Friday, September 9, 2011
World In Film Blog-a-Thon
Alan the crazy guy behind The Great Movie Project (a movie review a day for 365 days?! That means no time off for good behaviour) came up with the World in Film Blog-A-Thon without realising that we're all surely going to have to choose the same movie for Antarctica.
The Challenge: Pretend you’re taking a geography class and your instructor wants you to pick a movie that is set (or filmed) in one of each of the seven continents: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America. The movies do not have to be “authentic” but they should be reasonable facsimiles of the continents. They can be in any language, any country, any genre, and feel free to sub-theme these movies in any way that grabs your fancy.
Choosing a theme that works with Whiteout was difficult. I'm not sure I've succeeded but I'm definitely intrigued by what everyone else comes up with. My theme? People living on the outskirts of society.
Antarctica - Whiteout (2009)
It was an interesting idea for a movie but the end product really wasn't very interesting at all. I'm told the graphic novel it was based on was quite good though. A jewel heist in the most remote place on the planet?
Australia - Animal Kingdom (2010)
Australia. My home. Not really a continent. More of a bloody big rock with some desert wrapped around it. I didn't love this film as much as most other viewers but it certainly is one of the best Australian films I've seen. A slow moving look at an underworld family, worth watching if it's only for Jacki Weaver.
Europe - Down Terrace (2009)
Initially my pick was going to be non-English, specifically A Prophet, but I couldn't resist another opportunity to share how much I love Down Terrace. It took me completely by surprise and introduced me to a very talented director. Another slow moving look at the inner workings of an underworld family. Full review here.
North America - Sin Nombre (2009)
The violent documentary like film from the director of the new Jane Eyre. Take a journey through the North American underworld with a young girl as she dreams of moving from Honduras to USA. Powerful and compelling viewing.
South America - City of God (2002)
Often called the Brazilian Goodfellas this is one of the greats of modern world cinema. A look at the everyday reality of Brazilian poverty, crime, drugs and violence through the connected stories of two young friends who take different paths in life. If you haven't seen this yet then stop reading and go watch it.
Africa - Tsotsi (2005)
A week in the life of a young thug in the Johannesburg slums. It's not quite City of God but it's another eye opener and well worth seeing. Turns out that it won the Oscar in 2006, probably because this film is more about hope than despair.
Asia - Bad Guy (2001)
Kim Ki-Duk takes another look at the underside of love and obsession in this wonderfully dark film set in the underworld of Seoul. This isn't machine guns or organised crime, it's not chocolate boxes and roses, it's dirtier than that, it's grimy and bleak and mesmerising.
Comparatively they make Whiteout look tame. A fun exploration of great world cinema though. I can't recommend the other six films highly enough.