Lost Weekend 12 reviews. Note on scoring, a 10 is a movie that I could find either nothing to nitpick about, or it was so impactful if there were flaws, I just didn’t care. A 5 is a movie that I thought was worth my time, but I’m probably not going to go out of my way to recommend. A 1 would be a movie that I would actively hate on and wonder why anyone thought releasing it would have been a good idea.
Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins 7 / 10
Documentary about Molly Ivins, whose work I was completely unfamiliar with prior to watching the documentary,f unny lady with sharp wit. Despite the documentary pulling no punches about Ivins being a self professed liberal, the movie actually has very little specific examples of policy arguments given, which might be a smart move to not alienate people who would simply outright disagree with a liberal. The film left me interested in learning more about her.
“Carl Parker observes, if you took all the fools out of the [legislature], it wouldn’t be a representative body anymore.”
― Molly Ivins, Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?: Vintage Books Edition
Light Of My Life 6 / 10
Casey Affleck driven post apocalyptic movie. It’s built like a buddy movie (can you call it that in a heartbreaking post-apocalyptic hell scape?) between a father and a daughter. I did like how the movie didn’t spend a ton of time trying to explain why the disease that killed half of all of humanity came about, just enough for the audience to know why the story is the why that it is. The movie felt like a less soul shattering version of The Road.
Swallow 7 / 10 Movie about mental health issues of a kept woman who had everyone around her telling her how good she had it, but had had trouble admitting to herself that she was more than a man’s property. The Syrian character was nice as he provided a bit of emotional contrast compared to most of the other characters who didn’t seem to see the protagonist as a whole human being.
David Crosby: Remember My Name 7 / 10
The movie is about an old man honestly facing his fears and regrets and mistakes and mortality. I knew who David Crosby is, but was unfamiliar with most of his work. I did really like that one of the only songs to be specifically featured was Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s Ohio.
Well Groomed 6 / 10
I found this to be a by-the-book documentary. It educated me on something that I didn’t even know existed. I am not sure that creative dog grooming is something that I can in any way identify with, however it did bring me to have some real respect for the technical skills that go into creative doc grooming. The women featured in the documentary take it very seriously. I did appreciate that the documentary showcased that the competitors in the activity seem to be supportive, as opposed to wildly competitive and combative like the women on Toddlers and Tiara’s who turn their children into show dogs. Also, I thought that the documentary did smartly include the voice of some who feel that competitive grooming is somehow hurting or exploiting the animal. It didn’t appear that the animals were being hurt in any way, and it didn’t seem like they were being exploited any more than standard pet ownership.
Pahokee 6 / 10
Documentary, slice of life about a graduating high school class. Nice to see a different part of America. Nice that the documentary doesn’t use narration or much in the way of direct interviews. Editor could have been more judicious. Some of the shots and scenes dragged.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco 8 / 10
Surreal and poetic. The setting is gentrified San Francisco, but the protagonists deals with the struggles of belonging, fitting in and being anchored to a past that may have been based on a lie. The movie also includes a play about itself, which I almost always enjoy when a piece has an internal meta production of itself.
Mouthpiece 7 / 10
Canadian movie that utilizes two actresses to portray different elements of the same woman’s personality. The movie is obviously about grief, with the death of a parent, but it is also about interpreting the mystery that is a parent and their life.. The actors did a very good job of portraying the roles, which I would imagine that they would be comfortable with, since both of them (as I understand it) wrote the play that the screenplay they adapted it, and then acted in. It was very nice of them to come to Lost Weekend 12 for the screening of the movie that they were the driving energy behind. I hope that Virginia was hospitable to them.
Them That Follow 7 / 10 First of all, always happy to see a movie that features Walton Goggins. The movie is about a snake handling Christian sect in Appalachia. The wooded area that the movie was set in felt like home to me, and then I found out that the majority of it was filmed in Youngstown, Ohio. The protagonist of the film is a young woman who is penned in by the patriarchy of her tiny Christian church run by her father, and she is in a forbidden love with a neighbor who isn’t a member of the church. The snakes in the movie are a real Chekhov’s gun, a promise on which the movie does not fail to deliver.
Harpoon 5 / 10
Bottle-episode style fiasco movie about three people, all of which are not likable people, who keep digging their own graves instead of properly working together. I think that had I had any piece of the characters that I could have emotionally latched onto I would have been more invested in it, but I think that the movie made a intentional decision to leave them unrelatable, so that their suffering would be wholly comedic instead of tragic, which I thought was okay, but I’d have liked them to be a bit more relatable. Was happy to hear Brett Gelman narrate.
One Child Nation 6 / 10
Critical film of China’s one-child policy. It spent most of its time focused on forced abortions and forced adoptions. It contrast China’s population control policies with the USA policies that restricts women from getting abortions and drew a straight line to governmental policies that don’t trust women to make their own decisions about their own lives, which is, in my opinion, a false comparison, since the American policies are based on Christian nationalist moralizing which does have sexual repressive elements spiced with Bronze Age superstition, while the Chinese policies are based on making sure that the population’s ability to consume does not outpace it’s ability to produce. However, the most brutal parts of the implementation of the Chinese policy feel to women (who are harder to sterilize than men) due to the patriarchal elements in Chinese culture. The documentary did spend time on dealing with how female newborns were frequently abandoned to starve to death, because the families names would die out if there wasn’t a son born to carry it on, which is a nonsense cultural tradition of no valid importance in China or here. I will not disagree with the documentary’s display that the one-child policy was implemented brutally, and specifically towards women. However, the documentary does seem to take the stance that population control is a Bad Idea. With the apocalyptic problems of climate change, I’m of them opinion that discouraging more humans from existing would be a good thing.
We Are Little Zombies 3 / 10
Long ass movie about four orphans, who seemingly have no musical background, that form a popular band. The movie was done with the trappings that the protagonist understood his lot in life as a RPG style video game, which was a style choice that sometimes seemed like it was just trying to be clever. The four characters seemed one dimensional nihilists children, none of which I identified with or, frankly, cared about. I’m of the opinion that there is something lost in translation on this one and I probably would have scored it higher if I was Japanese.
For Sama 10 / 10
First hand documentary about siege in Aleppo by oppressive regime threatened by the democratic demands of its citizens. The regime has used chlorine gas on its own citizens and is supported by Vladamir Putin, who may be Donald Trump’s best friend. I did have a hard time with the movie in the first quarter of it, since it is a lot of people being killed by the war. I actually had started to consider leaving the theater because of how upset it was making me. There is a scene about a pregnant woman who is gravely injured by a bomb that carried the most emotional charge of any single scene of the entire weekend, and it was also what kept me in that movie. Had it gone the other way, I may have just been done with Lost Weekend for the day.
Don’t Be A Dick About It 5 / 10
Cute film about two brothers, one with autism and one with a fear of dogs. Felt sort of like a well done home movie. Slice-of-life movies, for me, are a bit of a tough sell, but this one was entertaining. Some of the family from this movie travelled to Lost Weekend 12 for a Q&A, which was very nice of them.
Ad Astra 8 / 10
Happy to see this one made the cut for Lost Weekend 12, despite wide release films being rare. A veteran American astronaut has to travel to the outer reaches of the solar system to look for his dad to stop possible annihilation of humanity. Much of the meat of the movie is the protagonist’s inner monolog, dealing with the psychological costs of the human brain, which has not evolved to understand dealing with the vastness of space. There are passages that deal with philosophical elements, where following the couple of scenes with violence, the protagonist ponders how far we’ve really come, and - where are we trying to go? The movie also seems like it does a good job with science, but the destination of the movie is a scientific station near Neptune so that alien life can be searched for without interference from stellar noise, but doesn’t the heliosphere extend well past Neptune? Anyway, the movie didn’t spend a lot of time explaining scientific stuff, but it seemed like what it had felt like that it was believable.
First Love 7 / 10
Solid yakuza movie with an appropriate ending. The final act, which was an appropriate bloodbath, show down, did also seem to get a bit repetitive for me.
The Death of Dick Long 7 / 10
Strange fiasco movie. Pretty funny. I did appreciate the movie leaned into subject material that very likely contributed to the R rating, really changing the tone of the movie into something different in the back half.
In Fabric 5 / 10
Bizarre and unique, Vintage horror feel. It reminded me of the movies that USA’s Up All Night hosted by Rhonda Shear or Gilbert Godfrey would air. Told the same story twice in the same movie, which I felt was unnecessary. First time that I had seen Gwendoline Christie as anyone other than Brienne of Tarth, which was a nice surprise. Fatma Mohamed’s strange Miss Luckmoore alone is responsible for at least one of the points in the score that I gave. It was a strange character that she played very well.
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice 10 / 10
I had no real appreciation for the variety of for the artist’s work before this movie. There was an early part of the movie that felt like it intersected with the David Crosby biopic, since they had run in similar circles at the same time in the same place. Near the end, having Ronstadt’s friends mourn the loss of her voice was crushing.
Gay Chorus Deep South 10 / 10
Documentary about the San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir going on a special tour of southern states with the most oppressive anti-LGBTQ+ laws on the books. This was, I think, the literal gay agenda. I went into the movie expecting some heavy handedness about how southerners are bigoted idiots, but the movie was far more nuanced than I had expected. It also was far more forgiving of American Christianity than I have been. There is a scene in which the SFGMC’s Choir Director is speaking to a pastor about using their venue for their tour and I think that that scene had illustrated my problems with the church “tolerating” gay members better than I could ever articulate it. The scene with the young woman protesting their concert while talking about how she had “struggled” with feelings of same sex attraction but overcame them because they are incompatible with her religion was heartbreaking for me.
Saint Francis 10 / 10
An incredibly female movie that deals with exclusively female issues. The themes of postpartum depression and occasionally hating parenthood were deep. The movie has a very millennial take on the midlife or existential crisis. Well edited, I did not feel like the movie had a lot of waste to it.
Give Me Liberty 7 / 10
This was a very kinetic movie. It was a rolling fiasco movie. It used developmentally disabled actors in it without feeling exploitive, which was nice. It had a very American movie showcasing a cast of characters that couldn’t believably exist anywhere else in the world. One of the final sequences outside of the police station shifted to black and white for artistic reasons that didn’t seem clear to me and was, I think, supposed to be confusion, but it also left me with the impression that one of the characters was shot, but then, I guess they weren’t? Late in the movie Vic accuses Dima (probably the character that gives the movie the most life) of being a thief, and that felt like it came out of nowhere, and also went nowhere. Aside from the last act feeling a bit frazzled, it was a pretty good movie.
Stuffed 7 / 10
What I want most out of a documentary is it educating me on a topic, bonus points if I didn’t know the topic existed. The movie is about modern taxidermy, which I did not know how much effort went into art. I may have scored it higher, but I was fairly horrified the whole movie that people were turning dead things into art, beautiful art, but I had trouble getting past the morbidity.
Extra Ordinary 8 / 10
This felt like a spiritual successor to What We Do In The Shadows. Irish movie about a medium who is kind of crap at it and a washed up pop star who is now a black magician, and is pretty crap at it too. Really enjoyed this movie.