This past month, Devi’s been on a serial killer kick and Amy’s been enjoying foreign, indie fare. We hope you enjoy the ride….
INSIDE MAN (Limited Series Netflix, 2022): A wild and wacky ride starring Stanley Tucci as a death row wife killer who solves crimes from behind bars and one of my new favorite “final girls” who is destined to be a feminist icon. It gets a little over the top by series’ end, but I consider that a point in its favor.
BLACKBIRD (Limited Series Apple, 2022): A tense but compelling journey inside a hardcore Indiana prison where a drug dealer must elicit a confession from a complex and too believable serial killer. While the story is mostly male-driven, it does a good job of exploring the structural violence that creates monstrous men who prey on women.
THE PATIENT (Limited Series Hulu, 2022): This one features Steve Carell in his best role if you ask me. In it he plays a therapist who must “cure” a sociopathic serial killer to literally save his own life. Though much of the series revolves around the two men in session, it’s a highly complex, very human story that is as heartbreaking as it is chilling in its exploration of parent/child relationships along with a fascinating window into dynamics of orthodox and non-orthodox Judaism.
Thank goodness for independent filmmaking and the movie theaters screening them. Since we can no longer rely on Hollywood to make entertaining films, we can look to films being made outside the studio system to still enjoy movies made for adults who appreciate the cinematic experience:
SICK OF MYSELF (Playing in select theaters): Narcissism is dangerous and self-destructive. And it’s everywhere. This is the message of the Norwegian film SICK OF MYSELF, a satirical black comedy that depicts what happens to self-absorbed people who have a hankering for fame, celebrity, and adulation despite not possessing any notable talent or anything of substance to offer the world. The film has many moments of humor, but soon takes on the elements of a horror film as Signe, the insecure and pathologically dishonest female protagonist, undergoes a self-inflicted transformation that is positively grotesque. The film is commenting on the inherent danger of social media, with its power to distort our sense of reality and alienate the individual from a real community. There’s also a feminist perspective to this film. As Signe intentionally mutilates herself, it’s impossible not to think of the prevalence of plastic surgery and other dangerous cosmetic procedures that offer the promise of eternal youth and prey on society’s fear of aging while destroying the health and appearance of an unsuspecting public often unaware of what they’re getting themselves into.
THE LOST KING (Playing in select theaters): A British woman determined to find the burial ground and restore the reputation of King Richard III, takes on academic historians in her quest to rehabilitate the unfairly maligned legacy of the former monarch. On her mission, she also rediscovers a sense of meaning and purpose in her life. Sally Hawkins is wonderful in the role of the single mother, recently separated from her husband, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. Feeling misunderstood and underappreciated, she embarks on this journey after seeing a production of RICHARD III and soon finds herself haunted by his ghost. Sally Hawkins portrays Philippa Langley as a brave and noble woman who refuses to be dissuaded by professional historians, and pursues her passion in such a personal manner that the audience also feels invested in her journey. THE LOST KING is also the story of a woman who took on the Bard by challenging his portrayal of the king he immortalized and vilified in his play RICHARD III. No one will ever read this so-called historical play in the same way and all because of one woman’s dogged determination.
Devi & Amy
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