Welcome back. You’ve just finished your exams, submitted your last essay, and survived the first week of the Trump presidency — really, congratulations. After all that stress you definitely deserve a break. Sit back, relax, try not to think about your results or big Donald’s cabinet picks, and have a nice, quiet weekend in with the housemates and these excellent films.
Friday – Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Genre: Comedy/Drama
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is New Zealand film director Taika Waititi’s fifth feature film, after his equally funny 2014 film What We Do In The Shadows. Wilderpeople follows rebellious pre-teen Ricky (Julian Dennison) and his foster uncle Hec Faulkner (Sam Neill) as they find themselves on the run from the authorities in the New Zealand bush. It’s a film that can at times be laugh-out-loud hilarious, at others heartfelt and sad, and sometimes both. Waititi’s writing gives the film its signature Kiwi charm and elevates it from being just another dysfunctional-duo feel-good film.
Saturday – Victoria – Genre: Thriller
We all need a bit of excitement in our lives; we’ve all felt the desire to go off the rails, to do something completely outside the boundaries of our boring, mundane existences. That’s the feeling that Victoria captures perfectly as it follows the titular character, Victoria (Laia Costa) on her unexpected late-night adventure with four slightly-shady guys she meets in a Berlin nightclub. What sells the film, and what sets it apart from your average thriller, was director Sebastian Schipper’s decision to film the entirety of Victoria in one take. It’s a choice that had the potential to be gimmicky, but Schipper executes it well, maintaining an electric sense of excitement, thrill and terror throughout.
Sunday – Look Who’s Back – Genre: Comedy
As you ponder the ethics of punching Nazis, take a break to watch Look Who’s Back, where the ‘Who’ in the title turns out to be Adolf Hitler (Oliver Masucci) himself. It’s a satirical comedy that might not be as clever as it thinks it is, but has its moments. For example, Hitler’s main struggle in the film is that, as he tries to realise his political ambitions, people think he’s a stand-up comedian instead. It’s amusing, it’s funny, and recent events considered, it’s timely.
(Image courtesy of All Star/Piki films)