Surviving Winter with Netflix
One of the only things I enjoy about winter, is the excuse it gives me not to leave my house. Plans will be broken, food delivered to my door, and wearing sweatpants is considered the norm. During summer, I eschew my Netflix account for frolicking outside, but come January I come crawling back with soft words and apologies for ever leaving. Now that Netflix has a “Watch Instantly” feature, I’m even more tempted with a endless list of options at my disposal. Hours are lost to an entire TV series in one sitting, and Netflix thinks I’m a big loser and insists that I’ll love Gremlins 2 . So here’s a few movies/shows to check out this season, whether you’re snowed in or just plain hungover.
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man
I’m a total sucker for music documentaries, I loved Dylan’s “Don’t Look Back“, and “Patti Smith: Dream of Life“, so of course when this popped up as a film suggestion, it went straight to the top of the queue. I’m shamefully ignorant when it comes to most of the Walker Brothers’ music but it seems I’m not alone in this. As someone who’s hailed as a cult rock icon, Scott Walker‘s name is strangely absent from the American rock conscious, especially for a band that was just as big as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in the UK. The film includes plenty of interviews from music legends like Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, and Gavin Friday; and has David Bowie has executive producer. The plot follows the making of Walker’s new record in over 10 years, and there’s no better material for a music doc then a reclusive musician. I can say now I’m a genuine, but late in the game, fan.
If some of these movie picks seem dated, it’s really because I rarely get a chance to go to the movies. Because of the pricey cost of tickets and my sheer desire to avoid crowds, I just tell myself I’ll just wait and rent it. Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” is one of those films I wished I had stuck it out for. The story of Che Guevera has been told in many times in film, but this two-part biopic covers both his idealistic beginnings and his final battles. This is a not a play in the background while you Facebook all day kind of movie, so if you’re not up for some heavy shit, then move on. If you’ve got a little over 4 1/2 hours to spare, watch them back to back, and enjoy one of Benicio Del Toro’s best performances.
The Netflix suggestion tool is like Pandora’s box, you absentmindedly say you like Degrassi and then a whole mess of recommends come flying your way. Not only was Netflix screaming at me to watch Skins, but apparently most TV critics and friends alike were all over this noise back in ’07. Naturally being a complete freak for BBC shows, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. This was for a couple of reasons. One I was hoping to see Dev Patel in his pre-Slumdog Millionaire fame (I sort of hated that movie). Secondly, shows based on the sexual fumbling of adolescents (when done right), never get old. And lastly, I could not resist IMDB’s tantalizing synopisis “Series Two moves on to the next generation of Skins with all their smoking, alcohol, drugs, arson, porn, teacher abuse, sex and glue.” Color me interested.
What’s better than a little escapism when it comes to spending couch time. In the similar style to “Paris, Je t’aime“, and New York I Love You (which was garbage), Tokyo! hones in on the lives a few individuals to tell the greater story of the city. The three segments are directed by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Boon Joon-ho, all non-Japanese directors oddly enough. The concept is great but also hard to pull off. Paris J t’aime had some great moments but also some more forgettable ones. Having never actually been to Tokyo, I’ve always been fascinated by the culture and the flow of the city in general. I’m a Gondry fan but he’s definitely a love him or hate him kind of guy. I also loved, “The Host”, so I have high expectations for this movie. I only wish there were more shorts focusing on the different neighborhoods like they did with the arrondisssements of Paris. When I think of Tokyo I think of a sprawling, flashy, ADD-inducing environment so it would be interesting to see the city from many different perspectives. It’s on watch instantly so if it sucks, there’s always “Zac Efron: The Ultimate Idol“.