BY SIBELLA SWANEPOEL
- Call Me by Your Name
A literary masterpiece transformed into a visual masterpiece, Call Me by Your Name is an intimate love story between Elio, a 17-year-old living in Italy, and Oliver, an American doctoral student, interning for Elio’s father. Poetic words, tranquil music and vibrant textures of cool marble, succulent fruit and sun-drenched skin invites you into the Italian summer of 1983. This coming-of-age romantic drama deals with the transformation of the young, the beauty of awakening desire and love with a time limit.
2. Kill Bill: Volume 1
What more can you ask for than a two-part revenge martial arts action movie with a female protagonist? This Quentin Tarantino masterpiece is filled with Samurais, Western standoffs, Kung-Fu fighting and to tie it all up, crude language and blood splashing everywhere. “The Bride”, an ex-member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, is violently (almost) killed by her squad. Four years later, she awakes from a coma and vows vengeance on the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Kill Bill: Volume 1 ends with a mouth-watering cliff-hanger, which leads into a second movie where you finally meet the famous Bill.
3. The Breakfast Club
“A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.” Five teenagers from different social groups are stuck in detention together, where they delve into the human psychology of a teenager, in order to pass time. The Breakfast Club is a 1980s coming-of-age film that deals with the struggles of being an American teenager. The film explores the pressure to fit in and to meet the high expectations of peers, parents and teachers. The stereotype characters initially bond over their mutual hatred for the assistant principal, but as the film progresses, they realise that they are not so different from each other.
4. American Psycho
“So, what do you do?” “I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly”. American Psycho explores the world of the self-centred and self-absorbed businessmen of the ’80s, but with a bloody twist. We follow Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street businessman with a need to engage in homicidal behaviour on a massive scale, around New York. With a psycho killer wearing a raincoat to avoid getting his Valentino suit all bloody, the movie deals with materialism, toxic masculinity and the hedonistic behaviour of the male upper class. And as a background to the guts and gore, as well as the underlying masculinity crisis, American Psycho has a rocking playlist.
5. My Octopus Teacher
South Africa’s very first original Netflix documentary is automatically a must watch. Join Craig Foster on a journey through the underwater forests of our local coastlines. This moving marine documentary captures the extraordinary story of a wild octopus and a man looking for a purpose. Stepping into the daily life of an octopus provides you with the unexpected feeling of love; love for nature and love for the magnificent creatures that live among us.
6. Isle of Dogs
A Wes Anderson film with a Japanese backdrop and themes similar to what we are experiencing today. All the dogs of a fictional Japanese city are sent to Trash Island, an apocalyptic dump, because they are all infected with “dog flu” and “snout fever”. Isle of Dogs deals with scapegoating, political hysteria, and deportation (sound familiar?). But, it’s also a film about dogs, a little boy who loves his dog and their fight against the cat-loving mayor. See the world through a canine perspective with a whimsical psychedelic soundtrack playing in the background.
7. The Nice Guys
The porn industry, car manufacturers and the Justice Department battle it out in 1970s Los Angeles. Who said environmental activists can’t use pornos to fight against the emissions of car factories? Accidently caught up in the action are two scrawny private investigators whose simple missing-person case turns out to be much more complicated. The Nice Guys is an action comedy filled with floral shirts, flared trousers and two guys lazily fighting crime among the flower power.
8. Shutter Island
“Which would be worse: To live as a monster, or to die as a good man?” This psychological thriller will swallow you up and spit you out with its shocking plot twist. Shutter Island explores the mission of two US marshals, sent to a hospital for the criminally insane on a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a patient. From the start of the movie, you get the sense that someone is lying, but who? The intense performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the marshals adds to the ominous and sombre theme. Warning: You will still think about this movie days after watching it.
Fish stockings, flashing lights and foxy Roxie, Chicago is a musical crime film that explores the themes of media exploitation, glamorous criminals and scandal in Chicago during the Jazz Age. This dance extravaganza deals with Roxie Hart, a dancer, who goes on trial for shooting her lover, and showgirl Velma Kelly, who also elegantly killed her sister and husband. Through brilliant songs and a colourful sets in prison, they compete for the public’s attention. This musical is lightweight, fun and very bright.
10. Princess Mononoke
Escape reality and experience the essence of anime, where myths and dreams run wild. Princess Mononoke explores the travels of Ashitaka, a young prince, and San, described as Princess Mononoke, and their efforts to keep the peace between the supernatural guardians of the forest, the animals within the forest and the humans who consume the forest’s resources. Environmentalism is a main theme in this movie, with the harmony between humans and nature beginning to crumble, not just in the movie, but in real life as well.