Good job guys, we’ve made it halfway through 2018! Now there’s only six months left of this hellish year to go. But we’ll always have movies, and thank goodness this year’s movies have been more than up to the task of alternately letting us escape reality or tapping into our deepest intimate and sociopolitical anxieties.
Each day this week, a different member of Team /Film has been counting down his or her favorite films of the year so far. I’m the last to go this week and may have a few surprises on my list — which ranges from heartwarming family films, to pitch-black comedies, to meditations on life, love, and grief. So without further ado, here are my top 10 movies of 2018 so far.
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While the fresh hellscape that is every day of 2018 brings a new nightmare multiple times a day, the movies this year have provided us some kind of escape. As usual, some of those movies have done it better than others, and that’s why members of the /Film team are counting down their favorite movies of the year at the halfway point of 2018. Now it’s my turn.
In order to qualify for our lists, obviously we had to have seen the movie already, but the movie didn’t have to be released before the midway point of the year. As long a movie has a release date for 2018, it’s eligible. So let’s get down to the wide variety of movies that impressed me enough to make my Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far, including a #1 pick that will probably stir the pot just a little bit. Read More »
We’ve grown to detest sincerity, haven’t we?
Or at the very least, we as a culture have grown suspicious of it. We have a need to see even the purest of kindness through a lens of the pain and suffering that drive it – friendly, neighborhood Paddington, like the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man, was an orphan who subsequently lost his uncle – and we view kindness this way only if we aren’t first investigating the potential selfishness driving what we think is pretense. In either case, even fictional views on empathy and heroism, especially in American media, tend to focus on some kind of trauma. Captain America, who wears the star-spangled banner on his chest, lost everyone he ever loved before even waking up. Perhaps there is no such thing as kindness not born out of cruelty.
Perhaps there is no longer such a thing as American kindness detached from the various specters of September 11th; tragedy is a through-line for us all. Even the cinematic Superman, once a friend, has become a morose figure detached from humanity and the kindness of his “American way.” He was re-introduced to the world in Man of Steel amidst scenes of buildings crumbing into piles of ash, and his stories since have seen him wrestle with aloofness. Where would the citizens of Superman’s city, abandoned by their most reliable neighbor, have looked for the helpers, I wonder? Admittedly, I often wonder this about real American cities nowadays.
And that brings me to Fred Rogers and the new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
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Summer is a big time for blockbuster action franchises to rake in truckloads of money for movie studios. But in-between all the loud explosions and bright colors, there are plenty of lower key offerings that deserve your attention. One of those movies is a documentary that has been praised endlessly since premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, profiling one of TV’s most beloved talents.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a new documentary from director Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), and it focuses on Fred Rogers, the creator and host of the influential PBS television series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The documentary chronicles the rise and passion of Fred Rogers as he aims to make the world a little less overwhelming for children. Read More »
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Based on this trailer alone, it’s probably a sure-thing that the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is going to make you cry. You may not break down into uncontrollably, wracking sobs, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be silently weeping in the theater by the time the credits roll. Watch the Won’t You Be My Neighbor trailer below, and get the tissues ready.
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At a time when we’re being disappointed by our heroes left and right, it’s nice to take a look back at a TV icon who was nothing more than a pure soul who wanted to do some good in the world.
The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an in-depth look at Fred Rogers, the man behind the PBS children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood who has influenced generations of children by way of his quaint yet insightful loving nature. It’s both an eye-opening portrait and a loving tribute to the cardigan-wearing man who liked us just the way we are.
Keep reading for our full Won’t You Be My Neighbor review. Read More »
One of the standout documentaries premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival is undoubtedly Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The film from 20 Feet from Stardom director Morgan Neville looks back at the lasting legacy of the children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood by painting an intimate portrait of the man who hosted the show: Fred Rogers.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? goes beyond the zip-up cardigans and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to talk with Fred Rogers’ family, friends and colleagues about the man himself and what led him to become such an influential part of so many children’s lives. A new clip from the documentary gives us a small taste of the kind of revelations we can expect from this documentary. Read More »