Though slow on the blog, June was rich in great movies – so many that I had to cut this list in order to maintain the post’s readability. So with that in mind, note that Repulsion and La Cage Dorée, though absolute favourites, aren’t featured below because I talked about them recently. You can find all the movies I saw in June in my Letterboxd diary.
Another brief thought on The Pianist, a film I’ve seen before, and was caught right in the middle of the watching of three movies branded as Great Films. It’s an intimidating class that always instills huge and sometimes erroneous expectations, and never fails to fill me with the fear of not liking them. It does happen sometimes, but fortunately that was not the case with these. Let’s start with the chilling Schindler’s List.
Keeping with the Holocaust theme while I still had the guts for it, Schindler’s List seemed like the adequate film to follow The Pianist. They’re two sides of the same coin, the latter told from the perspective of a jew, the former from the eyes of a german. Both powerful and moving, but while Polanski’s speaks of desolation, Spielberg’s dwells in madness and heroic efforts. From an aesthetic point of view, Schindler is the one that goes further – a striking black and white cinematography that resembles the documentaries I grew up watching.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this disgusted by a Ralph Fiennes character.
A quiet and cloudy Sunday afternoon provided the perfect setting for watching the three hour and a half giant Apocalypse Now Redux. Surprisingly artistic and with mind-blowing use of music and sound, you’re bound to descend into near-madness as the action slowly flows upstream, deeper and deeper into the jungle. You go through it all with the main character: the initial riveting surprise and distrust, the shock of the indifference of death, the fear of the insanity around you, the fatigue, the apathy, and the surprising thrill of the last minutes. It’s every bit as grand as they say.
Perhaps it can’t be said that I’m a true Wes Anderson fan. His aesthetic, his character’s quirks, the creative writing – all of that I enjoy immensely. But all his achievements in these fields make me acutely aware that I’m watching a film, and more often than not completely prevent me from any emotional investment. I smile and I laugh, but it doesn’t go any further than that – I am in awe, but not in love. The visuals dazzle me, but the characters are close to indifferent to me, remembered only by their costume and make-up, by the endearing weirdness in all of them. If this is the way it’s supposed to be I can’t say, but what I know is that it does not stop me from adoring Anderson’s films.
So if you can feel them, I envy you.
I’ve mentioned this little movie in a recent episode of our podcast, and I would like to write about it some time, just like Last Night, so I’ll keep this short. They are similar in their delicate portrayals of human relationships, even though the nature is quite different: instead of having a romantic couple at the center, Mr. Morgan’s Last Love depicts the blossoming of a friendship between a widower and a young french woman who has lost her father. They find solace in each other, but there’s an underlying darkness that is bound to reveal itself as the film reaches its final stages. It’s a true bittersweet tale that will move those of you who recognise the beauty in it.
Quite a change of pace, I know, but the latest instalment of the X-Men franchise deserves a spot in here as well. I can guarantee with some certainty that this isn’t, and won’t become, one of my favourite movies. Why is that? Watching this was incredible, I loved every minute, my jaw dropped ten thousand times, I was crying and geeking all over it. Every actor in it was at their best, the story spoke to me as X-Men usually does, I didn’t even mind some of the taste-offensive CGI. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, my eyes filled with wonder and emotions. So why wouldn’t I have it in all my Top lists? Such a snob.
Last month british drama series The Fall and Luther were pretty much all I saw. I’d highly recommend both to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers with a british touch, whether about psychopath profiling (The Fall), or a passionate detective who’s always in trouble and cultivates strange relationships (Luther). More on both in July, most likely. Last week marked the return of True Blood, and so far it’s looking surprisingly normal – this just might grow into a good season.
I never thought the ending of Life of Pi would get to me again, but it did. The movie stays pretty faithful to the novel, and I’m glad to say that the latter completely stands on its own in a reading-after-watching exercise. The words truly come alive, I couldn’t put it down.
The second is a collection of short stories by portuguese writer Florbela Espanca, As Máscaras do Destino. One of the stories, O Sobrenatural, was my chosen tale for the Once Upon a Dream podcast episode. There’s no english translation that I’m aware of, but if you know the language, is a wonderfully disturbing read.
|Look, it’s Cary Grant! #everythingisconnected|