This Week(s) I Watched: Every Little Step, Shorts That Are Not Pants, Die Hard, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, The Secret of the Kells, Test Pilot Pirxa

This week, an amalgamation! Turns out I only watched 3 movies (in full) the week of January 9th-15th, probably due to Skyrim and starting my semester at school. Luckily I made up for that from the 16th-22nd. I still feel like I’m missing a few…

Every Little Step
This was a random Netflix choice, I’m a huge sucker for competitive documentaries and a film following the attempts to cast the full relaunch of A Chorus Line sucked me in entirely. On top of that, the film also featured the exclusive tapes from the initial creation of the musical, gleaned from real-life experiences of dancers and performers in the 70’s. Contrasting that to the struggle that the performers still experience today was a really effective measure. This is not a doc I’ll be forgetting soon.

Shorts That Are Not Pants
A GREAT series curated by James at Toronto Screen Shots, including international and domestic shorts. Th best part? I was given the chance to see Wild Life, a NFB documentary that was just nominated for Best Animated Short at this years Academy Awards. A great selection of films and hopefully we’ll see more from this series soon. Check out Shorts That Are Not Pants for more information.

Die Hard
See my Blind Spot post for this gem of a film!

Exit Through the Gift Shop
While I saw this in theatres, my lovely boyfriend John hadn’t. It was great reliving Mr. Brainwash’s rise to relative fame in Banksy’s doc once more. I was able to concentrate on more of the aesthetic elements of the film this time around, really recognizing pieces of work and street artists. John loved it, I’m glad.

Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel
For my Attack the Bloc post at blogTO, I was given some screeners to view to really improve my understanding of the obscure genre of film. Soviet sci fi is usually quite cerebral and complicated, but Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel? Not quite so. This was more of a schlocky homage to American cinema of the 70’s, and considering the late date of this film (1979) they had more than enough time to study those works. The protagonist belongs in a different film altogether, the hotel occupants are leftover psychadelic users and the sci-fi is weak at best. It’s kinda fun and weird, but it’s not good by any means.

The Secret of the Kells
This was for a friend of mine, she’d never seen this work, a film that snuck into the Best Animated Feature in 2010 despite being relatively ignored this side of the Atlantic ocean. I quickly made myself known of this work and have been singing it’s praises ever since. The studio has a new work out next year, Song of the Sea and the teaser is gorgeous.

Test Pilot Pirxa
I wish this film could get remastered and put together with some more footage from the cutting room floor because there is a FANTASTIC story in here that seems to get lost due to budget. Pirxa is a great paranoid thriller about a captain piloting a test ship half made up of robots and half of humans but doesn’t know who is who. When one of the crew begins to torment him, he becomes distrustful of just about everybody on-board, which is deadly when the tormentor decides to strike. Political, topical, I just wish the weird car chase at the beginning was halved.

So I’m caught up to the 22nd of January which was only, what, 2 weeks ago? Crap.

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