Movies: Lo and Behold, Ixcanul, The People vs. Fritz Bauer, Equity

Lo and Behold, Reveries Of The Connected World

lo

Famed filmmaker Werner Herzog creates a feature documentary worthy of our attention.  The focus is on the creation, the present and future of the internet.  There is no doubt the world wide web has transformed the planet as we now know it.

This film explores some very different perspectives on the topic.  Some of it disturbing, some if it bizarre, some of it enlightening.  Mr. Herzog takes us on the internet version of Mr. Toad’s wild ride from invention to a plausible prediction of global disaster.

The interviews are facinating including Spacex/Tesla’s Elon Musk, scientist Leonard Kleinrock, medical scientist Adrien Treuille, hacking expert Kevin Mitnick, self driving car experts Sebastian Thurn and Rajkumar and robot guru Joydeep Biswas.

I came away more than mildly concerned.  After all there are so many things that could go wrong…solar flares, global hacking, the implosion of international financial systems.  It probably would not be a good idea to pair the latest Planet of the Apes movie as a double feature.

Rating 2 globes

Ixcanul

ixcanul

Maya/Spanish with English subtitles.

This is a unique and visually satisfying film debut by Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante.  Ixcanul means Volcano in the Mayan language.  More specifically the Kaqchikel dialect is spoken by the highlands community of farm workers.

The young are innocent and naive.  The adults are driven by ageless customs, and the daily struggle to eck out a living on the remote coffee plantations.  By contrast, there are deep rooted indigenous traditions that dictate their actions, family, business and social lives.

It feels like a facinating peek behind the curtain into another world and culture.  Largely acted by non-professionals and directed/produced by talent from Guatemala, France, and Spain.

There is a funny scene in the pig pen early on and a powerful ending that will generate conversation.  Do seek this one out.  It will be a unique movie experience.

Rating 3 globes

The People vs. Fritz Bauer

fritz bauer

If you want to know what Germany was like during the 1950s trying to cope with the postwar Nazi regime, then you will like this film.  Watching it was like watching an old news reel.  It felt like you were an outside observer of the candid conversations of the government officials of the day.

Best of all, it is based on true events.  If you are a history buff, you may already know the story of the search for the war criminal Adolf Eichmann.  But this film reveals its plot in layers and they are many.  The film itself is a bit bleak at times.  Alternatively, it is stunning.

Some of the dialog clips along at a quick pace that can be challenging since the story is told in German with English subtitles.  Good acting, some noteworthy nuauces, lots of twists and turns, and a fair amount of energized banter.

This was certainly my favorite pick of the week.

Rating 4 globes

Equity

equity

The critics were less than kind to this movie and we had a hard time finding this in the theaters even though it was only recently released.

The topic is women in senior positions in investment banks.  It is well done.  It was believable (mostly).  Directed by Meera Menon in her third movie release.  Written by Amy Fox, Sarah Megan Thomas, and Alysia Reiner who also costarred along with Anna Gunn.

These characters and the industry they work in require ‘tough as nails’ characters as they navigate the male dominated landscape.  The stakes are big and the drama is just as monumental.

On the fun side, I had to chuckle now and then, mentally reflecting on my time with a major financial institution and some of the politically powerful personalities I encountered.  I don’t miss it.  Try not to miss this film if possible.  Its message is laser on target.

Rating 3 globes

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