If you’re not skiing down St. Moritz slopes or hiding inside an igloo then you know that the concrete jungle is rather unbearable outside. Draw the blinds, fluff up the pillows, keep food delivery numbers at hand, get the gigantic jar of iced tea into the fridge, persuade man Friday to pop those iced lollies in the freezer and turn down the airconditioning to icebox setting. Then snuggle up in a duvet and watch these special films made just for this weather.
But first, something special. One of the most amazing personalities in comedy was lost to us on May 16th, 1984. Andy Kaufman. He challenged everything you thought was entertainment. He was wild and weird and all kinds of wonderful. And the Jim Carrey got to play him. He is so good as Andy, that the lines between performance and real life seem to be blurred. Andy Kaufman was only 35 when he died, but a giant entertainer. Jim Carrey is a giant entertainer and the proof is here:
VIDEOThis next film is called Beirut. It flew under the radar, but John Hamm fans will be loyal. As long as long sideburns don’t come back in style, I enjoyed watching this thriller. They say this film gets Beirut wrong, but I’m happy to see a city that I’ve wanted to visit for years even if it is only on screen. It’s the same for Damascus. Once the city was fragrant with jasmine (at least that’s what poet/diplomat Nizar Qabbani says), and now the war has changed the way it looks. How I wish we could turn back the clock and stop wars and bring that fragrance back! Or perhaps invent a time-travelling machine that could help us travel to the past and fix the wrongs? Looks like Spike Lee felt the same when he produced this film about just this. It’s called See You Yesterday and it’s on Netflix. VIDEO
Youngsters today bury their heads in their phones (noise cancelling headphones to drown out any kind of parenting) but I do not underestimate their intelligence. I was not surprised to see this film at all. But I’ve seen
Travelers and yet I am impressed. The Malaysian drama Unchained Fate does not have a trailer that I can share with you, but I was quite stuck on the way they have used the theme of reincarnation. It’s on Netflix. Watch it because it captivates you even though our television shows and cinema have used this theme over and over again.
I take a deep sip on iced tea and wonder about beating the sun with some Campari but the angel on my shoulder chimes in about my room being 18 degrees and that Campari was made from insects and that I did not really need any alcohol in my system… So I return to the screen, balancing hot pop-corn in the salad bowl with cold iced tea to immerse myself in Suburra. It’s an Italian show about politics and religion and family. A bit like our politics, eh?
But our destinies are ours to write, despite family and circumstances, no? The choices we make define us, and no one better to tell us than the Korean hunk of awesomeness Jo Pil-Ho in
The Dawning Rage. VIDEO
What if everything around you went against you, and you had to fight for survival? This documentary is more thrilling than anything that one has seen, especially because one is a landlubber. This Netflix recreation of a disaster in the North Sea (read: cold, very cold, very treacherous) is enough to forget any popcorn (or in my case, a slice of cheesecake) because my heart was in my mouth the whole time. Did Chris make it? Watch
Last Breath: VIDEO
Sometimes, when you’re trying to stay in and stay under the radar, people will force you into interacting with them. And my current enemy is the doorbell. Do you just hold your breath and hope whoever is at the door will go away? Do you open the door and keep that interaction to a minimum? If you’re watching
Maria, then perhaps you even want to open the door just to decimate them… VIDEO
I wipe away imaginary blood spatters (Maria has oodles of fake blood spattering deliciously) and get back to the chill fest. But now I wish to investigate why my brain is speaking in Japanese to me. And I’m saying in Detective Flick’s voice, ‘Not Kiro B’ (
The Beginning) VIDEO
Of course, once you get involved with Anime, you cannot tear yourself away from it. So I recommend you immediately move on to
Revisions (in Winter there is a better version promised but this is good, because it’s different and yet so familiar). Soon am drawn to something scary. Something that tells me it will be good to stay put indoors and Await Further Instructions: VIDEO
I had put this film on my wish list, and the little bell icon reminded me that Always be My Maybe is here…. And to shut me up for a while, oh mah gawd… Keanu Reeves shows up here.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.