Eye For Film: Streaming Spotlight: Snow Business

happy feet

If there’s one thing a lot of people look forward to on Christmas – beyond peace, goodwill, and whatever chocolate they want – it’s a little snow. While filmmakers now have everything from snow machines to CGIs in their arsenal, in the early years of filmmaking creating the phenomenon proved to be a challenge. Everything from cornflakes to cotton and even asbestos – the most famous glimpse in the Wizard of Oz poppy field scene (if you’re looking for a long read on the subject, I recommend it). As everyone here at Eye For Film wishes you the best of the holiday season, we bring you a snowy projector, so you can have some white in your life even if it doesn’t pile up outside. You might notice that we haven’t included Frozen, but only because it’s in this week’s Christmas at Home special – and it’s still available to watch on iPlayer if you still want to build a snowman. .

happy feet, Apple TV, Chile

Sticking to the family movie theme, they don’t come much snowier than this eco-charmer from George Miller. While the gist of the tale follows a young penguin struggling to find its heart song, it also contains a strong environmental message about pollution and commercial fishing threatening the birds’ environment. These darker themes come with a lot of mix of soft shoes and music, as well as Robin Williams playing romantic rockhopper Ramon and the Lovelace, an evangelical penguin with a twist of Barry White, who in another snap. to the film’s more serious message, is slowly stifled by one of those plastic rings which, thankfully, are a thing of the past. Beyond the complexity of the story, the animation is almost photo-real in places, and parents of very young children may want to check out the action sequences before letting their children watch while they prepare. a punch.

The ghost, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV and other platforms

The ghost

The ghost

The middle of winter presented by Alejandro González Iñárritu in his story of a pioneer doomed to vengeance is indeed very dark. Even Leonardo DiCaprio’s name – Hugh Glass – suggests he might just shatter in the cold. The film excels in its action sequences, particularly Glass’s visceral and brutal encounter with a bear, which will set off his mission of revenge against villainous John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). DiCaprio rightly won an Oscar for his role – something he certainly went the extra mile for, even eating raw bison liver despite being a vegetarian (he reportedly said at the time that “the bad part is the membrane that surrounds it. ”Although the film relies on a stereotyping degree, it grabs you with an icy grip that’s hard to shake.

Force majeure, BFI reader, Amazon

Force majeure

Force majeure

This film by Ruben Östlund, which will be remade in Downhill, with Will Ferrell in the lead, is another example of a film whose atmosphere is as icy as its snowy setting. A middle-aged Swedish couple vacationing in the Alps are on the brink of their own emotional avalanche as cracks begin to emerge in their relationship – but it’s the real McCoy who will take its toll on the two of them, after being confronted at the imminent death of the husband (Johannes Kuhnke) grabs his smartphone rather than one of his children. A slick of dark humor runs beneath the drama, and Östlund’s side characters are so good, especially a divorced person and his much younger girlfriend (Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius), that they sometimes threaten to steal the show. .

Two days later – Virgin TV Go, Apple TV, Chile

Two days later

Two days later

Jennie Kermode writes: Now looking like a slightly less extreme version of the newer Snowpiercer but featuring a much more hands-on interaction with a snow-capped near future world, this film features a young Jake Gyllenhaal as a college student who visits New York City and finds an unlikely refuge in his Library. public when a giant ice storm caused by climate change suddenly turns much of the northern hemisphere into an icy death trap. Dennis Quaid plays the polar scientist father who will do anything to save him. There are also wolves. Roland Emmerich’s cautious move may be absurdly optimistic in his conclusions about how the whole world would treat American refugees, but it was important to be the first American blockbuster to directly tackle the climate crisis, and it’s still very watchable today, combining disaster movies with thrilling action sequences.

Atanarjuat, the fast runner, Apple TV

Atanarjuat, the fast runner

Atanarjuat, the fast runner

Inuit director Zacharias Kunuk had made other films before this story, which is rooted in Inuit myth, but he was the first to be made in the Inuit language of Inuktitut and brought it to international prominence. The critical warmth he received no doubt helped many Indigenous filmmakers who followed to make their voices heard more easily. This tale of a bitter two-generation feud centers around a love triangle between Atanarjuat (Natar Ungalaaq), Oki (Peter Henry Arnatsiaq) and Oki’s fiancee (Sylvia Ivalu). Kunuk creates a complex yet immersive and vibrant image of Inuit life – marked by stunning snow-capped cinematography and haunting score – which also explores how their fables teach young people the importance of placing the well-being of the group above their own personal desires.

The white reindeer – Thrill

The white reindeer

The white reindeer

Jennie Kermode writes: One of the few films to address traditional Lappish culture, this 1952 classic, set entirely in the snow-capped lands of the north, focuses on the tension between male and female magic. Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen, wife of director Erik Blomberg) wants her husband to stay with her instead of going on a reindeer hunt, but when she seeks help from a shaman, she is rejected and learns that her fate is to become a witch. Sacrificing a companion white reindeer to make herself more attractive, she gains the power to shape-shift between human and reindeer form. What could be more attractive to a hunter than his prey? Certainly, there is a terrible price to pay in a film whose landscapes are as spellbinding as they are beautiful. The film is important for its recreation of a way of life now close to extinction, and for its recognition of the needs and talents of a woman in a difficult world that leaves little room for their expression.

The thing, Virgin TV Go, Apple TV, Chile

The thing

The thing

Jennie Kermode writes:Opening with now classic scenes of a lonely dog ​​running through snow-covered trash, John Carpenter’s reinvention of The Thing From Another World from 1951 has given us one of the most terrifying and genuinely authentic monsters aliens from film history, as well as action and drama. He follows a group of isolated scientists to a remote Antarctic base when they discover a creature that has been carved out of the ice and left to thaw. With no help at hand, they must use all their resources to survive – but before they can defeat him, they must find out which member of their own team he has disguised himself as. Being outside in the snow for a long time is deadly in itself, so there is nowhere to run. The notion of unknown and ancient things lurking in the frozen ground has often been revisited in existential horror and as more and more of Antarctica loses its snowpack every year, it feels closer and closer to home. .

We’re back to animation for our snowy short film to close this week’s selection. Fear Of Flying, is the story of Dougal, a little bird with a big problem – he’s afraid to take flight. As winter approaches, he faces tough choices in Conor Finnegan’s delicious and detailed stop-motion short.


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