Sorry, “Cries and Whispers.” Too bad, “Breathless.” There’s only one film in the Criterion Collection that inspires a movie critic to use the word “fartiest,” and it’s Yasujiro Ozu’s 1959 comedy “Good Morning.”
“Good Morning,” recent re-released in a new Blu-ray edition from Criterion, earns the honor of being Ozu’s “fartiest” film honestly and loudly. In the 1959 comedy, flatulence is like fingerprints, with each character’s toots providing a different tone. In what I guess is the Japanese version of “pull my finger,” the boys in the village press each others’ foreheads, eliciting a variety of high-pitched squeaks. (One boy has trouble providing the required sound, and often has to run home to change his underwear after getting his forehead pressed.)
Netflix has been buying up and releasing a lot of original movies, which is great news for indie filmmakers looking to get good financing and get their work seen. But it may not be so great for viewers, who have to rely on Netflix’s algorithm to even know the movies are available. “Netflix Movie of the Week” is an occasional feature highlighting a new original Netflix movie you may not have heard about.
For those who like to skip ahead to the last page of a thriller to find out what happens, there’s Oren Uziel’s “Shimmer Lake.” Uziel begins the film on a Friday, at the end of the story, when a desperate man (Rainn Wilson) is trying to escape his small town with a bag full of cash. Then, day by day, Uziel works his way back to Tuesday, and the bank robbery that netted the money in the first place.
Pick of the Week: “Moonlight“ (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. I still can’t quite believe that Barry Jenkins’ exquisitely observed drama won an Oscar for Best Picture. Because of the whole weirdness at the Academy Award ceremony, obviously, but also because it’s just not the sort of movie Oscar voters cotton to, telling the story of a gay black man in three stages of his life with such specificity and humanity. The film gives just a glimmer of hope at the end, but the fact that films like these could be seen and celebrated by the mainstream — could be a HIT — provides way more than a glimmer.