I'm back with some Birthday List Love!
Today’s list offers a few movies, TV shows or documentaries I’ve enjoyed so far this year. Some were sought out (The Prophet), others pleasantly discovered (The Secret of Kells), and others anxiously awaited (Outlander).
All of them come recommended.
NOTE: Most links are to trailers on Youtube, but a few are to Canadian sites like TV Ontario or the National Film Board of Canada. If you can't access the latter, maybe try your local library.
Starring Salma Hayek and Liam Neeson, each section in this adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s text is animated by different filmmakers. Different styles, different colours, different music... some so beautiful they made me cry.
Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm
I know, I know, I’ve mentioned these here already, maybe even twice. But I find it utterly fascinating and humbling to see how people lived in the past without the modern conveniences I take for granted today. Farming life was one of uncertainty and relentless physical demands - it probably still is. I’m not sure I’d fare very well.
Though I enjoyed them all, I especially enjoyed Wartime Farm. Set in the UK during the second world war, it offers a glimpse into the sheer courage and resourcefulness demonstrated by those living in rural areas during times of scarcity and no doubt ever-present fear. It left me filled with awe and gratitude.
A slow-paced Swedish film about a woman who discovers joy and independence through the lens of a camera. I picked this up on a whim at the library and it was delightful surprise.
Two words: Jamie Fraser. If you’ve read the books, you know. If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend them. Once you've read the first one I recommend checking out the TV show, starting with Season 1.
The Secret of Kells & Song of the Sea
These two animated feature films were made by the same people. Both of them left me mesmerized. I beg of you, click on these two links and let yourself be enchanted by the trailers. If you like what you see and hear, the movies shall not disappoint. D. even enjoyed these ones.
The Lost Garden: The Life and Cinema of Alice Guy-Blaché
A fortuitous discovery on the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada’s Website that introduced me to yet another female pioneer in the creative arts. From the Website:
“This feature documentary is a portrait of Alice Guy-Blaché, one of cinema's most fearless pioneers. A filmmaker before the word even existed, Guy-Blaché made her first film at the end of the last century, when cinema was still brand-new. After directing, producing and writing more than 700 films, she slipped into oblivion. This film rescues her brave and shining memory.”
I was blown away by her foresight, her accomplishments and her creative courage in a predominantly man’s world.
Monty Don’s French Gardens
I’ll be honest, I think my enjoyment of these shows is 30% due to the actual content and 70% due to the passion its host, Monty Don, brings to the table. This man loves what he does and it shows as he walks us through not just fields and furrows, but history as expressed through our relationship to the land.
Originally aired on BBC, as I type, episodes 2 & 3 are available on TV Ontario, but for a limited amount of time (episode 1 disappeared today).
PS - If you’re an artist, you might be interested in episode 3 of this series, where Mr. Don profiles artistic gardens of France including those of Monet and Cézanne.
Et voilà, List #5.
A recap of lists posted, you say? Of course!
Next up: Birthday List Love #6.