Films To Watch

Editor @Jthnomad

“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” – Ingmar Bergman

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid Marvel fan or just an art film junkie, this year is set to hold something for everyone when it comes to the movies. Personally I am excited to see the new works coming out by Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola and Raul Peck. Not to mention the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnorok, which I can almost guarantee will be instant blockbusters.

I Am Not Your Negro / Black Chalk Magazine

I Am Not Your Negro / Black Chalk Magazine

I Am Not Your Negro

This is an age where most of the population grew up after the Civil Right movement of the 1960s, and racial tensions are clearing on the rise again. It is vastly important that current and future generations do not lose sight of the struggles and work accomplished by those in the past.

The reason I adore I Am Not Your Negro is that it brings to light the works of one of my favorite literary icons, James Baldwin. James Baldwin was a talented African American poet and playwright who explored the realities of race, sexuality and class distinctions in an age where LGBT issues weren’t mentioned in polite company. James was famous for bring artists together from all walks of life including Lena Horne, Marlon Brando, Nina Simone and Malcolm X to discuss the issues of the day.

Filmmaker Raoul Peck partnered with Samuel L Jackson to do the narration, brings this man’s amazing accomplishments into the 21st Century by mixing in footage of modern racial issues like the Ferguson protests. Sadly the film hardly touches on his groundbreaking work on LGBT issues.

Thor: Ragnarok / Black Chalk Magazine

Thor: Ragnarok / Black Chalk Magazine

Thor: Ragnarok

As a fan of anything showcasing Chris Hemsworth and his delicious masculine physique, I can’t wait to see this latest installment of the Marvel universe. I am hoping that by partnering Chris Hemsworth up with director Taika Waititi (known for What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Widerpeople) it will bring some kick-ass energy back into the Marvel Filmverse.

I was deeply underwhelmed by the last film that I won’t name *Doctor Strange* especially by the miscasting of two brilliant actors like Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, both of whom I adore. I hope this director will let Chris bring in some of that humor we saw him showcase in Ghostbusters and Vacation. Because Ragnarok is literally the end of the world in Norse mythology, and we will need all the humor we can get.

The Beguiled / Black Chalk Magazine

The Beguiled / Black Chalk MagazineThe Beguiled / Black Chalk Magazine

The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola… Let’s just say when it comes to Sofia’s directing abilities I am simply addicted. It all started with The Virgin Suicides, to Lost In Translation, to only deepen with Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst. The fact that Sofia has turned her hand to doing a Western doesn’t honestly surprise me. It seems like a natural evolution for her.

The story is set during the American Civil War and is a remake of a Don Siegel / Clint Eastwood film. The star is a personal favorite of mine, Colin Farrell, who seems to be getting better as he ages. Colin, plays a wounded Union soldier hiding out in a Confederate girls school of all places. I am excited to see what Sofia does with this traditionally masculine film genre.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

If only because this is last film any of us will see staring my favorite Princess of all time, Carrie Fisher, it is absolutely a must-see. The fact that we have Rian Johnson, of The Brothers Bloom, being the writer / director of the film has me very curious as to what is going to happen with the storyline.

Johnson is the only person beside Star Wars creator George Lucas to both write and direct a Star Wars film. All I can say is that I sincerely hope Johnson doesn’t pull a Rogue One on us, as I can’t stand to see any more of my favorite Star Wars characters die. Besides they already offed Hans Solo in the last film. Plus let’s be thankful that Carrie Fisher completed all her scenes for this film before she passed. May The Force Be With You!

DunKirk / Black Chalk Magazine

DunKirk / Black Chalk Magazine

Dunkirk

In an era of cheap digital film making and special effects, it is surprising that any director would shoot on 65mm film. Not to mention stick to ‘real’ effects to manifest his vision. But what makes Christopher Nolan such a marvelous director, is his obsession with time-honored film making techniques.

The fact that he took on such a touchy moment in western military history like Dunkirk is interesting. Dunkirk was an episode during WW2 that saw the mass evacuation of 300,000 soldiers from a French beach. Not a shining example of the Allied victories from this period. If nothing else this film is anti-war, in that it shows the true horrors of war and the fragility of human existence. If you are a fan of Saving Private Ryan, this film is a must-see.

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