Home Movies/Out on Digital 2.16
Come What May
Eight-million refugees fled as German armies pushed into France in 1940, many on foot and some hitching cars behind horses to save gas. Come What May, an artfully filmed dramatization by French director Christian Carion, focuses on a leftist German already displaced by Nazism, his young son, a Scottish officer in retreat and the inhabitants of a small town bombed and strafed on the road. Shown also is the falsification of facts by Nazi propagandists.
The poverty, bright sunlight and black-and-white film stock suggest Italian neo-realism, but the relentlessly bleak story pushes toward neo-noir. Mexican director Arturo Ripstein’s Bleak Street (2015) is set in the slums of Mexico City amid the desperate economy of prostitution and the violently competitive subculture of Mexican wrestling. Two of the masked wrestlers, midget twins, die, and foul play is all around. Powerful and emotionally profound performances animate the fatalistic story. The characters are trapped.
Golden Kingdom is the first film made in Myanmar since the regime loosened its borders, but that’s not the only point of interest. Director Brian Perkins presents an intimate look at young boys in a Buddhist monastery. The temple architecture provides symmetry and composition; the rituals set the pace; and yet, strangeness and mystery intrude in the form of hallucinatory intimations of specters as well as more tangible threats from a country at war with itself.
Mumford & Sons: Live from South Africa: Dust and Thunder
Although their name sounds like a London teashop, Britain’s Mumford & Sons became an internationally popular purveyor of quasi-folk rock. Filmed on the final night of their 2016 tour of South Africa, Dust and Thunder shows traces of U2’s sonic architecture along with the expected banjo, fiddle and string bass. Director Dick Carruthers edited the best scenes in rhythm to the music and shows many close-ups of excited audience members singing along.