Something tells me when I look back on the spring of 2016, I’ll come to see this as “the down week”. Lots to come in the weeks ahead – including a lot of swell documentaries!


#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Marjane Satrapi’s THE VOICES.



In a way Satrapi got double-treatment in the project since this viewing of THE VOICES comes hot on the heels of my viewing of CHICKEN WITH PLUMS last week. When you lump the two films together with her Oscar-nominated animated gem PERSEPOLIS, you get one of the most visually splendid filmographies this side of Baz Luhrmann.

THE VOICES might be the most interesting of the three films, and not only because it’s the one that tends to prompt the most varied reaction. What makes it the most interesting for me is the way it marries up a lush visual palette with a story that is wickedly twisted. The tale is one that is both grisly and disturbed (which considering how many period films of unrequited love I’ve watched in this series was a nice switch). It’s the story of a mentally disturbed factory worker in a middle America town who crushes on a pretty girl at his workplace, and accidentally manages to kill her. It’s what happens then that’s messed-up.

The guy – played by Ryan Reynolds – listens to the voices coming from his pets, and dismembers the body while keeping her head. He believes he can still have conversations with her head too. Like I said: messed-up.

However, since the whole story comes with a very bright, and candy-coloured veneer, we are able to remain engaged and even feel a curious amount of sympathy for our antihero and his plight. It makes the story feel like a graphic novel come to life…which is apropos considering Satrapi is a visual artist and responsible for a truly incredible graphic novel (“Persepolis”). That passion for the visual comes through in her work time and again, right down to the strict colour palette she highlights in each film.

In some ways, her attention to the visual allows us to endure the heavy themes of her films (political unrest, death and unrequited love, mental instability)…and in other ways it helps highlight them. In short, it’s an incredible approach to filmmaking and one that makes me eagerly anticipate her next film – for the visuals alone!

For the time being, I am all caught-up on the work of Marjane Satrapi…which just means I’ll have to revisit her existing canon often.


Here’s the week at hand…


MIDNIGHT SPECIAL – Review and podcast on this one coming soon.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
SEND ME NO FLOWERS – Is there anything more delightful than Hudson and Day?
THE VOICES – I’m going to have that closing credits song stuck in my head for a month.
STARMAN – This will be a high-ranking entry on my favorite first timers of 2016


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
BRIDGE OF SPIES – It seems like an oxymoron to use the term “Underrated Spielberg”, and yet here we are.
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE – I see a Sunday morning spent listening to this soundtrack in the near future.
DONNIE DARKO – It might just be me, but I swear I remember this film being better.



Boxscore for The Year
58 First-Timers, 47 Re-Watched
18 Screenings
105 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?