Library Haul

I meant to write this post up yesterday, but I was in a bad, not very companionable mood.  I’m feeling better today, having, among other things, cooked some beautiful dal and finished watching Mother!, which was much better than last autumn’s reviews had led me to believe it would be.

Other news? I’m looking forward to seeing Deadpool 2, probably this weekend, hoping to go out for  meal or ice cream (or both), my chocolate quinoa pancakes continue to be excellent, and Solo is getting some pretty mediocre reviews. Oh, and I’m falling behind on reading Travels with Charley.

Here’s what else I have checked out:

Books:

  • Travels with Charley
  • How to Break Up with Your Phone
  • The Little Book of Lykke: The followup to the widely acclaimed Little Book of Hygge. I’ve actually already finished it, just not ready to return it yet.
  • Lolly Willowes
  • Ripley’s Game: Wondering if this third installment will be the one that puts me off the Ripley series
  • The Wings of the Dove: I really fear the day when I have no more big Henry James. This and The Golden Bowl. That’s all I’ve got left, I think.
  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

Movies:

  • Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood is bae.
  • Lady Snowblood: Miss Havisham goes violent samurai.
  • Mother!
  • Enter the Dragon: Triggered by a youtube video pointing out a very extra extra.
  • The Furies: Barbara Stanwyck is also bae.
  • My Name is Nobody
  • The Old Gun: Yay westerns!
  • Prisoners
  • Frenzy: One of the chronologically last Hitchcock films and one of the last ones I haven’t seen yet.
  • Amarcord: The first movie of Fellini’s that I’ve liked.
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New to Me: Best Movies Watched in 2017

Most of my movie watching is not new releases, so much as catching up on films that were once new releases but haven’t been from somewhere between a year to a century.
And they’re none the worse for that.

To be eligible for this list, the film must be one of my favorites that I watched in 2017 but NOT released this year.

  • Shall We Dance (1937)
    I can’t say enough about this film- one of the most beautiful Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers vehicles that I’ve ever seen.  Highlights: Slap That Bass and Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (roller-skates!)
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
    I’ve already talked tons about Kingsman so I’ll keep this short. You’ll never think of Free Bird the same way again.
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
    While the more recent version is good (particularly for a modern remake, that most justly maligned of categories) it still doesn’t really hold a candle to the absolutely masterful original- the frustrating but heroic town drunk (completely cut from the modern version), Van Heflin’s scrappy portrayal of Dan Evans, and above all Glenn Ford’s suave outlaw Ben Wade. Plus the song.
  • Django Unchained (2012)
    Tarantino’s films are very hit or miss for me, but Django Unchained was very much a hit.  The cast is excellent, the plot is fun and exciting. Tarantino does his fun soundtrack thing.
  • The Piano Teacher/ La Pianiste (2001)
    This movie is beautifully repulsive. Basically a piano teacher (Heyyy Isabelle Huppert) conducts and affair with one of her students who believes that she is falling in love with him, essentially misreading the symptoms of her rapidly deteriorating sanity as signs of romantic obsession.
  • The Hurt Locker (2008)
    I had pretty much decided not to watch this because it looked a bit testosterone-heavy for me, but a confluence of circumstances led to me watching it and discovering that it is in fact a thoughtful and well-paced film with interesting characters and developments.
  • La Piscine/ The Swimming Pool (1969)
    Alain Delon is beautiful. So is Romy Schneider. So is Jane Birkin. So is summer.
  • Les Enfants du Paradis/ Children of Paradise (1945)
    This film had me absolutely spellbound for all 3+ hours of runtime.  A theater mime is in love with a courtesan who is also beloved by three other, very different men- a pretentious actor, a conniving thief, and a rich count.
  • Contracorriente/ Undertow (2009)
    Contracorriente is my most recent addition to this list, having just watched it I think the day before yesterday. It’s a surreal and poignant ghost story in which a married fisherman has to find a way to reconcile two aspects of his life: his more conventional family life with his pregnant wife and his devotion to his male lover, a painter and town outcast.

Here’s to another year of good films!

Hell or High Water: Movie and Music

hell-or-high-water-uk-quad-poster

Vive le Proletariat!

I wasn’t expecting to like Hell or High Water very much.  Just look at the picture- it’s such a very guy movie, with the rugged West, rugged facial hair, guns, and even rugged-er cowboy hats.

But actually I liked it because, despite failing the Bechdel test (and every other female inclusion test) with a resounding plop, it’s super anti-capitalist! Continue reading “Hell or High Water: Movie and Music”