There is no shortage of social and political content for viewers to stream online. Here are some of the best new films released so far this year addressing social and political themes, in time for late-summer viewing.
Crown Heights isn’t the tidiest film but that untidiness (so very much like real life) is a lot of its strength.
If you’re interested in cultivating mindfulness, equanimity and loving-kindness, see Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Paterson. The movie is about a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey.
Since the invention of the movie camera in the late 19th century, filmmaking has seen only a smattering of seminal technical developments. Only the advent of sound and color spawned sea changes in the medium. But in this century, the digital revolution has made it exponentially easier for filmmakers to tell stories. It was only a matter of time, then, before people started filming features using arguably the most ubiquitous technological device of our time.
It would be easy to prematurely dismiss Tangerine as a gimmick. After all, with all the tools of the trade available to film a movie, picking a 4.87-by-2.3-inch iPhone 5s seems not only ambitious but possibly a filmmaker’s folly. Luckily, for writer-director Sean Baker, the phone is a smart choice indeed.
It is the afternoon of Christmas Eve.
Every year for Black History Month, the TV networks and premium movie channels roll out the same programming: Malcolm X, Mississippi Burning, The Color Purple…. It’s not that these films aren’t great; they are. It’s just that every year for as long as they have been around, they’re all that come on during February. I can quote The Color Purple line for line. The history of black folks is larger and more diverse than the civil rights movement and slavery. Let’s give some other films a shot, shall we?
Let the Fire Burn
In the spring of 1985 a bomb was dropped on a row house in Philadelphia. A fire spread quickly and burned down 61 houses, eventually killing 11 people, including five children, and injuring numerous others. The fire and police departments stood by and did nothing to stop the blaze.