The Ornithologist (2016), João Pedro Rodrigues

I feel like I really need to start getting more familiar with João Pedro Rodrigues’ filmography because I was pretty much completely blown away by this, an undeniably undefinable but shockingly grand film of literal biblical proportions, one full of sex and dreamlike horror that continuously made me smile and squirm for all of its complete understanding of how it feels to be lost and confused with seemingly no answers in sight, and I couldn’t get enough of it. 

Metacritic: 84, RT: 85%, IMDb: 6.6

Children of Heaven (1997), Majid Majidi

I tend to love any film that focuses on youth, films that feature such high, intense emotion over what may seem like such trivial, everyday types of scenarios that play out in such extreme and life affirming ways, because the reality is that to these young children, the importance of just one pair of shoes and the fear of explaining that mishap to their parents is worthy enough to create this secret and taxing method to hopefully making it all work out in the end, and the film also explores how even surprising victory can still lead to disappointment when you have your mind set on such a specific goal, celebrating a child’s vigor while still fully recognizing their understandable disappointment, because, in all seriousness, how does someone get to school without shoes? 

Metacritic: n/a, RT: 82%, IMDb: 8.4

Here’s my tribute to the films created by the amazing Studio Ghibli. A celebratory retrospective season is bringing some of Ghibli’s most beloved titles back to the big screen. I wanted to create a tribute to the wide range of films this amazing studio has produced rather than focus on just one. I really wanted to convey the positive themes that these films promote and I hope I’ve managed to achieve that.