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2021 White Ajah Movie Challenge

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Do you watch a lot of movies?  Want to get raising reqs for it?  Look no farther than the White Ajah’s 2020 Movie Challenge!


How it works:

Each month will have a different theme.  Anyone who’s interested in participating can watch a film they’ve never seen before that fits the criteria of the month.  For raising reqs, post a report (at least 100 words) about the film—what you liked, what you didn’t, connections to other films or to real life, share what you know about its historical context, let us know any background info on the actors, director, or others involved with the film, etc.

To receive raising credit, you must participate in three out of the twelve monthly challenges.


Don’t need raising credits?  Don’t worry!  Anyone can participate!  Want to do more than one report a month?  Post as many times as you’d like!  Watched an amazing movie that doesn’t fit the theme?  Share it with us without hesitation (though it won’t count for raising reqs).


If you have more to say about the film you watched, discuss it further in our Discussion Thread.


Monthly Themes:

January: Watch a film from a foreign country

February: Watch a comedy

March: Watch a film directed by a woman

April: Watch a sci-fi/fantasy film

May: Watch a black and white film

June: Watch a musical

July: Watch a thriller/spy film

August: Watch an Academy Award winning film (in any category)

September: Watch a film directed by a person of color

October: Watch a documentary

November: Watch a film by your favorite director

December: WILD CARD! Pick any movie you’d like to report on!


If you have any questions, PM me!

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January: Watch a film from a foreign country


Last night, we watched the British film "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" (1961).


Wow!  My spouse and I were up for some disaster films last night so I Googled disaster movies.  A lot of interesting ones popped up, but we chose The Day the Earth Caught Fire.  I wasn't expecting a lot as it was made in 1961, but this movie was amazing!


The US and Russia perform joint--albeit unwillingly--nuclear tests.  The duel bombs have enough force to increase the earth's tilt and push it off its orbit toward the sun.  The characters--all witty and British--are newspaper workers who work on reporting the sudden changes in weather.  It shows the decline of civilization and how resources quickly disappear as tensions increase.  It also highlights how the government worked to hide the truth of the event from the public as long as possible.  The main female character is a phone operator who has heard some of the dialogue of leading scientists, and she's the one who leaks it to the newspaper, sending her to jail.


This movie was really interesting and really relevant to all the things happening in the world today.  I was kind of scared watching it--thinking of how easily we could mess up our home planet--so I can't imagine how upset 1961 viewers would be!  The film was rated X at the time, and people under the age of 16 were not allowed.  LOL!


Here's a spoiler; read at your own risk!

The film ended without saying if the people were able to save the planet.  They attempted to set off four additional nuclear bombs to try and fix the situation.  The last shot of the film is a newspaper showing an article stating the world was saved.  This momentarily brought a good feeling to my heart; no matter how bad it gets, we can solve our issues.  But then, it panned to another paper, saying the plan failed.  The newspaper had both ready to go depending on which way the situation turned.  This gave a bleak feeling, but increased my enjoyment of the film.  


I loved this movie!  It would be amazing to see as a remake, with more effects--the 1961 effects were lacking in many ways--and with more content from how the rest of the world reacts to the news.  I can't recommend this film enough!

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  • 4 weeks later...

This month I watched Spinal Tap, and found it absolutely hilarious. For those not familiar with it, Spinal Tap is a fake documentary about a bad British rock band touring in America.

Those band members are so unbelievably dumb, and they just had these little touches everywhere, like casually mentioning every time a new drummer joins them but not ever mentioning that the last one died -- and that scene where they got lost backstage was priceless. And one of the band members wasn't actually that bad a musician, but he just had such terrible taste -- and so did the other three -- that he looked like as much of an idiot as the rest of them. I could just talk about everything I found funny in that movie, but that would take forever. Suffice it to say that I highly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend!

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On 1/9/2021 at 11:04 AM, Mashiara Sedai said:

January: Watch a film from a foreign country


Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Warner Brothers, France

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet


The French film Un long dimanche de fiançailles, translated as 'A Very Long Engagement' is a romantic mystery set during The Great War. The film stars Audrey Tatou, who joined forces with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet in the international hit Amelie. But their two films could not be more unalike.


Tatou plays Mathilde, a quiet, unassuming young woman who is engaged to Manech, an innocent young man drafted to the Eastern Front. Manech is one of five French soldiers accused of self-mutilation, and their punishment is to be cast out into the deadly No-Man's-Land between the French and German trenches. All five men are presumed to be killed, but Mathilde's heart won't believe it.


Despite her friends and family's skepticism, she marshals all her resources to determine the fate of her beloved. One by one, she chases down the stories and the ultimate fates of the five doomed soldiers, desperate to be reunited with Manech no matter the cost.


This is a complicated film that demands repeated viewings. The story jumps back and forth in time, giving small clues here and there. Cryptic messages are relayed from one lost soul to another. Letters and postcards arrive to spark hope or crush dreams. The title itself has double meaning--Mathilde's and Manech's engagement must be put on indefinite hold due to the war, while the miserable solders wonder if their engagement with the enemy will never end.


Filmed in beautiful sepia tones with a wonderful haunting score, "A Very Long Engagement" is not to be missed. 





Edited by JamesBrown
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  • 1 month later...

I watched Little Women this month. I did read the book a long time ago, but I can't remember enough of it to say whether or not this was a good adaptation. I did enjoy the movie very much, though. (Did the actress who played Meg look familiar to anyone else?) It was very sweet and heartwarming. Jo is a much better person than I am -- if someone had burned the novel I'd been working on for months, it would take me much, much longer to forgive them. I did feel like the movie kind of undermined its own message by giving Jo a love interest; if the whole point is that she's fighting to be independent in a society that basically hates women, making her end up with a hot guy by the end of the story just feels like a compromise. I'm sure, though, that there are many different perspectives on this and that it could be debated for days.

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