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What movies and TV series should be watched during (self) isolation
Jelena Đurović Editress of
What movies and TV series should be watched during (self) isolation
I wouldn't like to scare you. Seriously, I'm not going to suggest anything terrifying, even though my colleagues are making lists featuring pandemic disaster movies from Soderbergh 'Contagion' to Marković's 'Variola Vera', these days. Do not replay 'Chernobyl'. Do not even read Pekić's 'Rabies' /Besnilo/ and skip Camus's 'The Plague'. All these works indicate, to some extent, that homo homini lupus est, but then humanity prevails and we are all one army. The issue is those first two thirds while the disease is developing, people are dying, some take advantage of the nasty situation... What is the use of such nuisance and annoyance when you have them as soon as you turn on the TV? My suggestions will include works for self-preservation, laughter, but always and above all achievements expanding the horizons and awakening the curiosity.

Something new

TV – comedy: Black Monday (HBO)

The series, which went under the radar over the course of the previous year but has also been renewed for season two. It talks about a group of outsiders on the Wall Street who are in the midst of events which are presently known as 'Black Monday' (stock exchange market crash in 1987). Hilarity is guaranteed, everything is politically incorrect, and the phenomenal cast is led by Don Cheadle (Don is a super character and privately, known as a tireless activist for the termination of the conflict in Rwanda and Darfur).

TV – drama, thriller: Narcos (Netflix), ZeroZeroZero (HBO)

The paths of drugs and peripeteia, which 'the kings of cocaine' have, are one of more interesting topics for both filmmakers and TV series authors. The hero or anti-hero, who is a large drugs dealer, has turned from a villain to a tragic anti-hero ever since Tony Montana declared in De Palma's 'Scar Face' that 'the world is his'. In countries such as Mexico and Colombia, it seems as there are not many nice jobs to live by, thus we empathize with the problems of Escobar, Pacho Herrera and Felix Gallardo. It is clear that politics allows the only branch of industry, which is never in crisis, to be under control at all times. Of course, we always support 'our fellows' who are both DEA and local police (in the case of four seasons of the Narcos series). The authors of the Narcos series have managed to revive the material each new season that might have seemed repetitive, and always make us bingeing until colors have melted. On the other hand, there is a different kind of series on a similar topic such as ZeroZeroZero of the Director Stefano Sollima. It is a more artistic approach to the subject, as per the literary template of Roberto Saviano. This duo has already had its debut on television (a very successful 'Gomorah' produced by Sollima). At 'ZeroZeroZero', trading is carried out by the Mexican and Italian cartels while distribution is performed by a seemingly respectable American family Linwood (Andrea Riseborough, Gabriel Byrne). The trade gets complicated and the family becomes less and less respectable.

Movie – comedy: Spenser Confidential (NETFLIX)

Let's start with the screenwriter – 'Spenser Confidential' is written by Brian Helgeland who has been awarded an Oscar for 'Confidential from LA' and was nominated for 'Mystic River'. Clearly, he is not a beginner and ignoramus. However, reviewers have been traditionally dissatisfied with their favourites moving from genre to genre, so Spenser picked up bad reviews of Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. It is a buddy-cop comedy directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg (as in the previous four Berg's movies). I will remind you that the fruits of this collaboration are 'Lone Survivor', 'Deepwater Horizon', 'Patriots Day' and 'Mile 22'. Wahlberg has a famous sports routine (he gets up at 3 a.m. to workout, goes to sleep at six p.m. and is more programmed than Gwyneth Paltro ). It is all shown and screened in 'Spenser', and the cast is amazing: Alan Arkin, Elisa Schlesinger, Winston Duke…

Something old:

TV – Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

'Peak TV' zenith has passed, and I believe that the relevant television's highest achievements were the eighth episode of season three of 'Twin Peaks' and the last episode of 'The Americans'. I suppose you have watched these series as well as Mad Men, so I do not want to waste time with something that is commonplace. So, I would direct you to the series 'Halt and Catch Fire' aired in the period 2014-2017, but which was out of focus due to other content.

Old software engineers know that the HCF command, which would order a processor to self-destruct itself, was an imaginary act but the option was indeed developed later on. The series is about the emergence and development of computer technologies, primarily in Texas and later on in Silicon Valley. Two men and two women are the pioneers of IT. They are embarking on a venture that will change the world and the way people communicate. The script is based on true events, characters are phenomenal, relationships are tangled, everything is sexy and amusing... It is more than television, it is a modern history lesson. The action takes place in the 1980s, and the music at HCF is absolutely ingenious (probably the best soundtrack in TV history), and feminist energy is at the high working temperature. Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishé make up the ensemble that is difficult to leave behind after the ending title sequence. Do watch it, and thank me later.

Movie – Until the End of the World, Wim Wenders

Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have been intensely thinking about the movie we watched at FEST in 1992, on the eve of the war, before everything fell apart. I remember that we were self-deluded kids, 'Wenders fans', and the first half of this futuristic epic about love at the end of the world was 'great' and the other 'tedious' for us. Nowadays, it is incomprehensible that such big budgets are allocated to artistic movies… Wenders and his muse, co-screenwriter, partner and actress Solveig Dommartin, have indeed crossed half the world while recording the movie, just like the main characters Claire and Sam. 'Until the End of the World' is all we need in a moment of isolation and self-examination. It is the great director's masterpiece through the cyber punk vision of the apocalypse, and music of the most popular bands of that time that were given a task by Wenders in 1990 to 'compose a song as if the end of the XX century were today'. So wehave got great music tracks by U2, David Byrne, Julee Cruise, Nick Cave… The cast includes William Hurt, Sam Neill, movie-diva Jeanne Moreau, and recently deceased grand Max von Sydow.

Solveig Dommartin passed away from a heart attack, aged 45 in Paris, and I saw Wenders at the 'Altes Europa' café in Berlin, two years ago. I wanted to come up to him and tell him how I have been directing my whole life in accordance with that movie, thinking that I am this heroine Claire, travelling as if the world was my shell, indicating that I am not interested in daily politics, waking up with make-up on my face at weird parties in New York, chasing a tall, blond and complicated man across continents. And yes, I cannot actually calm down. But I thought, Wenders had already heard it a hundred times. We never think about the end of the world and we constantly put off everything. I should have come up to him.

Jelena Đurović
Editress of