QUARANTINE RECOMMENDATIONS – WEEK ONE

Quarantine got you down? Bored and not sure what to watch in the coming weeks? We are proud to announce that The On The Clock Team has got you covered! Throughout the next couple of weeks, until we reach the safe sweet spot where we can finally recover from social distancing measures, we’ve got a list of great films, TV shows, and alternative content for you! Enjoy our first round of recommendations, and come back next week for more enlightening content.

narrative film


DEERSKIN (2020)

Directed by Quentin Dupieux

Currently Streaming on Select Virtual Screening Rooms

Quentin Depieux (or also known by his stage name as Mr. Oizo) is largely hit or miss in terms of his feature filmography. The 46 year old is known for his audaciously absurdist dark comedies, with a hint of sporadic direction. In the case of his latest venture into the surreal, Deerskin (2019) is shockingly his most accessible and arguably most provoking film to date. What can be described as the French independent version of Todd Phillips’ Joker, Deerskin is a righteous commentary on the exploitative and unneeded fetishistic tendencies and tropes found throughout the entertainment industry. Stemming the idea from the base of an out of control serial killer, Deerskin is brilliantly deadpan in all of it’s bloody glory. It may be a tad repetitive, though the 77 minute runtime makes the film an easy and enjoyable watch. – David Cuevas

EMA (2020)

Directed by Pablo Larraín

Currently Streaming on Mubi Canada, India, UK, & Ireland

Ema is incendiary. A dissection on relationship self-destruction and motherly love, Larraín’s provoking analysis on human nature and visual metaphorical language is expressive craftsmanship at its most devastating. This is a filmmaker at the peak of his career; perfectly utilizing every strength and weakness into one audacious project. Now viewing the film twice (once at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the other during an exclusive Mubi event) it’s clear that Larraín has a solid grasp on the thematics he wants to convey. Ema is a beautiful piece of work about the dangers of addictive passion and admiration. No character is truly innocent in Ema. The longing for love and affection in every scene is present, where all what’s left for our lead titular heroine is a haunting burning nightmare of passion. – David Cuevas

Time To Hunt (2020)

Directed by Yoon Sung-Hyun

Currently Streaming on Netflix Worldwide

Who doesn’t like a good thriller? In the ever growing blockbuster market, it’s hard to come across a genuinely entertaining thrill ride. In the case of Netflix’s Time to Hunt, the film is spectacularly bombastic. Bone chilling, beautifully shot, and as well contains a delightful genuine bond between the three male leads, the film is nothing short of action packed fun. Sure, it’s a little disappointing how underwritten the third act eventually evolved, with all the pre-developed strengths of the film. However, The hospital sequence will go down as one of the most terrifying and suspenseful scenes from 2020 cinema and beyond. Time To Hunt is a must watch just for this sequence along. Oh and of course the enigmatic Choi Woo-shik, who brings charisma and charm into every role he stars in! – David Cuevas

television


THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL (2020)

Created by Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussell

Currently Streaming on Netflix (Worldwide)

What better time to watch an animated series of subsequent apocalypses and planets burning up over and over again? Borne from the ashes of Adventure Time and the musings of stoner comedian Duncan Trussell, The Midnight Gospel is a universe hopping, psychedelic, pitch black delight. Young Clancy, living in a functionally illogical hovel on the edge of space, amuses himself by transporting his consciousness to other dying planets, in order to interview some of its citizens for his ‘spacecast’. Once there, the fiercely surprising aspect of the show’s structure becomes clear: the dialogue for the show is cobbled together from a mixture of Trussell’s podcast interviews and scripted transitions, while the visuals illustrate Clancy and his subject’s attempts to escape from any number of adversaries (zombies, evil clowns, fish pirates etc.)

If this all sounds headache inducing and off putting, fear not: this is a mad mad world that’s strangely calming. It’s also possible to drift back and forth from the exuberantly colorful animation to the soothing, philosophical interviews that discuss everything from meditation, avoidance of death and spiritual enlightenment. In testing times, Midnight Gospel finds itself in an attractive position as either a backdrop show for cooking/cleaning or one that benefits from a firmer attention span. I certainly know I’ve had a blast watching the first 4 episodes, and it’s kind of nice to imagine that there are other imaginary worlds on fire right now. -Mitchell Allen

VERNON SUBUTEX (2020)

Created by Cathy Verney

Currently Streaming on Topic Video

Adapted from the first two books in Virginie Despentes’ series of novels about the fringes of 21st century Paris society, the titular character of Vernon Subutex holds together an ever growing web of characters in the messy underbelly of the city. A former record shop owner left homeless by the changing times, Vernon couch hops, drifting through the lives of former punks, porn stars in hiding, a young Muslim girl searching for the truth about her deceased mother, and some seedy alt-right figures. His story intersects with that of a former private detective turned malicious film critic to the extreme for hire solely referred to as The Hyena, who’s been sent on a wild goose chase across Europe by her world of corrupt actors and predatory producers in search of a mysterious script-writer.

Not only is Vernon Subutex a fascinating Magnolia-style tale of interconnected lives set off by the death of fictional musician Alex Bleach, and a dive into current events in Paris, but there’s a compelling spark of romance between Céline Sallette’s La Hyène and her new partner in crime played by musician Flora Fischbach. This French TV series is fast paced with enough plot lines that it’s hard to get bored of it, even if you dislike a character arc or two. -Sarah Williams

Alternative content


EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Currently Streaming on Kanopy & PBS

Craving for the normalcy of a pre-quarantine world? In Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, the famed documentarian highlights the benefits, the people, and the resources which occupy the 92-branch hub of knowledge. A three hour and twenty-five minute venture into the hard and dedicated work of the New York Spirit, Ex Libris is an emotional ode and commemoration to the people who occupy the different library branches throughout the Great Apple. It’s a perfect and essential Quarantine watch, especially if you’re feeling a little blue due to the lack of any real human connection in the past few weeks. As a time capsule and as an essential piece of filmmaking, Wiseman’s Ex Libris is nothing short of fascinating. – David Cuevas

The On The Clock Team will return next week with another batch of recommendations!


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