This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Few Good Movies

My week off had me catching up on a few movies that are on my netflix queue. I was lucky that all were really good.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary created by the notorious(?) and mysterious street graffiti artist Bansky. Fortunately for me, I missed who the director of the movie was during the opening credits and was able to follow the movie with a more open mind. Yes, I know, the title is really "Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Film by Bansky"...I can't explain how I missed it entirely. Laugh at me as you must but I came to the same conclusion that Bansky came up with at the end...

The movie starts off with film footage from an odd-but-likable guy, Thierry Guett. Thierry is a successful vintage clothing owner in LA. He gets a camera one day and he becomes obsessed with filming everything. Thierry is the "star" of this movie...

The other star is the underground world of street art. Thierry gets involved with these artists through a cousin, another somewhat famous street artist Invader...he films Invader doing his work then becomes engrossed with this underground movement and soon meets some of the most famous artists *and* films them.

That part of the documentary is pretty fascinating and exciting. Seeing people do this as a passion because, for the most part, there is no money made.

But that becomes the next part of the story...

Bansky, who is pretty well-known in the UK. Guett finally meets him and is let into the mystery world of Bansky. Bansky comes across as cocky cool, as well as intelligent and artistic. Guett has claimed, to the artists he meets, that he is putting together a documentary about their street art. Unbeknownst to the artists, however, is that Guett has just been filming and filming and just throwing tapes, most undocumented and not labeled, into boxes...with no work whatsoever on a documentary.

Bansky gives Guett the idea to do his own street art and leave the tapes to him, so that he could make the movie.

But what happened was an ironic twist to the street art: Guett becomes famous and makes money off his own "work"...which is not really art. He manages to put existing images together and makes hit his "own" and the stupid sheep of the art appreciation world lapped it up and made him a very rich man. That part of the art sheep world is comically sad when Bansky's art show is introduced for his Turf War exhibition.

The other twist to this is many critics think Bansky has created a hoax of a movie, that this is another one of his twisted "street art" works. No worries from's still a great documentary worth watching.

Brothers, the movie from Denmark *not* the empty shell of a POS as the American version, is a great movie. It is amazing the difference between the American version and this original one. It is almost a frame-for-frame re-creation -- almost -- but the difference in substance is night and day.

Brothers is about a family who is hit hard by the death of a husband, father, son, brother of Michael. Michael dies in a helicopter crash while deployed in Afghanistan. The family is left to live with their broken life.

Jannik is Michael's brother who had just been released from prison before Michael is deployed. He is the black sheep of the family and after Michael's death, he decides to become more involved with Michael's family.

There is a twist that runs parallel to Jannik's transformation to a "good guy" that happens soon in the movie. It's just a great movie with great acting and watching the most beautiful Connie Nielsen was an even better delight.

I started watching The Crime of Padre Amaro but had to stop it once I realized it was dubbed vs. subtitled. Hopefully I can find this movie offered in the latter, as it looks really good.

A Room with a View has been on my list for awhile. This movie was made in 1986 and debuted Helena Bonham Carter. In 1986, I would have zero interest in watching this type of movie and now, these movies are fascinatingly entertaining to watch.

The great thing about period movies is that it doesn't reflect the year it was made, and therefore, doesn't look outdated. This was a sweet, romantic movie with Julian Sands in a romantic lead role, albeit an odd character. I loved it and I'm glad I finally made the time to watch it.

My favorite this past week is definitely An Education. I have watched part of The Constant Gardner and will finish it up before I return to work on Monday. And I hope to catch True Grit in the theater tomorrow...

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