My bi-annual (or is it semi-annual?) er every other year or so update to my project to determine whether the future has arrived yet (by checking if all films from a pretty famous actor are available one way or another) is now done. And I got a bigger batch of films than usual: Caprice (1986) … Continue reading Tilda Swinton Project Update 2023 Redux
So, I was looking for Das offene Universum, a movie from 1990 (featuring Tilda Swinton) that hasn’t been available for decades. But suddenly it’s on Vimeo! But you have to pay to watch it, so I create an account and buy it. And look! Download link! I like that! Of course, clicking that cloud symbol … Continue reading The Weirdness of Vimeo
Right! OK, an explanation before we get started: Almost a decade ago, I started a blog project to look at the brave new world of movie availability: It was the heyday of Netflix and people were going “oooh, ah, you can watch every movie now”. And I was rather sceptical, because… well, just because. But … Continue reading TSP2021: The Souvenir Part II
A couple years ago, I watched all the movies on the Sight & Sound 2012 Director’s Poll Top 100, and that was a lot of fun — lots of great movies I hadn’t seen before, and lots of stuff I hadn’t seen in a long time. But then there was a new poll in 2022, … Continue reading Officially the Best Reloaded Redux
I forgot to do this movie in this blog series! I saw this movie a couple years ago. So Chris Marker has two films on the directors’ Top 100 now? Isn’t that all his movies? Anyway, this is an amazing movie that shouldn’t work (it a series of still images with voice over) but totally … Continue reading OTB#34: La jetée
This is it — the final new entry on the directors’ Top 100 — and it’s at #4. (On the critics’ list, it was #1.) It’s a controversial film, because it’s over three hours long, and there isn’t much dialogue — instead we’re watching Delphine Seyrig doing stuff with longer takes than is normal. I … Continue reading OTB#4: Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
I’ve seen this movie several times before, and it’s not new on this year’s Top 100 (it was the only movie directed by a woman on the 2012 list — at #91). But I’ve got at 2K restoration recently, so I’m watching the movie again. In a recent interview with Alice Diop in Sight & … Continue reading OTB#14: Beau Travail
I’ve watched this before, of course — last time three years ago. And this movie isn’t new on the Top 100 (it jumped from #75 to #22, though). But I’m re-watching this anyway, because Studiodigital (I think) has done a new 4K restoration, and Criterion has released the bluray. More pixels! More bandwidth! More mystery! … Continue reading OTB#22: Mulholland Dr.
Man that’s how you start a movie! Fight the Power by Public Enemy and a slamming dance routine! I have not seen this movie since it was released (and I was 21), but I remember being all excited about it (and disappointed with almost every subsequent Spike Lee movie). (Hm… that’s like 34 years ago… … Continue reading OTB#29: Do The Right Thing
I watched this back in 2015, but now I’ve got a 2K version of it, so I’m watching it again. So this starts with a dead woman, and is being presented as an investigation into her life and how she ended up in that ditch. Varda is more known for her documentaries these days than … Continue reading OTB#41: Sans toit ni loi
Futura! I’ve seen this movie randomly like a handful of times — the last time was perhaps four years ago? So… I’m not super enthusiastic about watching it again now. I mean, it’s a movie that has a lot of amusing scenes and some great performances, but it’s one of those satire¹ films with a … Continue reading OTB#46: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
I watched this a few years ago. I was thinking about rewatching it for this blog series, but I should probably wait a bit more before rewatching it? So I’m not. Anyway, it’s an amazing movie, so the odd thing here is that it hasn’t featured on the Sight & Sound directors’ list before. But … Continue reading OTB#53: Eraserhead
That’s some logo! “Uhm hm uhm uhm” You’d think after a lifetime of watching Italian movies I’d be used to the Italian approach to sound — i.e., not recording it, but adding it in post-production. But I’m not! Every time I watch an (old) Italian movie, it comes as a fresh shock. Well, almost — … Continue reading OTB#53: La notte
OK, strap in! It’s Bergman time! I watched this movie five years ago, and it’s not new on the 2022 list — it was #16 then, and now it’s fallen down to #53. But Criterion has released a nice blu ray collection… which includes the TV series version! So I’m taking this opportunity to watch … Continue reading OTB#53: Fanny & Alexander
What? This is in colour? But but *phew* I thought I was watching the wrong movie… I saw this one a few years back, but I’m rewatching it now because Criterion published a fabulous Agnès Varda bluray box set — apparently with all her movies? I’m looking forward to watching them all after I’m done … Continue reading OTB#53: Cléo de 5 a 7
I remember I was quite excited to watch this film when it was new. Campion had done two pretty good things before this — Sweetie and An Angel at My Table (which led me to Janet Frame’s novels and poetry, which I liked a lot). And then I watched this film and I was all… … Continue reading OTB#53: The Piano
Hey, that’s the wrong aspect ratio… That’s better… but not perfect. The film is 1.85:1, so it’s been cut down to 16:9. So this version is missing some small bits from the left and right edges? This is one of the few new movies on the Top 100 list that’s only available on DVD. And … Continue reading OTB#62: Tropical Malady
I think I saw some Tarr movies back in the 90s, but if so, I don’t remember any specifics. But I have seen two of his movies recentlyish — The Man From London, which was OK, and Werchmeister Harmonies, which seemed to me like a parody of Eastern European art movies. So I’m not really … Continue reading OTB#62: Sátántangó
There are very few shorts on the Top 100 — this time around, even Un chien andalou is out (it was barely hanging on in 2012). I haven’t gone through the 2022 list, but the only other shorts I see while doing a quick skim is La Jetée (by Chris Marker)… Man with a Movie … Continue reading OTB#62: Meshes of the Afternoon
Hey, that’s those two from all the other Ozu movies! I recently learned that one of the reasons for the distinctive look of Ozu’s movies is the camera rig above — with it, he films the actors actually sitting on the floor (as is natural) without any trickery, as building up the set or something. … Continue reading OTB#62: Late Spring
Oh yeah — I’ve seen one of Martel’s later movies, La mujer sin cabeza. Which is great. I wonder whether Martel is a Herzog fan — this movie has a high (animal) body count. For the first scene, they apparently pushed a cow down into a swamp, let some dogs nip at it, and let … Continue reading OTB#62: La Ciénaga
I wasn’t going to do this movie, because I watched it a couple years ago, and apparently no bluray version has been released. (The one I saw was on DVD.) But I was idly googling, and it turns out that it’s available on der torrentzes in a 2K version! So that’s what I’m watching, arr. … Continue reading OTB#72: News From Home
Yum…? Anyway, I wasn’t really impressed with Yang’s other movie on this list, Yi Yi. But this one is four hours long, so it has to be awesome, right? They seem to have many different age groups in the same class…? Or is it just odd casting and they’re all supposed to be the same … Continue reading OTB#72: Brighter Summer Day
This is the final (of three) new Iranian films on the Top 100. And, I mean, Iran is a cultural powerhouse in the area, so that’s probably fair and all, but it’s also kinda amusing that people have (apparently) been trying to diversify from US/Europe/Japan, and all going “hey, Iran exists!” This is not a … Continue reading OTB#72: Where Is The Friend’s House?
I watched this fab movie some years ago. Touki Bouki. Djibril Diop Mambéty. 1973. ⚄ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.
I’ve blogged about this movie before, and it’s not a new entry on the 2022 directors’ list, so I shouldn’t be re-watching it now, really. But I’ve gotten a newly restored 2K version here, so eh why not. Bergman has four films on the 2022 top 100, which ties him with Coppola and Bresson for … Continue reading OTB#72: The Seventh Seal
I watched this movie some years ago. The Red Shoes . Michael Powell. 1948. ⚃ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.
Huh. Is that how they spell 1940 in Spain? So, this is a movie about watching movies? It’s a very, very popular genre among directors (Cinema Paradiso etc etc). No, that was a fake-out… doesn’t seem to be about that at all… I was going to say that this seemed like an outlier among the … Continue reading OTB#72: The Spirit of the Beehive
I watched this movie last year. The Ascent. Larisa Shepitko. 1977. ⚃ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.
Hey! It’s a Kurosawa movie without samurais? Hm! I’m wondering whether I’ve seen anything like this before… Yeah, like No Regrets For Our Youth. Which wasn’t particularly good. I read a tweet the other day that panned some well-liked movie and there was a reply from somebody that said something like “it takes a lot … Continue reading OTB#72: Ikiru
Huh… that looks odd. Has this movie been cropped? Nope; that’s 1.85:1. Oh, I’ve seen this before! But it must have been a long long time ago. Perhaps on a VHS in the early 80s? Heh, did Coppola start featuring Frederic Forrest this early? He cast him as leading man in the first couple of … Continue reading OTB#72: The Conversation
This Bergman movie wasn’t on the previous directors’ Top 100, but it was on the critics’ list. And it was a pretty glaring omission, so it’s nice that it’s on the 2022 list. I’ve blogged about this movie before, but I got a 2K version, so I’m gonna rewatch it. I haven’t seen this movie … Continue reading OTB#72: Wild Strawberries
Hey! An Iranian movie that isn’t by Kiarostami? IS THAT EVEN LEGAL This is the tensest movie ever! So, this is a movie about a divorce, and those movies have certain patterns that they follow. This movie says “fuck that” and does something completely different. Every single scene has been a surprise (and a… er… … Continue reading OTB#72: A Separation
Heh heh. Funded by Gucci? Well, the Éric Rohmer box set I have was financed by Agnés B… actually, it’s not that surprising that fashion houses fund film restoration, is it? Art’s arty. I have not seen anything by Barbara Loden before, and I don’t know anything about her, but the start of this movie … Continue reading OTB#93: Wanda
I watched this movie a couple of years ago. It’s pretty good, but I think a major factor of it being on the list is because it’s from 2019. Huh, the Mad Max: Furry Road director voted for this? Hm, I guess I can see that… Here’s his list: That is a very, very quirky … Continue reading OTB#93: Parasite
I’ve seen this movie before, but I apparently didn’t blog about it then, so now I have to watch it again. *sob* Let that be a lesson to you all! Err err err OK, I don’t actually remember anything about this movie, except I remember I thought that it sucked — I remember feeling that … Continue reading OTB#93: Moonlight
I watched this and blogged about it a couple years ago. The Colour of Pomegranates. Sergei Parajanov. 1969. ⚄ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.
This is an extremely pre-Grindr movie, I guess. This is both deeply creepy and incredibly tense. This is an utterly original movie, and beautifully made — with (I’m guessing) very limited resources. Perhaps that explains the extremely non-Hollywood slant of the directors that voted for this: But I’m not sure that it’s an altogether successful … Continue reading OTB#93: Taste of Cherry
I watched this movie some years ago. I’m a bit surprised at how many “recent” films there are on the list. That is, in 2012, there was a whole bunch of movies from the 70s, which I assumed reflected the age of the directors. So I was expecting this list to have a whole bunch … Continue reading OTB#93: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I haven’t seen any movies by Andrew Yang before… The Sight & Sound poll has been criticised before for only including American, European, Japanese and Hong Kong movies before, so here they take a wild step into the unknown: Taiwan! It looks like we’re solidly in the mainstream of the “best of” genre, though: It’s … Continue reading OTB#93: Yi Yi
A couple years back, I watched all the top 100 movies on the 2012 Sight & Sound Directors’ Poll, and that was a lot of fun. Last year, a decade had passed and Sight & Sound did a new poll. And as usual in these polls, there was a whole lot of new movies in … Continue reading Officially the Best Reloaded
There seems to be an uptick in the number of articles about just how hard it is to watch movies these days? The story usually starts with the writer lethargically scrolling through the offerings on Netflix or HBO Max, either finding nothing that they want to see (in the Netflix case) or finding stuff that … Continue reading Watching Movies
Left to my own devices, I’d just be watching science fiction movies and Bringing Up Baby. I find picking out films to watch (from my wall of unseen movies) being a somewhat annoying task — “which one of these stone cold quality films am I going to watch tonight?” — because there’s no particular urgency … Continue reading Criterion Eclipse Redux
This is it! The final movie in this Criterion Eclipse blog series. Once again, this Mizoguchi film veers towards kitsch, and I’m not sure why anybody would hail these films as, well, anything to er hail. Is it just because of the exoticism? That seems crass, so I’m sure not, but it’s hard to see … Continue reading Eclipse 1956: 赤線地帯
This is a depressing, brutal movie, and I can’t imagine why the American censors didn’t stop it at the time. Again, as with Sisters of the Gion, Mizoguchi is making a film about how prostitution sucks. In that film, it sucked because men are assholes (but the women should have known that, is my reading). … Continue reading Eclipse 1948: 夜の女たち
Oh, I forgot to write anything here… it’s mostly because this is kinda really uninspiring. It’s a very straightforward story — there’s almost nothing here. But I can see why it was a success — it’s a nice little tragedy. Osaka Elegy. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1936. This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.
The final Criterion Eclipse box set! The end is nigh! So only four more posts to go in this blog series. This is kinda fun — virtually all other Japanese films I’ve seen in this blog series has cinematography that’s so composed, one way or another. With Ozu everything is tidy and symmetrical, and Naruse … Continue reading Eclipse 1936: 祇園の姉妹
The Japanese kept on making silent movies for way longer than was reasonable… but this is the final one on the Criterion Eclipse box sets. I mean, in a way it’s nice — some male Japanese actors have a tendency to grunt a lot and talk way below their natural ranges, which is annoying to … Continue reading Eclipse 1934: 限りなき舗道
This film is marred with many technical problems (much like the first Naruse film, but not the subsequent ones). Like that first film, most of the cuts is followed by a judder, which makes things rather unpleasant to watch. A new issue seems to be that they’ve apparently fired the focus puller — a number … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: 君と別れて
I really enjoyed Rossellini’s Blaise Pascal, and I really disliked his Medici, and this one was made between those two — so what’s it going to be like? So this one is about Descartes… and it seems more like the Blaise Pascal film. In this scene, they’ve put Descartes before the horse. Very odd makeup … Continue reading Eclipse 1974: Cartesius
Why haven’t those devices (for holding chilled water bags on foreheads) taken off all over the world? Anyway, I’m having a hard time getting into this movie. There’s scens that are really fun (especially involving those sailors), but the main plot (about an out-of-work father and a geisha mother) just isn’t all that interesting. The … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: 夜ごとの夢
So this is another one of these made-for-TV historical things Rossellini was doing? The first one, L’età di Cosimo de Medici, was horrible. This looks a lot less something you’d punish school children with as homework for a history class and more like an actual movie. The acting style is an odd hybrid — it’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1972: Blaise Pascal
As with several early Japanese films on the Eclipse box sets, this is more than a bit unrestored. Some scenes are extremely noisy. Practical to have the baby in a backpack. This is most amusing. Flunky, Work Hard!. Mikio Naruse. 1932. This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.
OK, two box sets to go… this is the first film on the Silent Naruse set. And it is, indeed, silent. (Well, except for the soundtrack.) The cinematography and editing on this is insane for a movie from 1931. Each shot lasts, like, two seconds, and most are much shorter. And whenever there’s something longer, … Continue reading Eclipse 1931: 生さぬ仲
So political! This is pretty odd structurally, in that it doesn’t really seem to have any structure. Instead it moves from scene to scene in a way that feels true to life (and it was apparently based on a real-life woman pilot). It’s interesting… and it’s amusing… but it’s not really gripping? It’s a movie … Continue reading Eclipse 1944: La ciel est à vous
Oooh! An evil… American? He’s so evil! OK, now he’s getting his comeuppance! Judo power to the rescue! Wow. Wow. I didn’t know that it was possible for a Kurosawa movie to get a rating this low on imdb! Anyway, this was made in the last days of WWII, and is set in the late … Continue reading Eclipse 1945: 續姿三四郎
This blog series is winding down soon — I think I’m on schedule to watch the final movie early next week. And then I can finally watch something else! (Yes, I know, I know.) Again with the blind masseurs — was this filmed back-to-back with the previous movie, The Masseurs and a Woman? I think … Continue reading Eclipse 1941: 簪
The first movie on the Shimizu was unrestored and barely watchable. The second looked very nice indeed, and was kinda brilliant. This one looks rather dodgy? Perhaps there’s a correlation between whether somebody’s found it worth their time to restore a film and how memorable it is, because it doesn’t really look promising either way. … Continue reading Eclipse 1938: 按摩と女
OK, I’m getting confused now. Ozu uses the same actors in film after film (which isn’t unusual), but he also sets the films in very similar sets — often reusing the same offices and homes when shooting, apparently. So I’m finding myself going “oh, she’s the daughter of… oh, was that this film or the … Continue reading Eclipse 1961: 小早川家の秋
To celebrate Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles winning the 2022 #1 spot for Longest Film Title Ever, I’m finally watching this thing, which is four and a half hours long. Unless I ditch it, of course. Ah: The Age of the Medici, originally released in Italy as L’età di Cosimo de Medici … Continue reading Eclipse 1972: L’età di Cosimo de Medici
A couple years ago, I watched all the movies on the Sight & Sound Directors’ Poll. Now there’s a new one out (they do this once a decade), so I thought it might be interesting to see what’s changed. Most people write about the Critics’ Poll, because critics are the ones writing about films, naturally. … Continue reading The 2022 Sight & Sound Directors’ Poll
This is a very odd movie. I guess it’s a romance? It’s set in a hotel right next to a mine, so we’ve got a desolate hotel with almost no guests, booms in the night, and a cast of hotel employees out of Comedy Central Casting. It’s great! Ooh! Mysterious stranger! Tournesols! Exactly! This is … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: Lumière d’été
Heh, this is called Arigatō-san because there’s a bus driver that says arigatō so everybody he passes? Anyway, I had a hard time watching the previous Shimizu film in this box set just because of technical issues with film stability (OK, it made me nauseous), but this looks fine… I’m enjoying this a lot already … Continue reading Eclipse 1936: 有りがたうさん
This starts off with half an hour of plot recaps… but I guess that means that this is gonna be a samurai movie instead of another of the disastrous wartime propaganda movies of Kurusawa. I think this may be a comedy? Ah, right. This is an er 12th century tale about samurais and stuff, but … Continue reading Eclipse 1945: 虎の尾を踏む男達
This starts off like many of these late Ozu films — with a bunch of guys around a table talking about nothing much in particular… So what’s it going to be about this time? Is it the same group of men as in the previous movie? I mean, Ozu uses the same troupe of actors … Continue reading Eclipse 1960: 秋日和
Huh. This Grémillon box set is also set during the occupation. I’ve somehow saved a whole bunch of box sets filmed during WWII in Japan and France for the end of this blog series (we’ve got about 10% to go until it’s done). I didn’t do this consciously, so I guess it’s just a coinkidink. … Continue reading Eclipse 1941: Remorques
Oh, this is a silent movie… Uhm… there’s an audio track here with very vigorous pianner music… but perhaps I should listen to something else to avoid going insane. But what! OK, I’m putting on …and the Ambulance Died In His Arms by Coil. The Eclipse sets usually aren’t restored films — they’re supposed to … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: 港の日本娘
That’s just not true! I’m very productive and my character is the worst. Kurosawa’s previous wartime movie avoided dealing with the war at all by being all samurai and stuff. But this looks like it’s going to be a straightforward wartime effort propaganda movie? She almost organised a strike, because they increased the men’s workload … Continue reading Eclipse 1944: 一番美しく
So this is a mockumentary? So this is a parody of older Yugoslavian movies? It’s kinda gruesome as parodies go, since it seems like it has actual documentary footage from WWII? I mean, it’s amusing, but it’s not “ha ha” funny…? I guess that’s “satire” for you. OK, this film is just an excuse to … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Nevinost bez zaštite
It’s weird seeing oldee-tymey looking Japanese people in colour, finally. I mean, contemporary from the 1950s… I’m digging this movie — it’s kinda languid and relaxed… And funny. I mean, so far. I’m guessing there’s gonna be some drama later, but I’m confident it won’t be too stressful. Somehow the framing and sets here remind … Continue reading Eclipse 1958: 彼岸花
This is the first DVD on the Early Kurosawa box set. Here’s my most controversial opinion ever: Kurosawa’s just not that good, eh? So I’m actually kinda excited about seeing these movies, because he’s certainly got something going on, and perhaps it wasn’t all covered in schmaltz when he was young? Let’s find out. This … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: 姿三四郎
This is much better than Makavejev’s previous movie, which was rather overwrought — it seemed like he wanted to have everything in there. This is much more relaxed; perhaps he realised that he could make more than one movie before the state came down on him or something. Was Makavejev religious? I think I detect … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: Ljubavni slučaj ili tragedija službenice P.T.T.
Ozu is mixing it up! This character is placed mid-shot as usual, but he’s not staring into the camera! He’s looking slightly to the left of the camera!!1! OZU IS INNOVATING! Oh, right, hi, welcome back to the Late Ozu Box Set Live Blogging Experience. I think Ozu has the most movies in the Criterion … Continue reading Eclipse 1957: 東京暮色
Wow, this is a snappy film. After watching so many slow French and Japanese movies, it’s overwhelming. Makavejev’s name seems extremely familiar — I feel like I should know who he is, but I don’t, really. Very chaotic. This movie looks great. The shakycam is a bit hard on my stomach, though. It’s an uneven … Continue reading Eclipse 1965: Čovek nije ptica
This is most drôle. Ghosts and romance. Hang on… Is that a young Jacques Tati? It’s even got a ghost dog! This started off really well, with lots of zip and pep. It’s still amusing, but it’s gotten a bit bogged down? We’ve been introduced to three fake ghosts and one real, and several other … Continue reading Eclipse 1946: Sylvie et le Fantôme
Ozu’s Tokyo Story is officially the best movie ever (you don’t get more official than the director’s poll at Sight and Sound). Well, at least it was in 2012 — in a week we’ll find out what the new winner is. This is the first film on the Late Ozu box set, but it’s not … Continue reading Eclipse 1956: 早春
This is really good — razor sharp characters, fantastic set design, and a promising storyline. Uhm uhm… this isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. I mean, it’s a nice movie and all, and I like the languorous pacing, but it’s just not that interesting? There’s the most hilarious review of this on imdb: If … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: Douce
OK, so we’re now in 1946, and Keisuke Kinoshita is working under American censors now instead of the Japanese ones from two years earlier. It turns out that the Japanese were the villains all along! His previous movie, Army, was brilliant, so I went into this with high hopes (which, of course, one shouldn’t do). … Continue reading Eclipse 1946: 大曾根家の朝
Yes, this is another Japanese wartime movie. The previous two films in this box set have been pretty dire, but perhaps this will be more interesting, now that the war isn’t going as well as in 1942… Yes indeed. Oh, but we start off in Olden Times… Is this gonna be about how the Japanese … Continue reading Eclipse 1944: 陸軍
*cough* *cough* I’ve got a cold, but perhaps watching some more movies from the Eclipse Criterion collection is the answer… I started this box set (made in Occupied France) a while ago, but then er got busy with other things, and I don’t remember the first movie at all. This looks quite amusing — it’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1942: Lettres d’amour
I was watching a box set of WWII movies from Japan, but I couldn’t finish two of the movies, because they were just too brutally… er… bad. So I’m switching it up completely! And starting on the box set of movies from… er… Occupied France in 1942. Totally different! Autant-Lara was hot shit during WWII … Continue reading Eclipse 1942: La mariage de Chiffon
I thought this box of war-time movies would be more… er… distinct? But it’s like the main requirement of the censors is that the movies should be as boring as inhumanely possible. I mean, some of this may not be from gummint requirements, but just from crushing filming conditions — many of these scenes just … Continue reading Eclipse 1944: 歓呼の町
This looks extremely unrestored, even as these movies go. It’s got these weird artefact-looking shadows that almost look VHS-like, but surely that can’t be the case here. Nah. Kinoshita’s previous movie was really enjoyable, even if it devolved into a very patriotic movie towards the end. This looks shoddily made (even if it has more … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: 生きてゐる孫六
I’ve seen plenty of post-WWII Japanese movies — but this is from 1943, in the middle of the war. It possible I’ve seen no Japanese war-time films before? Well, this Criterion Eclipse box set should fix that, because it’s got approx. five of them. This is slightly vague about when it’s set — but it … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: 花咲く港
This looks exactly like Ray’s previous movie, and that one was… pretty bad. After two pretty bad movies from Ray, this is actually pretty good. It’s something that could have been done as a stage play — most of it happens in a couple of rooms — but feels so natural this way, because it’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1991: আগন্তুক
Oh, this is a version of the Ibsen play. Which I haven’t seen in a long while. I’m guessing Ray didn’t have huge resources to do films at this point? So Ray is following the plot of the play pretty closely… or at least what I remember of it. OK, I don’t think they were … Continue reading Eclipse 1989: গণশত্রু
So this has a pretty high imdb rating… but only 1.7K votes… And the majority of those votes are from India. I mean, from outside the US. So this is basically a movie that’s nobody’s watched in a while, and the only people who’ve watched it are in India. I mean, outside the US. But … Continue reading Eclipse 1984: ঘরে-বাইরে
Now that’s some matte painting. Wow: Harpo Marx was originally signed to play Androcles, and after the first five weeks of shooting, Pascal was thrilled with the results; but Howard Hughes, who had seen Young on TV, hired him for the lead, and Harpo was replaced. How utterly weird. Not wow: When it opened in … Continue reading Eclipse 1952: Androcles and the Lion
Wow. Selznick got second billing. This is quite odd. I mean, it looks like a filmed stage show and a hugely expensive movie spectacle at the same time. It’s a weird thing to watch. I guess it’s all MDF and matte painting? And Vivian Leigh is playing Cleopatra as a 12 year old girl (or … Continue reading Eclipse 1945: Caesar and Cleopatra
This is an unusual Eclipse box set — it’s three movies based on George Bernard Shaw’s plays. I think this is the only box set that’s focused on a writer? Oh, Shaw and director Pascal collaborated of four films. This first one, Pygmalion, is the one people’s seen (but not as much as My Fair … Continue reading Eclipse 1941: Major Barbara
I forgot to watch this when I watched all the other films in the Pearls of the Czech New Wave box set, but Emacs reminded me. This is very stylish. And I’m guessing very symbolic and stuff? Is that handsy guy supposed to symbolise the Russians? I can smell symbolism going on. Or are the … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: O slavnosti a hostech
This is kinda brilliant? And so weird. It’s about Samoan gangs in LA. OH MY GOD! This is where Cabaret Voltaire sampled that whole long speech from! *gasp* Heh, the video is just bits from this film! Man it’s so weird when you’ve listened to an album half your life and then finally stumble on … Continue reading Eclipse 1992: My Crasy Life
Everybody lives in fear of the dentist, surely. After a series of Kurosawa duds, this starts off in a pretty interesting way, at least. I mean, it’s not original or anything, but it’s got some interesting flourishes. Good old-man acting! Anyway, this is really good — it’s about fambly (FAMBLY!) and fear of the H-Bomb … Continue reading Eclipse 1955: 生きものの記録
This is the kind of documentary that could be a lot of fun — it’s a filmmaker drilling down into a group of people being really passionate about something. But… Gorin just doesn’t seem that interested, really? And I can see why; it’s really hard to see how you could find anything interesting here. It’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1986: Routine Pleasures
Oh, this is the Fyodor novel… And it’s three hours long aaaaa Err… that’s a lot of exposition… … and it just goes on and on. And now there’s a voiceover offering more exposition! Aha! It was originally intended to be a two-part film with a running time of 265 minutes. After a single, poorly … Continue reading Eclipse 1951: 白痴
Philistine time: I remember Kurosawa being hot shit back in the 80s, what with spectacles like Ran being shown in theatres all over the world, and nominated for all the Oscars and everything. Yes, sure, he’d been hot shit before that, too, but that was when I became aware of him. And… as a teenager, … Continue reading Eclipse 1950: 醜聞 スキャンダル
This is fascinating. I have no idea whether this is a real documentary or not — it’s bizarre — but it’s a fascinating movie in any case. It’s a heartbreaking movie. Poto and Cabengo. Jean-Pierre Gorin. 1979. This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.
But it isn’t: the best non-Italian neorealist film I’ve come across This has nothing in common with neorealist filmmaking except being about poor people. Instead it’s a riff on Capra — and it’s a pretty good one? OK, it gets less Capra-ish after a while. There’s strong scenes in here, but the movie as a … Continue reading Eclipse 1947: 素晴らしき日曜日
Hm. This is from 1946? I guess I’m surprised that this is so… that this is didactically explaining that the previous Japanese gummint were cads and scoundrels and that the Japanese invasion in Manchuria was a crime. I mean, was that something that would be a hug box office draw in Japan, a year after … Continue reading Eclipse 1946: わが青春に悔なし
Is that true today, I wonder? (Substitute billionaire.) Well, that’s an original way to start one of these movies — with Rembrandt well established, rich and surrounded by fans. Most amiable. Laughton is wonderful in this. His mannerisms are so precise and fit with the character he’s playing perfectly. And also fits the movie — … Continue reading Eclipse 1936: Rembrandt
Oops — I’m watching the movies on this Alexander Korda box set out of sequence, because this movie, the direct follow-up to The Private Life of Henry VIII, wasn’t directed by Korda himself. (He only produced it.) But both this and The Private Life of Don Juan were released in 1934, so I’m not that … Continue reading Eclipse 1934: The Rise of Catherine the Great
Oh… Henri Bataille, not Georges Bataille. So I guess that after the success of the Henry VIII movie, Korda wanted to keep the money rolling in by doing another movie also called “The Private Life of…”, but this time with another sexual rapscallion. (Because that’s how he portrayed Henry, and not as a homicidal lunatic.) … Continue reading Eclipse 1934: The Private Life of Don Juan
Oh, this is by Alexander Korda… I watched a bunch of films earlier in this blog series by Zoltan Korda, who I’m assuming is Alexander’s brother? But this is an oldee English costumey drama. OK, they’re not going for historical verisimilitude what with the comically large grind stone and all. Oh, I’m always confused when … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: The Private Life of Henry VIII
This is cheery. And really good. Could this be a Kobayashi movie that doesn’t suck? *crosses fingers* I’m watching this and my brain is like “this is kinda good innit?” and then yet another ridiculous scene happens. Kobayashi is trying so hard to make a movie with an intriguingly complex plot, and mostly succeeds? Like … Continue reading Eclipse 1962: からみ合い
This is the final movie on the Louis Malle box set (which is, I think, the second-largest Eclipse box set after the first one, which was all of Bergman’s early movies). Malle’s earlier documentaries have been pretty hit or miss, but they all felt very organic? This one doesn’t. The previous ones have been, like, … Continue reading Eclipse 1986: … and the pursuit of happiness
Hey, it’s been a couple of weeks since I watched a movie from Criterion’s Eclipse series, and it’s mostly been because I haven’t really been impressed with either of the two box sets I’m watching: The Louis Malle one had one fantastic movie, and then the rest have been, to use a technical term, “ehh”. … Continue reading Eclipse 1957: 黒い河
So in the 70s, PBS wanted Malle to do a documentary, and he semi-randomly landed at Glencoe, Minnesota. But there was no budget to edit it, so it languished until 1985. Nine churches, 5K people. Perhaps not the ideal stache for a town with 80% German-ancestry population. It’s a slightly odd documentary — I mean, … Continue reading Eclipse 1985: God’s Country
I really disliked the first Kobayashi movie on this Criterion Eclipse box set, but at least it was earnest. This… is a movie about baseball and baseball scouts? OK, it’s a critical movie about baseball scouts… This is brutally tedious. The cinematography is OK — the shots generally look nice — but it’s just so … Continue reading Eclipse 1956: あなた買います
Huh. This is about Japanese war criminals in prisons run by Americans? So we’re supposed to be sympathetic to the Japanese, I think? Because the American guards are portrayed as being kinda uncouth. Not much couth on display. And whenever an “American” talks we get some side titles. Most of them don’t sound like they … Continue reading Eclipse 1956: 壁あつき部屋
This is supposed to be the last really hot day for the summer here (or something), so I thought I’d mix up a batch of batida de mango and then watch six hours about India, as one does. This is a documentary TV series Malle and his crewed filmed over some months in India and … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: L’inde fantome
Nice Technicolor. This is a fascinating mix of shots that look almost real and shots that look so unreal you think they’re aiming for a kind of hyper-reality. Was is all shot in a back lot in Putney? So evil! Sabu! This is very entertaining and beautifully shot (with no regards for naturalism). But I … Continue reading Eclipse 1942: Jungle Book
It’s been so long since I watched an Eclipse movie! This is another film from the Malle box set — a documentary about Calcutta? So these are just random things you might see if you’re in Calcutta and have a movie camera? Malle used a purely observant camera in Humain, Trop Humain to great success, … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Calcutta
OK, I’m on a new laptop… let’s hope this blogging/screenshot thing works from this thing, too. Oh, yeah — this is that box set about that actor. The Colonial superiors. Those beards look really real! Oooo! Are they carrying on up that pass? Man, the enlisted men look younger every year. This looks oddly like … Continue reading Eclipse 1938: The Drum
Oh, this box set — “Sabu!” — is a collection of movies featuring this guy (later seen in Black Narcissus etc). And this is his first movie. Man, that’s a big elephant. Oh my god! These filmmakers are insane!!!! (No babies were squished during the making of this movie, I hope, but…) See? Very large … Continue reading Eclipse 1937: Elephant Boy
Oooh! Is that the Evil Corporate Guy? He always looks like this. That’s a nice sweater. As with all the other Ozu movies, this looks really good. And the plot is a more engaging than his other two crime dramas in this box set. I think? OK, I’ve lost track of what the plot is. … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: 非常線の女n
This is very 70s. I mean, in a good way. It’s apparently a totally random documentary thing where they spent a couple of weeks in one specific place in Paris and interviewed people walking by. I love all these people, but Malle and his team seem to go after the more… “interesting”… people. I don’t … Continue reading Eclipse 1974: Place de la République
This is utterly fascinating. It’s a documentary from a car factory? There’s no commentary track or sound be, so we have to just sit here and look at people assembling cars. Oh, they’re assembling the wiring harness for the car? Ooo. Of course, this wouldn’t be that fascinating if it hadn’t been for the amazing … Continue reading Eclipse 1974: Humain, trop humain
Oh, this is a documentary about that bicycle thing? Louis Malle, Louis Malle… It’s such a familiar name, but I can’t quite remember… he’s done a bunch of movies I’ve seen, right? Aaah! My Dinner with Andre. Of course. But I think that’s basically the only movie of his I’ve seen? Oh, and Au revoir … Continue reading Eclipse 1974: Vive le Tour!
OK, I’m slightly drunk, but I have no idea what this movie is about. It started off with a robbery, but now I’m lost. The bag-of-presumably-cold-water-or-ice-hanging-on-a-string treatment for fever never really took off outside of Japan, did it? It does sound nice, though. I like bits of this, but… it’s really not that interesting? It … Continue reading Eclipse 1930: その夜の妻
This is one of seven movies Ozu made in 1930. It seemed like 35% of all Japanese men looked exactly like this — that stache, those glasses, that hairdo, that collar, that tie — before WWII (according to movies), and then 0% afterwards? It’s a very distinctive look, signifying upper class functionary, I guess? I.e., … Continue reading Eclipse 1930: 朗かに歩め
Oh, right — this is the sequel to Matarazzo previous movie, so first we get reacquainted with the characters. Aww. This is so over the top. This is a pretty weird movie. I mean, it doesn’t even make a stab at having an existence as a separate entity: It’s basically “and then what happened to … Continue reading Eclipse 1955: L’angelo bianco
Hey, that’s the wrong aspect ratio for the screenshots… There, that’s better. So weird — with the gpu-next renderer in mpv, the image looks fine on the screen, but the screenshot is in the wrong aspect ratio… Aww. I can see why this was a box office smash at the time — it’s so shamelessly … Continue reading Eclipse 1951: I figli di nessuno
Right, the chipmunk guy is back. As usual with these Nikkatsu movies, it’s quite stylish and well made, with sometimes inventive cinematography and slightly off-kilter plots. But again, it’s just not a very gripping movie, and it’s hard to keep your mind from wandering. I mean, it’s hard for me to keep your… er… It’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: 拳銃は俺のパスポート
It’s been weeks since the last time I had a change to watch a movie (I think)? Where was I… oh, yeah, in the middle of the Nikkatsu Noir box set. This one doesn’t start off in a promising manner — it kinda looks like a pastiche of American movies of the late 40s? But … Continue reading Eclipse 1964: 拳銃残酷物語
Well, the Matarazzo flick I saw the other day was kinda insanely entertaining. So I’m getting my hopes up way too high for this one, which has virtually no viewers. So this is one of those really lost movies in the Criterion Eclipse series. Oh, she’s back from the previous movie. Cool. And that guy … Continue reading Eclipse 1950: Tormento
This is very stylish. This is all well and good, but the movie doesn’t quite feel fully baked. It’s like they had a couple of ideas, and a crew that kicks ass, and then they went out filming. That is, every scene looks great, but it’s hard to keep being interested? This movie looks so … Continue reading Eclipse 1960: ‘十三号待避線’より その護送車を狙え
This is very cute. It’s like an anti-neorealism movie? But not quite? It’s a melodrama, and it’s fun. The first half of this movie was amazeballs great. But then… it really drags? It picks up again at the end, with a totally over-the-top court scene. Fantastic. Chains. Raffaello Matarazzo. 1949. This blog post is part … Continue reading Eclipse 1949: Catene
Wow, this is super noir. The opening sequence was brutal. This was one of the biggest box office hits in Japan that year… and I just don’t get it. I mean, it looks good and the actors are engaging, but it’s just so choppy. The plot (what there is of it) is rather unengaging… It’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1958: 錆びたナイフ
Oo, this is by Koreyoshi Kurahara — and I already saw his Eclipse box set (and it was (intermittently) fantastic). This is a different box set (Nikkatsu Noir), and an earlier movie, but I’m excited. This is perfect — you’ve got the mysterious woman, and the helpful restaurant owner guy — it’s the Platonic Ideal … Continue reading Eclipse 1957: 俺は待ってるぜ
The Shepitko movie I saw the other day was really something odd and interesting. So I’m excited to watch this one, but… it’s a war movie? OK, even more topical. This starts off great… a bunch of soldiers/guerrillas in the forest, fleeing the Germans? Or something? I heard the word “partisans” being used. Aha: The … Continue reading Eclipse 1977: Восхождение
This is very Sam Fuller. I just read the liner notes on this DVD — this was Fuller’s final movie for B-movie producer Robert Lippert. It was a ten day shoot, and was such a hit that Fuller was snatched up by Fox and the big times. Yeah, it’s a band of misfits. This movie … Continue reading Eclipse 1951: The Steel Helmet
Love those chairs. Anyway, this is a Soviet movie made by an Ukrainian director. Unexpectedly current affairs relevant! For once, I read the liner notes on the DVD before starting to watch it, and… perhaps I shouldn’t. Because they seemed to say that this was gonna be on par with a Tarkovski movie, and… So … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: Крылья
But not well! Vincent Price! I would never have guessed that this was a Sam Fuller movie. It’s so… staid? At least so far. We’ve got a cumbersome framing device where one of these guys is telling the story, and he also provides a voiceover. Neither seems necessary? Such subtle. So passion. I’m finding this … Continue reading Eclipse 1950: The Baron of Arizona
This is the final movie on the silent family comedy Ozu box set. And since it’s silent, I’m playing disco bangers while watching it. “You know why your hand has five fingers? If it only had four, your glove would have one extra.” There’s jokes here. Anyway, this is a very amiable movie… it’s not … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: 出来ごころ
This is a box set of three early Sam Fuller movies, and as such is an outlier in the Eclipse series — the films are mostly Japanese and French things where Janus Films had distribution rights. And it’s odd that Criterion wouldn’t just release these movies as part of their regular series. I mean, Fuller’s … Continue reading Eclipse 1949: I Shot Jesse James
The previous Ozu movie was fantastic, and once again, the Eclipse DVD comes without any soundtrack. So I’m listening to reggae bangers. Various: Harmony, Melody & Style (1) This is really good… I have no idea where this is headed. Is it just gonna be about these kids? This movie has the best featured review … Continue reading Eclipse 1932: 大人の見る絵本
This is very, very unrestored. And silent. I mean, totally — there’s not even any music. So I listened to banging house music while watching this. Ozu had made several dozens of movies before this (churning out half a dozen per year in the 20s), but this is apparently considered his first really good one. … Continue reading Eclipse 1931: 東京の合唱
Heh heh. Anyway, so this movie is three drunk, high guys pretending to be Italian mobsters and improvising, with D A Pennebaker filming. I like Pennebaker’s camera work. It’s really cool. The three guys are kinda on the tedious side. They don’t say anything interesting — it’s like they have an idea that their prattle … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Wild 90
Chirp chirp. OK, I’ve totally been slacking off on this blog series, and it’s mainly because I’ve been completely busy with other stuff. But it’s also because the Eclipse movies aren’t quite what I imagined they would be. Criterion touts these movies as lost gems, and the Eclipse box sets I’d seen before this (the … Continue reading Eclipse 1938: Quadrille
I love this — the chatter between the maid and the cook; totally cynical in every respects. It’s like the total antithesis of every Upstairs/Downstairs British thing ever. I really want to love this movie — it’s very mischievous — but it’s just not firing on all cylinders? These scenes feel like they’re aiming for … Continue reading Eclipse 1937: Désiré
Rip Torn’s a good name. Hm… are the screenshots in vaguely wrong aspect ratio? They seem to be… slightly wider than they should be? But they’re 1.33:1… hm… imdb says 1.37:1, which… doesn’t explain anything. That’s harsh. The DVD has subtitles, though, so it doesn’t really matter that the sound is kinda crappy. But I’m … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Beyond the Law
Prepare to be stunned: I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Norman Mailer? He’s suck an American cultural touch stone tat that seems unlikely, but nope. I’ve read the commentary on this one: It had a really successful run at the Whitney… and then Mailer took it to a midtown theatre, where it bombed … Continue reading Eclipse 1970: Maidstone
Like the previous Guitry movie, this is very odd. But while Le roman d’un tricheur was exhilarating, this is more like… eh? eh? I mean, it’s amusing, but it’s… It’s a lot. And the movie feels like it thinks that it’s a whole lot funnier than it is, so you sit there going “eh heh” … Continue reading Eclipse 1937: Les Perles de la couronne
This is very meta and witty. Hang on… these screenshots are in the wrong aspect ratio? I just upgraded mpv, and everything was going so swimmingly, but these are definitely wrong. They’re 1.5:1, while what’s on the screen is 1.37:1. How annoying. That’s better. This is totally wild. It’s perhaps not a very technically proficient … Continue reading Eclipse 1936: Le roman d’un tricheur
Whoho! Nice hats. And doilies. She’s so wicked! This is a lot of fun. It’s totally over the top and delighting in its own absurdeties. This was released just after WWII, and was the highest-grossing movie in the UK of the year, and I can totally see why. (They had to reshoot scenes like this … Continue reading Eclipse 1945: The Wicked Lady
I had really expected more French movies in the Eclipse series from Criterion. But it’s… mostly Japanese and British movies? I think we have a theme. Was this filmed as a silent movie originally? It kinda seems like it — it’s got scenes with speeded-up action and stuff. And these bits. But then it totally … Continue reading Eclipse 1932: Les Croix de Bois
Mm-hm. Well, that’s not threatening at all! I’m enjoying this. It’s a quite weird movie. That is, it’s not clear what this movie is going to be about. I think…? that the movie started with the woman above being raped (by that guy with high wasted pants up there), but then we’re warped to a … Continue reading Eclipse 1945: Madonna of the Seven Moons
This is an odd movie, even for a Koreyoshi Kurahara movie. But he’s gotten a new lens! The bits in the margins are no longer in squash-o-vision, so when he pans the camera, it’s no longer nauseating. OK, the lens is still kinda fishy, but not as extreme as in earlier years. So, OK, this … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: 愛の渇き
Wow. That’s the most thrilling title sequence ever. And the characters and situations seem so familiar from Koreyoshi Kurahara’s previous movies, and that… somehow makes it even more exciting? No, I can’t explain it either. It’s actors from The Warped Ones back in the same and in different roles? Or something? The movie seems even … Continue reading Eclipse 1964: 黒い太陽
This is absolutely fantastic! It’s so 60s. But… way ahead of the curve. I can’t believe this was made in 1962. And funny. Again I’m wondering what lenses they were using in Japan at the time… at the edges, people look really compressed. I love this movie. I mean, the look of this movie. Sixty … Continue reading Eclipse 1962: 憎いあンちくしょう
That’s a title technique I haven’t seenbefore. Wow, this is really something. I don’t think I’ve seen anything this chaotic from a Japanese director… I guess it’s a supercharged reaction to the media reports about nihilistic post-Rebel Without A Cause teenagers? But with jazz instead of rock. Amazing camera movement. (And Breathless, I guess.) This … Continue reading Eclipse 1960: 狂熱の季節
I’m starting to wonder whether the Eclipse box set series is less about resurrecting lost film gems and more about just utilising the Janus Films library. (Janus Films and Criterion have the same owners.) Because most of these movies carry the Janus title card, and… er… more than a few of these movies haven’t really … Continue reading Eclipse 1943: The Man in Grey
Oh, is this a Japanese noir? Only funnier? I think it is! This is pretty great. But now it’s kinda getting bogged down? It started off brilliantly. The twists and turns are good — very noir — but it’s just a bit hard to care that much? Intimidation. Koreyoshi Kurahara. 1960. This blog post is … Continue reading Eclipse 1960: ある脅迫
This is the final movie on this Czech new wave box set from Eclipse, and… it kinda looks really good? Which makes a change. EEK SHOES IN BED This is kinda riveting. It movies so fluidly between “the present” and either remembrance or fantasy (it’s hard to tell whether the movie is him thinking about … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Žert
I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by this Criterion box set of 60s Czech(oslovakian but not really) new wave movies. I mean, it’s not necessarily the plots or anything, but just how sloppy these movies look. Which is probably totally unfair. I mean… if you’re waiting for the Soviets to roll in and crush everything, perhaps getting … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Rozmarné léto
I wonder whether it really looked like this originally? I mean, the high contrast and everything falling abruptly into #000? It could be the result of a bad DVD transfer and a “restoration” prioritising having no noise over actually being able to see what’s on the film. I doubt that this is what it was … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: Návrat ztraceného syna
So, I’ve been totally underwhelmed by the other Downey movies in this box set, but I think this is supposed to be Downey’s “real” movie from these years? So I’m now discarding all preconceptions… ommm… Heh heh. Heh heh. This starts pretty swell. OK, now it’s boring. It went from farce to “satire”. (Which is … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Putney Swope
As with the previous Downey movies, I just don’t see the attraction. It’s relentlessly amateurish instead of being avant garde (which I think he’s aiming for?). I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be funny and shit, but… that doesn’t help? Perhaps being really stoned would help? That’s really old! Downey’s movies feel like … Continue reading Eclipse 1975: Two Tons of Turquoise To Taos Tonight
Ooh, this is good. Urquell! Well, this is all quite amusing, but… It just feels so aimless. I mean, every scene is fun and interesting, but it doesn’t really seem to amount to much of anything? It’s a bit film studentey? Daisies. Vera Chytilová. 1966. This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.
Well, this is funny and all… but it’s a bit puerile? I do enjoy the people being interviewed. As with the previous Downey movies, it’s less an aesthetic than just not knowing how to frame a shot. Deskilling? I think this movie posits the question: Are Americans just really bad at making art movies? It … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: No More Excuses
I don’t know. This feels pretty self indulgent. I mean, it’s a parody of underground movies — some references to Warhol and stuff, but the aesthetics are straight out of 50s B movies, so it feels like it’s just… missing the point? It’s pretty amusing… it’s mostly still photography with voiceovers. But a lot of … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: Chafed Elbows
Well… This is the kinda film that lands in the eerie no man’s land between no budget B movie and art movie? It doesn’t work as art and it doesn’t work as B movie. I’m guessing it was made by guys hopped up on diet pills and hooch? Satire’s just another word for don’t have … Continue reading Eclipse 1964: Babo 73
What’s that she’s drinking… What! She’s drinking a bottle of Maggi!? Salty, dude. So this is the first film on the Czech New Wave box set. It’s pretty amusing, and I can totally see what they’re going for, but it does feel quite amateurish. Yes, it’s a collection of shorts. I mean, it’s a portmanteau … Continue reading Eclipse 1965: Perličky na dně
Oh, so this is a pre-reality TV reality TV parody/satire. Now it’s more a… “biting satire of consumer culture” or whatever they used to call that stuff. I mean, it’s funny. And I love the colours. But it’s just not that interesting? Perhaps it was ahead of its time and fantastic back then etc, but … Continue reading Eclipse 1977: Le Couple Témoin
OK, final movie on the Fassbinder “early movies” box set… I have to say that I’ve been surprisingly underwhelmed by the other movies here, because I like many of Fassbinder’s later movies. Oh! I think the slow pace of the film re-creates an environment (namely the filming of the previous Fassbinder film, whitey) and achieves … Continue reading Eclipse 1971: Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte
OH MY GOD is this the best movie ever made? IT COULD BE OK, this isn’t the best movie ever. But it’s quite amusing. Absolutely. The Polly Magoo movie was so fascinating. It kinda didn’t follow through on its promise… it just couldn’t quite make it work. But it’s almost a fucking masterpiece. This one, … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Mr. Freedom
Wow, never seen that phone model before. It’s… odd… This has a good noir thing going on. This is quite amusing and, as usual with Fassbinder, I love each individual shot. But I don’t think this quite works? I mean, it’s a kind of parody/pastiche of a noir movie, but it’s just not that… funny/interesting? … Continue reading Eclipse 1970: Der amerikanische Soldat
This is absolutely magnificent! And I thought I wasn’t totally ignorant about films from this era, but I’ve never seen a film by William Klien before. And based on the first ten minutes of this movie, he might be the best director of anything in the whole world ever! I am the flabbergast! I love … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?
So apparently… Katzelmacher was a success? According to the Criterion DVD cover, it enabled Fassbinder to make eight (!) moies over the next twelve (!) months. *sniff* *sniff* This is one of those eight movies. This is much better than the katzenjammer film, though. Is he wearing shoes in bed? Savage! Is this where Biba … Continue reading Eclipse 1970: Götter der Pest
Was this shot at the same time as Liebe ist etc? Looks really similar But a different aspect ratio. Shot on 16mm? This feel like a very improvised, low-stakes thing? Hm… wikipedia has nothing on it… ah, he DVD cover tells the story: It was filmed over nine days and released four moths later. I … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Katzelmacher
This is totally riveting. I may have seen this before? But it’s been probably three decades. And I’ve seen a bunch of Fassbinder’s later movies, of course, but this feels pretty unique. This is extremely nouvelle vague, but… later? OK, at the start here I thought this movie was absolutely amazing. But there’s a lot … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Liebe ist kälter als der tod
Oh, this is by the same director as Goke! Wow, this Vietnam vet is having a flashback… in 1968!1! I’m not sure whether this is racist or not. Poor rat. Goke was a unique and brilliant movie, but… this isn’t Goke. I mean, on a scale of cheap monster/horror movies from the 60s, this is … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: 昆虫大戦争
After the sheer brilliant insanity of Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell, my expectations for this movie are unreasonably high. But the first scene here is brilliant, so perhaps this is going to be another masterpiece. OK, this isn’t Goke. I mean, it’s pretty good, but it’s… a pretty normal ghost story? It’s well made and … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: 吸血髑髏船
It’s a Shochiku film! Such bokeh. This is fantastic. Absolutely thrilling. Wow. I’m amazed and riveted. This may be the best start to a movie ever. Hajime Satô never got to direct anything after this, so I’m assuming it keeps this up! I love how they’re using the odd lenses as a feature here — … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: 吸血鬼ゴケミドロ
Ooo! Could he be the villain? Such lens. Wow, that’s harsh. So this is where Bezoz got the design from. This is a straight up sf movie? This is not what I expected from Criterion — they usually eschew genre movies (I mean, unless they’re really … big…). Is there gonna be a twist and … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: 宇宙大怪獣ギララ
Wow. This isn’t exactly the kind of role you’d think an actor in this phase of her career would choose. You gotta admire Bergman’s pluck going for this role. She apparently blackmailed the film company into making this film by refusing to make another comedy unless they backed this movie. It’s kinda good, too? Er… … Continue reading Eclipse 1938: En kvinnas ansikte
So we (for very small values of “we”) continue watching the Ingrid Bergman in Sweden box set from Criterion. There’s six movies included in this set, and the first three weren’t… good. I mean I haven’t seen many Swedish movies from the 30s, but I vaguely imagined that they had to be better than this. … Continue reading Eclipse 1938: Dollar
Molander was one of the biggest directors in Sweden, I think? From the 20s to the 50s. I think he’s still pretty well known? I mean, in Sweden. I’m not sure he ever had an international success? So this is another one of the Ingrid Bergman movies. Well, it seems obvious that Bergman is gonna … Continue reading Eclipse 1936: Intermezzo
OK; we continue (after two week break) watching the Criterion Eclipse Ingrid Bergman box sex, and we’re now in 1935. That’s a fun shot. There she is. That’s a young baby. I like it when the actors are hamming it up. But… this is a pretty bad movie. It’s badly paced and the lines (and … Continue reading Eclipse 1935: Valborgsmässoafton
Oooh. Oldee tymey Swedish movie. I haven’t really seen that much pre-50s Swedish stuff, I think? This is a pretty unusual Criterion Eclipse box set. Virtually all of them are selections from a specific director, and there’s a couple sets that collects different directors working in the same idiom, but … this may be the … Continue reading Eclipse 1935: Munkbrogreven
Wha. That’s one of the murals from the Mur murs documentary… so Varda did this at the same time as the documentary? Is it a fiction about doing a documentary about murals in Los Angeles? I hope so! This is absolutely enthralling. This is so meta. It’s the most 80s movie ever, and Varda captured … Continue reading Eclipse 1981: Documenteur
So this is a decade later than Varda’s three previous California movies? Oh, this is a documentary about murals in Los Angeles? This is fantastic. It’s got a free-flowing delightful kind of flow. And these murals are pretty amazing. I’m guessing that funding for this sort of thing dried up when Reagan came into office? … Continue reading Eclipse 1980: Mur Murs
I’m enjoying this movie… but… I can’t help wondering how this would have played out of it had had French actors instead of American actors. These people just don’t seem… intriguing? Especially the guys. And since so much of this seems improvised, that’s a problem. OK, I’m getting into this now. Yeah, whenever the two … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: Lions Love (… and Lies)
This is brilliant. Varda’s having a lot of fun with doing a documentary and then questioning whether it’s fiction or not. It’s overwhelming. It’s very Godard. This is brilliant. Uncle Yanco. Agnès Varda. 1967. This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.
With every purchase. This is very different from Varda’s earlier movies. I mean, not the subject matter, but the way it’s filmed and edited. It’s so restless and frantic. The little red book is in such a practical format. But this is really good. It’s got Varda’s eye for details, and her curiosity about everything. … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: Black Panthers
As musicals go… this doesn’t have a lot of music? This is a pre Hayes code movie – I don’t think that costume would have flown afterwards? This is a very odd movie. I just read the Criterion text on the DVD cover, and apparently this was going to be a George Cukor movie, but … Continue reading Eclipse 1932: One Hour With You
Now that’s a train I’d like to ride. This is very amusing. It’s not hilarious or anything, but it’s got a good flow going on, and the characters are good, and it never stops amusing. I was disappointed in the previous two Lubitsch movies, but this works. I really like this movie… but… I’d be … Continue reading Eclipse 1931: The Smiling Lieutenant
Those are some very complicated credits. This is another 1.2:1 movie — the early talkies used a portion of the normal 1.37:1 film stock to carry the audio, so the movies became narrower. (The first few sound movies Lubitsch did, and were filmed twice, and released in both 1.37:1 silent versions and 1.2:1 talkie versons.) … Continue reading Eclipse 1930: Monte Carlo
Hey, this is brilliant. An early screwball comedy? It’s from 1929, so it’s part of the first wave of talkies, I guess? It’s in … 1.2:1? And… they apparently made this in French and American at the same time? Jeanette MacDonald name and face are both quite familiar to me, but looking over her imdb, … Continue reading Eclipse 1929: The Love Parade
Uh-oh. The first Allan King movie (about an institution for children) felt really exploitative. In the second one, the people participating were adults, at least, so there consent was less dubious. But it bombed at the box office. So now we’re back to his… big hit movie, kinda? Heh. The liner notes on the DVD … Continue reading Eclipse 1973: Come On Children
This is like… a reality TV show? I mean, before they became game shows. Or, as they might have been called back then, “a documentary”. But it’s people being very, very aware of cameras being in the room with them and hamming it up a bit. But… is this non-scripted? I mean, more or less … Continue reading Eclipse 1969: A Married Couple
Wow. This is Canadian? I thought the Eclipse series was just Japanese and French movies. These kids are very sleepy. Oh, this is a documentary!? These are really the sleepiest kids ever! Uhm. Autism? So this is a documentary about some emotionally disturbed children at an institution where they have a thing about … holding … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: Warrendale
Wow. Ôshima’s gone all late nouvelle vague? This starts off like a Godard movie from 1968… But more Japanese, I guess. I think this movie is about Japanese racism? Towards Koreans? But it’s … very odd. And it’s also about Vietnam. So… now it’s the entire movie all over again? Or… did this DVD skip? … Continue reading Eclipse 1968: 帰って来たヨッパライ
This reminds me of… Tarkovsky. But a horny, lighthearted Tarkovsky. I know, it’s a contradiction in terms, but it’s got the same sort of flow. But… Tarkovsky a decade later than this. I was absolutely riveted by this movie until we landed in this room, and now it’s just… wilfully odd instead of fascinating. OK, … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: 無理心中日本の夏
This is the most Summer of 1968 movie ever, and it’s from 1967. It’s all about student rebellion and protest and sex and stuff. Oh! These guys are high school students… I thought this was supposed to be about university graduates or something. I guess those uniforms would be a stronger signal about their age … Continue reading Eclipse 1967: 日本春歌考
It was so impressed by Ôshima’s previous movie… but I don’t know about this one. It just seems calculated and by the numbers? The shots still look interesting, but without the spectacular colours of the previous movie, it’s just less striking. I don’t think they’re going for realism here at much… but some of the … Continue reading Eclipse 1966: 白昼の通り魔
I absolutely adore the cinematography on this. The angles, the framing, the colours. This is the most rational crime ever. Oh my god. This movie just doesn’t go where you expect it to. It’s either amazingly brilliant or just… odd? I’m not quite sure. I lost the thread here for a second, and now I … Continue reading Eclipse 1965: 悦楽
It’s one of those funny cigarettes, see? Anyway, next on the schedule was Victim, but it turns out that I watched it a couple months ago. It was OK. So I’m onto the final Basil Dearden movie instead. They’re getting hooked on the reefer! Patrick McGoohan drums up a storm very convicingly, I must say. … Continue reading Eclipse 1962: All Night Long
This is quite amusing. It’s like a classic heist movie. It’s probably not the original one? But it’s got all the bits that later heist movies have. And fascinatingly enough, it doesn’t work at making the criminals sympathetic? That said, this thing has got really weird pacing issues. I realise that they’re going for knuckle … Continue reading Eclipse 1960: The League of Gentlemen
This is so weird. I mean, it’s… kinda normal, but… off. I like it! I love the colour scheme. This is all about racism and stuff, which… I mean, I didn’t think London in 1959 was that racist? I mean, it’s… some of the characters are so racist that it’s kinda more like they’ve been … Continue reading Eclipse 1959: Sapphire
This has some of the fascinating visuals from Duvivier’s earlier movies, but it’s pretty… pedestrian. That is, there’s a bunch of scenes inbetween the special ones that seem totally haphazard. I don’t even know what this movie is about? I kinda zoned out there for half an hour. This movie just lacks nerve. The performances … Continue reading Eclipse 1937: Un carnet de bal
The first two movies in this box set looked pristine — sharp and restored. This looks like it’s been scanned from a very tired print and not fixed up at all. So I’m guessing that this is a less historically important movie? He’s eeeevil!!!! This really hasn’t aged well. It’s just kinda basic? Looks great, … Continue reading Eclipse 1933: La tête d’un homme
I was gonna watch a whole bunch of these Eclipse movies from Criterion, but I got caught up in a bunch of Emacs stuff. Back on track: Movies! Movies! Wow, that’s some close-up camera work. They camera has to be like five centimetres from his nose. Duvivier is some kind of genius. I mean, on … Continue reading Eclipse 1932: Poil de Carotte
Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema. Mark Cousins. 2018. I was unable to locate this documentary anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
So, I’ve just watched The Souvenir Part II, which is a kinda-sorta autobio film… about making this film, I think. This may be Tilda Swinton’s first film? And she’s in The Souvenir, too, playing Joanna Hogg’s mother. It’s all very meta. It’s the earliest Swinton film I haven’t seen before (ed note — add some … Continue reading TSP1986: Caprice
Tania Libre. Lynn Hershman-Leeson. 2017. I was unable to locate this film anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
This was really good! Swinton and Almodóvar should work together more! And that’s totally what I want my next apt. to look like. I mean, a fake house in the middle of a big hangar. I’d love that. Yes, yes, I know, it’s all metaphorical and stuff, but I still want it. It’s gorgeously shot, … Continue reading TSP2020: The Human Voice
That’s what I want my living room to look like! In the 80s, if you were interested in interesting science fiction (think Octavia Butler, Joanna Russ or Samuel Delany), everybody would recommend the two Olaf Stapledon books — Last and First Men and Star Maker. They’re proto-sf novels… and I really did give it a … Continue reading TSP2017: Last and First Men
Is it that time of year again? I think it is! A few years back, I randomly decided to watch all of Tilda Swinton’s movies, and now I seem to be doing yearly mop-up evenings where I watch her new movies, and any old movies that I’ve been able to score ove the last year. … Continue reading TSP2019: The Personal History of David Copperfield
Over on the movie blog, I’m been amusing myself by formatting the director name(s) in the first image of each post in a way that’ll look consistent on Twitter — taking Twitter’s cropping/fixed-width thing in account. I know! So vital. Example: See how the text is the same size, visually, in every image? Which is … Continue reading The Twits
It’s over? It’s over! So, after doing a blog series where I watched one movie per year for a century (1919-2018, I think), I then did a blog series for every month in a decade (the 40s), and this one was one movie per week in a year (1939). You may be noticing a pattern … Continue reading MCMXXXIX Redux
Invisible Stripes. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. This is it! The final movie in this blog series; a Bogart movie released in the last week of 1939. This is pretty good. A quite noir noir. Heh heh. This evil capitalist wanted to hire Raft to snitch at the workers at his plant and Raft decked him! Pow! … Continue reading MCMXXXIX LII: Invisible Stripes
Gulliver’s Travels. Dave Fleischer. 1939. Oh, it’s animated! Is this the first animated movie in this blog series? I think it may be. Directed by Dave Fleischer… It quite un-Disney so far. It’s very odd, though. The animation shifts wildly between being quite good and OH MY GOD WHAT”S GOING ON WITH THAT FACE THE … Continue reading MCMXXXIX LI: Gulliver’s Travels
Gone With The Wind. George Cukor, Victor Fleming, Sam Wood. 1939. So we’re now in December 1939, and I have only three movies to go in this blog series. This one is … big. Long? Long. Ooops. I had forgotten that this movie is so long that is has an overture. So it starts seven … Continue reading MCMXXXIX L: Gone with the Wind
The Devil’s Daughter. Arthur H. Leonard. 1939. The audio and video quality here is horrible… but I’m enjoying this already. Love this tune. This is a super low budget movie, but it does have a certain charm? I guess it’s mostly down to the actors — it’s not that they’re… convincing… but it’s all very … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIX: The Devil’s Daughter
Destry Rides Again. George Marshall. 1939. Oh, I thought this was one of those serial movies… Destry Comes To Town… Destry Fights the Indians… Destry Rides Again. But no; it’s got Marlene Dietrich, and it’s one of those them there serious westerns. Well, OK, this isn’t exactly a serious western… but it’s mainly in the … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVIII: Destry Rides Again
Day-Time Wife. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. This is fun! It’s a cheap, quick little B movie, but with higher production values than usual. It’s about the wife of a guy that’s obviously stepping out… or is he!?!? This is almost hilarious. Tyrone Power isn’t really miscast here, but… somebody funnier would have made this so much … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVII: Day-Time Wife
Tower of London. Rowland V. Lee. 1939. That’s phat. Eeevil! Eyes. EYES! I don’t know about this movie… all the actors are chewing the scenery in a most pleasant way, but it’s still not… quite… clicking. This could almost be a camp classic, but instead it’s just kinda damp? Kill those dolls! Kill them! This … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLVI: Tower of London
Allegheny Uprising. William A. Seiter. 1939. Wayne! This seems… like an in-between western? I mean, it’s certainly not like one of those cheap, cheerful earlier western serials, and it’s not like one of those later, epic westerns? The people look kinda… gritty (almost all of them have torn clothes and greasy hair), but the repartee … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLV: Allegheny Uprising
Drums Along the Mohawk. John Ford. 1939. Claudette! Henry! Well, OK, this is kinda slow but nice… And then… … Colbert goes totally hysterical at the sight of that guy, so Fonda has to slap her around. I mean, this is John Ford, so it looks nice and all, but so far this movie has … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIV: Drums Along the Mohawk
The Roaring Twenties. Raoul Walsh. 1939. Hm! Raoul Walsh? That name sounds really familiar, but perhaps I’m thinking of… something else… Oh wow! It’s like three movies a year for decades. He directed 120 movies in total, according to imdb. I think I’ve seen at least a handful of these movies… but I’m guessing he … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLIII: The Roaring Twenties
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Frank Capra. 1939. This wasn’t the movie I was going to watch representing week 42 1939 (mid-October, that is). But the DVD I’d gotten of At The Circus refused to play, so I had to choose something else: And Mr. Smith was available from der torrentses, so here we are. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLII: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
Zangiku monogatari. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1939. I haven’t seen many pre-WWII Japanese movies…. hm… I guess it’s possible that I’ve never seen any? Like everybody else, I’ve seen a bunch from the 50s and 60s (when the Japanese got very influenced by French movies), but I guess 30s Japanese movies aren’t really part of the Cinematheque … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XLI: 残菊物語
Ninotchka. Ernst Lubitsch. 1939. This is most amusing. It’s an American fantasia of robotic Soviet women and naive Soviet men, and Garbo sells it. Ah! Billy Wilder. I should have guessed. Fashion is hard. This is very charming indeed. My main problem with the movie is the Count — the steps the Grand Duchess are … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XL: Ninotchka
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Michael Curtiz. 1939. Oh, wow. I thought they were from two different movie generations, never to meet on screen. Vincent Price!?! Whatever colour process they were using in this early example looks good. But a bit off register, somehow? Perhaps it’s just this DVD transfer. Looks less fuzzy … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXIX: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
Espionage Agent. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. Er… uhm… Oh! The DVD I’ve gotten of this absolutely refuses to play. That is, it plays the three minute preview thing, but not the actual movie. And… it’s not on the torrentses? Or Amazon Prime? And… I can’t find any of the other movies released this week, either! Gah! … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVIII: Espionage Agent
Babes in Arms. Busby Berkeley. 1939. Hey! Busby Berkeley. Hey! It’s Judy! And… er… whatsisface… Oh yeah. Mickey Rooney. I knew that he’d been a child star — he started in 27, when he was… 7… but looking over his imdb, I may never have seen any of his early movies? He’s 19 here. And … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVII: Babes in Arms
Blackmail 1939. H.C. Potter. 1939. I thought this was gonna be a noir movie? But it sure starts off a a screwball comedy. And that guy looks so familiar… Nope, doesn’t ring a bell… Oh, he’s been in over 200 movies, starting in 1919 and ending in 1961. I’ve probably seen him around. So, Edward … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXVI: Blackmail
The Women. George Cukor. 1939. Well, that’s a way to introduce the actors! Aww. I assumed I had seen this before, but… this doesn’t look familiar? *gasp* That set design. This is fantastic! Impeccable pacing and cinematography. This is absolutely riveting! Rosalind Russell is fantastic. *gasp* A newspaper set in Futura! I love that woman… … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXV: The Women
Fifth Avenue Girl. Gregory La Cava. 1939. Oooh! Ginger Rogers! And she’s got all the lines! The plot seems a bit creepy, though — the old, kindly millionaire seems to be on the make for Rogers, and that’s kinda eh? I mean, the formula for appropriate lusting is (+ (/ old 2) 7), which yields … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXIV: Fifth Avenue Girl
The Wizard of Oz. Victor Fleming. 1939. I’m gonna attempt the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz match up… started the record at the third roar from the lion as this says… It’s uncanny! On The Run started just when Dorothy fell into the pig sty. OK, it’s not so uncanny now that she’s … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXII: The Wizard of Oz
In Name Only. John Cromwell. 1939. This is kinda odd? I mean, the pacing. It seems like every scene should sizzle with witty repartee, but instead the scenes just have these odd lacunae. But it’s Lombard and Grant, so the scenes are fun anyway. I can just imagine what Douglas Sirk would have done with … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXXI: In Name Only
Beau Geste. William A. Wellman. 1939. XXX! That means that I’ve just got er *counts on fingers* about 20-ish more movies to go in this blog series of movies from 1939? It also means we’re in the middle of July 1939 — so this is a summer blockbuster, I guess? It also means that I’m … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXX: Beau Geste
On Borrowed Time. Harold S. Bucquet. 1939. So this is about… death and stuff? I’m guessing he’s the guy in the first scene. I’m actually not quite sure what’s going on in this movie, but I am a bit befuddled. There’s a lot of shouting, and people being angry, but the plot just seems… unclear. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVII: On Borrowed Time
Each Dawn I Die. William Keighley. 1939. Cagney! And he’s not a crook!? Is that even legal!? OK, but he’s sentence anyway. *phew* (I didn’t know it’s a sci-fi movie — he’s sentenced for drunken driving (and killing some other people while driving (it’s a frame!)), and as we all know, that just doesn’t happen … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIX: Each Dawn I Die
Bulldog Drummond’s Bride. James P. Hogan. 1939. I ordered the DVD… but apparently it never arrived? Can’t find it now anyway. Fortunately, this movie is in the public domain, so it’s on youtube. So this was a whole series of movies? So it’s more like a serial than a proper movie, and this one kinda … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVIII: Bulldog Drummond’s Bride
Bachelor Mother. Garson Kanin. 1939. WON”T ANYBODY FEED THE BABY I’m getting anxious. Anyway, this is most amusing. And kinda nightmarish: She’s totally trapped: Bullied, threatened, hounded into taking care of a baby that’s not hers. This could easily have been a kafkaesque drama with just a less bouncy soundtracks. FINALLY SOME FOOD This is … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXVI: Bachelor Mother
Five Came Back. John Farrow. 1939. Oh, Lucille Ball in a dramatic part? I think I’ve seen her only in comedies? This looks like a pretty low budget movie? I mean, just by how awkward these shots are — it’s like nobody had time to do any blocking, and everybody’s hidden behind something else. Or … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXV: Five Came Back
Fric-Frac. Claude Autant-Lara & Maurice Lehmann. 1939. Another French movie! What are the odds! Very stylish title sequence. Natcherly the French movies we (that is I) see from this era are the indisputable classeec arteest films… but this is an out and out low budged entertaining non-art movie? How exciting! It’s a comedy about… a … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIV: Fric-Frac
Daybreak. Marcel Carné. 1939. *gasp* The first non-English language movie in this blog series! I’m not familiar with Marcel Carné’s movies… Wasn’t he the director the brats I mean geniuses from Cahiers du cinéma heaped all kinds of scorn upon? Indeed: In the 1950s the belligerent critics of Cahiers du cinéma, soon to be film-makers … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXIII: Le jour se lève
Charlie Chan in Reno. Norman Foster. 1939. I may never have seen a Charlie Chan movie before? I mean, I must have, but I can’t recall doing so. So this comes as something of a surprise: It feels pretty much like a TV episode of a long-running show (which I guess it is, except it’s … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXII: Charlie Chan in Reno
The Gorilla. Allan Dwan. 1939. I wonder whether this DVD has been sourced from a recording from a broadcast? Hm… probably not? It’s very artefactey, but it doesn’t look like VHS artefacts. This is a Ritz Brothers movie? I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of them. But: That’s a lot of movies. They … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XXI: The Gorilla
Goodbye Mr. Chips. Sidney Franklin & Sam Wood. 1939. This is a very odd movie… in that it’s so quotidian. It’s basically the story (told in flashback) of a guy that’s worked as a teacher at a public, i.e., private school in England. So we follow him from when he starts as a young, not … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XX: Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Jamaica Inn. Alfred Hitchcock. 1939. Oooh! Hitch! And I don’t think I’ve seen this one before? Is that even possible? This has been expertly restored by the Cohen Film Collection and the BFI. Looks really sharp, but with lots of grain. : In 1978, film critic Michael Medved gave Jamaica Inn a place in his … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIX: Jamaica Inn
Rose of Washington Square. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. Oh, this is by the same guy who made the confusingly made “Wife, Husband and Friend” movie earlier this year. (Are they all the same person? Two people? Three?) We’re now in May, for those people who don’t know where week eighteen is. This is an odd one. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVIII: Rose of Washington Square
Union Pacific. Cecil B. DeMille. 1939. So this is the XVIIth, I mean, seventeenth week of 1939, which means that we’re in late April. What kind of movies are movies are they doing in spring? This is really epic — it’s got that epic movie feeling going: One group of people is trying to get … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVII: Union Pacific
Dark Victory. Edmund Goulding. 1939. *gasp* Bette! They’re talking really fast, see? Is that Ronnie? It is! I thought this was gonna be a noir crime thing, but it’s a very dramatic drama instead? I’m digging it. Everybody’s talking like they’re in an early 30s crime thing, though. See? Boo. When they introduce the male … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory
Never Say Die. Elliott Nugent. 1939. OK, so this is about a hypochondriac millionaire at a spa. I’m guessing there’ll be hi jinx! Monty Woolley! This is very funny! And quite risque. As screwball comedies go, it’s very, very screwy. Martha Raye is a comedic genius. Oh! Preston Sturges! I should have known! The script … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die
East Side of Heaven. David Butler. 1939. This is most amiable. Joan Blondell, Bing Crosby, and a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s going to be too taxing for my poor branes. There haven’t been many musicals in this blog series? Last night was the Vernon and Irene thing, which was, I suppose, but like … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. H.C. Potter. 1939. Hey! I thought this was gonna be a Thin Man movie! But it’s not! This is better! I’m really enjoying this… the only thing I’m confused about is whether we’re supposed to thing that the Castles are wonderful dancers or not? I mean, Astaire and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
You Can’t Get Away With Murder. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Bogie! This is an odd movie. It started in one place, and now we’re in a totally different place. I wonder where this is going. OK, now the two parts are connected… but… it’s kinda boring now? So this is all about a kid who’s on … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XII: You Can’t Get Away with Murder
Midnight. Mitchell Leisen. 1939. Claudette Colbert! I like her. This movie gets off to a really great start: Everything is explained in a couple of sentences and then we’re off. Colbert is a lot of fun to watch, too. I’m all in. This movie is a lot of fun. It’s got a great set-up: A … Continue reading MCMXXXIX XI: Midnight
The Little Princess. Walter Lang, William A. Seiter. 1939. So this is the tenth week of 1939… so we’re into March? And this movie is in colour! Oh, they’re using the Boer War (turn of the century? the previous one?) as a proxy for the war that’s currently brewing in Europe? This movie is quite … Continue reading MCMXXXIX X: The Little Princess
Oklahoma Kid. Lloyd Bacon. 1939. But… but… that’s… that’s… It is! It’s Bogart! What’s he doing in this cheapie western? Was this before he became famous? Ah, right, he was doing all these things in the 30s until his big break in 1941, I guess. Because this is a Cagney vehicle. This isn’t a very … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IX: The Oklahoma Kid
Wife, Husband and Friend. Gregory Ratoff. 1939. What! There were no lanes in New York in 1939? Just total anarchy? I love it! This movie’s got a whole bunch of gags… but none of them really land? I mean, very few do. I almost feel bad at not enjoying this movie, because it’s puttering along … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VIII: Wife, Husband and Friend
Nancy Drew… Reporter. 1939. William Clemens. I mean… I didn’t expect much from this movie — it’s a shortish, goofy B movie thing. But it seems odd to me how little of the Nancy Drewiverse they’ve retained? I mean… I don’t remember much of Nancy Drew… but didn’t she have a gal pal? And stuff? … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VII: Nancy Drew… Reporter
Made For Each Other. John Cromwell. 1939. Oh, I’ve seen this one before! And not too long ago, either. I wonder where… Emacs knows everything. I watched this in… October? Last year? Hey! I even blogged about it. This is a serious break-down in my movie methodology. Oh well! Now it’s in 2K. I’m liking … Continue reading MCMXXXIX VI: Made for Each Other
Honolulu. Edward Buzzell. 1939. So much drama! Heh. That was a good fake-out. This is most amusing. And horribly racist. And that’s the main problem with this movie: Robert Young really isn’t that believable as somebody who’d people would go nuts for. I mean, he’s great and all, but imagine if this were Cary Grant … Continue reading MCMXXXIX V: Honolulu
Idiot’s Delight. Clarence Brown. 1939. Hey… this is fun. It’s about a soldier (Clark Gable) returning from the previous war, and he’s an actor on a downwards trajectory. It’s very fleet-footed. The movie has turned kinda strange. Clark is being pursued desperately by Norma Shearer… I mean, that’s not odd, but the way the movie … Continue reading MCMXXXIX IV: Idiot’s Delight
They Made Me A Criminal. Busby Berkeley. 1939. So here in this blog post is where I was supposed to make some food, but the next dish in the Bistro Cooking book was a mussel dish, and… while I was waiting for the grocery delivery guys to deliver a kilo of live mussels for me … Continue reading MCMXXXIX III: They Made Me a Criminal
Son of Frankenstein. Rowland V. Lee. 1939. For today’s dish from the Bistro Cooking, we have another apple tart. I mean sex worker. This one looks less like an omelette than the previous one… it’s a cream and egg thing (and apples, of course). It is, again, as with many of the recipes in this … Continue reading MCMXXXIX II: Son of Frankenstein
King of the Underworld. Lewis Seiler. 1939. Welcome to the first week of the 1939 movie blog. But first: Some food. So tonight’s dish from Patricia Well’s Bistro Cooking (which I’m cooking my way through, semi-chronologically) is a chick pea salad. I’m not really all that enthusiastic about this one, because I’m seeing “onion” and … Continue reading MCMXXXIX I: King of the Underworld
I hate choosing movies to watch; it’s just … better … to watch the next scheduled one, so a schedule has to be created. A few years back, I watched one movie per year from 1918 to 2018 (i.e, a century), and then last year I did a decade (the 1940s); one movie per month. … Continue reading MCMXXXIX
A few years back, I watched 87 Bergman things, but I was unable to find this TV movie from 1958. A comment on Youtube alerted me to somebody uploading it, and after spending two days downloading it, I’ve now put the movie on Youtube: Enjoy it before the copyright strike, I guess? Gotta hand it … Continue reading One More Bergman Thing: Rabies
Vortex (2018) by Justin Hewitt-Drakulic (as Jay Drakulic), Alex Lee Williams and others Hellmington. Justin Hewitt-Drakulic. 2018. ⚁ [two minutes pass] Well! Perhaps I should just get all the films Vortex has produced? Wolfcop was a barrel of laughs, and this starts off really well. [twenty minutes pass] Or… perhaps not? This is like a … Continue reading V2018: Hellmington
Vortex (2014) by Lowell Dean and others “What’s this then? A MOVIE?!?! BUT THIS IS A COMICS BLOG!” Once again, dear reader, I can read your mind. But you see, after Vortex Comics stopped publishing comics, they… Well, I don’t quite know what they did at first, but they ended up as an independent movie … Continue reading V2014: WolfCop
Being a movie nerd, what you really start appreciating after a while aren’t the people who make the movies, but the people who make the movies available so that you can watch them. Or perhaps that’s just me. With less-popular movies, it seems like such a thankless task: To try to find ways of packaging … Continue reading Movie Distribution Appreciation Time
Gah. Remember just the other week? When I was nattering on about how nice it is that people can add subtitles on Youtube? This allows people to, like, watch stuff in other languages, like this Spanish translation of this Swedish-language Bergman obscurity that some kind soul just contributed? Well, since Youtube is Google, I should … Continue reading User-Contributed Subtitles on Youtube
I found this short from 2015 on Amazon Prime, and I updated the placeholder post. Clicky the linky for postie. And that concludes this year’s Tilda Swinton Project update, I think. I found more stuff this year then the previous ones, for some reason or other. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Somebody finally (like six years ago) finally uploaded this documentary short to youtube, so I could fill in a missing post. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Story and the Writer. Andrew Ondrejcak. 2020. So, this is a short you can watch on Youtube. Swinton does the voiceover… which is pretty oddly recorded. It’s very dry, as if she’s just talking into her phone or something. Which is a wasted opportunity. And… when you’re doing this sort of thing, your performers had … Continue reading TSP2020: Story and the Writer
What We Do in the Shadows: “The Trial”. Taika Waititi. 2019. Oh, OK — this is the TV series based on the movie? I saw that movie at the Sundance Film Festival! (I know! How hoity toity!) I think I gave it a… five? a four? on the score cards. It was fun, but kinda … Continue reading TSP2019: What We Do in the Shadows: “The Trial”
Uncut Gems. Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie. 2019. [twenty minutes pass] Oh deer. This is the Adam Sandler Oscar bait movie? To ensure getting nominated, you have to have some sort of health angle, so it starts with a colonoscopy (it is Sandler, after all) and some possible cancer, before we go into full-bore New … Continue reading TSP2019: Uncut Gems
The Dead Don’t Die. Jim Jarmusch. 2019. [five minutes pass; i.e., I watched the titles] Wow; this movie basically has everybody that’s famous. It’s not just Jarmusch’s normal troupe (although many of them are here), but a bunch of random famous people. I’m assuming they called his agent or his agent called them and they … Continue reading TSP2019: The Dead Don’t Die
War Machine. David Michôd. 2017. Oops. This is a Netflix movie from 2017? Starring Brad Pitt? I’ve never heard of it, but apparently Tilda Swinton has a tiny role in this, so I’ve gotta see it for this blog series. [ten minutes pass] Oh deer. This is my least favourite movie genre ever? The satirical-military-movie-with-an-omniscient-voice-over … Continue reading TSP2017: War Machine
The Souvenir. Joanna Hogg. 2019. Hey! We’re back with our sorta-yearly “what has that Swinton woman been up to since last we checked?” This year, we have … about half a dozen movies? So she’s been busy. First off a movie by Joanna Hogg? That name seems so familiar to me that I assumed that … Continue reading TSP2019: The Souvenir
Some years ago, I watched a whole bunch of stuff by Ingmar Bergman. As a result, I was sitting on a pile of really obscure things that I had acquired from various sources that I uploaded to Youtube a few years later. I then uploaded a bunch of subtitles and translated one of the pieces … Continue reading Some Bergman Youtube
As a contrast, after watching a year’s worth of Netflix movies, I thought it would be fun to watch all the films on the Sight & Sound directors’ poll, so I did, and probably bored all you all to death while doing it. Or was that the COVID? It was probably the COVID. *crosses fingers* … Continue reading Officially The Best Redux
Tokyo Story. Yasujirô Ozu. 1953. ⚄ We’ve reached the end of this blog series, and we go out on a really good one. It’s a really moving film; even more so than that bicycle thief one. I can totally see why this ended up as #1 in 2012: The performances are swell, the cinematography is … Continue reading OTB#1: Tokyo Story
2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick. 1968. ⚅ The end is nigh! For this blog series. I think… I haven’t seen this movie since the 80s? I think I saw it in a movie theatre? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did. And then on VHS later. When thinking back on it, there’s so many scenes … Continue reading OTB#2: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Citizen Kane. Orson Welles. 1941. ⚂ I have seen this movie a number of times before — I’m not a complete moron. (Note: “Complete”.) But it’s been several decades, and I just remember some flashes of a huge, empty house, and a sled being thrown into an incinerator? Oh, now it’s coming back to me… … Continue reading OTB#2: Citizen Kane
8½. Federico Fellini. 1963. ⚅ I watched this (wow) six years ago, and it’s a wonderful movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Taxi Driver. Martin Scorsese. 1976. ⚅ OK, let me just tell you where I’m coming from: I don’t like Martin Scorsese’s movies. All the ones I can recall seeing are about uninteresting morons that do uninteresting and stupid things. They’re usually competently shot, with a cast of actors that make watching the movies not sheer … Continue reading OTB#5: Taxi Driver
Apocalypse Now. Francis Ford Coppola. 1979. ⚃ I’ve seen this a couple of times before? But back in the 80s. I remember being quite taken with most of Coppola’s movies at the time — I even liked One from the Heart and Rumble Fish (well, sort of). Sitting down to watch this, though, I have … Continue reading OTB#6: Apocalypse Now
Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock. 1958. ⚅ This movie is #1 on the critics’ poll. I have seen this before, of course, but… it’s probably a while ago? Is this the one with the Dali sequences? Hm… No, that was Spellbound! Which I have to see again. Oh right, this is the one with Kim Novak… Which … Continue reading OTB#7: Vertigo
The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola. 1972. ⚄ I watched the second episode in this series a couple of months ago, and it was (to my great surprise) quite fun. So I’m guessing this is gonna suck. [five minutes pass] I can’t stop staring at the huge wads of cotton they’ve stuffed into Brando’s face: He … Continue reading OTB#7: The Godfather
The Mirror. Andrei Tarkovski. 1975. ⚅ I watched this film when doing the one-movie-from-each-country blog thing. It’s really good, but I think Stalker is better, really. And perhaps Solaris, too? But I can kinda see why that one isn’t on this OTB list… I think… Anyway! This one is really good, too. This blog post … Continue reading OTB#9: Mirror
Bicycle Thieves. Vittorio De Sica. 1948. ⚅ I watched this amazing movie in 2014? I’m not rewatching it now, because I’m all out of kleenexes. *sniff* I’m tearing up just thinking about the movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard. 1960. ⚄ I watched this some years ago, and it’s a wonderful movie. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Raging Bull. Martin Scorsese. 1980. ⚁ OK, we’re now in the final dozen movies in this blog series, and what’s striking about the final (i.e., most highly rated) movies is that they’re mostly box office smashes: It is, perhaps, not surprising, exactly — but it’s definitely a thing. It’s not that the OTB list is … Continue reading OTB#12: Raging Bull
Persona. Ingmar Bergman. 1966. ⚅ I watched this movie two years ago during the 87 Bergman Things blog series, but I wanted to watch it again, so here you go: Probably a slightly different series of screenshots? You gets what you pays for, dead reader. [thirty minutes pass] Looking at the remaining films on the … Continue reading OTB#13: Persona
The 400 Blows. François Truffaut. 1959. ⚅ I really thought I’d seen this before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere… until I searched for Quatre Cents Coups. Duh. Anyway, I watched this in 2016, and now I’m watching it again. I don’t actually remember much of this (pre?-)Nouvelle Vague movie other than that it was … Continue reading OTB#13: The 400 Blows
Andrei Rublev. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1966. ⚂ I watched this a couple of years ago, and it’s a bit naff. Which was really surprising for me, because Tarkovsky is usually absolutely brilliant. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Fanny & Alexander. Ingmar Bergman. 1982. ⚅ I watched this in 2018, but I’ve watched it a bunch of times before. It is 100% amazeballs. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Seven Samurai. Akira Kurosawa. 1954. ⚂ [two minutes pass] I thought I had seen this movie before, but now I think not? And it lasts ALL THE HOURS. I may have to take a pause in the middle of this. I mean, I got up at 6 this morning and it’s 20 now… [half an … Continue reading OTB#17: Seven Samurai
Rashomon. Akira Kurosawa. 1950. ⚃ [fifteen minutes pass] I’ve seen this before, of course, but only once? I think? But the Rashomon concept is so well-known that it feels like I’m just waiting for the plot elements to happen… which isn’t the best way to watch a movie. So far, the cinematography has been a … Continue reading OTB#18: Rashomon
Barry Lyndon. Stanley Kubrick. 1975. ⚁ Oh, I saw this as a (young) teenager. I remember renting it on VHS. What I remember from it is… er… that there were a lot of green hills? Correct! I also remember that I really liked the movie. And that it’s somehow a Kubrick movie that all Kubrick … Continue reading OTB#19: Barry Lyndon
Ordet. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1955. ⚄ I watched this in 2015, and it’s really good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Au hasard Balthazar. Robert Bresson. 1966. ⚃ I watched this five years ago. I remember liking this a lot more than I apparently did. I was probably wrong! This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Sunrise. F.W. Murnau. 1927. ⚅ This is a 2K version (from Eureka (Masters of Cinema)), but it’s only been very lightly restored? That is, it’s got a lot of horizontal shudder going on, which is usually the first thing they fix (since it can be done pretty much automatically by computers these days)… but otherwise, … Continue reading OTB#22: Sunrise
I think that guy might have nose powder. Modern Times. Charles Chaplin. 1936. ⚄ Here’s the thing: Obviously Chaplin is a genius etc bla bla bla, but… they’re not movies that I would seek out to watch on my own, because… I just don’t enjoy them that much? So I’ve never seen this one; perhaps … Continue reading OTB#22: Modern Times
L’Atalante. Jean Vigo. 1934. ⚄ I watched this in 2015, and … I vaguely remember this movie. It’s pretty spiffy. And has cats! This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
La Regle du jeu. Jean Renoir. 1939. ⚃ I watched this in… 2014!? That’s like half a lifetime ago. I have absolutely no recollection of having seen this, but apparently I wasn’t too impressed. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
The Night of the Hunter. Charles Laughton. 1955. ⚅ Ooo. This is a good one, I think. I may have seen this only once before? Or… I think I remember thinking the last time I saw this (in the 90s? at the Cinematheque?) that I must have seen it before, so I was probably scarred … Continue reading OTB#26: The Night of the Hunter
Touch of Evil. Orson Welles. 1958. ⚄ I watched this movie in 2015, and it was apparently really good. I remember zilch about it now, though. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
The Battle of Algiers. Gillo Pontecorvo. 1966. ⚃ I watched this movie when doing the “one movie from every country” thing. It’s a bit disappointing. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
La Strada. Federico Fellini. 1954. ⚄ I talked about this movie here. It’s good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Stalker. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1979. ⚅ I was so sure I’d already blogged about this movie that I didn’t re-buy it for this Officially The Best blog series. But then it turned out that I hadn’t, so I rebought it on bluray. Which took weeks to get here. And now it turns out that the bluray … Continue reading OTB#30: Stalker
Amarcord. Federico Fellini. 1973. ⚂ Ah, yes… I saw this a few years ago, but on a horrible interlaced DVD (so the effective resolution was horrible). The is a 2K version restored by Criterion, and… it… still doesn’t really look very good? Like… the colours are kinda all over the place and… but that’s probably … Continue reading OTB#30: Amarcord
L’avventura. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1960. ⚅ Emacs tells me that I watched this in 2014, but that was before I started movie blogging 4 realz, so I have no recollection of this movie. But I’ve quite enjoyed the other Antonioni films on the list, so this is probably going to be spiffy. [half an hour passes] … Continue reading OTB#30: L’Avventura
The Godfather Part II. Francis Ford Coppola. 1974. ⚄ I’m watching the movies on this list of the officially best movies in reverse order, and since the first Godfather movie is further up on the list, I’m watching part II first. ¡Scandalo! But I gotta keep the blogging concept going, right? Right. I haven’t seen … Continue reading OTB#30: The Godfather: Part II
The Gospel According to Matthew. Pier Paolo Pasolini. 1964. ⚅ I watched this move a few years ago, and it’s pretty spiffy. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
City Lights. Charles Chaplin. 1931. ⚃ Oh, wow. It’s a silent movie? From 1931? I thought Hollywood had stopped making these at least a couple years before? And everybody had hastily started converting everything into talkies? Was Chaplin one of those people who thought that silent movies were for art and sound was vulgar or … Continue reading OTB#30: City Lights
Come and See. Elem Klimov. 1985. ⚂ I watched this movie the other year, and I wasn’t very impressed, but that might have been because of the horrendous DVD transfer I was watching? This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
A Man Escaped. Robert Bresson. 1956. ⚄ There’s four films by Bresson on this “officially the best” list, which is a lot? I don’t think there’s anybody with five movies, but Bresson is tied for the coveted Most Movies On The List prize with Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes. … Continue reading OTB#37: Un condamné à mort s’est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut
Some Like It Hot. Billy Wilder. 1959. ⚄ I’ve blogged about this movie before, but we’re in a pretty serious grouping of movies on this list, so I want to re-watch it. Here’s a second look at the screenshots from that movie. You’re welcome. The last time I watched this, it was on an interlaced … Continue reading OTB#37: Some Like It Hot
La dolce vita. Federico Fellini. 1960. ⚅ I must have seen this before? Right? But I can’t really recall it… This is the one with the fountain scene? I must have seen it… or perhaps I’ve just seen that scene, which is included in every documentary about Italian cinema. Oh, yeah! Here’s the opening shot … Continue reading OTB#37: La dolce vita
Close-Up. Abbas Kiarostami. 1990. ⚄ This is one of the rare movies on this “officially the best” from outside of the US/Europe/Japan/Hong Kong Axis of Movies, and I watched it for my World of Films and Cocktails blog series. It’s really good. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Viridiana. Luis Buñuel. 1961. ⚄ The third and final Buñuel movie on this list of movies. (Well, or the first, if you’re counting from the top, which would be more logical…) Eep! No English subtitles on this bluray! *phew* Subscene to the rescue. Without kindly pirates it would be next to impossible to watch the … Continue reading OTB#37: Viridiana
The Passion of Joan of Arc. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1928. ⚅ This film is absolutely amazeballs, and I wrote about it here. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Playtime. Jacques Tati. 1967. ⚅ So this is where Roy Andersson got his aesthetic from! Oh my. I realise now that I’m in a kinda multiple French delusion zone: For some reason, the name “Tati” made me think both of that umbrella movie by Jacques Demy, so slightly understandable, but also of Louis de Funès, … Continue reading OTB#37: Playtime
Les Mepris. Jean-Luc Godard. 1963. ⚂ I watched this in 2015 and didn’t like it at all, apparently. I was probably wrong, because the screenshots look lovely. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
One Upon a Time in the West. Sergio Leone. 1968. ⚃ I’ve seen all the Eastwood Leone movies… but I may never have seen this one? I probably have, though, on third-generation VHS back in the 80s. Oh wow. Argento and Bertolucci? Well, the first sounds good, but not the second… OH WOW! This is … Continue reading OTB#44: Once Upon a Time in the West
The Apartment. Billy Wilder. 1960. ⚂ I watched this movie five years ago, and apparently I didn’t like it? I can’t remember why. I mean, it looks fun? I may be wrong here? I kinda want to re-watch it, but not with that DVD transfer, which sounds tragic. This blog post is part of the … Continue reading OTB#44: The Apartment
Hour of the Wolf. Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⚃ I watched this a couple years ago, and I think it’s an odd Bergman movie to land on this “Officially the Best” list. It’s… I think there’s at least 20 better Bergman movies out there? I mean, it’s not bad, but… This blog post is part of … Continue reading OTB#44: Hour of the Wolf
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Milos Forman. 1975. ⚄ I think I saw this when I was a child. I remember… it being sad? Yes. That’s all I remember. And I think I may have it confused with Birdy. And… Oh! Now I remember the Mad parody of it. There’s some pillow action at … Continue reading OTB#48: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
L’eclisse. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1962. ⚅ Oh, L’eclisse… not Réglisse… So this isn’t a French movie about liquorice, but an Italian movie about an eclipse. Makes more sense. [time passes] OH MY EMACS! Everything in this movie is so gorgeous! The performers, the lighting, the costumes, the interiors, the framing, the film stock, the 2K transfer… … Continue reading OTB#48: L’eclisse
Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean. 1962. ⚁ This isn’t a movie I’ve looked forwards to watching. I think I’ve seen it… a couple of times? Back in the 80s? I seem to remember it being one of those double VHS box things? And all I remember about the movie is that it’s one portentous desert … Continue reading OTB#48: Lawrence of Arabia
The Searchers. John Ford. 1956. ⚃ There’s sure a whole bunch of westerns on this survey, padner. I got this one from a 20 disc box set some years back. I think it was this? That’s a pretty solid collection. This is the only John Ford movie on the list, which is somewhat surprising. And … Continue reading OTB#48: The Searchers
Pickpocket. Robert Bresson. 1959. ⚅ Oh, I’ve got this both on DVD from Artificial Eye and bluray from Criterion… I’m watching the Criterion release. OH MY EMACS! Bresson is straight from the screen into my pretentious mind. Those affectless deliveries! The moral quandaries! Those French hairstyles! It’s just pure fabulousness. I’m there from the first … Continue reading OTB#48: Pickpocket
Pather Panchali. Satyajit Ray. 1955. ⚄ There aren’t a lot of movies on this list from outside the US/Europe/Japan/Hong Kong axis. Is this the only one? Haven’t made a survey, but it kinda looks like it? Uhm… Oh! It’s got Close-Up by Abbas Kiarostami, too. (From Iran.) That one’s really good. My guess is that … Continue reading OTB#48: Pather Panchali
Man With A Movie Camera. Dziga Vertov. 1929. ⚅ I think… when English translators are translating from certain languages… they always end up with “scenario” being “SCENARIO” instead of “script”, which is what it means… At least that’s my impression after reading a book about movies translated from French to English the other month. And … Continue reading OTB#48: Man with a Movie Camera
Rear Window. Alfred Hitchcock. 1954. ⚅ I saw this movie just the other year (I think… on a plane?), but now I’ve got it in 2K, so I’m rewatching it. The movie is kinda perfect, but this 2K transfer isn’t. Or perhaps it was just this soft on the celluloid (or er whatever the young … Continue reading OTB#48: Rear Window
Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese. 1990. ⚂ My most shocking, controversial opinion ever is this: I think Scorsese is overrated. I was amused by all the accolades The Irishman got when it came out. I mean, just look at the critics falling over themselves in trying to praise it more than everybody else. It’s a mediocre movie, … Continue reading OTB#48: Goodfellas
Shoah. Claude Lanzmann. 1985. ⚂ I suspect I’ve seen this before: Was it serialised on TV in the 80s? But it’s just a perfect day for watching this nine hour kneeslapper, isn’t it? Oh, yeah, I have definitely seen this before: I remember the really annoying way it has of have people talking in Polish/Czech/whatever … Continue reading OTB#48: Shoah
Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock. 1960. ⚅ Oooh! Psycho! I haven’t seen this for quite some time! And now in a restored 2K version! Oh, it’s not in “acedemy” ratio? That’s the way I remember it, but perhaps it was pan-and-scanned when I watched it on VHS in the 80s… Hitchcock was a fucking asshole and apparently … Continue reading OTB#48: Psycho
Blow Up. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1966. ⚄ Whu uh. I thought I had seen this movie before, but in my mind it’s in black and white, and it’s set in Italy. This is in colour and is set in the UK. From the first five minutes, I would have guessed that this was a Nick Roeg … Continue reading OTB#59: Blow Up
Gertrud. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1964. ⚅ Oh, wow — a Dreyer movie from 1964? I had no idea he lived that long. Hm… Ah. It’s his final movie. I’ve seen the fabulous Joan of Arc he did back in the 20s, but not a lot of his later movies. This is some grade-A bizarre acting. … Continue reading OTB#59: Gertrud
Aguirre, Wrath of God. Werner Herzog. 1972. ⚅ Wow, this is the only Herzog movie on the list… and it’s a Herzog movie I haven’t watched! Amazeballs. (Not really.) Anyway, this is so incredibly lush… every scenes seems out of control and fraught with danger. And Klaus Kinski is insane here. (And probably in real … Continue reading OTB#59: Aguirre, Wrath of God
A Woman Under the Influence. John Cassavetes. 1974. ⚅ This is the fourth (and highest-rated) Cassavetes movie on the list of Best Movies Ever (Officially). OK, after watching all these Cassavetes movies, it’s hard not to be charmed by his aesthetic. I think that he’s thinking that he’s showing us actual, real, life, and everything … Continue reading OTB#59: A Woman Under the Influence
The Conformist. Bernardo Bertolucci. 1970. ☐ I am not a fan of Bertolucci, so I was happy to see that there’s only one movie by him on the “Best Of” list. And this is movie of his I haven’t seen before, so that’s even better. Perhaps this one will be great! There’s a whole bunch … Continue reading OTB#59: Il conformista
Blue Velvet. David Lynch. 1986. ⚅ I think I may only have seen this movie once before, which is odd, because I love David Lynch. On the other hand, I remember not being … thrilled? by this movie when I saw it. Which was probably on VHS in 1987 when I was 19. What I … Continue reading OTB#59: Blue Velvet
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Sergio Leone. 1966. ⚄ Has anybody remarked on the similarity between the first trumpet thing (mow mow moooow) in the theme song and the Sad Trombone thing? No? Anyway, this is the first Leone movie in this blog series, and it’s a movie I’ve seen a couple times … Continue reading OTB#59: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
La Grande Illusion. Jean Renoir. 1937. ⚄ I watched this movie about five years ago, and it’s pretty spiffy. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Ugetsu. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1953. ⚂ I read a compilation of Cahiers de cinema (the 50s years) the other month, and one film that was mentioned a lot was this one. I haven’t seen it before… I haven’t seen it before, and it definitely has it going on. But… there’s a whiff of super-simplified morality play … Continue reading OTB#67: Ugetsu Monogatari
Badlands. Terrence Malick. 1973. ⚄ As usual with American movies depicting teenagers, it’s always confusing: Are these older actors really supposed to be teenagers, or are they developmentally challenged adults? Spacek looks mid-20s, but acts like she’s aiming for twelve, and Sheen looks like he’s late-30s, but acts like aiming for fifteen? Or are they … Continue reading OTB#67: Badlands
Vivre sa vie. Jean-Luc Godard. 1962. ⚅ Godard movies of this era are such a delight to watch. He’s having so much fun, being all mischievous and stuff. Like filming the actors from behind for the first five minutes, and fading the music in and out at seemingly random. He’s so punk. Every single scene … Continue reading OTB#67: Vivre sa vie
Blade Runner. Ridley Scott. 1982. ⚃ Apparently, I didn’t really like this movie when I saw it some years back. It seems better in my head than a ⚃, so it’s quite possible I was too grouchy when I watched it. On the other hand, perhaps not? This blog post is part of the Officially … Continue reading OTB#67: Blade Runner
Sunset Boulevard. Billy Wilder. 1950. ⚄ It’s a Billy Wilder movie, so I assumed that this was a comedy. It’s not, and I’m a moron. That’s some supporting cast. This is one of three Billy Wilder movies on this “best of” list, and the only one I haven’t seen recently. (Or… ever? But it does … Continue reading OTB#67: Sunset Blvd.
Journey to Italy. Roberto Rossellini. 1954. ⚅ This 2K restoration looks great: Another class release by the British Film Institute. Your tax money at work, for some values of “your”. But… “English version”? Oh! They seem to be moving their mouths in a slightly English-looking way? Did Rossellini film several versions of this? (As usual … Continue reading OTB#67: Journey to Italy
In The Mood For Love. Kar Wai Wong. 2000. ⚄ I saw this movie a couple of years ago, and I’m not rewatching it for this blog series. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Singin’ in the Rain. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. 1952. ⚅ Hey! We’re no longer on #75! It was a 16-way split, so we stayed on the same number for a while. #67 is only split between… eight movies… Oh well. I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, but it’s been a few years … Continue reading OTB#67: Singin’ in the Rain
M. Fritz Lang. 1931. ⚃ Oh! It’s German? I really thought I’d seen this before and that it was an American movie? Perhaps I was thinking of the 1951 Losey movie… but… I do remember Peter Lorre being in it? I’m all kinds of confused. Anyway, this is a very narrow movie. I mean, format … Continue reading OTB#75: M
Potemkin. Sergei M. Eisenstein. 1925. ⚅ I’ve been looking for the Pet Shop Boys version of this movie, but that’s apparently never been released, so I watched this movie while playing the CD and things probably didn’t line up perfectly… I mean, it can’t because silent movies have a kinda vague connection to timing anyway… … Continue reading OTB#75: Battleship Potemkin
The General. Clyde Bruckman / Buster Keaton. 1926. ⚃ Lobster? Who are they, then? Over the years, the companies doing releases and restoration of classic (and not-so-classic) movies has been ever-changing. Let’s see… there’s Criterion, of course, who’s been going all along. And BFI, doing more and more stuff, presumably gummint-funded. But I was thinking … Continue reading OTB#75: The General
There Will Be Blood. Paul Thomas Anderson. 2007. ⚂ Is this one of those movies designed for an actor that acts big to be allowed to be totally over the top so that he can win an Oscar (see all male actor Oscar wins ever)? Oh it is: The standard joke is that the craft … Continue reading OTB#75: There Will Be Blood
A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick. 1971. ⚂ I’ve seen this before, but it was in my teens and I don’t really remember much about the actual movie. But everything from it is part of popular culture now, so it all seems so familiar anyway. Surely those bar tables aren’t very practical. Virtually no critics thought … Continue reading OTB#75: A Clockwork Orange
Fear Eats The Soul. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1973. ⚄ This is the only Fassbinder on the “best of” list, and it’s a movie I can’t recall seeing anybody mention before, so I’m excited. Well, some things just aren’t believable here! Like the bartender not knowing how to pour beer! That’s a lot of foam, dude. … Continue reading OTB#75: Angst essen Seele auf
Hidden. Michael Haneke. 2005. ⚃ I talked about this movie here. It’s the best Haneke movie I’ve seen, so I’m not shocked it ended up on this list of movies. I had expected Amour to show up either on this list or the critics’ list, but I realise now that that movie was released after … Continue reading OTB#75: Hidden
The Shining. Stanley Kubrick. 1980. ⚄ Yesterday I watched Salò, and I may have given the impression that it’s more interesting than it is. It isn’t interesting. There’s no reason to watch it; it’s just audience abuse. So tonight (while waiting for the dinner to cook) I’m watching a much cosier movie. I don’t think … Continue reading OTB#75: The Shining
The Seventh Seal. Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⚅ I watched this movie two years ago, and it’s fabulous, of course. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Pier Paolo Pasolini. 1975. ⚁ Well, this isn’t a movie I’ve been looking forward to seeing… I’m so over the whole épatering la bourgeoisie thing. Somewhat interestingly, the critics and the directors are really divergent on this one, only getting to the 202nd place in the critics’ poll. … Continue reading OTB#75: Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma
Kes. Ken Loach. 1969. ⚃ I’ve seen this before… like, a handful of years ago? I did not much like it then: The relentless awfulness of the boy’s life is… relentless? (I have a way with words.) But perhaps I misremember. Especially now that I’ve got a 2K copy of the movie. Heh heh: The … Continue reading OTB#75: Kes
Mulholland Drive. David Lynch. 2001. ⚅ I’ve seen this several times before, of course… but now it’s in 2K! I adore Lynch, but I wonder: Why Mulholland Dr. and not… like… Inland Empire? There’s two Lynch Movies on this list: Blue Velvet (duh) and this. Perhaps the attraction of this movie is that it’s, well, … Continue reading OTB#75: Mulholland Dr
Husbands. John Cassavetes. 1970. ⚀ I watched this movie a few years back, and I really loathed it. I can’t quite remember why, but I was probably right? Was is something about that interminable dinner scene? Hm… This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
The Wild Bunch. Sam Peckinpah. 1969. ⚂ Oh, I’ve got this on an old 6Mbps DVD release… I should have bought a 2K version, because it looks like that would have been really nice… OK; I’m going through all the rest of the movies to see whether they’re suspiciously small files and re-buying them. But … Continue reading OTB#75: The Wild Bunch
Los olvidados. Luis Buñuel. 1950. ⚄ I didn’t know that Buñuel made straight-up sappy movies like this. This feels like it could have been any Italian neorealist movie of its time. Only set in Mexico. Not surprising: Los Olvidados was largely disparaged by the Mexican press upon its release. It’s a very picaresque look at … Continue reading OTB#75: Los Olvidados
Jaws. Steven Spielberg. 1975. ⚂ This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series. I assume this has been voted the 75th best movie of all time by directors is because of the technical qualities. I mean, nobody can argue against how effective the “doon duun” scary music is. It’s beyond perfect. And … Continue reading OTB#75: Jaws
Pierrot le fou. Jean-Luc Godard. 1965. ⚅ I did not re-watch this movie for this blog series, but you can read about it here. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
Un Chien Andalou. Luis Buñuel. 1929. ⚄ I have never seen this, but I’ve seen shots from every scene from this movie in various articles over the years. So I knew when to hold a pillow before my face, and I still haven’t seen That Scene. This is Luis Buñuel’s famous exercise in épater la … Continue reading OTB#91: Un chien andalou
Chinatown. Roman Polanski. 1974. ⚄ I’ve seen this before, but I was like… twelve. The only thing I remember is the shocking ending. This is like a proper mystery movie! With lots of detecting and conspiracies and stuff. I did not remember that at all. Very moody. Nicholson is great, of course, as the somewhat … Continue reading OTB#91: Chinatown
*gasp* Shoes in bed! La maman et la putain. Jean Eustache. 1973. ⚄ All the movies on the list of the best movies (officially) are readily available… except this one. The only legit source I could find it from was this $80 VHS tape, and since my VHS player i… somewhere… I bought a bootleg … Continue reading OTB#91: La Maman et la putain
Beau Travail. Claire Denis. 1999. ⚅ Somebody described Denis as “the best living director today” a few years back, and that’s what it takes to get on the Official The Best list if you’re a woman. (At #91.) There are no further female directors on the list. I’ve seen this movie several times before, and … Continue reading OTB#91: Beau Travail
Opening Night. John Cassavetes. 1977. ⚅ Gina Rowlands! I love her. I’ve had my doubts about Cassavetes before. I mean: But this is brilliant. Everybody behaves so awfully towards the Rowlands character (including the Cassavetes character (her husband, after all) slapping her), that it starts getting… is like Cassavetes trying to say something to her? … Continue reading OTB#91: Opening Night
The Gold Rush. Charles Chaplin. 1925. ⚄ Man, this has been beautifully restored by Criterion. It’s a 2K release, and it looks super sharp. OK, some of the shots are a bit blurry, but it generally looks great. Much better than the transfers I saw back when I was a child. Because I think it’s … Continue reading OTB#91: The Gold Rush
The Deer Hunter. Michael Cimino. 1978. ⚂ This won all the Oscars, which immediately makes me suspicious. And I have seen it before, but I was probably… twelve…? at the time (probably got it on VHS some years after the release). And I remember absolutely nothing about it except that it’s sweaty and there’s some … Continue reading OTB#91: The Deer Hunter
Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège. Jean Vigo. 1933. ⚃ Since there are 16 movies tying for “last place” on this top 100 (all at #91), it means that I’ve got some leeway in choosing the order of movies. So the next film alphabetically was The Deer Hunter, but that’s over three hours long!? … Continue reading OTB#91: Zéro de Conduite
L’Argent. Robert Bresson. 1983. ⚅ I blogged about this movie here. I should probably re-watch it, but I’m not. This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. John Cassavetes. 1976. ⚂ OK, the weirdest thing about the list of 100 best movies I’m doing is that Cassavetes has four movies on it. I mean, there’s nobody on here with more movies than Cassavetes. I wonder whether that’s an artefact of the age of the participating voting … Continue reading OTB#91: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Sans Soleil. Chris Marker. 1983. ⚃ The DVD of this I bought has La jetée as the main attraction, and this movie as the extra. Which makes sense, because I’ve heard of La Jetée, but I haven’t heard of this movie. Which makes me excited. I really love the central conceit of this movie: It’s … Continue reading OTB#91: Sans Soleil
Don’t Look Now. Nicolas Roeg. 1973. ⚄ Oh, man. I have no recollection of having seen this movie, but every scene there’s a kind of primeval recognition. Could I have seen this, like, on TV as a child or something? It’s deja vu all the way for me. I must have been scared shitless while … Continue reading OTB#91: Don’t Look Now
I Am Cuba. Mikhail Kalatozov. 1964. ⚅ This is a movie I was completely unaware of, and I don’t seem to be the only one: It really is a neglected classic. It’s so weird! Movies this weird don’t usually end up on lists like these. Is it recently rediscovered or something? I’ve never seen cinematography … Continue reading OTB#91: Soy Cuba
L’Année dernière à Marienbad. Alain Resnais. 1961. ⚅ I’ve seen this at least a couple of times before. The last time was in 2015 according to Emacs… I regret not rebuying it on 2K. It’s such a beautiful film, and I’ve got it on a windowboxed DVD, so the resolution is like nil by nought. … Continue reading OTB#91: L’Année dernière à Marienbad
Le Samouraï. Jean-Pierre Melville. 1967. ⚃ I have apparently bought the Spanish version of this, but fortunately there’s also a French soundtrack. But no English subtitles! Subscene to the rescue! What would we do without pirates? Just watch Michael Bay movies? Oh, wow. Alain Delon. I don’t think I’ve seen any films by Melville? But … Continue reading OTB#91: Le Samouraï
I’ve always wanted to watch all the movies on the Sight and Sound list of movies. First of all, it’s a poll taken of working directors, and that in itself makes it interesting. Secondly, the film that won was neither Citizen Kane nor Vertigo, which immediately makes it seem more relevant. I’ve jokingly referred to … Continue reading Officially The Best
Almost a year ago I foolishly decided to watch all “Netflix Originals” movies to see what it’s like. Here’s the tl;dr: Based on these movies, Netflix is doomed. There were some movies I enjoyed, but none I could recommend without any caveats. However, it’d be a mistake to think that these movies have that much … Continue reading NFLX2019 Redux
Ghost Stories. Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Nooo! The final Netflix Original movie of 2019 is an Indian movie! Nooo!!! Not that there’s anything wrong with Indian movies. Some of my best friends are Indian movies. It was just not what I was expecting to round off the year. … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 31st: Ghost Stories
Dead Kids. Mikhail Red. 2019. ☆☆★★★★★ Huh. A Filipino movie? That’s definitely a first in this year of Netflix Originals. It’s… a bit amateurish. The actors are pretty likeable, but take that scene in the bar where they’re arguing about going to a night club: There wasn’t anything much wrong about any single line, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 31st: Dead Kids
The App. Elisa Fuksas. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! It’s Italian! I think this is the first Italian Netflix Original I’ve seen in this blog series? Perhaps it’ll be wonderful! Hm… that’s a lot of mobile phone screen caps… In portrait mode… Well, that’s harsh… But what does he really mean? Well, I can see why people … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 26th: The App
Como Caído del Cielo. José Pepe Bojórquez. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ A Mexican movie? I think this is the first one I’ve seen in this blog series? So the plot is that a dead guy’s er spirit gets to take over a dying guy’s body. Hilarity should ensue, but doesn’t really. Instead they go right to the … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 24th: Como Caído del Cielo
The Two Popes. Fernando Meirelles. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Oh, fuck. This is that Catholic propaganda movie? Gah. OK, perhaps it’s watcheable anyway? I mean, the Riefenstahl movie was pretty good. This is also one of the few Netflix movies that has gotten some attention in the media, so it’s a movie Netflix has pushed hard, I … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 20th: The Two Popes
6 Underground. Michael Bay. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆☆ Huh! It’s that guy from Deadpool! In a plane! And now he faked crashing the plane! And now they’re in a car chase! Is this the best movie ever? And the car chase is in Italy! And now there’s guns! There’s somebody in the back seat doing surgery to … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 13th: 6 Underground
Marriage Story. Noah Baumbach. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh, I’ve seen reviews of this movie in all the newspapers. And it’s always that way: A Netflix movie either has no presence whatsoever in mass media or it’s absolutely everywhere. So I guess that there’s certain Netflix movies that Netflix pushes really hard, and the rest they just … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 6th: Marriage Story
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby. John Schultz. 2019. ☆☆★★★ Oh, this is part of a series? At least, while searching for it, there seemed to be some other movies with suspiciously similar names. And it starts with a recap. Check. Man, it just immediately seems like a super-cheap film: The early crowd scenes seems … Continue reading NFLX2019 December 5th: A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby
Holiday Rush. Leslie Small. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I think we’re getting to a certain … time of year. I think Netflix has done at least half a dozen Xmas movies this year? But interestingly enough, each one seems to target a lightly different genres. Or audiences. So this is the black one. Uh-oh. OK, but these … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 28th: Holiday Rush
The Irishman. Martin Scorsese. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ So here it is: Netflix claim to cinematic greatness. They shovelled a whole lot more money in Scorsese’s way than anybody else would have, and they got a movie (shown in actual cinemas (for a couple of weeks)) that all the newspapers in the entire world wrote think pieces … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 27th: The Irishman
The Knight Before Christmas. Monika Mitchell. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Uh-oh. This movie starts off with that sample of an eagle er falcon that’s used everywhere. Yeah, this one: This doesn’t bode well for the budget. OK, this is very high concept: A knight from the thirteen hundreds (I think?) is magically transported to the present day. … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 21st: The Knight Before Christmas
House Arrest. Shashanka Ghosh, Samit Basu. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I think this may be the final Indian Netflix Original of the year. They’ve been more miss than hit, so my expectations aren’t high. This one starts off really well: They’re going for a kooky, topsy-turvy aesthetic, and the actors seem charming. It’s basically a screwball comedy … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 15th: House Arrest
Yesterday I was delving into the wonderful world of crowd-sourced subtitles, and I was wondering whether TV translations are easy to do. I downloaded the Emacs/mpv-based subed mode and got started. And then stopped immediately, because the mode is really geared towards editing srt files, not writing brand-new ones. You can write new ones, but … Continue reading Translations are Hard
I was wondering how much work it is to do subtitles for some of the Bergman rarities I uploaded yesterday: Somebody has written a subtitling mode for Emacs, so I wondered whether that was going to be my new hobby. But then it occurred to me that there’s a gazillion of busy bees out there: … Continue reading Some Bergman Subtitles
Some years back, I watched a whole bunch of things Ingmar Bergman had done. Most of his movies “proper” are available through conventional means, but a surprising number of things weren’t. (We’re talking plays like The Ghost Sonata (on one end of the video quality scale) to The School for Wives (on the other end), … Continue reading Some Bergman Things
Klaus. Sergio Pablos. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ This is super sweet. It’s told in a brash, irreverent tone, but it’s a very sentimental Christmas movie about Santa Claus and stuff. If you’re easily moved, it’s full of really touching scenes throughout: It’s amazing that they keep delivering these highly emotional punches time and time again. And the … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 15th: Klaus
Earthquake Bird. Wash Westmoreland. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Man, this is a mess. I was totally on board thinking this was a really interesting movie, where ever shot had a deeper meaning. We were all “oh, this means she can see dead people! No, she’s a vampire! No, she’s dead!” but calm down: There’s no Shyamalaning going … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 8th: Earthquake Bird
Let It Snow. Luke Snellin. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ My prejudices immediately told me that this was going to be a horrible teen comedy thing. But it’s not! It’s a fun teen comedy thing. The actors are charming (it’s an ensemble thing) and the interlocking plots (FSVO plot) are all kinda interesting (and intersects in interesting ways) … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 8th: Let It Snow
Holiday in the Wild. Ernie Barbarash. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ This is initially just confusing, because they’re sending off somebody to college… … but which one is he? Is the one in the middle or the one on the right? Who’s playing the teenager here? (It’s the one in the middle, and he’s cast for this way-appropriate-age … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: Holiday in the Wild
Hey! I’ve read that book. The Cloven Viscount? The Man Without Gravity. Marco Bonfanti. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Fourth movie of the night! Wow. An Italian movie? I think this is the first Italian Netlix Original? There’s a buttload of Indian ones, and a handful of Spanish, but other than that it’s mostly American. But no, this … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: The Man Without Gravity
Drive. Tarun Mansukhani. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Third movie of the night: This is an Indian action movie or something? “DROVE”? As in “it drove me crazy”? The titles at the start seemed to say something about Israel? Is this an Indian/Israeli thing? And now there’s dancing! Yay! What spectacle. After the titles, I’m definitely intrigued. Oh … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: Drive
The King. David Michôd. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ OK, second movie of the night, and it’s a longer one. I guess you could term this a… post-Game of Thrones historical drama? That is, it’s “gritty”. But it does aim for more realism than Game of Thrones, I guess: The hairstyles are bad and the actors have artfully … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: The King
American Son. Kenny Leon. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I was already behind on mah Netflix stories, but then I got a cold and now I’m even further behind. But now I’m fine! I slept from 8 to 20 today! Can I watch all the Netflixes tonight? There’s only seven! It’s now 23, so I should be done … Continue reading NFLX2019 November 1st: American Son
Rattlesnake. Zak Hilditch. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hm! This has some similarities with that grass movie I saw the other day. I mean, driving in the boondocks… and a child… OK, it’s not a very er similar similarity. Hm… Is it Wicker Man!? I’m just fifteen minutes in so I’m just guessing here. I’m enjoying this. They’re … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 25th: Rattlesnake
Dolemite Is My Name. Craig Brewer. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey? Eddie Murphy? There’s a face I haven’t seen in a while. He’s good here. Some of the famous people doing all these cameos aren’t really up to his level, but there’s other fun performances, too. Like Tituss. Anyway, it’s very entertaining. It’s a rags-to-riches story, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 25th: Dolemite Is My Name
Upstarts. Udai Singh Pawar. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Indian movie. Hopefully it’s a comedy, because the serious Indian Netflix movies have been pretty dire. … Oh, darn. It’s a dramedy. I think! My initial thought was that this movie made fun up start-up culture and apps and stuff… but… perhaps it’s serious? If it’s the latter, this … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Upstarts
Eli. Ciarán Foy. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Whut… the titles said “Paramount” and then “MTV Movies” and then a bunch of other producers. So how is this a Netflix Original? Oh: In October 2017, Paramount Players acquired distribution rights to the film, and set it for a January 4, 2019 release. However, Netflix acquired distribution rights to … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Eli
The Laundromat. Steven Soderbergh. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh, shit. This is a didactic Soderbergh movie about money? Was this one filmed on an Iphone, too? Soderbergh’s previous Netflix movie was one of the very few that I had to bail on because of pure tedium. OK, I broke down and googled. This is based on the … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: The Laundromat
Diecisiete. Daniel Sánchez Arévalo. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Hey! A Spanish Netflix Original. I have hope! [30 minutes pass] I still have hope! Actually, this is a pretty spiffy film. A lot kinda rests on the face of the seventeen-year-old in question, and he kinda aces it. He veers a bit between petulant and determined, but he … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 18th: Seventeen
Street Flow. Kery James. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ The French title means… Suburbanites? I’m just guessing. I don’t know from French. But I guess that doesn’t translate to the US. “Street Flow” is kinda generic, though. It’s a quite stylish movie with good (and good-looking) actors. The plot is, however, of a pretty standard “it’s tough growing … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 12th: Street Flow
Fractured. Brad Anderson. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I’m half a minute in and I’m assuming they’re Shalamaying us. [time passes] So now I’m 15 minutes in and I’m still assuming that they’re Shyamalaning us, but even if they aren’t, the assumption is draining all fun out of the movie. Not that there’d be much fun anyway. It’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: Fractured
The Forest of Love. Sion Sono. 2019. ☆★★★★★ This is such a bizarre movie. Netflix keeps is really mainstream with the movies they make (or have made) in the US, but they buy up the rights to some pretty oddball foreign movies. But none as odd as this. I don’t even know how to start … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: The Forest of Love
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Vince Gilligan. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Full disclosure time: I’ve watched two episodes of Breaking Bad. I watched the first one and thought “this is Extruded New Golden Age Of Quality TV Product”: All the ticks of “seriousness” that viewers of silly TV series love these days. And I watched the … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 11th: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
In the Tall Grass. Vincenzo Natali. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ So what’s this then? A Children of the Corn remix? Oh, it’s based on a shortish story by Stephen King. It’s about a pregnant woman and a a guy lost in … tall… grass? What is that grass anyway? Doesn’t look like papyrus? I guess it’s just … Continue reading NFLX2019 October 4th: In the Tall Grass
In the Shadow of the Moon. Jim Mickle. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Netlix didn’t release much over the summer, but now suddenly there’s a whole bunch of stuff! Let’s get started. Well, that’s a strange way to start a movie. With a straight-up scientific voiceover that explains the concept of the movie. (It’s telepathy.) OH!!!! The voiceover … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 27th: In the Shadow of the Moon
Between Two Ferns: The Movie. Scott Aukerman. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ *gasp* This is like the first Netflix Original in a while that isn’t “well, if you like that kind of stuff, here’s a movie that’s kinda like what you’d like to see, only not actually that movie you’d like to see”. Instead if’s a mockumentary about … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 20th: Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Tall Girl. Nzingha Stewart. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ There haven’t been many Netflix Original movies the past few months. I’ve kinda missed watching horrible, horrible movies. This doesn’t really look that bad. It’s a high school comedy where the main concept is that it’s embarrassing to be a tall girl. I can relate. I’m tall, girl. So … Continue reading NFLX2019 September 13th: Tall Girl
Letters from Baghdad. Sabine Krayenbühl. 2016. This is not my favourite genre: It’s a docudrama with the footage “aged” to simulate oldee tymee stock; everything played back slightly too fast to make it look like an old silent movie. But with fake sounds inserted… incessantly… it’s never silent; always a bed of foley or music. … Continue reading TSP2019: Letters from Baghdad
Suspiria. Luca Guadagnino. 2018. I have not seen the original Suspiria movie, but I’ve seen quite a few movies by Luca Guadagnino, and I’ve liked almost all of them. There’s so many references here… “Dr. Klemperer”… Arthur Koestler… “Berger”… Baader-Meinhof… Surely these can’t all have been in the original horror movie? Or perhaps they were? … Continue reading TSP2019: Suspiria
Avengers: Endgame. Anthony & Joe Russo. 2019. Hey! It’s time to catch up with Tilda Swinton again. I really enjoyed the previous Avengers movie (by the same directors as this one). The Marvel Studios movies have really gotten a whole lot better the past few years, embracing humour and sci-fi more than the first few … Continue reading TSP2019: Avengers: Endgame
Bright. David Ayer. 2017. ☆☆★★★★ I started watching this and then I realised that I hadn’t seen the movie, so I thought I should do that first. Amusingly enough, when I search for “Bright” in the Netflix app, it is not among the about 50 or so hits. Apparently “Lucifer”, “Triple Frontier” and “Isn’t It … Continue reading NFLX2017 December 15, 2017: Bright
Back to School. Remy Four, Julien War. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey, it’s a French comedy! As is often the case with Netflix movies, it’s got a classic plot: Two nerds going to a school reunion. These things usually suck, and… it’s not that bad? There’s hi-jinx and mistaken identities and all that kind of stuff. It’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 30th: Back to School
Falling Inn Love. Roger Kumble. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ This is a likeable easy-on-the-eyes romantic comedy thing. It’s a classic set-up: Stranger arrives in little town; lots of comedy hi-jinx fixing up an old house and romance ensues. It’s got a good, relaxed vibe going on: It’s very secure in its genre conventions, but that doesn’t get … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 29th: Falling Inn Love
Sextuplets. Michael Tiddes. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Wayans namechecks Tyler Perry early on in this movie, and for good reasons: The gag here is that Wayans plays six different characters. It’s an unpretentious, silly movie, and there are jokes that work. But they don’t come along very often. Looking at imdb, apparently a large number of people … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 16th: Sextuplets
Otherhood. Cindy Chupack. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ The Netflix recipe is to put a bunch of actors we like watching into a movie, and not really spending any money whatsoever on anything else, like directors or a script. But so what? Bassett, Arquette and Huffman are fun to watch. This starts off like it’s a lighthearted middle-age … Continue reading NFLX2019 August 2nd: Otherhood
The Red Sea Diving Resort. Gideon Raff. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Uh-oh. “Inspired by true events”. Those are words to strike fear into any film fan. But what the fuck is this movie? It looks pretty nice… The action scenes are in shakycam, which isn’t my favourite, but the cinematographer doesn’t overdo it. We get kinda perhaps … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 31st: The Red Sea Diving Resort
Secret Obsession. Peter Sullivan. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh, Daily Dot: Secret Obsession is a soulless lump of generic mush that aspires to the cheese level of a Lifetime original joint but doesn’t come anywhere close. So this is a slasher flick? As has happened before with these Netflix movies, I’m not at all confident that this … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 18th: Secret Obsession
Point Blank. Joe Lynch. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ OK, after a couple of holidays I’m back on the Netflix Originals beat. My mission: To watch all the movies Netflix has released this year, according to the list compiled by these people. Right off the bat, this movie rubbed me the wrong way. The actors are pretty charming, … Continue reading NFLX2019 July 12th: Point Blank
Beats. Brian Welsh. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I thought this was going to be the usual rags to rap riches story, but instead it’s an unusual rags to rap riches story. It’s got PTSD and mental illness and stuff. It turns out that everything needed to get well is some hard truths from an older man. The … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 19th: Beats
Murder Mystery. Kyle Newacheck. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh deer. Adam Sandler. Jennifer Aniston. And the director has a long an undistinguished career in television. But, you know, Netflix is TV, so… I assumed that this was going to completely horrendous, but it’s actually not that bad. The concept here is that Aniston and Sandler are working … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 14th: Murder Mystery
Elisa & Marcela. Isabel Coixet. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Another Spanish Netflix Original? Sure, I’m game. And it’s in black and white? Great. But… it looks kinda like an odd black and white? It’s looks a bit washed out… as if it was done on colour video and then they just dropped all the colour? I don’t … Continue reading NFLX2019 June 7th: Elisa & Marcela
Chopsticks. Sachin Yardi. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Hey, yet another Indian movie… They have been of more variable quality than the American movies (which are mostly er not very good), so perhaps this’ll be good? It’s a comedy, at least. This is mainly a Hindi-speaking film (I think?), but when they speak English (as all Indians seem … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 30th: Chopsticks
Always Be My Maybe. Nahnatchka Khan. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Hey, this looks cute. It’s about two friends growing up? Wow, that’s a weird song choice. Young Americans (by David Bowie) in a horrible cover version? Didn’t want to pay for the rights or would it be too obvious that that’s a horrible choice of a song … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 31st: Always Be My Maybe
Rim of the World. McG. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ It’s a sci-fi movie by the guy who produces Supernatural? Sure, I’m in. Oh, it’s a movie for children. Oh, well. Hey, it’s kinda amusing. Lots of kooky characters; some great lines. Heh heh. I laughed out loud in real life loudly. This is funny! As with Malibu … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 24th: Rim of the World
The Perfection. Richard Shepard. 2018. ☆☆☆☆☆★ I’m not sure in what sense this is a “Netflix Original”. It’s a Miramax movie released in 2018… but then Netflix bought the exclusive distribution rights? Or something? OK, I’m hiding the rest of the text because if you want to watch this movie, you should be un-spoilered. Click … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 24th: The Perfection
See You Yesterday. Stefon Bristol. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ What’s this then? From the name it sounds like a science fiction movie… but it’s produced by Spile Lee? Is that what he does these days? I kinda lost track of him in the 90s after a couple of kinda boring movies he did after the initial burst … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 17th: See You Yesterday
Good Sam. Kate Melville. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Watching Netflix Originals in this way, one by one based on release date but knowing nothing about them, I find myself playing the What Genre Is Netflix Making A Generic Movie In Now? game. This is about a scrappy TV reporter? It’s very efficient: In the second scene, the … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 16th: Good Sam
Malibu Rescue. . 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ So what’s this then? Is this a children’s movie… or is it at parody of a children’s movie? OK, I’ve watched now for ten minutes and I still can’t tell. Perhaps it doesn’t matter? It’s weird as fuck anyway. The actors are really fun. Everything is somewhat over the top, … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 13th: Malibu Rescue
Wine Country. Amy Poehler. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ Oh wow. Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Jason Schwartzman… Oh! And Poehler directed this! From the name, I supposed that this would be a Netflix rip-off of that Pinot Noir movie that was all the rage a while back, but this looks more like a parody … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 10th: Wine Country
The Last Summer. William Bindley. 2019. ☆★★★★★ So… this is one of those teen dramedies about a pre-nostalgic “last summer”. There are jocks, there are nerds, there are Heathers. It’s such a generic throwback of a movie. I can’t decide whether the filmmakers are totally inept or they’re taking brave artistic choices: Everything is washed-out … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 3rd: The Last Summer
Despite Everything. Gabriela Tagliavini. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I went on a holiday for ten days, and then I had a cold for a week, so I’m way behind on my Netflixes. I seem to have eight movies to catch up with… Well, that’s doable this weekend. Let’s get started. Hm… Oh, this is a Spanish movie? … Continue reading NFLX2019 May 3rd: Despite Everything
Music Teacher. Sarthak Dasgupta. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ I’ve been following the “drama” and “comedy” lists here and thinking that I was getting all the Netflix Originals. But then I noticed that I wasn’t getting “The Silence”, which I thought was a Netflix Original. It turns out that it’s on this list instead, which is a list … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 19th: Music Teacher
Someone Great. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I’m like totes caught up with the Netflix (this movie was released today), so I’m watching other movies on the side. But since they’re not really uh conceptual? then I’m not blogging about them, for which everybody’s happy, I guessing. But I’ve discovered over the years that it’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 19th: Someone Great
The Perfect Date. Chris Nelson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆★★ I think imdb says it perfectly: i think this in one of the many netflix-production that will place itself in the basket of inrecognition, unless you like social network-work, and the freshnes of new juicy fruits entering the silver screen with beauty and galore . i think the … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 12th: The Perfect Date
Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?. Jota Linares. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ A Spanish Netflix movie! I am exite! But… well, there’s good bits. They’ve gone for a very low-makeup look for the actors (you can see every pore), and the actors are pretty good. Especially the women. But it’s difficult to get into this … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 12th: Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?
Unicorn Store. Brie Larson. 2017. ☆☆☆★★★ Huh. Brie Larson? But she’s Captain Marvel? Two movies released at the same time? Errr: It screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on April 5, 2019, by Netflix. So it’s two years old, but now suddenly it’s a “Netflix … Continue reading NFLX2019 April 5th: Unicorn Store
The Highwaymen. John Lee Hancock. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Does it say anything about our times that Netflix found it attractive to make a movie about Bonnie & Clyde where the heroes are the men who hunt them down? Or is it just the result of a random walk performed by the Netflix movie generator script? I’m … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 29th: The Highwaymen
15 August. Swapnaneel Jaykar. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! Another Indian movie. Netflix are really going after the Indian market? The other (three?) Indian movies so far this year haven’t all bin good, but they have a better track record than the American Netflix movies, so I’m excited. One slight puzzling thing about the Indian Netflix movies … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 29th: 15 August
The Dirt. Jeff Tremaine. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ This doesn’t start off well, but once it gets going there’s one funny scene after another. It’s not even the most OUTRAGEOUS scenes that are funniest — there’s like the scene where they dump the blond guitarist. Ramsay Bolton totally deadpans his way through it, and that drummer guy … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 22nd: The Dirt
Triple Frontier. J.C. Chandor. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Oh deer. You’ve seen this movie a gazillion times before: Cool military guys doing cool military things with a roaming, restless camera (steadycam and helicopter footage). Every single shot is a cliché and there’s metal music to underscore how cool it all is. I mean: War is hell. That’s … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 13th: Triple Frontier
Juanita. Clark Johnson. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Oh, I haven’t bitched about the Netflix UX yet, have I? Let the rant commence: I loathe it. I go to the Netflix app and it says DOUUUNNG as loud as possible. Then I start thinking about what I’m going to watch and it starts auto-playing, with full sound, whatever … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 8th: Juanita
Walk. Ride. Rodeo.. Conor Allyn. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Oh deer. This is based on a true story? At the start here I thought this was a quite funny parody… but then… I slowly realised… that it’s a real Based On A Real Story movie. I don’t like to use hate speech so I’ve avoided using this … Continue reading NFLX2019 March 8th: Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
Paddleton. Alex Lehmann. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★ Uhm. Ray Romano. He’s, like, somebody I don’t like a lot. I didn’t even recognise him before I read imdb. Well, to be honest, I still don’t recognise him after reading imdb. This is a movie extruded to satisfy the urges of the same audience as this? It’s even got … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paddleton
Paris Is Us. Elisabeth Vogler. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆☆ I was totally wrong about how many Netflix Originals have been released this year: I had somehow counted 30, but there’s only 14. Which means that I’ll probably get caught up this weekend?! Have Netflix cut back? If they continue at this pace, there’ll be vaguely more than … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Paris Is Us
Awesome beard. Firebrand. Aruna Raje. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ I never thought I’d say these words but: *phew* Finally it’s another Indian movie! This is a somewhat strange movie. It combines the aesthetics of a lighthearted drama with a rather distressing storyline about PTSD after rape. This is a movie that seems to have avoided attention by … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 22nd: Firebrand
High Flying Bird. Steven Soderbergh. 2019. ☆★★★★★ Everybody loved Steven Soderbergh after Sex, Lies, and Videotape, but then the rest of his movies happened. I mean, he’s got a bunch of blockbusters with the Oceans * movies (haven’t seen them), but he’s also done more ambitious movies, like his Solaris remake (I’ve seen it, but … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 8th: High Flying Bird
Velvet Buzzsaw. Dan Gilroy. 2019. ☆☆★★★★ Once again, this movie seems so calculated. It’s like they put random attractive movie traits (Gyllenaal as totally gay; the art scene; horror) through a blender and came up with this without anybody wanting to make this specific movie. That doesn’t mean that this is horrible: Any scene is … Continue reading NFLX2019 February 1st: Velvet Buzzsaw
Polar. Jonas Åkerlund. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Oh. Jonas Åkerlund? Did he just do the film about black metal Lords of Chaos? Hm… I see; that one was made a couple of years ago but not really released until now. Anyway, I’m expecting something stylish with an excessive amount of violence, so I’ve got my pillow ready. … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 25th: Polar
Soni. Ivan Ayr. 2018. ☆☆☆☆☆★ Great! After two horrible American Netflix Originals, this is an Indian movie picked up for distribution by Netflix, so its script presumably hasn’t been auto-generated by an Eliza bot. This movie reminds me a bit of 70s hyper-realist movies like Jeanne Dielman. 23, quai du Commerce. 1080 Bruxelles. I mean, … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 18th: Soni
Futura! Brave choice! This guy eats a tomato for the first time in forever and has a foodgasm, which reminds me of this Sheri Tepper novel I read many years ago: It’s set in a future where there is no nature, and on a game show, a family wins the right to eat the very … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 18th: IO
The Last Laugh. Greg Pritikin. 2019. ☆★★★★★ OK, this one is HDR for some reason… why not… By Emacs! This is a horrible movie. Let me sum up the plot: Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss are old. That’s it. The (I hesitate to call it that) cinematography is violently pedestrian. The jokes are… there… The … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 11th: The Last Laugh
Lionheart. Genevieve Nnaji. 2018. ☆☆☆☆★★ OK, we’re off on The Journey Into Netflix Originals. This is the first thing I’ve actually watched on this setup: I’ve only done debugging, so far, and of course problems are showing up, so my concentration on this film is far from 100%. I’ve got the Apple TV set to … Continue reading NFLX2019 January 4th: Lionheart
I’ve recently been watching mostly old movies, so I thought it was about time for a complete turn-around: What’s going on in movies today? And the freshest movies available (outside movie theatres) are on Netflix: In particular the “Netflix Originals”. Some of these have a brief limited theatrical release, but arrive on the screens pretty … Continue reading NFLX2019
Hellraiser: Judgment. Gary J. Tunnicliffe. 2018. ☆★★★★ This is another Hellraiser sequel made for pure reasons: Several years later, Dimension Films was required to make another Hellraiser film to retain their rights to the series, giving Tunnicliffe a chance to propose his vision to the studio. Well… it’s… inventive… I guess the idea is to … Continue reading AWOB18: Hellraiser: Judgment
Hellraiser: Revelations. Víctor García. 2011. ☆☆☆★★★ The impetus for some of the previous Hellraiser movies is sometimes obscure, but this one is straightforward: The film was produced in a matter of weeks, due to an obligation on Dimension Films’ part to release another Hellraiser film or risk losing the rights to the film series. Due … Continue reading AWOB11: Hellraiser: Revelations
Hellraiser: Hellworld. Rick Bota. 2005. ☆☆☆★★★ This is the third and final Hellraiser movie directed by Rick Bota, and this time he’s got somebody vaguely famous to play the lead: Lance Henriksen. And according to imdb, it had a generous $5M budget, so it’s pretty flush in a Hellraiser context. And, yet again, it’s based … Continue reading AWOB05: Hellraiser: Hellworld
Hellraiser: Deader. Rick Bota. 2005. ☆☆★★★★ This is the second in a trio of movies made by Rick Bota/Tim Day/Carl Dupre/Ron Schmidt (and people) as director/writer/producer combos. Weirdly enough, it’s the only one that’s only available on DVD, while the first and third movies are on bluray. What’s up with that? Oh, Weinstein Bros: Like … Continue reading AWOB05: Hellraiser: Deader
Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Rick Bota. 2002. ☆☆☆★★★ Hey! Ashley Laurence, who was in the first two movies, is back! As with the previous movie, this apparently originated in a script Dimension Films had in storage that they altered to add some Hellraiser characters. (The Weinsteins are always so thrifty.) This horror movie feels refreshingly old-fashioned. I … Continue reading AWOB02: Hellraiser: Hellseeker
Hellraiser: Inferno. Scott Derrickson. 2000. ☆☆★★★★ Heh:: Like Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) after it, “Inferno” was originally a non-Hellraiser related horror script owned by Dimension. To save money on writing a completely original Hellraiser story, the script was quickly edited to insert the Pinhead and the Cenobites. Well, that’s promising! Now I’m picturing a production company … Continue reading AWOB00: Hellraiser: Inferno
Hellraiser Bloodline. Kevin Yagher. 1996. ☆☆☆★★★ Pinhead… In… Spaaaaaaace. This is the final Hellraiser movie that got a theatrical release. And:: [It’s] the last [film of the franchise] to develop [its] story around the original premise rather than simply tacking Hellraiser elements onto a pre-existing script. As such it’s one which, for all its problems, … Continue reading AWOB96: Hellraiser Bloodline
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. Anthony Hickox. 1992. ☆☆★★★★ After two movies that have a quite homey feel to them, this seems more… professional. I’m guessing it was made in the US? It has that American feel to it. Grips and best boys that are in the union. The first two Hellraiser movies may not … Continue reading AWOB92: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Tony Randel. 1988. ☆☆☆☆★★ Well, that’s an odd way to start a sequel: We get a very… intense… recap of the first movie! Before the titles! All the famous one-liners and excerpts from the most gruesome scenes. I don’t think I’ve seen it done that blatantly before. And then we’re off: Several … Continue reading AWOB88: Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Hellraiser. Clive Barker. 1987. ☆☆☆☆★★ This is pretty scary right from the get go. It’s an original way to introduce the audience to the horrors, too: Give us glimpses of the fantastic, and drench it in blood. Barker is of the Carpenter school of horror movies: Show it all; don’t hint at it. And then … Continue reading AWOB87: Hellraiser
Last year, I re-read a bunch of 80s comics published by Eclipse Comics, and among these were a a bunch of adaptations of Clive Barker short stories as well as a couple of fannish books about him. I quite enjoyed reading his Books of Blood at the time: They were something new and fresh in … Continue reading A Weekend of Blood
After watching movies kinda aimlessly for a while, I wanted to focus on a specific era, so I chose the 40s: One movie from every month of that decade. I chose the 40s more by process of elimination than anything else: All the other possible decades had bits that seemed less exciting here and there. … Continue reading Decade Redux
Awrite! The final movie in this blog series! December 1949! A decade of movies! It’s over! I think I started in… September? So it’s taken me about six months to watch 120 movies? That’s two thirds of a movie per day. OK, I’ll do a summing-up post later… So what’s this movie about? A high … Continue reading December 1949: Twelve O’Clock High
Huh. This… looks like a B movie sourced from Youtube from VHS, but how did I buy this? It must be on a box set of some kind, but … which one? I sure can’t find it. And it’s weird. It’s got a voiceover like an educational short. I’m guessing this is a public domain … Continue reading November 1949: Port of New York
What! A Marx Brothers movie!? I thought I’d seen them all? How did I miss this one? It must have been part of that Marx Bros box set I bought some years back? But… huh. This is not one of the classic Marx movies. There’s not a lot of Groucho in here (and his scenes … Continue reading October 1949: Love Happy
Hey, John Wayne. Oh, and er Laurel? I mean Hardy. Or do I? This is a romantic western comedy, I guess. Wayne is a polarising actor, but I really like having him on the screen. He’s fun to watch. This is very, very slight fare. It’s charming and easy on the headbone. But perhaps it … Continue reading September 1949: The Fighting Kentuckian
Howard Hawks! Cary Grant! Ann Sheridan! And this is the first post-war war movie I’ve seen in this blog series, I think? Oh… it’s not really a war movie. It’s a post-war movie, set in present-day (i.e., 1949) Germany. This is a screwball comedy of sorts: Lots of pratfalls for Grant to excel at. But … Continue reading August 1949: I Was A Male War Bride
Based on the title I thought this was gonna be a Douglas Sirk weepie. But instead it’s a very noir film noir! This movie started off simply fabulous. Ly. Great random set-up and perfect noir performances. But things get more involved and the actors start chewing the scenery and instead of ever-increasing tension, we just … Continue reading July 1949: Too Late For Tears
Huh. Is this the first Ealing comedy I’ve watched in this blog series? I believe it is… Oh! They didn’t start until 1947, so that explains it. This is only their fifth movie, apparently. This isn’t quite what I expected: It’s slow and witty, but it’s about a serial killer murdering his way into a … Continue reading June 1949: Kind Hearts and Coronets
Hey! Abbot and Costello. I haven’t seen too many of thse… This is uncomplicated fun: A mix of physical humour, weak bon mots and general silliness. I’m smiling a lot while watching this, but I’m not actually laughing. But I can totally see an eleven-year-old me finding this to be the height of hilarity. The … Continue reading May 1949: Africa Screams
Dean Stockwell!? But he can’t possibly… Oh, he plays the ten year old boy. And I was thinking of Harry Dean Stanton. ANYWAY. This is a fascinating movie. It’s not that often you see a movie that doesn’t fit neatly into a genre category or where you have no idea where the plot is going. … Continue reading April 1949: The Secret Garden
Oh, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be at all? I thought it was with… Bette Davis? And an adult drama? Little Something Else? The? Anyway, this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, and it really shows. When this kind of thing works, it really works. And this really works. There’s so many … Continue reading March 1949: Little Women
Quite a few of these late-40s DVDs have been from Olive Films, a company I was previously unaware existed. Is this a new iteration of one of the older quality-minded DVD companies? Like… uhm… Eureka? Artificial Eye? Curzon? Tartan? I know that some of those have gone under and been resurrected under other names… All … Continue reading February 1949: Caught
*gasp* Nineteen fortynine! I just have 12 more movies to go for this blog project! This is pretty good. We get presented with three women’s lives, possibly at a pivotal point for any of them, and it’s pretty interesting. But mainly I’m wondering whether Ingmar Bergman saw this movie and then thought, hmm, I can … Continue reading January 1949: A Letter To Three Wives
Hm… that’s a very familiar name? Oh, yeah, that’s what I thought: Orson Welles did a movie with a similar name. This is definitely not that one. It’s John Garfield playing a mobster(ish) lawyer. It’s about the intricacies of running a numbers game. Basically everybody in this movie are crooks. I don’t know. I didn’t … Continue reading December 1948: Force of Evil
Oops! I was supposed to watch this before the previous movie, but I got confused because the first copy of this DVD arrived broken and I had to get another one in and then etc. But here it is! June Bride! Bette Davis! And… people… I didn’t think Davis did that many comedies, but this … Continue reading October 1948: June Bride
He’s on the down low here. It feels like forever since I saw the previous movie. But it’s been only… two weeks? Last weekend was Copenhagen. Oh wow! This is written, directed and produced by Preston Sturges, the director I wasn’t aware of before doing this blog series, but who’s become a new favourite after … Continue reading November 1948: Unfaithfully Yours
Oh, wow! I know this storyline! I’ve been listening to old Norwegian radio dramas while walking the last year, and there was a 50s serial about an invalid woman overhearing a murder plot on a crossed line on the telephone, and then trying to do something about it — all over the phone. So the … Continue reading September 1948: Sorry, Wrong Number
Huh! The previous movie was also an Eagle-Lion thing. How odd I’ve bought two of these in sequence. At least this had been restored properly; the Amazing Mr. X looked horrible. This is noir, though, and is told from the viewpoint of a bunch of small-time (wannabe) gangsters. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie … Continue reading August 1948: The Scar
Wow, this is a bad DVD transfer. Looks like it’s been sourced from VHS via an NTSC broadcast. But never mind. This is fun! It’s a horror movie, sort of. Or perhaps thriller? It’s kinda thrilling, anyway. Being able to see what was going on would perhaps have been even better, but it works anyway. … Continue reading July 1948: The Amazing Mr. X
I can see! In colour! Based on the name I thought this was going to be a cheap B movie, but instead it’s an Irving Berlin extravaganza! With Fred Astaire and Judy Garland! But like I guessed by the “parade” name, this is basically a bunch of songs and dances and skits with some nonsensical … Continue reading June 1948: Easter Parade
Directed by Laurence Olivier, this is pretty spiffy. Lots of weird little touches. It’s not filmed theatre at all — it’s all movie. I didn’t recognise Olivier at all. Perhaps I’ve just seen him in much later movies? Or is it just the blond(e)ness? He’s fabulous here, anyway. We’ve all seen Hamlet way too many … Continue reading May 1948: Hamlet
Oh, directed by Max Ophüls. I haven’t seen a lot of movies by him… I remember seeing The Earrings of Madame De… the other year. I think? Yes. I was apparently befuddled then. This looks great. The cinematography is relentlessly intriguing. Joan Fontaine is marvellous. Her acting style is so different from what you usually … Continue reading April 1948: Letter from an Unknown Woman
Johns Ford and Wayne! Is this the first John Wayne movie I’ve seen in this blog series? Hm… Oh, Shirley Temple and Henry Fonda, too… This is sweet. I thought this was going to be one of those serious and relevant westerns (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but instead it’s pretty funny. Not … Continue reading March 1948: Fort Apache
Noir! Sirk! Colbert! *gets popcorn* This is brilliantly paranoid; a vortex of (possible) gaslighting, (possible) insanity and (possible) conspiracies. They give away the game a bit too early, I think, and from then on it all seems a bit too predictable. But it’s fun and it’s funny and gripping and it’s quite Douglas Sirk. Sirk … Continue reading February 1948: Sleep, My Love
Bogie! And… other people… I thought this was going to be a western, but it’s contemporary and is something much more singular. It’s the kind of movie you (I mean, me) have no idea what direction it’s going to go in. It’s by John Huston, so of course it’s good, and as usual with a … Continue reading January 1948: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
*gasp* Orson Welles! And Orson is dubbed into a comedy Irish dialect!? WTF?! His lips don’t match up to the audio all the time, at least, so I’m assuming it’s not Welles himself doing the awful impression… This is such a weird movie! I love it! It makes no sense! I assume that Welles’ diet … Continue reading December 1947: The Lady From Shanghai
This is a film noir, but it starts off as like a 50s Tennessee Williams movie. But then you get all of the genre trappings: Flash-backs, gangsters, dames, beaches, repartee. I’ve never realised how similar Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas are. They’re basically the same person. Mitchum is a bit more muscular, but otherwise they’re … Continue reading November 1947: Out of the Past
This has few votes on imdb so I assumed that it was a B movie. But this is an MGM high budget costume drama… with Lana Turner and Donna Reed. And what costumes! It was nominated for a handful of technical Oscars as well as Best Cinematography and was apparently quite popular upon release. That … Continue reading October 1947: Green Dolphin Street
Wow! Bacall! Bogie! Agnes Moorehead! I haven’t seen this before? I don’t think so? Why!? It’s the most noir thing ever! It’s an absolutely thrilling and riveting movie. The first-person camera in the first section of the film is amazeballs. The constant coincidences in the plot makes such paranoid sense. It’s fantastic! I’m not familiar … Continue reading September 1947: Dark Passage
Technicolor! Irene Dunne! William Powell! Elizabeth Taylor! This is not a noir! Unfortunately, the DVD version seems to be sourced from a torrent copy of the movie at a bitrate of “there’s a bitrate?”, and the torrent was sourced from an NTSC broadcast, so it’s very pretty on my screen. It looks like it originally … Continue reading August 1947: Life With Father
Now this is noir! Burt Lancaster is in jail (where it rains all the time) planning an escape! I’m reading Miracle of the Rose by Jean Genet these days, which is told from an er slightly different perspective than this movie. But there are certain parallels: Both are told from the perspective of the prisoners, … Continue reading July 1947: Brute Force
This is pure entertainment, and I love that. Gene Tierney is perfect as the plucky widow, and Rex Harrison camps it up as the ghost of a ship captain. It’s such a perfect fluffy thing. It meanders pleasantly without straining the brain. But then! In the third act! Drama! This kind of thing works much … Continue reading June 1947: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Oh My Emacs! Another Joan Crawford movie? Is this like the 30th in this blog series? Who bought these movies anyway? This is super noir. They even found rainy days to shoot in Los Angeles. As usual, you can’t fault Crawford’s er expressive performance. The other actors also plays it large, and it’s pretty great. … Continue reading May 1947: Possessed
Oh, this is Chaplin’s “serious” movie? Didn’t that flop spectacularly? Chaplin was subjected to unusually hostile treatment by the press while promoting the opening of the film, and some boycotts took place during its short run. In New Jersey, the film was picketed by members of the Catholic War Veterans, who carried placards calling for … Continue reading April 1947: Monsieur Verdoux
I’ve never seen a DVD from this er company: It seems to be called Mr. Fat W Video, and the titles look like they’ve been made in Video Toaster in the 90s. And the DVD looks to have been upsampled from a low-resolution, low-bandwidth source: There’s both jaggy lines and banding. But it doesn’t look … Continue reading March 1947: Green For Danger
This is yet another (probably public domain) B movie from that DVD box set I’m apparently mentioning every third movie in this blog series. This is the rags-to-riches story about the Dorsey brothers (who were jazz musicians back in the day). The acting shifts between horrible and ridiculous, but the script is pretty amusing. And … Continue reading February 1947: The Fabulous Dorseys
It’s been a while, but here’s another B movie from that box set where all the other B movies came from. Unfortunately the sound quality here is so bad that I can make out only every third word. It’s kinda charming. It doesn’t really amount to a whole lot, but it’s inoffensive. Nothing much to … Continue reading January 1947: Calendar Girl
Joan Crawford! John Garfield! And directed by Jean Negulesco! Er… Ok, that’s a completely utterly unfamiliar name to me. That’s a really unenthusiastic Wikipedia page. He was nominated for a bunch of awards but didn’t win much. But they let him make a bunch of movies, so I guess they were commercially successful? This is… … Continue reading December 1946: Humoresque
This seems awfully familiar… Oh, I watched this in 2014! Oh, well. Let’s watch it again; I seem to remember it being rather good. This 2K version has been beautifully restored — the last time I saw this was on .7K. So many more pixels! This is adapted from the Noel Coward play, and I … Continue reading November 1945: Brief Encounter
As westerns go, it doesn’t get more western than a movie directed by John Ford starring Henry Fonda (!) as Wyatt Earp (!!) in Tombstone (!!!). Shirley, I must have seen this movie before, but I really can’t remember anything about it… This Criterion restoration of the film is almost … too much? The blacks … Continue reading October 1946: My Darling Clementine
Huh! It’s an opera? Sounds very modern? I didn’t know that Jean Cocteau did operas? How odd. Oh! Philip Glass composed an opera perfectly synchronized to the film. The original soundtrack was eliminated, and he composed the opera to be performed along with the film projected behind the orchestra and voice talent. The compact disc … Continue reading September 1946: La belle et la bête
What’s this then? I wasn’t prepared for the segue into film noir was going to be this abrupt. Of the films after the war ended, virtually all the movies have been noir. This is another one, and it’s weird. I did see the twist coming a mile away, but there’s just so much strange little … Continue reading August 1946: Black Angel
I love the title! And… wow! This is absolutely brilliant! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s condensed, over-the-top melodrama; every scene, every camera angle pitch perfect. Lizabeth Scott is wonderful here. I’m not familiar with her work, but she’s like every 40s dame distilled. And Kirk Douglas is perfect as the milk-toast weaselly D. … Continue reading July 1946: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Barbaric! I don’t know… Irene Dunne is fun, of course. Rex Harrison as the king of Siam is… as you’d expect? But there’s something kinda loathsome about this film. It gets generally positive reviews, but it’s… horrifying and dreary. I really struggled to get through the last five hours of this horrid thing. Anna and … Continue reading June 1946: Anna and the King of Siam
Wow! This just looks so… restored! It’s the crispest 40s movie I’ve seen. This 2K bluray isn’t even a Criterion release. Oh, this is the one that was remade with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version. I can’t get over just how weird and abrupt this movie is. … Continue reading May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
Oh, written by Raymond Chandler and with Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. We’re out of B movie territory, finally. Not that there’s anything wrong with B movies. … Wow! This is some kinda noir masterpiece! There’s just so much in here! Ladd’s semi-mute stoicicity (that’s a word). Lake’s dead-pan witty repartee. William Bendix simmering like … Continue reading April 1946: The Blue Dahlia
Well, this is a strange little movie. Barely an hour long and filmed on cheap (but nice (with the least convincing lab set ever in the history of ever)) sound stages, but it seems to have some ambition. It’s a B movie film noir/mystery thing, and is kinda unusual in that all the characters that … Continue reading March 1946: Strange Impersonation
Perhaps I should have limited the number of movies from the 50 movie box set of (presumably public-domain) small-studio musical comedies for this blog series, but some of them have been unexpected gems. The vast majority are just vaudeville skits with some dialogue to fill in the gaps. Just like the previous movie, this is … Continue reading February 1946: Breakfast in Hollywood
Of all the B-movies I’ve seen during this blog series, this is the one of them. As usual, it’s a series of vaudeville bits with some plots in between. The plot here is slightly more substantial (if that’s the word) than usual. I think. It was awfully confusing, but perhaps that’s because I’ve got a … Continue reading January 1946: People are Funny
I knew they had short ties back in the 40s, but… This is a B movie from that box set where all the other B movies I’ve been watching. And as usual, it’s set in a vaudeville theatre, so that the movie makers can just film a bunch of stage actors and then pretend that … Continue reading December 1945: Doll Face
Oh, Billy Wilder. I wasn’t quite aware that he had done a film noir, I think? I’ve seen all his 50s/60s comedies… This movie won all the Oscars, and confirms most of my prejudices against those movies. It’s about a tedious alcoholic doing tedious alcoholic things, but very dramatically. So much drama. It’s not that … Continue reading November 1945: The Lost Weekend
Oh, this is the Agatha Christie thing! I’ve seen a bunch of versions and read the book etc, but I don’t think I’ve seen this version before. And I’ve forgotten who the murderer is. How delightful. At first I thought that they had embellished the novel greatly (as they usually did back in the days; … Continue reading October 1945: And Then There Were None
Surely I’ve seen this Joan Crawfordaganza before, but it really doesn’t seem very familiar… This is the Criterion-restored DVD version. It’s good, but it doesn’t look as brilliant as their best restorations do. The blacks never go down to full blackness, so everything is a bit washed out… but perhaps that’s what the director was … Continue reading September 1945: Mildred Pierce
!!! Dum ti dum ti dum… WHAAAA AYN RAND! So it this going to be a super-corny schmaltzy ode to objectivism? It’s a budget movie? It looks like it’s been filmed on the cheapest, most cramped sound stages. I assume that it ended up in my queue due to block-voting on imdb (I selected movies … Continue reading August 1945: Love Letters
Hey! Why did this premiere in July? I assumed they did Xmas movies at Xmas? Is imdb wrong about the release date? Oh, this is delightful. It’s got a classic screwball set-up, charming actors and witty repartee. The “You have a baby? I want to give him a bath!” bit is even more unintentionally hilarious … Continue reading July 1945: Christmas in Connecticut
It feels like weeks since I saw the previous movie… perhaps because it was? Gotta catch up now then. Wow, this is an odd movie. It’s a screwball comedy, but it’s set in a such a nightmarish milieu that it’s sometimes difficult to know whether to be horrified or amused: It’s about a hapless insurance … Continue reading June 1945: Murder, He Says
Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore… And Greer Garson… Oh, I’ve seen her in Mrs. Miniver, which was very good indeed… Uh-oh! It’s a movie about Irish in the US. ME AM SUSPICIOUS There’s something particularly dreadfully tedious about Irish cultural extruded product. The combination of religiosity, pomposity, sentimentality and forced cheer is positively venomous. If … Continue reading May 1945: The Valley of Decision
*gasp* I can see colours! Technicolours! Well, this is a high-ticket item. Directed by David Lean from a script by Noel Coward (and also produced by him). Margaret Rutherford is wonderful as the most unlikely medium ever. It’s a very, very English screwball comedy: A deceased woman comes back as a ghost to visit her … Continue reading April 1945: Blithe Spirit
This is another cheap and cheerful B movie from that 50 movie box set. Perhaps a majority of the movies on the box set are stage shows wrapped in a nonsensical excuse for a framing device. I don’t mind; it’s fun to watch those stage shows. This is also an excuse to show a variety … Continue reading March 1945: Delightfully Dangerous
This is like… neo-realism… before neo-realism. So is it realism? Oh, this is Elia Kazan’s first movie. He’d go on to define the 50s with A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront and East of Eden. This movie looks wonderful. It’s so sharp: The light and the shadows. New and fresh and a new thing. … Continue reading February 1945: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
On a War Movie scale of 1 to 10 this is 25: It’s all soldier, all the time. The director has the best profile picture ever on IMDB: And the movie is just about what you’d expect from seeing that picture: It’s brash, manly and filled with robust humour. And as you’d expect, it’s not … Continue reading January 1945: Objective Burma
Oh, this is from the Icons of Screwball Comedy DVD “box”, which I can’t seem to find at the moment… I’m substituting the other box for the dice throw picture. CONTINUITY ERROR This is a supremely amiable movie. The actors are charming; the storyline is cute; the lines are witty. It’s entertaining and amusing, but … Continue reading December 1944: Together Again
Oo. Those are purdy fonts. Huh? An Italian movie from 1944? Oh, it’s from the director of Bicycle Thieves, which is a wonderful movie. And this is pretty great, too. According to this, it was filmed in 1942, before Italy started losing. There’s no mention of the war in this film, although we do see … Continue reading November 1944: The Children Are Watching Us
After a couple of cheapies, this is a proper, expensive A movie. I mean, Bogart? Bacall? Howard Hawks? Hemingway? Doesn’t get more A than that. The movie has been beautifully restored for this bluray release. I must have seen this movie a few times before (who hasn’t?) because some of the scenes seem awfully familiar. … Continue reading October 1944: To Have and Have Not
Oh, another cheapie B-movie from PRC from that box set. The previous movie, Minstrel Man, wasn’t er good, but you never know… This one seems more promising… for one, there’s no blackface. And the lead’s a better actor. It’s a real movie, sort of: It’s not just an excuse to string a bunch of songs … Continue reading September 1944: Swing Hostess
This is another B movie from that DVD box set. The transfer is pretty good here — while some of these have been sourced from torrents, this looks like a straight from film to DVD transfer. Hm… it might have been done via high quality video tape… There’s some typical tape ghosting going on. It … Continue reading August 1944: Minstrel Man
Yay! Douglas Sirk! Mah favourite. I was a bit in the mood for a comedy after the last movie, but whatevs. I’m such a fan that I apparently bought two copies: Wow. This has Edward Everett Horton in a kinda-sorta serious role. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. I mean, it’s Anton Chekhov (it’s … Continue reading July 1944: Summer Storm
Can any powder-box really be too gay? How odd. This DVD starts with a five minute overture (i.e., some swelling orchestral music playing while we’re shown some stills). I wonder whether this was part of the original movie theatre experience… I guess it could have been, because it’s long enough that it may have been … Continue reading June 1944: Since You Went Away
Ah, finally! Back to the 40s! I only have the TV on on weekends, and the past few weekends have been busy with concerts and parties and other boring stuff. This is a proper grandiose, romantic war movie, with stoic British women pining (and nursing) away at home while brave British soldiers bravely fight against … Continue reading May 1944: The White Cliffs of Dover
This movie was done for TV. I didn’t even know that they did movies for TV in 1944, but I’m apparently off by a couple of decades according to Wikipedia. Or is the “FOR TELEVISION” thing it says at the start about this particular edit of the movie? I have no idea, but this is … Continue reading April 1944: Trocadero
Another Val Lewton production! Hm… oh. His name seemed so familiar that I assumed that I had seen dozens of his films, but it’s really just The Ghost Ship. Is there another producer with a similar name? Hm… ah, he headed the RKO horror division, overseeing a string of cheap B-movies that looked better than … Continue reading March 1944: The Curse of the Cat People
Claude Rains! Bogart! This is no B movie. I found this to be a frustrating watch. It’s a sort of mid-war fantasy about war. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s so… stiff? Perhaps it’s because everything looks like it’s filmed on a sound stage? Even the outdoors bits? This is definitely not … Continue reading February 1944: Passage to Marseille
That’s some design on those er leotards. Indeed. This is a cheap and short B movie, I guess? It’s got a classic set-up: A Broadway hopeful moves into a hotel for Broadway hopefuls. Lots of good movies have been written around that concept… and while this is very likeable, and it’s got some good lines … Continue reading January 1944: Career Girl
“Why, a captain has more law than the King of Siam! A captain can marry you!” “Well, I’m already married.” This is an extremely odd film about a crew on a ship ships that’s possibly haunted. Excuse me while I do some googling. It was produced by Val Lewton for RKO Radio Pictures as part … Continue reading December 1943: Ghost Ship
It’s Bette Davis! Again! Geez, the person who bought these movies had a one track mind… Anyway! It’s a comedy! A romantic comedy! I didn’t think Davis did those, but this is the second one in this blog series… Oh, it’s not a comedy after all. That makes more sense. It’s about an insufferably grating … Continue reading November 1943: Old Acquaintance
This DVD has a very artifactey transfer — it’s probably mastered off of a torrent site. This is not the first movie in this blog series that’s been told from the point of view of the troops, but this one keeps the focus there throughout the movie. And while it’s a propaganda movie (the opening … Continue reading October 1943: Guadalcanal Diary
What’s this then? A French movie? Made during the occupation? That had to be controversial. Ah. Some wikipedia editor says: The film caused serious problems for its director after World War II as it had been produced by Continental Films, a German production company established near the beginning of the Occupation of France, and because … Continue reading September 1943: Le Corbeau
This is a B movie, I guess? Cheap and cheerful. It’s got a convoluted and silly plot that putters away in a very pleasing manner. Much intrigue and running around. It’s not exactly a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s really funny. It’s just an almost-perfect bundle of silliness, and everything works out like it’s supposed to. … Continue reading August 1943: Hi Diddle Diddle
Oh Em Gee! Colour! It’s a movie in colour! Is colour even possible?! My eyes! An Irving Berlin eleganza extravaganza. It’s about a bunch of guys drafted into the army and then they put on a show. As one does. It’s great! It’s got lines like Angry sarge: “Did you sleep well?” Private: “Sure. This … Continue reading July 1943: This is the Army
Douglas Sirk! I love his 50s melodramas, but I haven’t seen any of his earlier stuff, so I’m excited to watch this movie. Virtually all of the war movies I’ve seen so far in this series (that are set in foreign countries) are set in the Czechoslovakia. I guess it makes sense… it was an … Continue reading June 1943: Hitler’s Madman
Oh! A western! With a name like that I thought this was going to be about an obscure Pacific naval battle or something. This is from a director, William A. Wellman, who’s done a shit-load of movies, but who’s unknown to me, for some reason or other. Aaaanyway. This is a kinda odd western. It’s … Continue reading May 1943: The Ox-Bow Incident
I am Confused, Bemused and Bemildred. What is this?!?! It starts off with a street gang spanking their leader… and then the rival gang spanks him… and I guess my general confusion is due to the video quality is kinda like fourth generation VHS, and the audio is more rumble than voice. But what’s even … Continue reading April 1943: Clancy Street Boys
Huh. A British war movie directed by Fritz Lang from a script co-written with Bertolt Brecht. I had no idea what to expect here, but they use their not-inconsiderable talents to go all-in on the anti-Nazi propaganda war effort. And it’s great! The Nazis are evil, eeevil; mincing and brutally sadistic at the same time. … Continue reading March 1943: Hangmen Also Die
It’s a war movie! I’ve seen some spy stuff during this blog series, but very few out-and-out war movies. And it’s by Howard Hawks, so it looks like the shots are gorgeous… Except that the transfer I have i ridiculous. There’s digital artefacts all over the place. Not just banding and exaggerated grains, but also … Continue reading February 1943: Air Force
Opening with an attempted suicide, that’s not what you expect when imdb says that this is a romantiv musical. The scenes of industrial grime in a factory town are stunning. imdb is on acid, of course. This is a movie about struggling out of property and the hard-nosed grift needed. Ida Lupino is brilliant as … Continue reading January 1943: The Hard Way
Oh, this is just perfect. It’s a screwball comedy about a couple moving into a haunted tenement house… OR IS IT!??! Things move at a brisk pace, and if all the individual gags aren’t exactly genius, it all just kind of works. “Jeff! Don’t be a fool!” “Don’t be silly. I’ve always been a fool.” … Continue reading December 1942: A Night To Remember
Ginger Rogers! Cary Grant! In a romantic Nazi intrigue comedy! Director Leo McCarey was a veteran director with films like Duck Soup on his resumé, but hadn’t really been super-successful. (He did do An Affair To Remember later, though.) And… this movie tries so hard. It’s got so much going for it, like Rogers’ preposterous … Continue reading November 1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon
Ooo! Bette Davis! I thought that perhaps I’d seen this before, but if so, it must be a long, long time ago, because scenes seem familiar in vague flashes. Perhaps I saw it as a child? But, man, Davis is amazing here. Didn’t get the Oscar, of course. Isn’t it weird how it’s more difficult … Continue reading October 1942: Now, Voyager
What could be more appropriate after watching a movie with Fred Astaire than a movie with Ginger Rogers? Had they stopped working together by this time? The computer says yes, almost. This is directed by Billy Wilder, who’d worked in movies a lot before this, but it’s only his second directorial feature (and the one … Continue reading September 1942: The Major and the Minor
Yes! Fred Astaire! Bing Crosby! Irving Berlin! Bluray! I wonder whether I have the release date wrong here… or did they really release an Xmas movie in August? Watching movies by month I wanted to experience the change of the seasons, but… Anyway, it won the Oscar for best song: White Christmas, and no surprise. … Continue reading August 1942: Holiday Inn
Oh. This is about some sports guy? Who got a disease named after him? And it was nominated for all the Oscars? But only won for “Best Film Editing”? And it’s directed by schmaltzmeister Sam Wood, who we previously saw in Our Town and Kitty Foyle? I fear the absolute worst! And, yes, Wood lays … Continue reading July 1942: The Pride of the Yankees
This movie won all the Oscars. So I approached this with some scepticism. But it’s irresistibly charming. The actors playing the Minivers are absolutely wonderful, but there are some variable performances otherwise. The plot’s not quite what I expected, either… Still, I don’t think this is quite as good as Wyler’s previous movie The Little … Continue reading June 1942: Mrs. Miniver
This is from that collection of cheap b movies and features the Andrews Sisters. This also has the fabulous Mary Wickes. She can liven up a movie just by being in the general vicinity of it, and when she’s on the screen, she’s just everything. And Shemp Howard is a perfect foil for her. This … Continue reading May 1942: Private Buckaroo
Yay! A real noir thriller! Alan Ladd’s great as the taciturn assassin. I don’t think I’ve seen many movies with Veronica Lake, and she’s definitely of the “I’m standing here waiting until the other person finishes their line so that I can say my line” school of acting, but she’s fun. She’s certainly a better … Continue reading April 1942: This Gun For Hire
When I saw the start of the title sequence, with the American eagle and everything, I thought that we’d finally arrived at a honest-to-goodness American war movie. But no: It’s a Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza set in 1840. It’s a romantic/comedic/epic kind of thing, and I had no idea that the plot would get this … Continue reading March 1942: Reap the Wild Wind
To Be Or Not To Be. Ernst Lubitsch. 1942. Oh yeah! This one! I’ve seen it several times before. And the Mel Brooks remake, of course. I’ve been attempting to avoid movies I’ve seen before in this blog series, but my research sucks! “Heil myself.” It’s a very funny film, of course, and as a … Continue reading February 1942: To Be Or Not To Be
The Man Who Came To Dinner. William Keighley. 1942. Oh this isn’t Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner… I did think that was a much later movie… and it is! Well, you can’t but enjoy Monty Woolley’s over-the-top performance, and Bette Davis is here, so it’s definitely got things going for it. It’s funny! It’s good, … Continue reading January 1942: The Man Who Came To Dinner
Sullivan’s Travels. Preston Sturges. 1941. After a string of low-budget movies today, here’s an A feature. By Preston Sturges! This is his third movie in this blog series! I didn’t plan this! It starts off with people fighting on the top of a speeding train! That’s the best way to start a film! It’s a … Continue reading December 1941: Sullivan’s Travels
Secret of the Wastelands. Derwin Abrahams. 1941. Oh! This is a Hopalong Cassidy movie! I don’t recall having seen any of these before, but Hopalong himself looks very familiar. According to imdb, William Boyd basically did no other roles after the mid-30s, so I guess I must have seen one of these before? Looks like … Continue reading November 1941: Secret of the Wastelands
All-American Co-Ed. LeRoy Prinz. 1941. Another thing from the box set, and pretty kooky. It’s a great set-up where they manage to come up with a good explanation for why a guy from an all-male college disguises himself as a woman and goes to an all-female college. I know! The drag isn’t very er fishy, … Continue reading October 1941: All-American Co-Ed
Let’s Go Collegiate. Jean Yarbrough. 1941. Another b-movie cheapie from the musicals box set. And what seems to be a trend here, the b-movies are more diverse than the main features: This on has not only black people, but an Asian guy! Which is a first in this blog series, I think. It’s amusing, I … Continue reading September 1941: Let’s Go Collegiate
The Little Foxes. William Wyler. 1941. *gasp* Bette Davis! She’s magnificent here, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. This is a film set in the somewhat oldee south, but I wonder whether it’s a conscious political decision to have a black person in just about every scene (mostly as servants, of course). It makes a … Continue reading August 1941: The Little Foxes
Sergeant York. Howard Hawks. 1941. This is a big-budget huge sentimental Hollywood movie written by John Huston and directed by Howard Hawks and starring just about everybody. This was nominated for all the Oscars and won a couple, and neither is surprising. This is one of those national myth-building American films that pop now and … Continue reading July 1941: Sergeant York
Man Hunt. Fritz Lang. 1941. Is this the first American war film (sort of) in this blog series? Everybody’s speaking English, though (except for the Germans), so perhaps it was just financed by Americans, but it’s British? And it’s Fritz Lang! Golly! The cinematography is on another plane entirely from these other American films I’ve … Continue reading June 1941: Man Hunt
Sunny. Herbert Wilcox. 1941. This is more the video quality I expected from the 50-movie DVD box set. Completely unrestored. But the sound’s kinda good. This is based on a stage musical, so it’s chock-full with musical numbers and doesn’t have much of a plot. Which is fine by me. Yay! Edward Everett Horton! I … Continue reading May 1941: Sunny
That Uncertain Feeling. Ernst Lubitsch. 1941. There’s like… nothing here. The film spins its wheels from the start to the end, and nothing really happens. It’s plain weird. But it might just be my lack of concentration? I don’t know. I skipped back a few times because I just didn’t track what (if anything) was … Continue reading April 1941: That Uncertain Feeling
Meet John Doe. Frank Capra. 1941. I’ve seen this before! Unfortunately, this is the Amazon Prime version of this movie, and the video sucks and the audio is very mp3-artifactey. (Everybody is talking from underneath the ocean. Whoosh whoosh.) NEVER AMAZON PRIME AGAIN (unless I really have to). This is, of course, a very good … Continue reading March 1941: Meet John Doe
Road Show. Hal Roach. 1941. I love it! It’s one of those screwball comedy things. It’s absolutely insane. This is another movie from the absurd box set, and the audio/video quality is a lot better than anybody has a reason to expect. It’s a low budget movie, so I guess it’s a “B movie” of … Continue reading February 1941: Road Show
Come Live With Me. Clarence Brown. 1941. This is another pro-immigration movie, with a refugee from Austria who’s being deported, and the very odd hi-jinx that ensue. (Which include her married boyfriend frittering and his wife (and her boyfriend) and you know.) It’s obliquely making references to the Situation in Europe. It’s very risque, and … Continue reading January 1941: Come Live With Me
Kitty Foyle. Sam Wood. 1940. I guess you could call this a light-hearted romp… or loathsome misogynistic propaganda. But that’s only the intro, and then we’re into the main part of the movie, and things get less divisive, I guess, but… I don’t understand these people at all. “My favorite movie of all time” “Another … Continue reading December 1940: Kitty Foyle
Little Nellie Kelly. Norman Taurog. 1940. So Irish. So very Irish. But this is an odd duck. It takes us through the American immigration process in excruciating detail. Is it meant as a manual for Irish immigrants? It’s based on a Broadway show from 1922… so what was the reason for the movie version in … Continue reading November 1940: Little Nellie Kelly
Christmas in July. Preston Sturges. 1940. Oh my god. This is one of those spiralling-out-of-control comedies with plenty of room for embarrassment, which I have to watch from behind a pillow. But it’s really good. Such great lines and so likeable characters. Is this one of those films they show on TV every Xmas? Because … Continue reading October 1940: Christmas in July
Up in the Air. Howard Bretherton. 1940. This is the first film from the 25 DVD/50 movie musicals box I’ve seen. I was expecting horrid audio and video quality, but this isn’t so bad… the sound is a bit scratchy. It a very simple (presumably low-budget) film about musical film-makers favourite subject: Performers putting on … Continue reading September 1940: Up in the Air
Night Train to Munich. Carol Reed. 1940. I’m guessing that Carol Reed isn’t a woman? Yes? It just occurred to me that I did no filtering for gender when I bought these films, so I’m wondering whether this is going to be a 120 movie sausage fest… Anyway! I was very impressed by the montage … Continue reading August 1940: Night Train to Munich
The Great McGinty. Preston Sturges. 1940. I like the plot structure, what with most of the movie being a flashback, and I like that the protagonist is, well, a crook. But such a personable crook. It’s all about grift and the mob running US politics and stuff, really, and we’re cheering them on. Being a … Continue reading July 1940: The Great McGinty
The Mortal Storm. Frank Borzage. 1940. This is the first war film in this blog series, and I assume that there’ll be a lot more, but perhaps not before December 1941? It’s the first one that touches on the war in Europe at all, except for a throw-away line in His Girl Friday. Anyway, this … Continue reading June 1940: The Mortal Storm
Our Town. Sam Wood. 1940. I hadn’t quite realised how many of films from the early 40s were based on theatre plays. I think so far it’s been… all of them? Almost all of them? This is another one. This was nominated for all the Oscar awards, including “best sound, recording”, and the sound is … Continue reading May 1940: Our Town
The Doctor Takes A Wife. Alexander Hall. 1940. You gotta admire the sheer preposterousness (that’s a word) of the premise here, but it just doesn’t fire on all cylinders. It’s also a very typical “battle of the sexes” thing of the period, which doesn’t help. But there’s a lot here to enjoy. The performances are … Continue reading April 1940: The Doctor Takes A Wife
Too Many Husbands. Wesley Ruggles. 1940. Hm… Did I see this before? I didn’t think so… Is it part of a box set I’ve bought some years ago? *time passes while I rummage through the bookcase* I dud have it! On “Icons of Screwball Comedy Volume One”. Well, this isn’t a very good track record … Continue reading March 1940: Too Many Husbands
Pinocchio. Norman Ferguson. 1940. I’ve never seen this one, but I’ve seen excerpts from it every Xmas (on a couple of channels), so I’ve heard the intro song more than a 80 times, and I’m feeling very Xmas-y now. You can say many things about Disney, but at least they took really good care of … Continue reading February 1940: Pinocchio
His Girl Friday. Howard Hawks. 1940. And we’re off! I’ve seen this movie plenty of times before, and that’s not what I want to do in this blog series, really, but I had bought a new copy of this (as part of a screwball box set), so what the hey. And, as you all know, … Continue reading January 1940: His Girl Friday
When watching movies, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and always return to your favourite genre. (Which, for me, is science fiction. I’ll basically watch anything that’s science fiction, no matter how bad it is, and it gets really, really bad.) I’ve tried to mix it up by giving myself various stupid challenges, … Continue reading Decade
I’ve always been frustrated by the IMDB web pages. Usually when I’m looking at a director’s oeuvre, I’m not interested in all the shorts, videos and games the director has created, but just want a list of the movies. When I’m looking at a specific movie, it’s often because I want to know who the … Continue reading IMDB in Emacs; or, Honey, I Made an ORM
Radioman. Mary Kerr. 2012. Whaaa! Another documentary! I’m developing a hatred of documentaries… But mostly American ones. This one in British, by Mary Kerr, and it’s good. But you have to wonder about whether this film will do its subject any good or whether it’ll just… make him so public that he can’t continue to … Continue reading TSP2012: Radioman
Letters From Generation RX. Kevin P. Miller. 2017. OH FUCK! It’s an American documentary, So it’s an incessant barrage of pedestrian imagery, where they try to keep the interest of bored viewers by putting in as many edits in per second as possible replete with “action reenactments”. I just loathe the “sentence fragment with dramatic … Continue reading TSP2017: Letters From Generation RX
Genevive Goes Boating. Lucy Gray. 2011. This short (narrated by Tilda Swinton) can be found on Vimeo. It’s a kind of fairy tale/parable thing. I really like the way it’s made: The home-made-aesthetic scenography etc, and it is interesting, but I didn’t really get much involved. I guess the fairy tale thing just doesn’t work … Continue reading TSP2011: Genevive Goes Boating
Okja. Joon-ho Bong. 2017. I remember there being some controversy about this film at the Cannes Film Festival because it’s a Netflix film. That is, it wasn’t released to movie theatres? I think? And they changed the rules to exclude such films afterwards? Anyway, I signed up to Netflix to see just this film, and … Continue reading TSP2017: Okja
The Gospel According to St. Derek. Andy Kimpton-Nye. 2014. This documentary can be found on Youtube here, here, and here. It’s a quite traditional documentary: A theme is established, and then they get a series of people talking about that, and then a new subject, and then pretty much all the same people talking about … Continue reading TSP2014: The Gospel According to St. Derek
async – first light. Apichatpong Weerasethakul. 2017. This short can be found on Vimeo. It’s based on a piece by Ryuichi Sakamoto and is by the guy who made Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and is a series of clips of people sleeping. It’s nice. This post is part of The Tilda … Continue reading TSP2017: async – first light
The Seasons in Quincy: Fout Portraits of John Berger. Bartek Dziadosz. 2016. This is a documentary film in four parts (with four different directors) produced by The Derek Jarman Lab. I know nothing about John Berger (but I’ve probably seen a couple of films based on his… work?), and this is not a film that … Continue reading TSP2016: The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger
Isle of Dogs. Wes Anderson. 2018. Hey, it’s a Wes Anderson film, so of course Tilda Swinton is in here somewhere. It’s an animated film, but she does the voice of Oracle. (She has like four lines in the film, and two of them are “what?”) And… I love Wes Anderson, but it’s weird. Not … Continue reading TSP2018: Isle of Dogs
B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989. Jörg A. Hoppe. 2015. Hey! This is another part of my project to see whether all the films of a moderately famous actor are available in these modern days. (Spoiler: No.) It’s been a couple of years since the last one, so I thought I’d just do mop-up … Continue reading TSP2015: B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989
Hey! I got a package from France with the most stamps ever! Just look at it! Such variety! I’m very impressed. The contents are even better. It’s the Éric Rohmer bluray/DVD box set. The Intégrale. That sounds much classier than “complete edition box set”. I mean, if that’s what it means? The French are so … Continue reading Stamped Box
Black Panther. Ryan Coogler. 2018. This started off really well and I was like “wow! this is like a real movie or something!” but then soon got bogged down in really bad acting (like the challengers in the coronation scene (and where they should have had thousands of people watching the fight, not dozens CGId … Continue reading Century 2018: Black Panther
Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson. 2017. OK, I’ve seen the other new Star Wars films… I think… And I saw the original ones back in the 80s. And I saw the first of the prequels. In short, I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but I though the previous one was pretty entertaining … Continue reading Century 2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The parrot is fascinated by all the bokeh. Tickled. David Farrier. 2016. Last year, I bought all the films John Waters said were the best of 2016. Well, at least all the ones that were available at the time… There were a couple that were totally “er, no”, like Cattle Towards Glow, but in general … Continue reading Century 2016: Tickled
Louder Than Bombs. Joachim Trier. 2015. Hey! A Norwegian film! And it’s co-written by the guy who did a movie in my apartment. Er… small world? This, weirdly enough, is filmed in the US, with English language actors and a mostly American crew, I guess? And it’s weird seeing Joachim Trier’s usual directorial touches that … Continue reading Century 2015: Louder Than Bombs
Retour à Ithaque. Laurent Cantet. 2014. Quite a few of the DVDs I have I can’t really remember why I bought. I do remember this one: I thought it was a Cuban film, so I got it for my World of Films and Cocktails blog series. And it is filmed in Cuba, but it’s really … Continue reading Century 2014: Retour à Ithaque
Gah. Another DVVD with forced subtitles… Venus in Fur. Roman Polanski. 2013. Without Canal+, there would have been no European cinema for the past two decades. That’s my conclusion after watching a lot of films these past couple of years. Canal+ is always, in my mind at least, listed as a co-producer of any European … Continue reading Century 2013: Venus in Fur
Dreams of a Life. Carol Morley. 2011. Oh, right. This is a documentary by Carol Morley, who did The Alcohol Years, which I saw… a couple of years ago? Hm. I don’t remember what it was about, but I must have liked it if I bought this one? Hm, I think I did? So it’s … Continue reading Century 2011: Dreams of a Life
Gah! This is one of those blu-rays that has a ‘forced’ subtitle; i.e., it’s part of the video stream instead of being a separate thing. Whyyyy. Oh, it’s by Digital Factory. I guess that’s more digital. I was so confused by the subtitles here. Jardin. Jaguar. Ooh! I love those ears. So Tardi. The Extraordinary … Continue reading Century 2010: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
Precious. Lee Daniels. 2009. Hey, I bought this one twice. Even if it won a couple of Oscars it’s not that bad! But the American convention of having adult actors playing teenagers is so weird. For the first few minutes I wondered why a woman in her mid-20s was attending junior high, but then (helpfully) … Continue reading Century 2009: Precious
The Smiths: The Queen is Dead. Derek Jarman. 2008. What’s this then? Oh, it’s an “unauthorised” documentary about The Smiths focusing on The Queen is Dead. I’ve seen a couple of these before. They’re made on the cheap… But this does actually have The Smith’s songs, so it’s not as no-budget as some of the … Continue reading Century 2008: The Smiths: The Queen is Dead
What Would Jesus Buy?. Rob VanAlkemade. 2007. Whaaa. It’s a documentary by that Supersize Me guy? Why did I buy this? I hate modern American documentaries: They’re snippet, snippet, snippet with some officious deep male voice telling you how outrageous everything is. Or… Oh, it isn’t. It’s a mocumentary? Well, that makes more sense. I … Continue reading Century 2007: What Would Jesus Buy?
As You Like It. Kenneth Branagh. 2006. Oh, Kenneth Branagh. How we adored him in the early 90s. He could do no wrong. He was that perfect mix of high culture (Shakespeare) and real drama (Peter’s Friends) with a detour into silly genre (Dead Again). And he was married to Emma Thompson and had Phyllida … Continue reading Century 2006: As You Like It
Triple Agent. Éric Rohmer. 2004. Oops! I had gotten to 2002 last month, and then I went back to 2001 in the previous post. So now we’re at 2004, because I have nothing from 2003, so that all worked out perfectly! Right? And… it’s an Éric Rohmer film! Yay! And it’s a period drama. I’m … Continue reading Century 2004: Triple Agent
The Man Who Wasn’t There. Joel Coen. 2001. Hey, it’s been a while since I saw a movie. Busy busy. But finally! A weekend that’s all open. Now, I was a bit distracted while watching parts of this film, It certainly has an original cast of characters and some great actors in Frances MacDormand and … Continue reading Century 2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. George Clooney. 2002. I didn’t have tripe sec, so I used a orange liqueur instead. Offal, oranges; it’s all the same. But this is the first film George Clooney directed, and it’s such a typical first movie. Clooney’s going USE ALL THE TRICKS FROM ALL THE MOVIES in this film. … Continue reading Century 2002: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Hawaiian Gardens. Percy Adlon. 2001. Well, this is a different aesthetic from Percy Adlon. Instead of super-saturated colours a sound stage and nice film stock, this looks like it’s been filmed on an early-generation digital camera, and it’s all on location with natural lighting. It’s got a rating of 4.1 on imdb, which is the … Continue reading Century 2001: Hawaiian Gardens
In The Mood For Love. Kar Wai Wong. 2000. The last time I saw this film, it looked completely different! 2046 was more like this film, only much more mannered. This film has nerve and emotional depth. I watched the Anthony Bourdain Hong Kong show the other week, and he mentioned that this was his … Continue reading Century 2000: In The Mood For Love
An Ideal Husband. Oliver Parker. 1999. How weird. I can’t find the DVD for this film, or any of the other four I ripped on the same day… I must have… put them… somewhere.. But. Hm. what’s the expression to describe this… “Aggressively pedestrian”? “Excessively standard”? Ever single shot here is a shot you’ve seen, … Continue reading Century 1999: An Ideal Husband
Star Trek 8: First Contact. Jonathan Frakes. 1996. Oops! Another Star Trek film. I guess my stacks of DVDs were pretty light on 90s films… I remember this as being much better than it is. It’s got the best Star Trek villains, the Borg, but somehow this film manages to strip away many of the … Continue reading Century 1996: Star Trek 8: First Contact
Rendez-vouz in Paris. Éric Rohmer. 1995. Eric Rohmer was a director I was totally and utterly unaware of until a couple of years ago when I bought one of his films on a whim in a DVD shop somewhere. Mostly because of his name, which reminded me of Sax Rohmer. And it’s weird, because he … Continue reading Century 1995: Rendez-vouz in Paris
Trois Couleurs Blanc. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1994. This is one of the oldest DVDs I have, I think. I remember buying the box set while on holiday in London in the 90s. And somehow it’s never felt vitally urgent to watch these films, so it’s taken me almost 20 years to watch the trilogy. I have … Continue reading Century 1994: Trois Couleurs Blanc
Poison. Todd Haynes. 1991. Todd Haynes have done so few films. If I’m reading imdb correctly, this is his first one (from 1991), and he’s only done six more, which isn’t a lot of films per decade. And it’s not like his movies haven’t been successful… It’s weird. I like all his films (although I … Continue reading Century 1991: Poison
Alice. Woody Allen. 1990. This is a Woody Allen film from after I stopped watching him (I think I stopped the year before, growing tired of watching film after film concerning the problems of rich people in Manhattan), so I’m curious as to what he’s up to now, then. Aaaaand… it turns out to be … Continue reading Century 1990: Alice
Rosalie Goes Shopping. Percy Adlon. 1989. This is one of the less-than-handful of films from the Percy Adlon DVD box set I bought that I can actually watch (most of the rest are in German without subtitles in any language I understand), but, oh, what a film. I remember watching this when it was new … Continue reading Century 1989: Rosalie Goes Shopping
Pee Wee’s Christmas Special. Wayne Orr. 1988. OK, I’m on today’s nth cocktail, but I think this might be the best TV thing ever shown anywhere ever. Pee Wee has gotten an amazing number of amazing stars to appear on his special (Grace Jones, k. d. lang, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg), but it’s still the same … Continue reading Century 1988: Pee Wee’s Christmas Special
September. Woody Allen. 1987. Hm… what was the film that made me stop watching the yearly Woody Allen film? I don’t think it was this one… Perhaps it was one a couple of years later? Crimes and Misdemeanors? I don’t recall. But I do remember why I stopped watching his films: I was sitting in … Continue reading Century 1987: September
Worst. Punk. Ever. Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home. Leonard Nimoy. 1986. OK, we’re firmly in the 80s now. Instead of the crew of the Enterprise having extremely shiny faces now (a typical 70s thing), everybody has thoroughly powdered skin now. All matte. I did watch this film in the 80s, and the only thing … Continue reading Century 1986: Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
Spies Like Us. John Landis. 1985. It was this one or The Purple Rose of Cairo, which I don’t have any positive memories of. This is such a confusing movie. It has all the hallmarks of a zany crazy comedy, but there are like no jokes here, and the few jokes that are identifiable as … Continue reading Century 1985: Spies Like Us
Broadway Danny Rose. Woody Allen. 1984. Yeah, OK, for 1983 it was this is The Search For Spock and I threw the dice and I went for this one. Allen had like an Imperial period where he could do no wrong, and this is towards the end of that period. And when he’s on screen … Continue reading Century 1984: Broadway Danny Rose
The Man With Two Brains. Carl Reiner. 1983. Oh my Emacs! This is so stupid. In the best way possible. I must have seen this before at some point, because so many scenes were familiar, like the Hufhurr thing, but it’s been a while. And I guess a lot of the jokes haven’t aged well … Continue reading Century 1983: The Man With Two Brains
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Nicholas Meyer. 1982. I was going to watch Der Stand der Dinge by Wim Wenders, but my DVD turned out to just have German subtitles. *sigh* It seems to be a current theme with European films. So I have a choice between another Woody Allen film and this. … Continue reading Century 1982: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
Reds. Warren Beatty. 1981. Most films I have on my shelf of unseen films I can pretty much figure out why I’ve bought. This one, I have no idea. Did somebody recommend it to me? This is such a 70s film, and not in a bad way. If I had to make a guess at … Continue reading Century 1981: Reds
Stardust Memories. Woody Allen. 1980. My plan was to watch Céleste by Percy Adlon for 1980. I’ve been looking for a collection of his films forever, because the few films of his I’ve seen I think range from great to wonderful (Zuckerbaby, Rosalie Goes Shopping, Salmonberries, Bagdad Cafe), and I wanted to watch the rest … Continue reading Century 1980: Stardust Memories
Die Patriotin. Alexander Kluge. 1979. In a weird way, what this film reminds me most of is The Last of England by Derek Jarman. They are stylistically very far apart, but there’s something in the punk approach to talking about larger issues that seems to connect them. Jarman’s film is mesmerising; this isn’t up there … Continue reading Century 1979: Die Patriotin
Interiors. Woody Allen. 1978. Oh, right, this is Woody Allen’s first Bergman rip-off. I mean, his first drama film. I honestly thought this was going to be better. And the cinematography is totes amazeballs: The subdued colour scheme and the unshowy angles. It’s so calm and understated. But I feel that basically all the actors … Continue reading Century 1978: Interiors
The Duellists. Ridley Scott. 1977. I had to choose between watching the bluray of Eraserhead or this (both made in 1977), and I chose this. It’s the film Ridley Scott directed before Alien and then Blade Runner, both of which are er rather good. (I especially love Alien.) So I was curious as to what … Continue reading Century 1977: The Duellists
Love and Death. Woody Allen. 1975. Woody Allen is terribly controversial at the moment, but this is an incredibly funny film. Diane Keaton is perfection and the one-liners keep on coming at you. Not to mention all the physical comedy. It does tend to lose its steam with some regularity, and the standup-derived bits don’t … Continue reading Century 1975: Love and Death
The Cars That Ate Paris. Peter Weir. 1974. I’ve been cocktailing from this very old book, but I think I’m ready to move on to another book now. Oldee-tymey cocktails seem basically to be random combinations of boozes with very little finesse. I feel the need for less booze and more mixers. Anyway! This is … Continue reading Century 1974: The Cars That Ate Paris
World on a Wire. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1973. I am no Fassbinder connoisseur, but I’ve seen my share. But I’m pretty sure this is a pretty abnormal Fassbinder film. On the other hand, aren’t they all? But this is sci-fi flick of sorts, and I don’t think that’s really his metier, is it? It’s like … Continue reading Century 1973: World on a Wire
Slaughterhouse Five. George Roy Hill. 1972. Hey! I read this book when I was a teenager. And that was in the previous century! I’m amazed at how many scenes are familiar to me still, so it made a huge impression, apparently. Some of the scenes (like when the guy started talking about the dog and … Continue reading Century 1972: Slaughterhouse Five
Out 1: Noli me tangere. Jacques Rivette. 1971. It’s a Saturday, and I should be working, but instead I’m watching this 12 or 13 hour movie from 1971. I’d read about it before, because it’s a pretty famous film (or perhaps infamous), and Carlotta released a really handsome collection of it on Bluray. 2K, but … Continue reading Century 1971: Out 1: Noli me tangere
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Billy Wilder. 1970. What a strange and awkward film. Is Wilder going for a 40s comedy but updating it embarrassingly with a gay panic storyline? But it’s mostly just a cod-standard Sherlock Holmes story. Although slightly more irreverent than usual and not based on a Conan Doyle story. It’s … Continue reading Century 1970: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Andrei Rublev. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1966. This is officially the 13th best film ever. It’s got the most classic casting problem: The casting director is really hot on a certain type, so we get about twenty actors that look pretty much identical. So I’m spending most scenes waiting for somebody to mention the other characters by … Continue reading Century 1966: Andrei Rublev
Paris When It Sizzles. Richard Quine. 1964. This cocktail was surprisingly delicious. The ingredients seem kinda meh, but all together they resulted in an amazing cocktail. Hay! I had two films from 1963 lined up, but it turned out that my DVDs of Les Carabiniers and Le petit soldat had no subtitles whatsoever, so that’s … Continue reading Century 1964: Paris When It Sizzles
Some Like It Hot. Billy Wilder. 1959. Another Monroe film! This one’s pretty much on fleek. Can’t really fault it much, other than that I seem to remember the repartee being snappier? And I would guess that if I were to google around a bit I might find thought pieces about this being a transsexuals-as-predators-by-proxy … Continue reading Century 1959: Some Like It Hot
The Tarnished Angels. Douglas Sirk. 1957. Yay! Another Douglas Sirk film! I just watched the documentary on the DVD of There’s Always Tomorrow, and the was asked what his favourite film was (of his own), and he said that he doesn’t think like that. But he’d recently seen Tarnished Angels at a MoMa thing in … Continue reading Century 1957: The Tarnished Angels
Hm… is that the right aspect ratio? Isn’t the Earth supposed to be, like, round? Oh, that’s better! This is an anamorph DVD. You don’t see that very often – they usually just letterbox it, which means fewer pixels. Nice. There’s Always Tomorrow. Douglas Sirk. 1956. I’ve been looking forward to watching this movie: I’m … Continue reading Century 1956: There’s Always Tomorrow
The Seven Year Itch. Billy Wilder. 1955. I’ve seen this before, of course, but it’s been a while, I think. I wondered whether I would find it creepy this time over. I mean, it’s an entire film about some nerd creeping on Marilyn Monroe. And there certainly are some icky scenes in here, but Monroe … Continue reading Century 1955: The Seven Year Itch
La Strada. Federico Fellini. 1954. What an odd film. Fellini’s later film are more overtly artificial, but here it’s unclear what the panto-like performance of Gelsomina is meant to convey. Is she supposed to be 14? Slightly er naive? Why does she shift from being naive to knowing so often? Why is she blond(e)? Nobody … Continue reading Century 1954: La Strada
Jack and the Beanstalk. Jean Yarbrough. 1952. Hey! Abbott and Costello on the heels of Laurel and Hardy! Whenever some Oldz person writes about either of the pairs, they’ll make sure to mention how the other pair is better/worse. I can never remember which one they prefer. Probably Laurel and Hardy? Based on the two … Continue reading Century 1952: Jack and the Beanstalk
Slapstick isn’t funny if it looks like the guy is really suffering Utopia. Léo Joannon. 1951. The DVD transfer is rather beat. I almost looks like it was mastered from a VHS copy? And Laurel and Hardy look really beat here, too. Hardy is sweating profusely in many scenes and Laurel looks like he’s at … Continue reading Century 1951: Utopia
At War With The Army. Hal Walker. 1950. Hay! What happened to the 40s? I skipped it, because I’m amassing a collection of 40s film for a future nefarious blogging project. So we’re not in 1950, but with a comedy/musical/war film. With Jerry Lewis! Oh! This has the scene that Monty Python referred to with … Continue reading Century 1950: At War With The Army
The Flying Deuces. A. Edward Sutherland. 1939. Hey! That’s a gap of several years since the previous film! I thought I had more 30s DVDs… And I sort of have, but they’re all part of various box sets, so I’m skipping them for this blog series, which is All Single DVDs All The Time. This … Continue reading Century 1939: The Flying Deuces
It Happened One Night. Frank Capra. 1934. Uh-up. This one won the Oscars. But how bad can it be? It’s Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, directed by Frank Capra, so it should be, like, good. But it’s not. It all feels like a creeper rapey thing: Gable pursued Gilbert with a ferocity and inevitability that’s … Continue reading Century 1934: It Happened One Night
This Day and Age. Cecil B. DeMille. 1933. I thought they said that teenagers were invented in the 50s! But here we are in the 30s and we’re rebelling without any cause whatsoever. Is this really from the 30s? Is imdb lying to me? Well, Wikipedia agrees with imdb, so let’s go with it… Anyway, … Continue reading Century 1933: This Day and Age
The Last Laugh. F.W. Murnau. 1924. Wow. That Murnau is going to go places. This is just so incredibly stylish and exciting to watch. Beautifully restored, too. It’s fascinating how well Murnau is able to tell the entire story with nary an intertitle: Virtually everything is conveyed through the acting, setting and cinematography. This involves … Continue reading Century 1924: The Last Laugh
The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen). Victor Sjöström. 1921. This is one of Ingmar Bergman’s favourite films, and Bergman did a play based on the making of this film. Which explains the double feature on this DVD. Back in the pre-talkie days, Sweden was allegedly seen as a somewhat important film nation, and this was one of … Continue reading Century 1921: The Phantom Carriage
Hearts of the World. D.W. Griffith. 1918. Hey, it’s the first post of the new movie blog series hopefully taking me from 1918 to 2018. By skipping some years. D. W. Griffith is a very controversial director, of course, but Lillian Gish is Lillian Gish. This is an awfully confusing movie. Mostly because I thought … Continue reading Century 1918: Hearts of the World
Or rather: Leftovers. I was tidying the DVD stacks (rooting out doubles and the like), and it occurred to me that I should probably watch all this stuff at some point or other. While going through the discs, I noted that the oldest unseen movie I have is from 1918… And this year is 2018… … Continue reading Century
So I was watching the newish Ghostbusters (the one from 2016) on 4K Bluray (it’s a pretty funny film; a couple of the scenes had me in stitches, but it’s got pacing problems, and too many of the jokes didn’t land), and it looks like this: I mean, it’s just a normal very-wide-screen film (2.4:1, … Continue reading Bustin’ Out
When I embarked upon my majestic Ingmar Bergman journey (ahem) there basically were two reasons for doing so: 1) I really wanted to, and c) it’s silly, and XIV), this box set had been released: I thought it was a complete collection, but it’s basically half his output. I’ve seen most of Bergman’s films before, … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things Redux
Bergman Island. Marie Nyreröd. 2004. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is basically a long interview with Bergman. Apparently these filmmakers were the first who was given access to film at Bergman’s home at the Färö island, and it’s a rather fabulous place. But this is not a completely successful documentary. It seems to want to wring too much … Continue reading BTLXXXVII 2004: Bergman Island
Yes, he’s painting the leaves with yellow paint to make it look more like autumn. Behind Saraband (I Bergmans regi). Torbjörn Ehrnvall. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is the “making of” documentary from Saraband, Bergman’s final film (both as a director and a writer). He’s a very spry 85 year old here. Still a very hands on, … Continue reading BTLXXXVI 2003: Behind Saraband
Saraband. Ingmar Bergman. 2003. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman’s winding down of his career over several decades is deliberate and well-directed: He said goodbye to directing films with his most successful production Fanny & Alexander (a tribute to his grandmother); his final film script was Faithless (where he sort of apologised for his life); he wound down his … Continue reading BTLXXXV 2003: Saraband
The Making of Autumn Sonata. Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This bluray showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I was all “wat” because I’ve already seen Autumn Sonata. But after ripping it I recalled that the reason I bought it was that there’s a huge “making of” film included: It’s three and a … Continue reading BTLXXXIV 1978: The Making of Autumn Sonata
The Image Makers (Bildmakarna). Ingmar Bergman. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is the TV version of what Bergman wanted to be his final theatre staging. If you think “TV theatre”, this is it: It has an aesthetic that harks back to (or emulates perfectly) the first wave of “TV theatre” in the 60s and 70s when they … Continue reading BTLXXXIII 2000: The Image Makers
Faithless (Trolösa). Liv Ullmann. 2000. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Another film directed by Liv Ullmann, but this time without Sven Nykvist. It’s a film about making a story, and also about that story. It’s a fun way to approach this story, but it’s a pretty harsh self-portrait Bergman’s painted of himself. (Assuming that the young asshole of a … Continue reading BTLXXXII 2000: Faithless
Behind In the Presence of a Clown (I sällskap med en clown). unknown. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Geeze. The “making of” films of Bergman’s films in the 80s and 90s are so fascinating. This is another fly-on-the-wall thing where we follow the taping (it’s TV) of the movie, and it’s pretty great. I didn’t know that Bergman … Continue reading BTLXXXI 1997: Behind In the Presence of a Clown
In the Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gör sig till). Ingmar Bergman. 1997. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman continues his stories about his family (more fictional than ever). This time it’s more about his uncle Carl (played by the same guy who did the part starting with Fanny & Alexander, so it’s his fourth film in this … Continue reading BTLXXX 1997: In the Presence of a Clown
Harald & Harald. Ingmar Bergman. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a satirical political short (all unusual things for Bergman) about a text produced by the Ministry of Culture in Sweden. It’s funny, but I don’t have the context here, so I’m slightly lost. Here’s a typical sentence they’re reading and making fun of: “The theatre is … Continue reading BTLXXIX 1996: Harald & Harald
Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal). Liv Ullmann. 1996. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I couldn’t find this film anywhere: Not on Amazon, not Netflix, not nowhere, so I torrented it. And the torrent turned out to be with Spanish dialogue. *sigh* But then it turns out that some kind person has put the entire thing on Youtube. Thank you. Pernilla … Continue reading BTLXXVIII 1996: Private Confessions
The Last Gasp (Sista skriket). Ingmar Bergman. 1995. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The first ten minutes is documentary: Bergman shows us clips from old Swedish films (pre 1920) and tells us a bit about the people that made the films. And then we get a one act TV play where Bergman imagines a meeting between two of these … Continue reading BTLXXVII 1995: The Last Gasp
The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan). Bille August. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. The copy I had of this film didn’t work, so I had to watch it via Amazon Prime, and it turns out to have two levels of subtitling in English: One from the theatrical version (burned into the film) and one for the hard of … Continue reading BTLXXVI 1992: The Best Intentions
The Bacchae (Backanterna). Ingmar Bergman. 1993. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman had first staged this opera to great acclaim at the Stockholm opera. This TV version is, as usual with Bergman, hugely reworked. And between the acts we get a five minute lecture about Dionysus. Anyway, it’s trey fab, especially the first act. I think it loses some … Continue reading BTLXXV 1993: The Bacchae
Sunday’s Children (Söndagsbarn). Daniel Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐★★★★. This film is based on a script by Ingmar Bergman (which is again based on a chapter of his autobiography Laterna Magica). It’s about Bergman’s fraught relationship with his father, and it’s directed by Bergman’s son Daniel. It’s like Bergman-o-rama. The most amazing thing about this film is … Continue reading BTLXXIV 1992: Sunday’s Children
Before Madame de Sade (Inför Markisinnan de Sade). 1992. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is an interview that was shown before Madame de Sade on Swedish TV, so I should probably have watched it first, but I hate knowing stuff about things I’m going to see, so I didn’t. Hah! Bergman mostly talks about Mishima and not so … Continue reading BTLXXIII 1992: Before Madame de Sade
Madame de Sade (Markisinnan de Sade). Ingmar Bergman. 1992. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is the TV version of Mishima’s play that Bergman had staged at several theatres. It looks like it’s been somewhat reworked for TV: It’s by no means just a filmed version of the stage version. I got my copy off of teh torrenz, and … Continue reading BTLXXII 1992: Madame de Sade
The Blessed Ones (De två saliga). Ingmar Bergman. 1986. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman ended his film career with Fanny & Alexander, but after Bergman’s previous TV film was upscaled from 16mm to 32mm and shown in theatres anyway, he apparently decided to make sure this never happened again by doing his first TV movie on video. (He’d … Continue reading BTLXXI 1986: The Blessed Ones
Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film (Ingmar Bergman tar farväl av filmenb). Nils-Petter Sundgren. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Hey! Another documentary following Fanny & Alexander. The previous one was a fly-on-the-wall “making of”, and it was absolutely brilliant. This one is basically a guy interviewing Bergman about Fanny & Alexander for an hour. For what it is, … Continue reading BTLXX 1983: Ingmar Bergman Bids Farewell to Film
The Making of Fanny & Alexander (Dokument Fanny och Alexander ). Ingmar Bergman. 1985. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I’ve seen more than a handful of “making of” films, but this is pretty unique. The documentary camera person is present throughout the filming and must have been just a few inches from the cinematographer. It really feels as if … Continue reading BTLXIX 1985: The Making of Fanny & Alexander
Karin’s Face (Karins ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This short is basically Bergman showing us some pictures from his family album, with an emphasis on pictures of his mom. I got my copy off of teh torrenzes. The accompanying music is sentimental in the extreme. Perhaps Bergman should have used a disco soundtrack instead. But … Continue reading BTLXVIII 1984: Karin’s Face
After the Rehersal (Efter repetitionen). Ingmar Bergman. 1984. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Bergman insists that he had meant for Fanny & Alexander to be his final theatrical release, but After the Rehearsal ended up being released for cinemas in the US anyway. That’s the version on this DVD, I think, because it looks super-grainy and very crackly and … Continue reading BTLXVII 1984: After the Rehersal
The School for Wives (Hustruskolan). Ingmar Bergman. 1983. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This play was rehearsed by Alf Sjöberg (the director), but he died and Bergman decided (as a tribute) to film the piece for TV. So it’s the usual kind of Molière farce. It’s funny, of course and the actors are great. It’s very filmed theatre, though. … Continue reading BTLXVI 1983: The School for Wives
Fanny & Alexander. Ingmar Bergman. 1982. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman’s final “real” film, and like some of the preceding ones, there’s a TV series version and a shorter theatrical release. I’ve seen the TV version a couple of times before, so this time I’m watching the theatrical edit. And it’s restored gloriously by Criterion on Bluray. I … Continue reading BTLXV 1982: Fanny & Alexander
From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben dem Marionetten). Ingmar Bergman. 1980. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman called this his only real German film: Conceived, written and filmed while Bergman was in his German exile. And it certainly feels like an outlier in Bergman’s career. For one, the audio quality is way beneath Bergman’s usual standards. … Continue reading BTLXIV 1980: From the Life of the Marionettes
Fårö Document 1979 (Fårö-dokument 1979). Ingmar Bergman. 1979. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s second documentary film about the island he made his home and workplace: Fårö. (Which doesn’t mean “sheep island” even if it looks like it.) Most of his most successful films were filmed on the island, and he did two documentaries about people living … Continue reading BTLXIII 1979: Fårö Document 1979
Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1978. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Huh! I may not have seen this one before… It seems rather unfamiliar. In any case: Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann. In a house. Drama. It’s wonderful. Bergman (the director) about Bergman (the actor): I discovered early into our rehearsals that to be understanding and offer a sympathetic … Continue reading BTLXII 1978: Autumn Sonata
The Serpent’s Egg. Ingmar Bergman. 1977. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Hey! I watched this in 2014! And I’m not really looking forward to watching it again… but apparently I bought a new copy of the DVD for this blog series. Oh, well. Perhaps it’ll be better this time! This is Bergman’s first film after he fled (sort of) … Continue reading BTLXI 1977: The Serpent’s Egg
The Dance of the Damned Women (De fördömda kvinnornas dans). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Well, this is a strange one. It’s a wordless short, but it’s not a ballet per se. Before it starts, there’s a woman that explains that this is what we’re going to see, and that afterwards there will be a discussion, … Continue reading BTLX 1976: The Dance of the Damned Women
Face to Face (Ansikte mot ansikte). Ingmar Bergman. 1976. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Originally a three hour TV series, “[i]t was edited down for theatrical releases for running times from 114 to 135 minutes.” And it stars Liv Ullmann and Erlend Josephson, so it’s very much similar to Scenes from a Marriage in that way. This one’s produced … Continue reading BTLIX 1976: Face to Face
Silence! Action! The Magic Flute! (Tystnad! Tagning! Trollflöjten!). Katinka Faragó, Måns Reuterswärd. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This “making of” film of The Magic Flute is really interesting. It’s mostly fly-on-the-wall, and it’s really well edited and funny. “The Magic Flute isn’t just a risible fairy tale… But as a music play, it’s fairy tale/poem/dream.” This is one … Continue reading BTLVIII 1975: Silence! Action! The Magic Flute!
The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten). Ingmar Bergman. 1975. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This was the most expensive TV production ever made in Sweden at the time, so there were the usual mutterings of “scandal”, but they sold the finished TV show to so many countries that it ended up earning the Swedish TV company a lot of money. This … Continue reading BTLVII 1975: The Magic Flute
The Misanthrope (Misantropen). Ingmar Bergman. 1974. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is a TV recording of a Danish theatre production of Moliere’s The Misanthrope directed by Bergman. It’s quite fun, and Ghita Nørby as Célimène is a blast to watch. I don’t think anyone would quite have guessed that it was a Bergman production if they hadn’t known, … Continue reading BTLVI 1974: The Misanthrope
Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. I’ve seen the TV series before, so I thought it might be fun to see the cinema version, too. I vaguely remember the TV series as being a very involving soap opera. The cinema version is apparently just an edited-down version (they lopped … Continue reading BTLV 1973: Scenes from a Marriage
The Lie. Alan Bridges. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is the British version of The Lie, which I saw the Swedish version of last weekend. So we’re skipping back from 1973, way back to the misty days of 1970, when a bunch of European countries all recorded their own versions of the same Bergman script. I’m not … Continue reading BTLIV 1970: The Lie
The Ghost Sonata (Spöksonaten). Ingmar Bergman. 1973. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. What a strange artefact. This is from the collection of the Bergman bootlegger, and it’s a video recording from 1973 of Bergman’s production of Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata from a single camera placed on the balcony, apparently. There’s a lot of video ghosting whenever anybody moves, which … Continue reading BTLIII 1973: The Ghost Sonata
Cries & Whispers (Viskningar och rop). Ingmar Bergman. 1972. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Unless I misremember the following films, Cries & Whispers is sort of the end of an era: It’s the last of the classic 60s films (even if we’re now in the 70s). After this, it all becomes a bit confusing, with TV productions (sometimes cut … Continue reading BTLII 1972: Cries & Whispers
The Lie (Reservatet). Jan Molander. 1970. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This TV play (directed by Jan Molander from a script by Bergman) had its origin in the work with The Passion of Anna film: The script for that film apparently started off as this script, but then evolved into something very different, so Bergman gave the original script … Continue reading BTLI 1970: The Lie
The Touch (Beröringen). Ingmar Bergman. 1971. ⭐⭐★★★★. The intention was to shoot The Touch in both English and Swedish. In an original version that doesn’t seem to exist anymore, English was spoken by those who were English-speaking and Swedish by those who were Swedes. I belive that it just possibly was slightly less unbearable than … Continue reading BTL 1971: The Touch
The Passion of Anna (En passion). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Whaa? This film is not in 4:3? It’s more like… 16:11? At least the DVD is. And it’s in colour, too, but Bergman’s already done that. You kinda think of Bergman as being extremely distinctive and set in his own ways, but viewing his films … Continue reading BTXLIX 1969: The Passion of Anna
The Rite (Riten). Ingmar Bergman. 1969. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Bergman had done a handful of things for TV before, but up until this one, they had all been theatre plays adapted for TV. This is his first “real” film for TV, and he apparently made it because he was fed up with how much time and effort … Continue reading BTXLVIII 1969: The Rite
Shame (Skammen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman goes political. It’s an incredible film, but Bergman was dissatisfied himself: In other words, we are talking about poorly constructed manuscript. The first half of the film is really nothing more than an endlessly drawn-out prologue that ought to have been over and done within ten minutes. What … Continue reading BTXLVII 1968: Shame
Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity. Greg Carson. 2004. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the first Bergman film that was sold to distributors in the US before it was filmed, and as such the rights for the DVD are somehow in American hands. But that means that there’s a documentary featurette in English, edited together … Continue reading BTXLVI 2004: Hour of the Wolf: The Search for Sanity
Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen). Ingmar Bergman. 1968. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the Tour de France of Persona, Hour of the Wolf is a bit of a let-down. The scenes seem to carry no weight. Instead of the shots being filled to the brim with (possible) meaning, they’re kinda just… there… here. But it’s a hard act … Continue reading BTXLV 1968: Hour of the Wolf
Stimulantia (“Daniel” section). Ingmar Bergman. 1967. ⭐⭐★★★★. The mid-60s wasn’t Bergman’s busiest period, film-wise. All These Women in 64, Persona in 66, and Hour of the Wolf in 68. Well, OK, for anybody else, that’s a quite impressive schedule, but Bergman had basically done about two films per year until now, so… Anyway! This is … Continue reading BTXLIV 1967: Stimulantia
Persona. Ingmar Bergman. 1966. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Of all of Bergman’s films, this is probably the one that has launched the most doctoral theses. So I’m going to refrain from my usual trivial nattering and just say: It’s kinda good, innit? This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.
All These Women (För inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor). Ingmar Bergman. 1964. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is Bergman’s directorial colour film debut. Weirdly enough, it’s his second colour film script, and both of them are co-written with Erland Josephson. It’s like they got together to write scripts for colour adaptation… This is also Bergman’s final comedy. … Continue reading BTXLII 1964: All These Women
The Silence (Tystnaden). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Bergman thought that this would be another box office disaster (like Winter Light), but instead it became the producer’s (Svensk Filmindustri) biggest movie so far. And it’s not difficult to agree with Bergman (it’s about two women and a boy in a hotel in a country where they’re … Continue reading BTXLI 1963: The Silence
Trämålning. Lennart Olsson. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This is a rather weird one. It’s a short-ish TV movie (directed by Lennart Olsson) based on the old one-act play that Bergman earlier had developed into The Seventh Seal. (Yes. Very confusing.) The actors are variable, but Ulla Akselson (as the witch) is great. I got a copy of … Continue reading BTXL 1963: Wood Painting
A Dream Play (Ett drömspel). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Boo! Uno Herring is back in this TV play. I still can’t really understand what he’s saying: His diction is so … strange. Some sounds are half-swallowed, and there’s the occasional extra syllable that shouldn’t really be in that word. So it’s subtitle time again, which … Continue reading BTXXXIX 1963: A Dream Play
Behind Winter Light (Bakomfilm Nattvärdsgästerna). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. I’m really starting to enjoy the commentaries by whoever that is on these “behind the scenes” shorts. They’re terse, but to the point. This is 3x longer than any of the previous films, though, and perhaps it would have been an idea to give her somebody … Continue reading BTXXXVIII 1961: Behind Winter Light
Winter Light (Nattvardsgästarna). Ingmar Bergman. 1963. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. 1963 was a particularly busy year for Bergman: I’ve got five things from that year scheduled here. There’s nothing in 1962, though, so perhaps there were just a lot of stuff percolating… Bergman turned down a 24x pay raise from MGM and stayed in Sweden. Watching this straight … Continue reading BTXXXVII 1963: Winter Light
The Pleasure Garden (Lustgården). Alf Kjellin. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman thought it was about time that Svensk Filmindustri did a proper colour film, but he didn’t have time to do it himself. So he co-wrote the screenplay (with a pseudonymous credit) and left Alf Kjellin to direct it. It was pretty much universally panned at the … Continue reading BTXXXVI 1961: The Pleasure Garden
Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spegel). Ingmar Bergman. 1961. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Harriet Andersson is back! After the relationship with Bergman ended (and Bergman started one with her sister), she’d been gone from Bergman’s films for some years. Along with Gunnar Björnstrand and Max von Sydow, this little film has an extremely solid cast. Even … Continue reading BTXXXV 1961: Through a Glass Darkly
The Devil’s Eye (Djävulens öga). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. The studio had bought the rigths to a dusty Danish comedy called The Return of Don Juan. Dymling and I entered into a shameful agreement. I wanted to direct The Virgin Spring, which he detested. He wanted me to direct The Devil’s Eye which I detested. … Continue reading BTXXXIV 1960: The Devil’s Eye
Storm Weather (Oväder). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is a TV play shown on the occasion of Strindberg’s 111th birthday or something equally spurious. It features nobody from Bergman’s usual coterie of actors, so perhaps they’re all taken from Bergman’s theatre ensemble? As theatre actors most of them deliver their lines very crisply and precisely, … Continue reading BTXXXIII 1960: Storm Weather
The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan). Ingmar Bergman. 1960. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first Oscar win? It’s not difficult to guess why (spoiler warning: God turns out to be real; i.e., instant US appeal). Even so, it’s rather good. Sven Nykvist is back as the cinematographer, and that really shows. Every scene is a perfect little tableau. … Continue reading BTXXXII 1960: The Virgin Spring
Behind The Magician (Bakomfilm Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Same narrator as the previous “behind” featurettes. This one’s quite informative. This post is part of the 87 Bergman Things series.
The Magician (Ansiktet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. We’ve now reached the point where a Bergman film can be immediately identified by just looking at any random frame from his movies, so I guess we’ve gone past the “early” bit of his career. It’s all so programmatically present in this one: All the characters being metaphors … Continue reading BTXXX 1958: The Magician
Brink of Life (Nära livet). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. At a time when very few men had ever been present at an actual birth, Brink of Life came as a shock for many viewers. The newspapers reported people fainting (the record being set in Bergen in Norway, where eight people passed out during the same … Continue reading BTXXIX 1958: Brink of Life
The Venetian Woman (Venetianskan). Ingmar Bergman. 1958. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman was so productive these years that establishing a chronology isn’t trivial. But this TV production seems to have been released before his next feature film, but I have no idea which one was made first. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, it’s Bergman’s second TV production. It was apparently shown … Continue reading BTXXVIII 1958: The Venetian Woman
Mr. Sleeman is Coming (Herr Sleeman kommer). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. This is Bergman’s first TV movie. It doesn’t seem to have gotten an official release, so I had to get it from teh torrenz. It’s a play filmed for TV (with multiple cameras, I think). Bergman’s usual cohort of actors (Bibi Andersson, Max von … Continue reading BTXXVII 1957: Mr. Sleeman is Coming
Nattens ljus. Lars-Eric Kjellgren. 1957. ⭐⭐★★★★. I got this one from the Bergman Pirate. It’s not officially a Bergman film: He worked on the script, but is uncredited. Is this the only non-Bergman-directed film I’ve seen Gunnar Björnstrand in? And… he’s not as good here as I had come to expect. The entire film is … Continue reading BTXXVI 1957: Nattens ljus
The narrator says “There’s me”. And if she’s the script girl, then that’s Katinka Faragó, according to imdb. Narrator identified! Possibly! Behind Wild Strawberries (Bakomfilm Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. I still don’t know who’s doing the voice-over on these documentaries, but she seems fun. You don’t really get much information beyond what the actors’ … Continue reading BTXXV 1957: Behind Wild Strawberries
Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Is this Bergman’s greatest commercial success, perhaps? It’s probably second to The Seventh Seal as “The Bergman Film”, though. It’s such a lovely and surprising film. It has a road movie structure where people fade in and out of the proceedings in a very pleasing manner. This post … Continue reading BTXXIV 1957: Wild Strawberries
Behind The Seventh Seal (Bakomfilm Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1956. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. The narrator on this short is the same as on the previous one, but I still don’t know who it is. Perhaps the script supervisor? The narration is very seat-of-the-pants: The narrator has obviously never seen the footage before, so she’s commenting on … Continue reading BTXXIII 1956: Behind The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet). Ingmar Bergman. 1957. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is probably the one film everybody thinks of when you mention Ingmar Bergman, right? Very serious, filled with symbolism and religious anguish. As pop-culture penetration of art film goes, nothing beats Death on the beach playing chess. And Max von Sydow, for the first … Continue reading BTXXII 1957: The Seventh Seal
Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. “A romantic comedy by Ingmar Bergman.” Bergman was depressed but needed money, so he made this little masterpiece, which was also his international break-through, I think. It won prizes in Cannes and everything. Gunnar Björnstrand’s glued-on comedy beard is rather disturbing, though. “The last … Continue reading BTXXI 1955: Smiles of a Summer Night
Princess!? Such lighting. Woman Without a Face (Kvinna utan ansikte). Gustaf Molander. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. We’re diverging from the chronological Bergman thing again and skipping back from 1956 to 1947: To this Bergman-scripted, but Gustaf Molander-directed thing. It’s weird being back in this period again after the 1955-56 streak of mature-ish Bergman films. It’s all artifice … Continue reading BTXX 1947: Woman Without a Face
Behind Dreams (Bakomfilm Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is the behind the scenes documentary for Dreams: The first one of these that were created for Bergman films. We get reminiscences by an unnamed female voice that says things like “that’s a lot of blurry images; I think those should be edited out”. It’s hard … Continue reading BTXIX 1954: Behind Dreams
Dreams (Kvinnodröm). Ingmar Bergman. 1955. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. After the success of A Lesson in Love, you’d think that making the follow-up (with basically the same cast and crew) would be easy enough. But it just doesn’t have the same sparkle. While it isn’t as effortlessly brilliant as the previous movie, it does demonstrate that Bergman the … Continue reading BTXVIII 1955: Dreams
A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1954. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Yay. Eva Dahlbeck and Gunnar Björnstrand (Sweden’s Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant) are back in this delicious comedy (which is Bergman’s first real comedy). Harriet Andersson does a wonderful performance as a tomboy 15-year-old, too. It’s a thoroughly entertaining film. This post is … Continue reading BTXVII 1954: A Lesson in Love
Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Finally cinematographer Sven Nykvist is on board (for part of the film). Unfortunately, he doesn’t return to the fold until 1960, I think… This film perhaps marks the beginning of the end of the end of the “Early Bergman” stretch of films? You’ve got Harriet Andersson … Continue reading BTXVI 1953: Sawdust and Tinsel
Eva. Gustaf Molander. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. This film didn’t arrive in time for its rightful place in this blog series. Shame! Shame! So cast your mind back from 1953 to the long gone past of 1948… This one is not directed by Bergman, but the script is by him and it’s based on one of his … Continue reading BTXV 1948: Eva
Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika). Ingmar Bergman. 1953. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Another box office smash for Bergman, although this one was critically panned at the time. (And the American “version” (edited down and with added nudist camp shots) led to a trial: “Reporting on the case against the distributor, the Los Angeles Examiner quoted Judge Byron … Continue reading BTXIV 1953: Summer with Monika
Secrets of Women (Kvinnors väntan). Ingmar Bergman. 1952. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. After an enforced break after the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, Bergman is back writing and directing this one, designed to be a people-pleasing comedy, because Bergman just couldn’t afford another box office bomb. I think it’s the first kinda real pure Bergman film. The dialogue … Continue reading BTXIII 1952: Secrets of Women
Breeze Ads (Reklamfilmer för Bris). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I got these ads as part of a haul from a Bergman bootlegger, but the quality is really bad. You can find much better quality footage here, for instance. This DVD looks like it has been through seven generations of RealVideo compression. These are pretty weird … Continue reading BTXII 1951: Breeze Ads
Summer Interlude (Sommarlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1951. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Oh, right. This film was done before the horrible This Can’t Happen Here, but wasn’t released until a year after due to a strike and economic problems with the film studio. They’re extremely different films: While This Can’t Happen Here is probably the worst film Bergman ever did … Continue reading BTXI 1951: Summer Interlude
This Can’t Happen Here (Sånt händer inte här). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐★★★★★. This is a movie that apparently has never gotten a DVD release? I had to source it from teh torrentz, and it looks like it has its origin in a VHS copy. Perhaps it was shown on TV at one point? It’s a … Continue reading BTX 1950: This Can’t Happen Here
To Joy (Till glädje). Ingmar Bergman. 1950. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. This is Bergman’s second writer/director credit, and it couldn’t be more different from his first one, Prison. As the title suggests, it’s basically a happy and nostalgic film, where the protagonist is an obvious and hapless stand-in for Bergman himself. It’s pretty funny. Bergman is pretty savage … Continue reading BTIX 1950: To Joy
Thirst (Törst). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. After the brilliant Prison completely bombed at the box office, Bergman is back to directing another movie written by somebody else. A bundle of actors from his previous film reappears here, though. It’s a surprisingly vigorous and amusing film: Bergman isn’t sulking after the less than stellar reception of … Continue reading BTVIII 1949: Thirst
Prison (Fängelse). Ingmar Bergman. 1949. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐★. Finally! A real Bergman film. This is the first of his films that’s both written (not based on a book/play) and directed by Bergman, and we basically get all his obsessions on a plate: Religion, injustice, evil, making movies, symbolism, Fraudianism, watching old movies. It’s the first of these … Continue reading BTVII 1949: Prison
Port of Call (Hamnstad). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Oh, it’s Bergman’s 100th birthday this year, so there’s supposed to be a bunch of retrospectives, re-releases and documentaries this year. I had no idea when I embarked upon my Bergmania… Anyway, this is a very strangely edited film. It’s like if the editor is off by … Continue reading BTVI 1948: Port of Call
Music in Darkness (Musik i mörker). Ingmar Bergman. 1948. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Once again, Birger Malmsten stars, and like Lorens Marmstedt allegedly adviced Bergman two movies ago, “You have to remember that Birger Malmsten is no Jean Gabin”. He still isn’t, but he’s perfectly nice if somewhat uninspiring. (I just had a peek at Bergmans filmography, and … Continue reading BTV 1948: Music in Darkness
A Ship Bound For India (Skepp till India land). Ingmar Bergman. 1947. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. You can say many things about this film, but you can’t really claim that the DVD transfer is very satisfactory. It’s grainy and uneven as fuck, but perhaps that just reflects the unrestored original film… As would come to be common in … Continue reading BTIV 1947: A Ship Bound For India
It Rains On Our Love (Det regnar på vår kärlek). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★★. Now we’re getting somewhere. This in a different league from the two previous films. It’s based on a play written by a Norwegian guy, but, still, it’s a pretty good story. Very time-appropriate. It’s got a nice flow, and Gunnar Björnstrand … Continue reading BTIII 1946: It Rains On Our Love
Crisis (Kris). Ingmar Bergman. 1946. ⭐⭐⭐★★★. Bergman’s directorial debut (if you don’t count the last scene of the previous film). The introductory voice-over presents the film as “an everyday play… almost a comedy”. According to Swedish Wikipedia, the production was almost shut down, but the studio head gave Bergman a second chance and restarted the … Continue reading BTII 1946: Crisis
Torment (Hets). Alf Sjöberg. 1944. ⭐⭐★★★★. This is very much a young man’s film: It’s all about a sadistic Latin teacher and his hapless pupils. I’m just guessing, but I assume that it’s Bergman’s revenge on a specific teacher. This isn’t directed by Bergman, but Bergman wrote the script. It still looks a lot like … Continue reading BTI 1944: Torment
Ingmar Bergman. There’s nobody more jolly, so I’ve long wanted to (re-)watch all his films. But every time I’ve poked around to find a convenient way to do that, I’ve been discouraged by the spotty way his filmography has been made available: One film here; three films on this box set; five on this (with … Continue reading 87 Bergman Things
Compared to some of his peers (say, David Cronenberg or John Waters), John Carpenter doesn’t have a very distinct point of view. You can usually spot at Cronenberg or a Waters film from a mile away, while Carpenter is less distinctive. There are some technical things that Carpenter does have a hang-up on, though: He … Continue reading A Carpenter Winter Redux
John Carpenter. The Ward. 2010. This is likely to be John Carpenter’s final movie: He’s said that he has no interest in doing any more of them because he’s retired. It would be fun to say that he went out on a major success, but, as usual, it bombed at the box office. It’s got … Continue reading ACW2010: The Ward
John Carpenter. Pro-Life. 2006. This is the other Carpenter episode from the Masters of Horror Showtime TV series. It’s a lot, er, more TV-ey than the Cigarette Burns episode, but it’s still way grislier than there’s any point in being. I had to skip past some of the scenes. But I’m a wimp. The way … Continue reading ACW2006: Pro-Life
John Carpenter. Cigarette Burns. 2005. This is an episode from the Showtime TV series “Masters of Horror”, which was an anthology horror series that received quite a lot of acclaim at the time. This episode isn’t super-Carpenterish: A lot of faffing about in Europe (with European actors) (or is it Canada?). It’s about a film … Continue reading ACW2005: Cigarette Burns
John Carpenter. Ghosts of Mars. 2001. Somehow Carpenter got decent funding for yet another movie after so many of them not making any back (except perhaps 20 years after on DVD). And this time it’s a sci-fi movie! Yay! And Carpenter managed to hire some pretty entertaining actors (Pam Grier, Natasha Henstridge, Clea DuVall, Joanna … Continue reading ACW2001: Ghosts of Mars
“My vampires are savage creatures. There isn’t a second of brooding loneliness in their existence. They’re too busy ripping and tearing humans apart.” Right… John Carpenter. Vampires. 1998. Ah! A vampire film where the vampires are the bad guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of those… This is the goriest Carpenter … Continue reading ACW1998: Vampires
Debra Hill is back. John Carpenter. Escape from LA. 1996. Wow! Debra Hill is back as a producer! John Carpenter is known as a genre director, but this is the only sequel he’s done. He didn’t even direct any of the Halloween sequels. The highest-rated review on imdb says that it’s a misunderstood masterpieve but … Continue reading ACW1996: Escape from LA
John Carpenter. Village of the Damned. 1995. Well, this isn’t a good movie, but it’s still got a kind of charm going. I’m not quite sure what that charm is, though. Carpenter isn’t an overtly distinctive director, but it’s obvious that he’s got… something… Even if it’s not really on display here much. This post … Continue reading ACW1995: Village of the Damned
I might be slightly mad here, me. John Carpenter. In the Mouth of Madness. 1994. I have no idea whether this was a studio film or not. It has a mid-level budget (more than twice of any of Carpenter’s indie films), but it’s wild and wacky. It’s not really all that scary, but it keeps … Continue reading ACW1994: In the Mouth of Madness
John Carpenter. Body Bags. 1993. After the horrible (but high-budgeted) Memories of an Invisible Man, Carpenter retreated to TV (Showtime) and made this fun anthology horror show. He directed two of the bits himself (and acted as the “Crypt Keeper” like host for the show) and left the third for Tobe Hooper. This is the … Continue reading ACW1993: Body Bags
Oops. I seem to have the German bluray… But there’s an English soundtrack on there, too, so never mind. This looks like an incredibly 80s film. Yup. Even though it’s from 1992. Oh, well. He’s more 90s. John Carpenter. Memories of an Invisible Man. 1992. Oh, dead. Carpenter’s back making a studio film after two … Continue reading ACW1992: Memories of an Invisible Man
John Carpenter. They Live. 1988. It was a dystopia back when Carpenter made it, but it seems like a pretty romantic and optimistic future now. Anyway, there’s so much to like about this film. The unfathomably stupid protagonist and the wildly corny “pithy sayings” he comes up with; the drag-out professional wrestling match in that … Continue reading ACW1988: They Live
John Carpenter. Prince of Darkness. 1987. After the unpleasant experience with releasing Big Trouble in Little China (the studio wanted Indiana Jones, which that film definitely wasn’t, so they made him recut the film a couple of times before spiking the release), Carpenter swore off studios. (Or perhaps it was the other way around, because … Continue reading ACW1987: Prince of Darkness
John Carpenter. Big Trouble in Little China. 1986. I really thought I had seen this before, but absolutely nothing looks familiar. I do remember this film getting really bad reviews at the time, and I can see why. It’s a zany comedy/action film; a very popular genre in the 80s. But Carpenter seems to have … Continue reading ACW1986: Big Trouble in Little China
What a pretty baby! What is friend? What happened! They’re both in focus at the same time!!! And now the backgrounds are in focus at the same time as the people!? WHAAA. Is this even a Carpenter movie!? John Carpenter. Starman. 1984. By this time in his career, Carpenter had abandoned everybody from his stable … Continue reading ACW1984: Starman
Uh-oh. Nasty boys. You can tell that he’s evil by his leather vest. John Carpenter. Christine. 1983. The only thing I remember about this film is 1) I thought it was a bit meh, and 2) I had several friends that thought this was the greatest film ever. Or something. I’m excited to determine who … Continue reading ACW1983: Christine
John Carpenter. The Thing. 1982. Carpenter’s first major studio movie. It’s very different from all his preceding films: Instead of a cheery amateurishness, we’re into Standard 80s Sci-Fi territory. “Competent” US actors that emote in the normal American mainstream film way, and a “professional” film score that tells us how to feel at any given … Continue reading ACW1982: The Thing
That’s pretty much how cell phones looked in 1997. John Carpenter. Escape from New York. 1981. It’s fun watching these Carpenter films chronologically. You see how Carpenter’s cast of regulars develop. Adrienne Barbeau (who first popped up in that TV horror film) reappears, and the star is, of course, Elvis. This is another one of … Continue reading ACW1981: Escape from New York
That looks so much like a real house and where you would park your car! John Carpenter. The Fog. 1980. The explanation for the multiple beers (or “beers”): I’ve been having this weird problem the last few weeks with some ripped Blurays. Most of them play just fine, but a handful have sound that’s 10% … Continue reading ACW1980: The Fog
Apparently Fritz the Cat was huge in Tupelo in the 40s. Elvis. 1979. I didn’t know what to expect. John Carpenter doing a TV documentary about Elvis? Presley? Starring Kurt Russell!? But John Carpenter is no David Cronenberg. I had somehow gotten them slightly confused in my brain: They’re both people starting in the 70s … Continue reading ACW1979: Elvis
Someone’s Watching Me!. 1978. This film was made before Halloween, but released after it, apparently. I thought it kinda strange that Carpenter would go from a smash hit like Halloween to making films for TV (it was shown on NBC), but that chronology makes more sense. The version I watched is in 16:9, which is … Continue reading ACW1978: Someone’s Watching Me!
Halloween. 1978. As with most of these films, I’ve only seen them on VHS before. Man, the blu-ray transfers look fine. (And all of John Carpenter’s films seem to be available on blu-ray, which is pretty impressive (commercially) for a director.) The movie may have had a small budget, but Carpenter didn’t skimp on the … Continue reading ACW1978: Halloween
Assault on Precinct 13. 1976. John Carpenter’s music is a definite draw. It’s kinda raw and has a vitality to it. Anyway, I thought I had seen this before, but I think I must have been confusing this film with The Warriors or Fort Apache, The Bronx or something. Some of the scenes are very … Continue reading ACW1976: Assault on Precinct 13
Dark Star. 1974. Hey! It’s movie time again! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before, but it’s a long long time ago. The context now is very different, because it seems like every other line in the film is familiar from samples in music. I think Meat Beat Manifesto has most of the dialogue on … Continue reading ACW1974: Dark Star
I had planned on re-watching all of Ingmar Bergman’s films starting about right now (we all need cheering up when winter arrives, right?), but the Bergman box set has had its release pushed back two week, so I’m here without any Bergman movies to watch. So I got all of John Carpenter’s films instead, because … Continue reading A Carpenter Winter
It’s over! I was dared to do a “one film from every country” blog series, and I upped that by adding “yeah, sure, and I’ll do a cocktail from every country, too”. Because I’m stupid. The cocktail bit turned out to be more of a problem than the film bit. Even though it’s a silly … Continue reading World of Films and Cocktails Redux
*gasp* This is the last film in this blog series, and it’s from Swaziland, apparently. But mostly South Africa? Durban’s in South Africa, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s a documentary about a musician called Syd Kitchen, and the premise is apparently that if only it hadn’t been for the anti-apartheid boycott, he’d like be world famous. … Continue reading WFC Swaziland: Fool in a Bubble
It’s a pretty grainy transfer, but it kinda suits the film, because it’s kinda odd. It’s about an African scientist discovering the cure for a mysterious disease (AIDS isn’t mentioned) in a jungle plant, and people trying to exploit this cure. Which involves a satellite uplink that’s being run by an AI? For some reason? … Continue reading WFC Togo: Ashakara
This isn’t a very Luxembourgian (that a word) film. It’s a Belgian/French/Luxembourgassian/Portuguese/Spanish/Swiss coproduction, but it was stil lthe Luxembourg submission for the Oscars that year. That it’s a European copro-duction is usually not a good sign: You often get a neutered lowest common demoninator sausage from that factory, but I kinda had hopes for this … Continue reading WFC Luxembourg: Elles
I thought I had only physical films left, but here’s another Amazon video find. The other three remaining films are still stuck in the mail somewhere. Bordelinx seems to have possibly lost a bunch of my packages, and aren’t responsing to any queries. *sigh* I must admit that I found this film rather befuddling. There’s … Continue reading WFC Samoa: O le tulafale
Gah! This DVD only has German subtitles. Two of them! Some of the dialogue is in Danish, though, and I can kinda sorta almost read German, so I decided to go for it anyway. I’m shocked at how much German I’m able to parse. Movies from Greenland have a tendency to focus on the more … Continue reading WFC Greenland: Inuk
There are apparently several films that are from Andorra (and not Spanish films with an Andorran co-production credit), but this is not one of them. Because they’re impossible to find. This is one of those 70s Spanish horror/sex films, probably made for the international market since it’s dubbed into English. I googled it, and apparently … Continue reading WFC Andorra: Devil Kiss
This is a lighthearted comedy about a junior policeman in a small village that just can’t get any respect, but starts investigating a mysterious death anyway. It’s fun! Good actors, beautiful scenery, and it’s inventive despite pursuing pretty well-known tropes. The many, many different ways he imagined that the death had taken place are very … Continue reading WFC Cyprus: μικρο εγκλημα
Uzbekistan looks very modern. I found this short on Youtube. Oy vey. I did like the fake “paused” shots, so: The Keeper. Otabek Djuraev. 2013. Uzbekistan. Grape + Sage Holiday Kompot Cocktail 12 parts red grapes 4 parts water 2 parts sage leaves 1 part honey champagne Cut the grapes and sage leaves. Put the … Continue reading WFC Uzbekistan: The Keeper
I found this documentary on Amazon Prime. It’s a very… modern… documentary. That is, a typical cut lasts for about a second, and it’s filmed with very shaky shakycam, and the soundtrack is cacophonous. Get off my lawn! But it manages to convey a lot (a lot!) of information about Western Sahara, a country that … Continue reading WFC Western Sahara: Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara
This is a film about chimpanzees in Tanzania. (Which I’ve learned has the stress on the middle “a” from watching other films from around this area in Africa. Tanzaaania.) It’s one of those very old-fashioned ones where you have a narrator that explains what all the animals are thinking and feeling, and there’s a narrative … Continue reading WFC Tanzania: People of the Forest
This Amazon Prime find is made by a Swiss director, but it’s about Greenland and Tuvalu, juxtaposing the effect of climate change on the two places. It’s a very good good documentary, managing to tell most of the story through the voices of the affected people. No talking heads constantly intercutting the footage with serious … Continue reading WFC Tuvalu: ThuleTuvalu
“avec toi” I found this sci-fi film on Youtube. It didn’t have English subtitles, but I noticed that Youtube now provides “auto-captioning” for select films. In addition, they also have machine translations of these captions, so I went for it. I think the conclusion, after rolling on the floor, laughing, for an hour and a … Continue reading WFC Benin: Africa Paradis
This is a… documentary… on Youtube… OK, I’m so ashamed of myself! This is a random clip from Youtube! There’s supposed to be one single real film from St. Kitts and or Nevis, but it’s nowhere to be found on the interwebs! Or Amazon! Or Netflix! Or anywhere! Anyway, looks like they had fun. All … Continue reading WFC Saint Kitts and Nevis: New Year Parade Day St. Kitts SugarMas 2016
Was this what 45 was thinking of? Yes! Djibouti! This is more of an American/Somali film than a Djibouti (that’s a word), but there is some Djiboutian (that’s a word) interest… because of the… football… It’s about a football team. I mean, I’m not the right person to say whether a football documentary is a … Continue reading WFC Djibouti: Men in the Arena
This is an Australian documentary that can be found on Youtube, but it’s kinda sorta from Turkmenistan. Finding genuine Turkmen films proved rather challenging. As documentaries go, it’s… OK. It’s nice and HD, so plenty of vistaey vistas. There’s a lot of speculation based on how things “must” have been, and isn’t very convincing, really. … Continue reading WFC Turkmenistan: Alexander’s Lost World
This is a stylishly shot but rather trivial short about … I guess, insanity and drugs (tl;ds: Don’t Do Drugs). It’s kinda fun, although it goes out of its way to explain all the mysteries it sets up in way too much detail. And it’s not on Youtube, but on Viddsee (sic), which sounds totally … Continue reading WFC Mauritius: La rencontre
I was waiting for some people to drop by yesterday to pick up a sofa, and I started thinking about how nice it would be to pull down movie posters automatically and perhaps put some text or border or something on them. Instead of sensibly looking for an API for this kind of stuff, I … Continue reading Editing Movie Posters From Emacs
This is an anthology film, and only one of the four shorts included are from Bahamas. They’re all kinda interesting and quirky. The Bahamian (that’s definitely a word) one is perhaps the quirkiest one: It’s about a guy with an OCD cleaning obsession. It is, unfortunately, the most indifferently filmed one. Hm… I guess I’ll … Continue reading WFC Bahamas: Not | Gay
This documentary can be found on Youtube. I mean imdb(!?). It explicitly says at the beginning that it’s not going to focus on poverty, but is going to show us some interesting people from the Gambia who are doing interesting stuff. And then it does. It’s not very exciting as a film: The cinematography and … Continue reading WFC Gambia: The Exchange: Six Faces of the Gambia
This short can be found on Youtube. It’s about a guy who lives in the forest, and we follow him around while he’s gathering food and making food and gathering more food. I quite enjoyed this at the start, but then it started getting a bit fetishistic… Especially the somewhat unmotivated switched between normal speed … Continue reading WFC Dominica: Nom Tèw
This documentary short can be found on Youtube. It’s a very straightforward film: There’s a narrator who explains everything we’re seeing. Very 50s. Or 60s? But it’s likeable. It includes many scenes of everyday life; people fishing and sowing and just being people, which is enjoyable to watch. And this films marks the halfway point … Continue reading WFC Palau: Micronesia: Palau District
I found this film on Youtube, and it’s kinda very very artifacty. This film tells the story about East Timor’s struggle for liberation (from the Indonesians, synchronicitily (that’s a word) enough) through the eyes of the titular Beatriz. The actors who play the central characters are pretty good, but there’s a lot of stiff acting … Continue reading WFC Timor-Leste: A Guerra da Beatriz
Sometimes this blog series is so frustrating. There’s a lot of proper films made in the Maldives (for a country of its size), but none of these are available anywhere and/or subtitled in English. So I’m left with this short which can be found on Youtube. “You listen to way too much Neil Young. And … Continue reading WFC Maldives: Rhymes With Shove
Ultraviolence! Kung fu! Amnesia! Drugs! More ultraviolence! They must have had a massive ketchup budget. This is an accomplished and interesting action movie. Nice actors, too. But it somehow lost me after a while and I started thinking about other things. Like looking up Indonesia on the map. Man, that’s a lot of islands. If … Continue reading WFC Indonesia: Headshot
This documentary starts with a very fast-paced infodump of the history of the Seychelles and being part of an African empire and… I’m not sure I got it all. It’s very dense and the voiceover guy talks fast. And then we’re in present time and … a king … from… Ghana? (again, he talks fast) … Continue reading WFC Seychelles: The Return of a King to Seychelles
I’m thinking about watching a buttload of older films… perhaps all from the 40s? I’m not sure. In any case, I’ve started poking around to see what’s available, and I stumbled onto a 50 musicals box set for $7 (used), which made me so curious I just had to get it. And it arrived today: … Continue reading Compact Video Data
I acquired this documentary via non-traditional means. You’d think this would be the kind of thing that Amazon Video or Netflix would carry, but no… Anyway, this is about the current Sudanese civil war, which is mainly between the northerners (who totally suck) and the Blue Nile (and Nuba) people in the south (who are … Continue reading WFC Sudan: Beats of the Antonov
I just can’t figure out what the correct aspect ratio of this film is supposed to be. By default, it plays as a 4:3 film, and everybody looks too skinny and kinda squashed. If I go to 16:9, everybody looks a bit on the wide side. So probably somewhere in between is the right answer… … Continue reading WFC Madagascar: Tabataba
What they were aiming for with this film is crystal clear: A heaving, empathetic nation building film. And it has one thing going for it, and that’s the beautiful shots from the Savannah. But it’s intensely boring: Every scene a cliché of one kind or another. None of the actors are compelling, either. And while … Continue reading WFC Namibia: Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation
Yeah, yeah, another Youtube short that isn’t very grounded in the ostensible subject country. Finding films from these Pacific islands states is really, really difficult, and I’d much prefer real movies, not matter how bad (and I’ve seen some very bad films in this series) than these documentary shorts, but… And does anybody know whether … Continue reading WFC Solomon Islands: A Passage to Anuta
I was unable to find this on DVD or via any of the streaming services with English subtitles, so I had to resort to *ahem* crowd-sourcing. The aspect ratio is slightly off, but I couldn’t figure out how to de-squash-o-vision it, so everybody look kinda skinny. This is a very languid film. Which is something … Continue reading WFC Costa Rica: Del amor y otros demonios
This is a Youtube find. It’s a very personal and intimate documentary about São Tomé (and Príncipe). I’m a sucker for Portuguese, but I don’t think that explains quite why I found this documentary so engrossing. It’s just seems so honest and real. All thumbs up. Mionga ki Ôbo: Mar e Selva. Ângelo Torres. 2005. … Continue reading WFC São Tomé og Príncipe: Mionga ki Ôbo: Mar e Selva
I had to join the Urban Movie Channel on Amazon to watch this film. It’s not a very urban film. Could there be a euphemism in play here!??!! And apparently that channel doesn’t offer downloading films before watching them, or something? As a result, bits of this film are completely artifact-o-rama. But most bits are … Continue reading WFC Congo: The Man Who Mends Women
A rare French DVD that includes English subtitles. Which reminds me of this comment on imdb about a completely different film: Film. It’s just a shame that the French are killing the African film industry. Why is it so hard to get copies of these films???? What acan we do to help African filmmakers break … Continue reading WFC Niger: Cocorico! Monsieur Poulet
I bought this documentary from this site, which turns out to be a Vimeo thing: You pay some money and then you can stream the film or download it, DRM-free. I did the latter, and the video quality is more than adequate: Better than DVD quality, I’d say. Some banding and artifacting, but not too … Continue reading WFC Botswana: March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads
This is an episode of the Duroob documentary series found on Youtube. I don’t know what country the TV series is from, really. It could be Saudi Arabia, I guess. It starts off oddly, with the presenter giving a speech about Allah’s Infinite Earth; sort of coaxing the audience to care about the documentary. And … Continue reading WFC Comoros: جزر القمر
This film is probably more Serbian than Montenegran (that’s a word), but It’s one of those retro horror films, which is something I am totally in the mood for now. You’ve got all the usual slasher elements, and it’s fine. The cinematographer (and editor) sometimes go overboard in their enthusiasm: The fake shakycam is rather … Continue reading WFC Montenegro: Killer Mermaids
I guess this is more of an Australian and or New Zealandish (that’s a word) movie than a Papau New Guinean (that’s definitely a word) movie. “Isn’t that… isn’t that…” “Yes, it is.” Anyway, I found the scoring of this film to be really annoying. Hardly a moment of import goes by without them trucking … Continue reading WFC Papua New Guinea: Mr. Pip
This short can be found on Youtube. I’m not sure whether it’s a prank or what, but it’s certainly… different. I am amused. [Edit: Apparently this has even less to do with Antigua and/or Barbuda than I thought. Marco Romano (who seems to have cornered the market for films from San Marino) does not seem … Continue reading WFC Antigua and Barbuda: The Church
This documentary short is on Youtube. It’s more of an American film than a Micronesian film, but it’s about a “student missionary” (?) who’s stationed in Micronesia. (He wanted to go to South Korea or China or basically anywhere in that area, but (surprise surprise) those places were too racist to accept him, so he … Continue reading WFC Micronesia: Who I Am
Nauru has the . Bizarrely enough, when I looked it up on the tablet (to do the balcony die shot shown below), Youtube claims that the film is unavailable, but it shows it just fine on Linux… Anyway, it’s a home movie? What can I say? Nauru 1973. Unknown. 1973. Nauru. Nauru Iced Coffee ground … Continue reading WFC Nauru: Nauru 1973
I found this on Vimeo. Finding films from South Sudan isn’t easy, and this is more of an American experimental/documentary short than South Sudanese (that’s a word, right?) film. But it’s shot in South Sodan, so I liked the film: It’s inventive and affecting, but I also wonder what the people who appeared in it … Continue reading WFC South Sudan: Ten Minutes is Two Hours
I found this documentary on Amazon, and it’s really more of a British film than an Omaranian (that’s a word, right) film. But It’s a straight-up propaganda film about scrappy, idealistic British mercenaries (and soldiers? the film is vague on that point) protecting Oman (and thereby, the rest of the world) from the spread of … Continue reading WFC Oman: Operation Oman
I guess this is more of an Iranian film than a Tajikistani (that’s a word, right?) film, but And, wow! What an unexpected delight! An honest-to-goodness avant garde film! Yay! If I had known that this was an Iranian film, this wouldn’t have come as such a surprise, seeing as Iran is really the cultural … Continue reading WFC Tajikistan: سکوت
I got this on DVD, but it turned out to only have French subtitles. *sigh* But Netflix had it streaming with English subtitles, so the Ipod to the rescue again. This is the first Netflix film in this blog series: It occurred to me that they might have a larger library of films co-produced by … Continue reading WFC Qatar: Divines
This is high melodrama with long-suffering, noble women and harsh, evil men. The actors are highly variable and the cinematigraphy isn’t very exciting, but somehow it still works. It’s fascinatingly odd in parts and rather gripping. And it’s funny, too, in-between the drama. A Bahraini Tale. Bassam Al-Thawadi. 2006. Bahrain. M E Cafe Latte Cocktail … Continue reading WFC Bahrain: حكاية بحرينية
“I am so in this class. I’m totally not an adult.” This has a very un-colour-corrected look, which is nice. I was a bit thrown at first, wondering why this adult was hanging around at school and living at home with his parents: Was he developmentally challenged or something? But it turned out to just … Continue reading WFC Iceland: Nói albinói
This short is on Youtube. This one, on the other hand… The first sip isn’t. The Unmissing Part. Ahmad Abdullah Alkhudari . 2016. Kuwait. Caramel – Swirl Hot Chocolate water milk chocolate cream sugar caramel sauce rum Dissolve the chocolate in water. Add cream. Allow to cool off. Meanwhile, whip cream with sugar. Swirl in … Continue reading WFC Kuwait: الجزء غير المفقود
This documentary is on Youtube. The story it tells is heartbreaking, but it’s edited in that American TV Documentary fashion where there’s not a millisecond of time of silence to digest between each sound bite. While that may be a sound commercial choice for a documentary seeking to get people to take action (against climate … Continue reading WFC Kiribati: Kiribati: Words from the Last Generation
This documentary is another Amazon Video find and is perhaps more American than Liberian. It’s about a former Liberian warlord who was even more way out there than the rest: General Butt Naked, who went on naked killing sprees. He’s now reformed and is a Christian preacher. It’s a fascinating film because he’s seems so … Continue reading WFC Liberia: The Redemption of General Butt Naked
There aren’t many films from San Marino, and this is an Italian co-production. As is the cocktail. This is the 151st film in this blog series, which means that there’s only 49 films to go! *gasp* This will end sometime! This summer! This is a 30 minute thriller, and it’s heavy on the irony. It … Continue reading WFC San Marino: The Last Alchemist
Uhm… I’m not sure how I ended up with this short: Surely there must be some Latvian feature films available on DVD? It’s a mystery lost to the winds of time. So… this Soviet era silent short basically is a long shot of a group of kids watching a very exciting film in a movie … Continue reading WFC Latvia: Par desmit minutem vecaks
Whew! South American to the rescue again. After a string of old-fashioned grandiose films, it’s such a relief to watch a smart, fresh film again. It’s a bit like… Breaking Bad. An asshole (as the cab driver says at the start) is dealt a bad blow and turns to crime. And we’re supposed to care … Continue reading WFC Bolivia: American Visa
Hey, it’s Mad Max! It’s another one of those Birth of a Nation stories, er, I mean, one of those nation building films. It’s not my favourite genre, but you have to respect the grandeur of some of the scenes. Yuge scenes in yuge rooms. Amusingly enough, this film was banned in 1982 in Italy. … Continue reading WFC Libya: عمر المختار
This is a high-budget Kazakh (is that the right word?) film. It’s in English, and some parts are more like a British costume drama than anything else. It’s a UK co-production, so that makes sense. It’s a very romantic film, and it’s a very nationalistic film. So it’s a national-romantic film? It’s hard not to … Continue reading WFC Azerbaijan: Ali and Nino
This Amazon find isn’t really a Malawi film, but it’s an American documentary about a great Malawi kid who’s into windmills and an American guy that helps him make bigger windmills. It’s… a bit uncomfortable to watch, because his helper is so… verbal, and the kid isn’t. I was also wondering whether the filmmakers had … Continue reading WFC Malawi: William and the Windmill
Whee. There’s only . It’s hellishly basic. Pio XI e Marconi. A. Nonymous. 1933. Vatican State. Bellini 2 parts Prosecco 1 part fresh peach purée Chill a Champagne flute and add the purée. Pour the Processo over the purée. This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.
Another Youtube documentary. Perhaps I should say something about my methodology for finding films from these smaller countries. First I check Istanbulfilms, because they have an impressive list of interesting films. But the only film they listed from Guyana wasn’t available anywhere, not even Amazon Video. So then I google for “best films from Guyana”, … Continue reading WFC Guyana: Exploration Guyana
This one can be found here and then and then and then the last part is missing! It’s a no-budget shortish film, but I didn’t realise that the last 20 minutes wasn’t available yet. Oops! It’s told in flashback form after something disasterous has happened, and then we learn… what. But (I’m always sorry to … Continue reading WFC Grenada: Blinded
And we’re back to Youtube this weekend. This is a documentary about an island off the coast near the equator, and in particular about the drill monkey, which I hadn’t heard of before. (And they’re endagered, of course.) It’s a very pretty and quite traditional nature film, except at the end where it’s all about … Continue reading WFC Equatorial Guinea: El proyecto del mono dril
Like the previous film in this series, it’s a fake documentary set in Africa. But other than that, it’s nothing like that one. This one is very French-ey, and totally riveting at first. It’s not clear what the plot of the film is going to be about, and everything seems strange (from the “home-brewed” editing … Continue reading WFC Burundi: Journal d’un coopérant
Oops. This film isn’t really Gabonese. It’s an American… er… documentary? about some druggies going to Gabon to do some ibogaine (a hallucinogen). Or is it? It starts off pretty convincingly as a documentary, and then it goes all Blair Witch. Those bits are really entertaining (and seem extremely scripted), but then it… kinda peters … Continue reading WFC Gabon: Sick Birds Die Easy
Another Amazon exclusive. This film has a quite original plot, but unfortunately it’s just not very good. Tigisti. Daniel Tesfamariam. 2012. Eritrea. Tej Cocktail 2 parts homemade tej 2 parts dark rum 1 part lime juice club soda Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a glass. Top off with club soda and garnish with … Continue reading WFC Eritrea: ትዕግስቲ
This is a very pretty film, but it’s kitch. And I see now that the director is French, which makes sense, because it’s in the tradition of Jean Auel: So much melodrama. In every scene where the wide-eyed perfectly tousled-haired children appear I can’t help imagining a crack squad of French hairdressers standing just outside … Continue reading WFC Nepal: Himalaya – l’enfance d’un chef
This DVD was letterboxed, so the resolution is pretty pathetic. And the transfer from the film isn’t wobbly: The sound goes warbly all the time. So not the best viewing experience. This is a good old-fashioned erotic thriller. Like they used to make in the 70s. Lots of intrigue and voyeurism and great hair-dos. I … Continue reading WFC Monaco: Kleinhoff Hotell
What a charming film. I love the actors (especially La Yuma herself), but it’s all so … surprising. Everything just gels, and you get a very entertaining film. It’s a feelgood comedy from the barrios. La Yuma. Florence Jaugey. 2009. Nicaragua. The Macuá 1 part lemon juice 2 parts guava juice 3 parts Flor de … Continue reading WFC Nicaragua: La Yuma
Another Youtube short. It’s a horror movie shot in a single location with a single actor (who is rather good, I think). It’s interesting (especially in the editing) and it’s more than a bit scary. But just when you think the movie is going to, like, start, it ends. This should have been much longer. … Continue reading WFC Saint Lucia: Soucouyant
Another movie found on Youtube. This one is pretty funny, but the amusing script and charming actors are let down by flaccid editing: The film feels like it wants to move faster than it does. And fortunately they only ran the blurring filter on the first flashback scene. Voodoo Man. Fabian Guerra. 2014. Saint Vincent … Continue reading WFC Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Voodoo Man
Is this the first short I’ve done in this blog series? That might happen more for the remaining films as the pickings grow ever slimmer. This one’s on Youtube, and it’s kinda interesting, but slight. And it does feel ever more churlish to throw a die on films like these. Who asked for my opinion … Continue reading WFC Brunei: Teluki
Another Youtube offering. It’s shakycam, but it kinda looks like Youtube has applied its automatic stabilisation to it? So it’s doubly sickening to watch. The video is at sea. Anyway, this is a horror/action film, and it’s OK, apart from the bit that I couldn’t really look at the screen for more than a few … Continue reading WFC Belize: 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai
I did DVDs and stuff last weekend, so it’s time to delve into Youtube videos again. (Because I couldn’t find any films from Barbados on DVD.) This one can be watched here. It’s a no-budget kind of film, but there’s definitely some talent here. The editing (for about the first half hour) is on point, … Continue reading WFC Barbados: The Kite Flyer
Man, I’m having having almost no luck with these Central American films. South America: Wonderful. Central America: Not so much. But I guess these countries are a lot smaller (and poorer), so perhaps that’s not that odd… Anyway, this is pretty bad. And I even ended up buying the DVD twice, since it turned out … Continue reading WFC El Salvador: Sobreviviendo Guazapa
This is a really charming film. Thoroughly amusing. I thought the dialogue was strangely like a sitcom set in New York, and it turns out that the director worked on the crew of The Nanny. Yes. Most of these lines could have been delivered by Fran Fine. So… not completely, er, Tonga… nese? But very … Continue reading WFC Tonga: When the Man Went South
I think they’re aiming for a broad, classic Mediterranean coming of age/sex comedy kind of thing, but it’s remarkably creepy (at least it is now, three decades after it was made). It tries to hard to be charming, but the performances are super-hammy, the cinematography is meh, and it’s all kinda boring. It’s a well-liked … Continue reading WFC Tunisia: عصفور السطح
Hey! It’s a comedy! Of sorts. Well, not really. A … “dramedy”? I love the actors, and it’s amusing and quite moving. The sheer number of characters in this film is a bit on the confusing side, though. The Syrian Bride. Eran Riklis. 2004. Syrian Arab Republic. POLO water lemon juice sugar mint orange blossom … Continue reading WFC Syria: הכלה הסורית
The version of this film I saw was in English. According to imdb, it’s in English/Italian/Spanish, so I wonder whether they made it in several different versions? Or perhaps they just made it in English and dubbed it into the other languages? Anyway! It’s pretty bad. Not amateurish enough to be charming, and not professional … Continue reading WFC Malta: Adormidera
This is a beautifully shot, well acted, very slow-moving film. We’re about ten minutes in when the first piece of dialogue appears. It’s great! It slowly (slowly) reveals what it’s about. Sort of. It’s a bit vague. Hypnotic. But in an every-day way. It won the Camera d’Or at Cannes. I’ve always thought that wasn’t … Continue reading WFC Sri Lanka: සුළඟ එනු පිණිස
This movie is fun. Some of the performances are kinda stylised, but when you’re delivering your lines from behind a veil, you have to go big or you don’t deliver the lines at all. This is a romantic comedy with mistaken identities and all kind of complications and it’s really funny. I love the actors, … Continue reading WFC Yemen: A New Day In Old Sana’a
Another documentary! And this is perhaps more Austrian than Moldovan? But it’s from Moldova, so… Anyway, this documentary is about Moldovan women who go to work in Europe (illegally, since Moldova isn’t part of the EU). Parts of it are kinda strange (as if the director had a murky agenda (like the extended scenes of … Continue reading WFC Moldova: Mama Illegal
This is a very, very low budget film, but even so, there’s no reason for it being this bad. The people involved probably had fun making it (I hope), and I’m sorry for harshing this much here, but: I am the Good Fairy. Jack Niedenthal. 2009. Marshall Islands. Marshall Island Swizzle 4 parts dark rum … Continue reading WFC Marshall Islands: Ña noniep
Oops. It a documentary (for children?), and it’s really more American than Sierra Leonish. (Is that a word?) Sorry! It’s packed with cheesy music and it’s chock full of snips of Things Kids Say. I mean, the kids are great and stuff, but the film is kind of pedestrian. Brownstones to Red Dirt. Dave LaMattina. … Continue reading WFC Sierra Leone: Brownstones to Red Dirt
Fantastic actors, especially the one playing Liz. And Tamara. Well, OK, all the female actors. The male actors are more variable. Very fresh cinematography and an intriguing plot. So: Yet another great South American film. It’s like a trend. This film is funny and exciting. 7 Boxes. Juan Carlos Maneglia. 2012. Paraguay. Paraguay Passion 2 … Continue reading WFC Paraguay: 7 Cajas
A documentary about boxing. Or something. It’s an interesting subject, but the film itself is very unambitious. Many of the fights are filmed with a single stationary camera, and there isn’t much of a narrative. It’s the usual TV documentary talking head/on location/talking head/on location thing. The way the narrator tries to say something but … Continue reading WFC Myanmar: Born Warriors Redux: Bound Fists
Wow. So super-grainy. Haven’t seen grain like that since Aliens. Was it shot on digital with natural lighting or something? Anyway! There’s a lot of powerful scenes here. I laughed, I cried. The line readings are pretty stiff, though. Tanna. Martin Butler. 2015. Vanuatu. Japanese Slipper at Sunset Bungalows 1 part Midori 1 part Cointreau … Continue reading WFC Vanuatu: Tanna
Oh, this is so not my genre. It’s the old “naïve kid with dreams going to the big city” plot. I just sympathise too much with the hapless protagonist. “Nooo… doooon’t… Dooooon’t…” But that’s just me. This film has obvious qualities: Things degenerate (and how!) a lot faster than they usually do in these films, … Continue reading WFC Kenya: Nairobi Half Life
Eek! The DVD version I bought is dubbed into German. I should start paying more attention when buying films… But! Amazon to the rescue. I downloaded a version in Arabic with English subtitles from Amazon (via my Ipod Touch). Phew! This is a very odd film structurally. It starts off slowly and the characters’ story … Continue reading WFC Jordan: كابتن أبو رائد
It’s kinda interesting visually, but the constant shakycam is unpleasant to watch. The actors vary wildly: Some seem are pretty convincing but most are very stiff. (I’m assuming they’re non-professionals.) It’s not a bad film or anything, but it uses so many parts of The Hollywood How-To Book On Drama/Action Film-Making (scoring, editing, etc) that … Continue reading WFC Somalia: Fishing Without Nets
Very sassy. A classic Mediterranean feel good comedy. I guess I could be very critical of some bits (like the occasional shakycam and generally not very interesting cinematography), but the actors are so good and it’s all so touching and charming. So on charm alone: Caramel. Nadine Labaki. 2007. Lebanon. Jad Ballout’s Garcia’s Fattoush Cup … Continue reading WFC Lebanon: سكر بنات
I had gotten the French version of the DVD. Ooops! But Amazon Video to the rescue. The picture was kinda washed out, though. Compare: That’s from the Amazon Video version. That’s from the DVD. The darks are really dark on the DVD, and the colours pop, while the Amazon version is pale and bland. Why … Continue reading WFC Singapore: Forever Fever
This is kinda fresh. It’s low budget but doesn’t really look it. It has a kind of charming swagger to it, both in the acting and the editing. It’s a child-like wish fulfilment fantasy. Only with guns and drugs. Very silly. Shottas. Cess Silvera. 2002. Jamaica. Body Heat 1 part lemon juice 3 parts orange … Continue reading WFC Jamaica: Shottas
Ah. Back on DVD again, so the video quality is, like, better. Than Amazon Video. This is a very wind-blown, distracted film. Things seem to proceed sideways. It’s funny, but it’s just so slow. Sooo slow. And I love slow films. It has an abundance of charm. Love the actors and the steppe. Those poor … Continue reading WFC Kazakhstan: Tulpan
Hey! It works! Very little artifacting and the audio/video sync is pretty solid. Oh! The film! It’s a very tense film. Very well done, extremely belivable and completely EEK. I can’t really recommend it. A Call Girl. Damjan Kozole. 2009. Slovenia. The Peter XOXO 2 parts vodka 1 part sweet vermouth 1 part dry vermouth … Continue reading WFC Slovenia: Slovenka
As I’m sure you remember from yesterday, I got an external HDMI screenshotting box to do screenshots while watching films from Amazon Video. That worked fine, but using an infra-red remote to trigger the screenshots is slightly awkward: The line of sight thing means that I either have to have the (not very pretty) box … Continue reading … when we first practice to watch some movies
Tech progress report: I’m watching this via Amazon Prime (+ HDMI dongle etc), but the novel thing this time is that I downloaded the film before viewing. And this time there were no glitches! So the problem experienced the last time is apparently not because of the HDMI dongle thing, but because of the streaming. … Continue reading WFC Nigeria: Half of a Yellow Sun
My mission: To watch films from all around the world. My problem: Many films are only available on Amazon Prime (US Edition). My solution: Errr… In this part of this (seemingly never-ending series) I’ve reached the point where I’m able to watch Amazon Prime videos, but taking screenshots while doing so (AND I HAVE TO … Continue reading The Tangled Webs We Weave…
So for this film I watched it via Amazon Prime on the Ipad via an HDMI dongle. It works kinda OK, but there’s general jerkiness that appears irregularly. It’s like it drops a couple of frames every so often. It’s not very pleasant to watch, so I’, not using this method again, I think… Perhaps … Continue reading WFC Afghanistan: سنگ صبور
Hey! It’s time for that yearly Google session to try to find the missing films for my Tilda Swinton project. Unfortunately, nothing new seems to be available (although The Dilapidated Dwelling seems to have been available on Youtube for a bit of time before being deleted). Boo! But a kind reader had pointed me towards … Continue reading TSP1994: Visions of Heaven and Hell
Doctor Strange. Scott Derrickson. 2016. This is an amusing film, but any scene where they attempt gravitas, it goes into snooze land. Well, almost. But still: Much amusement. One of the more successful super hero films for sure, but it’s not like there’s a lot of competition. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton … Continue reading TSP2016: Doctor Strange
Wow. This is so lo-res. What’s up with Amazon Prime videos? They have no quality control? This is worse than watching a VCD episode of The Simpsons in 1997. Oh! The film! It’s good and very sad. Great actors. The cinematography is indifferent, but the film has a great moody mood. Very intriguing structurally, too. … Continue reading WFC Mozambique: Terra Sonâmbula
It’s very educational. And subtle. Drama! And then… not. I watched this via Amazon Prime, but I just noticed that it’s also available on DVD. I should have gotten that instead, because the Prime version of the film is pitiful. Not only are there compression artifacts all over the stage (descending into abstraction when there’s … Continue reading WFC Panama: Contadora is for Lovers
Another film found on Youtube. It’s a very earnest film. There are good bits, but nothing really convinces. Wan Pipel. Pim de la Parra. 1976. Suriname. The Paramaribo Park Club Gin Sling 1 part lemon juice 1 part Cherry Heering 3 parts gin a dash of Cognac a dash of Benedictine club soda Shake with … Continue reading WFC Suriname: Wan Pipel
I couldn’t find any Ugandan DVDs, so this is from the Youtubes. As this er edition of the film explains, the director didn’t have any expectations of people outside his city seeing this film: It’s more of a fun hobby project than something meant for the general public, I think. I thought it had an … Continue reading WFC Uganda: Who Killed Captain Alex?
Oops! My research department has let me down. Again! This isn’t a Ghanese film: The director is Werner Herzog (not from Ghana), it’s based on a novel written by Bruce Chatwin (not from Ghana) and starring Klaus Kinski (not from Ghaha). But it’s filmed in Ghana, allegedly. Anyway, I didn’t realise that the Herzog/Kinski partnership … Continue reading WFC Ghana: Cobra Verde
I mean, I don’t really know German, but the dialect they’re talking here is even less comprehensible than usual. Anyway, it’s a kinda old-fashioned film. An “issue” movie. The issue this week is: Is putting too much pressure on a child prodigy a good idea? (I’ll let you guess the answer.) It’s all a bit … Continue reading WFC Switzerland: Vitus
I knew there was going to be a number of Youtube films as I got close to the end of this blog series, because there’s a number of countries where either no “commercial” films have been made or none have made it out of the country. So I was originally planning on doing as many … Continue reading WFC Zambia: Imiti ikula
Part XIV In The Quest To Watch Films Via Amazon Video: So, I couldn’t use my large Ipad to watch these films, because the Amazon app didn’t allow screenshotting. (So very DRM.) And besides, the Apple screenshotting thing is really, really annoying: Flashing the screen and all that. (It’s a very typical Apple thing: Create … Continue reading WFC Rwanda: Munyurangabo
I think the filmmakers tried to make a “cool” movie like, say, Trainspotting. Only in Trinidad (and/or Tobago). I’m not big fan of that film, but it did have certain undeniable charms (it’s certainly the high point of Danny Boyle’s horrid carreer). This film does not. It’s tedious. The only thing that saves it from … Continue reading WFC Trinidad and Tobago: God Loves the Fighter
After a few not very good films from Central America, I wasn’t expecting much from this film, but it’s really good! Wonderful cinematography; great actors (well, probably non-professionals, but they’re convincing) and a plot I had no idea where was going. Oh, it won a prize at the Berlin film festival, the only film festival … Continue reading WFC Guatemala: Ixcanul
This is a visually arresting film. Some seemingly very strange choices have been made, but it works. I first thought that the actors (and their line readings) we uncomfortably stiff, but then I realised that that’s what the director was going for (a la Robert Bresson). Mesmerising. The Battle of Tabato. João Viana. 2013. Guinea-Bissau. … Continue reading WFC Guinea-Bissau: A batalha de Tabatô
Man, modern life is complicated. I was going to watch this on my big Ipad, but it turns out that you can’t screenshot this film there, even though the previous film let itself be screenshot. So I had to scramble (since the cocktail was already made) and watched the film on my 10″ Android tablet. … Continue reading WFC Iraq: Curse of Mesopotamia
After a very pleasurable experience watching The Cave of the Yellow Dog, this was a bit of a downer. It’s all so… paint by numbers. Daddy issues and people talking and talking and talkin to each other about deep, deep stuff. It’s like, zzz. It’s not offensively bad or anything: It’s competent, which is the … Continue reading WFC Lesotho: The Forgotten Kingdom
The children in this film are wonderful. The adult actors are more variable, but they’re fine. Lots of beautiful scenery and a very vague storyline makes this a very endearing film. It’s such an unassuming film: Nothing very dramatic happens, but it’s so enjoyable to watch. While it isn’t a masterpiece or anything, it’s kinda … Continue reading WFC Mongolia: Шар нохойн там
I… was not prepared for this film! So many great and weird shots. Coupled with the sheer amateurishness of the acting, the lines and… well, everything, it’s just mind-bogglingly fun to watch. Part of the charm is host the aesthetics resemble 60s no-budget films coupled with a storyline about a gay relationship makes this seem … Continue reading WFC Guinea: Dakan
The DVD transfer is kinda odd and choppy. It’s like every seventh frame two frames have been dropped or something. As usual, Alex Descas is absolutely amazing in the lead role (as l’homme). The rest of the actors are variable, but fine. This film is about the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and … Continue reading WFC Haiti: Meurtre à Pacot
It’s another one of those anti war satires! But this is rather amusing. I think, though, that it’s not a very Fijian film, so, er, foiled again. It’s rather incomprehensible. The lines are like “That’s why you also gave him two roses” which I take is referring to something, somewhere in the India/Pakistan war history, … Continue reading WFC Fiji: Kya Dilli Kya Lahore
This isn’t really a North Korean film, because those don’t seem to exists outside of North Korea? But it’s a film about North Korea, so… This is a documentary about some gymnasts. And their parents and teachers and stuff. The filmmaker is sympathetic towards the people he portrays, I think, but the things these people … Continue reading WFC North Korea: A State of Mind
This is my first attempt at watching a film via Amazon Prime. So many films these days never get a DVD release. Instead, the only way to watch these films seem to be via Amazon. You can’t even find them via dar torrentzes. In an additional twist, films are only licensed for US viewers, so … Continue reading WFC Laos: ນ້ອງຮັກ
Hey! Clever film-making. I thought this film was totally going one way, but then it swerved a completely different way. Me like. It’s very exciting (in parts), has great cinematography (although the scenery is sometimes so pretty you might suspect it’s been sponsored by The Tourist Council of Northern Pakistan) and the actors are somewhere … Continue reading WFC Pakistan: دختر
It turns out that Batista’s police weren’t very nice. This film has its charms, but it’s really oddly paced. It’s a satirical look at the Cuban revolution with an, er, simple? (OK, developmentally challenged) “hick” at the center of the story. Horror ensues. It’s a comedy of the “scathing satire” kind, which means that there … Continue reading WFC Dominican Republic: Guaguasi
Quite Felliniesque. Man, the director put his young actors through a lot of really embarrasing scenes. And they do them very convincingly. For the most part. Sometimes when they have to emote too much it breaks down. I love the quiet scenes where the grandmothers are just working at some task or other, like spinning … Continue reading WFC Kyrgyzstan: Beshkempir
Some jokes I just didn’t get. Other jokes are easier. Until… Well, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen (vampires and mobsters and revolutionaries and oh my), and the madcap pace it’s going at is charming. But it didn’t make me laugh. It’s amusing. Vampires in Havana. Juan Padrón. 1985. Cuba. Cuban Old Fashioned sugar … Continue reading WFC Cuba: ¡Vampiros en La Habana!
Some of the actors here are quite good, but the film doesn’t quite gel. And the hand-held camera is a bit on the annoying side. It’s an odd plot, and it grows weirder as the film progresses. But not in a good way. The Zwickys. Andres Valle, Carlos Valle. 2014. Honduras. Monkey La La 1 … Continue reading WFC Honduras: The Zwickys
While researching films from Liechtenstein, I was intrigued by the extreme number of porn-sounding late sixties/early seventies films marked as being “from” Liechtenstein. I have no idea what’s that’s all about: Did Liechtenstein have looser porn laws back then? So I picked this one because it had a pretty high rating (4.8, ahem) among this … Continue reading WFC Liechtenstein: Der heiße Tod
Is that… Donald!? Uhm… it would have been nice if this had been subtitled. But I got the gist! This film has 5.8 (of 10) on imdb, and I think that’s as low as the scale goes. That’s harsh! As Wikipedia says, “The film opened in 2005 to negative reviews and had little success at … Continue reading WFC New Zealand: 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous
This film won “best film” at the Berlin film festival, and as film prizes go, that’s the one to win, I think. (I mean, if something wins the a major award, it’s usually drek.) And this is absolutely riveting and very strange and funny. And heartbreaking. I’m not going to spoil the, er, plot, but … Continue reading WFC Peru: La teta asustada
Hm… This sort of playful artsy fartsy film is right up my alley, but I just didn’t feel it. So I instead spent most of the time wondering why the scenes just didn’t connect (for me). Some of the actors are really good (the mother and the boy) and some are kinda meh (that scraggly-bearded … Continue reading WFC Croatia: Ta divna splitska noć
It’s a captivating and bewildering film. Very original from a storytelling and structural point of view. And very nicely shot. I can’t quite make out whether the actors are meant to be this stylised and stiff or whether they’re just not, er, all that good, but it kinda works anyway. The mother’s great. The film … Continue reading WFC Morocco: L’armée du salut
Very metal. I finally went through the curiosly divisioned (is that a word?) “Spanish/South American/African” shelves at the video store. As suspected, it was 87% Spanish, 22% Mexican and 13% “other”. (Lots of copro-ductions.) I only found two films from countries previously not covered (of which this is one), so it’s getting really difficult to … Continue reading WFC Ecuador: Feriado
*gasp* Norway! Such a frustrating film. There are long stretches here of pure bewildering genius where I’m going THIS IS THE BEST FILM EVER. And then there are scenes where it all falls flat and I’m all “perhaps this would have worked with better actors or lines or a better director or SOMETHING”. It’s written … Continue reading WFC Norway: Reprise
This is a documentary (I think… or is it!?) filmed in the Central African Republic, but it’s really more a US/German film than anything else. Most of the dialogue is in English, but the DVD is subtitled in German only. So when the people who are speaking the language people in Ködörösêse tî Bêafrîka use, … Continue reading WFC Central African Republic: Song from the Forest
I guess Cabo Verde is too small to show up on the map there… Google! Be better! We’re getting to smaller countries now in this blog series (size-wise or film industry wise (we’re nearly half way)), so the question “is this really a film from ?” is getting slightly more iffy. IMDB lists this one … Continue reading WFC Cabo Verde: O Testamento do Senhor Napumoceno
Wow. Such a fresh film. I can see some Godard influences, perhaps, but it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s like… Michel Gondry ten years before Michel Gondry. Very meta and quite funny. I found their dialect sometimes hard to follow, though. *concentrate* I switched on the French subtitles to help understanding, and I don’t … Continue reading WFC Cameroon: Aristotle’s Plot
Uh-oh. That’s not a good sign. I guess that this film is really rather more French than Cote de Ivoirean? (That’s probably not a word.) And it’s a “satire”, which is usually code word for “not actually funny”. MUCH BITE SATIRE An it is, indeed, a bit eye-rolling-ey at times. But it’s not bad. Black … Continue reading WFC Côte d’Ivoire: La Victoire en chantant
Ahh! A lighthearted goofy comedy. Somehow those aren’t the films that are usually exported from non-major-film-producing countries. It’s always the serious or artsy films. And I love serious artsy films, but c’mon. Unfortunately, this film also illustrates why these films aren’t exported. There’s just not very much about this film that’s memorable. It’s amusing. Staying … Continue reading WFC Cambodia: នៅកម្លោះដល់ណាខ្ញុំ
Hm… I can’t see the pixels on that map… There’s lots of stuff here to like. The courtship scenes are really sweet, lots of amusing and real-sounding dialogue, some of the actors are good, and all the parkour is invigorating. But. Everything is so damn obvious. I was shouting at the screen when the al-Aqsa … Continue reading WFC Palestine: عمر
Look! Now we can save money on the special effects budget! I thought I was going to enjoy this one, despite the many positive reviews it’s gotten. But it’s totally snoozeville with most plot developments signalled several hours before the movie even starts. The ending was fun, though. Ex Machina. Alex Garland. 2015. Great Britain. … Continue reading WFC Great Britain: Ex Machina
Long takes with a mostly distant, mostly stationary camera. It’s kinda hypnotic. Nothing much happens for minutes on end, just people talking about inconsequential things. Very stylish in its non-stylishness. Plot-wise, nothing is explained, and all the people seem to be telling half-truths to each other, and doing very odd things. But gradually things come … Continue reading WFC Thailand: สุดเสน่หา
Very lively camera without being actually shakycam. It’s a fascinating film, although it becomes very apparent early on (in a Chekhovian sense) what’s going to happen. I had a hard time telling the characters apart. It would have helped if one of the girls had an eye patch or a wooden leg or something. In … Continue reading WFC Georgia: გრძელი ნათელი დღეები
We spend so much time with the Nazi madmen that they turn into more interesting characters than the suffering and/or bemused Jews, which is perhaps not the effect the director was after. The actors are, in general, not very compelling, but the director is probably not going for naturalism, anyway? The mixture of interesting stylisation … Continue reading WFC Czech Republic: Transport z ráje
OK, the cocktail isn’t Serbian (but I googled for half an hour and didn’t find any recipes), and the film is Yugoslavian and is set in Sarajevo, but… Kinda quirky film. It won a Cannes award and is apparently well-regarded, but I was just bored silly. I didn’t find the performances very convincing, and the … Continue reading WFC Serbia: Otac na službenom putu
I’ve been using Google Geocharts to create nice world maps for my World of Films and Cocktail blogging project. It’s a pretty good service, but it doesn’t really have all the bells and whistles I need to customize the interactive version the way I want. But today I’m hung over, and I got down to … Continue reading More Fun With Google Geocharts
Utterly entrancing. I’m not sure how much of it is real, though. It seems to present itself as a documentary of sorts, and some of the people (or characters) we see seem rather, uhm, unlikely. If it’s all real, the film-makers are kinda cruel with their subjects. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the … Continue reading WFC Slovakia: Obrazy starého sveta
This DVD edition was pretty unsatisfactory. It’s windowboxed and interlaced, so it’s pretty low resolution, which makes everything… ugly. This film is exactly like Some Like It Hot, but with atrocities and ethnic cleansing. It veers wildly between sincere horror and absurd comedy. And sometimes tender comedy. I appreciate what they were trying to do … Continue reading WFC Bosnia and Herzegovina: Go West
How delightfully perverse to do a black-and-white film set in the Amazon. And there should be an expression for “road movie” that takes place on a river. But all throughout this film (which is mostly pretty amazing), I was thinking “they’re going to do the ‘insane in the jungle’ cliche complete with atrocities”, and they … Continue reading WFC Colombia: El abrazo de la serpiente
This is a fascinating and original film. The confusing thing is that we don’t see them selling any bread whatsoever. Is it all charity? Dry Season. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. 2006. Chad. Karkanji half a liter of water a small handful of dried hibiscus flowers some slices of ginger root 1 cinnamon stick 3 cloves sugar to … Continue reading WFC Chad: Daratt
What the fuck did I just watch? OK, the actors are great, as is the cinematography, but this is the creepiest film ever. I guess it’s a tale of literally literally insane lust. I loved the scene where he was sitting in the cafeteria staring at the couple, though. Most memorable line: “No faggots, no … Continue reading WFC South Africa: Skoonheid
This is a very inventive and somewhat amateurish early from Paul Verhoven. I have a sneaking suspicion that he’d seen films from both Davids Lynch and Cronenberg at this point. Such a strange film. There are bits I like enormously, but the pacing just seems… off. And most of the actors are pretty dire. I … Continue reading WFC Netherlands: De vierde man
Love the cinematography and the colours, the actors are pretty good, and it’s an intriguing story line. But there’s something awkward about the way it’s been edited. Still, a really pleasant surprise. But, man, those Angolan villains were eeevil. And I didn’t understand why the commander didn’t just shoot them when she met them. I … Continue reading WFC The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Viva Riva!
This is a very original film. The actors (presumably non-professional) are a bit stiff and awkward, but it’s weirdly appropriate. The plot sounds very high concept (it’s about football mad Tibetan monks (in India)), but it’s also about Tibet and China and exile and recurring jokes. It’s both fun and really interesting. The Cup. Khyentse … Continue reading WFC Bhutan: Phörpa
And this film sort of marks the end of my randomnly-aquired films for this project (at the 25% mark, even). Up until (and including this one) I’ve just been visiting video stores, looking at films and going “huh! this is from a country that lacks coverage!” and then buying it without any consideration for the … Continue reading WFC Canada: Whole New Thing
This is officially the 224th best film ever. The philosophical question is, of course, “it this film from Armenia”? It was created during the Soviet era, so it’s a bit iffy, I guess, but, you know: Anyway, this is a (sorta) non-narrative film, and consists of static tableaux. This may sound kinda portentous and pretentious, … Continue reading WFC Armenia: Նռան գույնը
What a strange film. It this had been directed by somebody like Robert Bresson, I would have assumed that the stilted dialogue, oblique plot and very stylized acting was a conscious choice, but here I’m not so sure. And then suddenly it turns into a farce for half an hour. And then there’s a boat … Continue reading WFC Bangladesh: তিতাস একটি নদীর নাম
The actors are fantastic, and it’s a very stylish film, and there are some very powerful scenes in here. Tuesday, After Christmas. Radu Muntean. 2010. Romania. Temptation 2 parts Limoncello 1 part lemon vodka 1 part lime juice brown sugar to taste Shake with ice, and pour into a glass rimmed with brown sugar. This … Continue reading WFC Romania: Marţi, după Crăciun
This is one of those “big reveal” films, and the reveal is surprising. However, it felt like it was going to reveal something completely different through most of the middle bit, and that was annoying. It was like the filmmaker was taunting us with “yeah, you’re clever, you’ve already figured out that “. Which isn’t … Continue reading WFC Lithuania: Nesamasis laikas
Some scenes work really well, especially with the children and the women in the village. But a lot of the actors are, like, declaiming at the camera, and it’s a more than a bit awkward. So I kinda like it, and I admire it, and there’s good stuff in here. But. The climactic scene was … Continue reading WFC Burkina Faso: La nuit de la vérité
A very unusual “tour” film, but it really gets to the heart of the matter. Long, long takes of the musicians playing or listening to the others playing, interspersed with tales of the routine of touring. Who knew there were so many ways of making duck with red cabbage? (Oh, featured in the film are … Continue reading WFC Germany: Aber das Wort Hund bellt ja nicht
It’s an interesting little film. It must have been difficult to make this in the early 80s. I love the actors. The story is… uhm… Well, you won’t be surprised by how it ends. NORMALITY RESTORED in the usual way in these films. Another Way. Károly Makk. 1982. Hungary. 1 part white wine 1 part … Continue reading WFC Hungary: Egymásra nézve
There are things about this film I like enormously. It’s a taut, tense film about nightmarish desperation. But it seems like there are always options out of the problems that seem to be avoided just for the sake of plot. So my main feeling here is of “but why doesn’t she…?” just about all the … Continue reading WFC Bulgaria: Урок
This is a fascinating film. It’s perhaps the most exotic story I’ve seen so far in this film series, and it’s from a European country. It’s a simple little film about a fucked up situation, but it’s pitch perfect emotionally. The sitch is so exotically fucked up that I’m almost tempted to give a plot … Continue reading WFC Albania: Falja e Gjakut
It’s a very moist film. Sure, it’s aestheticizing poverty and stuff. Inscrutable film, great actors and cinematography. Cyclo. Tran Anh Hung. 1995. Viet Nam. Ginger Kaffir Limeade limes sugar 1 part ginger syrup 1 part cointreau 3 parts vodka Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. This post is part of the World … Continue reading WFC Viet Nam: Xích Lô
Since I did France, I might as well do the US. There are really funny, exciting scenes here, and the dialogue is mostly on fleek. But the mixture of exciting and funny with slow and heartfelt makes the film kinda limp along for stretches. There’s a lack of rhythm… The funny bits are really funny, … Continue reading WFC United States: Deadpool
I’ve kinda consciously postponed watching films from the major film-producing countries (from my point of view, of course: people in India may disagree): France, The United States of America and Britain. (And I couldn’t quite make up my mind whether to treat the UK as four contries or not.) Like, where’s the challenge in finding … Continue reading WFC France: Made in USA
Oops. This isn’t a very Belarussian film: It’s from the Soviet era. And this DVD is just ridiculous. It looks like it’s been recorded off the TV and then somebody has blurred the English subtitles, and then added new Korean and English subtitles on top. But I’ve made krambambulya! It’s too late to back our … Continue reading WFC Belarus: Ідзі і глядзі
What an odd film. It’s kinda nouvelle vague, but insane. Me like! I suspect the RSPCA wasn’t present at the filming. Paree, paree, paree… Touki Bouki. Djibril Diop Mambéty. 1973. Senegal. Bissap Shake 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers 1 cup of sugar quarter cup of orange juice mint sprigs cucubmber slices vodka Heat two … Continue reading WFC Senegal: Touki Bouki
“Oh, look! Diplomats!” Well, of course this is a very low budget film, and it looks like it. Was it filmed on video? In the early 90s? (imdb says that it’s from 1993, but the DVD cover says that it won awards in Egypt in 1991 and South Africa in 1992, so it’s all very … Continue reading WFC Zimbabwe: Neria
It’s an interesting film, and I like the funny bits. There’s also squirmy embarassing bits that are very… squirmy. Yeah, squirmy. I’ll go with squirmy. Where’s my thesaurus… Anyway, while there are really good scenes in here, I feel like large parts of the film are fairly pedestrian. Good actors, though. Fill the Void. Rama … Continue reading WFC Israel: למלא את החלל
This is a very pretty film, and the way it portrays ISIS as buffoons is very amusing. And then it isn’t amusing any more. Some of the actors are compelling, but most of them are really, really stiff. I assume they’re not-professionals, but still… Timbuktu. Abderrahmane Sissako. 2014. Mauritania. Mauretania Mauritania peppermint tea mint leaves … Continue reading WFC Mauritania: Timbuktu
Dreams Rewired was released on DVD recently.
This started off really good (the opening scenes on bike were great), but then… As a viewer you want everything to go well for these people, but it seems so futile. They tried to crank up the absurdity, but… The Pope’s Toilet. César Charlone. 2007. Uruguay. Caipiroska 1 part vodka 1 part tonic water 1 … Continue reading WFC Uruguay: El Baño del Papa
Very, very tense. And this being Haneke I was just sitting here waiting for some atrocity to happen. It’s a bit hard to swallow the main character’s ineptie complète, though. Nice mystery, though! (I’m going with either the director or Pierrot and Majid’s son in collusion.) Hidden. Michael Haneke. 2005. Austria. Blood And Sand 1 … Continue reading WFC Austria: Caché
Oh, CGI. Boo. So colour corrected. Hail, Caesar. Ethan Coen. 2016. Hm… on the one hand, this film is very much like if Mel Brooks wanted to make a Wes Anderson movie. On the other hand, there are fun scenes like the Gene Kelly sailor scene. On the fourth hand, there’s the horrible CGI-looking (even … Continue reading TSP2016: Hail, Caesar
A Bigger Splash. Luca Guadagnino. 2015. There are some really fantastic scenes in here. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
This wasn’t what I expected at all. Judging by the the DVD cover it looks like some sort of screwball comedy. And it is funny, but it’s really a complex, intense drama. Nerve-wracking. I love the actors, but I’m not sure the really grainy natural-light (I’m guessing here) film (I mean digital) is a net … Continue reading WFC Chile: La Nana
This is really good! I love all the actors, especially the mother. And the cinematography is both fantastic and real at the same time. Everything’s so tense. Bad Hair. Mariana Rondón. 2013. Venezuela. Playero 2 parts coconot flavoured rum 1 part lemon juice 1 part gin 1 part lemon soda 1 part coconut water Mix … Continue reading WFC Venezuela: Pelo malo
There are good scenes in here, but mostly the actors are pretty hopeless, even for non-professional actors. And it fails the Bechdel test. Theeb. Naji Abu Nowar. 2014. United Arab Emirates. Detox Mule 3 parts ginger beer 3 parts vodka 1 part peppermint syrup (1:1 sugar and peppermint tea) 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar … Continue reading WFC United Arab Emirates: ذيب
This is the goofiest film I’ve seen ever. Love it! So good natured. A classic comedy of errors. But with Kung Fu. Wing Chun. Woo-Ping Yuen. 1994. Hong Kong. Chelsea Flower Show 3 parts sherry 3 parts Lillet Blanc 3 parts St Germain 1 part egg white 1 part aromatic bitters Shake with ice and … Continue reading WFC Hong Kong: 詠春
I didn’t quite understand this bit. It’s the same actor, but is it the same character? PLZ EXPLAIN I don’t think this film was approved by the Macedonian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It’s a structurally interesting film, with all that mirroring and stuff, and the spiralling timelines that don’t resolve (in … Continue reading WFC Macedonia: Пред дождот
The higher the hat, the closer to god. Hey, is that Flea? Hm… Oops! Spoilers! I may somehow accidentally never have seen any Pasolini films before, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. I’m not sure, but I think this is a savage parody of the tale of Jesus? Without changing any of the … Continue reading WFC Italy: Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
The Blu-Ray turns out not to have any languages that I understand, so I had to use the online Internet film caches to get a copy I could watch. (Well, actually two copies, since the first one (as can be seen in the first screenshots) was very artifacty.) This is a vert un-nerdy un-science fictioney … Continue reading WFC Japan: 宇宙海賊キャプテンハーロック
That’s a lot of comedy false beards. I mean… That beard on the guy to the right… *sigh* That’s the most efficient way to drive police vans down the street, I’m sure. … !!! I don’t think this is a very good film… but I may not be completely in the mood for this type … Continue reading WFC Egypt: عمارة يعقوبيان
That’s what you’d call an insane wig. Long time no film. Uhm… I haven’t seen any of the more well-known Park Chan-wook films, but this one is kinda weird. Probably made even weirder by me scaling the cocktail after how much juice two thirds of a cucumber gives (in the juicer). Which is quite a … Continue reading WFC South Korea: 싸이보그지만 괜찮아
Brilliant! Funny and moving. It’s kinda like… Ben Katchor’s Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer. Only Swedish. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Roy Andersson. 2014. Sweden. Swedish Snowball 2 parts lemonade 1 part Advocaat 1 part vodka A dash of lime Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. This post … Continue reading WFC Sweden: En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron
The DVD is interlaced (i.e., half vertical resolution). Which is weird for a film this short. They kept the length down to one layer. Probably saved a fraction of a cent. Oh, the film! It’s about Poland and jews and WWII and stuff. It’s good. I adore the “Wanda” character. She’s so blunt. On a … Continue reading WFC Poland: Ida
This is what it looks like at the Arctic Circle. This film is such a shameless crowd pleaser. I can easily see how some people would find it just unbearable. But I really enjoyed it. Forced whimsy and all. I haven’t seen Forrest Gump, but this is how I would imagine a French version would … Continue reading WFC Belgium: Le tout nouveau testament
Excellent actors. It’s almost annoyingly real. The (many, many, many) discussions and arguments are just like being there. Aydın is such a reasonable monster. This is a very good film. Almost every scene is a pleasant surprise. The scene with the money, though, was so clearly signalled I could read it from space. So not … Continue reading WFC Turkey: Kış Uykusu
This is a very original film. If it reminds me of anything, it’s the films of Marguerite Duras from the 70s. Somehow. But I’m not quite feeling it. Sorree. Horse Money. Pedro Costa. 2014. Portugal. Portuguese Daisy recipe 12 parts port 6 parts brandy 6 parts lemon juice 1 part caster sugar 1 part grenadine … Continue reading WFC Portugal: Cavalo Dinheiro
Wow! That was unexpected. A post-apocalyptic sci-fi film set in Ethiopia. It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s pretty, and it’s original. Crumbs. Miguel Llansó. 2015. Ethiopia. Ethiopian Espresso Martini 2 parts vodka 1 part creme de cacao 4 parts coffe Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and sprinkle with caramom. This post is part … Continue reading WFC Ethiopia: Crumbs
Manila-Acapulco Grog 8 parts coconut water 4 parts rum 1 part Kahlua 1 part lime juice 1 part simple syrup Garnish with a mangosteen. It was supposed to be kalamansi instead of lime, but I couldn’t find any. This is a very strange film. Independencia. Raya Martin. 2009. Philippines. This post is part of the … Continue reading WFC Philippines: Independencia
I like the grainy film. 8mm? 16mm? Lots of ISOs? But even though I really like it visually, I’m afraid the film kinda lost me. Perhaps I’m just not in the mood for the languidity? (That’s a word!) And I guess you could see the film as a series of deliberate provocations? There’s somebody killing … Continue reading WFC Mexico: Japón
This is a very unusual film. It starts off with a trial of sorts that turns out to be more of a hearing into African debt, globalism and migration. And it takes place in the backyard of a private house, so there are children and animals running around amongst the judges and witnesses. Very interesting. … Continue reading WFC Mali: Bamako
This is yet another very languid film. I mean, very little happens. But the actors here are very good, so it’s enjoyable to watch. And it’s cute and playful. The second part (which is a “silent film” from 1910-ish) is a bit of a drag, though. Three Times. Hsiao-Hsien Hou. 2005. Taiwan. Zegroni 10 parts … Continue reading WFC Taiwan: 最好的時光
Stella! STELLA!!! Geez. An interlaced DVD. That reduces the vertical resolution to a half. But I guess I can see why they did it — it’s 6GB as it (it’s quite long), and they’d have to go to double sided to get it over 9GB… Which I would have preferred. Anyway! It’s a very languid … Continue reading WFC Greece: Τριλογία: Το λιβάδι που δακρύζει
This is a very low budget film. It does have charm and an insane plot going for it, but it’s so, so awkward. A million kudos for casting Noeline Bourke (Jude Kuring) from Prisoner: Cell Block H, my favourite soap ever. (And all the other actors from that series.) Well. The only soap worth watching. … Continue reading WFC Australia: Prisoner Queen: Mindless Music & Mirrorballs
I had planned on watching a diffent, more Algerian film, but it turned out to only have French subtitles. (Two different French subtitles and dubbed into French two different ways.) So I went with this one instead, which is perhaps more Italian than Algerian, but The Battle of Algiers. Gillo Pontecorvo. 1966. Algeria. Algeria Cocktail … Continue reading WFC Algeria: معركة الجزائر
Oops! It’s a documentary about an Irish bar. I thought it was gonna be a feel good comedy or something. Fudging Irish. “This bar serves the best Guinnes in Dublin!” Whaa… As it went on and on I started hating it more and more. And I started out hating it quite a lot! Sentimental twaddle. … Continue reading WFC Ireland: The Irish Pub
Oo. I quite like this film. It’s very languid. And it seems straightforward, but things sort of keep happening on the margins that … probably aren’t. It’s a serious, but whimsical film. So it’s very nice. But it’s not without its problems. Tao Zhao is great, but many of the minor characters are played by … Continue reading WFC China: 三峡好人
Gimmicky as fuck, this film is entirely in Ukrainian sign language (without subtitles) and has the requisite amount of sex and violence to make it “serious”. It’s the standard “spiral into despair” plot so beloved of a certain class of directors. It’s not badly made, though. And some of the actors are really great. I … Continue reading WFC Ukraine: Плем’я
I bought the DVD used, but it didn’t work, so I, er, downloaded a backup copy off of the interwebs. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It looks kinda like the interwebby copy is from a VHS, but it’s quite nice, anyway. I enjoyed this film. The acting is kinda all over the place, but there are … Continue reading WFC Angola: Na cidade vazia
Hey! It’s a documentary of a variously abled band. Kinda fun. The Punk Syndrome. Jukka Kärkkäinen. 2012. Finland. Cloudberry/Apple Cocktail 1 part sugar syrup 2 parts cold pressed apple juice 1 part cloudberry liqueur 1 part white rum Some splashes of Angostura bitters Shake with ice and pour into a cocktail glass. I had to … Continue reading WFC Finland: Kovasikajuttu
And is this really more of a Georgian film than an Estonian film? I did not know that there was an Estonian village in Georgia, though. The Soviet Union was funny. But perhaps not in a “ha ha” way. This film is very on the nose. War is awful. I appreciate the sentiment. It’s heart … Continue reading WFC Estonia: Mandariinid
Oh, man. This is so amateurish. But it’s kinda atmospheric, and the central conceit of the film is kinda cute. And the actor playing Azizah is pretty good. And it won the prize for Best Poster (WON). So I’m being oh so generous and rolling: The Red Kebaya. Oliver Knott. 2006. Malaysia. Sing Sing 2 … Continue reading WFC Malaysia: The Red Kebaya
This started off kinda wonky, but then it got better. Almodovar is Almodovar, of course, but sometimes he goes off the rails. This is quite different from his usual themes, though. I quite enjoyed parts of it, but it does drag a bit… Live Flesh. Pedro Almodovar. 1997. Spain. Aquavit 43 3 parts Licor 43 … Continue reading WFC Spain: Carne Trémula
Hey! It’s a comedy about a spunky girl in Saudi Arabia. Not what I expected at all. It plays with the constant trivial, petty and extreme repression of Saudi society vs trying to have a normal childhood very effectively. Funny and enraging at the same time. And the girl playing the lead is just amazing. … Continue reading WFC Saudi Arabia: وجدة
Hm… this might not be totally genuinly Indian. Lots of European financing going on… // From the cover of the DVD I thought it was going to be a Bollywood film with lots of dancing and singing, and… it isn’t. Boo! But this film has a very silly premise, anyway. Me like! Marrying that great … Continue reading WFC India: द लंच बॉक्स
This is a totally fascinating film. It’s mostly a documentary, but the film-maker didn’t arrive until a bit into the proceedings, so he had the people involved re-enact what happened before he arrived. And the story being told isn’t a super-duper mega-important one, but a really weird one. It’s so bizarre structurally. I had to … Continue reading WFC Iran: کلوزآپ ، نمای نزدیک
This film veered between being almost a parody of a serious documentary about a brave journalist and… er… Hm. Perhaps it didn’t veer that much. It wasn’t a good film, but it was occasionally exciting. The Idealist. Christina Rosendahl. 2015. Denmark. Complement Cocktail 2 parts gin 1 part aquavit a few dashes of maraschino liqueur … Continue reading WFC Denmark: Idealisten
So much drama. I’m not feeling it. Looks and sounds great, though. Black Orpheus. Marcel Camus. 1959. Brazil. 2 parts mango 1 part cachaça some suger ice cubes Run in a blender until smooth. This should have been really good, but the mangoes weren’t really… that good… so… This post is part of the World … Continue reading WFC Brazil: Orfeu Negro
The Headless Woman. Lucrecia Martel. 2008. Argentina. Hey. This was rather excellent. I bought the film at random in a used DVD shop. I should do that more, but do used DVD shops even exist any more? Bison TT I couldn’t find ginger syrup anywhere, so I had to make it myself. 1 part water … Continue reading WFC Argentina: La mujer sin cabeza
This is officially Tarkovskij’s best film. It’s like he extended the mood of the final scenes in Solaris and Stalker into an entire film. Or the other way around. It is, indeed, pretty fab. Mirror. Andrej Tarkovsky. 1957. Russia. Yorsh 10 parts beer 1 part vodka Blend gently. This post is part of the World … Continue reading WFC Russia: Зеркало
After my 1968-1922 film project somebody suggested that I should try to watch a film from each country next. “Hmm. And what about a cocktail, too?” So I spent a few hours googling just to see whether it’s at all feasible. Are there films from Togo? Are there cocktails from Yemen? Yes! There are films … Continue reading The World of Films & Cocktails
It’s funny how Erich von Stroheim looks just like his name sounds. Bloopers! Now he’s got an arm band… Now he doesn’t! Oh the humanity! I wish people would stop making interlaced DVDs. I mean, mplayer de-interlaces them just fine, but it means that the vertical resolution is, in effect, half of what it should … Continue reading F&C1922: Foolish Wives
I can’t think why… Er… I guess standards changed… That’s the beauty in question. Even crossing the street was almost heroic. I listened to Wrong Eye instead of the alternatingly jaunty and maudlin soundtrack. It’s a very bowdlerised “behind the scenes” look at Hollywood. Kinda fun. Souls for Sale. Rupert Hughes. 1923. Mojito This post … Continue reading F&C1923: Souls for Sale
Like… he was there?! On the set!? Man. Hey, this one doesn’t have an overly jaunty soundtrack… It’s more like a… er… slightly modernist jazzist thing… Who am I to criticise this classic? I don’t know anything about nothing. But I still think this film sucked. And I doubt the original eight hour version was … Continue reading F&C1924: Greed
That has to be the worst blackface in the history of blackface. I listened to Thighpaulsandra instead of the overly jaunty soundtrack. Well… I kinda liked this film. It’s really quite wonky in places, and it seems to be edited by someone who doesn’t mind repetitious scenes. (This is a “restored” versjon created by adding … Continue reading F&C1925: The Lost World
Instead of listening to the overly merry soundtrack I listened to Woodslippercounterclatter by Susan Howe & David Grubbs. The Black Pirate. Albert Parker. 1926. Paloma This post is part of the F&C series.
This DVD had a soundtrack, but it was kinda annoying, so I switched to Coil again. I’ve heard Clara Bow’s name, of course, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a film before. She’s rather smashing, eh? The film is rather nonsensical. It. Clarence G. Badger. 1927. This post is part of the … Continue reading F&C1927: It
This is amazing and utterly riveting. All those close-ups and the rapid editing… I had no idea that this was going on in the 20s. I watched the completely silent “newly discovered” complete version, so I had to supply my own soundtrack. I chose the Hellraiser Themes by Coil. The Passion of Joan of Arc. … Continue reading F&C1928: Jeanne d’Arc’s lidelse og død
Hey! We’re getting pretty close to the silent age… If I were to guess, I would guess that all the dancing scenes and the general “overview” scenes were filmed without sound. But when they talk, they talk. Mostly. And it’s funny. Some of the jokes are kinda, er, dated. Radius – WJZ? I mean… (Yes, … Continue reading F&C1929: Cocoanuts
This starts off pretty swell, but then it turns into a Moral Drama. The Divorcee. Robert Z. Leonard. 1930. Rosehip tea I don’t think the cocktail thing really agrees with me when I’ve got a cold. You got to have a certain level of not-illness to enjoy drinks, even if they are quite light on … Continue reading F&C1930: The Divorcee
So humour. Perhaps Duck Soup is better in some ways? But this feels very well-balanced. And some nice cinematography in the barn. Monkey Business. Norman Mcleod. 1931. Blueberry Tea This post is part of the F&C series.
I’ve still got a cold, so I’m pretty slow on the uptake. So by the time I’ve understood a joke, it’s too late to laugh because there’s been three new jokes arriving in the meantime. It’s so deliciously silly throughout. Not a very… well-plotted… film, perhaps, but inspired, nonetheless. Horse Feathers. Norman Mcleod. 1932. Autumn … Continue reading F&C1932: Horse Feathers
So amuse. Duck Soup. Fred Guiol. 1933. Hot Lumumba This post is part of the F&C series.
Lolkittens! I can certainly see why this is a classic. I haven’t seen anything from this time period quite like this. But… is this another case of the “more interesting than good” syndrome? Possibly… I’ve god a cold and am not so good with the thinking thing. L’Atalante. Jean Vigo. 1934. El Diablo I’ve got … Continue reading F&C1934: L’Atalante
“Why don’t you lay off that stuff!” “Because I’d rather be drunk than sober!” I love 30s dialogue. That Betty Davis kid is pretty swell. She’ll go far! I might just be a bit drunk, but I really like this film on a scene-to-scene basis. The storyline is somewhat funky, but who cares. Dangerous. Alfred … Continue reading F&C1935: Dangerous
What are the odds. Two anti-war films in a row. I guess it was on people’s minds in the late 30s. This film doesn’t really have much of a narrative structure… or a plot… or much of anything. It has scenes that are kinda fun to watch, but… Things to Come. William Cameron Menzies. 1936. … Continue reading F&C1936: Things to Come
Hey, this Renoir kid is pretty good. He’ll go far. La Grande Illusion. Jean Renoir. 1937. Retreat This post is part of the F&C series.
For a Marx Bros film, this has a lot of plot. And it’s really slow paced. Of course there are hilarious scenes here, but it just seems to lack that spark? Where everything gets funnier and funnier? There are too many pauses between the funny. It’s totally OK, though. Room Service. William A. Seiter. 1938. … Continue reading F&C1938: Room Service
I seem to be having a kinda unfortunate streak here. None of the last few films have been as good as they should have been. I thought that this would be a sure bet, but there’s a lot here that really grates. It’s very pretty, though. Only Angels Have Wings. Howard Hawks. 1939. Pink Gin … Continue reading F&C1939: Only Angels Have Wings
It starts off as a Swedish Noir film! I didn’t know that that was a thing. This is a very peculiar film. It careens between overly tautly cut scenes and longer, pensive scenes. I’m not quite sure whether this is because the director and editor want that effect or it’s accidental. I’m utterly charmed by … Continue reading F&C1940: Juninatten
This is quite funny. I had forgotten that Hitchcock could be this amusing. The joke goes on for far too long, though. Mr and Mrs Smith. Alfred Hitchcock. 1941. One Of Those Things That’s the problem with getting cocktail recipes off of the net. Most of them aren’t very good. And this one looks gruesome … Continue reading F&C1941: Mr and Mrs Smith
This is officially the 174th best film ever. I think it seems rather self-indulgent and melodramatic. I don’t find the “George” character very convincing. Yes, yes, he’s an annoying twit, but can anybody really be as annoyingly twittish (that’s a word) as this? Perhaps it would have resolved itself in the last hour, but I … Continue reading F&C1942: The Magnificent Ambersons
Hey! Jean Arthur! I like her. They’re aiming for screwball comedy, but it goes kinda embarrassing at times. Eek. It’s really funny. It’s also amusing how they (as is common in these war time films) weave in “inconspicuous” propaganda scenes about how union busting is patriotic and so on. The More the Merrier. George Stevens. … Continue reading F&C1943: The More the Merrier
Much floppy. Again with the floppy! Wow! Very noir. Laura. Otto Preminger. 1944. Parisian This post is part of the F&C series.
This is rarely laugh out LOL, but it’s plenty witty. The Thin Man Goes Home. Richard Thorpe. 1945. This post is part of the F&C series.
Eek! Colour again! Techni! The film is allegedly (very!) based on Cole Porter’s life, so there’s lots and lots of Cole Porter songs. In 40s close-harmony sentimental versions. Which is totally fine by me. Somebody should bring back that singing style. It may not be high art or anything, but it’s a quite enjoyable film, … Continue reading F&C1946: Night and Day
Two Myrna Loy films in a row! Yay! She’s great. The first Thin Man film is brilliant, of course. I think this is the last one? I’ve just seen the first two. Anyway, this is plenty amusing, but it’s not much like that first film. That film had witty repartee coming out of its ass. … Continue reading F&C1947: Song of the Thin Man
It’s very enjoyable, of course. I can’t really point to anything annoying about the film. However, for some reason or other it didn’t seem as swell as it should have been… Perhaps I was just distracted or something. Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House. HC Potter. 1948. Morris Cocktail Nacíonal This post is part of … Continue reading F&C1948: Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House
By Emacs! There’s something strange happening on my TV! The pixels! Instead of just showing luminicity, they’re also showing… Hue! How is that possible!? What strange innovation is this!!! Was New York really smoggy in the 40s? I mean… See? Smog? Or just foggy? For the entire shoot? Whenever I see Frank Sinatra in one … Continue reading F&C1949: On the Town
“I’m dead common, I am.” Heavy flow. I was going to see Rio Bravo, but I had apparently mistagged the year. (It’s from 1959, not 1950.) So another Hitchcock film. Yay? But this is much weirder than the last two Hitchcock films I saw. Way more interesting actors, too. Stage Fright. Alfred Hitchcock. 1950. Pink … Continue reading F&C1950: Stage Fright
Well, this is a pretty tense thriller, but it’s a bit mechanical. I mean, there are lots of fine touches, but I found myself being impatient with it all. I’ve probably seen it before, though, so that might explain my dissatisfaction… Or it might be the pretty, and pretty non-descript, actors. The only interesting actor … Continue reading F&C1951: Strangers on a Train
Ok, it’s not exactly the funniest Marx Brothers film (it’s more of a Marx Brother film), but it’s amusing. There’s only a few bits I LOL-ed out loud to, but it’s pleasantly silly throughout. And I kinda loved the two rather dim characters at the center of the shenanigans (Jane and Bert). A Girl In … Continue reading F&C1952: A Girl In Every Port
Max Ophüls is another director I’m unfamiliar with. And I’m not sure whether it’s the cocktail confusing me or the film being kinda odd, but I’m not totally tracking what’s going on here! So I’m throwing this die mostly based on how it looks and whether I liked the dialogue: Madame de…. Max Ophüls. 1953. … Continue reading F&C1953: Madame de…
I haven’t seen many of Rossellini’s films… Has he been somewhat forgotten? Based on this film, he’s good, but he’s not as distinctive as, say, Fellini, or as commercial as, say, Vincente Minnelli. So I could see how he’s not mentioned that often any more. Although I could just be hanging out in the wrong … Continue reading F&C1954: Viaggio in Italia
“I think my character is supposed to be a bit insane?” “Slightly?” It’s a film about religious woes in the Danish countryside! Yay! My favourite! But it manages to be quite fascinating and touching, anyway. And sometimes even funny. I give this film a three hanky rating. Ordet. Carl Theodor Dreyer. 1955. (The DVD cover … Continue reading F&C1955: Ordet
Heh heh. Henry Fonda just said he was thirty-eight. This was supposed to be all taut and tense and nightmarish, but initially I found it kinda boring. Then it became quite touching, and then I was strangely interested. And then I was bored again. It’s not Hitchcock’s best. I think the moral is supposed to … Continue reading F&C1956: The Wrong Man
I’m a great fan of Sirk’s 50s melodramas. I mean, All That Heaven Allows… Written on the Wind… Imitation of Life… They’re great films. They’re also kinda preachey. (In a good way!) The politics of this film are slightly bit more difficult to parse. It’s not Sirk’s usual pinko commie setting: I mean, the Korean … Continue reading F&C1957: Battle Hymn
It’s a self bronzer catastrophe! Much tense! I can see why the studio weren’t quite happy with this film. The tense maelstrom into depravity is difficult to parse — does the film really mean it (man), or is it a parody? Were the actors rolling around laughing while coming up with the “reefer” lines? But … Continue reading F&C1958: Touch of Evil
Oh, this is from the same director as 東 京物語, which is officially the best film ever. I really like his style. He puts the camera almost in the line-of-sight of the characters while they’re speaking to each other. So you feel like you’re in the middle. It’s very odd, but quite effective. It’s funny, … Continue reading F&C1959: 浮草
The DVD transfer is among the worst I’ve seen. Is this an upsampled VHS thing? Everyhing is all moire and stuff… It might just be me, but I just didn’t find this to be very funny. And I usually like Billy Wilder films. Perhaps I’m just in a lousy mood tonight. Or perhaps it’s the … Continue reading F&C1960: The Apartment
I read the book last year, I think? I don’t actually recall it, but I think it must have been better than this film? The guy in “Jap-face” is really cringe-worthy. But I guess it’s… fine… I thought I was going to enjoy this film, but I kinda didn’t. I am disappoint! Breakfast at Tiffany’s. … Continue reading F&C1961: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This is dead good. I didn’t realise that Robert Alman got his style from Agnès Varda. Even the DVD documentary, where Varda interviews the actors, designers and some gardeners, is great. I should watch all her films. Cléo de 5 a 7. Agnès Varda. 1962. Harrington Harvard I had to dump this. It tasted like … Continue reading F&C1962: Cléo de 5 a 7
I don’t know… I’m just not feeling this. I can’t really point to anything specific, but this just doesn’t seem to be very engaging. It might be the swelling soundtrack. Or the meta-ness of it all. Les Mepris. Jean-Luc Godard. 1963. Grasshopper This post is part of the F&C series.
Even for a nouvelle vague film, this is pretty weird. Me like! Une femme mariée. Jean-Luc Godard. 1964. Dehsler Governor’s
This is dead silly, this is. Hard Day’s Night was funnier. Less encumbered with plot. I laughed a lot here, too, but there are long stretches where nothing funny happens. I want this to be better than it is. And I’m not really that fond of the music. Help!. Richard Lester. 1965. Derby
Uh-oh. A French film about livestock. This isn’t going to have a happy ending. Or middle, or beginning. I love the stilted human actors, but having several very different-looking donkeys play Balthazar was kinda odd. Au hasard Balthazar. Robert Bresson. 1966. Crux This post is part of the F&C series.
Err… mplayer doesn’t want to do screenshots of this fillum? Weird. Well, I’ll just use my camera. This post is part of the F&C series. This is a kinda sadistic film, bur it takes a kinda empowering turn. And everything happens in one small apartment. Mostly in the same room. I kinda like that. It … Continue reading F&C1967: Wait Until Dark
This film is so 70s! If I didn’t know that it was from 1968 and by Norman Jewison I would have guessed that it was from 1974 and by a very, very restrained Robert Altman. It’s like six years before its time. The start, at least. The rest is more ordinary. It could have been … Continue reading F&C1968: The Thomas Crown Affair
Earlier this year I watched one film per year since I was born until now. Then it occurred to me that I’m the same age now that my father was when I was born. That’s just too conceptual! Could I watch one film per year from 1968 back to 1922? Yes! It’s possible! Although finding … Continue reading F&C
A reader pointed me towards where I could find a copy of Play Me Something.
Dreams Rewired. Manu Luksch. 2015. Hey, it’s a documentary. Sort of. It’s mostly old film clips with Swinton reciting a text over the images, but now and then they play longer bits and Swinton plays the characters, giving them preposterous lines. It’s funny and scary and edjumacational. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton … Continue reading TSP2015: Dreams Rewired
Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch. Léa Rinaldi. 2014. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Antarctica 3D: On the Edge. Jon Bowermaster. 2014. I was unable to locate this documentary short anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
Radioman. Mary Kerr. 2012. I was unable to locate this documentary anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
You can watch this documentary here. Uhm… I might have been a bit too cranky. It’s not really that bad. Making it In Hollywood. Doug McFarlane. 2011. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The film can be found here, but I wouldn’t really recommend watching it there. It’s interrupted every ten minutes by a really annoying thirty second ad for two movies that I’ve now sworn never ever to see. So there. Cinema is Everywhere. Teal Greyhavens. 2011. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Women War & Peace. Gini Reticker. 2011. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
It’s a kinda fascinating story (about the Berlin film festival), but it has a kinda boring structure. Kinda. Spur der Bären. Hans-Christoph Blumenberg. 2010. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
This is a really interesting documentary. It seems to be an overt propaganda film for local action as a way to solve environmental issues and climate change. However, it subtly undermines what the people interviewed seem to say. For instance, the British PR woman who says that these problems can be solved easily suddenly yields … Continue reading TSP2010: Climate of Change
Requiem for Jarman. Carl Daft. 2008, I was unable to locate this documentary short anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
This is how you do a documentary. Derek. Isaac Julien & Bernard Rose. 2007. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Schau mir in die Augen, Kleiner. André Schäfer. 2007. I was unable to locate this documentary anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
Hitler’s Favourite Royal. Fiona Cotter Craig. 2007. I watched the version here and here, but it seems heavily edited, I think? This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Deep Water. Louise Osmond, Jerry Rothwell. 2006. This documentary can be found here. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
That’s the wrong hue! Derek Jarman: Life as Art. Andy Kimpton-Nye. 2004. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Tilda Swinton: The Love Factory. Luca Guadagnino. 2002. I was unable to locate this short anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
The Dilapidated Dwelling. Patrick Keiller. 2000. I was unable to locate this documentary anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
Visions of Heaven and Hell. Mark Harrison, Leanne Klein. 1994. This is a documentary TV series about the Internet and technology narrated by Tilda Swinton. The programme starts with a disclaimer about how difficult it’s to say what the future’s going to be like, but they’re pretty much correct about a lot of what they … Continue reading TSP1994: Visions of Heaven and Hell
Fruits of Fear. Ngozi Onwurah. 1990. You can watch this on Youtube. “Every time you buy a Cape apple you’re buying a bullet to kill our people.” This is a documentary short with a simple message: Boycott South Africa Now. (I.e., in 1990.) While the message is clear, I’m surprised at how fairly they present … Continue reading TSP1990: Fruits of Fear
I saw the follow-up first, The Invisible Frame, without knowing about the existence of this film. But I went to Berlin last week and we watched them both, in sequence, at the hotel room one night. They’re really good. The first film is grainier, of course, but they’re a pretty fascinating pair. And the entire … Continue reading TSP1989: Cycling the Frame
When I decided to watch all the films Tilda Swinton had appeared in (because reasons) I used imdb as the primary source for her appearances. I also added a couple I found on her Wikipedia page, but I assumed that imdb had virtually everything of interest. But then I discovered the 1989 longish short “Cycling … Continue reading The Tilda Swinton Project Reloaded
This spring I decided to see all films that Tilda Swinton had appeared in. It was a somewhat random decision, but I felt that I hadn’t seen her in any bad films ever, so perhaps she had exceptional taste? And perhaps that would lead me to see films I otherwise wouldn’t have seen? I think … Continue reading The Tilda Swinton Project Redux
Trainwreck. Judd Apatow. 2015. The Amy Schumer show is funny. This film isn’t. I haven’t seen any of the other Judd Apatow films. My impression is that they are going for cringe humour, but this one just isn’t that cringe-worthy. Instead it’s just slow. It’s like a very, very, very long partially improvised HBO sitcom. … Continue reading TSP2015: Trainwreck
The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson. 2014. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Death for a Unicorn. Riccardo Bernasconi and Francesca Reverdito. 2013. Geez. This short is only available on Amazon Prime? So I had to hook up my Ipod Touch again to the rest of my system, and then spend half an hour re-routing the HDMI through splitters and capture devices to do this blog post… Everything … Continue reading TSP2013: Death for a Unicorn
The Zero Theorem. Terry Gilliam. 2013. The start made me go “Yes! Gilliam! Yay!” Unfortunately, the last four hours of the film is so dreary. It’s looks so cheap, and nothing much happens. Too bad. I think Gilliam really needs a huge budget to shine. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Snowpiercer. Joon-ho Bong. 2013. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
When Björk Met Attenborough. Louise Hooper. 2013. Hey! It’s the third film in this series that’s mentioned Britten! This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Only Lovers Left Alive. Jim Jarmusch. 2013. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Stars Are Out Tonight. Floria Sigismondi. 2013. It’s a proper music video! Yay. This video can be found on Youtube. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Getting On. Susan Tully. 2012. This is a really uninformed opinion, as this is the first episode I’ve seen. And this was the last episode from the third series. So it might be brilliant, and I’m just not getting it. But I’m unlikely to get around to watching the entire series, because it’s filmed in … Continue reading TSP2012: Getting On
Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson. 2012. All of Anderson’s films I seen have been good (except Bottle Rocket, which was awful), but I think this one is probably the best one. So funny. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
I found Genevive Goes Boating, so that’s one more down.
We Need To Talk About Kevin. Lynne Ramsay. 2011. I remember reading about this film way back then in 2010 and thinking it sounded awful. So I was prepared for a Benjamin Button sized turd. This is a kinda good film, and perhaps an important film, but it’s such an enormous downer. And the archer … Continue reading TSP2011: We Need To Talk About Kevin
It’s Alan Moore!!! The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader. Michael Apted. 2010. This is much better than the second film. The only thing I remember from the book is the picture on the well, and that that annoying kid was annoying. The film certainly reflects the book in that regard, but … Continue reading TSP2010: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader
The Invisible Frame. Cynthia Beatt. 2009. It’s hypnotic. It turns out that this is a sequel to a short made in 1988. imdb doesn’t list it on Swinton’s page, but they do list it here. What’s up with that? How come some short films are listed on the actors’ pages, but some aren’t? Now my … Continue reading TSP2009: The Invisible Frame
Io sono l’amore. Luca Guadagnino. 2009. This film starts off extremely well, and then gets all sweaty. At then end they go full Sirk, and it’s glorious, but the middle part is problematic. I love the soundtrack by John Adams. (The blu-ray I bought didn’t have Enligsh subtitles, so I had to pirate a copy … Continue reading TSP2009: Io sono l’amore
The Limits of Control. Jim Jarmusch. 2009. I didn’t mean to re-watch this film (I saw it last summer), but it was just too good. That Jarmusch guy, man. And Isaach De Bankolé! He’s so enjoyable to watch. I think all films I’ve seen with him in have been great? Chocolat, White Material, Coffee and … Continue reading TSP2009: The Limits of Control
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. David Fincher. 2008. If some director were to design a movie purely culculated to be nominated in all Oscar categories, it would look just like this turd. Whaddayouknow. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Burn After Reading. Joel and Ethan Coen. 2008. This was hilarious. Easily the best Coen film I’ve seen. It was slightly let down by its last third when some things turned all serious, which didn’t suit the film at all. Third act syndrome. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
So teal. Very colour correct. Very hair product. Finally! Half a minute of Swinton! Did I mention the hair? The battle scenes are so real. Much. Miaow. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Andrew Adamson. 2008. I quite liked the first Narnia film. It was just like I remembered from reading that book at ten. … Continue reading TSP2008: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Julia. Erick Zonca. 2008. This is a good film, but it’s kind of excruciating to watch. Swinton’s amazing, of course, but it’s at least half an hour too long. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Michael Clayton. Tony Gilroy. 2007. After watching a string of European films, it’s always a struggle to readjust to American acting. American acting is so stylised and unreal. You can always imagine any of these actors dropping into a McDonalds’s commercial or a four camera sitcom and behaving exactly the same way. They conform to … Continue reading TSP2007: Michael Clayton
The Man From London. Béla Tarr. 2007. Somehow, I’ve never seen any films by Béla Tarr before. And if I squint a bit, I could easily see this as being a French & Saunders parody of Bergman or Tarkovski. If it had moved slightly faster and had more women in it. So I have no … Continue reading TSP2007: The Man From London
Faceless. Manu Luksch. 2007. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Strange Culture. Lynn Hershman-Leeson. 2007. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Sleepwalkers. Doug Aitken. 2007. This art documentation video can be found on Youtube. I wanna visit New York again soon, anyway. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Galápagos. BBC. 2006. I haven’t really watched a nature documentary since I was a teenager or something. I always feel that documentaries just waste my preciouses time. “Give me a ten sentence summary! I mean five! Stat!” But this is rather brilliant. It’s all slo-mo/time lapse hi-def video (especially on Blu-Ray), with fake foley sounds, … Continue reading TSP2006: Galápagos
Stephanie Daley. Hilary Brougher. 2006. This is mostly not very good, but the final scene is a great twist. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Andrew Adamson. 2005. I read the book when I was like ten. (Several times.) This film is just like what I remember the book being like. For better and for worse. So I can’t really fault the film. My ten year old self would have loved it. … Continue reading TSP2005: Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Somme. Carl Hindmarch. 2005. It’s not that bad, really, but the sentimental music underscoring every. single. thing. did my head in. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Absent Presence. Hussein Chalayan, Martin R. Davison. 2005. This short film can be found on Vimeo. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Broken Flowers. Jim Jarmusch. 2005. I’d seen this film before, but I didn’t realise that that was Tilda Swinton. Her part lasted for half a minute, though. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
I don’t have any gaming consoles, but I found an old laptop that had Windows installed! So I downloaded the .rar file off of a totally legal site. Sure. Even if it’s infested with viruses, I don’t care much, because the laptop isn’t interweb-connected. Cool! Boo! Boo! Hm. This is Windows 7… Oh! Instructions! Game … Continue reading TSP2005: Constantine (Video Game)
People read slowly. Sure. It’s Keanu! Again! Constantine. Dylan Beale. 2005. This is a pretty confounding film. It almost seems like they’re making a parody of something? No scenes connect. It’s weird. And not in a good way. The director of this film went on to fuck up the The Hunger Games series. This post … Continue reading TSP2005: Constantine
2005!? Keanu! Three wolf moon! I’ve got that t-shirt! Thumbsucker. Mike Mills. 2005. I’ve seen this film before, somehow. It’s still pretty good. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Box. Luke Losey. 2003. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Much photoshop. Very budget. So eh? He agrees. Oh, whatever. There!!! Oh, Michael Caine. I can’t quit you. Uh-oh, missy! So there! Properly chastised. Tell me more. EEEVIL! Je pense. A lot! Equations… The Statement. Norman Jewison. 2003. This is the kind of film where the dialogues go: “Why wasn’t I told this earlier?” “I’m … Continue reading TSP2003: The Statement
Young Adam. David Mackenzie. 2003. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Adaptation.. Spike Jonze. 2002. The first two thirds of this film are extremely entertaining. Metafictional tomfoolery to the max. And then, in the last third, it turns into a normal American action movie, and it’s incredibly boring. Which is a metafictional thing, too, because within the film, Kaufman is advised that people only remember the … Continue reading TSP2002: Adaptation.
Teknolust. Lynn Hershman-Leeson. 2002. This is a very amusing film. There’s a lot about it I liked. So I really feel bad about this roll of the die: Edit: I’ve now watched the commentary track, and I feel even worse about the die. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Vanilla Sky. Cameron Crowe. 2001. This film is so much worse than The Beach that I regret giving The Beach a ⚀. But I don’t have a die with a skull and crossbones, so it’ll have to do. THIS IS AWFUL!!!?!1!!! This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Deep End. Scott McGehee. 2001. This started off as a run-of-the-mill spiralling-into-complications film, but then it took a more original turn. It’s weird seeing films from this area, though. Cell phone usage was prevalent, but script writers didn’t want to acknowledge that, because it makes all the traditional “person who can’t be reached” plot … Continue reading TSP2001: The Deep End
Possible Worlds. Robert Lepage. 2000. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Beach. Danny Boyle. 2000. This was excruciating. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Protagonists. Luca Guadagnino. 1999. Absolutely fascinating. The levels of meta on display here are mind-boggling. And the different versions of the murder (the shouty American TV carjacking vs the European art movie killing) were… er… I mean. This is a film for film nerds, but it’s a playful, interesting and affecting one. It’s slightly … Continue reading TSP1999: The Protagonists
The War Zone. Tim Roth. 1999. Feel-bad movie of the year. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Love is the Devil. John Maybury. 1998. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Conceiving Ada. Lynn Hershman-Leeson. 1997. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Female Perversions. Susan Streitfeld. 1996. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Remembrance of Things Fast: True Stories Visual Lies. John Maybury. 1994. I was unable to locate this film anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
One of the reasons for doing this blog series was to poke at the “well, everything is available now” thing (spoiler warning: it’s not), but then you have things like this movie: Made in 1990, and then largely unavailable for three decades, before suddenly becoming available on Vimeo. That’s a hopeful sign, perhaps: A couple … Continue reading TSP1990: Das offene Universum
Blue. Derek Jarman. 1993. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Wittgenstein. Derek Jarman. 1993. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales. Natalya Orlova/Dave Edwards. 1992. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Orlando. Sally Potter. 1992. This is dead brilliant, this is. So funny. Was this Swinton’s first “major”-ish film? I mean, with proper general distribution? I think I remember seeing this in an normal cinema in Oslo, instead of the Cinemateques where the Jarman films were shown… I’ve read a bunch of Woolf’s books (Between the … Continue reading TSP1992: Orlando
Man to Man: Another Night of Rubbish on the Telly. John Maybury. 1992. I was unable to locate this tv episode anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
The Party: Nature Morte. Cynthia Beatt. 1991. I was unable to locate this film anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
Edward II. Derek Jarman. 1991. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Your Cheatin’ Heart. Michael Whyte. 1990. There were lots of weird British TV series during the 80s. This was one of them. I have no idea what it’s about, and I watched all six episodes. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
The Garden. Derek Jarman. 1990. It has more of a narrative arc than The Last of England, and the imagery is wonderful (as you can see above), but it’s just not as compelling. The actors who play the protagonist pair might be the main problem… This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Play Me Something. Timothy Neat. 1989. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
War Requiem. Derek Jarman. 1989. There should have been subtitles on the DVD. I was straining to understand what they were singing, and sometimes I wouldn’t understand what they were singing at all. So I went on teh interwebs, and some parts of the libretto were in Latin, not English. Har de har. Anyway, the … Continue reading TSP1989: War Requiem
Das andere Ende der Welt. Imogen Kimmel. 1988. I was unable to locate this film anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
Degrees of Blindness. Cerith Wyn Evans. 1988. I bought this short film from Distrify, which is apparently kinda legit? I hope? I paid via Paypal, so it should be safe-ish, anyway. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
L’ispirazione. Derek Jarman. 1988. I was unable to locate this film anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.
The Last of England. Derek Jarman. 1988. What a tour de France. I mean force. I did see this back in the 80s, and it’s still as powerful as back then. I still don’t get the cauliflower scene. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Friendship’s Death. Peter Wollen. 1987. I feel a bit bad about the dice up there, but I just don’t think this piece is that good. I mean, it’s interesting (it’s about the Palestinian conflict reemagined as an alien robot conflict thing (sort of)), but… This film isn’t available on DVD, but it’s available from the … Continue reading TSP1987: Friendship’s Death
Aria. Various directors. 1987. It’s an anthology film, so some bits were good and some were… less good? This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
Egomania. Christoph Schlingensief. 1986. This post is part of The Tilda Swinton Project.
This is quite mad, this is. There are several scenes I found riveting, but for long stretches (especially the scenes with Verezzi), I kinda lost interest. I enjoyed the langudity of it all, though. Zastrozzi: A Romance. David G. Hopkins. 1986. This post is part of the Tilda Swinton Project series.
Caravaggio. Derek Jarman. 1986.
You know? You think there’s some actors who have better taste than others? This can be a false impression sometimes. Any movie with Nicholas Cage makes me go “hmm” for a few microseconds because he started out kinda strong (Raising Arizona, Wild at Heart, etc), but he really has a pretty unerring ability to pick … Continue reading The Tilda Swinton Project
I’ve been looking for a copy of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds for quite a while, but it’s apparently been unavailable since like forever. But look what I got today! Apparently Agnès B released it on DVD in France? Or something? And isn’t that a purdy DVD? Anyway, thank you, Agnès. I’ll … Continue reading International
g_monte hasn’t made any lists after 2012, so that’s where this series of blog posts ends. It’s been interesting for me, at least. Watching films picked by somebody else has led me to see some good ones that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen, like Jeanne Dielman. 23, quai du Commerce. 1080 Bruxelles and Au revoir les enfants. … Continue reading F&B Redux
I saw Funny Games on TV some… decades? ago, and I thought it was vile. I switched it off after about half an hour. I switched back to the channel more than an hour later, thinking it would be safe, and caught the final boating scene. Aaargh. I’ve hated Haneke ever since for putting me … Continue reading F&B2012: Amour
Tomboy. Céline Sciamma. 2011.
I liked the digital effects… Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky. 2010.
This film was so boring I died, was resurrected, and then I died again. From boredom. But the suicide scene was funny. A Single Man. Tom Ford. 2009.
I quite liked the metafictional tomfoolery in the last half of the film, but the first half was incredibly dull, and it just wasn’t that interesting. Perhaps having other people direct his scripts is a good idea after all. Synecdoche, New York. Charlie Kaufman. 2008.
Du levande. Roy Andersson. 2007.
Little Miss Sunshine. Jonathan Dayton. 2006.
I read the short story more than a decade ago, and don’t remember that much about it, but I was still puzzled when (I think) three quarters of the short story was over, and there was still 90 minutes to go. What were they going to fill the rest of the time with? But they … Continue reading F&B2005: Brokeback Mountain
It started off really well, but then we went off into a really boring romance, and then an excruciating nine hours about religion. At least that’s what it seemed like. Yes. Sally Potter. 2004.
I love the comic book, though. American Splendor. Shari Springer Berman. 2003.
Sweet Sixteen. Ken Loach. 2002.
The Royal Tenenbaums. Wes Anderson. 2001.
It’s funny, but it’s not hilarious. The extras are cringe-worthy. I’m The One That I Want. Lionel Coleman. 2000.
Being John Malkovich. Spike Jonze. 1999.
This film had some really, really tense scenes. But there were lots of boredom between the moments of excitement. A Simple Plan. Sam Raimi. 1998.
I was so bored during this film (except for a couple of early scenes) that I literally died. I literally died, Coral. Boogie Nights. Paul Thomas Anderson. 1997.
Irma Vep. Olivier Assayas. 1996.
First I thought this was going to be a sci-fi movie. And then I thought it was going to be a Todd Solondz film. I guess I’ll have to see all of Todd Haynes’ films. Safe. Todd Haynes. 1995.
– Trois Couleurs Rouge. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1994.
Naked. Mike Leigh. 1993.
|| The Player. Robert Altman. 1992.
This film is surprisingly engaging, despite being saddled with a plot (FSVO plot) that goes through some pretty groan-inducing moves. (A ten minute third act opener that does the birth/sex/death thing? The pregnant mother falling while running through the woods during a rain storm? C’mon. Just. C’mon.) But it’s not bad. The Man in the … Continue reading F&B1991: The Man in the Moon
The Grifters. Stephen Frears. 1990.
The plot was kinda loathsome (a basic combination of the “all gays must die” and the “all promiscuous women must die” tropes, so that wholesome Ricki Lake and Some Guy could have a baby (hakuna matata)), but it’s not badly made. I mean, not that badly. A bit sweaty, perhaps, and So Much Drama. This … Continue reading F&B1989: Last Exit to Brooklyn
After they started singing, I remembered that I’ve seen this before. Probably back in the 80s. It’s still good. Distant Voices, Still Lives. Terence Davies. 1988.
Au revoir les enfants. Louis Malle. 1987.
I was so confused watching this, until I realised that I thought that this was going to be a different Coppola film. I was thinking about “One from the Heart”, which I remember seeing during a vacation in Oslo in… 82? With one of my sisters. I must have been 13 or 14. I remember … Continue reading F&B1986: Peggy Sue Got Married
Sans toit ni loi. Agnès Varda. 1985.
Stranger than Paradise. Jim Jarmusch. 1984.
Perhaps it’s not all that bad, but my antipathy towards “religious themes” borders on the ridiculous. Like, get over it! The Terence Davies Trilogy. Terence Davies. 1983.
I was going to see Der Stand des Dinge by Wim Wenders, but the DVD I have turns out to only have German subtitles. Why! WHYYYY!!! It’s like Germans don’t like other people watching their films or something… So I, er, quickly acquired the “final cut” version of Blade Runner instead. It’s also on g_monte’s … Continue reading F&B1982: Blade Runner
“But I’ve discovered macrame!” This is another substitution from g_monte’s list. 1981 was going to be “Reds”, but it didn’t arrive in time. So I substituted with Polyester, which I’ve seen before, of course. Polyester. John Waters. 1981.
Mon oncle d’Amérique. Alain Resnais. 1980.
Saint Jack. Peter Bogdanovich. 1979. I think they import British beer according to how “fancy” the label is. This one has gradients, cutouts and silver ink.
Deutschland In Herbst. Alf Brustellin. 1978.
3 Women. Robert Altman. 1977. For some values of “beer adjacent”.
*twirls moustache* Representative dialogue: “Dammit senator, you promised me that these men would be decently treated!” “They were! They were decently fed, and then they were decently shot!” The bad thing is that Cleastwood didn’t seem to think that was a funny line. Where did the DVD cover go? Hm. The Outlaw Josey Wales. Clint … Continue reading F&B1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales
Well, this was a difficult one. For the first two hours I had problems paying attention to the film — the most exciting thing that seemed to be happening was the she overcooked some potatoes. But then I started paying attention, and the last hour and a half were kinda brilliant. So perhaps the entire … Continue reading F&B1975: Jeanne Dielman. 23, quai du Commerce. 1080 Bruxelles
This is not a film from g_monte‘s list of the best movies of 1974. The one I had ordered, The Conversation hasn’t arrived yet, so I had to make a substitution. And this was the only one from 1974 I hadn’t seen yet. And it was better than I expected. But a bit … boring… … Continue reading F&B1974: It’s Alive
Another British political comedy that I wish was funnier… O Lucky Man. Lindsay Anderson. 1973.
Nathalie Granger. Marguerite Duras. 1972.
Walkabout. Nicolas Roeg. 1971.
Le boucher. Claude Chabrol. 1970.
It looks amazing, but the jaunty music got to me in the end. The Bed Sitting Room. Richard Lester. 1969.
Baisers volés. François Truffaut. 1968.
I’ve been watching a lot of movies since the end of the CM&C project, but I thought it was time for another… structured series of movies. So I’ve decided to watch one movie per year since I was born, as picked from the ‘best of’ lists compiled by the imdb user g_monte. Conceptual! Those lists … Continue reading F&B
Those keyboards are so sci fi. I mean, these keyboards are so sci fi These are less sci fi, I guess. But props to the… props dept.
I mean grainiest
I’ve sort of stumbled into another CDO project that has even less utility than most of the other ones. I’ve been ripping DVD and BluRay films with makemkv before viewing, because 1) mplayer under Linux doesn’t really do BluRay, and 2) mplayer fails to play an ever increasing number of DVDs. The joys of Digital … Continue reading Films 4 Ever
But I can’t watch any movies this month.
Hey, that didn’t take long at all. What I’ve learned from watching 100 movies and making 100+ cocktails is: 1) There are a lot of bad cocktail recipes out there. 2) New movies suck. 3) The WordPress spell checker doesn’t think that “movie” is a word. But I swore to never use the word “film”. … Continue reading CM&C Redux
The Red Shoes. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 1948. ★★★★☆☆ Bailey’s Banana Split: 😃
Foreign Correspondent. Alfred Hitchcock. 1940. ★★★★☆☆ I think I’ve seen most of Hitchcock’s post WWII movies, but very few of the earlier ones. I had forgotten I had bought a couple of box sets of the early ones, but I found them today. Just in time for the penultimate CM&C. But it was a bit … Continue reading CM&C:XCIX Foreign Correspondent
Small Town Gay Bar. Malcolm Ingram. 2006. ★★★★☆☆ I really liked this. A heartwarming documentary. Bridal: 😃
Blue Valentine. Derek Cianfrance. 2010. ★★★☆☆☆ Brandy Smash: 😃
A History of Violence. David Cronenberg. 2005. ★★★☆☆☆ Look at this list of movies: Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly, Crash, eXistenZ. Not only are they all excellent and fascinating — they’re also thematically consistent, sort of. Cronenberg had some obsessions, and he wasn’t shy about putting them … Continue reading CM&C:XCVI A History of Violence
Inglorious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino. 2009. ★★★☆☆☆ Not so much a movie as a collection of “cool scenes”. If the scenes that didn’t work (the cellar scene, for instance, which went on for 253 minutes (I timed it!)) had been edited out, it might have been a good movie. But how many “does the Nazi know!11!!ONE!!!” … Continue reading CM&C:XCV Inglorious Basterds
The Rules of the Game. Jean Renoir. 1939. ★★★★☆☆ Bordeaux: 😃
Theodora Goes Wild. Richard Boleslawski. 1936. ★★★☆☆☆ This movie follows the standard “(happy-go-lucky) man persistently wooing a (repressed) woman” plot, but the “wooing” sometimes tips over into stalking. With a different sound track, some of the scenes could have been from a horror movie instead of a comedy. “He’s inside the yard… and he won’t … Continue reading CM&C:XCIII Theodora Goes Wild
CBGB. Randall Miller. 2013. ★★☆☆☆☆ I liked bits of this movie. That era in music was fascinating, but this movie makes bizarre choices. What’s up with using studio versions of the songs the actors are miming to? What’s up with the comic book thing? Why try to fit history like this into a three act … Continue reading CM&C:XCII CBGB
To Be Or Not To Be. Ernst Lubitsch. 1942. ★★★★★☆ White Jamaican: 😃
Day For Night. François Truffaut. 1973. ★★★★☆☆ It’s amusing, but it seems self-mythologising. 8½ avoided this problem by being more obviously a fantasy. And Day For Night is too long. T1000: 😃
Bicycle Thieves. Vittorio De Sica. 1948. ★★★★★★ I started crying before the movie even started. Rusty Fogg Cocktail: 😃
Limelight. Billy Corben. 2011. ★★★★☆☆ Mexican Mule: 😒
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Francis Lawrence. 2013. ★★★☆☆☆ The first movie had some rough, but charming edges. The Hunger Games Colon Catching Fire, however, has been polished and is more of a normal Hollywood big budget movie. I found it to be a snooze fest. The Legend of Jack Sparrow: 😃
Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard. 1960. ★★★★★☆ Schuylkill Punch: 😃
You Again. Andy Fickman. 2010. ★★★☆☆☆ Strawberry Prosecco Float: 😒
Adoration. Atom Egoyan. 2008. ★★★★☆☆ I liked parts of this movie a lot. I’m a sucker for non-linear storytelling. Confusion roolz. Bellini: 😃
Promised Land. Gus Van Sant. 2012. ★★☆☆☆☆ Gus! What are you doing! Amaretto Sour with Prosecco: 😃
White Material. Claire Denis. 2009. ★★★★★☆ Basil Prosecco and Limoncello: 😒
It’s just like The Lido from the Death in Venice movie. Top Hat. Mark Sandrich. 1935. ★★★★★☆ Champagne Bowler: 😃
I laughed out loud at this shot. Like “HA HA HA HA”. And this isn’t a satire. When the actors shut up, it’s almost unbearably exiting. Whenever they talk — dialogue or monologue — I wanted to skip the rest of the scene. The talk only in hackneyed cliches. Someone should remix this movie without … Continue reading CM&C:LXXX Gravity
Prêt-à-Porter. . . ★★★★☆☆ The “Milo” scenes made me subtract a star. They were loathsome. The movie worked best when there was no plot going on, but it was mostly hugely enjoyable. The Robert Altman scatterbrained movie thing is very attractive. Champagne Antoine: 😒
G.B.F.. Darren Stein. 2013. ★★★★★☆ I think that concludes the “quirky high school” series within CM&C: Heathers, Jawbreaker, Mean Girls, G.B.F.. And this movie is the funniest one! I laughed a lot. It also kinda illustrates how much smoother lower-budget movies look now compared to 1988. Digital cameras in 2013 look good, and movies can … Continue reading CM&C:LXXVIII G.B.F.
Isn’t that the other woman from Charmed? Heathers. Michael Lehmann. 1988. ★★★★☆☆ The mother of all quirky high school movies. It’s not perfect, but there’s so much to like. Añejo MANhattan: 😃
Hey… isn’t that that woman from Charmed? It is! Hey, it’s a Bande à part tribute scene! I love that scene. Simple Men. Hal Hartley. 1992. ★★★★☆☆ Alexander: 😃
The Flower of My Secret. Pedro Almodóvar. 1995. ★★★☆☆☆ Easy Bourbon Tea: 😒
The Serpent’s Egg. Ingmar Bergman. 1977. ★★★☆☆☆ This was the only Bergman movie I hadn’t seen. It turned out to be the worst one he’s made, I think. Yellow Fairy: 😒
Out of Rosenheim. Percy Adlon. 1987. ★★★★★☆ This is such a lovely movie. I loved it when I saw it 20 years ago, and I loved it even more this time. Percy Adlon is a pretty unique director. I tried shopping for his early movies earlier this year, and they’re all basically just available in … Continue reading CM&C:LXXIII Out of Rosenheim
Smoking in submarines… Those were the days… Destination Tokyo. Delmer Daves. 1943. ★★★★☆☆ This is a vicious anti-Japanese propaganda movie. But it’s well made. I liked it quite a bit. It focused on the sailors to a surprising (and some may say boring) degree. But it’s quite exciting. Lemon Highlander: 😃
Death in Venice. Tony Palmer. 1981. ★★★★★☆ I had to keep the libretto open to understand the chorus, though. Fantastic music. Limoncello Sunrise: 😃
Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen. 2011. ★★★★☆☆ Zaza: 😃
The Day The Earth Stood Still. Scott Derrickson. 2008. ★★☆☆☆☆ X. Y. Z.: 😃
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Michel Gondry. 2004. ★★★★★☆ White Lady: 😒
Animal Crackers. Victor Heerman. 1930. ★★★★☆☆ Vesper: ☠ Ward 8: 😧
Three Colours: Blue. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1993. ★★★☆☆☆ Hey, I’m back! Had a little prolonged stomach flu thing going there… No movies or cocktails for me… Anyway. The movie. I mean, I liked The Dekalog and stuff. And this movie was very, very pretty. But. I mean. The dialogue. The plot. The excruciatingly schmaltzy “great” music. … Continue reading CM&C:LXVI Trois couleurs: Bleu
Sound of Noise. Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjärne Nilsson. 2010. ★★★★★☆ Wonderfully inventive and hilarious. Twenty-First Century: 😃
Hunger Games. Gary Ross. 2012. ★★★★★☆ Kiwi Caipirinha: 😃
Husbands. John Cassavetes. 1970. ★☆☆☆☆☆ Ok, my loathing for this movie might not make me totally objective. Sorree!!! Twentieth Century: 😃
Cry-Baby. John Waters. 1990. ★★★★★☆ Tip Top: ☠ Tom Collins: 😧
Inland Empire. David Lynch. 2006. ★★★★★★ Fantastic movie. But can someone tell me what happened? Kiwi Mojito: 😃
Jawbreaker. Darren Stein. 1999. ★★★☆☆☆ Ti Punch: 😃
2046. Kar Wai Wong. 2004. ★★★☆☆☆ Wow! Much bokeh! Such colour! As you can see, the cinematography is excellent. And the story is framed originally. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty boring melodrama. With schmaltzy music underlying every single beat. I mean, beautiful classical schmaltz. I mean music. Oops. I can see how people would think that … Continue reading CM&C:LIX 2046
“Isn’t life dissapointing?” “”Yes, nothing but disappointment.” Tokyo Story. Yasujirô Ozu. 1953. ★★★★★☆ This is officially the best movie in the world ever, apparently. Even so, it’s pretty good. The ending was all boo-hoo. Manga Colada: 😧
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Garth Jennings. 2005. ★★★★☆☆ Lychee Margarita: 😧
Resident Evil. Paul W.S. Anderson. 2002. ★★★☆☆☆ There’s a lot to like about this movie. It has a certain charming, mawkish amateurishness. But… Batida de Mamao: 😃
Pierrot le fou. Jean-Luc Godard. 1965. ★★★★★★ Mango Margarita: 😃
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson. 2013. ★★★★☆☆ I tried ripping this 3D Bluray with makemkv. After duckducking for hours, I determined that makemkv makes a “stereoscopic” full resolution file — just like what’s on the Bluray. Which makes sense. But there’s no software to convert that to something that anything can play … Continue reading CM&C:LIV The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Of Human Bondage. John Cromwell. 1934. ★★☆☆☆☆ Between the Sheets: 😧
Two-Lane Blacktop. Monte Hellman. 1971. ★★★☆☆☆ Stinger: 😒
The Rules of Attraction. Roger Avary. 2002. ★★★★☆☆ Caucasian: 😃
Mmm… space-age beds look so comfy… So comfy… Solaris. Steven Soderbergh. 2002. ★★★☆☆☆ Stork Club: 😧
Berlin Alexanderplatz. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. 1980. ★★★★★☆ To celebrate the 49th movie in the CM&C series, I decided to watch Berlin Alexanderplatz (a film in thirteen parts with an epilogue which runs for 15½ hours) in one day. I planned it all out: Get up earlyish on a Saturday; start watching while eating breakfast; install … Continue reading CM&C:XLIX Berlin Alexanderplatz
Hm. Perhaps Besson and Bresson are different people? Subway. Luc Besson. 1985. ★★★☆☆☆ Watermelon Cucumber Cooler: 😒
New York Doll. Greg Whiteley. 2005. ★★★☆☆☆ Passion Fruit Daiquiri: 😃
Eastern Promises. David Cronenberg. 2007. ★★★★☆☆ Southside: 😃
L’Argent. Robert Bresson. 1983. ★★★★★★ Silk Stockings: 😃
Paranoid Park. Gus van Sant. 2007. ★★★★★★ It might be excessive, but I think my rating here can be defended. The sequencing of events; the (I’m assuming) somewhat improvised dialogue; the (I’m assuming) non-professional actors; the sound editing: It all feels so fresh and original. And it results in an utterly engrossing experience. Saettle Manhattan: … Continue reading CM&C:XLIV Paranoid Park
Cap’n! The movie canna take any more cliches! But here’s the kick-ass sciencey action woman. And the two nerdy science geeks. The dog. The grizzled older hero. The manic technobabble. The sciencey bickering. Oh, well. Could there be romance? What does the stern commander think about it all? You guess. Boo. Weird science. Grunt grunt. … Continue reading CM&C:XLIII Pacific Rim
Woyzeck. Werner Herzog. 1979. ★★★★★★ Satan’s Whiskers: 😃
Scream 4. Wes Craven. 2011. ★★★☆☆☆ There’s a lot to like about this movie. The meta-meta-ness is amusing, and the dialogue (mostly centered on women interacting) feels fresh. I just wish it were better. Saratoga: 😒
Brief Encounter. David Lean. 1945. ★★★★★☆ The second version of the opening scene was heartstoppingly brilliant, but it’s not a perfect movie. The scenes with the waitron were genius, though. Rosalita: 😒
Nymphos! Shock Corridor. Samuel Fuller. 1963. ★★★★☆☆ Scofflaw: 😒
Winter’s Bone. Debra Granik. 2010. ★★★★★☆ Robert Burns: 😒
Chocolat. Claire Denis. 1988. ★★★★★☆ Red Snapper: 😒
Hmm…. For a Kai War Wong movie, this looks kinda… different… Would I be paranoid if I started thinking that they put the wrong DVD in the cover? Still not sure. Oh, I don’t care. This is awesome. In The Mood For Love. Kar Wai Wong. 2000. ★★★★★☆ Planter’s Punch: 😃
There are many things I love about 30s musical comedies. Their verisimilitude is astounding. What you see here is the engine room of an ocean liner. But you have to wonder whether the casting choice for the machine room is a commentary on something. Wow. So machinery. Much technical. Shall We Dance. Mark Sandrich. 1937. … Continue reading CM&C:XXXV Shall We Dance
Bottle Rocket. Wes Anderson. 1996. ★★★☆☆☆ Perhaps I’m just generally down on the entire “hapless young-ish men fumble around” genre. Perhaps it’s just fatigue from seeing yet another Bechdel-test-failing movie. Perhaps this movie is good. But I don’t see it. Pisco Sour: 😃
Kids with their ghetto blasters at the beach. Tsk. Menschen am Sonntag. Kurt Siodmak, Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann & Rochus Gliese. 1930. ★★★☆☆☆ Batida de maracujá: 😃
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Michael Bay. 2009. ★★★★☆☆ I liked this movie. It was entertaining and surprisingly funny. However, it had the obligatory boring infodump scenes, and the So Much Drama scenes, and went on far too long. If they’d cut an hour, it would have been a good movie. Batida Mango: 😃
Blue. Derek Jarman. 1993. ★★★★★☆ Mango Daiquiri: 😒
He’s in high school. They’re both in high school. It’s the most annoying guy from Saturday Night Live? It is. Superbad. Greg Mottola. 2007. ★★☆☆☆☆ It started off pretty funny, but the last three hours were a PSA about how you’re not supposed to have sex when you’re drunk. Which is just wrong. In addition … Continue reading CM&C:XXX Superbad
I’m So Excited. Pedro Almodovar. 2013. ★★★★★☆ East India House: 😃
Elysium. Neill Blomkamp. 2013. ★★★☆☆☆ It’s funny (but not in a ha-ha way) how this movie fails in pretty much the same way as the director’s previous movie, District 9. They both start out really well, but then turn into boring heist movies when the director has made his point. I like the ending of … Continue reading CM&C:XXVIII Elysium
L. A. Zombie. Bruce LaBruce. 2010. ★★★☆☆☆ I did see the “edited” version, though. The hardcore one may be better or worse. Kentucky Maid: 😃
India Song. Marguerite Duras. 1975. ★★★★★★ Hendricks Ellison: 😃 (But I made it with Beefeater.)
The Limits of Control. Jim Jarmusch. 2009. ★★★★★☆ Delmonico: 😒
Rude Boy. Jack Hazan, David Mingay. 1980. ★★☆☆☆☆ Corpse Reviver #2: 😃
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Peter Jackson. 2012. ★★★★★★ That’s on a “fantasy movie” scale, though. Commodore: 😃
Mean Girls. Mark Waters. 2004. ★★★★★☆ Clover Leaf: 😒
Hiroshima, mon amour. Alain Resnais. 1959. ★★★★★☆ Champs-Elysées: 😧
Like Crazy. Drake Doremus. 2011. ★★☆☆☆☆ Caipirinha: 😒
Dogtooth. Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009. ★★★★★☆ HOWEVER: On the “this is seriously fucked up, dude” scale of one to ten, this one gets a fourteen. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. The cinematographer did Blind. It’s very pretty. So there you go. Bronx: 😒
Be Kind Rewind. Michel Gondry. 2008. ★★☆☆☆☆ Black Feather: 😒
Rachel, Rachel. Paul Newman. 1968. ★★★☆☆☆ Between the Sheets: 😒
Tron: Legacy. Joseph Kosinski. 2010. ★★★☆☆☆ Algonquin: 😒
Palindromes. Todd Solondz. 2004. ★★★★☆☆ Cosmopolitan: 😒
8½. Federico Fellini. 1963. ★★★★★★ Sidecar: 😃
Me and You and Everyone We Know. Miranda July. 2005. ★★★★☆☆ Mint Julep: 😃
Red Eye. Wes Craven. 2005. ★★☆☆☆☆ Captain’s Blood: 😒
Beasts of the Southern Wild. Benh Zeitlin. 2012. ★★☆☆☆☆ Daiquiri: 😃
Nenette and Boni. Claire Denis. 1996. ★★★★★★ Manhattan : 😧
The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan. 2008. ★★★☆☆☆ I gotta stop using auto-focus. Margarita: 😃
Band of Outsiders. Jean-Luc Godard. 1964. ★★★★★★ Old Fashioned: 😃
Bringing Up Baby. Howard Hawks. 1938. ★★★★★☆ Gin Fizz: 😃
Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan. 2005. ★☆☆☆☆☆ Bloody Mary: 😃
Black Narcissus. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 1947. ★★★★★☆ Mojito : 😃
District 9. 2009. Neill Blomkamp. ★★☆☆☆☆ Dark’n’Spicy: 😃
The Pee-Wee Herman Show. Marty Callner. 1981. ★★★★☆☆ Black Russian: 😧 White Russian: 😒
Solaris. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1972. ★★★★★☆ Cuba Libre: 😒
Jubilee. Derek Jarman. 1978. ★★★★☆☆ Whiskey Sour: 😒
I used to be a major movie nerd. Watched a couple a day. Went to the Cinemateque regularly. And then I stopped. It was probably a combination of things. First of all, starting a movie meant turning the music that’s playing off, and I hate doing that. And I feel that you have to pay … Continue reading One! Hundred! Movies!
Sundance turned out to be really nice. Well organised, friendly, good movies. Oh, and Blind is fantastic. It’s really funny and smart and interesting, and all those kinds of good things. Nine thumbs up.
The movie that was partially shot in my apartment is being shown at Sundance! By coincidence, I’m “vacationing” in San Francisco (i.e., implementing new Gnus stuff) around that time, so I’ll try to get a ticket to one of the screenings. I’ve never been to Utah before, I think. Better pack warmer clothes.
I’ve just seen what may be the best movie ever. Boom, with a screenplay by Tennessee Williams, with Elizabeth Taylor and Whatisface playing the leads. I mean, just look at it. Look at it!
Peeps decided to film (bits of) a movie in my apt. So I went away to various parts of the world and wrote the Gwene web interface. I came back on Friday and had to like (eww!) work and stuff, but now I’ve gotten the apartment wired back up again so that I can listen … Continue reading Filmin’ Finish’d
So, a couple months back I got a call from somebody who presented himself as a “location manager” for a Norwegian movie producer. I know, but they exist. He said they were looking for an apt. with a view, so they’d been scouting and thought that my apt. looked like a possible candidate. I said … Continue reading Filmin’
I’m watching the entire John Waters oeuvre. Well, the bits that are available on DVD. I’ve reached his last movie, “A Dirty Shame”, from 2004. The picture is from the point in the DVD “making-of” documentary where Waters says the following: “It stars Johnny Knoxville, it’s about sex addicts. It’s not explicit and it’s a … Continue reading John Waters
See Emacs. See Emacs play movie In the continuing story of Emacs@Home (don’t worry, I think there’s only one part left now), we’ve now come to the part where I watch TV. I know, it’s something most people manage quite perfectly without resorting to Emacs, but why would you? Well, actually, I think that the … Continue reading Emacs Movie Browser