- Good Morning (Yasujiro Ozu)
- Dreams (Ingmar Bergman)
- Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)
- The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson)
- The Godfather, Part 2 (Francis Ford Coppola)
- Masseurs and a Woman (Hiroshi Shimizu)
- Sadie Thompson (Raoul Walsh)
- Beauty and The Beast (Jean Cocteau)
- Marius (Alexander Korda)
- The Story of a Cheat (Sacha Guitry)
1- Who would think that Yasujiro Ozu, sublime master of the small gesture, could make such a charming little comedy like Good Morning, with its fart jokes and neighborly misunderstandings? You often read that this is a remake of his silent I Was Born But….., however I don’t buy it. The earlier film is a graver affair about intergenerational disappointments. However, I do seem to remember that there were fart jokes in that one, too.
2- I thought that Saving Mr. Banks would be a nice, competent film telling the story of how Mary Poppins finally got made. It was that, but it was quite moving as well, with some striking artistic touches. I particularly liked the images of Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers finally signing the contract to allow Disney to make the film. She is seated at a table at her home in London, and opposite here is a huge Mickey Mouse doll Walt had sent her as encouragement. It is a quiet and very funny touch.
3- My experience with Bresson has been sublime (Diary Of A Country Priest, The Trial of Joan of Arc, A Man Escaped) or excruciating (Au Hazard Balthazar). The Devil Probably falls into the latter category. I wish I had the skill to watch his films more critically. I know I am missing tons
4- We had a real New Year’s Eve treat watching Beauty and The Beast followed by Marius, the first part of Marcel Pagnol’s beloved Marseille Trilogy. These films become more and more essential to me as time goes on. I am planning a ‘Have You Tried…………..?’ article on Marcel Pagnol soon.
5- I had heard of Sacha Guitry but didn’t know what his stuff was like. TCM showed two of his films on their Sunday night franchise called TCM Import. Looks like they have some arrangement with Criterion. I just watched The Story Of A Cheat, which was an absolute delight. It seems to be a precursor to Kind Hearts and Coronets, but even funnier and more clever. Looking forward to seeing more of him. I may just have to buy the Criterion boxed set.