Watch it with us: Filmstruck or iTunes
In addition to my usual indie discoveries, I’m going to start tackling some classics here. Not that they need me to bring attention to them, but when a film endures this long, it’s usually because there’s a lot to talk about. I tried to go see a Harold Lloyd movie at the Film Forum a few years ago but was stymied because, I shit you not, the theater caught on fire about twenty minutes in and had to be evacuated. So Safety Last! was my maiden voyage with Mr. Lloyd, and what a treat it turned out to be. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, this is a perfect place to start. Continue reading
Should 2016 be forgot and never brought to mind…
There are, no doubt, a few people who love Donald Trump, hate music, don’t like zoo animals and despise beloved actors and actresses. For the rest of us, 2016 was terrible.
This calls for distractions. We asked Fiction Advocate contributors to tell us which books they read this year that helped them forget, even for fleeting moments, that David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gwen Ifill, Prince, and America — UPDATE: and George Michael and Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds — died over the last 12 months.
In what may be the only happy coincidence of the year, the vast majority of the recommendations below come from a few people who have some of the most important things to say about 2016: Continue reading
Watch it with us: Netflix streaming
The trope of the doppelgänger is a perennial favorite in the thriller and horror genres. There’s something fascinating and terrifying about the idea of a total stranger walking around with your face. We think of our bodies as synonymous with our personalities or souls, so the idea of two identical bodies with vastly different souls is fertile ground for horror and suspense. The Scapegoat was adapted by television director Charles Sturridge from a Daphne du Maurier novel that explores the same territory as The Prince and the Pauper: two physically identical men who trade lives and pretend to be each other; only here, the consequences are far more serious.
Watch it with us: Netflix streaming
I’m not going to spoil anything important about the fantastic Adam Wingard film The Guest. But if you want the optimum first viewing experience, stop reading right here and go watch it right now. Are you back? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
The Peterson family is mourning the recent death of their oldest son, Caleb, a soldier who was killed in combat. One day a stranger named David (Dan Stevens) knocks on their door, claiming to have served in the same unit as Caleb. He has nowhere else to go so they invite him to stay the night. Gradually David gets to know all four family members and manages to charm them while raising more and more questions, with us and with them, about who he is and where he came from. The Petersons’ 20-year-old daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) is the first to realize David is not who he says he is, but by then he has his hooks into every member of the family, including her.
What dark secrets does your future hold?
Ashley Wells, the movie critic behind The Boomstick Film Club, looks deep into her evil book in search of your new favorite movie.
Write the names of the last 3 movies you loved in the comments section, and Ash will consult her necronomicon and give you a personalized recommendation for what to watch next.
Klaatu barada nikto!
Watch it with us: Netflix
Dirty Pretty Things could hardly be farther from what I expected it to be. The movie poster, featuring Audrey Tautou gazing at the viewer over her own bare shoulder, underscored by the film’s title in cut-out ransom-note letters, looks as though it was made for a snarky, stylized thrill ride full of snappy dialogue and gleeful misbehavior, which the early aughts were chockablock with. Instead, the film is a tense, harrowing look at the lengths people have to go to in order to survive in a new country. Tautou, whose star was on the rise after Amelie, isn’t even the main character. She’s pivotal to the story, but our guide through this world is Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Nigerian immigrant with a dark past who makes a terrifying discovery one day at work.