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I’m back! And this post is very happy to see you returning too–it told me so itself…

Well jeez, its been a while. And in the time since my last post, I’ve had a terrific lot of experiences, and discovered so many stories. This is why I’ve decided to shake things up a bit–instead of my usual essay style (I hope I didn’t freak you out with that stressful word), I’ll be posting in all sorts of different formats!

Today, I start with all these new stories I’ve seen in the cinema and at home: a prescription of unique and wonderful films for every mood and ailment you might find yourself experiencing. Here goes nothing…

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For those adventurous days 

Dog Food–written & directed by Brian Crano

Musical accompaniment for this prescription: The Puppy Song by Harry Nilsson

This short film conquered the indie world last year with screenings at 24 film festivals around the world. Hot damn! Dog Food packs 18 minutes and 18 seconds with suspense, honesty, and some curious questions about human kindness…Its a subtle yet stunning example of good story-telling, with an interesting visual palette and a whole lot to say. The small, talented cast heartily commits to the deceptively simple tale of an idealistic young man and his lost puppy.

Minimal is a word I could use to describe this one, but that would betray the incredibly taut quality that Crano and his crew draw out under that quiet surface. There is nothing small about pulling the strings of your heart tenser with every second. Watch this when you’re feeling courageous and want something a little different.

Make note: you can find this one for free on Youtube!

Check out the trailer.

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For those sad and blue days 

Paddington–written by Paul King & Hamish McColl, based on Michael Bond’s book series, directed by Paul King

Musical accompaniment for this prescription: London is the Place for Me by D-Lime

At some point, most of us stop enjoying a kids’ movie–they become silly, simple, or patronizing. This is not that movie. Paddington is a gleaming British gem, the moving and hilarious adaptation of the children’s classic book series. Marvelously designed, impeccably shot and edited, it is as sweet and colorful as the marmalade its hero scarfs down in paw-fuls.

A young but impeccably well-mannered bear attempts to find a new home in London, and has many thrilling and laugh-out-loud adventures along the road to family. Simple, but not basic. Though the film never talks down to its viewers, its message is clear: no matter where one comes from, everyone can feel a little different sometimes, and everyone can be loved for those differences. I think it’s that heart of the story that makes this film accessible to every age. That and the indelible, irrepressible spirit of that adorable little bear. An underdog tale with inventive direction and a familiar cast of British acting vets, this one will brighten your darkest moods with infectious joy.

Check out the trailer.

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For your inspirational ruts

Chef– written and directed by Jon Favreau

Musical accompaniment for this prescription: Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poindexter

Star auteur Jon Favreau took cooking classes from a master chef throughout this film’s shoot, and it’s that kind of earnest and passionate dedication that makes a low-budget love story resonate with honesty. The love in this case is between a father and son, the titular Favreau in a charmingly deadpan role and his little dude, a sweet and brilliant curly-topped kid. When dad is fired from chef-ing after standing up for creative freedom, his much-neglected family relationships get a delicious revival via the fateful appearance of a food truck in their lives.

Star-studded cameos and supporting cast delight and only further prove the irresistible nature of this little movie that could. An infectiously bouncy Latin soundtrack keeps the color and flavor flowing as much as the mouth-watering dishes littering the screen. Watch this film when you need an inspirational boost–let yourself fall in love with the passion, the imagination, and the deep, unbreakable love for food and family. Whatever your creative calling, you’ll see it reflected in the glowing eyes of Favreau, Anthony, and a hilarious John Leguizamo, and you might just feel an awakening to do your best at whatever you love. Best taken with a meal.

 Check out the trailer.

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