MIX/VHS is a collaborative project between the staff members at Austin School of Film where we recommend movies of every different kind in a eclectic mish-mash for people to enjoy. Think of it like the Staff Picks at your favorite record store, but for films.
So enjoy your weekly dose of visual media with us!
Two Cars, One Night (Dir. Taika Waitti)
Created in 2004, this is one of Waititi’s first films. This may not be a name that you recognize, but I’m certain you are familiar with his work. After this short, he later went on to write and direct the indie feature Eagle vs. Shark where he began a long collaboration with actor Jermaine Clement. The two later went on to create the hit tv show Flight of the Conchords with Bret McKenzie and the vampire film What We Do in the Shadows. Keep an eye out for his newest feature, Hunt for the Wilderpeople where Taika revisits his New Zealand roots with the same dry humor and oddball characters we have come to love. He is slated to direct Thor Ragnarok, and I cannot wait to see what he does with the franchise. What I love most about this director and this piece is that his talent and style shows through all of his work, even his very humble beginnings.
Stuck In Love (Dir. Josh Boone)
Logan Lerman has had a special place in my heart since “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” This movie might be one of those ones you watch when you’re going through a certain period in your life – but overall I think viewers can appreciate the performances and the complexities of the different relationships. It’s a little bit on the Hollywood, typical romantic movie side. Sue me for liking it.
The Staircase (Dir. Jean-Xavier de Lestrade)
This is a single season show about the mysterious accidental death (or murder if you’re on the prosecution’s side) of Kathleen Peterson, wife of author Michael Peterson. It’s an amazing mini-series and if you’re like me whose a huge fan of Netflix’s Making a Murderer then this is another true-crime series that will help fill that huge hole left after finishing MaM’s final episode. Lestrade may be a little too impartial for my taste in his presentation but overall it’s a compelling and engaging piece of episodic documentary work. The first episode is the link above, and the rest can be purchased on Amazon for pretty cheap.
Father John Misty – I Went to The Store One Day | A Take Away Show (Dir. Hugo Jouxtel)
This is from a YouTube series & website called La Blogothèque, which has been filming different music artists in very intimate, striped down performances all over the world.
In the case of this piece, the usually enigmatic and rowdy Father John Misty plays “I Went to the Store One Day” an acoustic love song about the meeting of his wife Emma. Shot in one drifting long take in a restaurant in Paris, this private moment is captured beautifully, and really shows of the video series’ ability to introduce us to the naked honesty of some our favorite artists. Be sure to check out some other videos to discover new artists!
The Waitress (Dir. Adrienne Shelley)
I want to recommend The Waitress because it is the most recent film I watched but also the first film in awhile that I have felt incredibly connected to. It brings light to the terrifying reality of abusive and controlling relationships and what they look like behind closed doors. The Waitress does an outstanding job of illustrating this abuser/survivor dynamic while also straying from the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ archetype wherein other films the tortured and damaged protagonist is swept into the arms of a man and their love is what saves her. The Waitress is relatable, genuine, honest, extremely cute, awkward at times, and most of all inspiring in that it offers a glimmer of hope in an otherwise isolating darkness that is emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Also, who doesn’t want to imagine their life story told as flavors of pie?
The Beginners Guide (Dir. Davey Wreden)
Although The Beginners Guide is technically classified as a video game, it plays much more like interactive story telling. As the player, you are guided by a narrator through a continually unfolding story. The narrator leads you through different experimental “games” made by a mysterious video game creator. Each new game you explore pushes you deeper into the mind of their creator. After I played through The Beginners Guide, I found the story so compelling I sat and watched my wife play through the game. I was able to experience The Beginners Guide from an entirely different perspective by watching her interact with the story.
Check out this mix, and let us know what you’re watching this week!