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Social Isolation

Pretty easy to do, I've been doing it my entire life. This my dear reader is a lifestyle... and also a class privilege, but that's for a different moment, I've been having a bunch of homework lately, but I do find time to watch some films and listen to some podcasts and books, sadly not enough to update this site, but I'm waiting 'till spring break to do it.

What has Poncho been watching?

Steven Universe Future

"Oh god, with Steven Universe ending, I think I have closed an arch on my life, my good, when the show started airing I wasn't even on high school, and the fact that I've been watching it through the weirdest time of my life makes the show's ending feel more emotional. This show, apart from Twin Peaks it's one of the few that have ever gotten me so hooked up, but in this case, it was more related to the fact that I saw myself in the show's characters, their feelings were just like mine, and their issues were related to those I was going through, I found real comfort going through each of the episodes and it helped me to understand myself a little more, and most importantly to understand that whatever I'm feeling is relevant, and that everything human needs attention.

My overall perspective on the show's lasts is that it was really amazing to see Steven's PTSD unfold, the show crafted with huge attention the scalating tension and growing problems of these issues and the overall effect that may have even in those things we thought wouldn't be affected by our emotional states. The music, and the art tendency that the show started, and probably finished with is over, I don't hold back when I say that there has never been something like Steven Universe, and I'm glad that I could enjoy it this much, the biggest takeback is of course that love is never enough."

The Seven Samurai (1954)

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni
Cinematography: Asakazu Nakai
Genre: Drama

"I bought this DVD when I was in High School, and I hate to admit that at the time I thought this was kinda boring, but finally decided to watch it, and I found out that now I enjoyed it quite a lot. In this one, Kurosawa shows himself as a master of the suspense, controling your emotions masterfully but also giving you cues through the dialogue so you can also become part of this war. The small village becomes a character in itself, and the film wants you to know it as well as the rest of the actual characters, each one of the samurai are unique and they're designed in such a way that it becomes impossible to not like at least one of them. Just as it happened with "Stray Dog" -And something I forgot to write about it-, the sound is actually a relevant part of the film, on the contrary to the common belief that classic filmaking didn't include sound design, and definitely not to the extent we know it today, but Kurosawa shows it's there and that authors like him thought of it a lot."

Salesman (1969)

Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles & Charlotte Zwerin
Cinematography: Albert Maysles
Genre: Documentary

"I had been planning to watch this one for such a long time, specially because Salesman is included in almost every top of the best documentaries of all time. The film follows four salesmen that sell bibles from door to door and the curious people each salesman encounters on every house. The Maysles's Brothers said they wanted to be the first to make a non-fiction film, of course, they weren't the first, but they were one of the first people to inaugurate a new kind of documentary style, one that has specially prevailed in the North American documentaries up until today. One of the amazing things about this low-budget film is that the directors let the film take its own personality and they just followed the film, they found the interesting vision about a few men that doesn't seem to be satisfied with their own lives, and who have big obstacles to actually be where they want to be. When the film progresses it becomes almost separate from it's protagonists and starts to invite you to take attention to the people, in such a mesmerizing and amazing way that is almost as if it was all planned, definitely worth a watch."

Stray Dog (1949)

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay: Ryuzo Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa
Cinematography: Asakazu Nakai
Genre: Drama

"One of the first detective films made in Japan, and by none other than master Akira Kurosawa, the film follows rookie detective Murakami, who, when on the bus, had gotten stolen his gun, he was new, so he almost had no way to track it down, until a series of murders involving his weapon begin to happen. Murakami starts to feel at fault from all this, so he founds himself in need to finding his weapon and the killer. The film presents us a post-war Japan, with high crime rates and a high poverty that we also see in Kurosawa's contemporaries like Naruse. Kurosawa presents an entertaining and intriguing story in a way that feels so characteristic of him, Mifune is as delightful as ever, and I don't say it only because I feel like he's one of the handsomest people that has ever been on this earth, but because he's an amazing actor, and while not his best, he presents a sensible Detective Murakami, that feels very human. At the end, Kurosawa always presents stories that question our morals and our values, and always reminds us about our free will, Stray Dog is no exception."

All about my Mother (1999)

Directed and Written by: Pedro Almodóvar
Cinematography: Affonso Beato

"Almodóvar has always been talented when he creates emotional and nuanced stories about real situations, he has never been reluctant to criticize anything and always includes some support to the LGBT community, this is no exception, All about my mother tells the story about a young guy named Esteban, who dreams of becoming a writter, but he also is intrigued by his own past and his father, Manuela, his mother, has never wanted to speak about it but she ends up being forced to go back into a past she had been running for, specially when she cannot retrieve from the relationship with Esteban's father, a man who decided to become a woman, with both, his mysoginistic attitudes and narsicistic beliefs ends up destroying the relation with her own wife.
This film without a doubt is a melancholic tale of repent, the wish of hope and an a woman who has to learn to live all over again."

Carmen Jones (1954)

Director: Otto Preminger
Screenplay: Harry Kleiner
Genre: Musical Comedy
Music: Georges Bizet
Cinematography: Sam Leavitt

"An adaptation of Bizet, except that the cast is made up entirely of afrodescendant people. The story follows Carmen Jones a woman who only follows her own desires, who falls in love with some Joe, who happens to be a soldier, however, unknowingly she fell right into an abusive relationship. It was fine, the characters sure had a lot more to give, and the music was good, however there are a few narrative lines that lead to anywhere and ammount to anything in the overall arc of the story, also, the character development could have been way better, but I'll give it some score for trying to tell a story from a perspective that wasn't usually told around that time."

Salón México (1949)

Director: Emilio Fernandez
Screenplay: Emilio Fernandez, Mauricio Magdaleno
Genre: Drama
Cinematography: Gabriel Figueroa

"I've already written something about this one, you can read here."

The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice (1952)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Genre: Drama.
Screenplay: Kôgô Noda, Yasujiro Ozu
Cinematography: Yûharu Atsuta

"I had been waiting for a long time to see this film because I love absolutely every work Ozu did on his career, in this film, Ozu criticizes the social norm of fixed marriages, with the story of a couple that has problems (Not as harsh as the ones in "The Munetaka Sisters") that can't stand each other, Saeko and Mokichi try to evade the truth, but eventually realize about the things they don't like about each other, that's when Setsuko, a young girl make Mokichi realize about their real feelings for her wife. A stressing tale that eventually arrives at a tender conclusion."

It's Always Fair Weather (1955)

Director: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
Music: André Previn
Genre: Musical Comedy.
Screenplay: Betty Comden, Adolph Green
Cinematography: Robert J. Bronner

"I've always been a fan of the classic Hollywood musical comedy, but I hate to admit that this is the first time I see one of Gene Kelly's outside of "Les demoiselles de Rochefort" and I have to admit that it was so much fun, a crazy and funny movie with a lot of dazzling dance choreographies and an amazing score about three guys that used to be friends and now can't stand each other. Excluding the small sexist jokes that happen four or three times through the film, I loved Cyd Chariss's character, she was pretty engaging and has that thing that I sometimes like to call aspie traits, wish the movie had given her more screen time. Also Gene Kelly dances on skates in this film, and that blows my mind"

Antonio Gaudi (1984)

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Music: Toru Takemitsu, Kurodo Mori, Shinji Hori
Genre: Documentary
Cinematography: Ryu Segawa, Yoshikazu Yanagida, Junichi Segawa

"I've never seen anything like this film before, such a trippy experience that explores the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, the film approaches the alien characteristics of his work and explores its beauty in a way no other artist retrospective had ever been done, all thanks to master Teshigahara"

Les demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

Director: Jacques Demy
Music: Michel Legrand
Genre: Musical Comedy
Screenplay: Jacques Demy
Cinematography: Ghislain Cloquet

"My favorite film of all times, I've seen it too many times to count. A film about happiness, love and hope, always lifts up the spirit. It tells the story of a pair of young twin artist who dream to live in Paris so they can make their dreams come true, however, a fair starts that same weekend, and they'll find more dreams to follow"

Apart from that?