Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
This film combines the stories and life of infamous Japanese Author Yukio Mishima into an absolutely stunning film, directed by Paul Schrader. Has some of my favorite production design, and is my all-time favorite film soundtrack.
In the Dream House
A haunting, experimental, memoir about an abusive relationship, read by the author. It’s an important read that I can’t recommend enough, especially for those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Anthropocene Reviewed
The author of The Fault in Our Stars, Green offers an amusing and insightful take on various elements of our time, what is currently termed the Anthropocene, and ranks each on a 5-star scale. Topics include smallpox and pandemics, Canada geese, Indianapolis, typewriter keyboards, oddball roadside attractions, extinct Hawaiian birds, and Nathan’s hotdog eating contest. It sounds like therapy for Green, who admits to a lifetime of despair as well as hope.
To be read alongside Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Ed Yong’s An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us.
Decision Before Dawn
This 1951 Academy Award Best Picture nominee filmed “on location” in Wurzburg and Mannheim, still much wrecked, concerns select German POWs dropped behind their own lines in the latter days of World War II. Their mission: pinpoint troop dispositions that will allow U.S. Army units to exploit lightly defended bridges across the Rhine.
Paul Verhoeven’s satirical masterpiece about a future war between Earth’s military forces and a planet full of giant alien bugs! This movie is unlike anything I have ever seen; simultaneously existing as extremely high-brow and low-brow entertainment. Starship Troopers manages to be a big, loud, sci-fi action blockbuster, full of explosions, guns, and gore, while also serving as a scathing commentary on the military industrial complex and media propaganda. It is truly a film you can enjoy as either mindless fun or as a deeply cerebral experience. (See this month’s blog post for a deep dive on the context of this film’s history!)
Sunset Overdrive (XBox One)
Insane, Colorful, Action-Packed, and Hilarious!!! This game is a feast for the eyes; offering a wild, open-world ride that will entertain everyone from the lifelong gamer to the relative newbie. Traverse the cartoonish metropolis of Sunset City and fight off swarms of mutant zombies while grinding on telephone wires, leaping off skyscrapers, and firing an array of the weirdest assortment of weapons ever assembled in a video game!
Arsenic & Old Lace
Cary Grant is great in this film adaption of the humorous play. He stops by to visit his sweet, elderly aunts and discovers that they poison men and then put them in the cellar. Other people (including police) dropping by leads to humorous situations as Grant tries to figure out what to do.
Adjoa Andoh does a great job narrating this near-future SciFi novella. A child in Ghana becomes known as the adopted daughter of death due to her ability to kill. She goes on a journey for a mysterious seed after the death of everyone in her village.