Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

60 CYCLES (1965)
A short Canadian documentary by Jean-Claude Labrecque about Quebec's St. Laurent long-distance bicycle race. It's only about 15 minutes and has very little dialogue, but by juxtaposing the picturesque background with the movement of the cyclists, it turns the race itself into something of a personal journey for its participants. Very well-shot and edited; I'm always fascinated by films that really capture movement, and I didn't ever really think that watching a bike race could look so exciting. ****

Vanessa Hudgens plays Apple, a pregnant 16 year-old who runs out on her abusive mother and has a disappointing meeting with her long-lost father. Her life begins to turn around when a priest helps her into a shelter for pregnant teens (the shelter is real, and was the inspiration for the film itself). What the film does really well is paint a picture of what the social work system is like in real life, and how it has so many bureaucratic layers that it can be impossible to bring about any meaningful change, even in the life of an individual. It's too easy to get lost in it. Frankly, we live in a country where everyone seems to be so scared that what they have is going to get taken away somehow, or they might have to actually share something for a minute, that they're just being as goddamn selfish as they possibly can. That seems to be what the American Way really is. And this isn't a movie that reaches much beyond Lifetime movie cliches (although Hudgens, bless her, is really trying), but at least it illustrates that people don't deserve scorn just because they need help. ***


Jason said...

Your comment at the end about the "real" American way is brilliant. Mind if I repost that?

SamuraiFrog said...

Be my guest.