Favorite Viewing of The Month?

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This month, I broke my record for most movies watched by myself. I have seen 10 in January, 9 in February, and 14 in March. I think I might need to take a break from all of this.
Here are all of the films in order of when I watched them and some made up ratings that are not official, but just for the sake of it and an idea of how I enjoyed them:
1. Alphaville -

2. Written on the Wind(second viewing) -

3. Touch of Evil -

4. Fruit of Paradise -

5. Paris Belongs to Us -

6. Cries and Whispers -

7. Black Narcissus -

8. Children of Paradise -
bordering on
which it probably would have got if I continued thinking about it after it was done.
9. Zazie dans le Metro -

10. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter -

11. The Graduate -

12. Lola -

13. Bay of Angels -

14. Black Orpheus -


Current Favorite of January: Deep End
Current Favorite of February: After some thinking and watching Black Narcissus, it is The Red Shoes. I am aching to see that one a second time, as I felt rather depressed when I saw it the first time.
Favorite of March: Drumroll please ....


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ZAZIE DANS LE METRO(1960)



Yes, it seems like I am a bit biased towards the French movies, especially the ones about the women, but Zazie was a breath of fresh air for me. Most of the movies I saw prior hand(Stolen Kisses, Chunking Express, Deep End, Wings of Desire, Children of Paradise) had me thinking about a crush that I had during the first two months of the year, about what techniques to use to talk to her, and how I failed to attain the girl. Also, all of the movies had a serious tone, along with them being rather realistic.

But Zazie turned me on. I was thinking: "Finally, something sillier and dynamic for me. I am out of the box!" Yes, I feel like most of the FNW movies took themselves way too seriously, but this one kind of strayed away from the seriousness.

The movie felt like a children's movie for adults, and it also differentiated itself with the other movies made during that time period(FNW movies were usually ahead of their time). I also love a movie that has avant garde touches to it, and this one certainly had the flair. I especially loved the scene where Zazie is caught in a chase with the one man, the rehearsal scene, and especially the climactic restaurant sequence. Other stand outs include the jazzy score that plays throughout the movie and Zazie annoying the other characters on the Eiffel tower.

Zazie then wonders if her uncle is "hormosessual" due to his behaviors, despite being married to a wife who also cross dresses during the climax of the movie.

Might be one of my favorites in the French circle.

Honorable Mentions
The Graduate: I enjoyed Dustin Hoffman's character, the relatability of graduating and not knowing what to do next, Paul Simon's music, as well as several classic scenes. All of you know the seduction scene, but I was thinking about that ending with Ben and Elaine on the bus with Sound of Silence playing in the background.

Children of Paradise: This film felt so French. It was kind of like The Red Shoes and Amadeus as it had some extend scenes with characters performing, but also like Rules of the Game due to the large romantic web of it. I can certainly relate to this movie, but I do not know how it will hold up in future months.

Least Favorite
Alphaville: I was rather tired when I watched it, and I kind of felt bored while watching it. Despite this, I was happy when the final sequence came around with the protagonist killing all of the guys. This made me happy, because I never get to see any action in a French movie, but this movie finally gave it to me. Also, I was delighted at the happy ending, as I felt like a movie like that was bound to be a downer. Lastly, I was finally out of the 3 movies a director rule as I finally watched four from one(Godard with Breatless, Contempt, and Woman Is A Woman before). Over March, there are three directors that I have seen four(Godard along with Rivette and Demy) from.



March '23:

RRR - The hype is real. It's never not fun. I could watch it again today.

Phoenix - Excellent post-World War II drama about two very different kinds of Holocaust survival.

Shadow - Zhang Yimou's beautiful black and white (or is it?) movie that would please fans of the war and film noir genres.



The only five star film I watched this month was a rewatch of Carrie. And the second best was also a rewatch--Day of the Dead, which is clearly the best of the entire Dead trilogy. Like....it's not even a contest.


So this leaves these as the ones I was happiest with, in order of bestness


A Wonderful Cloud
The Tarnished Angels
The Paperboy
Softie
Children of the Pyre


Special shout out to Nina Menkes, whose Queen of Diamonds and Magdalena Viraga, are not necessarily easy to love, but have made it clear I'll hunt down everything she's ever done. She's like a mix of Fassbinder and Paul Morrissey, which is exactly as amazing as one could hope



Breaker Morant


My first five star watch of the year. What a pleasant surprise. Great courtroom dialogue, which I love. Fantastic ending.
__________________
Letterboxd



Subtle Slayer of Normies
This month, I broke my record for most movies watched by myself. I have seen 10 in January, 9 in February, and 14 in March.
Rookie numbers!

I rewatched some masterpieces in March. But not counting them, here are my favorite first viewings this month:

BEST: (ranked)
1. Két elhatározás [A Quite Ordinary Life] (1978) - Absolutely beautiful. Cried a lot on this docudrama. It's basically a film on family and love but it tackles these themes like no other movie. It's a heartfelt tale of an elderly woman who lost all her loved ones except for her son who lives in England. She resolves to do two things before she dies: Clean up a long-neglected vineyard and visit her son in England. Sincere filmmaking.
2. 15小时 [15 Hours] (2017) - The longest film I've seen in one sitting (16 hours!) and what a droning behemoth! The sounds of sewing machines create an industrial soundtrack that hypnotized me right away. But this film is as far from boring as it gets. Wang Bing is a master.
3. 夹边沟 [The Ditch] (2010) - Another Wang Bing. Harrowing. Almost unbearable at times. Dead Souls and Fengming (and optionally Beauty Lives in Freedom) are essential viewings before tackling it, though.
4. 검으나 땅에 희나 백성 [The People in White] (1995) - INCREDIBLE atmosphere. Superb visuals. No metaphysics, though. :(
5. Barravento [The Turning Wind] (1962) - Glauber Rocha is class. The black-and-white cinematography is the main dish here, and boy is it excellent!
6. ใจจำลอง [Come Here] (2021) - Anocha Suwichakornpong strikes again, and it's great to see her continue the themes from By the Time It Gets Dark. Some very droney and hypnotizing moments here, too.
7. Mistaken Memories of Medićval Manhattan (1981) - Basically a James Benning film but with phenomenal ambient music by Brian Eno. Such a combination HAD to be amazing. And it is.

OTHER GREAT WATCHES: (in no particular order)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) & Arrowsmith (1931) - Absolutely jaw-dropping visuals in the first one. The second one looks amazing, too. John Ford films always look sooo good.
48 (2009) - Minimalist filmmaking at its best. Just the pictures of people we hear talking, recounting their stories.
Aphotic Zone (2022) - An exemplary demonstration of preternatural sea-cosmos visuals with aquatic zoophytes posturing as extraterrestrials and deepwater robots imitating spaceships. Explicitly represents the oceanic abysses as immeasurable, incomprehensible, and marvelous, but also accurately enigmatical.
Kapinynas [Burial] (2022) - Though the symbolism might be a little bit too on-the-nose and the final message murked, Škarnulytė's command of the visual is excellent, showcasing all the little blips and hundreds of buttons as a portrayal of complicated (but outdated) machinery behind an obsolete nuclear power plant. The digital cinematography hinging on unnaturally artificial possibly gives the whole thing yet another layer.
Братья Карамазовы [The Karamazov Brothers] (1969) - This definitely could've been better, but adapting The Karamazov Brothers is definitely the hardest Dostoevsky book to transform into a movie. All things considered, good job.
伴我闖天涯 [Wild Search] (1989) - Not the best of its genre but there's no denying it's very entertaining. The little girl is adorable. Chow Yun-fat and Cherie Chung have great chemistry (something I usually don't care about in films) so it's understandable John Woo would cast both of them along with Leslie Cheung in the supreme Once a Thief. I guess Cherie Chung is slowly but steadily making her way onto my crushes list. She's dazzling, and as much as I love her youthful look in her early films, I think I prefer her more mature beauty here or in Once a Thief. I have to watch Zodiac Killers now!
Unrueh [Unrest] (2022) - Good "dignified" approach to filmmaking. Quality sound mixing! Great visuals with some tasty framing. Definitely worth watching. I'm kinda curious about this guy's other movies now.
Desire Me [A Woman of My Own] (1947) - No idea why this was seen as MGM's worst film. It's excellent, with stark black'n'white cinematography and a fantastic mood built of shadows and fog. I definitely wouldn't mind recommendations for more movies like this.
A Little Stiff (1991) & I Am a Sex Addict (2005) - The more Zahedi films I watch, the less I like him and them. Or maybe I watched his two best ones first and all that's left is subpar stuff. Either way, I watched 6 of his films today and sure have enough for some time.
江湖儿女 [Ash Is Purest White] (2018) - Amazing first third. It then descends into this simple tale of women sacrificing for undeserving men. And how China's changing. Still very good but it could've been a masterpiece. Zhangke definitely has better films.
みつあみの神様 [Pigtails] (2015) - A touching short film with Ichiko Aoba music in the soundtrack!
House by the River (1950) & Ministry of Fear (1944) - Two very good Fritz Lang films (Moonfleet is nice, too, but IMO inferior to these two).
The Member of the Wedding (1952) - A very intriguing movie. Not what I expected at all.
Bella e perduta [Lost and Beautiful] (2015) - Looks so good, finally a modern film not shot on digital. But the final reveal of what the film is about (at least mainly) is so on the nose, though, it almost ruined the film for me.
Uma abelha na chuva [A Bee in the Rain] (1972) - Quality elitist cinema.
La femme de nulle part [The Woman From Nowhere] (1922) - For years I thought it was directed by Germaine Dulac. It's directed by Louis Delluc instead! Anyway, the resolution is as conservative (and mature, I guess) as it gets, but the film poses some meaningful questions about love, future, hopes, dreams, past, etc.
La casa lobo [The Wolf House] (2018) - Impressive form totally overtakes the content. But I'm a sucker for engaging form, so it's no biggie to me.
金燕子 [Golden Swallow] (1987) - The worst of all non-erotic Chinese Ghost Story clones, but still enjoyed it a lot. Some parts were hard to understand, e.g., why he wouldn't recognize her and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. Also, the music could've been so much better, but the colorful drapes in the wind and cheap but pretty visuals are worth it.
Abendland [Nightfall] (2011) - Watched this right after Wang Bing's 15 Hours. Well, it was very good, but it's a given coming from Geyrhalter.
S.O.S. Eisberg [S.O.S. Iceberg] (1933) & Stürme über dem Mont Blanc [Storm Over Mont Blanc] (1930) - Two great films with Leni Riefenstahl directed by Arnold Fanck. Impressive cinematography. :)
Xiao li zi [Survival Song] (2008) - Great Chinese documentary. Liked it a lot but not as much as the director's earlier film Timber Gang.
Erzählen [About Narration] (1975) - Another worthy Farocki film.
Swastika (1973) - Apparently, this was a very controversial documentary when it was released. None of the footage is new or unseen nowadays. But seeing Hitler and company in their homely settings makes Nazism even scarier tbh.

There's more worthwhile stuff I watched in March but the post is too long already.

And for those who don't enjoy reading, here are some screencaps from John Ford's Drums Along the Mohawk (color) and Arrowsmith (black'n'white):












__________________
I apologize for any and all perceived slights which I did not intend to send your way. Sincerely. If someone reads a different tone, then they cannot but also read a different message. And as for those slights which I did intend, well you probably deserved those. Let's be honest. You're not exactly a picture of moderation.



I watched 83 feature films (plus 4 short films) this month. My top 5 favourite first time viewings were:

5. Casualties of War (1989)
4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)
3. Scream VI (2023)
2. May (2002)
1. Blaze Starr Goes Nudist (1962)



Rookie numbers!

I rewatched some masterpieces in March. But not counting them, here are my favorite first viewings this month:
Rookie numbers eh. Well, I tend not to watch too many movies so that the novelty of watching them continues on. I do not spend all of my free time watching pictures on screen, since I have a life to live.

This is probably Mr. Minio being an expert movie viewer:



The trick is not minding
Rookie numbers eh. Well, I tend not to watch too many movies so that the novelty of watching them continues on. I do not spend all of my free time watching pictures on screen, since I have a life to live.

This is probably Mr. Minio being an expert movie viewer:
Nailed it!



Where can you see this? Asking for a friend.
I watched it on blu ray as part of the Doris Wishman:The Daylight Years box set. There are three different Doris Wishman box sets and I would recommend them all. Have you seen any Doris Wishman films?



I watched it on blu ray as part of the Doris Wishman:The Daylight Years box set. There are three different Doris Wishman box sets and I would recommend them all. Have you seen any Doris Wishman films?
Nah, but I hope to see Deadly Weapons and A Night to Dismember some day. I've heard good things.



Little Big Man (1970) -


This is how you do episodic films. Instead of introducing numerous characters, giving you half an hour or less to get to know them, and having them leave the film altogether, this film instead provides splice-like vignettes into their personalities at different points in the film. You get to watch as they change throughout the film and, given the handful of characters it focuses on and the various years the film encompasses, it has a fairly large scope and is very pleasing to watch. Though I'm still fairly young, I've had a handful of instances where I ran into my childhood friends after being separated from them for a handful of years, so this makes Jack's experiences all the more lived-in. Granted, this would be moot if the characters were dull, but given the wide range of colorful characters we're exposed to (his conflicts with General Custer and Younger Bear and his friendships with Old Lodge Skins, Meriwether, and Wild Bill Hickok are the standouts), it remains memorable from start to finish.

The Quiet Earth (1985) -


When it's not depicting the consequences of alienation and the effects it has on the human psyche,
WARNING: spoilers below
portraying how an apocalypse can affect the relationships amongst the survivors and ignite a desperation amongst them to form human contact, or examining how personal conflicts can be significant at one point yet can radically shift once other issues are at hand
, it has a mysterious undercurrent of ambiguity regarding the cause and significance of the "red light" and is topped with a memorable final scene to ponder over long after watching the film. Knowing this film had its critics here and there, I wasn't sure how I'd respond to it, but it really left an impact on me and I'd definitely rank it among my favorite science fiction films in an instant. It seems like it should just be your typical low-key flick, yet it's about so much and is far more complex and interesting than it has the right to be.

Entranced Earth (1967) -


While watching this, I kept on going back and forth between a 4 and a 4.5 before I finally settled on a 4.5. Like Rocha's Black God, White Devil, which I watched a year or two ago, I didn't quite follow everything which went on and somewhat struggled to keep up with the plot. The more of this I watched, however, the more impressed I was with various stylistic touches such as the narration taking on a ghostly feel (the camerawork helps in that regard), various scenes appearing to occur in between Paulo's head and reality, and the film maintaining a dream-like atmosphere at numerous points. The film also captures the blindness of the masses towards accepting the false promises of political figures, and how this blind faith is a pattern which repeats itself over and over again. Thematically, it's interesting, but stylistically, it hits a number of my sweet spots really well and I definitely intend on rewatching it later this year to see if my appreciation of it goes up or down.

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) -


This is another film where I kept going back and forth between a 4 and a 4.5 before finally settling on a 4.5. Part of my appreciation for this film was the level of suspense I felt over what James' outcome would be given how much sympathy I felt for him (I also wasn't sure whether the film was made under the Hays code or not and my uncertainty there added an extra layer of suspense). The film also blew me away by the chain gang scenes themselves. I can only imagine how shocking those scenes must've been when this film was released. Seeing the prisoners subjected to physical labor, emotional and physical abuse, and being treated as less than human...it tells you all you need to know about the issues with chain gangs. If the entire film consisted of the prisoners being mistreated, I might not have been into it as much, but fortunately, these scenes only take up about a third of the film. LeRoy provides different methods of criticizing chain gangs aside from just showing the prisoners being mistreated and those scenes come with their own set of teeth as well. Heck, even the quieter scenes maintained a fair bit of tension and the ending was rather surprising. Overall, it's a highly suspenseful and striking film from start to finish and I imagine it will linger with me for quite a while.

The Red Angel (1966) -


Coming from the point of view of the country at risk of losing the war and tinged with a sense of fatalism, this is the kind of story which could've been wall to wall misery porn if the wrong director were put in charge of it. Fortunately, its emotional register turned out to be far more oblique than I expected it would. The portrayals of the characters finding solace from their desperate situations by getting as much out of their relationships with each other as possible resonated really well with me. Though you might not be able to control your fate, the least you can do is attempt to alleviate your fears of meeting it. This aspect isn't glossed over, nor does it overshadow the depressing parts of the film. The film instead does a good job at balancing hope and despair. Even the Stockholm syndrome bits don't feel problematic since the desperation of the characters are made as clear as day.

I also gave a
to Camera Makes Whoopee and Invocation of my Demon Brother. Short films are a bit difficult for me to discuss, but I'd give a strong recommendation to those films as well.

Also, Snow's Wavelength is now my 6th favorite film of all time (I rewatched it this month). Surprised nobody has judged me for that opinion yet.

So yeah, this is currently my favorite month for movies this year. I've yet to give a 10/10 to a first time watch though.



I forgot the opening line.
I watched a lot of great films in March - I had no idea I'd crammed so much in. The top 10 of films I've watched in March consists of Beasts of the Southern Wild, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Double Life of Véronique, Jules and Jim, E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial, The Long Goodbye, Death at a Funeral, Thieves Like Us, Climax and The Harder They Come.




__________________
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Herod's Law (1999)



Ok, now for April.

So as for April, I have seen fewer movies by myself in order to cure a problem of mine. I felt like movies were losing their luster for me after having watched so many of them in March, but here are all of the movies:

Cabaret(second viewing)
The Sound of Music
Aguirre the Wrath of God
Lazes Melita(Yugoslavian miniseries)
The Wicker Man
In A Lonely Place

Like February, I kind of struggle to say which one my favorite was, but I liked the new experience of watching a Yugoslavian miniseries. The video did not provide subtitles, so I had to comprehend it through what I saw on screen, but I found it quite interesting. There was electronic music playing in the background, and the characters on that show were very eccentric. Can you recommend me some other foreign miniseries(no Scenes From A Marriage, Berlin, 8 Hours, Fanny and Alexander, Dekalog, etc)?

However, as for feature-length films(not miniseries), I am currently interested in The Wicker Man having been interested in the British lately. I was horrified to see that downer ending and was hoping that the inspector protagonist would survive the sacrifice, but it is one of those bad endings that at least have a ray of hope to it.

The Sound of Music was great as a movie. I already knew all of the songs having actually seen the show at a school once. I watched this at 11pm and was impressed to have sat through the film all the way through without tiredness despite the length of this film.



I watched 72 films during April.

My favourite first time watches:
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (2023)
Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields (2023)
Mermaids (1990)
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Stop the Wedding (2016)

Worst watches of the month:
Invasion From Inner Earth (1973)
Nude Bowling Party (1995)
Monster a Go-Go (1965)

Favourite rewatches:
Sons of the Desert (1933)
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Gone Baby Gone (2007)