On the bus.
Time is a luxury I do not seem to have much of these days. I long for the days when I can snack on a bucketful of popcorn and while away a few hours of my life to no end without any feelings of guilt whatsoever. Strangely enough, in a dramatic turnaround, I actually stepped foot into a cinema not once but twice (!) this year. Surely this calls for a celebration of some sort. (See also lists for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.)
Mistaken for Strangers
Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf // Tom Berninger
Tom: Having Matt as my older brother sucks – because he’s a rock star and I’m not, and it has always been that way.
I approached this with much trepidation, well aware that there was always a chance that the verdict might go to either extremes of the spectrum. What if this reel alternative goes up in smoke and backfires? Would it show another side of the band that we have not been privy to before? Could a mere 90-minute flick forever diminish the magic and mystery of a band that I have taken years to love and admire?
The rock documentary started off innocently enough. With two sets of brothers – the Dessners and Devendorfs – already in The National, band frontman Matt Berninger saw it fit to bring along his filmmaker brother Tom as a roadie during one of the group’s tours, with the aim of getting the latter to create more digital content for their website.
At first, there were the harmless jokes, quirky questions and equally bemused expressions as the band reacted to including metalhead Tom in the typical goings-on of touring rock musicians. But as tensions continue to rise, these soon made way to sibling rivalry, exasperated outbursts and emotional behind-the-scene revelations.
Like a fly on the wall, we hear the most heartfelt of teary confessions, and get more than an exclusive peek into how rock stars actually lead a surprisingly ordinary life, driving around town running errands like normal people do. Then one suddenly gets introduced to New Order’s “Age of Consent” and realises that touring is not as fun it is often made out to be.
This movie claims to be a documentary about the biggest band in indie rock no one has ever heard of – The National. But Mistaken for Strangers is, at its core, a study into the relationships of two brothers and how, together and despite all odds, they continue to support and look out for each other. It is a terrible love, after all.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
On the idiot box front, I somehow managed to invest time into watching more amateur chefs cook up a storm in the kitchen, that is, when they are not busy imagining shoving stalks of celery down their competitors’ throats. It was also a bit of a bittersweet affair having Jack Bauer around for a few more months, but perhaps we should let sleeping dogs lie.