FAME’s “Watch This” is where you can keep up to date with what FAME’s committee and members are watching, as well as read reviews of films and television shows. Have a favourite new release you’d like to review? Or a classic you can’t get enough of? Submit it to us via http://bit.ly/FAMEContent – we’d love to hear you’re watching!
Sean Lock: The Best Cat
Tribute by Leah Alysandratos
As my mum was driving me to get my first COVID-19 vaccination last week, she hit me with incredibly sad news,
“Oh, did you hear? Sean Lock died.”
I nodded solemnly, taking a moment to sink in what she said. Sean Lock. Comedian extraordinaire. 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Team Captain, former builder, and in general, an all round lovely bloke. A long fight with cancer brought to an end.
This handsome lad here.
Many celebrity deaths don’t affect me. I usually take a few minutes to ponder the art that they left the world, but typically I am able to move on.
It was much harder to do so for Sean Lock.
I couldn’t believe it. A man the age of my father, a man who brought laughter through such incredible wit, intelligence and speed via my television screen every night, a man who taught me that being competitive is fun when you have a good time. I was full of shock, sadness, and even a little anger.
I spent some time scrolling thorugh the All4 and Channel 4 Facebook pages, watching and reading all of the memorials and compilation videos of Sean Lock’s best moments. Reminding myself of how loved he was made me remember that when the life of a brilliant artist passes, we must celebrate the art they left behind.
As such, here are come of my favourite Sean Lock quotes:
“Interesting fact, a shark will only attack you if you’re wet.”
“People say churches are half empty. They’re not, they’re too big.”
“A bit of advice: never read a pop-up book about giraffes.”
Buzzfeed also put together an excellent compilation a few years ago.
He also taught me that a person can, all at once, be kind, non-judgmental, funny, intelligent and caring all in one go.
Sean Lock, I firstly thank you for teaching your audience to be smart, skeptical and smooth, just like how you tricked Jon Richardson for picking the wrong box both times (this is too funny not to watch).
Secondly, as a person who can easily fear the threat of judgment, thank you for teaching me that the most lovable version of yourself, is the truest version of yourself. The way you used your life experiences to build up your confidence, capabilities and calibre of humour is unparalleled (check out his hilarious ‘self-help’ books moment on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown).
Lastly, in this modern era, thank you for reminding us to make light of our lives, and to live with unencumbered joy and delight.
You will be forever missed. For now, I will be watching your best moments on Countdown. I encourage all readers to do the same.
If not for yourselves, then in light of those who are immunocompromised, please remember to book in your COVID-19 vaccinations.
Nine Days: In Cinemas
Review by Caiti Galwey
You need to go and watch Nine Days. If you haven’t already seen the film, you need to stop reading this and go to your nearest cinema. Don’t read other reviews. Watch the trailer if you must. But just go watch it.
I’ll begin with the superficial. The film is a home-run for first-time director Edson Oda, and has had hype behind it since it premiered at Sundance in January last year. It is technically perfect. The atmosphere, the production design, the cinematography, the pacing of the edit, the soundscape; all are flawless. Here are some choice stills…
Now onto some more substantive analysis. A few years ago I saw a show at Belvoir St Theatre called Every Brilliant Thing that affected me profoundly. I never thought I could replicate that experience. Nine Days has touched me in an almost identical way. The obscurity of the human soul and the concept of being alive have been looked at in many different ways across decades of film and theatre. Winston Duke’s character, Mike, brings with him the nihilistic, jaded perspective many of us may relate to as a result of the past year and a half. Whilst Mike is exaggeratedly so, the cracks in his forcibly numb demeanor are reminders that we cannot deny the innate effectiveness of pure human experiences.
Such experiences are seen POV style in Mike’s “TV room”, as Mike trials candidates to determine which one shall be permitted to live on Earth. The screens form a montage of moments: sharing laughter, seeing family, bike-riding, cozy jumpers, the heartbreak of loss, weddings, birthdays, the smell of books, the wonder of travel. The list goes on, and is substantially cheesy, but necessarily so. Experiences are specific to the individual. Watching the film receptively, you’ll reflect upon the little moments in your own life. You’ll think about the small joys of your own experience and with renewed appreciation for the little things that make us human.
Arguably, this film could not have come at a better time.
Dark Waters: Streaming on Amazon Prime
Featuring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, the true story of which Dark Waters is based on has stark parallels to the water crisis in current day Flint Michigan, with Ruffalo’s character drawing parallels to many of us pursuing a legal profession. Adapted from the ground breaking New York Times magazine article by Nathaniel Rich, this movie is a mix between a satisfying legal thriller and The Blind Side 2.0.
Ruffalo plays a tired corporate attorney who has sold the last prosperous years of his legal career representing big powerful companies. When an ordinary farmer approaches him with a conspiracy theory involving toxic chemicals and a poisoned town, Ruffalo can’t resist the chance for redemption. His decision eventually leads to one of the longest ongoing environmental suits in the United States.
The movie does an incredibly good job of highlighting what we all know about the legal profession. Its portrayal of an overwhelming imbalance between exhausting procedural intricacies and heartening small wins does well to showcase the reality of public interest law, or as The Atlantic described it, the chilling tale of corporate indifference.
Daredevil: Streaming on Netflix
By Caiti Galwey
Looking for something to distract from the post Zoom blues? May I offer Marvel’s Daredevil. Live vicariously through Matt Murdock (lawyer-by-day; badass-by-night) as he fights crime in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. Blinded as a young boy, Murdock must now uncover a conspiracy of the criminal underworld with nothing but his heightened senses and intuition.
Whether you’re partial to comic book thrills or shirtless people performing breathtaking fight choreography; Daredevil has it all. As law students, you might also enjoy the glimpse into both ends of the advocacy spectrum afforded by the show. Either way, it’s a better show to binge than How I Met Your Mother for the sixth time (guilty).
Primal Fear: Streaming on Netflix
By Matt Healy
(Content Warning) – sexual abuse and murder
An eclectic and gripping 90’s classic. This film showcases Richard Gere as the hot-shot attorney seeking pro-bono stardom by winning the impossible case of the year. Based on a novel by William Diehl, this is a story of a lawyer who is bound to the law’s maxim of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
A young teenager named Aaron Stampler (played by Edward Norton) is arrested over the violent murder of the archbishop of Chicago. Throughout the entire film we see more and more evidence giving motive for the boy’s action, but Martin Vail (the attorney) can’t bring himself to believe that the damaged Kentucky kid did it.
This film has one of the biggest twists of the 90’s and features astounding performances from several familiar (and young) faces of Hollywood today. For these two reasons alone it is worth a watch.
Wentworth: Streaming on Foxtel or ABC iView
Social distancing have you feeling a bit like a prisoner in your own home? Well, after watching Wentworth we can guarantee that you will change your mind.
Image credit: Poster for Wentworth from TVNZ
This thrilling female-led Australian drama reminds us all that prison is a scary and a harking reality for many people. Through it’s entertaining yet genuine depictions of a women’s prison, Wentworth will have you absolutely mortified and simultaneously grateful to be all cuddled up in your cosy (and safe) home. The second you become swept up in any romance, group bonding or any sense of happy feeling, the show disruptively reminds you that prison (and this show) is not for the faint-hearted. With a brilliant cast and complex characters, this show will have you wondering why you ever watched Orange is the New Black in the first place.
Black Mirror White Christmas (Season 3 Episode 1): Streaming on Netflix
By Ash Stocco
Black Mirror is a television series known for its ground-breaking plot lines and thrilling twists and Charlie Brooker’s ‘White Christmas’ is no exception. This 74 minute feature is centred around a conversation between two men who are surrounded by snow and confined to their cabin (can relate).
(From left to right) Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin and Jon Hamm in Black Mirror: White Christmas. Image credit: photograph from Hal Shinnie Channel 4 on the Guardian)
Their conversation breaks the episode into three separate (and equally mind blowing) story lines that culminate at the end in true Black Mirror style. The episode features rattling depictions of the effect of isolation ranging from physical isolation to a form of real life ‘blocking’ (you’ll see). If you enjoy a good thriller, ‘White Christmas’ won’t disappoint – oh, and did we mention it stars Jon Hamm? What more could you want!?
Unorthodox: Streaming on Netflix
By Matt Healy
Netflix’s new mini-series “Unorthodox” allows us to reflect on our own comforts and relative freedoms in light of this crazy time. Based on Deborah Feldman’s inspiring true story and autobiography, the series takes us into the most compelling depiction of the Hasidic ultra-orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg, New York.
Image credit: Unorthodox poster from Indian Express
The series tells the story of a young woman’s life changing decision to break free of a world she feels trapped in. The incredible performance from Israeli actress Shira Haas lays out the honest emotions of a woman trapped by everyone she loves. Told through the ever-recurring motif of longing for music and the pain of community expectations, Esty is a woman that we can only strive to be as strong willed as. The meticulous cultural detail deserves the praise and awe given to such series as “The Crown”. An example of this includes the dedication to script the series in mostly Yiddish, a protected Jewish dialect.
It is not by chance that the series is so captivating. I highly recommend watching the behind the scenes clips which capture the making of the series and demonstrate the painstaking attention to detail delivered by everyone involved. Split into four hour-long clips, take your time with this truly exceptional production – my favourite watch of 2020 so far.
Star Trek Voyager: Streaming on Netflix
By Caiti Galwey
Two decades before she was ‘Red’ in Orange Is the New Black, Katherine Mulgrew starred as Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. She was the first female captain in Star Trek history, tasked with finding a way to get her crew home after a spatial anomaly ejects them to the other side of the galaxy.
These days it’s quite easy to empathise with the crew of Voyager; stuck in a claustrophobic place in uncertain circumstances, with people they would rather not be (no offence to my flatmates). Whilst the characters aboard Voyager often take the notion of cabin fever to the extreme, you will no doubt find the show’s far-reaching concepts and immense creativity do wonders to alleviate stir-craziness. If the 90’s space aesthetic, snappy dialogue and loveable characters aren’t enough to get you through these quaran-times, I don’t know what else will.