Once again, it’s time to stroll through the aisles of the video store and see what kind of cinematic mayhem awaits me. As always, it’s never a challenge to find something “unusual” or “different” that many folks have probably passed up. For this chapter of Catching Up At The Video Store, I settled my sights (OK, so I closed my eyes and grabbed a couple of DVDs!) and chose a couple of foreign films, a drama or two, and one downright weird and psychedelic trip that would make even Timothy Leary wonder what the hell he was on.
The Maid (La Nana) (2009) (Oscilloscope) - *Not to be confused with the horror film of the same name.* With two wins at the Sundance Film Festival under its belt, Sebastian Silva’s The Maid (La Nana) brings us the gripping dramatic tale of a loyal maid (Catalina Saavedra). After being employed by the same Chilean family for twenty years, Raquel (Saavedra) knows no other life. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever had an aging domestic servant knows, they tend to get old real quick: in both their age and their personality. When the family’s matriarch decides to hire on some new help to “assist” Raquel, Raquel decides to put her foot down — and fuck with new girls as much as possible. Hey, you go, girl!
Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country (Burma VJ: Reporter I Et Lukket Land) (2008) (Oscilloscope) - *Not to be confused with the much-anticipated biopic of MTV’s first Burmese video jockey.* Journalism is a fascinating thing. In America, it’s more of a farce than anything: a borderline, biased epidemic that can topple celebrities, impeach presidents, and promote idiots like Glenn Beck as gods. In Burma, however, journalism is considered to be downright illegal by its militaristic government. Comprised mostly of smuggled journalism footage, Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country (Burma VJ: Reporter I Et Lukket Land) gives us the account of a doomed 2007 uprising, wherein thousands of Buddhist monks protested against the government.