Fun Gender Benders in the Making. (Not Really.)

April 4th, 2013 by Uri

Evil-deads

Tomorrow, the highly anticipated and much buzzed about remake of the horror cult movie The Evil Dead is being released; but this is not a mere remake, mind you, the film received a surprising gender twist, as Bruce Campbell and his distinctive brand of over acting have been replaced by Jane Levy.

And since tomorrow is also “Fun At Work Day“, what could be more fun than writing a post about how some films and TV series would look like if they’d undergo similar gender bending? Nothing can. So here is what we came up with:

Clueless

Teenage boys are usually portrayed looking for sex in any way imaginable (just think of American Pie and its predecessors). wouldn’t it be nice to see them all caught up in shopping and matchmaking instead of violating innocent pastries? If Jason Biggs had a young brother, it would be perfect.

Fight Club

An offbeat and dark humored satire might just be exactly what Angelina Jolie’s overly serious career needs. She could easily replace Brad Pitt in leading a group of social misfits beating each other for fun, or as a cure for soul crushing social decay. You can even call it “Girl, Disturbing”. The Twist? She’s really Anne Hathaway’s alter ego.

Girls

A series about four twentysomething buddies trying to figure out what being an adult really means may not sound like the most far reaching idea, but it will definitely be hard to imagine them confronting each other so lengthily without having things deteriorating to a fist fight.

Elementary

Sure, the are many films and TV series about male/female crime fighting duos. And yet even in the latest one about the prodigy private detective set in modern day New York, the creators only went half way and gave the gender twist to Watson, the uptight character, while reserving, as usual, the role of the brilliant yet unstable partner for a man. We think it’s time to go all the way and have a keen observing, drug taking clever detective lady with a male sidekick – Just switch between Lucy Liu and Johny Lee Miller.

Downton Abbey

Just imagine a series about an aristocratic family life in early 20th century England, with three brothers trying to find suitable brides while living under the watchful eye of their snobbish, ill tempered and witty grandfather.

Wait… is Ian McKellen available?

Mad Men

In order to put a good gender twist on this Emmy winning series, set in the 60′s, about an office run by womanizing bosses, we would have to place it in a parallel world. However, it would probably be worth it, if only for the chance to see John Hamm perform this French pop classic.

Anna Karenina

While director Joe Wright‘s best efforts focus on female protagonists, it would be interesting to see how he would have handled this tragic love story if its concern was an unhappily married man. Our guess: much less chances for a costume design Oscar. Or, even better, we can go the extra mile and make it a drag adaptation, starring Andrew Garfield, since we already know how he looks in a dress.

Arrow

Super heroines are not only extremely scarce, but when they do appear, it’s mostly as a part of an ensemble, and they are never really given a chance to develop or explore the darker side of their personalities. So, what could be better than a presumed dead billionaire heiress trying to right the wronged (preferably without a ridiculous voice over)..? Scarlett Johansson already played the black widow, so being the green arrow isn’t such a stretch.

New Girl

Roommates have always had comic potential, and having an ever optimistic, sometimes clueless young man living with three bantering best friends could definitely work. The only problem? Finding a female equivalent for the term “douchebag”. Michael Cera, are you in?

Evil Dead

While survival in the woods is a time honored horror theme, adding chainsaws to the mix, and putting them in a female lead’s hands is pretty rare; and although the scares and gore seem to be bountiful in this one, we’ll have to wait and see if it will reach the original’s cult status.

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The Jinni Mood Awards 2012

December 31st, 2012 by Barak

After last year’s huge success of the Jinni Mood/Movie/TV Awards (think Golden Globes and then multiply it by a thousand, then add the Oscars and multiply that by a million. Is it too soon for self-deprecation? I have to check with my superiors) we decided to make a tradition out of it and choose our award-winning titles for 2012. So, which was the roughest movie or TV series of 2012? Which was the most exciting?  No need to open any envelopes, you can just read below:

Atmospheric: Game of Thrones – When you watch Game of Thrones, you really enter the world of Game of Thrones. And it’s a world in which a Hobbit won’t survive for more than a minute. “Winter is coming” (it’s here already.)

Biting: 30 Rock – Feeling very self-confident, the show allowed itself to bite whoever it wanted.  Politicians, competing shows, and even NBC, the hand that feeds them – all were in the line of biting.

Bittersweet: The Giant Mechanical Man – this movie is about two lonely people who find each other. It’s one of the most goodhearted movies I’ve seen in a while. If you like charming and sensitive movies – watch it. If you’re a douche – don’t.

Bleak: Breaking Bad – Sometimes you just feel too darn happy. But fear not, there is a solution – all you need to do is watch Breaking Bad; the critically acclaimed feel-bad TV show was at its bleakest during the first half of the 5th and final season. I can’t wait for the 2nd half of the season to wipe that grin off my face.

Captivating: End of Watch – I consider it to be the best movie of the year. It’s fascinating; there isn’t one dull moment in it. It’s not always easy to watch, there are some very harsh scenes, but if you have the stomach and the tissues for it, this movie is a must-see for you.

Clever: Argo – This is no less a sharp satire about Hollywood than it is a suspenseful spy thriller, even more I guess. What makes it a great movie despite its tonal shifts is that it remains extremely clever throughout its entire length.

Contemplative: Blackthorn – This western is beautifully shot, the Bolivian locations in which the movie takes place are unbelievable. Straying very far from Michael Bay territory, this gem of a movie is basically about a person (an older Butch Cassidy) reflecting about his own life. I know it sounds boring, but it isn’t. And if you think so, maybe you are.


Cynical: A Touch of Cloth – Can the guy (the genius, the king) who wrote Black Mirror come up with something that doesn’t have a cynical world view? Probably not; A Touch of Cloth is Charlie Brooker‘s spoof of more or less every cop crime drama ever made and it shows complete contempt towards every accepted standard of such shows.

Disturbing: Dexter – Fans of the show don’t really find this glimpse into the mind of a psychopath disturbing anymore. What they do find disturbing is the suggested romance (siblings with benefits, is that a thing?) between Dexter and his step sister. Maybe the sister is the only one with the forbidden crush, but it’s disturbing nonetheless. The bad writing that is.

Emotional: House M.D – Dr. Gregory House was the most fascinating, complex, well written character ever seen on TV. I think that more than a few people would agree with me. The final season of the hit series was probably its most emotional one. The only thing that prevented me from crying was/is that I’m a man.


Exciting: The Expendables 2 – This movie was a blast. Explosions, cheesy lines, completely over the top action; what can be more exciting than that?

Feel Good: New Girl – An upbeat and optimistic series with eccentric characters and a charming Zooey Deschanel (although not half as charming as Aubrey Plaza. See below).

Gloomy: This is England 88′ – After the movie This is England and the series This is England 86′ came This is England 88′ which dealt with more or less the same issues from the previous 2 entries – people whose lives are pretty shitty. Leave some room on you TV screens for some more sad faces, because This is England 90′ is coming up in 2013!

Humorous: Parks and Recreation – With every passing season this series just becomes funnier and funnier. April (Aubrey Plaza – marry me today. Is 7:30 good for you?) and Andy are the best onscreen couple by far, and Ron Swanson is just the best. The picture below says everything; and also nothing.


Offbeat: Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson is more or less synonymous with the terms offbeat and quirky, and Moonrise Kingdom doesn’t ruin that reputation for the director.

Mind Bending: The Booth at the End – A mysterious man sits at a booth at the end of a diner. People come to him because they heard he has a gift and can solve their problems. But there’s a price… All is very mysterious in Hulu’s 1st original series that leaves you wondering.

Rough: Dredd – The movie takes place in a rough and tough world, in which Judge Dredd serves some very rough justice. You don’t have to go all the way to Indonesia in order to find this year’s best action film. Dredd is similar to The Raid only way better and in English, not that the dialogue is important.

Scary: Cabin in the Woods – This movie was extreme in every sense. I expected something light when I heard it was a horror comedy, but it’s much more shocking than it is light. It’s a funny and disturbing film, but first and foremost – a scary one.

Sentimental: Big Miracle – A nice old fashioned movie, with likable characters; especially the whales. It’s a pleasant film and although sentimental, you don’t overdose on its sentimentality.


Sexual: Californication – Season 5 continued being groundbreaking in terms of onscreen boobs and sex (I only watch the show for its wit and dark humor though.)

Sexy: Magic City – Starz’ attempt at making a “Boardwalk Empire meets Mad Men” type of show failed in many aspects, maybe in all aspects but one. It’s obviously not nearly as smart or captivating as the other two, but it’s definitely sexier. It’s like soft-core porn made for fans of periodic reconstruction.

Sincere: Louie – Usually when we describe a movie or a show as sincere we mean a certain kind of a drama. We rarely describe a comedy as sincere, but Louie is just so open and revealing that you get a sense that he’s showing you the real him. I believe him.

Stylized: The Man with the Iron Fists – I’ll start by saying that there’s nothing good about violence. Usually people get hurt when there’s violence involved. But when it’s in the movies, and it’s so over the top, extremely gory and super stylized then it’s just great.

Suspenseful: Sherlock – Each 90-minute mystery leaves you absolutely breathless. Not only the setting, but also the pace was adapted to fit the 21st century and the result is a masterfully suspenseful series.

Tense: Homeland – This paranoid psychological thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to guess what will be the next plot twist.  Many critics say that the first half of the second season was much better than the second one. They could have been right if it wasn’t for that amazing episode that concluded the season. Homeland is must-see TV.


Thought Provoking: Game Change – This movie made me think about something that made be both happy and sad at the same time (I’m hoping more sad than happy): being especially smart is not a requirement for a person who wants to go far in life. Not at all; dumb people – the world is yours to take!

Touching: Trouble with the Curve – The movie itself is definitely touching, but what gives the movie this Mood Award is the fact that it was the last time we will see the legendary Clint Eastwood acting. And that’s even more emotional than it is touching.

Uplifting: Intouchables – You can’t remain cynical when it comes to this movie. It will definitely raise your spirits, at least for its duration + 1 hour; maybe 1 month, or year if you’re lucky.

Witty: 21 Jump Street – Don’t let the fact that it’s incredibly silly confuse you – 21 Jump Street enjoys a quick and smart dialogue with some brilliant tongue-in-cheek moments. Unlike many other movies, and people, 21 Jump Street is very self-aware.

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Emmys 2012 – from Fame to Fail

September 24th, 2012 by Barak

The Emmy Awards winners have been announced and I am absolutely outraged by the results. Jon Cryer wins best comic actor for the lousy Two and a Half Men?! Julia Luis-Dreyfus wins best comic actress for the equally lousy Veep?! Aren’t you supposed to present that award to someone who was actually funny? Here are this year’s picks and our take on them:

Drama

Best Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire – When it was publicly known that Scorsese was making a TV series for HBO, it was obvious that it was going to win a lot of awards. But they will still have to wait at least until next year to win in this category.

Breaking Bad – Season 4 brought Breaking Bad to a near status of a modern classic and masterpiece. The conflict between Walt and Gus brought the very best out of both of them. The 4th season had some scenes that will definitely stay with the show’s viewers for a very long time. The first 8 episodes of the 5th season maintained the quality of the 4th season. After getting used to losing to Mad Men every year, this time it was Homeland who defeated them in the Best Drama Series category.

Downton Abbey – This complex and clever period drama, which deals with social classes in early 20th century Britain, is quite different from the rest of its competitors, but still deserved to be here.

Game of Thrones – Adam Scott from the brilliant Parks and Recreation described it best: “Game of Thrones tells human stories in a fantasy world” (and it manages to do it all while using the traditional HBO trademarks of female nudity and bursts of violence.) Unfortunately for them, they competed with Homeland.

Homeland - This excellent paranoid psychological thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat, trying to guess what the next plot twist will be. You can cut the tension with a bomb, and that’s why the Emmy decision makers decided to go with Homeland as this year’s winner.

Mad Men – Apart from solid acting and wonderful set and costume designs, I have to be blasphemous and say that Mad Men is the weakest show between the 6 nominated in this category. I’m pleased it’s unjust reign of wins in this category (4 years in a row) came to an end.

Best Dramatic Actor

Steve Buscemi2 years in a row, Nucky Thompson gets nominated. And loses… If I were one of the guys who make the decisions at the Emmy’s I’d start being very afraid.

Hugh Bonneville – Even among the great cast of Downton Abbey, Bonneville manages to stand out. He doesn’t demonstrate the best acting skills of all these nominees, but his character is definitely the nicest.

Bryan Cranston – After 3 wins over the last 5 years, Bryan Cranston shouldn’t feel too disappointed for returning home empty handed.

Michael C. HallDexter’s last season was probably its worst, so Michael C. Hall didn’t deserve the award this time, he did deserve it a few years back though. Hugh Laurie did 8 seasons of House and didn’t get an Emmy for his terrific acting; I hope they won’t repeat their injustice with Dexter and Michael C. Hall.

Jon Hamm – I know that 90% of the population (all the women and 80% of the men) think Jon Hamm is great, and that the character he portrays, Don Draper, is one of the most fascinating characters ever. I think he’s pompous and boring (at least the character he plays is.)

Damian Lewis – Is Damien Lewis going to be the next Bryan Cranston? Both of them won after only 1 season of their shows, will Lewis also complete 3 consecutive wins? We’ll have to wait two more years to find out…

Best Dramatic Actress

Kathy Bates Harry’s Law is a terrible show. Maybe even worse than Two and a Half Men!

Glenn Close – I’ll start by saying that Glenn Close is always great; she’s one of the best actresses alive. Damages was intriguing for a season or two but then it really became tiresome; even she can’t save this amazingly confusing series.

Claire Danes – Clearly there was no competition for Claire, her portrayal of a troubled CIA agent is nothing less than mesmerizing. At least the Emmys got it right in this category.

Michelle Dockery – Another fantastic Briton from Downton Abbey, who could have won, if she wasn’t running against Claire Danes in her role of a lifetime.

Julianna Margulies – She’s consistently good in the consistently good The Good Wife, but she’s not the best of the category.

Elisabeth Moss – We saw her character come of age, from a naïve and weak young woman she became a strong woman with principles. It would be interesting to see where the upcoming seasons will take her.

Comedy

Best Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory – Sorry, I really don’t get it. Many people love this show, I agree it’s nice and occasionally funny, but why does such a mediocre sitcom earn so many Emmy nominations?! Louie should have been nominated instead (1).

Girls – More similar to Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture (which showcased a bunch of obnoxious and self-involved twentysomethings) than to Judd Apatow’s (who produces this show) previous work; it also borrows a little bit from Sex and the City which is obviously not a positive thing. Louie should have been nominated instead (2).

Veep - We hoped it would be a clever, witty and most importantly hilarious political satire. What we got instead was a silly (stupid would be a more appropriate word) series that doesn’t offer many laughs (if any) and shouldn’t have been nominated. Louie should have been nominated instead (3).

30 Rock – The show keeps being funny, it already has more award trophies on its cabinet than Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan put together, so I guess it’s okay it didn’t win anything this time around.

Modern Family –The winner of this category is a very good show with moments of brilliance, but a bit overrated. The show dominates awards shows, especially the Emmys – it’s good, but not that good…

Curb Your Enthusiasm – After quite a long hiatus, came a great season with some unforgettable episodes (Palestinian Chicken!), which was more deserving to win in this category.

Best Comic Actor

Alec Baldwin – He’s won more than once in the past, but still would have been a much better choice than Jon Cryer (1).

Don Cheadle – I don’t know if Cheadle’s attempt to imitate Hank Moody (David Duchovny’s character from Californication) is worthy of an Emmy nomination, but still would have been a much better choice than Jon Cryer (2).

Louis C.K – The only thing that could have saved the Emmys from the shameful exclusion of the best comedy series today, Louie, was to give the award for Best Comic Actor to Louis C.K. They failed to do even that. Where’s your sense of humor??

Jon Cryer – What the hell were they thinking giving him the award?! Two and a Half Men is a below average sitcom, nobody there should even be invited to major award ceremonies.

Larry David –After 8 seasons of the brilliant show Curb Your Enthusiasm, it should be about time for Larry David to get his Best Comic Actor award… I guess there’s always next year.

Jim Parsons – It’s astonishing that he won 2 consecutive Emmy Awards, when he shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place! Still, he would have been a much better choice than Jon Cryer (3).

Best Comic Actress

Zooey Deschanel – You can love her and you can hate her, but if you hate her, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Lena Dunham – She’s been called the voice of a generation; they said she’s uncompromising and brutally honest… I say she’s obnoxious and not particularly funny.

Edie FalcoNurse Jackie is much more dramatic than comic, so this isn’t the category Falco should have been nominated in…

Tina Fey – Along with Zooey Deschanel and Amy Poehler she was the most worthy candidate in this category.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – By choosing her as the winner in this category I need no further proof that The Emmys suck! Just to emphasize how bad I think Veep is, I’ll say that even The Old Adventures of New Christine is better than Veep.

Melissa McCarthyMike and Molly is a sweet sitcom, but not Emmys material.

Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation is fantastic, and Poehler is great there. The only bad thing I can say about her is that she’s not even among the 3 funniest characters in this show (Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt‘s characters are all funnier.)

TV Movie/Mini Series

American Horror Story – Since it’s not a TV movie or a mini-series, I don’t know why it’s even nominated in this category… But the opening credits alone are enough to scare you, so you’re actually scared before you even start watching the show.

Game Change –This HBO TV movie was really good and deserved the win, Julianne Moore did a fantastic job in her portrayal of Sarah Palin (although Palin herself, who was portrayed as an imbecile, would probably disagree.)

Hemingway & Gellhorn - This HBO TV movie was a huge disappointment – it dealt with the fascinating characters in its title, and had an impressive cast that included Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, but it was too long and poorly done.

Hatfields & McCoys - The History Channel’s Western mini-series that starred Kevin Costner was extremely long, but also extremely captivating and intense.

Luther –A worthy candidate, this detective series is one of the best shows shown on BBC America, and might have deserved the win a bit more than Game Change.

Sherlock –If Sherlock’s complete 2nd season would have been nominated as a mini-series, it could have been the winner, but since only the 1st episode of the 2nd season received a nomination as a TV movie (once again, the logic of the Emmys baffles me) it’s understandable that it didn’t.

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The TV Seasons they are a-Changin’

May 10th, 2012 by Barak

Nearing the end of the TV spring season and looking forward to the summer season, we have mixed feelings of disappointment and hope. We had high hopes for some of the new series that came out this spring but they were all more or less disappointing. In this bittersweet post we’ll mention the 5 spring TV shows that disappointed us the most and the 6 upcoming summer shows we are most looking forward to (that’s one “hope” more than “disappointments” to show you that we’re positive and optimistic in nature). First the bitter part, the 5 shows that left us demanding a refund on the precious time we lost watching them (although, to my surprise, none of them were cancelled so far):

5. Missing

Missing promised to be just like Taken, only on a smaller screen and with Ashley Judd instead of Liam Neeson (huge difference as we soon discovered). Unfortunately, it lacked the fast and exciting pace of Taken, including its suspenseful action scenes and everything else that made Taken what it was (a very good action film in comparison to the boring Missing.)

4. NYC 22

Produced by Robert De Niro and with a nice ensemble cast that included Leelee Sobieski and Adam Goldberg, NYC 22 is about rookie cops working the streets of New York. It tries to be as realistic as possible and was done in the spirit of Detroit 187, Southland and The Chicago Code, but sadly it’s not nearly as good as either of those shows.

3. Veep
We hoped it would be a clever, witty and most importantly hilarious political satire. What we got instead was a silly (stupid would be a more appropriate word) series that doesn’t offer many laughs (if any). The actors and writers of Veep think it’s fresh and edgy, but the biggest compliment this series deserves is that it’s sporadically mildly amusing.

2. Magic City
Just like in other Starz productions like Spartacus and Boss, Magic City enjoys a generous amount of female nudity combined with some splashes of violence. It tries to imitate Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men but it isn’t nearly as good as the two. Magic City can be proud of an almost impossible achievement – it manages to be boring despite the violence and the nudity.

1. Girls
HBO’s comedy drama is produced by the king of comedy Judd Apatow, and Lena Dunham is the star and the writer/creator of the show. Sadly, it’s much more similar to Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture (which showcased a bunch of obnoxious and self-involved twentysomethings) than to Apatow’s previous works; it also borrows a little bit from Sex and the City which is obviously not a positive thing.

And now to the sweet part, 6 upcoming new shows we’re looking forward to:

6. Common Law
Warren Kole and Michael Ealy star in this humorous USA network series about two police detective partners who can’t stand each other, and get an order from their commander to go see a couple’s therapist. The trailer for this series, premiering May 11th, suggests that they are in fact the craziest misfit partners since Lorena and John Bobbitt.

5. Longmire
Some dare call it the new Justified, which means it will definitely be worth checking out. This new series by the A&E network (premiering June 3rd) is based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson and will revolve around a Wyoming sheriff, his family and his friends.

4. Moone Boy
Rising star Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) and comedy great Steve Coogan will star in Sky’s new comedy coming out this May. The series will take place in 80′s Ireland and will focus on a little boy and his imaginary friend (played by O’Dowd). The show will also include animated segments and will have a unique visual style.

3. Sinbad
Sky’s production Sinbad promises to be an epic adventure fantasy series. Elliot Knight and Naveen Andrews will star in this 12 part exciting sea escapade. The show’s creators are calling it a combination between Doctor Who and The Prince of Persia. It’s going to be great even if they’re only half right.

2. Copper
The first original series by BBC America is set in 1860 New York and follows a tough Irish cop working the tough streets of New York. Tom Fontana is the series creator and with Oz and Homicide: Life on the Street on his resume, he will probably get this one right to.

1. The Newsroom
There are at least three reasons that immediately come to mind for why it’s gonna be a great series: 1. Aaron Sorkin created it. 2. The series is written by Aaron Sorkin. 3. Aaron Sorkin. Beside these reasons, The Newsroom will also enjoy a terrific cast: Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, Sam Waterson and Dev Patel. As the title more or less suggests, it’s going to be a media version of The West Wing – the series will follow a cable news anchor, his producer and the rest of the staff as they go about their business of delivering the news to the public, while also juggling their own personal issues.

Other shows that might turn out to be worth something: Hatfields & McCoys (The History Channel’s Western mini-series starring Kevin Costner), Anger Management (based on the Adam Sandler movie and starring Charlie Sheen), Political Animals (Starring Sigourney Weaver) and Dallas. (Dallas?!)

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Workers on the Screen Unite!

May 1st, 2012 by Ran

labor-day-723999

International Workers’ Day celebrates the importance of the simple worker in the grand scheme of economic things. It’s a day of solidarity that commemorates the massacre of workers on strike by the police in Chicago back in 1886. The uprising of the “commoners” workforce, and the subsequent creation of labor unions, gave the common worker some power over his all all-too-powerful boss and a chance to claim his rights. But with power comes… the abuse of it. Where labor unions are the strongest, you will find much corruption and decay, while in industries that lack it, you will find a lot of injustice and exploitation. The ideal lies, as usual, somewhere in the middle, in the cooperation between management and workforce. Hopefully this day will make us think about the workers rights within a workplace, along with their responsibilities. So here are some titles I chose that demonstrate the different facets of the workplace and the different workplace situations we all face on a daily basis:

The Working Class

1. The Navigators (2001) – I will start with the cinematic champion of the working class – Ken Loach. This is maybe not his best film, but it might be the one that is most dedicated to the worker and his or her plight. The story is about railway maintenance workers and how they deal with the process of privatization. Loach’s signature Realism is the style that best fits the simple worker.

2. High Hopes (1988) – The runner up to Ken Loach’s dedication to (or obsession with) the working class is Mike Leigh. His style is more humorous and witty than that of Loach’s but that does not hinder the strength of his films. This is a story of a working class family and their different choices and views on life, work and such. But Leigh does not focus on the workplace alone, he also shows the philosophical struggles of a Socialist in a Capitalist world.

Unemployment

3. The Town is Quiet (2001)Robert Guediguian is sort of the French equivalent of Ken Loach, and most of his films depict the plight of the working class in France. Marseille is the backdrop of this bleak drama, showing all angles of the lives led by different people in this disintegrating port city – from unemployment and immigrants, to mostly overlooked people, who struggle to survive. It’s disturbing but well worth watching.

Boss and Employee

4. Mad Men (2007 – ) – The goings-on at an up and coming advertising agency during the 60s in America is the backdrop of this surprise hit TV series. We get to see how social changes affect the change in the workplace, especially in regards to the women’s rights movement, their recognition by men, and their chances at having a career.

5. Fear and Trembling (2003) – A woman’s dream to work in Japan comes true, but quickly becomes a nightmare. The working culture clash and the strictness of her employers produce moments that are both hilarious and harrowing at the same time, which is quite an achievement. The wonderful Sylvie Testud stars in this comedy that believe it or not, is based on a true story.

Labor Unions

6. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) – Capitalism has two ways of dealing with labor unions – the first is looking for places where there is no such thing, and the second is using all its power to bust unions and deter other people of unionizing. Here we see both methods, as the biggest corporation in the world uses exploited Chinese workers on one hand and spies on its own workers on the other. This is an eye-opening documentary that also offers a glimmer of hope.

7. On the Waterfront (1954) – Young Marlon Brando stars in this classic film about an ex-boxer fighting corrupt and violent unions in the port of New Jersey. Elia Kazan directed this Oscar winning movie, supposedly as response to those who accused him of naming names of former Communist party members. Regardless of his motives, this is a powerful movie, that is based on a series of articles featured in The New York Sun.

Workplace Problems

8. Enlightened (2010 – )Laura Dern created and stars in this offbeat comedy. After suffering a nervous breakdown and going away to a new-agey retreat, a 40 year old woman comes back to her old work and life trying to start over, and this time make things better. Needless to say things don’t really go her way. She gets demoted to a job she finds boring and is not qualified for, and the corporate world doesn’t sit well with what she soaked up in her retreat.

Workplace Romance

9. Read My Lips (2001)Jacques Audiard, who rose to fame with A Prophet in 2009, tells this story of an unlikely relationship. An uptight and frustrated deaf woman (Emmanuelle Devos), who is bullied and feels like an outcast at her work, meets a brutish ex-convict (Vincent Cassel) who is trying to start his new life. He is not really qualified for the job, but she recognizes how he can be helpful to her. The partnership of misfits is portrayed beautifully by the two leads, and the tensions between them creates a complex and surprising thriller.

The Family Business

10. Arrested Development (2003 – ) – The dysfunctional Bluth family is coming back, after a six year hiatus. Work is the last thing on most of those unlovable and unloving family members’ minds, with the exception of Michael, who tries to keep the family and the company together amidst investigations of corruption, fraud and even treason. You really feel that someone (Mitchell Hurwitz) took the ‘how to make a sitcom’ guidebook, threw it out of the window, and made his own thing. The result is one of the funniest comedies ever made. And now it’s back!!!

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