Tag: Cinema

What Will People Say: Recommended!

 

Today I saw What Will People Say at the Scandinavian Film Festival in Sydney. It’s based on Pakistani-Norwegian director Iram Haq’s own story of being kidnapped by her family and sent back to Pakistan.

In the film, Oslo teenager Nisha sneaks her boyfriend into her room for what looks like some innocent snogging and her father busts them and gets violent. After some back and forth with social services Nisha, is basically lured out of protective custody by a phone call from her mother. Her father then drags her off to Pakistan and dumps her with his sister in Rawalpindi.

Texas, our Texas?

 

Last night, as I was driving down Highway 281 across the Texas Hill Country from Marble Falls to suburban San Antonio, my way home was illuminated by a September harvest moon. It was an unusually cool late summer evening, indicating the chill of an early fall and evoking an ambience of ominous serenity. During my drive south, my mind wandered to an obscure yet thrilling film from 1975: Race with the Devil.

Set in south-central Texas and filmed on location in San Antonio and various Hill Country burgs like Bandera, Castroville, Leakey, and Tarpley, the film stars Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, and Lara Parker. Fonda and Oates portray the owners of a motorcycle shop in San Antonio who, in mid-January, decide to drive their new $36,000 motorhome up to Aspen, Colorado with their wives for a much-needed vacation. The film unfolds innocently enough, with the two couples motoring through downtown San Antonio past such landmarks as the Alamo and the Cenotaph and then out into the countryside. As evening approaches, instead of heading to an RV park, the main characters drive off of the road and park next to a remote river, hoping to enjoy some pastoral peacefulness and solitude. They find just the opposite.

Later that night, while Fonda and Oates are outside of their motorhome taking in the chilly Texas winter evening as their wives prepare for bed, they notice a bonfire off in the distance. Drawing closer, they observe what they think are a bunch of hippies celebrating some kind of nature festival. Odd, but apparently harmless. That is, until a young, nubile woman is stabbed through the heart in an act of human sacrifice. At just that moment, one of their wives opens the door to the motorhome, illuminating the outdoors by the light within. The satanist hippies notice and start coming after them. The “race” is on.

Hit Thriller Get Out Makes Social Commentary Fun

 

A young black man walks through a still, upper-middle class suburban neighborhood at night. Hopelessly lost in the sameness of the streets, he mutters about the lousy directions he was given. Noticing a car following him, he keeps his head down and keeps moving. The car pulls over ahead of him; he turns the other way, not wanting any conflict. Without warning, he’s hit from behind, tossed into the trunk, and the car speeds off.

The opening scene demonstrates that Get Out is a thriller, not the comedy that writer and first-time director Jordan Peele is most known for. He’s half of the hilarious sketch duo Key & Peele, but has a lifetime obsession with the horror genre. This isn’t the gorefest of Evil Dead or Saw; think more Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The movie cuts to an interracial couple relaxing in their Brooklyn loft. Photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is about to meet the parents of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) at their secluded estate. “Do they know I’m black?” he asks. She tells him not to worry. Her dad “would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could.” Her folks aren’t those kind of white people; they’re down with the struggle.

This week, The Conservatarians welcome movie reviewer Christian Toto to pick the best and worst films of 2016. Christian is an award-winning journalist, member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and founder of the website Hollywood In Toto and the HiT Podcast.

Our intro and outro music is “Christmas Treat” by Julian Casablancas. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist! You should also subscribe to this podcast and give it five-star, glowing reviews on iTunes.

Member Post

 

The digital version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already released (disc version on April 5th). I’ve watched it a second time and enjoyed it. In fact, the final challenge (SPOILERS hereafter) was more satisfying since the initial surprise of DS 2.0 has faded.  This time, a question stuck in my mind: What distinguishes […]

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Ho hum. As often as conservative mourn the aesthetic traditions of our grandparents and centuries past, the sadder tale might be the indifference with which excellent works are met in an era when artistic talents abound and replicas of masterworks are obtainable at any Walmart.  Preview Open

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Interesting news today for the James Bond franchise: the 24th movie in the series (to be titled Spectre) was announced along with the casting of Italian actress Monica Bellucci.  At 50 years of age, she will be the oldest Bond Girl to ever grace the silver screen. Preview Open

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A halfway decent movie about ranchers and cartels on the unprotected border? It’s no joke.  The Arroyo is slow and dry like a desert day. It’s straightforward like an honest Texan, with simple characters and few twists. But it’s compelling enough to maintain interest in the blunt dialog and brutal truths it carries.  Preview Open

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The Giver: New Film Warns of Big Government Utopia

 

Last weekend, I attended the Red State Gathering in Texas, and had the good fortune to attend a screening of upcoming film The Giver, based on Lois Lowry’s classic book. It was, and I don’t say this lightly, an absolute must-see.

Set in an land of the future, the world of the giver is a big government Utopia, a land where everyone and everything is kept equal. One’s life is completely planned from conception to death, and members of society are kept complacent and unquestioning. This is for their protection, they are told, this equality keeps them safe from so many unpleasant situations and emotions. This pre-determined life without conflict remains unquestioned. That is, until our teenaged hero Jonas discovers that there is more. This one boy, learning the truth, is then determined to wake up his world, to make a change.

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For the sake of argument, set aside the particular subject of this statement from Glenn Beck and consider only what it might imply about the general effects of different media: “This movie, if it becomes successful – if we take our churches and we all go and everything else – our children will look at […]

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What Are Your Favorite Obscure Movies?

 

At the bottom of a webpage, between the “Actresses Who Age Badly” and “Bizarre Creatures of the Sea,” was a clickable list I couldn’t resist — “9 Great Movies You’ve Never Seen”. It turns out I had seen two of the movies, both of which I liked; the original Das Boot (with subtitles), and Fearless.  The ones I hadn’t seen were:

  • Amazon Women on the Moon
  • Swimming With Sharks
  • The Wild Blue Yonder
  • May
  • Secretary
  • Hard Eight
  • Bob Le Flambeur

Have you seen these films? If so, opinions please! What other lost gems should I be watching?