Ariana’s Favorite Films of 2021

I hadn’t reviewed as many movies on this blog as Seth has. Also, if this list intermixes with his, we watch a lot of films together. I will choose a few others to show just how cool I am.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World
Directed by Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis is like the Ken Burns of the emotional state of the Western World. There is a particular stomach-turning sensation when watching Adam Curtis’s films. You’re quietly begging for him to perhaps deliver some good news only for him to carve in deeper into the history to remind you just how insane it is. Not a lighthearted watch. You can watch it all here right now.

Bo Burnham: Inside
Directed by Bo Burnham

Everyone has talked about it, and for a good reason. It felt like the first piece of media that touched just how complicated COVID has made the world we live in. The ongoing pandemic has shined a bright light onto just how horrible our lives are, between race, the economy, social media, and mental health. With the ability to share our lives instantly, we are more aware (with some of us in heavy denial).

Once time has settled, we often romanticize traumatic events. We have done it with toxic work goals, toxic positivity, and so on. If anyone ever tries to glorify COVID, please point to this film.

We were not ready for deep reflection on how we treat one another. We still aren’t.

Directed by Ben Sharrock

This one movie wrapped as a quirky comedy, only to unwrap it to see a bleeding heart that’s still beating. It’s about a group of asylum seekers waiting to be accepted into Scotland. Perhaps because I am currently waiting for my status, it stuck with me a little. Although my reasons aren’t as dire, there is a sadness to never really be able to go home. Even if you visit, it won’t be the same. Homesickness sticks and the disconnect between who you are and what you know is deep. The main character wants to go home, but home is no longer safe.

This movie can feel slow for some, but that is how it feels when you’re waiting to be accepted.

Directed by Janicza Bravo

Janicza Bravo shows herself to be an extraordinary director with this film. She understands social media, and she understands people. The strength she wields on directing the actors, the sounds of Twitter notifications in the background.

I cannot wait to see what next she is given.

Drive My Car
Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

I loved this film. It’s hard to fully absorb myself into films because my mind wanders, or my phone feels far more interesting than what is presented to me.

The older I get, the more I appreciate quieter films with complicated feelings about those we love. Emotions are complex and straightforward. What you feel is real and can be easy. The reasons we do other things or allow them are more puzzling. It deals with mourning, loss, and questions what love is.

For some, this might be a little much. I, however, enjoyed it, and as we know- I am often right.

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