June 23

A Man Called Ove (2015) Comedy-drama. English subtitles.

Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2017.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPoaN2XROk8

Stream free with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

Image Credit: Joel Gordon. Untitled, from the Nexus series, n.d. Gelatin silver print

This film had us thinking about our neighbors. How well do you know the people who live next to you? Do you get along? Joel Gordon’s Untitled photograph depicts intergenerational family members or perhaps neighbors. The two women occupy the same building but the artist does not provide many clues to make their relationship explicit. The photograph does capture, however, the theme of observation and paying attention to the actions of those in one’s immediate surroundings. In the film, the actions of neighbors can be, in turns, comic, frustrating and poignant.