Best of Digital – Netflix Movies

Icon-Movie-150Carrying on the series from last week’s Best of Digital – Netflix TV Shows, I’d like to highlight a few perhaps hidden gems of Netflix’s movie offerings.

Capote – Writer Truman Capote finds himself in a dance with the devil while researching the Clutter family murders for his masterwork, “In Cold Blood.” It won Philip Seymour Hoffman the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award in 2006.

Fargo  – When a car dealer conspires with dim-bulb criminals to kidnap his wife for a hefty ransom, a folksy — and pregnant — police chief is on the case. It won 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1997.

Stand By Me – When four boys seek adventure in the woods while looking for a missing teenager’s dead body, they learn some truths about themselves along the way.

Vanilla Sky – A man who has everything — money, good looks and a gorgeous woman — seemingly loses it all when his face is horribly disfigured in a car accident.

Fish Tank – The life of a hot-tempered teen outcast takes an unexpected turn when her mother brings home a handsome and mysterious boyfriend.

The Raid – Trapped in a tenement building during a raid, a SWAT team must fight its way out against the forces of a drug lord they were trying to assassinate.

Battle Royale – The Japanese government introduces a system whereby randomly chosen schoolchildren are taken to an island and forced to fight each other to the death.

Carrie – An outcast teen with telekinetic ability lashes out with her deadly power when the high school “in crowd” torments her with a sick joke at the prom.

The Square – As the Egyptian Revolution unfolds, this 2014 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature immerses the viewer in the intense emotional drama of young people on the streets of Cairo claiming their rights and creating a society of conscience. As two governments topple, the personal stories of the freedom fighters unfold in an inspiring tribute to the power of citizenship.

Link: Top 10 TED Talks on Storytelling and Filmmaking

I’ve always liked TED talks, even when I’ve been suspicious of them. Wonderfully entertaining, interesting and enlightening as they can sometimes be, they can sometimes feel insubstantial. What sea-foam is compared the oceanic body of knowledge; but then I remember that I use Twitter as a primary information source.

So, here we are, TED talks that relate to storytelling and filmmaking.

Top 10 TED Talks on Storytelling and Filmmaking

Aside: I’d really like it if one day we could decide whether it’s filmmaking, film-making or film making. There must be some official body we could lobby.

Short Film: Battle of the Jazz Guitarist

2013 Student Academy Award® National Finalist and made with funds by Adobe®, Battle of the Jazz Guitarist is a documentary about a famous jazz guitarist from the Fiji Islands who moved to the US for the betterment of his family.

All factually correct, and yet it doesn’t begin to describe this wonderful film by filmmaker Mark Columbus. This, the first ‘documentary’ short I’ve reviewed, is an emotional ride, from interesting, to funny, to poignant. You should watch it right now.

Wonderful, right?

I still wonder how he did, whether he came up with the idea fully formed with the subtitle script pre-written, or whether he shot it, then added narrative over the top. Or whether the truth is halfway in between.

But either way, I love this short film and I’ve already re-watched it three times.