2021

new film goal: one new movie a month.

january

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - Criterion poster

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Original Title: Les parapluies de Cherbourg
Director: Jaques Demy
Writer: Jaques Demy
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo

gorgeous, romantic, moving. adored this one; so glad to finally cross it off the to-watch list.

Fiddler on the Roof - Theatrical release poster by Ted Coconis

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

(rewatch for the Title TK Podcast)
Director: Norman Jewison
Writers: Joseph Stein (stageplay & screenplay), Sholem Aleichem (Tevye the Dairyman stories)
Stars: Topol, Norma Crane

a rewatch for the podcast. brilliant adaptation. makes me cry every time. movie musicals weren't the name of the game in the '70s, but the decade still produced some greats.

What a Girl Wants poster - Amanda Bynes throws up a peace sign while standing between two guards in bearskin hats.

What a Girl Wants (2003)

(rewatch for movie night with K)
Director: Dennie Gordon
Writers: Jenny Bicks & Elizabeth Chandler (screenplay), William Douglas-Home (stageplay "The Reluctant Debutante")
Stars: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth

movie night with K. you can tell how old I am because I have an awful lot of nostalgia for the 2000s. the music, the fashion, and...perhaps the frivolity. films like this are a pleasure to return to; lighthearted fun. goes on the shelf next to Chasing Liberty.

Chemical Hearts - Amazon Original poster

Chemical Hearts (2020)

(movie night with K) Director: Richard Tanne
Writers: Richard Tanne (screenplay), Krystal Sutherland (original book "Our Chemical Hearts")
Stars: Lili Reinhart, Austin Abrams

putting this on the shelf next to Untamed Heart, in a loving way—though the brain chemistry talk in this one is nearly as awkward as the "baboon heart" monologue poor Christian Slater had to deliver. Chemical Hearts is exactly the sort of romantic drama that appeals to me. angst, damaged characters, blurry friendship/romance dynamics. surprised me with its unusual structure & and ending. standout performance by Lili Reinhart. she's got the right energy for Diana Bishop, actually.

february

Maudie poster

Maudie (2016)

Director: Aisling Walsh
Writers: Sherry White
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke

it's a goal of mine to get more Canadian media into my diet. Maud Lewis was a folk artist from Nova Scotia. gosh, I want to get to the Maritimes. the same part of me that longs to get to Scotland wants to get to the east coast—and they are very similar, for what it's worth. this film (shot in Newfoundland, sorry Nova Scotians) is gorgeous. and again, exactly the kind of thing I like: quiet, character-driven, unconventional love story. the relationship at the heart of it is not particularly warm. Everett is gruff, boorish. and then Maud, sweet and frail...

wonderful performances. a real pleasure to watch.

Pieces of a Woman poster

Pieces of a Woman (2020)

Director: Kornél Mundruczó
Writers: Kata Wéber
Stars: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LeBeouf

stress and relief. there's the "fun-scary" that we might get from a horror movie or a roller coaster. there's also the catharsis that we might get from hurt/comfort fanfiction or a good tragegy. we seek safe ways to work through difficult feelings.

under the right conditions, stories about trauma help me find a little peace. the comfortable melancholy swallows me up and I feel at ease. a story that is supposed to make me hurt, or sad, or upset is a relief, just like rain on a day you don't want to get out of bed. in that spirit, I watched this film at precisely the right time.

it may be a strange comparison, but like Up, this film has an exceptional prologue and never quite recovers. still. I could watch Vanessa Kirby all day.

Speed Racer poster

Speed Racer (2008)

(watched for the Title TK Podcast)
Directors: Lana & Lilly Wachowski
Writers: Lana & Lilly Wachowski, Tatsuo Yoshida (animated series "Speed Racer")
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Matthew Fox

art versus commerce. love versus capitalism. a tale of justice and vengeance. beautifully entwined timelines, particularly at the start of the film. an op art masterpiece, right down to the zoetrope at the start of the grand prix. heck your realism. this is the goddamn American Dream.

The Jane Austen Book Club poster

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

(movie night with K)
Directors: Robin Swicord
Writers: Rian James & James Seymour (screen play), Bradford Ropes (original book)
Stars: Ruby Keeler, George Brent

a fun little primer on Austen. nice diversity of relationship types.

42nd Street poster

42nd Street (1933)

(movie night with G)
Directors: Lloyd Bacon
Writers: Robin Swicord (screenplay), Karen Joy Fowler (book)
Stars: Maria Bello, Hugh Dancy

this one's been sitting in my WB musicals box set for years, just waiting to be watched. it's a charming little picture from the pre-Code era about backstage life, finished off with some classic Busby Berkeley numbers.