Movie Log 2013

18. How to Survive a Plague (dir. David France, 2012) (Netflix Instant)

There’s certainly a lot of sadness here but, as far as a chronicle of how shit gets done in America, this doc about ACT UP, the group of activists who focused their anger about the lack of support for AIDS victims in America into a thorough, enormously effective movement, is much more inspiring than Lincoln and, somewhat silly comparisons aside, just plain awesome.

19. The ABCs of Death (dir. a whole ton of people, 2012) (VOD)

26 short films about death, from many of the world’s horror directors who you might expect to be involved in this sort of thing and many more you probably haven’t heard of. Jorge Michel Grau’s meditation on the role of the victim in horror movies has proved very memorable for me (in the weeks that I’ve been procrastinating writing this) while Ben Wheatley (whose Kill List was one fo my 2012 faves) has some great vampire fun. There’s some aggressively bizarre stuff here, too, surprise, surprise - Nazi animals and farts and masturbation to the death oh my - but I really enjoyed watching what truly horrifying tropes surprisingly popped up several times. If you like horror, I can’t imagine you won’t have some fun with this one.

20. 5 Broken Cameras (dir. Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi, 2011) (Netflix Instant)

Another Oscar doc: this one consists of 5 years’ worth of footage from Emad Burnat’s cameras, which keep getting broken by smoke grenades and bullets and such from Israeli forces “protecting” the border separating the Israeli settlements encroaching on Burnat’s Palestinian village. It’s not only tremendously moving on an emotional level, but also a very impressive feat of editing.

I can’t help feeling that I’m going to get through these Oscar docs and be very impressed and subsequently bummed when Searching For Sugar Man wins.