A huge portion of the United States is literally being attacked by clouds filled with snowflakes. It’s lovely when you’re sitting inside your warm place, fire roaring, coffee brewing. Then you go outside and the oppressive cold and impossible driving make it completely unreasonable to consider leaving the house again.
So don’t. Just stay inside. Watch these great movies on Netflix instead:
I know, this is hardly some amazing recommendation. It’s freaking astoundingly perfect as far as Bond movies go. It’s like recommending ice cream. All the flavors are good. Who doesn’t love at least five flavors of ice cream? BUT! As you are listening to the fire crackle and admiring the flakes outside, take a moment to appreciate the insane gorgeousness of Scotland in the winter. This is undoubtedly one of the most perfect film sets in all off Bond movie history.
This isn’t for everyone, I get that. And the accents are hilarious. But as a Minnesota native, this movie just GETS winter. Like, real winter. Not Christmas movies winter. Not the final scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary winter. Real winter. And it’s great.
How can I say that this movie is one of the most under rated movies about robots ever without sounding trite? Ok, I guess I can’t. How about I just tell you this: this movie is astoundingly underrated. It’s such a critical and beautiful take on aging, technology and loneliness - all of which don’t get enough attention.
Want to escape the snow? Want to feel like it’s not 10 degrees outside for even one minute? Then partake in this Alfonso Cuaron masterpiece and thank me later.
The alternative title for this movie should be: Black Friday. Huzzah. Tim Burton has never really been better. It’s on Netflix this very minute. You have no excuse. Just enjoy it.
Fall in Minnesota is all kinds of beautiful. This weekend in the Twin Cities was so perfectly crisp and sunny and colorful and gorgeous - if I was a child or a small dog, I would have been rolling around in the leaves in the sun. (Note: I might have done that anyway, even though I’m not a small dog or a child.)
Robot & Frank
For whatever reason, fall always reminds me of the cycle of life. Perhaps it’s the way the plants die so they can come back to life. Or perhaps it’s the way we all tidy our lives up for the winter when we will spend quiet time reflecting and gathering with those we care about most. This movie captures much of that time beautifully.
Indie Game: The Movie
When October 31 rolls around, don’t you just get the sense that the year is about to end and go: what the hell did I get done this year? Well, I do. It gets worse when Nov. 15th arrives. Indie Game is beautiful because it’s about what time can do. Time and passion and vulnerability.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The colors, art direction and style of this film feels like an ode to fall. Or maybe it’s just the references to hunting. Doesn’t matter. It’s a Wes Anderson movie and it’s perfect.
When Harry Met Sally
This one gets on the list because most of it takes place in the autumn. BUT, it also deserves a spot because falling in love in the fall is so magical. You should try it sometime.
Big shock, another Wes Anderson movie. This is my blog after all, and new school years and fall are basically synonymous. So are cuteness and Jason Schwartzman.
Editor’s Note: You may remember Natalie from her post earlier this year about the books she loves to read over and over again. As school gets underway, I asked her to think of the books a teacher assigned that turned out to be personal favorites. Here’s her list.
All of us have had our share of bad book assignments for school. In my experience, the books assigned generally aren’t bad, but they just aren’t very good either. However, every once in a while, the exceptional book comes along. Suddenly, you don’t dread the thought of “read chapter 4 by Tuesday.” Reading assignments are finished before they’re due, and notes fill with details. I’ve had a handful of good books assigned by teachers; they have a variety of great qualities: funny, thought provoking, inspiring, exciting, and the like. The books listed below are from very different genres, but they are each enjoyable in different ways.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
A semi-autobiographical novel about a Native American teenager living on a reservation, this book doesn’t have a page that is boring to read. Fourteen year-old Junior tells the story of his family, friends, and school through an illustrated diary. The book leads the reader through life-changing situations with razor sharp wit and an excellent voice. You really feel like you are in Junior’s head. This book draws attention to important issues like poverty, bullying, and discrimination. It also reminds us not to forget the young people in our community, as they are just as affected by problems as everyone else.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury gives a fascinating and sometimes horrifying vision of the future in a series of short stories. The stories start in the year 1999 and continue into 2026. They depict the experiences of humans fleeing a dystopian Earth and its ignorant population. They go to Mars to escape from the troubles plaguing them on their home planet. I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable and fun to read because of Bradbury’s beautiful writing and use of imagery, his understandable characters, and the stories’ lessons about respect and appreciation for the unknown. What I found especially great about this book was Bradbury’s use of an inter-planetary setting to explore issues that are still prevalent in our world today. The problems remain the same from Earth to Mars, and they also are unchanged from 1950 to the our world of 2013.
Liz’s Pick: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I thought this book was so salacious when it was assigned in my eighth grade English class and the adult themes in this book about shame, guilt and the female body are as relevant today as ever. I’m also a huge fan of the film adaptions - but the book is a short and easy read that always delivers.
So what books did your teacher assign that you actually loved?
Post by Natalie El-Hai. Natalie enjoys science and all things theater. She spends her free time reading and snuggling with her cats. She will be a sophomore at Southwest High School this fall.
Weird how gaming can teach you so much about love. It’s a partnership to stay alive. May I be so bold as to suggest that this statement is applicable to both gaming and life? I think I will be.
Playing video games taught me a thing or two about relationships over the years:
1. Both players should be given a chance to take the lead.
2. Sometimes you must embrace being player 2, even if it does mean following your partner around for hours.
3. Saving the other player may present direct risk to oneself. The key is knowing when it’s worth it.
4. It’s rare for people to “level up” at the same time. Managing these evolving highs and lows is the key to winning.
5. Never turn your sword on your partner. Always remember who the real enemy is.
6. Trust is paramount. Sure, player 1 may be three screens ahead, but you’ll catch up eventually.
7. Rewards should be celebrated together, not independently. It’s a tandem victory and both players contributed to the outcome along the way.
8. It’s OK to screw around every once in a while. Taking your time to peruse a level is the equivalent of stopping and smelling the roses in life.
9. But don’t forget what your mutual goal is. Winning life isn’t everything… nope, I take that back. Winning life is everything.
10. If player 1 screws up, you must forgive. You’d want the same in return.
The Being Geek Chic team is all over the social medias. It’s annoying. But also exceedingly charming. I mean, how would you know that Adam made me that awesome birthday card as me as the Doctor with my man-panions if not for Instagram? Ok, Ok, so I just shared it here so that’s how you know, but you get the idea.
Chances are you are awesome. And we know we are awesome. So why not be awesome together. We’re always game to chat with our fellow fandom members online, so I thought I’d share the deets on each member of the team.
Liz: Chief Geek
Emma B: Lady Geek Interviewer
Emma C: Resident Foodie
Adam: Comic Book Connoisseur
Sophie: Alien Fashion Correspondent
Of course, we’d also love if you’d become a fan of the Being Geek Chic Facebook page. Because it’s better to like things than be out of the loop. Come talk to us! We’re all over the globe too, so if you’re in our cities, hit us up.
xo, the BGC team
I often feel I have to explain my existence as an internet filmmaker. Most people don’t get it. And then when you tell them it’s your job - well, it gets very, very confusing.
So let’s bust a couple myths: most of us don’t do feature length films. Sure, we would probably like to someday, but until then, we are all trying to reach millions in our own way. And yes there is a way to make a living from it. Most of the time, the film itself doesn’t make a ton. Maybe a couple hundred bucks off advertising within the player if you have 1 Million or more views. BUT, that doesn’t happen very often. For me, it’s how I attract clients who then hire me to make documentary shorts about their organization. And yes, it’s all legit. There are definitely a lot of people making internet videos for fun. BUT, there’s also just as many of us making internet videos for a living. That means we have to think about things like sound, good lighting and composition. We care about quality because we want people to see it.
Now that we’ve covered those bases, I’d like to introduce you to a couple people making truly incredible stuff who do all the things I just talked about:
The Planets is an ongoing web series by Andy Martin that takes viewers to a new planet each month. In each episode we are introduce to a new landscape, new characters, distinct problems or challenges - and we’re also treated to deft animation and gorgeous character execution. There’s nothing about this series I don’t love. Each piece stands on its own as a film, but together, they bring a planetary experience that makes you wish these creatures were real. If you fall in love with a specific planet, you can even buy a print from Andy’s shop.
Leigh is not a stranger around here. We featured here a few weeks back as one of the Lady Geeks of the Week, but since then, she has been absolutely churning out a regular hail storm of internet and geek culture critiques that are one point every. single. time. It’s truly impressive. If you are not a YouTube subscriber, you are really missing out.
Jonathan doesn’t have a regular set of shorts coming out right now, but his pieces are beautiful and one in particular, Requiem for Romance, features some truly gorgeous visuals. The execution is superb and the music breathtaking. What else could you want? You can check out his Vimeo channel here.
In trying to make a list of just three people, I’m realizingthis is an area of focus I need to spend more time on. So if you like it, let me know and I’ll be sure to write more posts on the amazing internet films I discover while trolling the internet at all hours. I also recommend ShortoftheWeek.com. Bookmark it!