On Netflix Now: Love and Engineering

It seems an obvious notion that human beings are not machines, though we are able to design and construct sophisticated mechanical apparatus, the intricacies of human consciousness are somewhat less well-ordered.

But for the lovelorn Finnish engineers of Love and Engineering (2014), who understand machines better than people, this is not immediately apparent. Their attitude is, “What is the algorithm for love and how can we calculate it?”

Read the rest On Netflix Now.

On Netflix Now: Samsara

Samsara, like its predecessor Baraka (1992) is one of the greatest film epics ever produced. It is a rare gem indeed and unlike any other film in terms of the vast scale and scope of its subject matter: a documentary exploration of the eternal cycle of life and death.

This may sound like a somewhat grandiose description of a film that could not possibly live up to such superlative praise, but I believe Samsara is fully deserving of it.

Its visual splendour will lack novelty if you have seen the very similar Baraka, which, unfortunately, is not currently available on Netflix US (here’s to hoping), but, nevertheless, it is an excellent follow up to that phenomenal piece of cinema…

Read the rest On Netflix Now

On Netflix Now: This Is The Way The Word Ends

melancholia

Two films about love, death, and the apocalypse.

Melancholia (2011)

This is a truly exquisite film, though it lives up to its mournful title. Directed by acclaimed Danish auteur Lars von Trier, Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as two sisters, Justine and Claire, facing down the apocalypse together, as a planet named “Melancholia” is set on a collision course with Earth. Each deals with it in a very different way.

Claire despairs at their fate and rages with hysterics against the dying of the light; her deeply depressed sister, by stark contrast, simply resigns herself to the coming catastrophe…

Read the rest On Netflix Now.

On Netflix Now: Moving Art

Orchid

There is no particular narrative to the Moving Art (2014) series, other than the grand narrative that sustains all life in the known Universe.

Moving Art serenely observes these phenomena in four exquisite short films entitled: Oceans, Deserts, Forests, and Flowers.

The concept is simple, but deeply moving. Each film contains spectacular footage of the natural world set to instrumental music, shot in various locations, all over America.

It truly is a Zen experience, and I highly recommend watching this if you are in an anxious or stressful mood. The pure, sumptuous beauty of Moving Art will soothe those troubled feelings…

Read more at On Netflix Now.

 Featured Image Credit: Orchid (2014) by Candice Holdsworth

On Netflix Now: Dreams, Obsessions and Insanity

Netflix kissinger

Three films on Netflix about individuals with fierce ambition; geniuses and mad men alike; whose intense fixations have led to both triumph and ruin.

Kissinger (2011)

Director: Zachary Heinzerling

Historian Niall Ferguson interviews former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, in a fascinating insight into the mind of a very complex and guarded individual. Kissinger’s time in the Nixon administration is a somewhat mixed legacy; though he has been praised by some for his shrewd approach to international diplomacy, others have deplored his Machiavellian style of politics…

Read the rest On Netflix Now.

Featured Image Credit: “Dark Dream” by Candice Holdsworth (2015)

All United In Solitude: Joanna Hogg’s Filmography, On Netflix Now

Joanna Hogg’s directorial gaze shifts elegantly from aloof and clinical to warm and empathic, in seamless moments of insight and clarity.

It is as though the characters of her films are objects of scientific study and the audience is invited to consider and examine them in detail.

Yet in the kindest possible way, though her cool, ponderous camera work creates the effect of observing its human subjects as if from an intellectual distance, we regard them lovingly, empathising with them and recognising our own fragility in their struggles…

Read the rest On Netflix Now.