Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie (2021) – Fascinating Piece Of Forgotten Cinema

Released: 2nd January
Seen: 2nd January

In the 1960s, one of the coolest movie stars on the planet was Steve McQueen. Star of classics like The Great Escape and The Magnificent Seven, he was an icon who combined his love of acting with his other passion, F1 Racing. One of the things he was most known for was that love of driving, often doing his own stunt driving in any film he was permitted to. His love of driving was so great that he pushed to make one of the biggest racing movies of all time, a film that would become one of the most legendary unfinished films in history.

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The Minimalists: Less is Now (2021) – Minimally Good

Released: 1st January
Seen: 2nd January

When I think about minimalism, I tend to think about it in conjunction with the art world. My brain instantly goes to works by the minimalists like Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire, which is a 5-metre high painting of two dark blue lines with a bold red line right in the middle. Well, it turns out that minimalism is also a lifestyle movement now which basically means to have nothing in your home that you don’t have an actual use for (so bye-bye to that Funko Pop collection).

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Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist (2020) – Possessed by Potential

Released: 19th November
Seen: 20th November

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist Info

So, fun fact, I was meant to see a film very similar to this about a year ago. When I went to the Sydney Underground Film Festival one of the films that I was meant to see was called Friedkin Uncut, a documentary about the director of The Exorcist. For some reason the film was pulled a few days before the screening and I never got to see it. At the time I could’ve gone to another film that was screening at the same time but instead I chose to just skip it and go to my next film of the day (since that day I had four other films to see).

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In Search Of Darkness II (2020) – Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Released: 18th November
Seen: 18th November

In Search of Darkness Part 2 Info

Back in March I talked about a little documentary called In Search Of Darkness, a four-hour long love letter to the 80’s horror film. In short, I felt it was a genuinely great film that was easily digestible, gave a good overview of the genre at the time but had the bad habit of using a lot of films from the same franchise which made it repetitive and robbed the audience of getting to hear about a wider array of films from the decade. So when I found out that they were planning a sequel I had high hopes, even bought it ahead of time, thinking if they could be a little less repetitive with the movies they picked then it could be great…. Sometimes, getting your hopes up can actually end well.

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#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (2020) – He’s Nuts

Released: 28th August
Seen: 26th October

Unfit Info

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I do not like Donald Trump. Even back in the days when he had his little reality show I didn’t like him. I watched a little bit of Celebrity Apprentice because Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli and Gilbert Gottfried were on there and I thought it’d be funny to see just what they would do. I also watched his Comedy Central Roast, mostly because I’ve watched every Comedy Central Roast and the idea of people tearing the shit out of that blowhard for an hour just delighted me. I never liked him even before he became president and revealed himself, in my opinion, to be evil. I state this now because this documentary specifically involves Donald Trump and his mental health, a behavioural analysis of the man. I’m going to do my best to be objective about this film, but I want you to know ahead of time that in terms of subject matter, this film was preaching to the choir when it came to me.

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Feels Good Man (2020) – It’s Not Easy Being Green

Released: 5th October
Seen: 22nd October

Feels Good Man Info

Like all strange stories, this one begins with a frog. A chunky green frog with a big round mouth and wide eyes who pees with his pants around his ankles. This frog’s name is Pepe, the star of a comic book series called Boy’s Club written by Matt Furie. The comic series was a big hit on Myspace (remember that?) and was just a simple sweet little cartoon by a single creator who just wanted to make people laugh… and then the alt-right got their hands on Pepe and the world turned upside down.

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Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) – Long Live Dick Johnson

Released: 2nd October
Seen: 5th October

Dick Johnson, father of filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, is on his way out. The former psychiatrist and current father is in the beginning stages of dementia and is starting to have to face the reality of his own mortality. Naturally, this leads to his daughter Kirsten coming up with an idea… she’ll film him dying in multiple gruesome ways, from falling down a set of stairs to having his neck punctured and bleeding out. It’s a fun little thing to keep Dick going, ironically by killing him over and over again.

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American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020) – Won’t You Meet The Neighbours?

Released: 30th September
Seen: 3rd October

American Murder The Family Next Door Info

August 13 of 2018, Shanann Watts and her two daughters Bella and Celeste went missing. For several days police investigated it as a missing persons case until they came to a heartbreaking conclusion… Shanann and her daughters weren’t missing, they’d been murdered by Shanann’s husband Chris who had been helping the police since the start of their investigation. Chris would later confess to murdering his family (I’ll spare you the details, but it’s in this documentary) when his affair was discovered and he was sentenced to multiple life sentences. It’s truly a devastating crime and this documentary has a unique way of telling that story and it kinda works, for the most part.

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The Social Dilemma (2020) – Oh, You Got Trouble

Released: 9th September
Seen: 20th September

The Social Dilemma Info

On some level we all know and accept that social media is evil. They sell our data to anyone who asks nicely, the algorithm has a disturbing habit of pushing people towards extremism and they have rules that they enforce sporadically at best. It’s a running joke that when someone we know finally joins Twitter or Facebook, we send them condolences because their lives are about to get dramatically worse. We know these companies are evil… but just how evil are they?

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Howard (2020) – Lyrically Beautiful

Released: 7th August
Seen: 8th August

Howard Info

Were it not for Howard Ashman, there’s a chance that Disney studios wouldn’t be the behemoth that it is today. The legendary lyricist is partially responsible (in conjunction with his friend Alan Menkin) for the songs from  The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin which would be the three films that began the Disney Renaissance and, effectively, saved the  company. He also wrote one of the greatest musicals of all time with Little Shop of Horrors, a masterpiece no one expected to work. His career was the stuff that icons are made of but judge as Howard was reaching his peak, he was taken from us. Now, in this hell year, we are given a documentary to honour a legend who should never be forgotten.

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