Here are a few odd movies I have see lately. Surprisingly engaging and well done, with my comments and a link. Also a plug for the best independent movie theater in Connecticut, Real Art Ways in Hartford!
Queen to Play – French with Kevin Kline
A hotel housekeeper cleans Kevin Kline’s house on the side. Kevin teaches her how to play chess. I found it charming and fun. Great French countryside scenery.
Queen to Play
Pontypool – Canadian
Don’t turn away from this just because it is a zombie movie. It has a kind of gory start, but it is more sci-fi than zombie. And the set up is clever, people stuck in the radio studio of a remote Ontario town get reports of what is going on remotely for most of the movie. The other clever thing is how this zombie-ness is spread. I do not watch zombie movies, but this one was different, probably because it is Canadian?
How I Ended This Summer – Russian
Two guys work at an Arctic Polar Weather Station on the Arctic Ocean during the summer,which is not really summery, still ice flows and bad weather, but great scenery and isolation. One is a middle aged old hand and the other is the young upstart. As time goes on, things happen, mostly psychologically, that tips the mental balance of these two. This is not sci fi, but a realistic drama. I liked it, enjoyed the scenery and the situation.
How I Ended This Summer
The Return – Russian
Two brothers meet their father who has been away for some time, their mother wants a male influence for them. The father is a pretty austere and remote character. The father takes them on a trip to a lake and an island, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The boys learn some character building things during the trip. It ends pretty enigmatically, not what you would think.
Ikiru – by Kurosawa 1952 B+W – Japanese
One of Kurosawa’s earliest movies, and a masterpiece. The lead is a middle aged municipal bureaucrat, surrounded by stacks of paperwork in post WWII Japan. It is really a period piece as well as a movie of self realization and finally overcoming bureaucracy by will power and trying to do the right thing. Also a bit of a tear jerker. A must see. I own this one.