OZY's Movie Sampler

OZY's Movie Sampler

Why you should care

Do you really want to trek to the theater just to have your seat kicked by the little kid behind you? 

We love Katniss and The Hunger Games as much as anyone, but here at OZY, we also get hungry for something more than just superhero flicks and Oscar fast-tracks. Here’s some of the best from one of OZY’s finest, Eugene Robinson, our resident cinematic soothsayer.

Double-edged Blessing

Actor Danny Trejo, at 69, has been reincarnated in multiple forms, but all were along the same lines. Drugs took him into prison, but the great irony of his life story is that somewhere in between steps 12 and 13, he landed in the entertainment world. It turns out we’re lucky to have him. Since his first role in 1985 as a boxing coach in Runaway Train, he’s climbed the silver (or tinsel) ladder to the top of Hollywood. Or perhaps to the underworld, where he reigns as king among villainous character actors.

His latest Troublemaker Studios is Machete Kills, a roguishly good ride with some surprising passengers, from Lady Gaga to Jessica Alba to Robert DeNiro. Trejo says he’s blessed; we are, too, especially by the murderous padre who makes an appearance in Machete. Pray for more.

A Few Steps Forward

Here’s something new to keep us lazy and comfortable on our couches: Drop your laptops, iPads, and please stop trying to watch Netflix on your phone. We gadget geeks are agog over the Aiptek Mobile Cinema i55, a plug-in that lets you snap a tiny projector onto an iPhone and turn your bedroom wall into a silver screen.

More on the goodie you’re probably hoping for in your stocking: it charges your phone for 2 hours while plugged in; projects a 5-foot image; and, while it’s not cheap, you can crunch the numbers yourself on your $12 ticket and $7 popcorn.

Dirk Bogarde in The Servant, 1963.

Dirk Bogarde in The Servant, 1963.

A Gentleman’s Gentleman

We love to talk about star-studded directors and producers, but for once, here’s a chilling look at the man who is the spiritual center of a film unafraid to take on big topics: sex, class and race among them. Sir Dirk Bogarde, a World War II intelligence officer, novelist and actor himself, was instrumental to The Servant (1963), a dramatic thriller just re-released for its 50th birthday.

In the “coldest film ever made,” Bogarde is Iago-esque in his cool cruelty, his luscious laziness and most of all, his ability to “eat revenge cold.” Enough with the overheating, panting over the same old stuff: Here’s an icy drama to cool us back down.

A Different Kind of Blood and Guts

Here’s a dose of nonfiction to temper your wild fantasies. Meet the Menstrual Man, Arunachalam Muruganantham, an illiterate Indian who found a way to experience menstruation himself for five “lousy days” and ultimately built a device allowing anyone to make their own sanitary pads. Muruganantham is the subject of Singaporean filmmaker Amit Virmani’s latest documentary.

It’s a classic underdog story. Once called a pervert for obsessing over the dirty rags he saw women in his village using to clean themselves during their periods, Murunganantham has sold 1,000 machines in India and reached what might be the pinnacle of modern global fame as a TED speaker. A feel good flick in the end, despite some blood spilled along the way.

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