characters in the politics of its subject.
As such, the film loses its momentum by the end and scrambles to tie together what loose ends are left. Many biopics suffer the same fate, with so much effort made to build a believable portrait of the figure in question and not enough to applying their life story to a resonant and coherent story structure. But fuck it, go watch it, it’s fine.
My second installment of the Andrew Wilcox film recommendation cycle has come. And here, without as much of the perniciously prevalent preamble as before, but thrice the alliteration, is my recommendation.
Take Shelter is a 2011 psychological drama/thriller starring that most manic of men, Michael Shannon. A family man begins having deeply unsettling prophetic nightmares about a world ending storm and finds himself split between trusting these visions and trying to protect his family at any cost or to seek help for what he dreads is a mental illness that runs in his family. Beyond being a tightly wound and beautifully crafted thriller, this movie had a very strong impact on me, especially as the movie goes to great lengths to put you inside the perspective of Michael Shannon’s character Curtis, to show how he feels instead of just telling it. As a sufferer of mental illness myself, I found Curtis’ struggle to maintain a facade of normality as he loses the ability to trust in himself and the frightening experience of having to rely on other people more than your own senses true to life.
So if you want to see a masterful set of performances from Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, as well as to experience both the alienation from the self and from one’s community told beautifully through cinematography and editing, in addition to enjoying a tense night at the movies; I heartily recommend Take Shelter.