At the end of Skam’s third season, three words shine across a dark screen: “ALT ER LOVE.” “Everything is love”, in Norwegian. If you spend as much time on the Internet as I do, you may have heard of the little teen show from Norway that has become a viral phenomenon. It’s easily one of the most binge-able shows ever (flashback to me marathoning season one on New Year’s Eve, and only stopping because I had to go party) and it will briefly take over your life. Of course, an American adaptation has already been announced. In the grand tradition of teen shows, Skam deals with a variety of issues. But show creator Julie Andem wanted it to be as honest as possible: no character is wholly good or bad, and they all have a lot of learning to do. And isn’t that exactly what growing up is? Eva must face the consequences of betraying a friend; cool feminist Noora can be preachy and hypocritical; and Isak’s internalized homophobia rises when he falls for the enigmatic Even. The issues aren’t high drama; they’re relatable. And it’s all handled in such a normal way that it’s easy to forget it’s fictional.
Hacksaw Ridge is a film based on true events during the WWII. Army Medic Desmond Doss, being a conscientious objector to the war, single-handedly saved many wounded soldiers on the battlefields of Okinawa, Japan. Doss refused to carry a gun and kill people in the war; he only wanted to save people’s lives. Although mocked, bullied, and almost being sent to the military prison, Doss did not lose his believe. He finally went to the frontline as a medic, and persistently proved himself as powerful as the armed soldiers. He was awarded with the Medal of Honor for his rescue effort; he is the first man in American history to receive this medal without firing a shot.
Nominated for 6 Oscars, Hacksaw Ridge is a movie about bravery and humanity. Andrew Garfield did a great job portraying the main character. There is definitely lots of blood and violence that made me jump in the movie, however, it is the cruelty of the war that makes Doss’ action shine. After I watch this film, I felt that the most powerful weapon is a person’s mind, and there is always hope and goodness in humanities.
A little late to the party, I know, but I finally got around to watching Robert Eggers’ directorial debut, The VVitch (which I’m just going to be calling The Witch from here on out)! And it is very very good, slow-build horror.
The Witch takes place in 1630s New England, where a family is being banished from their Puritan community for theological differences. William, Katherine, and their four children set out alone to try to eke out a living in the wilderness. Katherine has a fifth child, but the baby is stolen, and ultimately the family descends ever deeper into a spiral of fear and suspicion (of the woods surrounding them, and eventually of each other as well).
The movie explores many complicated themes, including the effects of long-term isolation on the human psyche, the power of faith, and ultimately with the kinds of fear and paranoia that can result when people seek desperately to explain the hardships life throws at them. It’s a story that could have played out the same way regardless of whether there really is a witch out there in the woods, and for me that’s where the real horror lies (though I also loved the unabashedly uncivilized and otherwordly glimpses we get into the witching world!)