The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
This Netflix film was released in theaters before its originally announced date. We assumed it was to fill the current void in the marketplace. It is a unique story about a 13 year old boy, William, played by Maxwell Simba, in a lead performance from Malawi, who is forced out of school because his parents could not pay the fees to keep him enrolled. He manages to barter his access to the library where he learns how to harness the wind.
It is an inspiring true story based on a book by William Kamkwanba. It’s set in 2001 Malawi. It’s also the directorial debut for Chiwetel Ejiofor, a star from Twelve Years A Slave.
The actors toggle between the native Chichewa language, with English subtitles, and English. It’s also a peek into the politics of Malawi’s food crisis of the early 2000’s.
This film is not rated. While it’s sometimes difficult to watch, this film is suitable for older children. It’s listed as Art House & International, Drama with a run time of 113 minutes.
OMG!! It apparently is based on “true events” from 1996 when a group of talented multicultural dancers from France gather at a community center before their American Tour. The cast is made up of talented and diverse group of “club kids” from France.
The opening dance scene is mesmerizing, executed by an exceptional series of performances. Every individual performance is unique, fresh, inventive and impeccable. Then everything changes, and not for the better.
Get ready…as the group takes a pause to celebrate their collective performances, it’s time to relax and unwind as a group. And then someone puts LSD in the sangria bowl. Slowly and imperceptibly civility denigrates scene by scene. First is the script, next the visuals and ultimately the horrors that dominate the last third of the film. The soundtrack alone was enough to make us want to leave the theater.
The cast consists of over 2 dozen young dancer/actors from around Europe and the world. The film is rated R for disturbing content involving drug use, violence, language, strong sexuality and some graphic nudity. This film is NOT appropriate for children! It’s listed as a Drama, Art House & International, Horror, Musical & Performing Arts. The run time is a very long 96 minutes. This may be difficult to find but that might be OK because it is intense and difficult to watch. French with English subtitles.
Ruben Brandt Collector
This film is quite unique. It’s fully animated. It’s the story about a famous psychotherapist who is forced to steal 13 famous paintings from museums and private collections around the world. All this to prevent terrible nightmares.
Four of his patients join him as they plot and rob paintings from the Louvre, Tate, Uffizi, Hermitage and the New York Museum of Modern Art. Soon Brandt is the most wanted man in the world. He is being hunted by gangsters and headhunters who want to collect the $100 million reward.
Watching this film is a visual feast along with an exceptional soundtrack. It’s unique, often stunning, sometimes funny, sometimes bewildering. The cast is quite small with all Hungarian voice actors except one Canadian. Ivan Kamaras plays Ruben Brandt and Gabriella Hamori plays Mimi. Zalan Makranczi plays Mike Kowalski and Matt Devere plays Bye-Bye Joe. Four more actors round out the cast.
Reviews have been all over the map. Some reviews rave, others called it ‘overplotted’ and ‘weird’. We found it intriguing, thought provoking and inventive. It should have been released earlier for Oscar consideration.
It’s rated R for nude images and some violence. It might be suitable for mature children. It is listed as Animation, Art House & International, Mystery/Thriller with a run time of 96 minutes.