Kajillionaire | The Way I See it | Ted Lasso

Pop Culture Weekly Round-Up

Hi there. My name is Gilby and every Friday I will share with you what I have been watching and listen to during the previous week. My expectation is that this newsletter will help you to find new films, TV shows, and songs to enjoy over the weekend.

Films

Kajillionaire

Kajillionaire is definitely not for everyone. This is both the weirdest and also one of the best films I’ve seen this year. 

Writer/director Miranda July created a very unique film that is surreal, awkward, very funny, but at the same time heartbreaking. She explores deeply troubling themes such as emotional abuse, loneliness, and poverty unpredictably and interestingly.

The film is well-paced, very well shot and edited, has a beautiful score, and is wonderfully acted. Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger are great but  Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez are both outstanding. They have such amazing chemistry.

If you are looking for an offbeat indie film to watch, Kajillionaire is your answer.

The Way I See it

The way I see it was screened at TIFF back in September and I was lucky enough to watch it when I attended the Festival. The film is based on Pete Souza's photography book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. Souza, who was the White House official photographer for the Barack Obama administration, captured historic and intimate moments inside the White House like no one had done before.

Pete is a brilliant photographer and President Obama gave him unrestricted access to document the 8 years of his presidency. The result of this combination is an amazing collection of images. The film also shows how important the role of the POTUS is and why an empathetic leadership really matters.

U.S. politics are none of my business and I understand that President Obama wasn't perfect. But he is so smart, thoughtful, charismatic, and cool. It is almost impossible not to love the guy. And this film only reinforces that. 

I’m really glad I decided to watch this at the Festival. The way I see it is a must-see documentary. 

TV Shows

Ted Lasso

This surprisingly fun show is about the small-time U.S. American Football coach, Ted Lasso. He is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

I was very skeptical when I first heard about this show. Because it was based on a comedy sketch created for an advertising campaign. The ad was very funny however, I couldn’t see that becoming a full season of a TV show.

Well, I was totally wrong. Ted Lasso is awesome! I don’t care about soccer or any other sports besides the NBA and I loved this show. It’s a good underdog story, so positive and warm. The writers used all the same old tropes and formulas from other sitcoms but the execution here is perfect. The whole cast is great but Jason Sudeikis really shines as the main character. Ted is witty and clever, but never a smartass. Just a naively optimistic.

Anyway, Ted Lasso won me over. I can't wait for season 2.

I May Destroy You 

I was so impressed with this show. At first, I had second thoughts about watching it due to the heavy nature of the topic. But I’m glad I did because this is a gem!

I May Destroy You can be raw, uncomfortable, and brutal but also strangely funny at times. The show is based on the real-life experience of writer/director/actress Michaela Coel. She stars as Arabella, a young woman dealing with the consequences of a sexual assault she suffered after having her drink spiked at a bar in London. The show is difficult to watch at times however, the layered and provocative storytelling makes it worthy. 

I May Destroy You is great, one of the best shows of the year. And Coel, which is super talented, might have helped some people dealing with the same kind of trauma she went through. 

Songs

Here are 5 songs that were on my heavy rotation this week. You can listen to them on Spotify or YouTube

1 - Goldfinger - Wallflower

2 - Beabadoobee - Care

3 - The Smashing Pumpkins - Ramona

4 - Nothing, Nowhere. (feat. KennyHoopla & JUDGE) - Blood

5 - Girlfriends - Jessica

I think I’m going through a 90s phase. I have been listening to The Smashing Pumpkins’ new album a lot. Also, this Goldfinger song reminds me of the good old days in the 90s when I tried skateboarding and failed miserably. Beabadoobee is a new artist but this song (this whole album actually) sounds very 90s. Nothing, Nowhere is one of my favorite musicians right now, and KennyHoopla’s “How I will rest in peace if I’m buried by a highway” is one of my favorite songs of the year. So needless to say I was excited when I heard they would work together. The result was a great song. Girlfriends “Jessica” is just so catchy. I just can’t stop listening to it.

Well, that’s it for this week. I spent the last few days re-watching all of David Fincher’s films and I’m planning to rank them next week to celebrate his upcoming film “Mank”. So stay tuned for that. See you next Friday.