the most perfect of films

slytherin girls tapping their matte black nails impatiently on the desks, waiting for charms to be over so they can fix their roots, fiddling with the laces of their worn out combat boots, applying perfect winged eyeliner without even trying, scrawling their name in sharpies on the bottoms of their desks, wearing shorts in the dead of winter because they could, sending each other bad selfies in the middle of the night, perfecting the messy bun, dorms filled with old polariods and louboutins and old sweaters strewn everywhere

hufflepuff girls having kitchen raids at two in the morning, wearing ridiculously oversize yellow sweaters, using dry shampoo much too often, wearing the most glittery highlighters, perfecting curled ombre hair, using up whole packs of polaroid film at once, leaving nice notes on everyone’s bed, wearing ripped tights because why not, always laughing in the hallways, playing muggle music on old record players and dorms filled with all kinds of plants and cacti 

gryffindor girls having the perfect dutch braids, all taking baths in the prefects bathroom at the same time, dancing in the rain, snapping their gum loudly, watching old films in the common room, perfecting the red lip, doing dares that seem stupid in the morning, playing muggle soccer on the quidditch pitch, group chats with every gryffindor girl, wearing red ponchos that are obnoxiously loud when you move, dorms draped in gold and covered in lights and always having enough snacks laying around

ravenclaw girls having study sessions and always writing the most beautiful notes, perfecting their sharp eyebrows, watching netflix when they’re supposed to be studying, making their own perfumes, running around in the hallways after curfew, having a flawless instagram feed, wearing tattered and ripped jeans, annotating books until they were covered in notes, brewing their own skin treatments, dorms filled with stacks of books and to do lists and covered in blue lights

You know what irritates me more than anything? People who complain about the lack of diversity in Hollywood, but when a show/film that embraces diversity comes their way they let it tank. If you want diversity please watch Emerald City (which is in danger of not getting renewed) and the new Power Rangers film (again in danger of not being able to go ahead with future sequels). By all means they’re not perfect, but they’re doing something that most shows/films don’t do for the sake of profit.

 So often we’ve argued that a film or show can be successful with a POC/ LGBT/ Female cast and yet we’re letting these films/shows down. I cannot stress enough how it’s so important to support such content that dare subvert against the norms of Hollywood, because it proves to major production companies that these so called “risks” of representation actually pay off. 

However if we let films/shows like these tank, then we’re contributing to the continuous lack of representation in mainstream cinema and tv. We are confirming that these sort of risks are non-profitable and therefore not worth it. 

So please go out and watch Power Rangers and watch Emerald City. 

8

Oh, I’m a good old rebel, now that’s just what I am.
For this Yankee nation I don’t give a damn.
I’m glad I fought agin her, I only wish we’d won.
I ain’t asked any pardon for anything I’ve done.

I hates the yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the declaration of independence, too;
I hates the glorious union- ’tis dripping with our blood-
And I hates their striped banner, I fought it all I could.

anonymous asked:

Why is Empire Strikes Back your favorite? It seems to be everyone's favorite Star Wars movie

Not everyone, but it is very widely considered the best, yeah. Personally, it’s not just my favourite SW movie but my favourite movie, period (also not exactly uncommon).

Honestly, it’s hard to explain its greatness better than Bob Stephens’ review does here, and particularly his summation of it as peak “terrifying intimacy.” I like Ebert’s, too.

Personally, I wrote about reasons I love it here, a few… whoa, seven years ago. I’d rephrase/clarify some things, but mostly I feel the same.

I also posted about why the ESB duel in particular is my favourite here.

And I went on a tag screed about it, which I’ll just c/p:

Keep reading

“Cinderella does not need Prince Charming. She’d be fine without him. She’d be fine without the Prince. 

My job was to create a prince that was worthy of her affection. She would be fine without him. That’s the character. She’s strong and brave and doesn’t need him. Actually they bring out the best in each other and that’s why I wanted to do this […] Actually you need somebody that brings out the best in you and encourages you." 

- Richard Madden 

Dan Howell - He Find Out You’re Pregnant

You had been dating your boyfriend Dan Howell for 2 years and you were very settled with him, there had been not big announcements in your relationship like an engagement but you had one that was sure to change everything. The week before you noticed that your stomach had gone extremely week in the past weeks, your period was late and you were even moodier than usual, you spent a couple of days telling yourself you couldn’t be pregnant - willing yourself not to be pregnant but in the end you had to bite the bullet and take a test, they were the tensest 3 minutes of your life but sure enough you were pregnant.

Having convinced yourself you couldn’t be pregnant you had decided not to tell Dan that you were going to take a test and he was too oblivious to notice the changes you were experiencing so after the original shock had passed you had wanted to surprise him rather than just coming out and telling him.

It wasn’t that you didn’t want children with Dan, you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him and you had been together a good amount of time but you were still young, Dan was at the height of his career and you did know if you were ready - Not to mention on the topic of kids Dan always said he could never dress a baby never mind care for one - but now it was happening you had no choice but to face it and deal with it.

You had been trying to find a good way to tell Dan without being soppy, it was much harder than you first imagined it would be but then you found the perfect thing to tell him with was a romper that you found online that had labels of where each part of the body should go so that there was no confusion when he would need to ultimately change the baby. You knew he would find this funny so he would spend the first minute of shock with a mix of amusement so that he didn’t pass out.

Recently Dan had, had some sort of plan of when he was going to film, he never was one for planning so you didn’t expect him to stay with it for very long so now was your chance if you wanted to catch his reaction on camera because soon enough you would be showing and for all you knew Dan wouldn’t film for weeks at a time so knowing that he was filming in the next couple of days you prepared the box with the romper and the 3 pregnancy tests you took and left it in the draw on your side of the bed where you knew Dan didn’t go so it was safe, you also made sure that when Dan was at home you stuck close by him so you knew when he would be filming so you could give him the box.

A week later the day finally came when Dan said he would be filming, you told him that you wanted to watch and although he was suspicious he just agreed to it because it meant spending more time with you even though you couldn’t really talk when he was filming.

Filming went on without a hitch but just before Dan was about to film his outro you intervened, once the outro was filmed Dan would turn his camera straight off and then the moment would be lost so now was the perfect opportunity because he had filmed most of his video - if you told him before he filmed he would’ve been way too jumpy and excitable to film.

“Wait Dan, I have a present for you” you grin running back to your room to get the box as Dan had been filming in the living room.

Dan eyes you cautiously as he took the box from you, he looked at it from all angles as if it was a bomb about to go off.

“What is it?” Dan asked looking from the camera to you and then back again

“Bloody Hell Dan just open the box!” you laugh unable to keep the secret any longer

Holding up one hand in defence Dan slowly opens the box, at first he only sees the white of the romper which he pulls up and opens with one hand not even paying attention to the three tests left in the box. Dan’s eyes at first fill with confusion, he really doesn’t understand why you would give it too him even though it does say Dad on It.

“Look in the box” you laugh shaking your head, for someone so smart, Dan sure could be slow.

As soon as he does, Dan’s jaw drops and his eyes widen slightly, he turns slowly towards you not even able to force any words out of his mouth and all you can do is nod with a big grin on your face.

You stand up and walk over to Dan but before you can reach him, he runs towards you and scoops you up in his arms catching you off guard.

“Dan!” you giggle slapping his arm lightly but you quickly cuddle him back

“I’m going to be a dad?” he mutter with shock but you can hear happiness in his voice which helps relax you a little

When you pull away from Dan you notice his eyes full of tears and tear stained cheeks, Dan wasn’t a robot but he also didn’t show too much emotion - he certainly was not someone who cried a lot so you knew this was a good sign.

“I was worried you wouldn’t be happy” you admit biting your lip

“Why wouldn’t I be? I’m going to be a dad…. I’m going to be a dad!” Dan yells carrying you back towards the camera but continually muttering it, giving you a kiss every now and again.

2

Wadjda | 2013 | dir. Haifaa Al-Mansour

For me, the most meaningful final image of 2013 came from a perfect little poetic film that the Oscars have already ignored – the first Saudi Arabian film directed by a woman, and as first features go, basically a miracle – Wadjda.  In Saudi Arabia, where Wadjda’s mother (like all women) is prohibited to drive a car, Wadjda wants something little girls aren’t allowed to have either – a bicycle.  It won’t spoil too much to say that Wadjda bravely attains that bike by the end of the film, and after racing past the boy who one day wants to marry her, she arrives at this intersection.  There at the crossroads, all of adulthood streams past her, the men in their cars and she on her bike.  She looks left, she looks right; she smiles.  And our hearts swell with the certainty that nothing on earth will stop her.

8

Pinocchio

12 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Feb. 7th, 1940
Country: USA
Director: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske, etc.

Pinocchio was intended to be Disney’s third film, after Bambi. However due to difficulties with Bambi, it was put on hold and Pinocchio was moved ahead in production.

The plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be ‘brave, truthful, and unselfish’. Pinocchio’s efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavory characters.

Early scenes animated by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston show that Pinocchio’s design was exactly like that of a real wooden puppet. Animator Milt Kahl felt that Thomas, Johnston and Moore were 'rather obsessed with the idea of this boy being a wooden puppet’ and felt that they should 'forget that he was a puppet and get a cute little boy; you can always draw the wooden joints and make him a wooden puppet afterwards.' Despite the iconic nature of the scene in which Pinocchio’s nose grows, it only happens once in the film.

Disney urged the writers to evolve Pinocchio into a more innocent, naïve personality that reflected this design. However, Disney found that the new Pinocchio was too helpless. Therefore, in the summer of 1938 Disney and his story team established the character of the cricket. Originally the cricket was only a minor character that Pinocchio killed by squashing him with a mallet and that later returned as a ghost.

Pinocchio marked the first time an animated film used celebrities as voice actors. Disney cast popular singer Cliff Edwards, also known as 'Ukelele Ike,’ as Jiminy Cricket. Another voice actor recruited was Mel Blanc, most famous for voicing many of the characters in the Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Bros. Blanc was hired to perform the voice of Gideon the Cat. However, it was decided that Gideon would be mute, so all of Blanc’s recorded dialogue was deleted except for a solitary hiccup.

Pinocchio went into release accompanied by generally positive reviews. Although it became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award – winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for 'When You Wish Upon A Star’ – it was initially a box office disaster. It eventually made a profit in its 1945 reissue.

Pinocchio was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles, machinery and natural elements such as rain, lightning, snow, smoke, shadows and water. Many film historians consider this to be the film that most closely approaches technical perfection of all the Disney animated features.”

 

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Our Times 我的少女時代 (2015)

Background
Release date: 14 August 2015
Director: Frankie Chen
Cast: Vivian Sung, Darren Wang, Dino Lee
Genre: Romance, comedy


Plot
Lin Zhen Xin - your average Taiwanese schoolgirl struggling through the awkward years of pubertal adolescence - secretly pines after the most popular and perfect guy in school, Ouyang Extraordinary. Meanwhile, the school’s resident gangster and notorious badboy, Hsu Taiyu, harbours a secret crush on the school’s prettiest and most popular girl, Tao Minmin. Zhen Xin and Taiyu strike up a deal and decide to work together to help each other win the hearts of their dream dates. However, as the two grow to become unlikely friends, they begin to discover what true love really means and how growing up is never how one expects it to be.


Review
My first impression of Our Times was how much it reminded me of You Are the Apple of My Eye. A coming-of-age film - set against the backdrop of a humble Taiwanese high school - and featuring the ever-present badboy (that has since become a staple in all teenaged films) who, against all odds, falls in love with the school’s prettiest and most perfect girl. Of course, the protagonist of this film here happens to be an ordinary, if socially awkward, run-of-the-mill teenager instead of the gloriously flawless Shen Chia Yi of You Are the Apple of My Eye.

Both films feature somewhat similar storylines about young love, growing up and receiving a hard knock on the head courtesy of reality - but it’s a theme that everyone can relate to, so it’s something that works. With its flashbacks to the 90s, Our Times creates a sense of nostalgia as it allows us to reminisce on the days without Internet, without mobile phones, without computers - where life was simpler, relationships were harder and love was as evasive as ever. Of course, this non-linear timeline and retro recollections is something that You Are the Apple of My Eye coined first, but Our Times does a lovely job of recreating and paraphrasing it.





The protagonist of the story is the loveable Lin Zhen Xin - with her dorky spectacles, tousled locks and bumbling clumsiness, she’s the epitome of the awkward adolescent girl and you can’t help but secretly root for her as you watch her mature from her schoolgirl naivete and blossom into a capable, functional adult. Vivian Sung does an excellent job in creating a character that all of us can love and cheer for, in spite of what seem like insurmountable odds and her character’s apparent mediocrity.

But the star of the show, really, is Hsu Taiyu. Can I just shamelessly admit up-front that I do not think that the movie would be half as enjoyable if it hadn’t cast such a good-looking lead actor? Where does Frankie Chen even find such people!!

You know how mothers and well-meaning friends always tell you to avoid badboys at all costs, because we all know how badboys and broken hearts have such an excellent track record together? Well, Hsu Taiyu is the exact reason why you should just throw all that advice out the window. As the school’s most notorious gangster, he skips classes, engages in mini turf-wars with other gangs, flirts outrageously with girls, drinks way too much beer, doesn’t seem to give two hoots about his future or education  - the list goes on and long story short, you wouldn’t want your daughter to go near Taiyu with a ten foot pole.  

However, as the plot unfolds, we realise that beneath Taiyu’s hardened exterior lies a softer, more sensitive side of him that has been swept into seclusion by a terrible accident involving his best friend several years earlier. From the little gestures and thoughtful presents that he procures for Zhen Xin, it’s not difficult to figure out that beneath his bravado, Taiyi is just this big ol’ softie. I guarantee you that by the end of the movie, you would have fallen hopelessly in love with Taiyu and you will leave the cinema disgruntled and discontent with the world and its apparent lack of real-life Taiyus.



Taiyu and Zhen Xin are utterly adorable together - watching them fumble through the beginnings of their awkward friendship and wade through the ambiguous seas of young love, there’s that “Will they, won’t they?” feeling that keeps you guessing about whether or not they will FINALLY acknowledge their feelings for each other and get together already. It’s rare to care so much about a couple but these two really are characters that you grow to love over the course of the show and by the end of the movie, you’ll be smiling, laughing and crying along with them.







An honourable mention goes to Dino Lee, who plays Ouyang Extraordinary (LOL - I swear his name doesn’t sound so stupid in Chinese) - the school’s valedictorian and the most perfect, clean-cut boy you could ever imagine. For a first timer, I have to say that he does a pretty decent job of providing a worthy rival in love against Hsu Taiyu and it’s a good effort as his debut performance. I think he could live off doing toothpaste commercials for the rest of his life because he has the most brilliant smile EVER.



In spite of the excellent casting, fantastic cinematography and sharp, witty dialogue, Our Times does fall a little short of You Are the Apple of My Eye in terms of character development and its plot. While I enjoyed seeing Jerry Yan pop out of nowhere as future Hsu Taiyu, the jump in the timeline (THIRTY YEARS) is way too large for anyone to form any sort of attachment to the grown up versions of Zhen Xin and Taiyu. Over the course of the movie, we’ve grown to love the actors Vivien Sung and Darren Wang and their electric chemistry together - something that Jerry Yan and Joe Chen (who plays the older Zhen Xin) clearly lack because they only had like 3 minutes of screen time together. You Are the Apple of My Eye understood the importance of continuity and while the film did jump a few years into the future, it chose to retain its original actors and make them appear older and more mature so that we could see for ourselves, how the characters had grown up over the course of the years. And this sense of continuity is so important because it creates a sense of finality as we watch all the loose ends get wrapped up, as we see our favourite characters with the same faces (if older looking) get the endings that they deserve. Throwing in new actors to represent the old characters that I had grown to love just made me feel like I was watching an entirely different movie altogether and this really cheapened the ending of Our Times, leaving me feeling a tad bit unsatisfied. 

In terms of plot, Our Times can be a little bit draggy in the sense that it focuses a little too much on the blossoming romance between Taiyu and Zhen Xin to the extent that the supporting cast drifts off into the backseat and becomes more of background noise than anything else. I’m never one to complain about romance or the excess of it, but I loved how You are The Apple of My Eye was a story about friendship as well as love; because this made it all the more relatable. Aren’t the best memories of our high school years mostly about the friendships that we form in boring, stuffy classrooms; the buddies that slogged with us through agonising exams, the classmates that we giggle with as we spy on the cutest boy in school? Because really, unlike Zhen Xin, how many of us have had the privilege of being chased by the hottest, baddest boy at school?



Nevertheless, Our Times definitely has a stronghold over You Are The Apple of My Eye in terms of its happier, simpler ending (Although in my opinion, You Are The Apple of My Eye has a better ending - while it may not be fairytale-happy, it’s realistic, mature and really makes you reflect on your youth and how you’ve grown up since then). Our Times does well in borrowing some of our favourite elements from the latter - the nostalgic feel of dusty, rudimentary classrooms, the simpleness of life in the 90s and its lack of technology, the understanding that young love - no matter the era - will always remain as frustrating and as heart-breaking as it always has been.

Our Times is one of those feel-good movies that no one (not even the older folk I think) will regret watching. It’s funny, it’s warm and it’ll pull at your heartstrings even - just don’t expect it to be realistic or logical and you won’t be disappointed. If only young love could be as simple and as rewarding as Our Times makes it out to be!



Rating
How good the movie was: 7/10
How much I enjoyed it: 9/10


Favourite scene (spoiler alert!)
At this point in the movie, it’s evident that Taiyu and Zhen Xin have begun to develop feelings for each other but neither of them has the balls to admit it. Zhen Xin continues to openly chase Ouyang and Taiyu pursues Tao Minmin with an almost resigned sort of vengeance.

In this scene, Ouyang sprains his ankle in the middle of one of his ever-famous basketball practices and hobbles over to the side bench, nursing his swollen ankle. Zhen Xin, who happens to be in the little provision shop just behind the bench, procures a popsicle stick from the store in hopes of offering it to Ouyang for him to ice his ankle. But instead of going up to him, she remains in the doorway just out of Ouyang’s sight, clutching the popsicle to her chest and hesitating to approach him.

Taiyu, who happens to be eating his favourite seasame noodles within the provision shop at the time, sees the entire sequence of events unfold and understands that Zhen Xin is way too shy to approach Ouyang on her own. He gets up, gives Zhen Xin a little push towards Ouyang and flashes her his trademark smirk, as if encouraging her to go for it. 

As Zhen Xin happily offers the popsicle to Ouyang, Taiyu turns his back to her and we see that his eyes have welled up with tears and he’s trying his best not to cry as he watches the love of his life walk away from him towards another boy. :(


Someone hand me a tissue already!

I can’t believe a show like Sense8 actually exists. How did we get so lucky?! That Christmas special was truly a masterpiece. It didn’t disappoint. The opening scene, birthday celebrations, orgy, and Christmas montages were beyond stunning. All were filmed brilliantly with the most perfect songs. Why do we have to wait till May for more? I want the rest of season two now.

It’s January. It’s cold, it’s wet, no one has any money and no one wants to do anything. Which is actually pretty perfect, cos when is it better to watch some rainy day films than on a wet January weekend? Not only can you watch some classics, you’ll save money by not being out and about.

So, the criteria for these films: they need to have adventure, they need to be fun, and they need to take you on a journey without you having to leave your sofa. Here are our top pics.

Keep reading

2

When Mike gave me this tiara, he said, “You’re my queen, and I think you should have a tiara.” I wore it for the first time when we went to the Academy Awards. It was the most perfect night, because Mike’s film Around the World in 80 Days won for Best Picture. It wasn’t fashionable to wear tiaras then, but I wore it anyway, because he was my king.

Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd at the 29th Academy Awards, 1957. 

THE MOST INTERESTING INDIAN FILMS RELEASED IN THE YEAR OF 2014

This year, I watched more films than ever before (over 65 if I’m showing off) and enjoyed every second of pouring over their details, scrutinising and analysing them and their merits, and just generally being a nerd. I did have a full list of ten (it included Haider, Jigarthanda and Dedh Ishqiya if you were wondering) but I had nothing to say about them. They were perfect, solid, inventively sculpted pieces of cinema. I agreed with their aesthetics and politics. But it’s really hard for me to say what makes them so great. They just…are!

So the films in this list are simply the most interesting; the films which are perhaps not always perfect, but could not have been made in any other way, for any other audience, in any other language or cultural climate. They are works that have surprised me, will continue to surprise me, and that I’m sure will prove to be of great cultural importance to the industries they were produced in. I hope that all makes sense! So here we go:

7. Oohalu Gusagusalade



Sometimes the most brilliant films are not those that try to be everything, to break new ground, or impress with breathtaking craft. Sometimes, a brilliant film will utilise simplicity in such a charming way that you don’t even wish it tried to be ‘better’. If you are making a romantic comedy, you need a good looking lead pair, some relatable romance and some comedy that is actually funny. You do not need a club song or incessant innuendos or suicide and heartbreak. Kudos to this lovely little film which knew exactly what it was and what it needed to do, while subtly and brilliantly assessing the place of a woman’s choice in arranged marriage. 

6. Bangalore Days


An ‘epic’ is generally considered to be a film with massive production values, conjuring up a huge sense of escapism and a time and a place you never dreamed of seeing, complete with a sprawling time scale and a vaguely existentialist battle between good and evil. But then there is another kind of epic; the kind that boldly attempts to encompass the entire human condition, from youth to adulthood. One of Bangalore Days’ many strokes of genius was casting the ever-popular romantic pairing of Nazriya and Nivin Pauly as cousins, deftly pronouncing the importance of family and friendships that so many Indian films leave at the wayside. Bangalore Days is a whole life lived, with a cast of characters who will feel like your own kin when it’s over. 

5. Kill/Dil


How did Shaad Ali imagine this film? Where did the ideas spring from? What kind of brain can envisage such visual composition, such a rich colour palette, and this bewildering sense of kinetic energy on a two-dimensional screen? Films like this, that have a genuine madcap ingenuity and creativity behind them (and I’m talking about the physical, tangible CRAFT of the art-form) are destined to be critical failures. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. God bless Yash Raj Films, India’s most commercial production house, for allowing a filmmaker to experiment, and ultimately fail in telling a story, but excel in the art of making images. 

4. Hasee Toh Phasee


Meeta and Nikhil sit down at a bus stand after storming out of the family home. Meeta has returned after disappearing for years without a trace. The wounds are still raw. Nikhil is attracted to her mystery, the fierce independence in her actions. He wants to know what is driving all these choices. To explain, she takes out a red rubber ball. She drops it and it bounces furiously around the bus stand. It doesn’t stop. It just keeps bouncing. He was not expecting that. This red ball, and indeed Meeta’s character, are almost metaphors for this film - a small but vital shot of total insanity amongst the mundane.

3. Punjab 1984


Masala films have a lot in common with the post-apocalyptic genre: those barren, hopeless villages where ordinary folk are terrorised by archetypal evil landlords or corrupt rulers, to be saved only by a singular righteous hero. Using no tricks, technical machinery or effects, Punjab 1984 conjures up this otherworldly atmosphere quite beautifully, employing a steadfastly Indian mode of storytelling which never dilutes or insults the real-life significance of the issue at hand. This film was hard to trust, given that it stars BJP-member Kirron Kher and (allegedly) Sukhbir Badal-supporting Diljit Dosanjh, but its even handed, delicate treatment of separatism makes its ultimately humanist message impossible to disagree with. Smaller budgets make sharper filmmakers, and regional cinema is now the place to turn for honestly made and truly Indian movies.

2. Madras


On the surface, this is just a perfectly sculpted story we’ve heard a thousand times before: two opposing political forces exploiting impressionable youths into carrying out their dirty bidding. There are two best friends whose ideologies drift apart, a romance that becomes a vessel of redemption, and a vivid backdrop of an urban slum and its cast of colourful characters from gangsters to nagging mothers. On this level its a good, engrossing film, but little else. But then, notice the Ambedkar portraits that hang in every house, the Christian names, the political literature that lingers on the bookshelves. These characters are Dalits, once ‘untouchable’ people. And this colourful neighborhood they inhabit is government sanctioned 'slum clearance’ social housing - a ghetto in the most literal sense of the word. The film gains a host of added nuances. Every heartwarming interaction between friends or relations becomes a middle finger to centuries of disgraceful oppression. Their ownership of their environment becomes a reclaiming of this prison. Madras is either a perfectly told saga of wasted youth and failed democracy, or an important document of the current state of the caste struggle. Either way, its a fabulous entry into a canon of cinema that could only be made in the Tamil language, and a fervently proud, rebellious and working-class masterpiece.


1. Highway


I’m going to have to try and be critical about a piece of work which moved me so deeply and profoundly that I was quite literally in tears for half of its two hour runtime. I’m going to have to try and be critical about a film which was so personal to me that whenever I thought about it over the next few days, I burst into tears all over again. I’m going to have to try and be critical about a film which beautifully summed up everything I have ever thought about our futile material existence on this Earth, a film which explores love and kindness and compassion between human beings simply and poetically. This is a story about the haves and have-nots, about the divide between rich and poor, about our priorities, the very nature of the things which give us happiness. It is a film about women, about innocence, about childhood, about family. And all of this from the man who gave us Love Aaj Kal? Ok I’m finished, that’s about as critical as I can get for a film which is so much more than just perfect.

Once again, this list really took over my life. There are of course some fabulous looking films I didn’t get to see (and literally tons more of crappy ones that I actually sat through). These are the films which inspired me, got me thinking, and really forced me to engage with them critically. I look forward to hearing what you think! Much love, and happy new year!!