For the first week of the One Short A Day challenge, upon the suggestion of many friends, I decided to watch shorts of Ukrainian-American experimental filmmaker Maya Deren. I find it quite hard to talk about them, but what I know is that after every film I watched, I wanted to watch it again. And at the end of the week, I wanted to watch them one after another at one go. There is so much written about Deren, her films, her influences, and I wanted to read as much as I could but decided against it since it’s against the purpose of this challenge, which is to write about these films right after I’ve seen them, on how I felt watching them and their immediate effect on me. It was hard, but that’s why it’s a challenge. Hope you enjoy!
In case you couldn’t tell from the weather, summer is (almost) here! This summer, Much Ado is setting a challenge: One Short A Day. Starting from May 8th, I’ll watch one short film a day and will publish my thoughts on them every Tuesday. Films will be chosen randomly from your suggestions, films that are taught at film schools, films that won awards or went under the radar. My thoughts on the films will be one paragraph for each, written right after I watch them.
If you want to join me in this challenge, you can alter it in any way that fits you. Tag your posts with #OneShortADay on Twitter and/or Letterboxd to share your challenge with us and give us your suggestions in comments or Twitter. You can also follow the challenge on Letterboxd here which I’ll update weekly.
Enjoy the challenge and happy summer holidays!
This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster for Marvel fans. 10 years, 19 films, and a lot of heroes have been leading us into Infinity War. Now that we’ve all seen, and grieved over the film, it’s time to talk about it. Much Ado writers talk about their favourite scenes, problems and most importantly, about Carrie Coon’s cameo, in conversation.
Ten years in the making and Infinity War is finally here! Blockbuster cinema is filled with milestones; Steven Spielberg’s Jaws invented summer blockbusters and years later MCU impacted the way we view and consume them. Previous generations remember seeing iconic shots from Terminator or Lord of the Rings films in cinemas, today’s generation will have The Avenger‘s circle shot. Whether you like MCU films or not, it would be ridiculous to deny that they’ve had huge cultural and cinematic influence for the past ten years. With Infınity War‘s arrival, it’s time to look back at past ten years and rank our top five!
Despite the rise of LGBTQ+ films in recent years, films that revolve around young lesbians remain hard one to come by. This is why Desiree Akhavan’s second feature “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” has been one of the films I was most excited to see this year after it premiered at Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. It’s a film that perfectly balances comedy and drama; it is funny without being incongruous and is tragic without being exploitative.
The rise of iPhone films is upon us and despite what some might think (eg: real films are shot on film!), it is a good rise. Sean Baker’s “Tangerine” led the way and Steven Soderbergh is one of the directors to follow. It’s a method that will inspire young and financially limited filmmakers and as one myself, I am delighted by it. Shot secretly and in ten days, “Unsane” tells the story of Sawyer Valentini (played by the gorgeous, talented, showstopping, my celebrity crush-ahem- Claire Foy), who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution. As if that wasn’t enough, she is forced to face her greatest fear there, her stalker David (Joshua Leonard). But *drum rolls* is it really him, or just her imagination?
(Rachel² in Disobedience)
Since it’s premiere at TIFF, “Disobedience” has been one of the films I’m most excited to see. After all, it’s not everyday that you see Rachel Weisz spitting into Rachel McAdams’ mouth in an Orthodox Jewish drama. By the director of this year’s Best Foreign Picture winner “A Fantastic Woman” Sebastián Lelio, “Disobedience” tells the story of two women’s desire for each other and their struggle of being who they are in a domineering Orthodox Jewish community. Ronit (Weisz), a photographer who lives a secular life in New York, returns to her community in London after the death of her father who is a rabbi. Upon her return she finds out her two childhood friends Esti (McAdams) and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) got married and the sparks from her old relationship with Esti are still there. Ronit and Esti’s rediscovery of their desire becomes a problem for the community and Dovid, who is to take Ronit’s father’s place as rabbi. The film opens with rabbi’s speech on free will which shortly becomes his last words and one of the main themes of the film. Despite some flaws, “Disobedience” is a great film about empowerment and complex relationship between one’s self and community with wonderful performances by Rachel² and Nivola.