Thursday, March 10, 2022

Seen in February 

This Eakins painting isn't a scene from The Power of the Dog, but could be.

It's been a long, hard, two-year long winter. I've probably re-watched more old favourites than discovering new things and to be honest, maybe I haven't been that interested in "challenging" film or television so maybe that explains my tepid viewing lately. You be the judge.

A typically lush scene from Arcane

Arcane S01
Yet another video game to television series conversion that has left fans craving for more. This is a sort of “Steampunk” kind of fantasy world in which magic powers mechanical devices and opens portals but it’s also a world cleaved between the “haves” and “have nots” and the conflict between those worlds divides friends and families. It’s a well written show with a few recognizable actors as voice talent but more importantly it is strikingly beautifully animated. It apparently took four years to realize, and despite being renewed for a second season, the producers have already said another season is at least two years away. Hopefully they can maintain the quality of animation and make it worth the wait.

Oh, we're going to talk about Bruno.

Set in a magical Colombian village, this animated movie is about an enchanted family where each generation discovers a magical ability they share with their family and the prosperity of the village. All but one of the family received an enchanted gift, the easy going Mirabel, who is happy to celebrate her sisters, aunts and uncles until her lack of magic threatens to pull the family apart (or something). This animated musical shows a level of quality usually reserved for Pixar projects (also part of the Disney family), and apart from the animation, it also has some standout musical numbers, like the virally spread “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. The popularity of the songs isn’t too surprising, given the composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was one of the creative talents behind the successful Broadway show, Hamilton.

Riz Ahmed as Ruben.

Sound of Metal
Imagine your life is music. Not just your job but also all of your personal relationships. Then one day, that slight ringing in your ears becomes a rapidly developing deafness. Riz Ahmed is excellent as the drummer Ruben whose world starts coming apart when, already struggling with sobriety, he discovers he’s losing his hearing. Desperate to save his relationship to both music and his partner, he finds a community where deafness and substance abuse are treated together. Ruben submits to his new reality but still holds on to the hope that a cochlear implant surgery can resurrect his old life. There are too many lessons and journeys to be considered here but just know this is an excellent film that gives insight into a world few of us know but also into emotions we can all recognize.

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