The Discreet Bourgeois

Possessed by an urgency to make sure all this stuff I love doesn't just disappear

The Last Ten Films I’ve Seen

6 Comments

  1. Dodsworth (William Wyler)
  2. End of Summer (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini)
  4. In The Heat Of The Night (Norman Jewison)
  5. The Graduate (Mike Nichols)
  6. Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai)
  7. The Bad Seed (Mervyn Leroy)
  8. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
  9. Across The Pacific (John Huston)
  10. The Plot Thickens (Ben Holmes)

1- It was interesting revisiting In The Heat Of The Night and The Graduate on the same night on TCM. The former holds up much better. Both are firmly rooted in a 1960s Zeitgeist, but In The Heat Of The Night achieves a timelessness in the same way The Grapes of Wrath achieves a timelessness while being firmly rooted in the Depression

2- Is it possible that Days of Being Wild is even more exquisite than In The Mood For Love? Maybe. Sure glad I don’t have to choose between them! The nocturnal, triste love episode between cop Andy Lau and distraught Maggie Cheung is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a long, long time. Xie xie, Wong Kar-wai

3- I always knew about Across The Pacific and wondered why a film with almost the identical creative team as The Maltese Falcon was not more famous. Finally caught up with it last night and I guess the blatant propaganda of the film’s final half weighs down the sexy fun of the first half. Still, see it. It’s a hoot.

4- I curse myself for waiting so long to see Holy Motors. I could have been watching it over and over again all these months, successfully convincing myself that it might just be one of the most spectacular things ever committed to celluloid. But don’t take my word for it. Please read Michael Glover Smith’s lovely review, nay , his lovely paean to this exquisite work. (I sure wish I could write like this! ) Excuse me. I need to go watch Holy Motors again.

6 thoughts on “The Last Ten Films I’ve Seen

  1. Adding Holy Motors and any Wong Kar-wai(never seen his movies). Thanks!
    Please clarify: which holds up better, The Graduate or In the Heat of the Night?

    • Wong Kar-wai is fantastic and a little rigorous. I would recommend this one, Days Of Being Wild first. The exquisite but slightly more demanding In The Mood For Love. Chunking Express is loads of fun, too.
      I worry about recommending Holy Motors in a way because it clicked right with me the way Celine and Julie Go Boating did. I guess if you had some kind of fun there, then you might love this as well.

    • In my opinion, and for my taste only, In The Heat of The Night holds up better for the reasons I wrote in my post. The Graduate seems, for my taste, too mired in its times. It seems to be saying ‘Look at me! I am part of the liberated 60s! I’m portraying sex frankly! I am portraying the issues of disaffected youth! I am so ‘with it’. That’s fine, and the movie is perfectly entertaining even thought the characters are more cyphers than people. The whole thing seems to be more a historical footnote. Now, In The Heat of the Night is also very much a product of the 60s – its roots in the civil rights / race relations issues of the day are very much in evidence, but – the writing is way more interesting, the acting, especially Lee Grant and Rod Steiger, is astoundingly good. Maybe because race issues are unfortunately still so much a part of the contemporary dialogue, In the Heat of the Night seems less dated than The Graduate, which seems mostly about sexual liberation and youth disillusionment – and really, who cares about that stuff any more! (Unless of course, you aren’t sexually liberated or you are a disillusioned youth)

  2. Have you seen Wild Boys of the Road from 1933? Very good. Very unusual.

    • I think I saw it and loved it. Doesn’t a kid get caught under a moving train in that one? Very gritty Depression era stuff, right?

    • Hi Fern,

      8 months later, I am happy to say I just watched Wild Boys Of The Road. I thought it was tremendous. I really recommend that you watch Heroes For Sale by the same director: William Wellman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s