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  • Kelsea Jones

Stay at Home Binge Watch

We've watched all of the Grey's Anatomy and The Office we can stand. It's time to watch movies about the vibrancy of life and family and friendship in our first Stay at Home Binge Watch! All of the films I recommend here are available for students and staff to watch for free on our film database, Kanopy. Contact the TVCC Library for our Kanopy login information.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Kanopy Says: Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.

A wistful odyssey populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights, and the other locals on the margins, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a poignant and sweeping story of friendship, community, and the true meaning of home. Joe Talbot's directorial debut is a deep and resonant meditation on the stories we tell ourselves to find our place in the world.

Why I Like It: Everything about this film is beautiful. Joe Talbot uses his camera to turn San Francisco and Jimmie's house into characters as vibrant as Jimmie and Mont. Jonathan Majors' performance as Mont is forceful and real and raw; it's one of my favorite performances of the last five years.

Boy (2010)

Kanopy Says: Acclaimed director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) presents a creative coming-of-age comedy set in 1984, following an eleven-year-old Michael Jackson fanatic nicknamed "Boy" (James Rolleston). With his mother dead and father AWOL, Boy becomes the head of a household full of kids when his Nana leaves town for a funeral.

Out of nowhere, Boy's Dad (Waititi) rolls up in a vintage car with his "gang", and turns Boy's life upside down. There are treasure hunts, fistfights, and falling-outs, as Boy grapples to learn why his Dad left the family so long ago.

Waititi adopts a fanciful deadpan tone that's part Wes Anderson and part Flight of the Conchords, complete with child-like animations and hilarious re-enactments of Michael Jackson music videos. It's one of the most creative comedies you'll see all year.

Why I Like It: You can probably guess from this list that I love a coming of age movie. Boy is such a real kid, and the stark reality he has to contend with is wonderfully highlighted by Taika Waititi's whimsy. This movie is hysterical and weird and heartbreaking.

Lady Bird (2017)

Kanopy Says: Directed by Greta Gerwig and nominated for five Oscars, LADY BIRD is a warm, affecting comedy about a high schooler (Saoirse Ronan) who must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf) over the course of her eventful and poignant senior year of high school.

Why I Like It: My other coming of age selection! Greta Gerwig has such a talent for capturing the vibrancy of life; you could run into any of these characters walking downtown to Jolts and Juice. In this odd moment we're living through, I particularly love that Lady Bird celebrates senior year and the transition to college. Long live the class of 2020!

Loving Vincent (2017)

Kanopy Says: In the first fully painted feature film, 2018 Oscar-nominated LOVING VINCENT tells the story of the mysterious and tragic death of the world's most famous artist, Vincent van Gogh. Featuring the voices of Saoirse Ronan and Chris O'Dowd.

Why I Like It: I've never seen an animated film like this before. There is constant motion in the paint strokes even during quiet, still moments in the action. While we know Vincent Van Gogh's life ends tragically, the care taken in the animation makes this film feel celebratory.

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