This week A Perfect Planet takes a look at the weather, and how its predictability is part of hat lets life thrive on earth.
Last time we had an episode of a 1950s sitcom, this time we get one from the 1960s. WandaVision continues to be super weird and super fun.
Grief is a powerful thing. Imagine that you’re waiting for your friend to show up on the first day you begin your new adventure as business partners. I imagine being a child who texts your mother good luck and then goes on about your day. Imagine being a mother, estranged from her daughter, and having to answer the door to a pair of police officers there to let you know that your daughter has been killed in an accident.
This is the setup of the three main characters in Love Sarah, the story of a daughter, a mother, and a friend who open a bakery and name it after the titular Sarah dies in the films opening moments.
Here we are, folks! Today and for the next 7 weeks, I’ll be recapping WandaVision, the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first entry to be a mini-series on Disney+. As a lifelong Marvel fan, and fan of Paul Bettany and Matt Shakman I have been very much looking forward to this series, so let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
At the end of Avengers: Endgame the entire Marvel universe had been shattered and re-assembled. Half the universe was wiped from existence and then brought back five years later. A few casualties stuck, one of whom was Paul Bettany’s Vision, the android created by a combination of The Avengers, their enemy Ultron, and the power of one of the infinity stones.
WandaVision is the first new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in over a year. The first new entry to be a TV series, it features the return of Vision and his paramour Wanda Maximoff to a world that looks a lot like a TV sitcom. It’s weird, and it’s delightful.
You have definitely seen this film before. Well, ok, not exactly this film, but if you’re a fan of science fiction and you’re presented with a story about a cocksure young recruit being paired with an android who can’t lie but clearly isn’t telling the whole truth, well, you’ve seen this movie before.
Michelangelo Buonarroti is one of the worlds great artistic geniuses. Admired in his own time and now, his skill for sculpture, in particular, is second to none. Juxtaposed to his skill is how he lived his life, eschewing food and personal hygiene people favour of his work.
Given the stature of the man and the interesting twists his story had, it’s actually surprising that there aren’t more films about him. This new film Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky offers a new perspective of a man we’re all familiar with, but few know much of anything about beyond his artistic genius.
Last week on A Perfect Planet the series looked at volcanoes and their extraordinary influence on this planet’s biosphere. This week, they look at a more obvious element in how the world functions: the sun.
Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children. This is one of those universal truths, along with things like “the Earth is round” or “water is wet.” The devastation of losing a child is unimaginable, let alone losing one at the moment of birth. This is the story of Pieces of a Woman, which follows expectant parents Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf through the night of their daughter’s birth and then through the year after as they deal with the aftermath of her death.
We live on an amazing planet. We often look to science fiction and fantasy stories for a sense of wonder, but the truth is that all you have to do is look closely at this world to accomplish that. Whether it’s half a million flamingos nesting in the middle of a caustic lake, or river otters fishing in volcanically warmed waters, Earth is a miraculous place.
The BBC Natural History Unit has produced incredible nature documentaries for decades now. In particular, they captured the world’s imagination with a series of programs starting with Planet Earth back in 2006. A Perfect Planet is the latest of these series, once again narrated by David Attenborough, and once again stunningly photographed.
2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.
Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.
As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.
The festival proper is over, but all the titles at the Whistler Film Festival are still available to stream through the end of the month. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at three more films that you can watch right now.
George Clooney is a talented actor and director, and often produces excellent work when he does both of those things. The Midnight Sky, his latest starring and directorial effort, features an incredible ensemble of character actors, stunning effects and production design, and a story clearly influenced by many seminal science fiction stories, but even in the hands of such talent fails to become something special.
Pete Docter is one of the best directors of animated features working today. That might sound like hubris, but it isn’t. Each of his films is adorable, approachable, and visually stunning enough to warrant the praise, but each also has a core of love and acceptance that makes them universal. The marriage montage in Up! or the simple truth that sadness plays a key roll in our lives from Inside Out, Docter makes movies that tell truths.
Soul, his latest film, is no different.
Well, friends here were are, together at the end. The Mandalorian’s second season has been mostly good so far, and this last episode has some big promises to fulfil. Let’s see if it does so.