Films and Shows and Things

2:32 PM

An arsenal of some Netflix gems...

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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Neil Degrasse Tyson has a way of making astrophysics seem so simple. A truly fascinating look at our earth and the layers of history beneath it. It answers a lot of posed questions-- what it would be like to enter a black hole, how the world might end, where humanity originated... The visuals are breathtaking, and you learn a lot of crazy facts about our planet, the universe, and more. My favorite episode is the first one. 

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The Sixties/ Seventies/ Eighties
Each series is a comprehensive look at each given decade, from pop culture to politics. The show possesses an immense archive of old footage, which is really cool to watch. It transports you to life in each era, and does so in a very entertaining way. The show also includes commentary from some key figures of the decade, which adds some great insight and credibility to the storytelling. You may find yourself using historical knowledge gained from the show at school, so it's a win-win! My favorite episodes include ALL the music episodes from each series, the Seventies' cult and crimes episode, and the Sixties' JFK assassination episode.

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The First Monday in May
The first two recommendations are things I feel anyone can watch, but this one is a little more niche. This one is a great documentary for art, pop culture, and fashion lovers. It takes a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual fashion exhibition, and accompanying Met Gala. The exhibition, "China: Through the Looking Glass" was a great choice to film, the content is very rich and interesting to learn about. With cameos by Anna Wintour, Baz Luhrmann, Rihanna, Wong Kar Wai, and a slew of Hollywood's finest, "The First Monday in May" is one of my favorite documentaries-- my dream job is to be the head curator of the costume institute at the Met!

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Battle Royale
We're approaching actual film territory now. This Japanese film follows an entire high school freshman class fighting to the death. The premise seems reminiscent of "The Hunger Games", but this 2001 take is so much better. Fighting against your peers, instead of strangers, is an immersive idea that has you questioning what you would do in their place. Each character is very well developed-- my favorites include Mitsuko and Hiroki! The film's excessive gore is different to everyone who watches, with the film being put in genres ranging from satire to sci-fi to horror. Personally, this film gave me nightmares, but it is definitely in my favorites of the year. If you need more convincing, it was also in Tarantino's list of best films of all time. 

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Pulp Fiction
Tarantino talk segways into one of Netflix's BLESSINGS: "Pulp Fiction"! There isn't much to say, this film is one of the most influential and iconic ones ever. Most of the goodness lies in the element of surprise and "huh!" moments, so I won't go into it. Simply put, you must see it. The dialogue is extremely entertaining, and my favorite aspect of it. 

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Tangerine
I saw "Tangerine" on a sticky summer day, and thought about it a lot afterwards. The film, shot beautifully on an iPhone 5, follows two transgender sex workers around Los Angeles. It's a grittier look at L.A. (this is no "La La Land"), but, by the end, I found it strangely endearing and funny. Alexandra is actually my entire heart, she is the loveliest! 

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Sing Street
"Tangerine" had me questioning if it was a feel-good movie, but "Sing Street" undoubtedly is. Something about overseas boy band is always induces heart-warming giddiness, and the film plays on that and more. Main character Connor is boyishly charming, and the setting couldn't be more perfect: 80's Ireland. You leave the film with lots of nostalgia, and some genuinely good songs stuck in your head. My favorite character is Connor's older brother, Brendan. A true icon. 

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Master of None
It's finally getting colder in California, and this series is the perfect thing to binge-watch during Christmas break. Aziz Ansari delivers true greatness, and it's so underrated! The series is about Dev Patel (Ansari) navigating life in New York. The shots and lighting feel movie-like, and the way each episode follows a different theme feels realistic. It touches on subjects like sexual harassment and immigration in a spot on way, which is a nice bonus. "Master of None" is romantic, warm, funny, progressive, and you can truly tell Ansari put a lot of work into it. I adore it! 

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