The First Grader

dvd_fish story us

Welcome to the last DVD column of 2011! There’s been quite a bit of chatter about how dismal of a year it was for film, but while there’s no doubt the box office haul is lower than the year before the same can’t be said for film quality. This week’s releases include the dirty fun of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, the cool deaths (but little else) of Final Destination 5, two found footage films of varying quality (The Tunnel, Apollo 18) and two future cult classics (Kill List, The Skin I Live In) possibly worth an import for folks who don’t want to wait several more months for US releases. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Fish Story A comet heads toward Earth, but as the planet awaits destruction a few strangers sit in a record shop discussing how a mysterious song from decades ago just might save the world. From that starting point the film moves across space and time to tell a story about friendship, heroism, fate and more. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura (Golden Slumber, A Boy and His Samurai) has a true talent for tying multiple threads  up with real heart and character. The movie is actually a few years old, but it’s also the reason the term ‘blind buy’ was invented. Seriously. This is near perfect mix of whimsy, action, suspense and heart, and deserves to be seen by everyone. Check out Cole Abaius’ full review.


amazonas_the sky downstairs

*FSR traveled to Manaus, Brazil to attend and cover the 8th Amazonas Film Festival. See all our coverage here.* I am in Brazil. Those four words are easy to type and even easier to read, but the journey to make them a reality has been anything but. From Visa problems at the Brazilian consulate, to mechanical issues that delayed my trip by a full day, to a mix-up in Miami that left me forced to pay a few hundred bucks in change-flight fees, to a drunken blowhard in my seating row loudly insulting those around him until I commented and he promptly fell asleep. (To be fair, he may have actually passed out before I commented…) It was not a great experience. But then my plane began to descend over Brazil, and the lush, vibrant rain forest spread out beneath me like a giant and deliriously green shag carpet dissected by the mysterious waters of the Rio Negros. The river resembles a dark lightning strike cutting a swath through the jungle, its main body constantly breaking off into jagged streams and tributaries until it finally meets up with the Amazon. It’s an awesome and belittling thing to see from above as it appears endless in every visible direction… and then you hit Manaus, a city of two million people sitting squarely in the middle of the jungle.



The BBC is heading down to Kenya to check in with a very old First Grader.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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