Filmism.net Dispatch December 18, 2014

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I was watching an awards ceremony recently... No, let me correct that. I was working on my computer as I usually do on a given day and had Twitter open in the background, with everyone I follow from the movie industry tweeting the winners when the envelopes had barely been opened.

It struck me as being one of a mere countless number of examples of how different the world is from the one I grew up loving movies and TV in. In the course of my day-to-day work today it's impossible not learn who wins each award as it happens during the major ceremonies. You have to actively work to avoid finding stuff out.

Once upon a time it was the opposite, you had to actively work to find stuff out. You'd have to sit down and watch an awards ceremony to see who won, maybe read the paper the next day. It reminded me of the reveal of Laura Palmer's killer from TV's Twin Peaks. It was 1991 and in my native Australia, where the series ran a few months behind the US, we knew Laura's killer had been revealed to American audiences and we were itching to find out who it was.

It's hard to imagine, but unless you had a trusted friend who'd been on holidays in the US, watched the episode and reported back, there was just no way to know. The story that Laura's father Leland killed her circulated the rumour mill for awhile beforehand, but reliable information was hard to come by with no Internet. Today when it comes to what happens in entertainment news (or any other), national borders and market territories mean nothing.

Sorry for the spoilers, by the way.

I also wanted to give a shout out to a director you've probably never heard of, Swede Lukas Moodysson. His most recent film We Are The Best! Is a sweet concoction of his favourite subject, the lives of teenage girls. The rough performances by the three young leads only add to the charm as two friends in 1980s Stockholm decide to form a punk band and don't let the fact that they can't play an instrument stop them.

It's not his most affecting film, but it's a good intro into Moodysson's oeuvre. If you're feeling particularly strong-willed I then recommend moving onto Lilya 4 Ever, one of the saddest and most depressing films you'll ever watch.

If you can get to the end of it without downing a bottle of sleeping pills and stepping in front of a train to make sure you do it properly, move straight on to Show Me Love (titled in more liberal markets by its original name Fucking Amal). If you liked Blue Is The Warmest Color you'll love this too, it's as poignant and beautiful a story about the agony and ecstasy of falling in love you'll ever watch and will restore your faith in magic, unicorns and kittens.

It's quite amazing that he manages such different tones in films that are essentially about the same thing, the excitement and confusion of not being a girl anymore but not being a woman yet.

Meanwhile, I've been gorging on movies like an LA model-slash-actress on kale salads recently, and there've been two swords/sandals/magic/Biblical epics from both ends of the scale.

Exodus: Gods and Kings is an old time Biblical epic the likes of which we haven't seen since Ben-Hur (but with amazing visuals thanks to the cinematic tools they never had access to in those days). And The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of Lord of the Rings. I was never the biggest fan of Jackson's Middle Earth magnum opus, but surely we've seen enough by now.

Far more nuanced, intimate and emotional is Reese Witherspoon's dreamlike, gritty Wild.

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