Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Newest Best Friend

Netflix. There's a certain time of day. A magic hour, if you will. You've done all the housework you're inclined to do, the kids are all dispersed and playing. It's not time to start dinner yet, and the house is quiet and still. What time is this? It's the Netflix hour. I cuddle up to my beloved computer, click on the watch instantly tab, and am transported. Remember, we don't have TV channels, so any kind of video stimulation is bliss. I have some pretty rigorous standards for said video stimulation, though. I don't want language, I don't want icky violence. I don't want skin or sex. I want to be uplifted, educated and entertained. Here are some great movies that I've enjoyed lately that pass my muster.

This movie amazed me for several reasons. First, it's not in English. I think it's in Mongolian, with subtitles. I started watching it alone, and before I knew it, the entire neighborhood was crowded around me transfixed. It was beautiful. It was culturally enriching. It was cleaner than your baby's bum after a bath.

This is the story of a quasi-homeless man that befriends a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco. Again, the entire family loved it. By entire family, I mean everyone but my husband. He's never home for the Netflix hour. He would have liked it too, but he would have wondered vocally why the guy didn't just get a real job. I can tell, I know him. Do any of you ever hear your husband's voice in your head too? Anyway, touching movie.

Now, my last baby was born in the hot tub of a little house called a birth center. It was a life changing experience. That'll be a good post for another day. I'm not a rabid, guilt inducing, natural birth activist, though. I'm pretty balanced and grateful for all the options we have today as women, but I found this movie mind blowing. Seriously, if you're of child bearing age, you need to see this movie. As to my criteria for movie acceptability, I made an exception for this one. You'll see women giving birth. You'll hear a few of them cussing while in labor. That part cracked me up. What you learn in this documentary will shock you, and challenge what you know, and how you feel about the way we labor and birth in America. It almost, almost made me want to do it again. Almost.
Whoa. This one brought me to tears. This movie documents a Jewish father's wish to teach his grown sons. He's brought them up to be as devout as possible. The sons live in Jerusalem and study Torah for a living. Towards the end of his life, the father worries that he may have done his sons a disservice for not teaching them that there is good and godliness in the gentile world too. He takes them to Poland (hooray for Poland!) to retrace the steps of their grandparents and try to find their Polish rescuers during the holocaust. What you see, and what they learn is unforgettable. I think, in an insular religion like mine, this was a very timely and relevant message for my family as well. You will find evidence of the divine anywhere if you are open enough to look.
Thank you, thank you Kim! This was a fantastic movie. We watched this all together, husband included, and he immediately decided we have to buy it. I love Charles Dickens. What a storyteller. Hooray for courageous, honorable big brothers! And who can resist Anne Hathaway?
Again, Kim, I loved it. This one sucked me right in. It's in a series of six 50 minute episodes, and it took up my entire day. I loved its twists and turns. In the interest of full disclosure, there is a brief minute where a guy undresses and washes in a stream, but there isn't a dangling participle to be seen, thank goodness! Again, Dickens tells a wonderful story.

I'm an opinionated gal. A few years ago, I was pretty sure I had the geopolitical world figured out. I knew who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, and what should be done to keep everyone in their places. Living with a devout Muslim for a year, and attending the mosque with him really challenged my notions, and what I've been taught about history. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I'm more and more grateful that I'm not in charge. This documentary follows about eight kids who live within 20 minutes of each other in Israel. There are Muslims and Jews of varying backgrounds and beliefs. None of these kids are judged, there is no bias. The movie is made by a Jewish American that all the kids clearly love fiercely. After sharing a year or two of these kid's lives, you'll never see the news of that region the same way again.

There you have it. I sure love a good movie.


SkinnyJeanGirl said...

Oh, Nicholas Nickleby. I loved that movie. It was so feel good. Hubby and I just watched it a few nights ago! We are going to buy it. I will have to watch these. They look so good. Yay for good clean movies!!!:D

SkinnyJeanGirl said...

To quote you: "You'll see women giving birth. You'll hear a few of them cussing while in labor. That part cracked me up."
I had to laugh at this too. This is a movie I will have to see. The only mean thing I have ever said to my husband, when I was in labor was, "I don't care! I will love you later!" When he kept telling me he loved me and to keep pushing.

Anonymous said...

I was starting to get withdrawl from not reading your blog and you come back with a subject so close to my heart. I love movies. I am updating my netflix account.
Thank You Thank You Thank You

Jenn said...

My baby's bottoms were never clean, particularly after bath, that was prime time, man. I am very excited to have some good movies to look forward to. We let our Netflix account go during the summer because we didn't have time to watch but now that it is getting colder and the Olympics are over maybe we should get back into it.

fivekidsandsomechocolate said...

So, did you ever try "The Ghost and Mr Chicken"? It's not Dickens, but then again it's not deep or thought provoking either.

Anonymous said...

We love watching movies about different cultures, sometimes it's hard to find them on cable, only a couple of channels show them from time to time.

Two movies I enjoyed lately were "Close to Home" about a group of girls in the Israeli Army, it's in Hebrew, and "Monsoon Wedding" about a family in India dealing with the task of organizing a big wedding.

As for Charles Dickens, I read David Copperfield as my first book in English when I was in high school and I loved it, he describes things with such detail that when I saw the first original movie in black and white, I couldn't believe the places looked exactly the way I had imagined (especially the boat turned house on the beach).

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

I really do love movies. I will have to see if I can talk the spousal unit into this. (o:

My Three Sons said...

I LOVE Nicholas Nickleby!! I wonder if that's the same version that I love, I don't think so, but maybe. Anywho....great GREAT story. I like to say that our little Nicholas was named for him :) Thanks for all the recommendations, it's hard to find a good clean movie nowadays!

My Three Sons said...

Ok, my mistake, that is the same version that I love. Isn't it AwEsOmE!!

Kimber & Jeremy! said...

Hooray for good clean recommendations!! Awesome.