A Necessary Death

26-siberia

Last night, NBC debuted yet another new series with a documentary style structure. The network is no stranger to the format, but this show is apparently more confusing for viewers than, say, The Office and Parks and Recreation. The difference is that this show, Siberia, is not a comedy. It’s a fictional show that plays like a reality game show. Any blurbs calling it “Survivor meets Lost” are unnecessary praise because that is literally what is intended. The premise is a more anarchic take on a Survivor-type show, dropping contestants in the middle of the notorious Russian region, while the pilot is nearly a play-by-play of a crash-less version of the Lost pilot, complete with a male version of Shannon (he even sunbathes while everyone else works together as a team) and an unidentified creature in the woods, a la “The Smoke Monster.” By the time Siberia starts to get deadly, the audience should be fully aware that this is not a real reality show. That is if they aren’t already keen enough to see the impossible camerawork (common to other doc-style fiction series) or haven’t bothered looking up the program on IMDb or NBC’s website. But why would they go looking if they believed it to be just another nonfiction show? There’s not much that indicates otherwise in the opening credits (no writers are listed and the cast is listed by first name only) and while the network isn’t necessarily trying to dupe viewers, its marketing of the show […]

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Daniel Stamm‘s A Necessary Death is like a shot of whiskey that’s easy to pour but not easy to drink. His directorial debut (which won him the job for The Last Exorcism) follows a film student making a documentary about a man preparing for, and going through with, his suicide. It’s difficult territory to be certain, but it’s handled with grace, humor, and more than a few touching moments which make the horror of the inevitable and the twisting emotions growing in the film crew that much harder to handle. It’s an excellent movie, and Stamm joins us to delve deeper into its creation (and audience’s reactions). Download Episode #138

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of new releases today with the common theme being that they’re all worth a watch at the very least. So head on down to your local Hollywood Video and check out Coriolanus, A Necessary Death, Goon and yes, even We Need To Talk About Kevin. Seriously, check out that last one as I need someone, anyone, to validate my opinion that the film is more ridiculous than impressive. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Henning Mankell’s Wallander: Swedish Series Two Chief Inspector Wallander has a knack for solving crimes even as he grows tired of man’s inhumanity towards man in this second Swedish TV series (season) to be based on Henning Mankell’s most famous character. Krister Henriksson stars as the talented but beleaguered detective through thirteen episodes of murder, deceit and drama, and he brings real pathos to the character while still keeping him an engaging but likeable grump. The mysteries are well-constructed and excitingly shot, and they serve as a reminder that our own TV series could benefit from a shorter schedule that allows for more quality over quantity. Now to track down Henriksson’s season one…

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A documentary about ending it all… And we do mean suicide.

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