Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Moveable Fest, Week 5: Before Sunset, Waco: Rules of Engagement, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

I pretend this is my apartment, though in reality I couldn't stand the clutter.
Week 5: My Choice

Before Sunset

One of my all time favourite films and definitely my favourite of the three "Before _____" movies. Nine years after their magical night in Vienna, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet up again in Paris. They are both older, married, more wearied and cynical - but the spark is still there, and Hawke is due at the airport in a few hours.I just love this film, seeing their initial dismissal of that night together nine years ago break down into their acknowledgement of how life-changing it was for both of them. It's bitter-sweet - all the time they've missed together based on an immature trust in fate - and when Hawke starts telling Delpy about his dreams I basically lose my shit and cry for the rest of the movie. I won't spoiler, but Before Sunset also has my favourite last two lines in a movie: best understatement ever.

Waco: Rules of Engagement

Hey, so you thought cults were crazy? Check out the US government! This detailed documentary explores the attempted raid and following 51 day siege that ended with the Waco Davidian compound erupting into a fireball that killed 76 people (including over 20 children). There's a lot of congressional hearings, examination of infra-red footage taken while the FBI pumped massive amounts of tear gas into the building with army tanks, and footage both from inside and outside the compound during the siege. Regardless of what weapons the nutty Christian sect was stockpiling, the ATF 'publicity' raid was a disaster, and the FBI methods of psychological and physical intimidation are shocking to watch. "It was known that the Davidians did not have children's gas masks. It was hoped that the 'maternal instinct' would lead mothers to bring their children out." Now, where have we heard that sort of bullshit before?

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Mark Bittner is a homeless musician who takes up residence in a little cottage on Telegraph Hill, San Fran (thanks to some benevolent rich folks who own the apartment above), and befriends a flock of parrots that live in the area. Bittner slowly becomes part of their bird family - knowing each bird by name, and caring for the sick ones in his cottage (which has an open cage door policy). A delightful, closely examined little film about the small things that can bring meaning and motivation to a life. I had read about this doco a long time ago and somehow never got around to seeing it. And as the review promised, the very final seconds of the film have an entirely perfect twist that made me erupt into joyous sobs and flailing, and made Tim say "Can you please stop whacking me?"

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