Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, there’s again really almost nothing coming out of note, so I’m stretching with my top pick. It’s American Skin, which is very flawed, but at least has its heart in the right place. There’s a new Criterion Collection releasee, at least, so there’s that. Better days are ahead, I can assure you of that. Read on for more…
Joey’s Top Pick
Nate Parker is a controversial actor and filmmaker, so anything involving him can be a hot button issue. Taking away his personal issues, as a writer and director, he’s a work in progress. I’m in the minority of thinking American Skin is an improvement on The Birth of a Nation. At the same time, it’s still flawed and prone to unnecessary histrionics. Parker is telling a worthwhile story, just in a decidedly hit or miss manner. In my admittedly mixed review (found here), I had this to say:
As a filmmaker, Parker is still a work in progress…American Skin wants to say something important, and that’s admirable. It’s simply done in too scattershot of a way to be even close to effective.
Also Available This Week
Ip Man: Kung Fu Master
From The Criterion Collection: “With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a fractured portrait of the disenchantment of postindependence Senegal in the early 1970s. In this picaresque fantasy-drama, the disaffected young lovers Anta and Mory, fed up with Dakar, long to escape to the glamour and comforts they imagine France has to offer, but their plan is confounded by obstacles both practical and mystical. Alternately manic and meditative, Touki bouki has an avant-garde sensibility characterized by vivid imagery, bleak humor, unconventional editing, and jagged soundscapes, and it demonstrates Mambéty’s commitment to telling African stories in new ways. Touki bouki was restored in 2008 by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the family of director Djibril Diop Mambéty. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways, and Qatar Museum Authority.“