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Nov 22 2018

Salim Gives Thanks

Team Experience members were invited to give thanks this week so you'll be hearing from a few of us.Here'sSalim Garami...

What's good?

2018 has proven to be a very busy year for yours truly,hence my radio silence here in The Film Experience (I didn't have much time to write on my own personal blog亚博主页Motorbreath).But it has also proven to be a surprisingly rewarding year for me,both in my personal life after much hassle earlier in the year and run-around later in the year (I have been going back-and-forth between not two but THREE U.S.cities for professional reasons) and in cinema

I think 2018 has been one of the best moviegoing years I've experienced in my whole life.So many surprises and experiments,so many crowdpleasers where I am proudly on that bandwagon,a couple of Oscar contenders that I actually enjoyed.And there's no shortage of music,television,or literature from this year amusing me in some way or another as well so let's dig in...

• Comedic songwriter/teleplay writer/critical writer extraordinaire Demi Adeyugibe has blessed us with not one but TWO funny "fake"credit songs for the nerdiest tentpoles of the summer: Future imitation"Snap"forAvengers: Infinity Warand the compulsively catchy Childish Gambino imitation in"L-A-N-D-O"forSolo: A Star Wars Story.

• Tom Cruise trying to figure out where the "payload"is at and finding a giant switch saying "payload"in the helicopter chase climax ofMission: Impossible - Fallout...

I've gone over all thevery relatable elements of that epic sequenceelsewhere,but THAT especially...I really felt that.

• My eyes have now adjusted to the "aberration = depth"experiment within the trailers ofSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseso I am now top gear anticipating it because animated pop-colored Spider-Man with different universes sounds like absolute unconditional fun.

• Film Crit Gotti has been saying everything I'm thinking about cinema with the same "Italian Mobster"voice I think in,right down to "yo momma"jokes aboutFirst Man,rejection of ScarJo's non-intersectional feminism, and antagonism to negative reviews aboutIncredibles 2.

• The visibility of Oakland,California in this year's cinema withBlindspottingandSorry to Bother Youtaking adoration in Sundance and making a noticeable enough wave in release to make it count.That they're also both two of the funniest,most insightful movies of a fantastic summer is a bonus.

• Yuasa Masaaki has proven to be this year's filmmaker with two stateside releases (2017 had Ridley Scott,2016 had Pablo Larraín,2015 had Tom McCarthy,etc.) and his animation style is so kinetic and wonky and engaging that I'm so glad it's brought him fame as the U.S.'s "new"IT guy in Japanese animation.Bless up forLu Over the Wall,Night Is Short Walk on Girl,andDevilman Crybaby.

Mile 22was not as widely seen so there's still a chance for Iko Uwais' martial arts talents to be introduced to the USA properly,right?

• Kirby Howell-Baptiste protectingThe Good Place's title of The Single Most Attractive and Charming Ensemble in the History of Television.

• Sofia Boutella representing my hometown (Bab el Oued,Algeria) by kicking every ass she sees inHotel Artemis(and I've heard that I have reason to be unusually excited for a Gaspar Noé film with her work in Climax when it comes stateside).

• After two Jóhann Jóhannsson scores we sadly missed the chance to hear (Blade Runner 2049rejecting his work and his collaborative decision to work instead within the rhythmic sound design ofmother!),we have been blessed to have his final score released with Panos Cosmatos'Mandy: a delicate progressive romantic arpeggio one moment,a harsh and brutal black metal aura the next.

• Speaking of artists who have left us,animation legend and Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata Isao didn't leave behind any final works to see within 2018 but I do wish to express my gratitude anyway that of what little he directed during his time,we were lucky to witness from Princes of the Sun to Princesses of the Moon.And I'd also like to add gratitude to GKIDS and Coral Gables Art Cinema for the opportunity to see almost the entirety of Ghibli's feature output (*cough*RedTurtlethough*cough*) back in June on the big screen.

• Continuing artists that sadly left us,Janus Films granting us the chance to see Abbas Kiarostami's final24 Framesthis year (and my hopes that perhaps I will have the opportunity to seeTake Me Homeand76 Minutes and 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostamisometime in the future).

• And returning back toMandyfor a bit,I obviously got the sense from its trailer that Panos Cosmatos was a huge fan of black metal and chainsaw battles and bikers and psychedelia animation.I was not expecting Cosmatos to be such a fan ofToo Many Cooksto recruit its director for one brilliant commercial gag.Cheddar Goblin forever!

• The announcement of the Criterion Channel to fill the imminent Filmstruck hole has saved me from much heartache in a year where many of the cinematic institutions in my life have been waving goodbye.

• The visibility of Oakland,California in this year's cinema withBlindspottingandSorry to Bother Youtaking adoration in Sundance and making a noticeable enough wave in release.And some credit should be given toBlack Panther,for even if it wasn't shot in Oakland,it is made by an Oakland native.

• The majority of the cast members inThe Hurricane Heistare not American and that means a hell of a lot of chewy Southern accents and good ol' boy stereotypes in the middle of this wildin' trash and bless this cast for that (also they have CGI skulls in these hurricanes!).

• Ghost making good onearly teasesby having a sexy sax solo playing at the end of their "Beat It"homage"Miasma".

• Whatever can be said about Netflix's distribution gaffes (much can be said),they have given money to the Coen brothers to just make a murderer's row of Westerns…

• well as put forward the money to finish Orson Welles'The Other Side of the Wind,a picture whose existence is a monument to the power of 42 years worth of willpower.

The Green Fogfinding a way to be accessible to viewers of all sorts even despite its dodgy existential legalities (in fact,I'm pretty sure if you are in Canada,the film is available to you on Amazon Prime right now).Such a funny and daring project deserves to be enjoyed by all.

• Whatever this is that Louis Cole is doing… keep doing it…

• The surprising sense of humor within pictures I adore -Mission: Impossible - Fallout's knowing rejections of giving its lead a heel turn,The Other Side of the Wind's biting humor towards its own medium,The Green Fogusing cuts for novel beats or associations,A Simple Favor's eager awareness and owning of its material's inherent trashiness,24 Framesrefusing to be above tawdry material like animal sex,Mandy's balance of pathos and bathos within Nicolas Cage's unhinged performance,Blindspotting's humane and non-deflective levity towards real-world issues,Widows' recognition of its protagonists amateur status,Breaking In's situational reversal of victim and predator roles,Zamaopening with pathetic masturbation and only continuing on from there - I could go on and on.They never undercut the stakes or missions of their respective films,they're only a knowing smile that assures us that sometimes it is ok to have fun with even the most challenging or dramatic films.

• All of my friends and family that have made for good movie-watching or movie-discussing company.They know who they are when they read this.But particularly that of my baby doggy Bruno (as seen in my picture above),who had commandeered my bedroom during one of my longer trips away on business and now forces himself to sleep in my room and thereby watch whatever last-minute late night films I've been going through.He has now almost certainly watched as many Filmstruck entries as any given film undergraduate.

• The wonderful fortune of running into a guy dressed as this while I was dressed as that (I am the one on the right).

• Most of all,the opportunity to write in general AND for The Film Experience in particular (with Nathaniel often being accommodating and checking in).亚博主页Writing about anything has always proven to be a great outlet to organize my thoughts and strengthen my voice.And there's no topic I ever think I have more to say on than cinema.Having an opportunity to give thanks on this site in particular after not posting much during this past year feels like the online equivalent of being invited by family members or friends you haven't seen in a long while to join them for a Thanksgiving dinner full of appreciation.Thank you to Nathaniel and thank you to everyone else on this site holding down the fort.

Salim Garami is available for appearances on holiday dinners as your fake boyfriend - Thanksgiving,Christmas,Easter,etc.He takes payment in plates of food he can take home or out-of-print Criterion Blu-Rays.He does this on the side when he is not writing on亚博主页or his own personal blogMovie Motorbreath.It's a public service,pays for his dog's future tuition at USC's Film Program,and it keeps him from rewatching Jackie Chan movies all the time.

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Reader Comments (4)

wait,you guys did not coordinate that?That's two Kurt Russell halloween costumes,right?

November 23,2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

YAAS on Oakland's representation in film this year...all we need is a triple-bill film fest with Blindspotting,Sorry to Bother You,and Fruitvale Station.(And maybe throw in Black Panther for fun!)

November 23,2018 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

NATHANIEL - I had never met the man before in my life and I had not seen the man since.I actually had to explain to him how my costume corresponds to his costume - Two John Carpenter characters played by Kurt Russell.

November 23,2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTinG

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful you brought the Cheddar Goblin into my life!

November 23,2018 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

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