early dispatches from movie season

Last year I mentioned I had never seen a single Pixar movie, including any Toy Story movie. Many wmtc readers recommended I watch all three Toy Story movies, which seemed excessive to me, but I thought it was time to at least see one.

I'm watching "Toy Story" as I write this, because it doesn't hold my interest enough to watch without something else to do. The movie is cute. It is mildly entertaining. The animation is beautiful and the voices are good, but I can't watch a movie for either of those elements. It is just not especially interesting or compelling. I guess this kind of movie is just not for me.

On the other side of the spectrum, last night we watched "Made In Dagenham". This story of striking female factory workers in 1968 England might as well have been made with me in mind. Of all the people's movements, I find the struggle of working people for justice the most moving, and I identify with it above all else, except perhaps the struggle of women for social and legal equality. Put the two together in a well written movie with solid acting, and I'm gone. Worker solidarity, sisterhood stronger than class boundaries, activism that resulted in real change, and one woman discovering herself as a leader: highly recommended.

The BBC Series "Planet Earth" is magnificent. It focuses on phenomena humans have rarely seen, let alone recorded, like a snow leopard hunting in the mountains of Pakistan or a piranha feeding frenzy. Each episode ends with a mini documentary about how a segment was filmed, which is nearly as extraordinary as the film itself. In the three episodes we've seen, the producers have missed an opportunity to connect the natural phenomena to the threats of climate change, habitat destruction and other human-made pressures. They seem almost determined to scrub any political point of view from the film, which is disappointing. But the film is still revelatory - truly amazing.

"A Dog Year" isn't much of a movie, but we'll watch anything with dogs. It seems I'd rather watch a mediocre movie with a beautiful Border Collie than a famously well-made movie with talking toys.

No comments: