Favorite Viewing of The Month?

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I watched 72 films during April.

My favourite first time watches:
Are You There God? Itís 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)
Hey buddy do you work at home or something? I can not even reach a third of that number.



The Horse Thief (1986) -


I knew almost nothing about this film or its director upon going it, but by the end, I was blown away. After about 20 minutes, I stopped paying attention to the story and focused instead on the mysticism of the whole affair. Zhuangzhuang crafts so many memorable scenes of religious and cultural rituals, including sacrifices and funerals, and these scenes are directed in the most mysterious way possible. Whether you're referring to the layered sound design which is full of haunting drones, mantras, and music choices, the visually striking cinematography which has a handful of striking set pieces, contrasts vibrant colors against endless grass hills, or pares cross-dissolves with the photography, this film is so aesthetically in my wheelhouse I just have to love it. Even the more grounded scenes are shot and framed very well and make for a nice bridge in between the mystical scenes. With that being said, I'm surprised I ultimately decided not to give this film a perfect rating. I think this was due to a slight disconnect I began to feel towards the end since the film was counting on me being more invested in the characters than I actually was. Which isn't to say I didn't care about the characters at all, but focusing most of my attention on the stylistic elements didn't exactly do the ending much favors. Still though, it's a great film and I'll definitely keep an eye out for Zhuangzhuang's other films.

Sherman's March (1985) -


With maybe the exception of American Movie, this is my favorite documentary about the act of making a film. To say that Ross McElwee is unfocused though would be an understatement. Though he intended for the film to be about Sherman's March to the Sea, the historical events of Sherman comprise so little of the film. What we mainly get are his failed romances with various women he encounters while filming. Every time he's able to record some footage relevant to Sherman, life gets in his way and disrupts his plans time and time again. As a result, the repetition of the film's narrative structure recalls La Dolce Vita. Like Marcello, Ross seems trapped in a never ending cycle of forming relationships, but with so many of them turning out short-lived and unsuccessful, he keeps coming out of them unfulfilled and back at square one. The more one watches the film, the less it seems like he's enjoying himself so much as it feels like he's trapped in a prolonged mid-life crisis. One which is exacerbated by the constant urges of his friends and family members to help him get married. Though he can get obsessive from time to time, his rising desperation seems to stem from his endless stream of misfortunes and, regardless of how much you vibe with his behavior, it's hard not to feel at least a bit of sympathy for him. This all culminates in what may be the most laughably pathetic and painful ending I've ever seen in a film. In spite of the intensity of emotion I felt from it though, a slight undercurrent of hope still bubbled underneath the surface which I've been unable to shake since watching the film.

Breaking Away (1979) -


Not the kind of film I have much interest in writing much about, but while I tend to enjoy most high school dramas from a distance (though this one is technically post-high school), films about slackers who aren't sure what to do with their futures tend to gel with me and this one was no exception. Conveying the boredom and the desire of the characters to break free from their situations by way of a summer hangout vibe makes for a really moving film. The reputation of the main characters amongst the students at a local college makes for some memorable scenes, the climactic bike race is equal parts compelling and suspenseful since, due to it being one of the only things Dave is passionate about in the film, you get the sense that Dave's outcome in the race may affect his future, and the ending legit put a smile on my face.

I also watched The Pendulum, The Pit and Hope and really enjoyed it. I'm not the best at reviewing short films, but I found it highly atmospheric, both which the blend of live action and stop motion and the first person perspective camera. It might be my favorite Svankmajer short film.

Overall, this is a pretty good year for films so far, but I've yet to give out any 10/10 ratings to first-time watches as of now and the year is already 1/3 of the way over. Maybe May will change that.
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I forgot the opening line.
My Best of April : Phantom of the Paradise, 3 Women and Fiddler on the Roof. I obviously miss the 70s a lot.

Great watches also : Resurrection was a pretty good new film, I caught up with Evil Dead again, and A Single Man. I have to mention Smoke and Dolemite is my Name - both first-time watches. The King and I impressed me greatly, overlooking certain aspects. Then there's Children of Men, The Bridges of Madison County, Interiors and Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson.

Honorable mentions must go to The Duellists, The Truman Show, Gone Baby Gone, Beavis and Butt-Head do America, Jim & Andy : The Great Beyond, Wall Street, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On and Broker.






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

Latest Review : A Perfect Couple (1979)



Hey buddy do you work at home or something? I can not even reach a third of that number.
No, I work in an office, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:30 pm. I watch movies on the weekend and after work.





The Killing Fields: Had one of those months with a ton of solid viewings but no new watches that really stand out above the rest. Killing Fields was closest. Powerful and emotional war drama. Well done on every level. Even has an outside chance at my war list, although I think it will probably just miss.

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The Killing Fields: Had one of those months with a ton of solid viewings but no new watches that really stand out above the rest. Killing Fields was closest. Powerful and emotional war drama. Well done on every level. Even has an outside chance at my war list, although I think it will probably just miss.

I also watched it this month. It was very good.



April '23:

Devil in a Blue Dress - Engaging and atmospheric post-WWII neo-noir starring Denzel Washington and featuring a stunning Jennifer Beals.

Ernest & Celestine - Charming and funny French animated movie about a misfit mouse and bear who become best buds.

The Mission (1999) - Stylish Johnnie To thriller about five bodyguards who bond against their better judgement as they protect a gang leader.



Its a tough one, its between Dungeons & Dragons and Evil Dead Rise... I would have to go Evil Dead Rise as its one hell of a rollercoaster ride!
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I watched 72 films during April.
Hey buddy do you work at home or something? I can not even reach a third of that number.
I've seen 76 *in the year*!



A Woman Is A Woman
Hey I saw that one in January, I actually prefer it over Breathless and is a good example of a vibrant and sexy 60s French movie. Breathless was even said to be on the Telly in one scene.



Spread Hope and Joy :)
Two very different movies but both became my new favorites.

觸目驚心 [Insanity] (1993)


I Remember Mama (1948)
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Fiddler On The Roof:

Not my favorite viewing of the year so far, but definitely my most surprising. Really love the story and cinematography. The lead performance will stick as one of my favorites ever I believe. Really endearing character, and acted perfectly. Great flick.