Keep up with all of the 2014 Watch-a-thon right here.
- St. Vincent
- The Tale of Princess Kaguya
- Carrie (2013)
- Force Majeure
- Chicken Run*
Key: * = rewatch, ~ = rewatch within the same year. If a movie is highlighted in blue, then it is one of the 300 which I have sworn to see this year.
Documentaries, of course, are under no obligation to cover both sides. Mross doesn’t have to incorporate anti-bitcoin talking heads. But taking an advocating stance on its subject means that the documentary’s arguments have to withstand some level of scrutiny. And as a basic argument for bitcoins, it fails. I’m hard-pressed to imagine a scenario where someone who knows little about bitcoins will be swayed in their favor by the film. It takes as a given that government regulation is bad while presenting, briefly as it does, numerous scenarios that just beg for regulators. And the one-sidedness means that going into the doc to learn the basics about bitcoins is a dicey proposition.
Sex is still a taboo topic, to one degree or another, in most parts of the world. Historically, art has played a tremendous role in rolling back such taboos and getting people to speak openly about sex and sexuality. Documentary cinema is no different in this regard. It is an incredibly intimate art form, and it perhaps never gets more intimate with its subjects than when dealing with the topic of sex. These films feature people laid bare (often literally) before the viewer, to the cause of opening dialogues about sex. Taboos are broken when silence is broken, and each of these documentaries explores a different aspect of sex or sexuality.
Whereas the press defied the Presidency in reporting on the Pentagon Papers, when Webb published his investigation, it circled the wagons around the government and devoted much more energy to attacking him than it did to finding out whether he was on to something. Ellsberg himself has said that he’d be unlikely to get off so easily if he were to do the same thing today that he did in 1969.
Some Harry Potter fans merely read the books and see the movies. For die-hards, that’s not enough. They express their devotion by writing Harry Potter fan fiction or forming wizard-themed rock bands. Some even play Quidditch. That would be the broom-riding, ball-tossing sport invented by the author of the Potter books, J.K. Rowling.
St. Vincent will surely be a Redbox hit for a few months, after which it is quite possible that it will disappear through humanity forgetting about it and ceasing to believe it exists, like Queen Mab at the end of Merlin. I can’t even imagine Bill Murray diehards being too enthused for it. Only brief moments, like him languidly singing along to Bob Dylan, feel anything like the schtick we know and love. The rest is a pop-twee meh.