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.digs Film

2010s in Film: Why I Love #21: Little Birds

Counting down my top 25 favorite films of the last decade and just why I love them.

#22 Little Birds (2011)

Writer / Director: Elgin James / DP: Reed Morano / Composer: Elgin James / Music Supervisor(s): Elizabeth James

Little Birds beautifully displays the physical and emotional implications of abandon and the performances and cinematography win this for me.

Ali and Lily live this adolescent existence where they have responsibilities beyond their scope and perform a role as the stable element in the unstable universes of their respective adults.

Just as Lily approaches her breaking point, on time arrives a team of boys who steal Lily’s gaze and lure the friends away from home to the desolate outskirts and onto L.A.

The boys skate in empty pools, live in an abandoned hotel, and have “abandoned society” altogether.

All these kids have escaped, and they push each opportunity to seriously dangerous limits to sustain their anarchist lifestyle. Lily finds this thrilling…while Ali just hangs, reluctantly, waiting for the whole thing to inevitably burn so she can get her friend back to town in one piece.

I enjoy this film because Ali consistently stands up for herself, no matter how many times she gets negged by Lily or by the boys for being honest, observant, and genuinely concerned.

And Lily *sigh*.

You only get a little time between a cut and knowing how deep it is.

Here’s the trailer ⬇️

Categories
.digs Activism ART culture Film

Black Lives Matter: 6 Recommend Indie Films to Watch Right Now that Explore Black Identity.

#1: Dear White People, dir. Justin Simien

What’s it About? “Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African-American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world.” – via Letterboxd.

#2: Girlhood, dir. Céline Sciamma

What’s it About? “Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.” – via Letterboxd.

#3: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, dir. Joe Talbot

What’s it About? “Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.” – via Letterboxd.

#4: Sorry to Bother You, dir. Boots Riley

What’s it About? “In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe.” – via Letterboxd.

#5: Moonlight, dir. Barry Jenkins

What’s it About? “The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.” – via Letterboxd.

#6: Medicine for Melancholy, dir. Barry Jenkins

What’s it About? “Waking from a one-night stand that neither remembers, Micah and Joanne find themselves wandering the streets of San Francisco, sharing coffee and conversation and searching for a deeper connection.” – via Letterboxd.

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.digs Film

2010s in Film: Why I Love #24 “Lady Bird”

Counting down my top 25 favorite films of the last decade and just why I love them.

#24: Lady Bird (2017)

Writer / Director: Greta Gerwig | DP: Sam Levy | Composer: Jon Brion | Music Supervisor: Greta Gerwig

I’m writing this on the two-year anniversary of moving to the area to be with my mom when she got sick and I’m still recovering, clearly. I started a blog making playlists because music is the only thing we ever talked about and now I have no one to talk to anymore that really gets it quite the same *cue A Grand Scene for a Pandemic*

Ladybird is, thankfully, one of the last movies we got to watch together that year, before everything, and I was elated to showcase that my favorite writer, Greta Gerwig – who I’ve followed painstakingly since college, has made a story so close to our socio-economic experience with such breath of the times.

It was hard for my mother to watch. She was like “I’m not like…that…am I?” But I was like, “no, not exactly just some of the interactions. The way we fight sometimes but we love each other. It’s sweet!”

It’s not all us, but a lot of it is, and that means a lot. 

This was also the year my bf and I moved down to Atlanta, my home. I’d premiered my first feature film that summer alongside my creative partner for a group of friends and family in the city, and I was just feeling like all the stars were aligned that particular Thanksgiving weekend at the Tara. Like, this is the fuel you need to keep going. Greta’s going to inject it right now.

Aside from all that, there’s the multi-dimensional representation of catholic school teachers

#dramaclublife and the boys: the singing “Danny” that takes your breath away (former Drama Geek over here, so, know all about that).

the “Kyle” reading political non-fiction while smoking alone at a coffee house table and saying “tight” a lot.

And it’s the idolization of the rich girl, with her SUV and her experience, just wanting her to see you.

I had two friends like this in High School – one who drove a nice mid-sized, white, sports car and I thought she was a goddess, the other drove a jeep and threw all of the parties. Thankfully, they were both nice to me so I never had to deal with any bullying or ass-kissing, but I was thankful to have a mediator to relate to the preppy boys at parties who terrified me.

Yeah, for me, Ladybird pretty much nailed 2002. 

Categories
Music

Music Video Block: “My Girls” feat. Animal Collective, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, and more

A curated 1-hr music video block featuring our fave indie rock mainstays from the late aughts, early 10s. Based on “My Girls” by Animal Collective.