I've been watching some good films recently. Two I especially liked.
Goodbye Solo starts in Winston-Salem and ends up at Blowing Rock. Both settings, as well as the taxi in between, are very familiar. The characters could easily be people I've met.
Tulpan is set in a steppe in Kazakhstan. The desert and dust devils mostly reminded me of Mars. Particularly of this amazing shot taken by the Spirit rover.
Still, I felt so much more at home in Tulpan. Kept pausing it to check out how the family had their yurt set up and furnished, and watched their very real-seeming life unfold, right down to the lambing scene. While Solo took the very familiar, and confounded expectations and biases at every step.
They're both fine films, from directors I want to see more of. I've seen Ramin Bahrani's work before Solo, and especially liked Man Push Cart. Don't know if I will ever find any of Sergei Dvortsevoy's earlier films.