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ELandICExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close is the story of a boy who has lost his father. His father dies suddenly, violently and senselesly in the horror that was 911.

The film is an intensely personal journey of one boy who seeks to understand what happened to his father and to makes sense of that which is senseless. The story surrounds a key that the young boy finds in his father's closet after his death. The young boy believes that if he can solve the msytery of the key, he will somehow come closer to his lost father.

So begins his journey, to find answers to that which cannot be answered.

The film features Tom Hanks as the boy's father and a wonderfully understated performance by Sandra Bullock as his mother.

Thomas Horn is terrific in the film's lead role playing Oskar Schell.

The film offer us a wonderful journey as we follow Oskar in his quest to solve the mysery of the key and ultimately put his life back together.

insidejob1The winner of this year’s Academy award in the documentary feature category was “Inside Job”, a narrative and critical review of the financial meltdown of 2008.

Inside Job lays out the mechanics of money flow between the various financial entities and instruments. This is the most important aspect of the film. The true nature of how this whole mess came to pass makes it clear that the financial meltdown was an inevitable conclusion to what banks, investment firms, rating agencies and government bodies had created. The system was doomed,  it had to fail.

Was the meltdown an accident? It was about as accidental as a locomotive hitting a semi at full speed as the engineer lay in a crack induced stupor on the floor of the cab.

The financial corporations involved had created a toxic financial stew from a combination of fraudulent loan practices,  manufactured investments, fictional ratings and derivatives worthy of a drunken gambler, all completely ignored in a void of government regulation and oversight. In this financial climate, success was not an option.

A little more than two years down the road, things must have improved?

Not really.

Certainly, there had to be many charged with crimes?

No one went to jail.

Of course we must now have more government regulation and oversight?

Wrong again.

Are the foxes still in charge of the hen-house?

Yes, they most certainly are.

exitthrougthegiftshop-300x166Exit Through the Gift Shop – A Banksy film is a fascinating, at times surreal, view of the culture of street artists and their followers.

The film introduces us to Thierry Guetta, a transplanted Frenchman living in LA, who owns a  business that imports cheap knock-off  merchandise for sale in his shop. We are shown Mr. Guetta’s obsession with video. He starts out videoing the rather mundane details of his own life and then becomes inexplicably obsessed with street artists and prowls the streets at night to record their activities.

As Guetta becomes more engaged in the activities of street artists he discovers the most compelling mystery of all. Banksy, the most legendary and increasingly commercial street artist, is the mystery. Who is Banksy? His true identity is known only to a few. Guetta begins a quest to meet and film the elusive Banksy.

Mr. Guetta does succeed in his quest and becomes so enamored of Banksy and the avocation of street art, he decides to put down his camera and become an artist himself.

Guetta re-brands himself as “Mr. Brainwash” and begins a commercial enterprise to sell his “art” at public exhibitions. The impossible result is that he is spectacularly successful!

Thoughtful viewers may wish to attempt to decide if the film is a straight up documentary or has been manufactured by Banksy to thumb his nose at those who commercialize his counter-culture creations.

No matter which side of the debate you lean towards, the film is fascinating and entertaining. It garnered an Academy award nomination and deservedly so.