DVD Reviews

Some Films With Questionable Titles!

There are some films amongst our collection with titles that need to be celebrated. Open your mind to silent documentaries and low budget rockumentaries and explore our list of films with really weird titles!

Nanook of the North(Robert J. Flaherty , 1922)

Although it may sound like a film about an artic e-reader, this is in fact a film about an Inuit. Considered to be the first feature length documentary, although some of its content is arguably fictitious, the film follows Nanook and his family travelling and hunting for food illustrating the arduous Inuit life they endure.  Notable scenes include when Nanook builds and igloo and an interaction at trade post with a man from the Western world.  The film showed the isolation and solitude imposed upon the family by living in such a hostile corner of the world.  Being made in 1922 it is a silent film which makes its content all the more difficult to sustain for its 79 minute duration.


The Story of the Weeping Camel (Bayambasure Duvaa & Luigi Falorni, 2003)

A product of the hybrid genre of ‘docudrama’ this film follows the story of a family of shepherds who are trying to save the life of a rare white camel calf which has been rejected by its mother. In order to try and reconnect the mother with her young a Mongolian ritual is performed whereby a ‘violinist’ plays a lullaby to soothe the mother camel. She then cries (a real tear) and reconciles with her baby. It sounds weird and far fetched but its actually quite a beautiful little film. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2004 and was very well received amongst critics on its release. Odd name, odd story but one worth investing in.

Rumble Fish (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983)
This weird title belongs to a film about gang culture. A man known only as Motorcycle Boy ditches his bad boy reputation for a quieter, more law abiding life. However his younger brother, Rusty James, continues to accepts fights with rival gangs resulting in horrific injury.  Motorcycle Boy intervenes one night while trying to save his brother from serious harm and decides to try and change him. Rusty James resolves to change his ways and be more like his brother. Such noble solutions come at cost though… Considered to be one of Coppola’s best films since Apocalypse Now is a story of brothers, redemption and revenge starring Mickey Rourke and Matt Dillon, not a bad watch by any means!

Eagle Vs. Shark (Taika Waititi,2007)
Quirky romantic comedy starring Jermaine from Flight of the Concords, this film gets its name from a ‘dress as your favourite animal’ party hosted by Jarrod. Lily who attends the party uninvited has a huge crush on Jarrod and just wants to get close to him. They start an awkward relationship even though Jarrod is not interested in her. She meets his father, 9 year old daughter (the result of a one night stand) and learns of Jarrod’s deceased brother. Jarrod is continually mean to Lily, often trying to push her away but will she give up that easily? It’s a weird one, almost too quirky for its own good and too awkward to bare in places. New Zealanders and fans of Flight of the Concords loved it though so you may too!

Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
This classic comedy from the 1930’s stars Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo Marx the famed comedy quartet who delighted audiences with their slapstick films. Duck Soup is no exception to their famous mad cap style. The bankrupt state of Freedonia seaks to borrow money from a wealthy lady called Mrs Teasdale. In return for her money she asks for a new president to be appointed, the wacky Rufus T. Firefly. Chaos and nonsense ensues as he takes over the state and neighbouring states attempt to infiltrate his office. It’s as mad and hilarious as the title suggests it to be, guaranteed to cheer you up on a bad day.

Le Donk and Scor-say-zee (Shane Meadows, 2007)

Filmed in five days and largely improvised, this rockumentary follows rock roadie Le Donk as he attempts to make aspiring rapper Scor-say-zee a success. They embark on a crazy and unpredictable journey together and with a little help from the Arctic Monkeys Scor-say-zee is on his way to the top. An amusing fictitious story about the music industry, a nice change from the more depressing subject matter we are used to from Meadows.

 


Snow Cake (Marc Evans, 2006)
An ex-convict accidentally kills a young girl in a car accident and decides to pay the girls mother a visit at her home. Unbeknown to him she is a severely autistic woman who manages to convince him to stay with her while he organises the funeral. He embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love and grief as he tries to come to terms with his actions. A though provoking drama starring Sigourney Weaver. It’s an emotional one, definitely not about icy baked goods.  

 

Further Reading in the Information Store:

You can find all these DVD’s in the DVD ZONE.

Nanook of the North at 791.4353
The Story of the Weeping Camel at 791.4309517
Rumble Fish at 791.43 R
Eagle Vs Shark at 791.43 E
Duck Soup at 791.43 D
Le Donk and Scor-say-zee at 791.43 L
Snow Cake at 791.43 S

Silent Cinema: An Introduction by Paolo Usai – BOOK ZONE – 791.43 USA
The Documentary Film Movement: An Anthology by Ian Aitkin – BOOK ZONE – 791.4353 AIT

Or perhaps these other weird film titles might fuel your curiosity to hunt for more!

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb by Stanley Kubrick
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ken Kwapis
Poor Cow by Ken Loach

Give it a go, you never know, you might enjoy one of them!
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