Let’s face it, 2018 has not exactly been one of the best years on record! The orange-faced tiny-handed buffoon is still in charge of the world’s most powerful country. Forest fires spread across the world in one of the hottest summers on record. And nobody still has a fucking clue what is going on with Brexit, and that includes the people in charge of it all.
So, what do we do to try and pretend it isn’t really happening? Go to the cinema, of course. But whist all those Hollywood films are great for a bit of escapism, there have been some really great underground films come out this year, that actually reflect on the world a bit more and everything going on around us.
Hip-Hop artist MIA has released some great tracks in her career as a musician (Paper Planes, come on!!), but it is a little-known fact that she actually started as a film-maker. The film Matangi/Maya/MIA documents MIA’s journey from normal person to musical superstar. Which is a great watch for anyone who is a fan of anything she has released. However, this film has a twist. The really interesting part to this film is about MIA’s other life. The one where you find out her Dad was the founder of the Tamil Tigers and how she escaped a life of persecution, came to the UK as a refugee and then became an international superstar as well as a hated figure in the American public eye pretty much because of her skin colour. This is a great watch and very educational as well as inspirational.
Sorry to Bother You.
What starts out looking like a comedy with a bit of fun cinematography, turns out to be a surrealist look on the world with some amazing cinematography. This film is weird! But in a really good way! Sorry to Bother You is about a man just trying to make it through life but ends up becoming super successful in his really boring job leading him to unearth some pretty serious injustices. This film has some really strong metaphors and meanings and it is so great to see modern cinema shaken up in this way.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
This is one film that was very under the radar this year. Set in the early 1990’s, this film tells the story of a young women who is forced to go to a ‘conversion therapy centre’ to try to turn her straight after she is caught with another girl. There isn’t loads going on in the film, but it is still a great piece of cinema and reflects on a lot of modern issues, especially on the way that a lot of people are still treated in the LGBT community.
Although set during the civil rights movement of the 1970’s, BlacKkKlansman has some real similarities to today and the struggles that black people are facing in America right now. The film is based on the real-life story of the black man who successfully infiltrated the KKK and is both very funny and a massive thinker. If you haven’t seen it already, this has got to be one of the first films you watch in 2019.
Isle of Dogs.
Wes Anderson has never really made a bad film, and Isle of Dogs in no exception to this. The storyline follows a young boy trying to find his pet dog who has been exiled to a land full of dogs, forced to leave Japan because of the disease they spread across the country. Okay, so this is not necessarily the most epic socialist film of the year, but it does have amazing animation and is worth watching just to see the effort put into every scene and that makes it one of the best stop motions to date.
So, when your lay on the sofa this coming January, full of sprouts and chocolate and you realise how sick you are of watching some Muppets film on TV AGAIN, get your hands on one of these great pieces of cinema and make 2019 the year that you really give a shit. Because a film told you to!