Two more on Friday the 13th. But it turned out I was pretty lucky with both.
First up was THE SOWER, a period piece featuring the female erotic gaze, from director Marine Francen. In an 1850s French rural village, all the men have been arrested for sedition. So the women run the village themselves. They plant and harvest, and do all the hard labor as best as they can. Surviving is one thing. Having children is another concern, and one they obviously can't solve themselves. So when a mysterious stranger arrives, he's the subject of a great deal of interest.
And now I realize I'm a man and can't describe that plot in any way that doesn't sound like it's going to become a porno. But it's not. It's totally from a female perspective, which I can appreciate. I liked it. I just can't write about it correctly. Maybe that's because I'm a lousy writer, not just because I'm a man.
So then I got a big shot of masculinity with the prison boxing movie, A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN. Based on the real story of Irish boxer Billy Moore, it starts with him being arrested in Thailand (for heroin.) Thai prison is not an easy place to live, especially if you're white. Very crowded, very violent, almost no rules other than no escape. But if you make the boxing team, you have some benefits. Moore is a bare-knuckled brawler. Tough, brave, but untrained and technically underskilled. And he gets into trouble a lot. It's a brutal, visceral film that holds no punches (pun intended.) It's intentionally unpleasant, and the "victory" at the end means he gets to get the fuck out of Thailand and never come back. Oh yeah, and the real Billy Moore was a consultant, but because they shot on location in an abandoned Thai prison, he had to consult over the phone.
Total Running Time: 271 minutes
My Total Minutes: 476,762