The Weekend Watchlist
I’m currently in the process of moving so this weekend will be packed with well, packing. But I am still planning to see a film I’ve been hearing about and looking forward to for a while. The new film about the Austin music scene by acclaimed director Terrence Malik, Song to Song (2017), was met with mixed reviews. I’ve heard the visual style and lack of script are what make it so divisive so I’m looking forward to seeing it and making up my own mind about it.
I also received my newest DVD from Netflix (yeah, some people still do that), Noah Baumbach’s film Greenberg (2012). As a once ardent hater of Greta Gerwig and all mumblecore, I have slowly but surely been reacquainting myself with the genre and the staple films of it. I loved Maggie’s Plan (2015) with Gerwig and While We're Young (2014) by Baumbach but hated Mistress America (2015) where the two of them collaborated. So I’m excited to see where I fall on this film where Gerwig’s character plays the love interest for Ben Stiller (seems like a very odd pair if you ask me).
This weekend, the Detroit Film Theater (DFT) is showing a couple of 2016 documentaries I’ve been meaning to see. So between work, Passover Seder, etc., I’m hoping to squeeze in at least one trip to the cinema. One of the films is Kedi (2016), a Turkish documentary about the large free-roaming cat population in Istanbul. From what I gather, the film is a meditation on the relationship between human and feline culture (I’m not sure if it’s zoologically accurate to speak of “feline culture,” but let’s go with it) and deals with Istanbul’s changing economic, cultural and material landscapes. As a cat person with an interest in visual representations of urban space, I’d be remiss to not catch it in theaters. For anyone who’s interested, this is the final weekend of Kedi’s run at the DFT.
But if I make it to only one screening, I’ll likely prioritize seeing Cameraperson (2016), which is playing this weekend only at the DFT. This autobiographical collage documentary incorporates a range of footage from around the world, shot over decades by director Kirsten Johnson during her career as a documentary cinematographer. The film garnered loads of buzz and awards last year. It’s actually streaming on Amazon already, but with the blurb from distributor Janus Films describing it as “a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world,” Cameraperson seems to beg to be seen on the big screen.
About a year and a half ago, a dear friend with great taste in movies recommended that I watch Heart of a Dog (2015) by artist/musician Laurie Anderson. This weekend, I’m finally going to dive in. It’s a meditation on the life of Anderson’s dog, Lolabelle. And given the style of her other works, the narrative can be expected to hit some profound depths. I’m reminded a bit of Ulrich Seidl’s unique documentary masterpiece, Animal Love (1995), but doubtless with greater introspection, emotion, and a groovier soundtrack. Here’s the trailer:
I’ll also be tuning in for the terminal finale of one of my guilty TV pleasures: HBO’s Girls. This season has been consistently strong, with the storytelling maturing as much as the characters. And with my other TV addiction, The Magicians, ending later in the week, I’ll hopefully survive the withdrawal and shift that extra energy into reading books again until Game of Thrones returns. Girls will conclude on Sunday 4/16 at 10pm EST on HBO.