If you read this blog you’ve seen these posts before. Since I completely fail at writing about every film I see I try to catch up this way. This one has a whole lot:
Nadja in Paris (Rohmer, 1964)
Pretty Rohmer short that feels carefree and curious.
My Lovely Sister (Carmel, 2011)
Track 29 (Roeg, 1988)
An off the wall, histrionic film that verges on awkward soft porn at times, this one would be fun to write more about, but suffice to further say that Theresa Russell, despite this being her fourth collaboration with the director, can’t fill the shoes left empty by former Nicolas Roeg protagonists.
Africa, I Will Fleece You (Teno, 1992)
Intense, rare documentary on imperialism in Cameroon, Jean-Marie Teno’s film is essay-like and haunting.
Citizenfour (Poitras, 2014)
A rather different kind of documentary than the former, Citizenfour is harrowing in a different way and is well-staged in its general setup: four people and one hotel room.
The Heart Machine (Wigon, 2014)
A good concept, this online dating mystery loses steam because of a structure that starts too late in the relationship and crosscuts between two leads, ultimately mitigating suspense.
Sleep Furiously (Koppel, 2008)
La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus (Kendall, 2012)
Unobtrusive documentary about a repurposed school bus which now functions as public transportation in Guatemala, Mark Kendall’s fly-on-the-wall film is accomplished in its sense of place.
The World is a Ballet (Traore, 2006)
A somewhat difficult film from Burkina Faso that deals with rural superstitions and harsh realities, Issa Traore’s film feels fractured and urgent.
The Flat (Goldfinger, 2011)
Eating Raoul (Bartel, 1982)
Frank Tashlin meets Soylent Green (meets Bigger Than Life?), Eating Raoul is riotous, corny, and satirically hilarious.
Wild Tales (Szifron, 2014)
These Argentinian vignettes are wild indeed and, though some are unsatisfying, the whole is drawn to a emphatic conclusion with a great short about a wedding gone maniacally wrong.
Seymour: An Introduction (Hawke, 2014)
Ethan Hawke shows a pretty deft touch in this documentary about famous pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein – a light film, it works best when showcasing the protagonist’s home life.
Shower (Zhang, 1999)
Nice to see a Beijing I now somewhat know on camera, Shower is lighthearted and fun, though it does hit some political notes with governmental intervention on private property.
About Elly (Farhadi, 2009)
Asghar Farhadi’s film from 2009 was just released in the US and it’s got the director’s traits: long dialogues, hidden motivations (the secrets and lies in here feel like Secrets and Lies), and a mystery plot (here referencing Lang’s classic M fairly frequently, especially with a beautiful sequence of lone kite sailing away that is gorgeously staged and cut in to feel rather intense).
Blackboard Jungle (Brooks, 1955)
This social problem film feels like Richard Brooks before he really became Richard Brooks; it’s preachy and dated, and feels like a lesser version of The Savages.
Election (Payne, 1999)
Hilarious, really fun satire that looks back on the ’80s explosion of high school dramas but is fully self-aware.
Patterns (Cook, 1956)
Alongside Modern Times, The Apartment, and Giants and Toys as a great corporate send-up, Patterns has a dire ending, especially for 1956, where things quickly go from idealist to cutthroat.
Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen, 2013)
Never blogged about this one though I loved it – the Coen brothers’ film from 2013 is moody, circular, and darkly comic (that car scene…)
The Elephant in the Living Room (Webber, 2010)
Entertaining doc about raising dangerous animals in private houses, The Elephant in the Living Room doesn’t really stretch its legs beyond a very simple made-for-TV feel.
Bachelorette (Headland, 2012)
I wanted this movie to be funnier than what it turned out to be, which is kind of rote and mean.
When Harry Met Sally… (Reiner, 1989)
A classic which, while not my type of film, is funny, has several nice montages, and features my undergraduate alma mater.
Dirty Wars (Rowley, 2013)
Fascinating documentary and one of the best of 2013, Dirty Wars is conspiratorial and scary.
Broadcast News (Brooks, 1987)
The whole movie is worth it for the on-air sweating scene.
Interstellar (Nolan, 2014)
Big, at times bold stuff, with a nicely atypical view of the future, it suffers from way too much exposition and unintentional hilarity
Diplomacy (Schlondorff, 2014)
Zero Motivation (Lavie, 2014)
An underrated movie from 2015 (the time of its release here), Zero Motivation is pretty damn funny and ironic (read my director interview HERE.)
Flawless (Radford, 2007)