There has been a parade of mind-numbingly similar dystopian films out of Hollywood. Here’s one from Russia that would give them a run for their money. Abigail takes the typical dystopian scenario and infuses it with fantasy and a bit of steampunk. Not sure why they filmed this in English only to dub using different English, but impressive film nonetheless. Especially with a budget a tiny fraction of the typical, over-priced, dull fest we’re used to.
Posts Tagged With: movies
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Pink Houses, Senators and Abuse of Power
Two important indie films that the politicians don’t want you to see are currently in theaters.
The first is Little Pink House, a true story of the abuse of eminent domain by the government. Also check out John Stossel’s report on this legalized larceny.
The second is Chappaquiddick, on the events surrounding the death Mary Jo Kopechne in a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy.
Someday history will look at that era as when abuse of power was institutionalized at an unimaginable level. There were a whole series of dark events like this in the 1960s. Only a few days ago, we read again how the family of Martin Luther King, Jr. believes James Earl Ray was framed for MLK’s assassination. Considering that, it’s disingenuous to continue to call this a conspiracy theory.
Some may ask, “Why does it matter all these years later?”
It matters because, then and now, people like to look the other way even when they know the official stories don’t square. They want to believe so hard that their leaders are so much better than them, that they allow themselves to be distracted and convinced what is wrong is right.
We let the government become what it is. And they have done far worse than the daily drama they put on for us — the fake angst and hand wringing against each other, only to have nothing change. They divide us with the frivolous so we never truly bother to look behind the curtain.
And as long as we are afraid to rip that curtain down, nothing will change and many will escape justice.
Lost City of Z
David Grann‘s book The Lost City of Z reintroduced readers to the true story of Percy Fawcett‘s epic search for the legendary Lost City of Z in the Amazon. Now, it is being told on the big screen this spring and may be a welcome respite to the same old, action films. Check out the trailer here:
Indie Film Fest 3
Last time I posted about films, I profiled some end of the world pics. Before that, a grab bag of everything from sci-fi to true stories.
This time I want to point you to Midnight Special, a story about a very special kid about to learn his destiny. This is from the director from the equally subtle Take Shelter, a new take on the end of the world. Okay, 10 Cloverfield Lane is really not indie, but this sorta sequel to Cloverfield is small-scale and smart enough to deserve the title.
And then this:
Yes, I know, an X-Men Universe film is not low-budget nor indie, but after being burned-out on superhero films, this looks like one to change my mind.
Sometimes, less is more.
Traveling the River of Time
We are often implored to remember the lessons of history, and on a more frequent basis, ignore that suggestion. Yet fiction has long been fascinated with time travel. Particularly science-fiction, but it seems we have this unconscious desire to return to better times, sight-see or change what came before.
The time travel story isn’t always an easy one in a world where science is so dominant. There are those armchair physicists who pride themselves in red flagging every potential or actual flaw in a story that moves against the river of time. For those of us who rather enjoy or be immersed in a good story, we look for the tale to be largely plausible. Though if writers cannot be creative time to time, who needs fiction?
Movies have some of the best examples of jumping through history. Frequency had a father and son, years apart, talking to each other via solar phenomenon. Deja Vu had the FBI remote view into the recent past and sending an agent into time to solve a crime. In hard sci-fi, some of the most successful adventures in the Star Trek world involved warping through time. Witness the films The Voyage Home, First Contact and Star Trek. Or whole series such as the Back to the Future or Terminator predicated on opening rifts in time and avoiding (or creating) paradoxes. In a few weeks, X-Men Days of Future Past will add to the long list, and become the most expensive and, perhaps, most successful jump through the veil.
I never thought to write any time travel stories, as much as I have enjoyed those of others. Especially not weaving it into a fantasy epic, but then it just happened. More on this to come.
In the meantime, with time being part of the universe’s structure as it is, what if someone could transcend that dimension? Will this remain fiction?
Or has it already happened?
A Mercifully Short 2013 ‘Best of’ List
I’m tired of all the Best of 2013 lists, but here is one more. Maybe it was just me, but there seemed to be yet another overload of films released this year. I was thoroughly underwhelmed by most of them. Sure, a lot of okay films for a few hours of amusement, but nothing I’ll watch again. So my list of favorites is rather short:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Star Trek Into Darkness
Man of Steel
I’m not going to go into drawn out reviews of these. Maybe I’ll do a Hobbit review, which I had intended to write. It would be positive look at the film, so given its success, it probably doesn’t need my comments anyway.
Why no “artsy” films? Because most of them try too hard and are not really that good. If people have to spend countless hours and words convincing you it’s great, chances are it isn’t. Reminds me how Star Wars (not artsy in the traditional artsy sense, but it is art) fans have spent three decades telling everyone how The Empire Strikes Back is the best of those films. Well, maybe it isn’t the best if you have to try that hard. Doesn’t mean it’s bad either.
In any case, how many films (or the books they come from) will you remember a couple months later? People have been reading The Hobbit since 1937. So maybe there is something a little deeper in all that orc-killing? If you really want something a little different than big budget spectacle, don’t miss my Indie Film Fest.