Movies of the Week #1-2 (2022)

Titane (2021): So how about something completely different? Julia Ducournau’s follow up to Raw (2016) is, if not more polarizing, then at least more abstract. The plot is somewhat simple: a showgirl goes on a murderous streak and in her attempt to hide, ends up pretending to be a fireman’s long lost son. She does become pregnant after some raunchy sex with…a car, so that complicates things a bit. The movie is rife with symbolism and offers generous meta-commentary on everyone’s favourite topic these days, (toxic) masculinity. Yet, somehow, it also finds tenderness amidst its fury, thanks in no small part to leads Agathe Rousselle (making her debut) and Vincent Lindon. Not everyone’s cup of motor oil, but if you like it, you’ll have so much to take apart at the end. Also, it might just give Macarena a purpose. 8

C’mon C’mon (2021): Mike Mills creates a simple, yet effective portrait of the modern parental experience, while capturing the endearing complexities of young children. It’s not a standout story, but it gets the details right. Add to that the beautiful black and white cinematography, the ever enchanting Joaquin Phoenix and a riveting turn by young Woody Norman, and you’ve got yourself a special, little movie. 8

Sweat (2020): We’ll end the first week of 2022 with two Cannes movies. This one, a Polish-Swedish production, gives us some bits and pieces of Sylwia’s life, a popular fitness instructor with a hefty Instagram followship (unlike this blog). It might all seem mundane at first, but appearances deceive, as Sylwia struggles with intimacy and, above all, with getting her mother’s approval. Magdalena Kolesnik is great as the lead, while the movie captures a state of mind, going beyond it’s less than riveting plot. 7

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary (2022): Just as more JKR controversy is propelled around the internet, I’m anguished at how much capacity of outrage we can harbour. It just goes to emphasize that this documentary is quite the nostalgia rollercoaster, with most of the key players sharing some of their thoughts and experiences. Even after almost two hours of reminiscing, it felt like there was so much more left to be discussed and retread, but the documentary does stay focused on the bigger picture – how Harry Potter has been a part of so many lives, in such an amazing way. 7

The Matrix Resurrections (2021): People are upset about the latest Matrix, because they forget it came off the pedestal after the first sequel. Yes, 1999 Matrix was referential in many ways, a visual spectacle and a mindboggling interpretation of our society. It required no sequels, yet was milked to the extreme with two rapid-fire follow-ups that added unwanted lore and trite complexity. So coming off that, Matrix 4 was always just going to be a rehash of some sort. It doesn’t tell a very interesting story, but contrives a plot that reunites us with some of the characters we know and kinda cared for. It tries to show off visually, but that’s nigh on impossible nowadays. It slams some woke commentary to frustrate the frustratable. It makes some slight commentaries on the state of the world. And yet, I didn’t care too much and enjoyed the nostalgia vibes, bemused at the sillier moments in tow. Hopefully this will be the end of it now, for good. 6