Film diary: 4/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 13
Films directed by women: 1 (up 0)
Strong recommendations: Knives Out, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Moulin Rouge!, Dirty Dancing

The fewest films in a month so far, but still working out as a film every two or three days. However, the first five films were watched in four days, with a further double bill on the 17th, so it felt much more irregular than that. I’ll probably save my chat around the “films directed by women” stat until the year-end wrap-up, which is likely to be January 2021, and looking that far in the future is not how I live my life. I will say that you rarely come across them by accident, certainly not by watching Hollywood fare. I could stand to make much more of an effort in that regard. The last two months it’s been 1, and both of them are co-directions.

The main reason there are fewer films is because this month we were peer-pressured into watching Tiger King. I don’t necessarily co-sign the hype on that show. It’s a fascinating story, and there’s never a dead moment. However, it’s still an episode or two more than I could stand spending that much time with those terrible and sad people. It wasn’t really what I was looking for in quarantine. It was absurd, but I don’t think the show ever read as funny to me. We watched the eps one by one, but I think we’d have done better to binge them, as the Netflix gods decree, which would have possibly evened out the experience for me. As it is, adding that on top of/alongside our usual TV schedule knocked out watching films completely for about two weeks, and I usually prefer watching a full film meal to frittering away every evening on TV shows.

Full list follows:

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Well-made, eccentric film. Doesn’t speak to me, though. (1/4/20)

Pusher III (2005, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)
Worth it for the dismemberment scene, but the series definitely peaks with #2. (2/4/20)

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (2018, dir. Gary Halvorson)
Unassailable classic. (2/4/20, rewatch)

Knives Out (2019, dir. Rian Johnson)
One of my favourite films of last year. We programmed a great double bill with… (4/4/20, rewatch)

Clue (1985, dir. Jonathan Lynn)
…Which is a lot of fun. (4/4/20, rewatch)

Moomins on the Riviera (2014, dir. Xavier Picard, Hanna Hemilä)
I love the Moomins. Moominvalley is one of my favourite recent TV series. This recent feature film offering, based on the comic strip, is good quality family entertainment. (7/4/20, rewatch)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
Not the dip! I’ve loved this film since I was a kid, and I still love it today. (9/4/20, rewatch)

The Gospel According to Matthew (1964, dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini)
Considering this film is far outside my usual areas of interest and expertise, I rather enjoyed it. The mystical story and Italian neo realist filmmaking counterpoint each other beautifully, and it’s gorgeous to look at. I’m no expert on the gospels, to say the least, but it is notable that this film treats everything in our with equal importance, at the cost of making the big moments smaller by comparison. That may be how Matthew is written, I don’t know, but it’s a clear choice that I don’t really agree with. You pays your money to see the Nativity and the Passion, and the rest is a bit like eating your greens. I like greens, but I’m not a big salad eater. This film is a leafy salad, no proteins or croutons. That said, would watch it again. (11/4/20)

Moulin Rouge! (2001, dir. Baz Luhrmann)
Captivating. Deep as a puddle. In summary, modern classic. (13/4/20, rewatch)

Pom Poko (1994, dir. Isao Takahata)
Manages the rare feat of being light but sincere. (16/4/20, rewatch)

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018, dir. Robert D. Krzykowski)
I’m not sure I understand the impulse behind this film, but I think I admire it. (17/4/20)

Dirty Dancing (1987, dir. Emile Ardolino)
I don’t have the words for how much I love watching this movie. (17/4/20, rewatch)

Keeping Mum (2005, dir. Niall Johnson)
I mean, it’s not great by any stretch of the imagination. However, the leads are great in it, and it played well on a burnt-out Sunday evening. Don’t all rush at once, but there’s no need to turn it off if you come across it on the telly. (19/4/20)