Friday, April 12, 2013
Weekender: 2 Movies 2 see
As I rarely go to a movie theater to see movies, mostly because I get screeners at home which save me driving somewhere and spending $12 for a ticket. But this week I actually saw two movies that really worked for me (as in I liked them).
Both, oddly enough, were very similar in many ways.
"The Sapphires" is a true story about four Australian aboriginal girls who form a group based on Motown and the Supremes as well as Aretha Franklin. How's that for a movie idea. The story is set in late 1960's as a loser and drunk manager sees the girls sing in a tiny town in Australia and decides they have talent. This leads to them learning Motown songs in hopes of getting work entertaining U.S. troops in Viet Nam.
Their act works and they travel to the warzones entertaining troops and falling in and out of love and the movie works very nicely, going for comedy to drama and heartfelt moments. It's very corny in some ways but it really brings you into the struggles and successes of a group hindered by racism and yet coming out better. My director friend, who hates almost every movie out, saw it and loved it.
Try to find it, it's on Netlfix, I think, and it should be out on dvd somewhere. You won't regret it.
Then there's Starbuck.
The moment I read the logline to this I wish I would have found it first.
It's about a guy who donates sperm to a sperm bank and through some accident, has fathered 543 kids.
How's that for a storyline. And, like the Sapphires, it's a TRUE STORIE!!
Starbuck is the code name the donator uses to remain anonymous and after learning of the mistake by the clinic, he is shocked. And it gets better. There are 142 people who want to meet their birth-father.
This is one of the best movie ideas I've ever seen. The potential is huge. But let's hear more.
The donor, named David Waznicki decides to spy on one of "his children", who's a soccer player in Montreal. The film is Canadian by the way and made in Quebec. It is all in French with sub-titles. The "children" are of various ages, mostly early 20's by now.
David visits another of his children, a girl who overdoses on heroin. He realizes then that spying on his children might not be a good idea. But he can't help it, he wants to see more of them without revealing himself. The movie is essentially a comedy but with drama as he finds another of his "children" autistic and unable to function by himself. Those moments are tear-jerking.
It, like the Sapphires, depends on the actors and in both movies, the lead actors are all great, people you've never seen or heard of and that makes the movies better. They play like movies made in the 70's with feeling and heart and sadness making for a full experience.
Starbuck has already been remade in America with Vince Vaughn and should be out later this summer. But try to see the original one first.
Have a great spring week-end, eh?