Bande de Filles (2014)


As I’ve said before, since I actually speak French, I’m more inclined than usual to add French films to our watch list but Bande de Filles, released as Girlhood in English-speaking markets, shouldn’t need this extra consideration. With its subject of female African-French teenagers living in the outskirts of Paris, it promises to cover some of the same territory as the eye-opening La Haine by Matthieu Kassovitz. As its director Céline Sciamma commented, black women almost never appear in French films so it feels great just to break this informal taboo.

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Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin


I know, I know, gamers everywhere are playing Dark Souls 3 and I’m only now playing the second one. Given how much I liked the first game, this might sound a bit odd but I was put off when I heard that the sequel is considered markedly inferior to the first game. Then with the news of all of the DLC, I decided to put off getting it until the inevitable definitive edition for the PC was released with all of the bells and whistles included. I actually got this a while back but have only just gotten around to playing it due to my backlog. Note that this post will only be about the main game which I’ve just finished. I intend to write a follow-up post about the DLC content later.

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Meru (2015)


This one was a pick by my wife. Though we no longer climb regularly, I guess the subject is still fascinating. This one is a small documentary, so small in fact that it seems to have been basically made by the three climbers themselves, about their attempt to climb up Meru Peak along the so-called Shark’s Fin route, said to be one of the hardest mountaineering routes in the world.

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Platoon (1986)


Oliver Stone has a reputation of being a polemicist first and an artist second, which is why I’ve never been particularly enthused about watching his films. Given that he’s still a major figure in American cinema, I thought I’d give him a fair shake and Platoon seems like the best place to start as it was what caused him to rise to prominence and is widely considered one of the best films about the Vietnam War.

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The Hidden Fortress (1958)


This marks the first film by Akira Kurosawa to be covered in this blog. Like most people I’ve watched Seven Samurai and was blown away by it but that was before I started writing about every film that I watch. Since then I’ve gained a new appreciation of this director’s skill thanks to the excellent Every Frame a Painting channel on YouTube and thought it was high time I slowly worked through some of this great director’s most successful works. This one was added to the list because it was apparently the direct inspiration for George Lucas when he made the original Star Wars.

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It Follows (2014)


Like everyone else, we like to relax with some films that are pure fluff once in a while. For me however, I find that I’m unable to enjoy most action films apart from the superhero genre. It’s just really difficult to suspend disbelief for them and to take them seriously. Horror films still work on me though, which is why I pay attention to interesting new releases for that genre though it’s true that I probably like them a lot more than my wife does.

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The unexamined life is a life not worth living