Sils Maria

 

 

Well my basketball team got knocked out of the playoffs last night, meaning after six whole weeks of watching games every other night (yes, really) I’m finally up for other distractions. I’d wager very few people who read this space really give a crap about hoops, but that’s a shame considering that multitude of narratives that take place within a game, a season, and an individual career.

But I digress…

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with THE MEDDLER directed by Lorene Scafaria.

 

For the second week in a row, my project got me into a multiplex – so that’s a cool feeling. If I didn’t know how the whole story shakes down, I could almost bite on ME BEFORE YOU on Friday just to keep the trend going.

Scafaria is the brains behind SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, and was also the screenwriter who adapted NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST. Considering both of these movies hit me right in the feels, it’s probably no small trick that I was caught by THE MEDDLER as well.

I’m going to write more about the movie in the days ahead so it’s difficult to get into the nuts and bolts of what makes Scafaria’s work so special without risking repeating myself. What leaps out though, is the way Scafaria’s films generally feature real people talking in real ways.

That might seem like a curious point when we consider that Penny spends most of SEEKING A FRIEND carrying around a handful of records she has no turntable to play on, but believe me – it’s true.

It’s a talent that separates films like hers from a lot of thoughtless filler that we get offered at the multiplex. Actually, I feel a little bad picking on those sorts of movies considering how much Sarandon’s character seems to enjoy them.

See – there’s a key example. Usually in a movie when we see characters talk about going to the movies or enjoying movies, they seldom actually seem to take much joy in it. Likewise, they similarly never talk much about what movies they enjoy seeing. Basically, because we want our characters to be larger-than-life, they very rarely talk about actual life.

But whether it’s Nick getting advice about relationships while leaning on his Yugo, or Dodge speaking warmly about the woman that he used to love, or Marnie leaving one of her rambling voice mails (while driving), I feel like Scafaria’s characters are having conversations I’ve had…or been privy to. That’s rare – and refreshing.

While I have enjoyed all of the films Scafaria has been a part of so far, I’m ashamed to say that I had never really noticed her involvement in them before. That happens to me with male directors too – sometimes names that aren’t Bigelow, Scorsese, Polley, or Fincher just don’t jump out at me.

Suffice it to say, I’ll be on the look-out for Scafaria now. She’s yet another talent that I’m happy this project has made me more familiar with.

 

Here’s the week at hand…

 

Screenings
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – It was amusing to hear a row of kids cheer excitedly when Ant-Man arrived in the proceedings.
THE MEDDLER – Pardon me, I need to call my mom.

 

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL – I actually never listened much to this effort by Michael, but I’d wager that’s going to change in the weeks ahead.
LETHAL WEAPON – Guess I should make a point of watching part two now to finish out the series, right?

 

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL – Or as I like to call it, THE NICE GUYS: SECRET ORIGIN
INHERENT VICE – I’d forgotten how aloof the final act of this movie feels
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – Where is his scrotum? Oh wait, nevermind, I just got that…

 

Boxscore for The Year
93 First-Timers, 63 Re-Watched
31 Screenings
156 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?