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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 another round of recommendations (we’ve lost track of the weeks), and come back soon for more enlightening content. You can also always check our previous article!
BRITANNIA HOSPITAL (1982)
Directed by Lindsay Anderson
Currently Streaming on the Criterion Channel
Britannia Hospital is the bonkers finale to Lindsay Anderson’s Mick Travis trilogy, and what a way to end a trifecta of three incredibly daring and biting flicks. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982 in official competition, but producing essentially radio silence among critics corners and cult film discourse; it really is a shame how undermined Britannia Hospital has become. A carefully crafted screenplay featuring numerous politically charged and ironic one-liners, the demented narrative runs on disturbed twists and turns. The film is an adrenaline rush of ruthless rage; in which Anderson concentrates more so on the script’s biting critique of class politics, capitalist downfalls and union warfare, over sympathy for basic biased bourgeois characters and tropes.
A refreshing explosion of genres, themes, and the taking over of imperialist attitudes, Lindsay Anderson’s revolting picture is one that is surprisingly even more topical now, then how it was initially received during its original theatrical run. – David Cuevas
THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL (1990)
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Currently Streaming on the Criterion Channel
Recently a couple friends and I have started a new project: cycling through complete filmographies of directors we’ve lost sight of/skipped over. Right now we’re on Aki Kaurismäki, and while I wish I could recommend you a particularly fascinating B-side of his career, the easy highlight of this cinematic journey is already quite beloved by his fans. The simmering pot of rage that is The Match Factory Girl often opts for dialogue-free exchanges, bereft of musical score or detailed backstory for its central lonely heart. But while some of Kaurasmäki’s films has struck me as laborious, The Match Factory Girl flies by; first emerging as a poetically sparing look at the prison of a working class life, and gradually morphing into something stickier, darker and subversive.
Kati Outinen dominates almost every frame of the film with a steely, detached gaze that projects eons of self-flagellating weight, closing her off from her true potential. Littered with several moments of quietly shocking revelations, The Match Factory Girl is never better than when it refrains from easy cinematic payoffs, where it’s more interested in snippets of life than any presumed “big picture”. Eventually the little match girl is allowed a spark, but Kaurismäki’s mastery is to remind us that only those with unlimited matches can keep their desires and hopes aflame. If you’re looking for dour, absorbing, bare bones filmmaking, look no further. – Mitchell Allen
PARTY GIRL (2014)
Directed by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger & Samuel Theis
Currently Streaming on Amazon Prime
Party Girl, the first feature film from the now-disbanded directing trio of Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, and Samuel Theis, is filled with life. It’s a Semi-autobiographical journey, with Theis playing a version of himself, and lead actress Angélique Litzenberger doing the same. It’s a family affair for him, but where he brings personal touch, his collaborators stamp is clear as well. Angélique is a 60-year-old bar hostess who’s not past her love for parties and youthful dalliances with men. At night she works at a cabaret, but her clients grow rarer by the day. One day a man asks her to marry him, and it’s a romantic furtherment she’s not quite used to. The film is a love letter to living life at your own pace, to allow yourself to extend that stereotypical lifestyle in your twenties onward. It’s okay to wait until all is right. Party Girl is a tender film filled with so much love for its subject, and deserving of its Camera D’Or win. – Sarah Williams
CLOSE ENOUGH (2020)
Created by J. G. Quintel
Currently Streaming on HBO Max
J.G. Quintel’s long awaited return to the serial television format is an exuberant joyride into the psyche of the grownup millennial generation. A prolific dark comedy with plenty of nasty lil’ bits and laughs to spare, Close Enough less so relies on more conventional gross-out gags, and instead proceeds it’s miscellaneous adventures of mid-30’s indulgence with plenty of cleverly written quips and absurdist hi-jinks to keep the momentum flowing. It’s a shame that this show was in production hell for so long, since some of the pop culture references can be best described as outdated. Though ultimately, it’s the dysfunctional central pairing of the show’s rambunctious cast that prevails through the occasional fidget spinner reference.
Although the first half of the season takes its sweet time in developing numerous arcs for our lead and supporting characters, it isn’t until the second half where the show goes on full classic Quintel swing with it’s absurdist, outlandish humor and plot twists. The series is an absolute riot once it let’s itself loose, and show’s promising potential for further seasons to come. It would be a damn shame if this was cancelled anytime soon. As for the adult-oriented animation series market, Close Enough is easily a higher tier product, as it maturely discusses themes involving economic strenuity, parenthood, divorce, and childhood trauma with a refreshing voice attached. Not to mention that the show actually looks alive and vibrant, which is already a step up from the typical crude & bland animation stylings you would usually find from a lowbrow Netflix production. A must stream if you ask me. – David Cuevas
NADA A LO QUE HABÍA CANTADO PODIA LASTIMARLO (2019)
Directed by Agustina Muñoz
Currently Streaming on Vimeo
Argentinian actress Agustina Muñoz (Rara, La Flor, and many collaborations with filmmaker Matías Piñeiro) has stepped behind the camera for many works of video art. A personal favorite is ‘Nothing he had sung about could injure him‘, a piece which tackles the US war in Afghanistan, and how we are all trained to go on as of it is normal. The short juxtaposes a young man’s piano recital, shadowing the world around him, with the US governments lengthy applause at the invasion of Afghanistan after the fall of the Twin Towers. It is a celebration of war versus a fixation on normalcy, a simple societal critique on par with the experimental greats. Muñoz’s works have tackled many heavy subjects with an emphasis on contemporaneity, including a reenactment of an interview with Simone De Beauvoir that re-contextualizes her words for current events. – Sarah Williams
The On The Clock Team will return next week with another batch of recommendations!