Gravity. 2013. Alfonso Cuarón, director. Mexico.
Seven years after Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón has returned with Gravity. In Gravity, a foreign country explodes one of its satellites and this sets in orbit debris which destroys an American spacecraft and leaves several astronauts adrift in outer space.
Children of Men. 2006. Alfonso Cuarón, director. Mexico.
In his review of Babel, Roger Ebert describes its filmmaker as one of three men representing the “New Mexican Cinema”. Ebert notes how, in the past, a country might suddenly produce a brilliant generation of filmmakers and he expresses his view that, in the present, such a flowering is occurring in Mexico. Babel, Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men were three Mexican pictures released in the same year and each, in my opinion, is a near masterpiece.
The Fifth Estate. 2013. Bill Condon, director. United States.
In July of 2007, a series of attacks took place from the skies of Baghdad. In the first, fire was directed at a group of a dozen or so men. Among them were two war correspondents working for Reuters. Eight men were killed including one of the correspondents. In the immediately following second strike, fire was directed at the wounded. Clearly wounded, and posing no risk, the second correspondent was killed by helicopter fire as he was being helped into a van. Two further men were killed, two children within the van were wounded, and their father was killed. A spokesperson at the time stated that coalition forces had been engaged in combat against a hostile entity. That interpretation was accepted. In April of 2010, however, WikiLeaks released footage of these strikes. A different story – the truth – was told.
Monsieur Lazhar. 2011. Philippe Falardieu, director. Quebec.
Cinematic depictions of teachers follow a similar template: An inspirational teacher brings his passion and dedication to inner-city students so full of potential but seen by previous teachers as beyond hope or an inspirational teacher brings her passion and dedication to capable but bored suburban students who, until now, have taken what they have for granted.
Away from Her. 2006. Sarah Polley, director. Canada.
Away from Her owes existence to two very talented Canadian women; author Alice Munro and director Sarah Polley. Based upon a short-story penned by Munro – entitled “The Bear Came over the Mountain” – Away from Her follows an older man named Grant who is increasingly experiencing abandonment. Two factors contribute to his sense of having been marooned.
Lady in the Water. 2006. M. Night Shyamalan, director. United States.
Heep superintends an apartment complex and encounters a narf named Story. Story is in search of her vessel and, once having caused an awakening in him or her, intends to return to the Blue World via the Great Eatlon. Her mission is complicated by the presence of a rogue scrunt who, no longer fearing the Tartutic, is intent on killing her. Capishe?
The Sunset Limited. 2011. Tommy Lee Jones, director. United States.
“So what am I supposed to do with you, Professor?” Black asks White. Written by Cormac McCarthy, the encounter between White and Black has since been adapted for HBO by Tommy Lee Jones.