Monthly Archives: December 2015

last week’s films…

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Joy
(2015), David O. Russell ★★★★★

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), Luis Bunuel ★★★★★

Swing Time (1936), George Stevens ★★★★

Bachelor Mother (1939), Garson Kanin ★★★

My Blueberry Nights (2007), Kar Wai Wong ★★★★★

^ Yes, that’s Norah Jones in her acting debut.

Room (2015), Lenny Abrahamson ★★★★★

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last week’s films…

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Vincente Minnelli ….. ★★★★★

The Ladykillers (2004), Joel and Ethan Coen  ★★★
The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Ernst Lubitsch  ★★★★★

Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Joel and Ethan Coen  ★★★★
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), James Wan  ★★★★★

Completing the trilogy:

Insidious (2010)
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) – prequel

Made my short list of one of the best sequels by the same director.

2046 (2004), Kar Wai Wong  ★★★★★

Third film in the trilogy:

Days of Being Wild (1991)
In the Mood for Love (2000)
2046 (2004)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), J. J. Abrams  ★★★★
Julius Caesar (1953), Joseph L. Mankiewicz  ★★★★

Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Billy Wilder  ★★★★★

The Fountain (2006), Darren Aronofsky  ★★★★

Mission: Impossible III (2006), J. J. Abrams  ★★★
Blissfully Yours (2001), Apichatpong Weerasethakul  ★★★★ (director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)

Apartment for Peggy (1948), George Seaton ★★★★

Everyone has a favorite Edmund Gwenn film. Lassie Come Home (1943) with Donald Crisp, Nigel Bruce, and a young Roddy McDowall. Foreign Correspondent (1940), Miracle on 34th Street (1947). He even starred in a Hitchcock film: The Trouble with Harry (1955).

last week’s films…

Insidious (2010), James Wan ★★★★★

Saw chapter 3 a few weeks ago, which was a prequel anyway. Stars Angus Sampson and Patrick Wilson; two main players in season 2 of Fargo.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Tobe Hooper ★★★★★

In the Heart of the Sea (2015), Ron Howard ★★

Brendan Gleeson earned both of the stars I gave this. Water has to be one of the hardest mediums to cg. Reminded me of those eyes when I saw The Polar Express. It was either this, or Trumbo.

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960), Mikio Naruse ★★★★★

El Cid (1961), Anthony Mann ★★★★

R100 (2015), Hitoshi Matsumoto ★★★★

Not one butterfly or moth. The symphony analogies were great, especially when the guy was played by the CEO. Reminded me of the Steve Jobs (2015) quote: Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.

Brooklyn (2015), John Crowley ★★★★

Some Came Running (1958), Vincente Minnelli ★★★★

Thieves Like Us (1974), Robert Altman ★★★★★

last week’s films…

Breaking the Waves (1996), Lars von Trier ★★★★★

Broken down into chapters, each with a surreal landscape shot that seems to come alive with time and a separate musical theme by Elton John, T-Rex, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, etc.

Runoff (2015), Kimberly Levin ★★★★★

Her debut film, with many beautiful shots – starting with the opening scene, which dovetails perfectly into it’s theme.

Where is My Friend’s House? (1987), Abbas Kiarostami ★★★★★

Listed in Hulu plus as a Criterion Collection, complete with the Janus logo and spinning C. First film in his Koker trilogy, followed by Life and Nothing More (1991), and Through the Olive Trees (1994). I’m on the hunt for those two! edit: found it.

The Band Wagon (1953), Vincente Minnelli ★★★★★

I’ve been catching up on Martin Scorsese’s Film School: The 85 Films You Need To See To Know Anything About Film through netflix and hulu plus and the library.

Judex (1963), Georges Franju ★★★★

Fill the Void (2012), Rama Burshtein, movie of the week ★★★★★

Debut film, she knocks it out of the park. A new #1 for 2013 (U.S. release date), unseating The Wolf of Wall Street.

After seeing Hadas Yaron in Felix & Meira, I had to watch this.

There’s a scene, where Shira is smiling and playing the accordion at a kindergarten and the kids are dancing with hands in the air, and the teacher whispers to her her condolences and her expression changes to sorrow, she slows the song and closes her eyes and transitions to a sad song, and the shot changes to over her shoulder showing the kids dropping their arms, and slowly turn to face her.

Tangerine (2015), Sean Baker ★★★★

I’ve been waiting to see this after his excellent Starlet (2012). Shot with an iphone 5S with anamorphic adapters. Like Sisters of the Gion, Tangerine takes you into the life of the oldest profession.

Osaka Elegy (1936), Kenji Mizoguchi ★★★★★

Onibaba (1964), Kaneto Shindo ★★★★★

Sisters of the Gion (1936), Kenji Mizoguchi ★★★★★

Three films with men in supporting roles. For Mizoguchi, Sisters followed Osaka Elegy and both star Isuzu Yamada. Onibaba’s gruesome method of putting rice on the table can be seen in Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and evidenced by Toshiro Mifune’s speech / revelation. Sometimes hell hath no fury like a man scorned (Sisters of the Gion).

Pather Panchali (1955), Satyajit Ray ★★★★★

TCM played all 3 of the Apu trilogy, so I rewatched the first. If I had the set I’d be watching them a few times a year.

Secret Honor (1984), Robert Altman ★★★★★

Ever since I heard Altman mention in one of his commentaries how he met and was in contact Paul Thomas Anderson, I’ve noticed the connection, in this case the star: Philip Baker Hall – the only actor in this film. Captivating.

Come Drink with Me (1966), King Hu ★★★★

Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Federico Fellini, Gianni di Venanzo DOP ★★★★★

Joining the short list of Technicolor masterpieces; Jack Cardiff’s Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948), Claude Renoir’s The River (1951) and The Golden Coach (1953) (haven’t seen The Tales of Hoffmann yet).