Tuesday, January 23, 2018

And finishing -- almost -- with the foreign documentary

At the end of 2017 I bemoaned that the movie year had featured comparatively few documentaries or foreign films of note.

Fittingly, I (nearly) finished my viewing season with a foreign documentary.

I've actually got one final viewing on tap for later in the day in the theater, but my last home viewing was Kedi, the documentary about the loving interactions between Turks and a teeming population of street cats in Istanbul.

As an indication of how delirious and confused I am at this point, I found the movie perfectly pleasant, and awarded it a full four stars on Letterboxd. (It almost feels these days that a documentary has to have a major gaffe in it to get anything less than four stars from me.)

I won't say that my cram period was particularly successful in terms of foreign films, as this was the first I watched since that December 30th post. But I did hit the documentaries pretty hard, fitting in Dawson City: Frozen Time, Rat Film and Casting JonBenet in addition to Kedi. (Which may just mean there were enough documentaries this year, I just didn't get to them until late. Foreign films of note, and ones that are actually available to rent, are a different story.)

Interesting, it's the same note on which I started my viewing year. The first film I counted for 2017 when I watched it back on January 15th was a foreign language doco called Motherland, which looks at the crowded hospital conditions for expectant mothers in the Philippines. It played at Sundance and was presented for our consideration when I was still vetting films for the Human Rights & Arts Film Festival (HRAFF).

At the end of this long journey, I'm looking forward to seeing what the first of 2018 will be. I can say it probably won't be either a foreign film or a documentary ... but that I hope that the year gets more generous in those departments from there.

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