[Editor’s Note: This post is presented in partnership with DIRECTV and
the comedy “The Longest Week”- available exclusively on DIRECTV and in
“All is Lost” Dir. J.C. Chandor (2013)
“Ringu” Dir. Hideo Nakata (1998)
“Sideways” Dir. Alexander Payne (2004)
“Spring Breakers” Dir. Harmony Korine (2013)
“Stand By Me” Dir. Rob Reiner (1986)
Based on Stephen King’s novella “The Body,” “Stand By Me” chronicles the journey of four best friends as they set out to search for the body of a dead classmate. The film starred a conglomerate of 1980s teenage heartthrobs including River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton and a lovably plump Jerry O’Connell with Richard Dreyfuss narrating as the adult version of Wheaton’s character. Despite King’s penchant for horror, “Stand By Me” avoids any morbidity and instead focuses on the real trauma inflicting these boys lives: their impending adolescence. Over the course of their adventure, the boys comes to terms with past traumas and look toward future relationship. As Dreyfuss concludes, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”
“Stranger by the Lake” (2013)
We know we’re cheating a bit here — “Stranger” takes place over a 10-day period — but this film is too good not to include. A hit at Cannes where it screened in the Un Certain Regard section, Alain Guiraudie’s French-language thriller is, yes, sexually explicit, but that’s not why it was one of the most talked about indies in 2013. Centered on a man who frequents a nude gay beach where he encounters a mysterious and alluring stranger, “Stranger by the Lake” is slow burn that simmers in such a way that when it’s over, it won’t leave your head.
“Tsotsi” Dir. Gavin Hood (2005)
Gavin Hood’s “Tsotsi,” which won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, is based on playwright and novelist Athol Fugard’s novel of the same name. The film centers on a violent young man named Tsotsi, who is the leader of an informal street gang. While attempting to steal a car on his own, Tsotsi shoots and presumably kills the driver — only to realize that an infant is lying in the back seat. Suddenly overwhelmed by what he has just done, Tsotsi takes the infant and flees the scene. The remainder of the film focuses on Tsotsi’s attempt to care for the baby while also trying to evade the authorities. Although the events of the film take place over the course of a few days, the exact number of days is never explicitly made clear, thus affording Hood with a certain degree of flexibility in determining how to lay out each scene. Hood makes time feel, at once, like an instant and an eternity. The extreme stakes of the story generates a franticness that makes it seem as if time is flying by. Yet at the same time, time also seems to stop in Tsotsi’s story as soon as he takes possession of the baby. He no longer steals or commits acts of violence at random. He only commits a crime when he must do so in order to protect the child.
“My Week With Marilyn” (2011)
Told over the course of one very eventful week during the shooting of Sir Laurence Olivier’s “The Prince and the Showgirl,” Simon Curtis’ entertaining drama centers on a young and wildly ambitious film buff (Eddie Redmayne) who manages to land an on-set job, and in doing so, befriends the film’s star, Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams, in an Oscar-nominated performance). Williams is totally beguiling as Monroe, and Redmayne is a joy to watch. Because the film is by no means a biopic, given its short time span, it’s never made clear why Monroe is so troubled. Her alluring mystery is kept intact, and in our books that’s a good thing.
of the “The Longest Week” – available exclusively on DIRECTV and in
theaters 9/5. Left broke and homeless by his wealthy parents’ divorce, a
young man (Jason Bateman) moves in with an old friend (Billy Crudup)
and finally meets the woman (Olivia Wilde) of his dreams — only to
discover she’s already dating someone close to him. Find our more and
how to watch HERE.