Mr. Bjarnfreðarson (2009) ***
An Icelandic comedy that combines dark humor, fish-out-of-water stories, and self-discovery all in one entertainingly bizarre package. The titular character has been raised by his extremist socialist/feminist mother (the heavy-handiness of the stereotypes of the mother are my least favorite part of the movie) to an extent that he can’t fit in to every day society.
Heima (2007) ****
This concert follows the Icelandic band Sigur Ros on their heroic return to their homeland where they thank their country-folk with a series of free concerts. The setting for the concerts emphasize Iceland’s natural beauty and include local musicians all captured with amazing cinematography. So beautiful.
The Wind in the Willows (2005) **
An adaptation of the classic novel that starts off well but once Mole and Rat are left behind and it becomes all Mr. Toad it gets a bit silly and dull.
Finding Nemo (2003) *****
I introduced Peter to Pixar films with this classic and he received it well. Apparently, the sharks are funny.
Monsters, Inc. (2001) *****
Peter didn’t like this one as much as the monsters were scary and we had to turn it off when Sully is sledding down the Himalayas. I love it though.
The Fox & the Hound (1981) ****
I saw this movie in the theaters back when I was 7-years old and loved it. The story is much as I remembered it but the animation is pretty chintzy and I was surprised by how many of the voice actors were the same as “Winnie the Pooh.” Peter enjoyed it too, although from his perspective this was “The Bear Movie.” The bear is on screen for maybe five minutes, but it makes a big impression to a toddler.
One of my favorite films which I saw on the big screen at Brattle Theatre a few years back. This was the first time Susan saw it and I was surprised that I’d forgotten how dark and gory this post-apocalyptic cannibalistic black comedy was. Still, it is funny and amazing creative with possibly the best opening titles sequence ever as well as a couple of masterful set pieces.
Delicatessen title sequence:
Classic scene from Delicatessen used in trailer:
Mark Twain (2001)
A Ken Burns documentary about America’s great celebrity author, a man of many contradictions who lead a life both charmed and tragic. I didn’t know much about Mark Twain’s life beyond a few famous fables so I enjoyed learning about the man and his work in this well-filmed, well-narrated, and well-illustrated documentary.
The Great Escape (1963)
The ultimate WWII prisoner of war film is entertaining if a bit long. The Germans round up the most troublesome prisoners into one high-security camp and the Allied prisoners respond by planning the most daring escape ever. The film claims to be based on actual events although a lot of what happens is dramatized, compressed, and composite-ized beyond reality, so it’s best to watch this for it entertainment and symbolic value rather than for a history lesson.
Of course, I couldn’t help but think of the Eddie Izzard routine on The Great Escape while watching this:
The Historic Pubs of Dublin (2008)
For St. Patrick’s Day, I enjoyed this hour-long journey through the best pubs in Dublin with writer Frank McCourt. Pubs patronized by writers and revolutionaries are visited as well as good places to enjoy a pint, a whiskey, Irish trad, and some good craic are all visited. McCourt also leads the viewer to some of the top tourist attractions in Dublin, often conveniently proximite to a pub.