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Showing posts from January, 2019

A Year in Film Pt. 3

A Viewing List for Twenty Eighteen

Moulin Rouge! [Baz Luhrmann, 2001]:
Watched: Jul 06, 2018
In the back of my mind there is a memory of having seen this film before. Perhaps as a young teenager, or maybe even before that. In watching the film again, as an adult, I could still recall specifics of the plot; certain images that had the power to astonish and enthral, as well as the use of particular songs, which have endured in the memory, though largely because they remain iconic reminders of late-twentieth century pop-culture. However, I didn't recall how intelligent the film was in its self-reflexive presentation of fictions within fiction; the clever mirroring between the "in-film" audiences' relationship to what's on stage with the real audiences' relationship to what's on screen. There is also an incredibly rich inter-folding of narrative layers, as the creation of the show withinthe film - as written by the central character - becomes a commentary on the…

A Year in Film Pt. 2

A Viewing List for Twenty Eighteen

Married to the Mob [Jonathan Demme, 1988]:
Watched: Apr 16, 2018
Once again, it's the personality of director Jonathan Demme that enlivens and enriches the experience of the film. From his eclecticism - that bold mishmash of colours, fashions, music and settings, so vibrant and diverse - to the unwavering humanism already evident in previous films, such as Citizens Band (1977), Melvin and Howard (1980) and the preceding Something Wild (1986), the attitudes and relaxed stylisations favoured by the filmmaker succeed in charming the audience at every conceivable turn. Even when his characters are shady, or when the social milieu is suggestive of a particular threat of violence and criminality (as it is here), there's always a resolve and determination to these people, which is infectious. As such, the film becomes a celebration, with Demme allowing his actors the space to define and develop their characters through an expression of their own indivi…

A Year in Film Pt. 1

A Viewing List for Twenty Eighteen

I didn't get around to compiling one of these lists for 2017, which is unfortunate, as I saw some great films over the course of that particular year. Some of the obvious highlights included Split (2017) by M. Night Shyamalan, Dragons Forever (1988) by Sammo Hung, Cosmos (2015) by Andrzej Zulawski, The Babadook (2014) by Jennifer Kent, Dogtooth (2009) by Yorgos Lanthimos, Hangmen Also Die! (1943) by Fritz Lang, La Cérémonie (1995) by Claude Chabrol, Big Fish (2003) by Tim Burton, mother! (2017) by Darren Aronofsky, It Follows (2014) by David Robert Mitchell, and perhaps the best of the bunch, Over the Garden Wall (2014) by Patrick McHale. This year I thought I'd renew the tradition, so I've compiled, in chronological order, a four-part list of the forty best films I saw over the course of 2018.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [David Yates, 2009]:
Watched: Jan 06, 2018
For me, this is the most cinematic of all the Harry Potter films and…