Any week that brings Maya Deren’s masterpiece Meshes of the Afternoon back into the Fandor library is a good week, no? It’s a good week. Even if David Bowie and Alan Rickman are no longer with us.
It’s still a good week, even if the announcement of this year’s Oscar Nominations shows once again that Hollywood’s representation game is stuck in the Titanic era (and not like 1912, like the 1990s: Female directors, at least, had it way better back in the day). The silver lining is two-fold to us here at Fandor: We can celebrate Charlotte Rampling, Joshua Oppenheimer, Todd Haynes and Ciro Guerra‘s nominations while also welcoming the real and immediate need for conversation around how this sausage gets made.
On a related note, did anyone happen to catch the Guerilla Girls on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? If you want to know more about these masked art-world rabble-rousers, look no further than the documentary !Women Art Revolution, which traces the genesis of these vigilante visual artists for equality — if you can believe it, they’ve been humiliating major institutions since 1985!
All of this comparison to the recent past has made us nostalgic for, or maybe just curious about, the era just visible in our collective rear-view mirrors, pre-Twitter and pre-Tinder. Luckily we’ve got lots of ways to dig through the cultural memories presented by many of Fandor’s newest releases! We added a whopping fifty films to the library this week, so needless to say, we’re having one heck of a #flashbackfriday:
Before Benghazi, there was the Iran-Contra political scandal. When Oliver North, the man at the center, emerged from the chaos to run for a Senate seat in 1994, a documentary crew was on hand to capture all of the political machinations, which they turned into the film A Perfect Candidate. Is this film a comedy? You decide.
When watching these almost-vintage behind-the-scenes exposés, you’re bound to see
some familiar faces. In Feed, which is like the opening credits from Anchorman, except with politicians instead of reporters and, you know, real, you’ll see which players in the 1992 election are still around today (hint: it’s the Clintons). Also: How did we ever survive without memes and Vines?
And how did we ever survive without swiping left and stalking our suitors’ social media? In Personals, we go back to a time when ads for potential partners were placed in newspapers. The more things change, though, the more they stay the same: A doctor in her thirties endures one dumb, disappointing and sometimes dangerous date after another, all while pining for the one who got away but who may still kind of be in the picture. If that doesn’t sound like Millennial love, nothing does.
Even if you don’t recognize the name George McGovern, you’ll be inspired by his 1972 run against the incumbent Tricky Dick himself. Whether or not you’re “feeling the Bern”, One Bright Shining Moment will shed some light on how a populist-driven campaign can make a difference. The film came out the same year as another documentary about an inspiring underdog: Street Fight, which follows Cory Booker on campaign trail during the Newark, New Jersey mayoral race. If you liked that, you’ll love this.
Think the now-viral clip of “The Official Donald Trump Jam” is the most incredible/disturbing spectacle of American culture you’ve seen to date? Rest assured, Love It/Leave It will scratch the same itch. One word: Clowns. Five words: Clowns in Uncle Sam suits. It’ll either make you feel better…or much worse.
If all of this political deja-vu or personal-ad pathos proves too dizzying, feel free to calm yourself with the power of cats. Our latest Criterion Picks collection contains straight-up classics like L’Atalante (pictured here), Grey Gardens and House, all connected through cameos by our feline friends. What’s not to love?
For even more ways to escape reality, or maybe just see it differently, keep an eye on our New Releases page. And stay tuned, because we’ll be back next week with even more news and new movies to share. Until then, happy watching!