So we’ve reached everyone’s favourite time again. Not summer, though it is evidently glorious outside and we couldn’t be happier about it! No. it’s time for our Films Of The Month blog. Once again we’ve spent the month trawling through the best short films, video content and top picks for all you Netflix users out there, and taken the time to curate them into a long list, just for you. So grab a cuppa – or the weather-appropriate iced tea we’re reaching for today, settle in and get inspired by some great footage!
Short Fiction Films
This award-winning Argentinian short is not going to make you want to get up and go to work in the morning, in fact it will probably do the opposite. On the plus side, it’s a really great little animation piece with an original idea and concept. Perhaps watch it on Friday instead of today, but take a moment to appreciate the detail and texture given to even the simplest animations.
The Exit Room
Official selection for Tribeca Film Festival, The Exit Room speaks on democracy and free speech, featuring Girls star Christopher Abbot as imprisoned journalist facing government execution in 2021. Given the subject matter this one is by no means an easy watch, but definitely worth the effort.
Sight was the graduation project of a group of film students in Israel. Working with a minimal budget the team managed to create an incredibly sleek and impressive film that draws some thematic parallels with Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (The Entire History Of You being the episode with key similarities). This is by no means just a homage though, the films stands alone as an excellent piece that leaves the viewer thinking about our ever-developing relationship with new technology.
Burnt Grass takes a sci-fi concept you certainly will have seen before in films like The Prestige and Primer (the film revolves around a couple discovering a patch of grass in their back garden has the ability to duplicate organic matter), but manages to create an interesting and original short from it, by taking the lo-fi approach and opting to focus it’s efforts on character and story rather than special effects that would be difficult to do well on the limited budget available.
Online Video Content
I think a great short Doc will reveal a glimpse of a life you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to see, and this is a stunning example of that. In Current follows the group of men and women spending their days rowing wooden boats down the Grand Canyon, and it’s just magical to see.
Yaskawa Bushido Project
Someone wanted to know whether a robot could ‘learn’ to replicate movements studied and perfected for years by samara masters, so they had a go at building one. In the remarkable video, watch an industrial robot perform alongside 5-time Guiness world record champion and Samurai master Isao Machii.
On April 22nd 2015, Volcano Calbuco in southern chile began to erupt. Meanwhile a selection of incredibly talented filmmakers happened to be on a nearby boat; taking it upon themselves to utilise their skills to shoot the stunning natural phenomena in astonishing 4K. We’re very glad they did.
The Raid 2: Berendal
This should probably be best left to people who have actually seen The Raid: Redemption, but I was choosing Netflix Picks and for some reason Netflix UK only seems to have the rights to the sequel. Ridiculous. If you have seen the first, I can strongly recommend this. Still packed with jaw-dropping not-your-average fight scenes The Raid 2 also has a little more depth of plot than it’s predecessor (which lets face it, was basically one continuous -if incredible- action sequence).
Orange Is The New Black Season 3
If you haven’t already binge-watched all of OITNB then you definitely should. This is particularly true if you are female. Though the series is great for everyone and I know it is greatly enjoyed by men and women alike, it resonates particularly well with it’s female audience due to it’s incredibly broad range of distinctive, complex and realistic female characters. I can’t think of another example of a series or film that has such diverse representations of women, or whose characters are so well developed. The series is also a near-perfect balance of drama and comedy, filled with moments of genuine hilarity whilst not shying from the darker issues that give the series it’s depth.
What can I say about Jackie Brown. It’s Tarantino, so if you’re reading this blog and are interested in film (incredibly likely given the subject matter of this blog) you’ll probably already know about it. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth a watch. Everyone has their favourite Tarantino and I prefer this to some of his more recent fairs; it’s a little grittier and a little less b-movie in style. Also Samuel L Jackson has some very serious facial hair.