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

  1. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Nagisa Oshima)
  2. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
  3. The Affairs of Martha (Jules Dassin)
  4. Night Nurse (William Wellman)
  5. Career Girls (Mike Leigh)
  6. Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh)
  7. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of my Voice (Epstein/Friedman)
  8. Bombshell (Jay Roach)
  9. Little Women (George Cukor)
  10. Little Woman (Mervyn LeRoy)


1 – It was strictly by coincidence that I watched Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and Lawrence of Arabia back to back.  No parallels as far as I could see.  I was glad to see the Oshima. “Modern” Japanese films are a bit of a tough nut for me.  I always respond to Oshima, though.  His films are perverse, but engaging.  David Bowie was a terrific actor, at least in this.
I remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia a lot in the movies when I was a kid.  That would have been in the early 70s, which makes me think it must have been re-released a lot. What a crazy movie this is. I have no idea how it got made, or what we are supposed to make of the eponymous hero.  I remember it was hailed as ‘the thinking man’s epic’.  Not so sure about that.  Wait, was that about Spartacus?

2- I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Night Nurse since it was the first film I watched on TCM . It was a fitting prelude to the banquet to come.  I think it is the quintessential pre-code movie and I have showed it to many friends and hope to show it to many more.  You’re next, Kathleen and Martin!

3- Talking about TCM, they recently showed a double-bill of Mike Leigh films: Life is Sweet and Career GirlsEach time I see a film by him I shake my head wondering how he does it.  He slowly brings to life whole worlds and people, but quietly. By the end you are both elated and devastated. I think it might be time to write a Have you tried….. post on him, but I still have a few more essential films of his to see. In the meantime, watch either of these as well as Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky, Topsy-Turvy and the magnificent Secrets and Lies.

4- I saw Bombshell as part of my annual ‘see all the best picture nominees’ rush.  Even though I really believe Oscar is not irremediably dumb.  But I have made a little project out of seeing every Best Picture winner since the first Oscar in 1927.  I have seen eight of the nine nominees for this year. I am dreading that Joker will win and I will have to see it.

5- See my post on Little Women