Wednesday, September 30, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 30
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
13TH (2020)
ACTS OF VIOLENCE (2018)
AVA
BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
COASTAL ELITES
DA 5 BLOODS
DICK TRACY (1990)
FIRST COW
GREYHOUND
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
JOJO RABBIT
JUST MERCY
LYING AND STEALING
MESSAGE FROM THE KING
MULAN
MY OCTOPUS TEACHER
ONLY
PALM SPRINGS
PROJECT POWER
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND
THE LOVEBIRDS
THE OLD GUARD
THE POSTCARD KILLINGS
THE VAST OF NIGHT
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BOSCH
TV REVIEW: CATCH-22
TV REVIEW: COBRA KAI
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: FEAR CITY
TV REVIEW: GENERATION KILL (2008)
TV REVIEW: HANNIBAL (2013-2015)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: NORMAL PEOPLE
TV REVIEW: PANDEMIC: HOW TO PREVENT AN OUTBREAK (2020)
TV REVIEW: PERRY MASON
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MORNING SHOW
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
[UN]WELL

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF BBC FILMS

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)


Where is it playing?: Amazon Prime, YouTube

What's it rated?: Not rated

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

In the 92 years the Academy Awards have existed, only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director. Only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), has ever actually won the award, according to a recent story published by CNBC.

This issue became glaringly obvious to me a few weeks ago when I was thinking about some of my favorite directors—Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster), David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia)—and I realized they’re all men. As a woman who generally tries to stay away from men (just kidding, I love you idiots), I was offended by my own choices.

So I immediately Googled “movies directed by women,” found an IndieWire list of 100 of the “all-time greatest films” directed by women, and dedicated myself to watching all (or at least most) of them.

Fish Tank, directed and written by Andrea Arnold (Red Road, American Honey), was my first pick, and it follows Mia (Katie Jarvis), a hot-tempered 15-year-old living in Essex with her alcoholic mom and little sister.

Things aren’t going well with Mia when we meet her. Her dad isn’t around, her mom is barely present (and whenever she is, they’re fighting), and Mia is in a nasty argument with her only friends. Fortunately, despite her family’s lack of money, Mia is always able to find the time and space necessary for her favorite escape: breakdancing.

A self-taught white girl in London, Mia isn’t exactly a gifted breakdancer, but she develops an inkling of much-needed self-esteem when her mother’s new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender), accidentally walks in on her while she’s dancing alone and tells her she’s talented.

From then on, Connor is around a lot, and when he is, her family is almost normal. He plays with Mia’s little sister, takes them on a fishing trip, and encourages Mia to pursue a career in dance.

Mia, who so clearly has never experienced the nurturing and love a child needs, begins to mistake Connor’s kindness for flirtation and develops romantic feelings for him. But it quickly becomes obvious that Connor isn’t as sweet as he’s been made out to be, and Mia finds out about a life of Connor’s that he’s never shared with her family.

Arnold’s direction fools you into believing Connor might be one of the good ones, unveils him as the disgusting monster he really is, and then forces you almost onto his side once again at the end. On the flip side, the audience always knows what atrocities Mia is capable of.

Despite her impossible attitude and, in some cases, criminal decision-making, she’s one of those ultra-complex characters you end up loving unconditionally, maybe because no one else in the movie does.

In Fish Tank, all lines are blurred: good and bad, comedy and tragedy, mother and child, villain and hero, sexual and platonic relationships. That’s what makes it so real, so raw, and such a joy to watch. (124 min.) 

—Kasey Bubnash









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