- Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar)
- Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman)
- Mademoiselle Fifi (Mark Robson)
- The Iron Lady (Phyllida Lloyd)
- Parasite (Bong Joon Ho)
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
- King Kong (Cooper/Schoedsack)
- Mad Love (Karl Freund)
- The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges)
- Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)
1- It is exciting to see a director become more and more in command of his art. Lately, every new film by Pedro Almodóvar has struck me as moving and brilliant in a way that that his early films didn’t prepare me for. I literally gasped at the end of Pain and Glory not for any shock, but because of the perfection it revealed.
2- Parasite! Oh man, what a movie. We are living in the Golden Age of a very weird genre: The politically subversive horror comedy. These aren’t cute horror-lite films. These are full-out out terrifying films that are also hilarious. I am thinking of Parasite, Us and Get Out. They are all brilliantly executed and scripted and pointedly political. If you have any recommendations for more of these please send them my way.
3- See my post about Jojo Rabbit
4- I am currently enrolled in a class where we will be reading the de Maupassant story of Mademoiselle Fifi. I have seen the film several times mostly because the producer is my idol Val Lewton. See my post on him here. This film is one of his few that is not in his usual spooky, gothic, horror mode. It is a strange film because I think the censors got to it before it was released. I’ll let you know after I read the story.
5- Of course Meryl Streep is amazing in The Iron Lady because Meryl Streep is always amazing. I fear we take her for granted and don’t realize the luck we have to be able to see her in new things all the time. What struck me as curious is that for the biopic of Margaret Thatcher (perhaps the only one that will be made for a long while) the focus was on her later years and her developing Alzheimer’s and not on the awful things done during her time as Prime Minister. The highlights and broad outlines are given, but they are not the primary focus. Yes….I know I always say you can’t fault a work of art for not being what it isn’t. I just think this was a curious choice.