Instant Gratification: “Timbuktu” and four other good films on Amazon Prime and Netflix


Pick of the week: “Timbuktu (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. A small town in Mali chafes under the ironclad rule of fundamentalist Muslims in this Oscar-nominated drama which makes both oppressors and oppressed into three-dimensional human beings.

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“Jauja”: Viggo Mortensen wanders in an existential desert


“Jauja” has its Madison premiere on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at the UW-Cinematheque screening room, 4070 Vilas Hall. Unrated, 1:50, three stars out of four. FREE!

Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” is shot in a boxy 4:3 frame that used to be the standard for movies. But interestingly, the edges of the frame are rounded, the colors deeply saturated, making each frame look like an old photo you might find in a shoebox in your grandfather’s closet.

That anachronistic out-of-time sensation suits “Jauja” well, both for where it’s set, and where it’s going. Argentinian director Alonso is known for experimental films with little dialogue and slippery narrative rules. At first, “Jauja” seems like a much more traditional sort of film, with lots of dialogue and a big star (Viggo Mortensen) in the center. But don’t be fooled.

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