Josh Reviews Voir
Voir is a new Netflix series produced by David Fincher (the renowned director of so many incredible films, including Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mank, and more).
Each episode of this six-episode series is a short (most are approx. twenty minutes long) video essay, written and performed by different film critics. Each essay explores a different aspect of cinema history and techniques.
I quite enjoyed this series! I tore through all six video essays in short succession.
Going in, there were several essays I was immediately interested in, either because I was familiar with the writer/narrator, or because I was interested in the topic. There were a few others that at first I wasn’t sure if I would watch; but I was enjoying the series so much that I wound up watching them all, and I’m glad I did.
(One of my favorite aspects of the show? Playing the game of seeing how many movies I could identify in the clip montage of the show’s opening credits!)
In the first episode, writer/blogger Sasha Stone, describes the impact that seeing Steven Spielberg’s Jaws had on her as a kid, while also exploring how that film created the idea of the modern blockbuster movie. It’s a wonderful salute to Jaws and to Steven Spielberg’s career as a whole that I, as a huge Spielberg fan, really enjoyed.
In the second episode, writer/editor Tony Zhou describes the power of the film Lady Vengeance, by Park Chan-wook, and explores a variety of different revenge films. I’ve never seen Lady Vengeance, but I was still fascinated by this episode.
In the third episode, writer/film critic Drew McWeeny waxes rhapsodic about the power of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, and analyzes films that feature unlikable main characters. I’ve been a big fan of Mr. McWeeny’s writing ever since his days of writing as Moriarty at Aintitcoolnews. (Years ago, when Mr. McWeeny was writing for HitFix, he did a series of pieces in which he reviewed an old film and invited other fans/writers to do the same; I participated by rewatching and writing about Manhattan and Modern Romance.) In Mr. McWeeny’s episode, he digs into what I think is an important issue for those who love and write about movies; today, many people seem quick to complain about a movie that features a character doing or saying something unlikable. Mr. McWeeny makes the important point that depicting an action in a movie does not mean the movie is supportive or approving of that action! Often it’s quite the opposite! It’s disheartening to see how often people seem to fail to understand that today, and so I quite enjoyed watching Mr. McWeeny explore this issue in his episode.
In the fourth episode, animator/editor Taylor Ramos explores the creation (or lack thereof) of diverse and interesting female characters in animation. I loved watching the interview in this episode with master Disney animator Glen Keane!! (Mr. Keane was involved with so many Disney films, including The Black Cauldron, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tarzan, and so many more.)
Mr. Ramos also headlined the fifth episode, in which he analyzed the ways in which the distinctions between film and TV have blurred in recent years, asking the question of what if any distinctions still remain.
Finally, in the sixth and final episode, writer/film critic Walter Chaw digs into 48 Hrs., doing deeply into the groundbreaking ways in which Walter Hill’s film brings the concept of systemic racism to the screen. I must admit that I’ve never actually seen 48 Hrs., but after watching this episode I very much want to watch it! (Warning: this episode will spoil the film for you if you haven’t seen it. I didn’t mind, but others might.)
All too quickly I’d finished the series! Voir seems to have mostly flown under the radar, but for all of the film-lovers who read this blog, I highly recommend this show!
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