The GardenA blog by yours truly

Stuff i watched recently, i forgor edition

A montage of the undermentioned works
  • Aniara (2018). I actually watched this one back in February, but forgot to mention it at the time 鈥 a Swedish hard(ish) sci-fi tragedy, where a colony ship on its way to Mars gets knocked off course with no fuel left to turn back. This is unrelentingly bleak, sometimes to the point where my brain would shut off and stopped caring, but there鈥檚 a lot to like.

    I love the idea of the Mima as a character/narrative device/whatever: a living AI that uses people鈥檚 memories to bring them back visions of Earth as it was, then gets depressed because too many people are using it and flooding it with memories of the apocalypse. Giving the holodeck a soul? Genius.

    Unfortunately it doesn鈥檛 so much end as it just fizzles out 鈥 i guess you could make a case that that鈥檚 on purpose, since that鈥檚 how these situations go in the real world, but i found the whole d茅nouement deeply unsatisfying excepting the veeeery final shots (if you know, you know). 6/10.

  • Anatomy of a Fall (2023). Caught this one at the Tyneside, where it happened to be the next film on at the time i got in. This spoke to me not just because of the powerhouse performances from Sandra H眉ller, a dog named Messi (how did they get him to do that?), and the fifteen-year-old(!!!) Milo Machado-Graner, who i wish nothing but the best in his future, but because it matches up with events in my life to a frankly concerning autobiographical extent. This would never, ever be in my wheelhouse were it not for random chance, but i teared up thrice over. 10/10, and i鈥檓 annoyed i couldn鈥檛 make it my best of last year.

    Ten seconds after watching鈥 Wait, people online think she killed the husband? Are they fucking stupid? What? It鈥檚 obviously an accident. Did we watch the same film? Did the cut they saw not have all those carefully-inserted moments where people almost fall off of ledges or get hit by cars to hammer home that accidents can, in fact, just happen? What?? I 鈥 am i just projecting my own experiences here and not wanting to believe that my mum would kill someone? And then if they don鈥檛 think she killed the husband, they鈥檙e like, oh, well the husband deserved it, he was so awful in that argument, and like, no!!! The mum in the film near enough turns to the camera and says 鈥渢he worst moments in someone鈥檚 life are unfairly cherry-picked as evidence for a trail and do not represent them as a whole鈥; again, did we watch the same bloody film? Are people stupid? Am i stupid? Is Justine Triet stupid? Am i dying?

  • Reservoir Dogs (1992). Mama鈥檚 pick for family movie night. Every time i watch a Tarantino film i really get the sense that he鈥檚 jacking off to how clever he is writing the script and this is that tendency at its worst. I get why it caught on, i really do, but this is absolutely insufferable from start to finish any time someone who鈥檚 not a cop is on screen. I do not care about your thoughts on Madonna鈥檚 鈥淟ike a Virgin鈥, Quentin! 3戮/10.

  • Monkey Man (2024). I have been hyped as shit for this ever since the first trailer came out. You can tell this is Sexiest Man Alive Dev Patel鈥檚 first time in the director鈥檚 chair (looooots of shaky-cam close-ups), but it鈥檚 damn stylish, and he shows a lot of promise. I can also see why Netflix did not want to touch this with a barge pole given that the plot is essentially 鈥淒ev Patel kills the BJP鈥. (It has some, ah, terroristic overtones that would be a little concerning if it were even 10% less shlocky.)

    That aside, i really enjoyed the film, and thought it got better as it went along 鈥 early on, i wasn鈥檛 super clear on the character motivations at play, but then the most me-bait thing since The Northman happens: Mr Patel鈥檚 character has a near-death-experience flashback and wakes up having been rescued by a hijra priest at a secret temple to Ardha­nari­shvara, a half-male, half-female incarnation of Shiva. Into! my! fucking! veins! 6陆/10.

  • De dolende god (2018), as seen previously on The Garden. This is pretty much designed to appeal to me specifically, and yeah, it鈥檚 really good. It鈥檚 sweet, heartfelt, absolutely gorgeous, and of course, extremely European. It鈥檚 the odd one out in this list, being a comic book rather than a film 鈥 a medium i don鈥檛 have much experience with, so it鈥檚 hard to give it a numerical rating in the absence of comparisons鈥 but let鈥檚 say 8/10.

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