Like our recent excursion with Clean, Shaven, Jane Campion’s Sweetie takes a fairly realistic look at mental illness in the real world. Though unlike Kerrigan’s film where the world ignores the main character until things get much worse, Sweetie’s protagonist is coddled by her loved ones…until things get much worse. Both are intense in their own ways, but Sweetie, true to its name, is a little easier to swallow. At least until the end.
Another Bruce Robinson film this week, and another Richard E. Grant starring role. 1989's How to Get Ahead in Advertising is a biting satire of consumerist culture as Grant's advertising exec has a bad case of a sentient boil. Or just a weird psychotic breakdown.
Watching Spike Lee's 1989 film about the racial tensions of a New York neighborhood seems timely. It always seems timely. I'd like for it to not seem timely. Let's work on that.
While released in 1989, Al Reinert's documentary For All Mankind is actually made up of footage from every Apollo mission shot by NASA itself, and often by the astronauts involved. In a weird but oddly appropriate narrative choice, Reinert then edited all this video together as if they were one mission, albeit one with a few dozen different astronauts.
The focus here, as the title suggests, is that the Apollo missions were an achievement for humanity, not just for the individuals involved (though it is presented from their rather personal stories from the trips) or the nation that sponsored it (though one scene is devoted to raising the American flag). There is also an underlying focus of the beauty of earth from space. It's not a jingoistic or narcissistic tale, but a back-pat for every human being in history. The documentary style only tends to make the excitement, trepidation, and wonder of the achievement all the more raw.
This week Pat and Adam talk about the quintessential John Woo film: 1989's The Killer. It's got gun-fu, overtly Christian symbolism, Chow Yun-Fat, and doves! All the hallmarks of great Woo cinema with none of the Nicolas Cage! And Adam basically makes it the whole way without grossly mispronouncing anything! Truly we are blessed! Though his mic was really tinny this week. Hope that's ok.