My Favorite Movies 2020 Edition, pt. 5 (26-36)

As many have probably noticed, quite a few current movie directors have a background of making music videos. The timeline fits quite well. MTV started in the early 80s and at first the videos were not that interesting. They were just quickly thrown together to get something to show. They were often just based on a single visual gimmick, which are now just quaint.

However, these videos, technology (you know, cassettes and CDs) and general economic growth meant that the industry had more money to play around with, which meant larger marketing budgets, which in turn gave opportunities for many young directors to work with larger budgets. David Fincher directed dozens of music videos, including some with the biggest stars of the time, or ever, like Michael Jackson, Madonna and George Michael. Michel Gondry worked with Daft Punk, Björk and Radiohead. Eric Zimmerman worked with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Soundgarden. Don’t bother looking that one up. While seeing Head Like a Hole for the first time was a defining moment in my childhood, which I still remember correctly, Zimmerman’s movie work is… less than distinguished. Also, I guess his history with them is the reason all Michael Bay movies feel like two hour music videos.

But what I would like to do here is to highlight a few directors, who made music videos before moving into features, who didn’t make it onto my list.

Jonathan Glazer has directed three movies, one of which is great (Under the Skin), one of which is good (Sexy Beast) and one of which I haven’t seen (Birth). He has worked with Blur, Radiohead, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Massive Attack, but my favorite video from him is this one:

Spike Jonze made a splash with Being John Malcovich and later Her, but I guess he is still best known for his work with Beastie Boys and Fatboy Slim. He has also made videos for Daft Punk, The Breeders, Weezer and Sonic Youth, but I guess my favourite music video of his is this one, which I did not appreciate enough when it came out (first, it didn’t seem to fit Björk’s ouevre, and second, having fun in the late 90s was forbidden):

Although Richard Ayoade is probably most known as Moss on The IT Crowd, Brits know him from… everywhere. He has also directed a couple of theatrical features (Submarine and The Double), both of which are very distinct movies, but also definitely worth a watch. He has directed a couple of music videos, this being one of them:

It’s a pity that Chris Cunningham’s movie career never went anywhere, as he has made some of my favorite music videos. He was planning on directing Neuromancer, which was scrapped.

I’ll thrown in one more, even though it’s from a director who’s on the list already, because I’ve watched this video way too many times recently and later on this actually became a basis for a movie in itself. Guess who the director is?

All in all, while we do have people like the aforementioned Michael Bay and Brett Ratner, who have made shitty to mediocre movies, the people above have been bringing something new and great to movies for over two decades now.

36. Mad Max: Fury Road (Australia 2015)
Director: George Miller

Max is caught by a weird suicidal warrior-cult, who follow Immortan Joe. When Joe’s wives escape from the vault they have been stored in, Max is taken along as a blood bag, but manages to escape himself and reluctantly joins forces with the wives and their protector to fight back.

There aren’t many action films on this list (actually Die Hard being the only other straight-up action movie, although there are some cases where IMDb seems to think otherwise) and that’s partly because this movie pretty much made them obsolete. George Miller returned to the franchise that made him 30 years after leaving it behind to direct movies like Babe: Pig in the City, as well as Happy Feet and it’s sequel. I like to think he saw some of the action films from the previous decade or so, and just thought to himself that someone needs to show these young whippersnappers (or whatever antiquated term they would use in Australia) how it’s done. Based on various sources, he is still planning on making another one, but I don’t think there’s any need to. I mean, one would hope we could get someone as great at this in a new generation of directors.

Although Raid, John Wick and even Nolan had been moving away from computer generated visual effects, the large budget movies are generally now very relient on it. I don’t necessarily mind it. Certain things are impossible without them (Charlize Theron didn’t exactly lose an arm to play the role). Obviously, it’s not all about the techniques. Those are just tools. What you do with them is much more important. Putting the stuntmen through all this shit for an inferior movie would seem kind weird.

Back in the day Mad Max 2 (or The Road Warrior, as it was known in many markets, as practically nobody had seen the first movie) was a source of inspiration for many, meaning it was ripped off more times than one cares to count. Wikipedia usually remains quite vague on the actual influence of movies, but in this particular case, the franchise actually has a separate article on this subject called “Mad Max series legacy and influence in popular culture”, although even that just scratches the surface. Still, this movie just does all of this so much better. People are physically broken and the world isn’t just our world destroyed, but it has had time to evolve into something different.

What else is so great here? Many things, but mostly planting and pay-off. Take the whole cult thing. At the beginning of the movie, when Max tries to escape, one of the War Boys plunges to his death and shouts “Witness!”. At that point we don’t know what that means. The next time it happens, we get what it’s about. No explanation needed, because it’s so beautifully depicted. So, when Nux fails to die as planned, we understand what that means to him and it informs the rest of his arc, making his decisions that much more meaningful. This isn’t the only example of how this movie does this, but it’s probably the best.

Many genre movies also require us to have someone to be explained the world, so we can learn through them. Here, the movie is written and told so well that there is hardly any exposition. We just understand what’s going on this very alien world.

And of course, there’s the action. Most of the movie is a long car chase, but it never gets boring. The sequences are all different enough and we have enough moments of calm to keep us from getting tired. The scarcity of the world is used very well as an additional obstacle. There’s always a lot going on in these sequences, but it’s all handled so well you never get confused.

As usual, despite being the titular character, the story isn’t really about Max. He’s there to help, but as he himself says, he’s mostly about survival, although, once again, his arc leads him to see the importance of helping the remnants of civilized life on the planet (and in this case what is quite literally the last unblemished humans). The movie is more about Nux’s arc and Furiosa, who doesn’t really get one. So, secretly Nux is the main character, even if Nicholas Hoult only gets the third billing.

35. The Great Dictator (United States 1940)
Director: Charles Chaplin

Tomainia’s dictator, Adenoid Hynkel, is looking to expand his empire. Meanwhile, a Jewish Barber, who has been hospitalized with memory loss since the First World War, suddenly returns to consciousness in the midst of anti-Semitism and outright persecution. While our nameless barber manages to dodge the persecution with the help of a Jewish girl, Hannah, and an old brother in arms, Hynkel is having problems with his “ally”, Napaloni, the dictator of Bacteria.

Chaplin started shooting the movie just six days after the war started. He had, at that point, worked on it for at least a year. He had seen Triumph of the Will numerous times in order to properly mimic the pompousity of the Nazi movement and especially the mannerisms of Hitler. Due to his perfectionism, the movie wasn’t completed until six months later, which, at the time, was a long shoot. Despite the war raging, he arranged for a copy to be sent to Hitler. Later BBC claimed that they had an eyewitness account confirming that Hitler had actually watched it twice.

While Chaplin later on said that if he had any idea of the magnitude of the Holocaust, he would not have been able to make the film, this is a historically important piece of satire. It showed the world how you can take away the power from such ideals as fascism by focusing on the ludicrous ceremony, importance of appearance, and the need to find both internal and external enemies at any cost to keep the country together. Some people would say that trivializing these people is bad, but they would be wrong. People join neo-Fascist organizations, because they think it’s cool. You need movies like this, The Producers or Jojo Rabbit to make it seem uncool.

We actually have some proof of this effect, which came a little later than this movie. In 1940s, after WWII, KKK was on the rise. It had influence on many levels of the society. So, who came in to fight them? Superman. No, I may be trying to be funny here, but it’s true. A journalist investigated the KKK and came up with the idea to disseminate his findings with the population at large by exposing their secrets through the very popular Superman radio show. While there has been some questions about the veracity of these claims on secrets, what did happen was that KKK recruitment dropped to zero and they were forced to become hide from the public for a very long time. So, yes. It these things do matter.

As for The Great Dictator itself, it wasn’t really the first talkie for Chaplin, but Modern Times didn’t actually include many lines, so this was practically it. He had been a bit shy about using his voice, since some of the great silent stars had lost their shine after talkies became the norm. Chaplin even included some silent scenes here and much of the comedy is still very physical. This was a large part of his appeal. Jokes are very much tied to a specific culture, whereas good old slapstick is universal.

34. Mononoke-hime (Japan 1997)
(Princess Mononoke)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Ashitaka tries to protect his village from a vengeful spirit inhabiting the body of a giant boar, when the spirit attaches itself to him as a curse. While trying to find a cure for his affliction, Ashitaka stumbles upon a conflict between an isolated industrial town and the forces of nature comprised of wolves and boars, including their own gods. Among the wolves lives San, a human, who identifies more with the wolves.

There’s an obvious naturist theme here, which is something Miyazaki had already tackled in the mid-80s with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, where he was definitely ahead of the curve. By ’96 people were already more aware of the issue, but telling stories about something is still a strong way to inform. Even corporations have been trying to use stories to explain things to their employees for a while now. And yes, there’s still a strong need to inform about this specific subject. I also like how this talks about the environment, not nature as a whole. I mean we could fuck up the planet and from nature’s point of view it’s more like pretty bad flu. Nature will survive us, but we can’t necessarily survive the destruction of the environment we rely on. Our environment is also more tangible for most of us than nature globally. Forest being cut down in Brazil is something we feel we can’t control, but a factory dumping waste to a nearby lake… well, that might be something we could actually work on ourselves.

It is also a great adventure. Ashitaka is a classic fantasy hero, who takes on this very complicated situation. He rises above the conflict and tries to find a solution to the situation, even if he ultimately doesn’t really achieve what he wanted.

The world is fantasy in way sort of alien to us in the west, but not that alien. Wolves and boars are very familiar to us, but the various spirits bring a whole new aspect. The world ties strongly into various Japanese beliefs and probably has roots in Buddhism. Well, it’s actually quite obvious in the same way western philosophy inundates western movies.

33. Le salaire de la peur (France 1953)
(Wages of Fear)
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Some opportunity seekers have become stuck in a remote village in South America. They mostly just kill time until a fire breaks out in the oil fields nearby. Someone needs to drive the nitroglyserine needed to fight the fires, so four men are selected to drive two trucks there. Driving through poor roads in a mountanous area with a truckload of very volatile explosives does present some challenges.

The beginning of the movie is quite boring. We just follow the lives of these people. They seem petty and wholly unlikable. If feels like we should be getting to know these characters, so that we are on their side when we need to, but it doesn’t really work. They are basically just assholes.

Gladly, when the action begins, we don’t really have to find these people likable. Or not action, precisely. It’s slow and methodical, but that doesn’t mean your adrenaline doesn’t get pumping. The danger the men are in during their journey is depicted brilliantly. It’s just small things, but you also know that the nitroglyserine they are hauling, doesn’t need much of an excuse to explode and take their drivers with them. This also means that they have to drive very slowly, but the movie manages to wring every possible bit of drama out from that pace. On the way, they have to make dire decisions, which could cost them their lives. We also find out, who really has the nerves the job requires.

The movie is in some ways pretty unique. There have been two remakes, but otherwise this very different take on the thriller genre has remained decidedly different from other movies in it’s genre. IMDb describes it as an adventure and I guess it does in a certain way fit that genre, but mostly just for the exotic location. The movie is not energetic in the way adventure movies are. It does have similarities to many Hitchcock movies in the way it handles suspense.

The movie is also satirical, although that was cut out of the original release due to US censorship. We see men, who have to risk their well-being for the business interests of a major company. They are paid pretty good wage of two grand, but at the same time, that’s not much for a fairly certain death.

32. Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (France 2001)
(Amelie)
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Amelie had weird and sheltered childhood, so she grew up to be a little wei… quirky. After finding a child’s toys in a hiding place from his apartment, she decides to return them to their rightful owner. After some investigative work and steering of the now adult man into the right direction, she leads him into finding the toys himself from a telephone booth. Amelie finds that helping others is kind of fun, so she starts to meddle in other people’s lives. At the same time, she stumbles upon a man collecting torn up photos from under a photobooth and finds the man’s album full of such photos. She falls in love with the idea of the man before even talking to him, but finds it hard to face him in the fear that reality might not quite live up to her fantasies.

It’s easy to describe the movie as whimsical, but at the same time it is weirdly okay with things like suicide and childhood trauma. Even these are actually presented in a whimsical manner and they don’t hinder the quirky energy of the movie. Admittedly, quirky is often pretty synonymous to lack of personality being substituted with shallow, slightly weird behavior, but Jeunet has the ability to do it right.

Jeunet definitely has a very distinctive oeuvre. You know when you are watching a film by him. There’s the colors, his troupe of actors, his editing, his use of camera and his stories. Even his more grounded movies (which is relative) like this one, his touch is visible in the world as well, even if he has to move it into smaller corners of what we see. He dabbles in various genres, but despite having done an Alien movie, a comedy about cannibalism and a sci-fi movie about stealing childrens souls, his style works the best in this context.

Others have tried it as well, but in a largely forgettable manner. I guess Garden State, for example, is a fine movie, but I have never felt the need to go back and watch it again. Amelie, on the other hand, is both inspired and inspiring in a way not many movies can ever reach. There aren’t many romantic movies on the list (there is one higher, but I don’t think most of it’s audience think of it as such), but making such a great romantic comedy is something that doesn’t happen often.

31. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (United States 1962)
Director: John Ford

Ransom Stoddard is a US Senator, the first one from his state. He became that by killing a local villain, who stood against progress in the area. Now he’s back to attend the funeral of an old friend of his, Tom Doniphon. As this dead friend doesn’t really seem someone who would have known someone as important as a senator, let alone justify such a visit, a local journalist takes note and interviews Stoddard on this. Stoddard, being old at this point, wants to tell what actually happened the night he gained his notoriety.

One thing movies seem to be willing to teach us is that you should be ready to die for what you believe, but in the context of movies, Doniphon is actually giving up something bigger: He sacrifices his own happiness with the woman he loves in order to let progress happen. Sure, he is giving away his way of life, but that’s just a common theme in revisionist westerns. Love is usually seen in movies as something you should be willing to do anything for. Risking your own life or that of others is just seen as romantic. The approach in this movie is just refreshing.

Maybe that was why this movie was seen as a lesser work of the people involved. Despite being a sort of big deal that we had Ford as the director and Stewart and Wayne starring together for the first time, this was often pushed into second place in double-headers (the business was quite different back then). It was still a minor hit. It would have been understandable if the movie didn’t actually find an audience at the time, since of the many westerns Ford and Wayne did together, this might be the only one where Ford sort of starts to realize that maybe that Manifest Destiny thing might not be quite as pure as it was previously seen. Maybe, just maybe, some people were left behind in the rapid expansion.

I also want to give a shout-out to Lee Van Cleef. His role here is quite minor, but he still has a kind of perfect villanous presence. He’s cool and detached, but has this steely gaze, which seems to be on top of things at all times. I guess I’m strongly typecasting him here, but he’s been dead for decades now, so he won’t mind.

30. There Will Be Blood (United States 2007)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Daniel Plainview starts out as a lowly prospector. From early on, we know that he will not quit. While initially an admirable quality in him, this soon turns into willingness to do just about anything to further his own interest on his way to building an empire.

This might seem like Plainview is a very simple character, but it’s more complicated than that. He adopts a child of his dead partner. Later on this turns into him using the child to portray himself as a family man in negotiations, but in order to do that he needed to raise the child from an infant. If that was his only goal initially, he might as well have found himself an older child, as taking care of an infant is a lot of work. Does he actually feel sympathy for the child, even though later on he claims not to, or is he just following a societal norm? I think this is part of his arc. He does want to take care of the child, but the cruel world makes him a cynic. Or more of a cynic.

What makes him such a cynic? There are many factors. There’s Eli Sunday, a local preacher, who wants money from Plainview for his church. He doesn’t even seem that interested in the money. He’s just interested in controlling Plainview and doesn’t understand what he’s getting himself into. Then there’s the man who falsely claims to be Plainview’s half-brother, which kills that little bit of trust in men in him. Then there’s the competition, which actively attempts to drive him out, which just ends up building his resolve.

Some critics have talked about this movie as a parable for the inability of Americans to concile faith and greed, but that can’t be it. Eli might be sincere in his beliefs, but he isn’t actually working for the betterment of his fellow men. He just delights in his own ability to control the people around him. He isn’t really any better than Plainview. Actually, he might even be worse (says the atheist). Not that Plainview’s greed isn’t bad, but I don’t think greed is his primary motivator. There’s the need to survive at any cost, which later on, when he clearly has survived, transforms into the need to overcome obstacles he doesn’t really need to.

Capitalism shows it’s true force here. It isn’t ubiquitous yet, but it’s coming. The railway barons are taking control of the frontier and with them comes progress. This progress brings in new people, who are going to be more aspirational than the frontier folk depicted in this movie, who are just happy to live their simple life in their simple cottages. This is a common western theme, but this movie isn’t depicting this development as purely positive, but remains ambivalent instead. Make up your own mind.

29. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (United Kingdom 2011)
Director: Tomas Alfredson

Due to leadership changes at MI6, George Smiley has been pushed away from active duty. When an agent returns home from captivity and tells a senior government official, that there’s a mole at the highest level of MI6 at what they call the Circus, Smiley is called back to investigate the affair behind the scenes. This isn’t easy in the paranoid world of espionage.

What do we think of when we think of spy movies? There’s the Bond series, and some might even conjure images of Mission Impossible movies or the Bourne movies. There’s been a lot of spy thrillers over the years, but in most of them the espionage just seems to be the bridge from one action sequence to the next. Not in this movie. This is all about gathering information and following it. This isn’t the only such work by Le Carre.

I’m not intimately familiar with his work. I’ve seen The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, as well as the mini-series based on the same novel as this movie, it’s sequel Smiley’s People and The Night Manager. I’ve also read at least The Night Manager and The Most Wanted Man, possibly others. Therefore I do have an idea of it. I like his approach very much. His stories always feel realistic. He did work for both MI5 and MI6 back in the day, so he must have an idea on how all this works, even if his career has been over for a very long time. Still, he must have an idea on various procedures and on what various people involved would be on the lookout for. I do know that nonfiction books on similar subjects also tell similar stories, but it’s hard to actually know how much Le Carre’s work has influenced what these author’s were looking at. He must have set some expectations on that genre as well.

The movie does a good job of leading us into this world. The camera often moves in such a way that it makes us see what Smiley is focusing on, even in those situations where he can’t really show anything. This is a recurring theme. Everyone is constantly aware that they are being appraised at all times, so they are extremely careful about what they present to the outside world. You can’t really trust anyone. This leads into various problems, including with relationships and alcohol.

The movie has a British all-star cast. Of course, Gary Oldman stars, but we also have John Hurt, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Jones, Kathy Burke, Stephen Graham, Mark Strong and probably some I’ve forgotten. One great thing about British actors is that they lack in ego. They can disappear into the roles and you don’t think about their images. In many cases, these roles are somewhat ungrateful. They can’t live out any fantasies or chew up the scenery. Instead much of their work is purely inner.

This is the second movie by the director on this list (the first one being Låt den rätte komma in. His follow-up to this one was The Snowman, a movie I haven’t seen, but apparently completely forgettable crime drama. It’s strange how he managed to do two subversive, very interesting genre movies, but couldn’t tackle another one. Hopefully he can get back on the saddle before he loses all the good will garnered by this movie’s success.

28. Drive (United States 2011)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

An unnamed, solitary stunt driver-slash-mechanic, who on occasion uses his skills as a getaway driver, tries to reach out to the world by befriending a seemingly single mother living in the same building. However, her husband gets out of prison and our driver feels obligated to help him out. This does not go well when various loyalties clash.

This is one of those movies that seem to be pretty much all about the style, but the style actually works to explain our main character quite a bit. The action is also very interesting, especially the first action scene. It’s not pure adrenaline in the same way a scene would be in an actual action movie, but there is definitely adrenaline pumping through the audience, as the scene just slows down at key moments. It’s very unique and memorable. The great tension of the scene is beautifully underlined with a Chromatics song, Tick of the Clock.

That’s not the only great piece of music either. The 80s synth inspired soundtrack might not fit the film as marvelously as the Chromatics song, but some of them are actually some of my most listened to songs according to Last.fm. The score isn’t as bad either, but as a good score should, it doesn’t steal the attention in the same way.

Gosling’s driver doesn’t speak too much. He doesn’t really have to. In a sense, you could even go as far as to say that he’s a parody of the stoic heros of various movies, but I don’t think that’s the point, although I don’t think that’s what they were going for. He’s like a cowboy from a revisionist western, who likes to remain in his solitude, but is reluctantly willing to sacrifice himself when the right cause comes along. Or for a woman.

The driver isn’t a very strong protagonist, as he doesn’t make many decisions himself. He just reacts or follows. He is always sceptical about going into situations because of someone elses misguided attempts to correct a situation, but ends up doing it anyway.

He is very dualistic. He lives a life of crime and can commit horrible acts without any remorse. Still, he seeks out something different. He wears a jacket with a scorpion in the back. That scorpion becomes a symbol of his darker side, as that’s what we see whenever he needs to lose his humanity to perform the task at hand.

Refn has himself given a list of bunch of films that inspired this one, but the interesting source is classic fairytales. Of course, the movie itself is nothing like a fairytale, but it does cast Los Angeles in a specific light, which makes it sort of a magical place, even if the movie is missing many common fairytale elements, such as a happy ending and a clear moral message.

27. 12 Angry Men (United States 1957)
Director: Sidney Lumet

A teenager is accused of murdering his father. It’s an open and shut case. No question about it. Jury shouldn’t take too long… except, there’s a holdout. One of them feels that the kid at least deserves a chance and wants to dig into the evidence and the motivations of the other jurors.

Even though Henry Fonda is the big star here, he isn’t listed first in the cast. It’s pure ensemble. They don’t even get names (well, until the very end, but that’s meaningless in the context of the movie) as they are all just numbered jurors (with Fonda being juror 8). They are all white men (with one white immigrant), but according to the subreddit (I know, I know, but couldn’t find the information anywhere else either) AskHistorians, women were sort of had jury duty, but were allowed to decline, whereas the men weren’t, so . All white? Well, this was 1957 and the Bill of Rights didn’t exist yet.

It’s a simple movie. We have these twelve men talking amongst themselves about evidence in a small room, which seems to get smaller as the movie goes along. When approriate, the discussions move elsewhere. Why are certain men so keen to condemn the boy? This raises the question: How can justice happen, if the process is controlled by a group of men, whose primary motivation is their fear of a teenager, because he is from the slums and has had a rough life?

The movie inspired Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to study law, but she also remarked in a speech that despite the actions of juror 8 within the room, the movie is problematic, because the juror 8 went outside of the law in his own investigations. Thus, the trial would have been ruled a mistrial, if the judge was aware of what was going on. The story is quite unique, even if this wasn’t the original, as there was a TV movie three years prior. Obviously someone would have come up with the same idea at some point, but the movie good enough to seem like each of the movies and episodes of TV shows with similar concepts are just copies of this one, even if that isn’t really true. The basic setup of one holdout changing the minds of everyone is kind of obvious, if you think about it, but at the same time, some property is going to be the apex one.

26. Ladri di biciclette (Italy 1948)
(Bicycle Thieves)
Director: Vittorio De Sica

Rome hasn’t recovered after the war and Antonio and his family are in dire straits. However, Antonio finds a job, but he can’t accept it, because he would require a bike. His wife makes a big personal sacrifice to get Antonio’s bike from the pawnshop, but the bike gets quickly stolen. Antonio then has to look for it.

In a world with massive movie franchises, where the main movies cost hundreds of millions of dollars, this 70 year old movie shot with amateurs and on location still holds up. Even the subject matter is very simple, just a man and his son looking for a bike, but it’s handled in such an effective way that it’s just great despite all the limitations. Not that De Sica wanted to do it this way. The money just wasn’t there at the time for projects like this. So, they did what they could and it became one of the most important film movements of all time, Italian neorealism. I’m not sure you can actually call it a movement, as it never had any organization, just a few directors working in a similar manner out of necessity. De Sica made another film, Umberto D, in a similar manner, which is also great.

There’s been plenty of others who have used similar methods since than, such as the New French Wave. Movies are made similarly even today, when directors such as Sean Baker still employ very similar methods. In fact, now that we all have very good cameras on us at all times, making films like this has become much more feasible than it used to. The aforementioned Sean Baker even made a movie with his phone (with a special lense). I’m not advocating going full Dogme on a larger scale, but these technique let talented people without money still tell the stories. These stories might not be as epic and have as many effects shots, but little gems like this will always have their place, even if the marketplace is saturated with superheros and Dwayne Johnson basically acting like a superhero.

In the end, it’s the simplicity that actually works in it’s favor. It’s not very long and the people involved have actually experienced something similar in their recent past. The actors, even though they are amateurs, are good. In fact, the main three went on to have actual movie careers after this.

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