Take Care of my Cat is a Korean coming of age movie, which means it centers on students who graduate high school and begin their lives. The setting for the story is Inchon (site of Operation Chromite), about 20 miles from Seoul. The tone of the film is meloncholy and sad, as the world of school crumbles as new friends, new lives, and new careers intrude.
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst should be watched with The Weather Underground, which I reviewed three years ago. The 1970s were seriously, seriously, crazy. The Hearst family was so willing to give into demands that state prosecutors threatened to charge them with being accessories. At the same time, the Symbionese Liberation Army disintegrates as its leader is killed into a rogue band of thugs. No “darwinian ratchet” here!
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession is the clunker of this set of movies. It’s not actually bad, just not particularly interesting. It is almost a documentary about movie culture in Los Angeles in the 1970s. It is almost a documentary about arthouse movies. It is almost a documentary about the Z Channel itself. Instead it revolves around Jerry Harvey, Z’s programming chief and a generally unpleasant fellow.
This Divided State, made for less than $50,000, is a documentary about the controversy surrounding a visit by Michael Moore to Utah Valley State College immediately before the 2004 Presidential Election. Now that most of the issues of the 2004 election are moot, this film is best viewed as a study of the internal divisions of both the pro-Moore and anti-Moore factions.
Mean Creek is an American coming of age story, which means it centers on a group of middle and high school kids. It is good. Take the story elements of The Body / Stand By Me, but them in a blender, make the characters more realistic, and you have Mean Creek. The main conflict comes from a hot-headed, stupid, but well meaning older brother trying to protect his sibling from a socially blind, learning disabled, but well meaning high school bully.