Tuesday, July 12, 2005

this week's netflix

In the Realms of the Unreal: This remarkable documentary tells the story of Henry Darger, a reclusive janitor who created the tale of the Vivian Girls, a troupe of prepubescent fighters who wage war with the world Darger avoided. He wrote what might be the longest novel ever and painted scenes from the novel by the yard, work that now can be found in museums and galleries around the world. The film uses Darger's autobiography and the story of the Vivian Girls, accompanied by subtle animation of the illustrated portions of the tale, to reveal the nuances of Darger's life. I am sure there are many viewers who would find this film terribly depressing, but I saw it as a testament to the imagination. If this world isn't working out for you, you can always create another world to suit you better.

Deadwood, Season 1, Final 2 Episodes: Dear HBO: Please, please release the second season. I'll be good, I promise. I'll clean my room and I'll do my homework and I'll be kind to animals. Please. Please. Must. have. more.

Ponette: In France, the cutest little girl in the world loses her mother in a car accident. As she grieves, she struggles with the idea of a God that would do such a thing. The world of children is realistically evoked, as when a young Jewish campmate makes Ponette go through a series of trials so that she, too, can be chosen by God.

The Wire, Season 1, Episodes 1-3: This HBO series was repeatedly suggested to me as methadone for my Deadwood jones, and I have to say that I'm not totally feelin' it, but I'll go back for more. I think it may require more immersion in the storyline, plus I was left at the end of episode 3 with the "Daniels is dirty" hook.

The United States of Leland: Let's pause for a moment and consider this cast: Don Cheadle, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Spacey, Lena Olin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Chris Klein, Michelle Williams, Ann Magnuson, Sherilyn Fenn, and Kerry Washington. When you see a cast like that and can't recall the film ever being released, you know something went horribly wrong. Leland (Gosling) is a "detached" teenager whose empathy for the world's ills drives him to murder and a juvenile detention center, where he meets up with Cheadle as a flawed teacher. The film is really not all that bad, and Ryan Gosling and Don Cheadle are actually quite good. I'm beginning to tire of Jena Malone's penchant for playing the same damn character in every indie film she can get her hands on, and in the end, Chris Klein's character does something that cannot be rationalized as feasible anyway you look at it.

1 comment:

Jim H said...

Dear HBO - please release a soundtrack to the second season of Deadwood as well.