Vague Visages Writers' Room

Vague Visages Writers’ Room: Weekend Vibes 3.23.18

Weekend Vibes is a Friday column about streaming recommendations, new release hype and entertainment events. 

Walter Neto (@wfcneto)

Memory is not something that can be tamed and yet we still cling to it to help us to get through our lives. Thus, it is like we are always trying to learn from a past event or trying to recreate one. This fight, between what we need to remember and what we do, is the best way to summarize William Laboury’s Hotaru, a beautiful short film, originally released in 2016, but only now made available online. The film examines the journey of Martha (Julia Artamonov), a girl with a gift: she seems to remember everything. Because of this talent, she’s sent to space, alone, to find an alien civilization, and her vessel will not return to earth. This may seem like the plot of a three-hour epic but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. Viewers only see Martha’s face as she sleeps in some sort of induced coma, and with the help of some wires connected to her head, she communicates with Bernard (Bernard Blancan), a voice claiming to be her companion during the journey, even though he is still on Earth. Bernard tries to keep Martha focused on her tasks (and remembering Earth), but she keeps remembering a Japanese boy, Hotaru, who she met before her departure. Times passes through these conversations, only Martha doesn’t feel it like people on Earth do. And she realizes that Hotaru can longer be the way he was when they met. Martha is alone, and with only her face on screen, the film makes viewers experience that solitude and reflect upon the memories they hold dearest.

HOTARU • Short film from william laboury on Vimeo.

Alasdair Bayman (@alasdairbayman)

Since 2000, BFI Flare has featured films from Todd Haynes to François Ozon. This weekend in London, the 2018 LGBT-focused line up features two moving documentaries, Laura Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott and Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s The 34th. Away from the world of nonfiction film, Robin Campillo’s magnetic 120 BPM plays ahead of its UK release in early April — a true treat for any cinephile. For those who feel like absorbing themselves in stimulating talks or shorts, Brown is the Warmest Colour presents itself as the perfect alternative to viewing a feature film. To inject those perfect weekend feelings, the BFI will also be hosting Flare Club Night: Debbie Does BFI Flare, offering a chance to get down to all-female disco and pop. Whether you’re after poignant selections of nonfiction and fiction film, inticing shorts or simply a drink, BFI Flare has it all.

Colin Biggs (@wordsbycbiggs)

Aficionados of all things fandom are prepping for the onslaught of references that are bound to appear in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One, but don’t forget about a previous Spielberg collaboration from two decades ago. In 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit managed to crossover the Looney Tunes and Disney animated universes with aplomb; that’s right, Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in the same scene. What were groundbreaking special effects (at the time) still hold up, but the real boast of the film is Bob Hoskins’ rigorous performance as Eddie Valiant. Without Hoskins buying into the CGI/green screen environs and characters he interacts with, Who Framed Roger Rabbit would have fallen right on its face. Almost more impressive is the way the story glides right through tones as variant as noir, action, comedy and mystery, while still keeping time for pratfalls. It’s a testament to Hoskins’ commitment that the film lived on to become the classic it is now.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit hits Hulu on March 24th!

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