In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a topic that is not related to books. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!
Is this possible?! I actually posted In First Person post on time!
Well, happy September, people! Autumn is coming and that makes me really happy. 🙂 But, now, I’ll talk about something completely unrelated to that.
If you remember, in last month’s In First Person, I talked about films I like to watch when I just want to relax and have some fun. As much as I like the films on that list, those are not necessarily my favourites. But the films I really love are not always suitable for a cosy evening, as they can be quite disturbing. You’ll soon see why.
Before I start, I also want to stress that I’m not a big film lover. Everyone loves films, at least a little bit, but I’m not a big “movie junkie” and there are many classic films that I haven’t seen (yet). And the same is true for tv shows. I just don’t watch as many as other people seem to, and I get bored if there are too many seasons of a show. Reading one book takes a lot more time than watching one film, and since reading is my preferred free time activity, I just try to find time for it, which means something’s got to go. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate film as an art form. And I think these films truly are art:
Pan’s Labyrinth (original title: El laberinto del fauno)
IMDB description: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Director & Writer: Guillermo del Toro
There are many layers to this film. Pan’s Labyrinth is a blend of dark fantasy, drama, and historical genre. It’s magical and creepy, but also very realistic and sincere. It’s very powerful and it disturbs me every time I watch it. And it looks beautiful!
IMDB description: A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Another beautiful but disturbing film on the list. I’ve heard complaints about it not representing the lives of ballet dancers realistically, but I don’t think that was the point of the film. It is about ballet, of course, but more than that it is about a person who struggles with her own ambitions, jealousy, and expectations. It’s more psychological than anything else, and I think it was done great.
IMDB description: A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn’t choose, anything is possible.
Director & Writer: Jaco Van Dormael
This film is about much more than you might guess form the description. It’s surreal at times, but everything makes sense in the end, which is not always the case with similar films. It’s a bit hard to explain without ruining it, so I won’t say much more.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignnorance)
IMDB description: A washed-up actor, who once played a famous superhero, attempts to revive his career by writing and starring in a Broadway play.
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (he’s also one of the writers)
Birdman is a thought-provoking film which deals with the schism between Broadway and Hollywood, without taking sides, or promoting just one view. Every character is well-developed and interesting, with many flaws, but also some virtues. It is about art, and what art really is, but at the same time it portrays the lives of actors and people around them in a realistic way. The acting is great, and the choice of Michael Keaton for the main role was perfect and even metatextual in a certain way. (What’s even more interesting is that he recently played another “birdman” – Vulture – in Spider-man: Homecoming :P)
I’ll end the list here, even though there are more great films out there, because there four really stan out to me. Apparently, I love films which are strange, but not completely, if you even understand what I’m trying to say. XD
What kind of films do you like? What are your favourites? And do you have any recommendations for me? 🙂