City-symphony intro with foreboding music. Among protests in La Paz, Bolivia, ailing Elder has arrived with his friends. They look for work, but Elder is getting worse. He’ll end up meeting old man Max who has been walking towards town having wolf visions, but not before we’re treated to an 80’s dance video in the street.

Wolfy Max:

I liked the onion ladies:

Some notes I took along the way:

Day 2 opens with them looking thru Beatles fan magazines

Michael L-H is kinda an ass

Cutting between 1966+69 on “Rock & Roll Music” at end of day 4 is great

Mal is round-headed guy who plays anvil on Maxwell’s

We know that it’s magic to spend time with the Beatles, but episode two presses its luck, showing us different views of a flowerpot while John and Paul argue near a hidden mic

Peter Sellers shows up after The Magic Christian sets arrive

Reminiscing on their India trip, discussing the footage, which we get to see

Michael and Glyn are credited with the roof idea

Jackson has overbaked everything since Frighteners

Soon before the concert, John simply sings the setlist, wow

During the concert the movie thinks we want to hear everything the teenaged chinstrap-chewing pigs say, but we’d like to hear the music please

Problems with the crowd interviews on the street: British people are boring, and clearly Beatlemania is over

Beatlemania is back on in our house, though.

Aspirational Post-Beatles Media To-Do List

The Magic Christian (1969)
– Ringo: Beaucoups of Blues (1970)
– George: All Things Must Pass (1970)
– John/Yoko: Plastic Ono Band (1970) + Imagine (1971)
– Paul: McCartney (1970) + Linda/Ram (1971) + Wings/Wild Life (1971)
The Concert for Bangladesh (1972)
Concert for George (2003)
– Beatles Anthology (1995)
– Beatles Love (2006)
Rock and Roll Circus (1968)
How I Won the War (1967)
The Last Waltz (1978)
Jimi Plays Monterey (1967)
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)

Cursed Mutant kids meet up and share a musical connection. Tomona was blinded by the magic sword that killed his father, and Inu-Oh was born a mutant due to a deal his serial killer father made with a magic mask. Stories of mutants and curses are usually good, and Yuasa’s animation is playful and unusual, especially when visualizing how blind Tomona “sees” the world through sounds. But then after a half hour it abruptly becomes a hard rock musical… returning to sum up the kids’ stories at the end, but too late. And while some directors will shoot the plot scenes normally then make the style come alive during musical numbers, Yuasa does the opposite. The whole hour of rock & roll theatrics is full of repeated shots and movements and angles, third-rate early-MTV stuff.

One of Strickland’s insular alternate-reality weirdo movies, about an artistic residency by a group of “sonic caterers,” is secretly a comedy about bandmate relationships. “I’d say misunderstanding between us is probably the key to our sound.” Of course it looks excellent.

Fatma X2:

On the residency side of things, Gwendoline Christie (returning from In Fabric) is famed Director Jan. Beardy journalist Stones, documenting the musicians, is a Greek guy from Chevalier whose digestive issues are more fascinating to the group than to hilariously snipey Dr. Glock. After music performances, the invited audience “pays tribute” (sexually), which Stones also documents. And another music group was rejected from the institute, is now threatening violence. In a tie-in to Crimes of the Future, everyone in this movie wants to be in a culinary art collective.

Stones vs. the Doctor:

The band is led by Strickland muse Fatma Mohamed, who says within earshot of the others that they’re not a collective – she’s the leader and the others are replaceable. Ariane Labed and Asa Butterfield (Hugo himself) make up the rest of the trio. Asa is especially cute in this – his emo haircut sticking out through the eyeholes of his crime-catsuit is a nice touch.

On Letterboxd: “Some Might Say” by Oasis

Very satisfying twist surrounded by a bunch of strangeness I’m still figuring out. Daniel Kaluuya underplaying as the stoic cowboy, while sister Keke Palmer and everyone else around him is so animated. Keith David (The Thing) is their dad who dies from a quarter in the brain. Brandon Perea is the Fry’s Guy who’s somehow allowed to keep coming over. Steven Yuen the neighboring child-star monkey-survivor who accidentally turns his amusement park into a suicide cult. Michael Wincott (talkative bounty hunter in Dead Man) the cinematographer they hire to document the alien. Nobody knows who played the TMZ Guy, or why he’s in the movie at all. The main hope is this starts a trend of movie characters wearing vintage 1990’s alt-rock t-shirts.

Favorite article: Walter Chaw in Film Freak Central, locating each Jordan Peele movie along “the Shyamalan self-delusion timeline.”

Zoë Kravitz is a traumatized OCD shut-in during a global pandemic, working remote for a shabby Siri competitor whose idiot bosses committed a crime within hearing range of their own product. Zoë flirts with neighbor Terry (Byron Bowers, currently on Irma Vep), sees a dentist over Zoom, pals around with Romanian hackers, and reports an apparent crime to company HR (led by Rita Wilson), who continually assure her that they take this very seriously. Will Zoë thwart the criminals, meet the nice neighbor, and leave her apartment, defeating her agoraphobia and the entire pandemic? Of course – it’s not a very serious movie despite the up-to-date pandemic/surveillance themes. She’s even the kind of home-coder who can take out the company hitman (Jane The Virgin’s Dad) and his two thugs using a nailgun. Top cameo by Devin Ratray, as her neighbor who comes over only to get immediately stabbed, named Kevin here in reference to his best role, “Tinfoil Kevin” on The Tick.

The boys are misjudged as hardworking and brilliant and sent to space, where they cause some deaths and hop a wormhole into the future. Buncha plotty stuff about an astronaut-turned-congresswoman trying to murder them, the (w)hole point of the movie being to get them into situations where somebody nearby says “hole.” It’s no Matrix 4 or Bill & Ted 3, just minor brand extension / light entertainment.

“Is he a bit of a weirdo?”
“No, I think he’s just earnest, like one of those sincere guys.”

People are saying “mate” and “no worries,” and somebody “has a lie down” – this must be Australia. This is the kind of indie cinema where every scene is shot from the coolest angle they can manage – not quite The Girl and the Spider-level, but I approve. Almost not worth keeping track of all the characters and their intersections (centering on Ray and Alice), but just when you think it’s gonna be about a platonic roadtrip, the second half goes to unexpected places with paranoid Under the Silver Lake vibes.

Confirmed: Australia

Chloe Lizotte in Cinema Scope:

Once Friends and Strangers ultimately reveals itself as an absurdist comedy, it retrospectively becomes clear that the film’s momentum has stemmed from its accumulation of seeming non-sequiturs.