Daily Archives: January 2, 2021

Cinema Saturday, 1/2/21

Little Woods

Year: 2018
Runtime: 1h 45m
Rated: R

Director: Nia DaCosta

Writer: Nia DaCosta

Stars: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby

“Your choices are only as good as your options are.”

Initial: Nia DaCosta is the director of the upcoming Candyman reboot/remake, which I’m cautiously optimistic about. I figured I’d check out her feature debut.

Production Details: Won the Nora Ephron award for “excellence in storytelling by a female writer or director.” (In this case, both.)

What Did I Think:
One of the things I found interesting about this story is the extra layer of dread that pervades each scene due to the main characters being female. On top of all the things that could go wrong for Ollie or Deb, they are women moving carefully through a world of men. They are characters with agency, though. Their problems are their own and their choices are their own. This movie hangs on Tessa Thompson and Lily James and they rise to the occasion. It’s a shame Little Woods didn’t get much attention when it came out. It’s currently available in the US via Hulu.

Strange Days

Year: 1995
Runtime: 2h 25m
Rated: R

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writers: James Cameron, Jay Cocks

Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis

“People finding out… seeing… that the LAPD just flat out executed Jeriko One. Jesus. Maybe they ought to see.”

Initial: Rewatch on New Year’s Eve. Figured it was appropriate.

Production Notes: Bigelow spent a year designing the cameras for the first-person POV scenes due to hand-held being too shaky and steadicam being too steady.

What Did I Think:
I feel like I just wrote about Strange Days, but I guess I didn’t. According to Letterboxd, I watched it last on the third of January 2019. This is one of my favorite under-appreciated action films. It’s not based on a franchise or even a Philip K. Dick short story! The dialog is pretty clunky sometimes, but Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett can make it work. And I feel like there is a sad quaintness to the notion that seeing racism played out so blatantly could be immediately world-changing.