Puzzle (2018)

Puzzle is a movie about the transformation of a mousey, suburban mom into a real person, complex and willing to stand up for herself. I love coming-of-age movies, but one featuring a woman in her 40s with grown children, was so much better for reasons I cannot quite put my finger on. Kelly Macdonald’s performance is inspired. Highly recommended.

Quarantine Double Feature: Judy followed by Judy Garland Live at Carnegie Hall (1961)

Judy, available on Amazon Prime for $2.99, followed by Judy Garland Live at Carnegie Hall (1961). The movie is an outstanding performance by Renée Zellweger that really helps in understanding why Judy Garland was such a beloved figure. Then, listening to her Judy Garland live in one of the greatest live albums ever recorded? Well, it’s not a bad way to spend a few hours.

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Mubi

“Every day our experts introduce you to a film they love and you have a whole month to watch it, so there will always be 30 extraordinary films for you to enjoy.”

Mubi

Streaming service of 30 films for $10.99/month. Every day, one new film is added and a film that has been available for 30 days leaves. Second time I’ve heard of it and thought I’d bookmark it.

Salafistes

Salafistes is, from start to finish, a gruesome film. Originally shot in Timbuktu after the town fell under jihadist control in 2012, the documentary takes place over the course of four years—first, with live footage of life under Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali; later, using propaganda videos from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2014. Interspersed with the scenes of violence are rare interviews with some of salafism’s most prominent, and radical, theologians, including political leaders of Al-Qaeda in Mauritania and Mali, as they are asked a series of political and philosophical questions: How do you regard democracy? (“Against Islam.”) Women? (“Irrational, and half the worth of a man.”) Homosexuality? (“Against human nature.”) America? (“9/11 was deserved.”)

—Maddy Crowell, “Salafistes.” The Point. April 9, 2019.

Very Slow Movie Player (VSMP)

“VSMP is an object that contains a Raspberry Pi computer, custom software, and a reflective ePaper display (similar to a Kindle), all housed inside a 3D printed case. Every 2.5 minutes a frame from the film stored on the computer’s memory card is extracted, converted to black and white using a dithering algorithm, and then communicated to the reflective ePaper display. This adds up to playing the film at a rate of 24 frames per hour, which is in contrast to the traditional speed of 24 frames per second…VSMP also suggests a pull in a different direction towards new possibilities of ornament and decoration, towards ways to make our digital lives present in our physical world in more subtle ways.”

—Bryan Boyer. “Very Slow Movie Player.” Medium.com. December 22, 2018.

The ideas of playing with time, using natural light display technologies, and integrating both into objects and architecture are fascinating.