Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cinemagic: Fish Tank, and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

by Drew Martin
I saw two films last week that I liked a lot. The first, Fish Tank from 2009, is a gritty look at England through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl, Mia. She and her little sister are raised by a single mom who parties through her problems. The mom’s new boyfriend, played by Michael Fassbender, simultaneously grounds Mia and enrages her. Things fall apart he makes love to Mia, dumps her mom, and sneaks back to his suburban house, wife and daughter.

While I typically can't stand when Europe does hip-hop anything, it works well here. One of my favorite scenes is when Mia says goodbye to her mom, perhaps forever, which ties in so many different elements of the film.

I also liked watching Me and Earl and the Dying Girl from 2015. It’s an atypical high school movie. For one thing, it’s filmed in Pittsburgh, which is a nice change of scenery, and the often trite film-within-a-film theme is differentiated here by references to Werner Herzog and the fact that the main character, Greg, and his “coworker” Earl make a film that literally kills someone. This is the trailer for the film done by the main character: