Saturday, January 19, 2013

Recently watched...

Here are some pieces of videography that I think you should know about...

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Jack tipped me off to this doc about Jiro, the best suchi-er in the world. His restaurant in Japan has 10 seats and 4 stars from Michelin. The doc is beautifully shot and constructed, the subject is inexplicably fascinating, and the men involved are inspiring. The whole thing made me feel like I wasn't doing enough with my life, but in a really positive "yes I will do better bc I'm worth it!" kind of a way instead of the "you suck, you don't do enough" thing, which is the other way docs can make you feel. To top it off there's a twist ending. "What?! How can a documentary have a surprise ending?" you may ask. Watch it and see (Wordplay also has surprise, edge of your seat ending). It's a real treat. I cried.

Jeeves and Wooster
Bestie Sarah and I marathoned this early 90s treat over the month she was home for the holidays. Starring Hugh Laurie (Dr. House) as Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, an easy living gentleman and Stephen Fry (of QI and Bones) as Jeeves, his extremely clever and understated valet. Basically it's the 1930s, Bertie has gobs of dough and tons of hijinks which Jeeves gets him out of with his wonderful brain. The first season is a riot. The second season starts out with a whole new glammed up look trading Bertie's accent and many of the actors. Eventually by the end of season 2 it settles back in, but the minor actors do rotate for the rest of the 4 total seasons. The slang and banter are superb, some of the situations are absolutely delightful, but many of them get rather old over 4 seasons. Usually some shrew of a distant relative of Bertie's makes him steal something from another acquaintance to ensure that through some degree of tomfoolery the shrew can marry some bumbling idiot. That, or some bumbling idiot makes Bertie pose as someone to impress the male relative of some ridiculously soppy female so they can marry. Laurie and Fry hold the weakening plots together. Overall it also a real treat. If you've never watched Fry and Laurie in their original guise: that of outrageously dry and successful British comedy types you need to watch Jeeves and Wooster, or A Bit of Fry and Laurie, or Black Adder with Rowan Atkinson.

I'll have you know I spelled that right the first time!
Matt told me about this one awhile ago and I finally got around to watching it. 90 minutes, no dialogue, just a collection of beautiful shots directed by Godfrey Reggio and an amazing score by Philip Glass, cinematography by Ron Fricke. Filmed between 1975 and 1981, this film is a deliberately constructed series of real time, slow motion, and time lapsed footage of any and all things. Starting with beautiful shots of the wilderness, onto abandoned projects, bustling cities, American factories and onward, this film really wiped me out. Sometimes I cried and knew why, other times I had no idea. It's a real think piece, as I was warned and I think I'll give it some time before I watch it again. If I was in college I'd write all of the amazing papers about this one. As I'm not however, I'll just kind of sit here and think about it all the time, like I've been doing with any spare moment of brain space since I watched it.

There you go, what I've been watching in the last month or so. S'all good. I left out the not so great, so you're welcome. 

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