Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie has been a long time coming. Louis’s been working on it for over a decade, and Louis fans (Therouxvians, if you will) have been speculating over rumours and trailers for several years now. This Monday it was finally released and featured an hour-long live-streamed Q&A with the man himself and producer John Dower.
This week I saw the new Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years and the 2013 One Direction documentary This is Us. Dare I mention The Beatles (known as musical innovators, the inventors of pop music, cultural icons) and One Direction (known as mere money making marionettes for cultural Beelzebub Simon Cowell) in the same sentence? By now the flaming torches have been lit, the pitchforks sharpened, and a digital snob mob is headed my way, but hang on. Let me explain myself. There are more similarities between the two bands and their documentaries than you might think.
Rather than recommending things through the medium of words, this week I am offering up some audio. It’s something I absentmindedly started making for my own enjoyment, but then too much time was poured into it for me to justify it simply as something that would lurk un-played on my iPod for years to come.
I think you would like the film Die Hard.
There is a list of films that I have not seen that I really should have. It’s mainly curated by my Dad, who is incredulous at the gaps in my movie knowledge and works to plug them. Somehow, up until five days ago, I had not seen the iconic action film Die Hard. Five days ago I had not seen any films in the Die Hard series. I have now seen all five, having been bought the Die Hard Legacy Collection for my birthday.
I recommend the 2015 film Ex Machina. It’s a story about Google making robots with metal boobs but, as this isn’t a sequel to The Internship and therefore isn’t a two hour Google advert, it uses the pseudonym ‘BlueBook’ instead. If I was a proper writerer, I might describe it as a character driven sci-fi film about geeky programmer Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) winning the chance to spend a week working on a top secret project at the secluded, clinically clean home of search engine mogul Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaacs).
I recommend the film National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I realise that I have missed December, the one month in which it would have been a good idea to post this recommendation. This recommendation is, therefore, a form of New Year’s resolution. It forces me to keep writing content for this blog because if I don’t every visitor will be greeted by an out of date Christmas recommendation.
I recommend Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I viewed the film without having any of it spoiled for me and I’ve written this recommendation without reading any other responses to it (although I have seen some videos of John Boyega popping up at screenings and everyone seemed pretty happy to see him.) I think your enjoyment of the film may be ruined if you know what’s coming, and not just because all stories are best enjoyed unspoiled, because part of the joy of The Force Awakens was in the satisfying click as each character slotted into their role in the renewed cycle of Star Wars narrative. If you haven’t seen the film you should be aware that this post will be riddled with the spolieriest of spoilers.
I recommend the 2010 film Four Lions. It was directed by the reclusive comedy genius Chris Morris, who wrote it with Peep Show writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.
This is another post in my ‘I always knew you would like this…’ series. Back in 2010, 16 year old me had a crack at articulating the brilliance of this perfectly pitched satire of jihadi terrorists. I wonder how I did?