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

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  1. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
  2. Europe ’51 (Roberto Rossellini)
  3. Fear  (Roberto Rossellini)
  4. Charlotte et son Jules (Jean-Luc Godard)
  5. All The Boys Are Named Patrick (Jean-Luc Godard)
  6. A Woman Is A Woman (Jean-Luc Godard)
  7. Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper)
  9. The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov)
  10. I Walked With A Zombie (Jacques Tourneur)

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1- It is a good thing to watch favorite classics again and again.  Many films are to be watched once, digested and then you move on to the next one.  But there is another type of film that seems to thrive on being watched over and over again. You know every centimeter of the film, yet there is a tremendous satisfaction in retreading the familiar turf. It might sound like a cliche but the film gets richer with each viewing, and your aesthetics deepen as well. Rashomon is a prime example of this kind of film.  I love it. It is a part of me.

2- I continue to have a maddening relationship with the films of Jean-Luc Godard. TCM recently had a daylong presentation of his features and shorts. It seems like the man made a million films. There always seems to be one I haven’t seen.  This time around I got to watch two shorts I had always heard about: All The Boys Are Called Patrick and Charlotte and her Boyfriend. Both were surprisingly delightful, not an adjective one associates with Godard, especially his later work.  It reminded me of the early, breezy comedies of other Nouvelle Vague directors.  I also had the same instant love for A Woman is a Woman that I had for Vivre Sa Vie. The playfulness, the delightful Anna Karina, the callow Jean-Paul Belmondo, the handsome Jean-Claude Brialy all make for great viewing fun. I still need a lot of help appreciating the later, more polemical Godard. I found Pierrot Le Fou torture to sit through. Advice, anyone?

3- I always thought that the films Rossellini made in the 5os with Ingrid Bergman were weird, poorly crafted and stiff.  But watching Fear and especially Europe ’51  made me realize that they are cinematic operas. The oversized emotion, the large scale acting, it’s all there. And viewed in that light, these films are magnificent.

4- Just a reminder to watch as much Parajanov as you can. There isn’t much out there and it is all kind of astounding.  Read my introduction first.

 

 

 

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

  1. You know me, I love Kurosawa, Godard, Rossellini and Tourneur 🙂 Anyway, coinciding with the Halloween season, two of Alfred Hitchcock’s pure horror films have been on my mind which are Psycho and The Birds and I always wonder how shocked people are when I rank The Birds higher than Psycho when the status quo usually ranks the latter higher than the former. Nevertheless, I think you are another exception in ranking The Birds higher than Psycho when you left a comment that one time on my site regarding my favorite Hitchcock films 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂 and speaking of horror films, isn’t it interesting that I Walked with a Zombie is loosely based on Jane Eyre? Again as usual, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes. I think The Birds is one of Hitchcock’s supreme masterpieces, holding its own with Vertigo, Notorious, Rear Window and the rest. There is just so much going on below the surface of this ‘horror film’ that repeated viewing are always surprising. And on a personal side-note: My family name before they left Russia was Brenner. So, if they had kept it my name would have been Mitchell Brenner, just like Rod Taylor!

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