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Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot

The Irishman (2019) -
- unbearably tedious and more draining than two watches of Satantango in a row would be. I could forgive it the far-from-perfect production, and uncanny valley inducing deaging, but I can't forgive it being so painfully bland and a chore to get through. Other Scorsese gangster films weren't very good either, but at least they weren't 209 minutes long FFS.

The Shooting (1966) -
- an interesting spin on the western genre resulting in a solid Acid Western.

Szyfry [The Codes] (1966) -
- the few oneiric scenes were to die for. The rest was okay.

I Am the Ripper (2004) -
- early amateurish Gaillard-core that's more fun than a lot of professional action films.

狩人たちの触覚 [Hunters' Sense of Touch] (1995) -
- trying to complete Hisayasu Sato's filmography is hard given gay and contemporary flicks are all that's left.

T-Wo-Men (1972) -
- Apparently this was okay, but I can't remember anything about it, so idk.

名前のない女たち [Love and Loathing and Lulu and Ayano] (2010) -
- all around the place. Still has hints of the atmosphere from his earlier movies, but it's diluted.

The Guyver [Mutronics] (1991) -
- gotta appreciate how that old guy and every single monster all lecherously held that Chinese girl

Korkusuz [Turkish Rambo] (1986) -
- Cüneyt Arkın >>>>>>>>>>>>> Serdar Kebapçilar

セーラー服色情飼育 [Lusty Discipline in Uniform] (1982) -
- a subpar pinku, but absolutely freakin' love the way it ends. If it was made nowadays in America - I'd love to see all the feminists butthurt

Viva (2007) -
- quite enjoyable and slick-looking, but in the end amounts to nothing. The feminist message, just like in The Love Witch, is arguably the weakest part of it.

Morgane et ses nymphes [Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fay] (1971) -
- Rollincore with no poetry. Freakin' no.

Процесс о трех миллионах [The Case of the Three Million] (1926) -
- Protazanov is mah men, but this ain't Otets Sergiy nor Aelita

Thelma (2017) -
- This looks and feels sooo good. The symbolism and meaning is a tad too obvious, but who cares if the penultimate scene is so beautiful.

蝶變 [The Butterfly Murders] (1979) -
- Tsui Hark be like: My debut's genre is Gothic Castle Natural Horror Wuxia Mystery Giallo Action Fantasy Thriller! And yours? A drama? Bitch, please!

Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002) -
- has some pretty sequences, and it's great how the director tries to create a quasi-metaphysical experience. It's very good, but not good enough!

Nous sommes tous des assassins [We Are All Murderers] (1952) -
- shocking, and gracefully beautiful at the same time, but the humanist bar was not high enough!
__________________
In the strictest sense lesbians can't have sex at all period.



Thank God I‘m an atheist.
★★ ½

Last Year at Marienbad* (1962) Resnais
After World War 2 the entire German population was expelled and the town renamed, so Marienbad is a lost city. The structure of the film is contained in the Nim card game which can be played as fast as four or as slow as 16 moves which mirrors the sequences in the film. But unlike the Nim game which always re-sets at the beginning, the game of remembering always takes up where you last imagined it. A classic example from cinema of subjective memory would be Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants. One of his friends from the same war-time boarding school relates that they were reminiscing about those days and Malle wasn’t even aware that it had happened, he had to be told the story, yet some 40 years later, he had became a central figure in the drama.

The key scene in the film is when the couple is arguing about the meaning of a two statues and the Doctor character explains that it is not a myth from antiquity, but a commemoration of king’s address before parliament: if everything in the film can stand in for something else, then this green lights any cockamamie interpretation of the film. My take? This is a classic tale of transference of a doctor falling in love with his patient. Early on, the woman drapes her left hand over her right collarbone and poses like a statue for the narrator, but when the doctor approaches, she places her right hand over her left collarbone and becoming a mirror image of the same pose, the two men are one in the same. As the one in charge of her dosage and prognosis (the game he never loses) she has to believe the doctor is sincere and has her best interests at heart. The narrator is simply the projection of his guilt.

The Game is Over (1966) Vadim
There is a nice opening that shows this wealthy Parisian family is a clearly little dysfunctional. The father is training his attack dogs in the spacious back yard and when he son approaches to watch him, they lock eyes . . . his father smiles . . . then sics his German shepherds on him. At first warm and compassionate, the husband is revealed to be a total slug, he simply stole the entire fortune of his heiress wife and socked it away in his business scams and he is now working on plan B to wed his son to a rich banker’s daughter to get his hands on that pile of loot. Alternating between the three different stories in the film, the movie suffers from a wandering point of view. It would have much stronger had it focussed on the wife’s tragedy, where she is fleeced out of everything then kicked to the sidewalk.

Jojo Rabbit (2019) Waititi
Making fun of the Nazis is serious business which requires mad skills to pull it off correctly, artistic chops the director clearly doesn’t have (notice there are not a lot of extermination camp comedies.) This children’s comedic fantasy of how delightful mass murder can be is marred by the two deep rips in the canvas revealing the deeper horror behind it. The first one is a kitchen scene, where the descent into barbarism so complete that if a mother did or said the wrong thing, her own child would denounce her as a subversive to the authorities. The second one is the city square, where the majority of people simply placidly stroll past a gibbet of their fellow citizens swaying in the breeze; agreeing tacitly that anyone who believes in human decency is a common criminal who deserves to have their neck stretched. Even those harbouring secret reservations about those magnificent men leading society have to walk past the gibbet with a vapid smile of approval pasted on their faces. I actually wanted to see those grim thrillers. One anachronism for the film, Hitler thought smoking was an utterly disgusting habit and wouldn’t have been caught dead offering anyone a cigarette.

Twenty-four Eyes (1954) Kino****a
Even though a recent graduate on her first teaching assignment transfers from the one room school house in a tiny village after one year to the bigger school down the road, she keeps in touch with her first classroom of children. There’s a little stunt casting; the first grade class was played by their own real-life siblings when they reunited for grade five at the big school (a 20 minute stroll) down the road. Even though she was pushed out of teaching during the war period for being unpatriotic, she has an unbreakable bond with each of her pupils over the next 20 plus years. This is kind of a Japanese To Sir with Love.

The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) Wood
A gruff old billionaire goes undercover at one of his big retail stores downtown to show his undercover agents how to bust a union and instead discovers how caring and wonderful everyone is; falling in love with one of his co-workers and even taking up the struggle on the side of the oppressed and exploited working class. Complete hokum, still, I enjoyed this puff of fantasy.

Cluny Brown (1946) Lubtisch
When her plumber uncle is out on another job, Cluny takes the opportunity to field an emergency call. She shows up with her tool box and simply rolls up her sleeves and attacks a clogged sink to save the social event of the season. A Czech professor fleeing Nazi prosecution (the university students secretly think he a freedom fighter) is immediately smitten. Cluny Brown is a decidedly modern girl in a decidedly unmodern world. Nice girls don’t plumb. They end up in the same luxury mansion in the country; he as a house guest, and she as the new maid.

Joe Kidd (1972) Sturges
The film isn’t held in greater esteem for two reasons: Eastwood is playing a real character and not his usual stoic screen persona. He begins the film sleeping it off in jail and at his sentencing for drunk and disorderly; he prefers to take another ten days rather than pay the fine. He is a quiet man retired from the wars, no longer interested in violence. The power structures in this frontier town always in flux; a character’s momentary authority depends entirely on the setting and the people involved. The Sheriff and judge are ineffectual. The Mexican rebel leader turns out to be vain and has no problem sacrificing innocent people to his cause. When the great man shows up in town, at first he is a successful entrepreneur, then selfish robber-baron, then finally just a sociopath who enjoys killing anyone who gets in his way. The film also reveals the uncomfortable truth of the legal land theft; the Mexican and Indian land deeds tragically went up in smoke when a matchstick hit wooden filing cabinet in a state capital office, giving full ownership to the new immigrants. Suckers!

★★★

Arsenic and Old Lace* (1944) Capra
The horror comedy hybrid isn’t a new genre, here’s a film from the 40s with a nice blend of screwball comedy and horror (four serial killers [arguing who is most lethal one] with a combined body count of 24) it even takes place on Halloween. There was an in-joke I didn’t quite catch; the camera holds several times on the villain’s face, he either looks like Frankenstein with all the stitch scars, or a famous actor (Boris Karloff) of the period.

Lola* (1962) Demy
Demy’s first official real film was to be a glorious Technicolor affair with singing, dancing, and fabulous costumes. He found a producer who fell in love with the script and agree to fund it with a couple of minor tweaks; he had to get rid of the singing, the dancing, the costumes and it had to be shot in plain old black and white. Still this is a light and airy confection about first love; a nice tension is added with all the characters being a little sketchy and amoral. Lola’s Prince Charming is a vision in white; they are both unwavering in their faith they will reconnect with one another despite the passage of years. There are lots of echoes in the story; a recurring “Sailor” character; a nice score; and all the women seem to be younger or older versions of the same dancing Matryoshka doll.

The Young Girls of Rochefort* (1967) Demy
Musicals are inherently silly and this film revels in terpsichorean splendor, even the characters are color coordinated. Thematically, all the characters are out of sync, either a moment too early or a moment too late to connect with their one’s true heart. The musical motifs are stated once are then taken up again or suggested briefly in other scenes. There are some great props; the “aquarium” concession stand in the city plaza that allows one to watch the world stroll by; plus the two immediately identifiable American dance icons. The city even allowed the film crew to paint each window shutter with a pastel highlight and give a brilliant coat of white to all the background exteriors to be pictured in the film. When this was shot, Catherine Deneuve’s real life sister (they play twins in the movie) was considered one in the family with all the talent and the bigger star of the two. She died in a car crash a couple months after the film was released.

Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Norton
The main guy for a small detective agency gets whacked and the other gumshoes are more worried about rent and concentrate on the paying customers. Motherless Brooklyn (MB) is an orphan the big man took under wing and became a surrogate father for him; so he wastes no time poking around his murder and quickly finds corruption and evil at City Hall. There is one glaring mistake in the film: MB explains over and over again to everyone he meets in the story that he has a brain problem. Usually Tourette's syndrome is used as comedic relief by a bit player, but here they try to use it dramatically for the main character who always apologizes for his verbal twitches. Norton should have gone with the audience superior position, explain it one time expressly to and for the audience, then let him take his lumps for the rest of the film that actually would have built up more identification with MB. If this had been shot in black and white, the audience would have no trouble settling back for a juicy Film Noir; certain shots intriguingly suggest what some of those older films may have looked like: imagine Gene Tierney in a flame red satin dressing gown.

The Good Liar (2019) Condon
This little heist film becomes a playful cat and mouse game with just a few suggestions; the old con man is walking down the sunny side of the street and he spots the rich widow pacing in front of the restaurant and he immediately gets into character by limping painfully; it is a point of personal pride that he is never late for an appointment, yet the widow is always the one quietly sitting there (looking like the cat that swallowed the canary) waiting for him to catch up with her; her grand-son is hilariously writing his doctoral theses on whether or not Albert Speer was a good German (he didn’t notice everyone around him was a psychopath?)

Pain and Glory (2019) Almodovar
A film director emotionally blocked since the death of his mother, and incapacitated from a horribly botched back surgery spends the days tenderly puttering around his apartment before its time to knock himself out for the night with pain killers. A re-mastered print of one of his earlier films leads him try to end a 30 year old feud with the lead actor and have him come onstage with him at the gala screening. After a lot of pleading he gains entrance to his house and in the backyard, the actor offers him some nose candy. He gives it a snort. Nirvana! All his pain magically goes away, he can move without flinching, he can pick up pennies from the floor; and ideas and scenes for a new film start falling out of the sky. In the past, he had zero tolerance for degenerate drug addicts, but regularly chasing the dragon makes him a little more tolerant and forgiving about heroin addiction. The glorious melodramatic moments in the film are impossible to resist, where great chunks of the past return in a new light.

A Constant Forge (2000) Kiselyak
This is a great introductory primer to the work of John Cassavetes, As a filmmaker he was interested in challenging the audiences preconceptions about their own lives by having his actors craft original dramatic moments. He didn’t give a damn about commercial success; I think he actually says in the film people only interested in money are spiritually dead and are ghosts wasting what precious time they have left. There are some funny bits, the audience loved a preview screening of Opening Night, and he immediately thought he had stumbled somewhere and re-cut the film to make it less accessible. Gena Rowlands shares a story where she faked getting slapped by John during a rehearsal (clapping her hands and falling to the stage) then laid there on the floor giggling while the stage crew had to be restrained from attacking him. What comes off is in this documentary is what a Mensch Cassavetes was.

The Crossing of Paris (1956) Autaut-Lara
This comedy is a slightly unflattering portrait of Parisians during the occupation. A grocery store sells out minutes after opening; then the owner goes downstairs and butchers a fat pig for the black market. When his regular partner is pinched, an unemployed taxi driver taps a guy nursing a glass of wine in a tavern to take his place walking 200 pounds of contraband meat to its next destination. His new partner in crime turns out to be a wealthy painter who doesn’t need the money but takes the gig out of curiosity. He’s got an attitude and quite the mouth, when he finds out they are getting peanuts for the risky job, he destroys the basement supply room until the crooked grocer agrees to a pay bump. He is also not averse to telling all the low lives they meet on the way what embarrassing pathetic cowards they are. The film was shot in color but processed in black and white so it has a nice look to it. They are supposedly travelling across a blacked out city, yet there is always a random lamp post to light the scene dramatically.

A Slight Case of Murder (1938) Bacon
After prohibition is repealed, a crime boss decides his whole criminal organization and brewery is going legit. He doesn’t drink beer himself and no one in the gang has the guts to tell him, his prohibition beer tastes like horse piss. Years later, things are finally coming to head during a week-end retreat; they plan to meet their daughter’s fiancé who turns out to be copper; the bank is about to foreclosure on his brewery; and a stick-up crew from the race track heist chooses to hide out in what they thought was an abandoned house (allowing the boys to fondly relive the good old days of violin cases and cement loafers.) A lot of the gags are about gangsters with busted up noses trying to be honest citizens by speaking in refined manner. The only one who really pulls it off is his wife, but she runs hot and cold, depending on who she is talking to, she switches from gum smacking moll to a high society dame in a heartbeat.

Animal Love (1995) Siedl
There is a nice range from simple snapshots of proud owners posing with their little ball of fur to vignettes and complete sequences in this Austrian documentary about pets. The pet owners turn away from human contact when their pets become intimate extensions of themselves. A homeless man buys a rabbit merely as a prop to better beg. A soap actress reads all her adoring fan mail but prefers cuddle with her husky. At times, the reality is sometimes so astonishing; one can only believe certain scenes must have been faked. In addition to simple companionship, pets can also become sexual substitutesjudging from the number of participants that had no problem frolicking on camera on their beds with their dogs. Unlike Herzog’s mockumentaries, there is always a line that is crossed in Siedl’s films, there is always something vaguely unsettling and unflinching in his gaze.

★★★ ½

Fences (2016) Washington
Troy, the garbage man, is full of bluster at home. He has worn down his first son from years and years of argument and now begins to chip away at his second son who may be an (athletic) chip off the old block. Certain conversations have an immediate lived-in quality; these are almost like serial confrontations. There is great depth to the writing and each scene crackles with tension. You are never quite sure if Bono (Troy’s best friend) is a sitting spectator or there to pull apart the combatants when the arguments become too rough. Washington as a director has always been a deliberate craftsman and this is his first effort with a little spit and shine. He is helped enormously that all the original actors from the stage production reprised their roles for the film. You are here for the drama.

Antigone (2019) Deraspe
This is a nice re-make of a Greek play thousands of years old focusing on the perversion of justice. In her innocence, Antigone (a high school girl) believes justice will prevail because it is the simple truth; little does she know the laws have been carefully crafted for the exclusive benefit of the powerful and the rich. The courtroom appears at first to be sympathetic to her plight, however the flimsy legal protections afforded her will be useless against the vicious assault (in the name of the law) about to befall her family. I did like that certain agents within the system were shown to be decent, but their hands are manacled by legal restrictions and job descriptions, and their goodness has only a nominal reach. There is a nice bit where a (dis)approving social media stands in for as a vibrant Greek chorus.

La Chinoise (1967) Godard
The film begins dramatically with the founding of the revolutionary Maoist Aden Arabia cell in Paris. They suffer almost immediate set-backs; they lose one member to a tragic house painting accident and another member is expelled for failing to raise his hand for a unanimous vote. There is marvelous gibberish: they borrow a huge dollop from anarchism’s direct action. The daughter of a wealthy banker believes she is proletarian because she once worked in an orchard one summer vacation; she takes the most glamourous elements (like Molotov cocktails) and runs with them. On one hand, they are passionate and earnest; there is a great tumult of ideas with the excitement of young people discovering the world of ideas and books. On the other hand, with no sense of history or political experience they doomed for some serious lumps. The revolution peters out right about the same time her parents return home from summer vacation to reclaim their apartment (now ruined with red, yellow, and blue highlights) and the next semester at University begins. The film quickly becomes an intellectual screwball comedy where political platforms are banana peels to be stepped on and philosophy is a custard pie to be faced.

The Earrings of Madame de (1953) Ophüls
This (almost unstated) tragic love story is revealed exclusively through visual echoes and character/camera movement. For instance, the jeweller’s great excitement about returning the “stolen” earrings to the general is revealed entirely by the way he orders around his shop assistant (like a chicken without a head) upstairs, while he waits placidly at the front entrance to the shop. When she first sells her earrings she sits down imperially as if a queen on a throne; whereas near the end when she tries to buy her earrings back, the same chair (removing the cushion riser) appears to swallow her up. At the outset she uses her fainting spells to manipulate the men around her, yet these spells have an arc that gets progressively worse during the film. It could be suggested that she is the earrings of her husband; her great beauty and flirtations are a way to publically lionize his reputation. There is some ironic humor; her husband goes ballistic not because the diplomat may have slept with his wife, but that he may have seduced his mistress.

* = rewatch
**** = it's something like a brown frankfurter



Seen in November

(Didn’t see much in November but I hope to see more because of the Christmas holidays)


[RE-WATCH

The older I get the more I appreciate the comedic aspects and the makeup (Not even the transformation scene but that badass animatronic-like wolf walking around Piccadilly Circus). I also appreciate the scary aspects more, like the moments before they get attacked or that excellent jumpscare (I won’t spoil it here if ya haven’t seen it.



I’m a big fan of survival stories; It’s fun to see how much the human body can endure and what a person is willing to do to get back home. Lots of lovely shots of the Arctic landscape.



If your film is 3 and a half hours long and I see it at the cinema, and I don’t get bored/my butt doesn’t cramp, you have yourself a great film! Even with some poor computer effects, It's a solid epic that is highly elevated above other Scorsese films by its last 40 minutes; It’s quite sad and somewhat reflects Scorsese’s position in life right now; It’s as if he intends for this to be his swan song before he leaves us.

Like damn, what a sad final shot.



Sometimes the best documentary’s are the ones about normal, almost insignificant people. These films provide something a history book can’t. I found this film quite funny at times but also quite sad. It even gets a bit intense near the end with the introduction of a new person.

Also oh my God, Mike is the most chill person I have ever seen.



Saw this at a local film festival, it was the premiere in my country. A dramedy with a nice blend of funny moments and heartbreaking moments (I swear this might be the best audience I’ve ever had, they we’re laughing at every joke).


+
Same film festival, ALSO the premiere at my country. My favourite of the year so far and one of my favourites of the decade. It has such a unique feel to it; An old ghost story similar to something by Poe or Lovecraft, the darkly elements that happen feel similar to something they would write. The look of the film is unbelievable too; I don’t think a single shot from a film I’ve seen this year has impressed me more than the one with the two men standing on the rock waiting for the boat in the wind and rain. The time period relevant soundtrack is effective. The script is great too; Many funny moments, scary moments and hypnotic monologues.



An emotionally heavy family drama. The film really makes you think about how primal humans actually are; Our decisions are often based on survival instincts that normal animals have, and sometimes they can affect the world in a negative way.

Also I don’t think I’ve seen such an intense crying scene before.



In summary, the man who recorded this piece of music witnessed 9/11 just as he was finishing the album. This film is a piece of avant-garde music playing over the last hour of daylight in NYC that the musician recorded.

It’s quite tiring, but it seems like quite a respectful way of honouring the people who passed away that way. I know this sounds weird but the best way to describe this film is it feels like that Youtube video of that guy comforting a dying rabbit.



Feels very similar to Ed Wood and The Disaster Artist; An extremely inspired man’s journey to making a film. Just like those two films it’s very funny and very inspiring. I hope this is a return to form for Eddie Murphy, since his last good film was from 2004.

SPEAKING OF WHICH!


[RE-WATCH
+
This was nominated for the Palme D’or and I’m very sad I don’t live in one of the many alternate dimensions where it won.



I love me a good murder mystery tale more than I like a good survival tale, especially one that messes with the formula. Suave, sarcastic and funny, overall a good time.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot

J'ai perdu mon corps [I Lost My Body] (2019) -
- the visuals and music are the real selling point here; the story is okay
브이아이피 [V.I.P.] (2017) -
- a very solid Korean thriller with a trademark sexy 10/10 would bang (albeit he'd bang my head against the wall later) murderer, and a slightly more interesting than usual plot!
หมอนรถไฟ [Railway Sleepers] (2016) -
- slow train trips, man! You know, some time ago I spent 10 hours on a train in a single day! This brings back so many memories!

Medea (1982) -
- Zwartjes might be a poser and a pervert, but there is no denying he created some really thick atmosphere here! Not as kinky as his magnum opus Pentimento, tho!
Under the Silver Lake (2018) -
- Hitchcock + Lynch + boobs = a clusterfukk of a movie like this one!
刀 [The Blade] (1995) -
- Tsui Hark slays! Very entertaining! Too bad my favourite character - Blackie - was so poorly fleshed out!

Tokyo-Ga (1985) -
what we learn is that Ozu was a good man, and that Wenders has no sh*t on Marker! Also, some Japanese Murican-wannabes dancing to among others Blondie's Call Me is worth it!
Flores (2017) -
- one of the best shorts I've seen in a very long time. The omnipresent purple only adds to the beautiful, nostalgic atmosphere.
Die Tomorrow (2017) -
- Thamrongrattanarit's (I know, just when you thought you were smart because you remembered Weerasethakul's name) essay on death might not be very revealing, and it's shrewdy filled with clichés, but damn me if it isn't pretty and moving.

Sailing a Sinking Sea (2015) -
- yet another disappointment, but at least it's short and you learn a thing or two.
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) -
- really had my hopes high due to a high rating from a friend, but this one is just schmucky kitsch
鎖縛 [Sabaku] (2000) -
- apparently the movie is loosely based on the Murder of Junko Furuta (just don't repeat my mistake and don't read this before sleep ;_; ), put emphasis on loosely. Anyway, this is the best "gay" "pinku" "directed by" Hisayasu Sato. Why quotation marks? Because its point isn't really being gay, although it contains some gay sex scenes (the final one is absolutely beautiful). Because it's not a pure pink film even going by the loosest definition, and because the credits at the beginning mention a mysterious "Casino" as the director of the film. Trying to clear it up, the film feels more like a sadistic horror than a pinku - something like Sato's Naked Blood, but much, much darker with underlying themes of a perpetrator becoming a victim and so on. Some scenes are really out there and downright disturbing (or they should be for a sensitive viewer, I'm not one), but I'm not sure whether disturbing enough for Sato to be afraid to put his name on it, so I see two possibilities here: 1) This was indeed directed by Sato who for some reason took on the pseudonym "Casino" for it 2) This was (co-)directed by some beginner director "Casino", and most probably ghost-directed by Sato. Dunno why I keep blabbering about it, but I guess I'm just happy I found a gay pinku I loved, no matter how far-fetched the definitions are.

世界 [The World] (2004) -
- FFS finally a really great movie. Absolutely astounding, even if quite obvious. The little moments of sadness really get to you, like the last note of Little Sister, or Zhao Tao meeting the Russian girl in the toilet. Also, this turned out to be a personal film for me for reasons I choose not to disclose.
小武 [The Pickpocket] (1997) -
- yet another gem from Jia Zhangke. This is like Bresson's... well... Pickpocket (duh) but stripped off its idealism!
任逍遥 [Unknown Pleasures] (2002) -
- this one is considerably weaker than the previous two, but still a very solid Zhangke film!

漂泊者 [Hyohakusha] (2014) -
- occasionally pretty, but nothing too fancy.
ドキュメント路上 [On the Road: A Document] (1964) -
- eh... it was okay, I guess. I'm much more interested in Minamata: The Victims and Their World, tho!
Faust Sonnengesang (2011) -
- my 9000th film!!! (Everybody gasps in amazement. @mark f laughs spitefully). 180 minutes of unadulterated visual masturbation is exactly what you'd expect me to love. Dat Napoleon-core triple screen towards the end, tho.

疾走 [Dead Run] (2005) -
- a typical ok doomer (◡‿◡✿) 5/5 would suicide again flick. WHATTA HELL SABU WILL YOU HAVE MY BABY?! For those who don't know, SABU is basically Takashi Miike for cool people, and his Postman Blues, Blessing Bell, and Monday (DOES EVERYBODY WANNA TWIST!!! COME ON!!! BABY BABY!!! anyone?) are all outstanding movies I loved in the past. Decided to watch more SABU, and stumbled upon this gem. I'm not even going to attempt telling you what the movie's about, and what the characters are. Lemme just tell you one of them is a priest! And you don't even know how afraid I was this is going to turn into a Bible-reading circle-jerk I READ BIBLE AND BECAME A BETTER HUMAN BEING Christian movie bs cliche, but SABU is the man, he would never let me down!!! And oh man, this sheet gets more and more intense, and touching, and simply devastating! I cried through the entire second part of the movie!!! Yep, and saying it's emo is a very poor excuse of not getting its greatness, haters! I really love SABU's use of silence, his development of characters, his shots, pretty much everything! See? I can't even critque it properly, I'm just fanboying over it, sheeet.
Wundkanal [Gun Wound] (1984) -
- very original and quite mysterious! You basically understand what's going on, and even get the final message, but the details are obfuscated, that is until you watch...
Notre nazi [Our Nazi] (1984) -
- which shows the making of Gun Wound. Turns out the actor was a real Nazi, and the shooting of the film a form of trial & torture for him. A really drawn-out film, but along with Shoah and Marcel Ophüls' documentaries the best thing of this kind I've seen!

アンラッキー・モンキー [Unlucky Monkey] (1998) -
- SABU doing Dostoevsky is exactly just like you'd imagine. Comical, surprising, touching! The protagonist's anguish reverbs through every scene - sad or funny, and the ending is purifying!
三峡好人 [Still Life] (2006) -
- back to China, and this seems to be director's second most beloved film among my RYM friends, so I hoped for another 3 star Zhangke - close but no cigar!
地獄無門 [We're Going to Eat You] (1980) -
- another Tsui Hark, his sophomore effort, is a kung-fu comedy with cannibals! Hoped for a more serious, gnarly & brutal film, but it plays like one of these Jackie Chan flicks. Entertaining, sure, but not brilliant.

Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) -
- the premise is fine, and the execution amazing, but it gets repetitive way too fast. I mean, too many broken windows for my taste.
Picture of Light (1994) -
- yet another hipter documentary that turns out to be merely watchable.
狛 [Koma] (2009) -
- a very enjoyable short from Kawase, but I NEED MOAR!

ドライブ [Drive] (2002) -
- yet another SABU goodness. Batsheet crazy, and just the kind of humor I like. Doesn't pack quite a punch I wanted it to, but oh my goodness if these final scenes aren't adorable. :3 Also, I want to learn video editing just so that I can paste my face onto the body of the man in the video above. :P
戦ふ兵隊 [Fighting Soldiers] (1939) -
- this might be the best war documentary ever made, but I'm too dumb to understand it. Seriously, though, it's been banned, because the director who was supposed to glorify war basically made an anti-war documentary!
Temenos (1998) -
- I don't even remember a single frame of this avant-garde film. Oh well.

夏時間の大人たち [Happy-Go-Lucky] (1997) -
- a gr8 coming-of-age flick from Nakashima. Not as flashy as Memories of Matsuko and Confessions, and also not as amazing as the two, but still very enjoyable, and I like how it both starts and ends with basically a young boy commenting on somebody's boobs.
Bestiaire (2012) -
- look at this hipster director thinking he's making an important point. Oh well, at least it's pleasantly contemplative.
親密さ [Intimacies] (2012) -
- Hamaguchi nails it again. This is his most Rivettian film, but thank goodness it has nothing of Rivette's boring Out 1-core. The first two hours are spent on the preparation of a play, and the other two hours on the actual play - in its entirety! The final couple of minutes are soothing and cute!

The King of Comedy (1982) -
- yeah, it's so much better than The Irishman, but it doesn't really say much, because Scorsese's latest film was TERRIBLE. This one... it's simple and quite enjoyable.
采油日记 [Crude Oil] (2008) -

- Oh hai, Minio, I didn't know it was you. What did you do during the weekend?
- Oh nothing much, just watching a film. Spent 4 hours looking at men sleeping and going in and out of a single room, then another 4 hours looking at oil rig workers at work, and then 4 hours looking at men chilling in the middle of a desert, and then again chilling in some huts, watching TV... 840 minutes in total! Ha! And what was your longest film you've ever seen?
- It seems to me you're just easily impressed with long things!
- Why, you normie! Get back to your Avengers franchise binge, n00b!

I mean, when you're looking at a fixed shot of two men sitting almost motionlessly in a room for 15 minutes, a man entering a room feels like an extreme twist. Hell, I wish there was an audience cheering sound effect every time it happened, like in Lynch's Rabbits.But of course later on we do get out of the room (I really thought it's gonna be 15 hours in just this one room), and camera becomes more mobile, following the crew members all around the rig. Don't get me wrong, static shots abound, but there are some tracking ones which is also a sort of a twist.

It took me 2 freakin' days to finish this movie, and I also watched other movies inbetween the sessions. No doubt the most challenging movie-watching experience ever.
ハードラックヒーロー Hard Luck Hero (2003) -
- yet another SABU. Too much in your face, nothing is left to viewer's interpretation, but it's funny and very entertaining. I read that apparently "Sabu was commissioned to make this film to showcase the boyband V6.", so that would explain a lot.

파란 대문 [Birdcage Inn] (1998) -
- been years since I've seen a Kim Ki-duk film, and I'm glad I left out his first three films when I was binge watching his filmography, so that I can watch them now! He seems to be universally hated safe for 3-Iron and the seasons film, but I absolutely love him, and even though I can see some criticism as in he's too forceful with symbolism, I don't give a flying damn. It's a really moving film, and the final scene is one of the most memorable ones I've seen recently.
カケラ [Kakera: A Piece of Our Life] (2010) -
- this has lots of potential, but the great moments are somehwat lost in the convoluted structure of the film. Hard to believe director's next film will be one of the best movies of the decade.
L' amour fou [Mad Love] (1969) -
- after loving Intimacies decided to give Rivette another chance, but even though the film has good moments, it's tedious, and pretty bland. I couldn't care less about most Rivette's filmography, which only further proves he's not a filmmaker for me.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot

Fixed Bayonets! (1951) -
- maybe it's just me not having seen a war movie for a long time, but the explosions in this one felt very gritty and real! It's a rather typical well-made man's cinema war film, but what can I say, I really, really liked it! The minefield scene was tense!
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) -
- directed by Paul Newman! Yes, the Paul Newman! Still, it kinda fell over my head.
아리랑 [Arirang] (2011) -
- Kim Ki-duk's documentary (although he calls it a drama himself) in which you can't really tell which parts are real and which faked for the sake of the film. Oh well.
烹尸之丧尽天良 [Human Pork Chop] (2001) -
- other people made it sound as if it was one of the most gruesome and disgusting CAT III films. Hardly. It's not very good either.
Hypnosis Display (2014) -
- nice flickering colors are always cool, but once you've seen 100 films like this, it gets old
야생동물 보호구역 [Wild Animals] (1997) -
- Kim Ki-duk's sophomore effort shot in France (and starring Denis Lavant in a minor role!) is probably his roughest film (not just around the edges, but in the very core!). I'm not sure if that's intentional, but the director seems enamored with the 80s, kitschy, schlocky French cinema of the time and... HK action cinema (?!). The buddy part is really nice, so is the Paris-Texas-esque subplot which has its resolve in the final minutes!
Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) -
- a fascinating story, but told in a rather typical way, and there is not enough of Herzog narration!
Il deserto dei Tartari [The Desert of the Tartars] (1976) -
- watched this half-asleep which admittely wasn't a good idea, but ended up really liking it even though I was also a little bit disappointed given this was recommended by friends as a great masterpiece. The painterly quality of the cinematography kept me glued to the screen, tho.
紙の月 [Pale Moon] (2014) -
- an interesting and ultimately moving story!
真晝之星空 [Starlit High Noon] (2005) -
- a younger brother of Last Life in the Universe. Gotta love its aesthetic as well as the melancholic tone!
악어 [Crocodile] (1996) -
- Kim Ki-duk's debut and holy cow! So much gratuitous violence and (attempted) rape in this one! Only in the first 20 minutes three different men try to rape a woman, the last one succeeds, but almost gets his cock cut off for that!!! The movie is rough as f*ck (technically, too), and even the attempts at poetry don't change its sinister tone!
団鬼六 縄責め [Rope Torture] (1984) -
- a gr8 disappointment
Zuma (1985) -
- Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to make this 130 minutes?! It's laughable how Zuma chooses to rip off every girl's shirt/bra to uncover her breasts before he kills her. A very lurid and hilarious way to cater to the sex-hungry audience. There are not enough murders, but those that are there are pretty cool, e.g. using the snake he has attached to his neck to break through a girl's chest and rip off her heart! Brutal! LOL @ Zuma getting run over by a steamroller and needless to say surviving it! Obviously we have a forced romance, too!
다른 나라에서 [In Another Country] (2012) -
- the cutest and most charming Hong from those I've seen so far! Occasionally rough acting, but who cares when Huppert is so nice, and the adorable lifeguard is my hero. "I WILL PROTECT YOU!"



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Thanks. I think I covered most widely agreed upon masterpieces as well as obscure and esoteric gems in these 9000. Obviously, I left out some movies, but you can never watch everything, can you? There are still some classics I'd like to see before I hit 10000. Namely some New Hollywood movies (Five Easy Pieces and Two-Lane Blacktop) that I never seem in the mood to watch, and many, many more.

I mostly focused on European, American and (East) Asian cinema, really deep diving into the last one in the recent years. I'm still almost completely ignorant of Indian cinema. It really seems like such a giant, undiscovered land to me, but sadly it never seemed particularly exciting to explore, so there's that - I really only know the basics of the basics - obviously Satyajit Ray and some Ghatak, Mani Kaul etc.



I'm not old, you're just 12.
Uncut Gems - Adam Sandler plays a Jewish diamond merchant who has a serious gambling problem, owes money to some very bad people, and who is just a giant schmuck all around in this intense, anxiety causing nightmare of a movie. Is it good? Yes. Did I enjoy it? no. I honestly wanted to leave around the half way point. It's so ridiculously tense, I could feel it triggering a panic attack. Sandler's character is so unlikable, so pigheadedly stupid, that you just can't stand watching him screw up over and over again. At one point he starts crying "I don't want to do this anymore," and I was feeling that same way. I'd watch Grown Ups or Happy Gilmore a thousand times before I'd watch this again. Like I said, it's a well made film with even a few dark laughs here and there but it's so relentlessly loud, chaotic, dark and depressing that I found it too hard to watch. I felt depressed for hours afterwards. Maybe I'm getting too old. This wasn't for me. I don't even know what to rate it.
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Die, Monster, Die! (1965)

A young man travels to a cagey old shunned manor to meet a lady. Poorly titled, campy early Lovecraft adaption with Karloff. Convenient lapses of logic, and brief action scenes wherein everyone suddenly gets bad knees, but a very good atmosphere and fun mystery.



Bunker Palace Hotel (1989)

In a dystopic future, a handful of upper-class people seek refuge within an odd, malfunctioning underground hotel. It’s mostly in French, but I feel that it’s bleak & stylish Eastern Euro sci-fi in spirit. Just not as good or philosophically potent as Tarkovsky and the like.



Fat City (1972)

Gritty slice of life centered largely on a broke, washed-up boxer. The plot seems rushed at times, but most of it is depressing naturalism with a non-traditional story arc. Good if you like the sort.

Overlord (2018)

American troops on a secret mission to take down a Nazi radio tower that turns out to be sheltering sinister experiments. Some dumb thriller logic and uncreative one-liners, but it’s pretty entertaining when left brain is set to dormant. The Nazis are smart enough to reanimate dead tissue, but not quite smart enough to realize that one of their motorcycle cops driving towards them with hands bound and mouth taped shut is a bad omen.



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
An update right before New Year's Eve! Yes, below is the soundtrack to the post that is also the Letter From the Mountain soundtrack.



マリアのお雪 [Oyuki, the Virgin] (1935) -
- Mizoguchi does Stagecoach before John Ford! A moderately successful attempt and clearly before Mizoguchi got on his streak of masterpieces.
餓鬼草紙 [The Water Was So Clear] (1973) -
- no talking - just the way cool kids like it. Monks having to fight temptation is one of my favourite traits in cinema.
People's Park (2012) -
- an astounding one-take documentary on the never-ending park alleys full of people. I wasn't lied to when they told me there are too many people in China, but observing them in such an uncut, fluid manner was almost like being there, surely a tremendous experience!
Befrielsesbilleder [Images of Liberation] (1982) -
- von Trier's graduation film and also a great intro to his first full length. Great use of colour (oranges!) and thick atmosphere. Convoluted plot, but who cares?
Ways of Seeing (1972) -
- an insightful documentary that makes some interesting points on art. I found the point about the presence of a painting in company of other paintings that change its meaning super funny in our era of Tumblr in which classical masterworks of painting are displayed next to naked models and memes on never-ending scrollable Tumblr pages. Truly incredible times we live in.
여자는 남자의 미래다 [Woman Is the Future of Man] (2004) -
- it was okay, the two protagonists are extreme oddballs, and there are many blowjobs in this Hong Sang-soo film.
Dyn Amo (1972) -
- arresting! One of Dwoskin's best. The marriage of music and visuals is especially effective, and the final minutes of the film haunting.
El mar la mar (2017) -
- an okay experimental documentary from the director of People's Park. This time it's about USA border-crossing experience.
Hunted (1952) -
- this Bogarde thriller turned out to be unexpectedly touching - loved the understated yet poignant ending!
A Letter to Three Wives (1949) -
- uhm, it was watchable, but I really expected a better film. It was well written, after all it's a Mankiewicz picture... I wonder if somebody had to monitor this fridge 24 hours a day so that food doesn't spoil.
L' hirondelle et la mésange [The Swallow and the Titmouse] (1920) -
- well, the acting and everything else is quite realistic and untheatrical for the time of its release, but it's not really anything amazing...
Comizi d'amore [Love Meetings] (1965) -
- just when I thought I already watched all of his films years ago, it turned out I hadn't seen this Pasolini documentary. It's interesting how backwards-thinking people were back then. The film is entertaining, alright.
The Lighthouse (2019) -
- Robert Eggers sure nailed this one, and made this his second masterpiece after the engrossing The VVitch. This is like a remake of Gardiens de phare (1929) after 90 years with the screenplay written by Lovecraft and Freud (too many penises), and cinematography shot by Nykvist. Surely a work to revel in, and the attention to detail as well as the aesthetics are so special. Can't wait for his version of Nosferatu! Normally, if I heard the idea of remaking it, I'd say "Come on dude, don't do it, you ain't no Herzog", but now that I know Eggers will do it, I'm pretty sure he can pull it off!
Puika [Boy] (1977) -
- a Latvian masterpiece! Sort of like Zerkalo, but without metaphysics and Spanish guitarists. A beautiful poetry of everyday life in the 19th century. The Russian dubbing version has an unnecessary narrator, tho!
学校 [A Class to Remember] (1993) -
- Yamada delivers yet another beautiful and wise film and yet another dose of tears! A splendidly successful endeavour. Can't wait to see the other three parts. Yamada was my best discovery of 2018, and the discovery was indeed extended through 2019, too!
Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit [Heimat Is a Space in Time] (2019) -
- Penisshark xD. The director managed to make an even more tedious and uninteresting film than even the nastiest Straub-Huillet efforts. The first part concerning World War II is okay, but what follows is insufferable! Look, I don't mind your Brechtian, Commie-praising shenanigans, just make it more interesting next time kthxbye.
不貞の季節 [I Am an S+M Writer] (2000) -
- if you think about it, this is a really down heartening film about a dude being cheated on and what not, but it's played for laughs, and it has ropes, so I enjoyed it.
监狱不设防 [Jail House Eros] (1990) -
- crazy and enjoyable. The goofball comedy in the first two thirds is something you simple get used to after you've seen a lot of crappy HK cinema, but the final third has some really cool magic stuff!
Sudden Manhattan (1997) -
- kinda like Hal Hartley, but with the weirdness cranked up to 11. Adrienne Shelly RIP
阿弥陀堂だより [Letter From the Mountain] (2002) -
- scratch my ballsack and lick my soles!!! I'M SO PUMPED! This is the best film I've seen in a long time, and it made me cry several times, and not the way I cried on countless movie. When it ended I was crying so hard I would start choking. So powerful! It's out of this world aesthetically with stellar cinematography and wonderful music, and so touching. GHAA! It's about healing yourself by healing others, on life and death, and that even in Paradise people aren't immortal. It's so simple yet so incredible. I dunno if my strong reaction to it means it's a masterpiece or I'm just becoming a neurotic pussy, but I'd take it either way. Just watch it
Wołanie [Calling] (2014) -
- a solid Polish Lisandro Alonso-core!
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013) -
- don't really know what to make out of it, but it was quite good.



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December, 2019 movies watched-

Hostiles (2017)
Not quite a contender for my westerns list but very much worth watching.

Marriage Story (2019)
+ Was still hoping for more.

The Hanging Tree (1959)
+ Solid atypical western starting Gary Cooper.

Dead Man's Line (2018)
Excellent crime documentary.

Lonesome Cowboys (1968)
The worst movie on the current westerns list.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Nowhere near perfect yet perfectly awesome.

The Cowboys (1972)
- A touching western?

The Salvation (2014)
Bleak and brutal the way I like it, but no better than average.

Black Killer (1971)
Mediocre spaghetti with Klaus Kinski.

Deadbeat at Dawn (1988)
+ Recommended for fans of violent cult movies.

Face to Face (1967)
Very good spaghetti from the current westerns list.

Dolemite is My Name (2019)
+ A feel good movie and entertaining.

Navajo Joe (1966)
Fun spaghetti with Burt Reynolds.

The Grey Fox (1982)
From the westerns list and featuring a great performance from Richard Farnsworth.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
+ A must watch for the westerns list.

Heller in Pink Tights (1960)
+ Pretty enjoyable and much better than I expected.

The Mercenary (1968)
- Good time spaghetti.

Skin (2018)
- Surprisingly up there with American History X.

Red Sun (1971)
+ Another fun western with a super cool cast.

The Misfits (1961)
+ Quite haunting in large part to real life drama and tragedy.

Total December viewings-20
Total 2019 viewings-183
6 year total since keeping track-2163



Missão dada é missão cumprida!
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013) -
- don't really know what to make out of it, but it was quite good.
Not enough Black Metal!!!!
__________________
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum



Missão dada é missão cumprida!


Parasite
(2019) - ★★★★
Dead Man’s Letters (1986) - ★★★★★
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) - ★★★★
The Irishman (2019) - ★★★★
GoldenEye (1995) - ★★★



Alien
(1979) - ★★★★
Aliens (1986) - ★★★★★
Alien³ (1992) - •
Alien Resurrection (1997) - ★
Prometheus (2012) - ★★
Alien: Covenant (2017) - ★★


It (2017) - ★★
It Chapter Two (2019) - ★★


Star Wars (1977) - ★★★★
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - ★★★★★
Return of the Jedi (1983) - ★★★★
The Phantom Menace (1999) - ★★
Attack of the Clones (2002) - ★★
Revenge of the Sith (2005) - ★★★★
The Force Awakens (2015) - ★
Rogue One (2016) - ★★
The Last Jedi (2017) - •
The Rise of Skywalker (2019) - •
The Mandalorian [TV] (2019) - ★★

Thank God they weren't stupid enough to make a Solo origin movie...



A Perfect World (1993) -


An escaped convict kidnaps and gradually forms a bond with a fatherless boy. It's a good movie that occasionally forgoes common sense to milk the dramedy (e.g. tying the kid to the car roof with a thin rope to simulate a rollercoaster). I wanted to see the kid take flight like a blown off hat just to ice the cake for doing something so silly.


Color Out of Space (2019) -


An extraordinary fallen meteorite starts to alter the area around it and encourages Nic Cage to be himself. A beautiful psychedelic haze met with Evil Dead-level schlock. Some questionable character choices, unnatural dialogue, and Cage sporadically doing what I'd describe as an angry Tarantino impression. Goofy, but fun, bizarre, and uber atmospheric. Given my love for Hardware and Dust Devil, I'm very biased because I want Richard Stanley to do well and make more movies.


Two Lane Blacktop (1971) -


Two drag racers pick up a girl and challenge Warren Oates to a cross-country race. A very good helping of 70s Americana.




"....... I'M NOT INTO THAT."


Charley Varrick (1975) -


Pro thieves hit a small town bank that happens to have mob connections. A cool 70s Don Siegal thriller with Walter Matthau and a characteristically peppy Lalo Shifrin score. I counted at least 4 baritone voices I wish I had.


The Towering Inferno (1974) -


An ensemble of people trying to escape a burning skyscraper for nearly 3 hours. I guess you could say it’s a… forget it.


I doubt this could have been made elsewhere.
WARNING: "TTI" spoilers below
Only we Americans understand that the best way to extinguish a fire is to blow a bunch of sh*t up.
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January, 2020 movies watched-

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
- Not my type but it was really good.

Midsommar (2019)
+ It really leveled off after a very promising start.

The Last Sunset (1961)
Pretty good from the westerns list.

The Magnificent Seven (1960) Repeat
A terrific remake even if it pales in comparison to The Seven Samurai.

Heaven's Gate (1980)
+ Good movie that had to be great to be successful.

Day of Anger (1967)
Outstanding spaghetti western.

Joker (2019)
+ Funniest movie since The Hangover.

The Proposition (2005)
Brutal Australian western that turned out average.

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
Nauseating and boring.

The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Good cast and entertaining enough.

The Manson Family (1997)
Sick and crazy.

The Hunting Party (1971)
Great story, should be remade.

Total January viewings-12



I'm not old, you're just 12.
Preparing for my directorial debut in May, I decided to revisit the films of my greatest influence:

Blazing Saddles - Mel Brooks' most scathing film, a relentless satire on racism and Western movies. He honestly thought his career would be over once the film was released, but he stood by it all the same and it was the biggest hit of the year it came out, and Madeline Kahn's supporting role won her an Oscar nomination.


High Anxiety - A funny but admittedly lesser Mel Brooks effort, this parody of Alfred Hitchcock's filmography has some really big laughs and just as many groans and lulls. Mel does not really make a great leading man, (Gene Wilder was forced to drop out due to scheduling problems, and this film would go up an entire rating if he'd done it, to be honest) and the film banks so much on his meager acting skills that it just sits there when it should be hilarious. Still, there's a few highlights. Madeline Kahn again as a ditzy Hitchcock heroine, and Harvey Korman as an unscrupulous psychiatrist get some laughs, even as the plot lets them down by making zero sense. That's the thing about Mel Brooks, even his most ridiculous parodies had real plots that people could follow and care about. This one not so much. Also it's filmed rather lifelessly, like a mid seventies TV movie, and Mel is a much better director than that.



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February, 2020 movies watched-

Cat Ballou (1965) Repeat Viewing
+ Worth seeing just for Lee Marvin.

Open Range (2003)
+ A big surprise and a contender for my westerns list.

The Scalphunters (1968)
A lot of good but a little uneven.

Terror in a Texas Town (1958)
- From the current westerns list, this one has a noirish feel.

Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
It didn't exactly keep me glued to the screen but it's a very well put together film.

Hustlers (2019)
Pretty much a total dud.

Meek's Cutoff (2010)
An aggravating ending but mostly terrific.

Keoma (1976)
+ Good grimy spaghetti with Franco Nero.

How the West was Won (1962)
An incredible cast but nothing that'll stay with me.

February viewings-9
Total 2020 viewings-21