Summertime = free time = revisiting my Netflix Instant queue.
Lo, the treasures uncovered…
Okay, just two of them so far- not as much free time as I would have liked
The lesser is a documentary from the UK called “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures,” directed by and starring Chris Waitt, a 30 year old filmmaker who is trying to figure out why he cannot sustain a relationship. He decides to interview his ex-girlfriends to understand what went wrong.
If the premise sounds cliche or immature, it is. There was a smack-my-head moment somewhere towards the start of my viewing. And yes, there’s a bunch of ostentatious sexual adventures which are too silly to be real “documentary,” including a visit to a sex dungeon and an overdose of Viagra pills. We the audience (at least we females) need hardly imagine why Chris’s naive, lazy, and often immature passivity hasn’t helped him score a girlfriend and these suspicions are confirmed in Chris’s interviews.
However, Chris is ultimately an endearing and funny protagonist. His discoveries are our own and the best discovery is that there’s a genuinely true love story at the center of the documentary. Each interview is unique and compelling, and there is progressively more at stake in Chris’s understanding of himself via love with each one.
The second Netflix Instant treasure is truly a gem. “Poetry,” a Korean film directed by Chang-dong Lee, is fricking amazing. Like, watchitnowbecauseawesomemoviecannotwaitIstilhavechills awesome.
Still need convincing? Dammit. How can I summarize such a beautiful movie? Here’s a try-
“Poetry” follows Mija, a 66 year old woman living with her grandson in a small urban apartment. She is wonderfully optimistic despite facing a slew of problems, including a detached family, a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s, and financial troubles. To capitalize on this optimism, she joins a poetry class, which challenges her to write one poem by the end of the month.
However, the real disturbance in Mija’s life occurs when a local girl commits suicide and her grandson is accused of being part of a school gang that secretly raped her and led her to her death.
The film questions how one can find poetic beauty amid such horrifying revelations. Mija’s desire to write poetry is impeded on various levels. If poetry is one’s ability to translate beauty into words, then her Alzheimer’s steals, and will continue to steal, that power away from her. The film also deeply criticizes the patriarchal structure of Mija’s community which aims to protect the male rapists and continuously deems Mija’s poetic joy as irrational or unnecessary.
Needless to say, Mija does find her poetry but does so in an unforeseen, quite glorious way. To say any more would be spoilerific. Honestly, go watch it please. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in a really long time (suck it, Avengers)