Almost finished with SFIFF...barely a month later.
MUSIC WITH STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE is a documentary about...um...Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. That is, a collection of world-renowned and highly adventurous musicians who collaborate to create...well, they start out not knowing what they'll create. But when you get creative people from around the world who are eager to not just share their style but to play with someone else's...the results are bound to be interesting. And it's really that love of music and experimentation that makes this such a joy. It could've been a 100% concert film, and the music performances are wonderful, but it's also the fun of the musicians talking to and about each other, and their mutual respect and admiration for each other. That was just really, really cool.
And then GOAT was something completely different--a narrative about frat hazing. A freshman suffers a mugging at the hand of some townies. He's vulnerable, and likes the idea of having a whole fraternity of brothers who will have his back in any incident. Meanwhile his actual older brother (played by Nick Jonas, who does a fine job transitioning from pop star to actor) is already in the frat, and having some misgivings about the hazing rituals. Physical abuse, alcohol abuse, pushing them father then ever. And while the pledges are called "goats" there's also a real goat that they have to...perform acts on. Or at least it's threatened. As the hazing abuse piles on, it gets really really creepy, and ends up being a condemnation of not just frat hazing specifically, but fucked-up notions of masculinity generally. But I'm not going to tell you if there's any actual goat-fucking.
Total Running Time: 198
My Total Minutes: 429,002