- Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Nagisa Oshima)
- Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
- The Affairs of Martha (Jules Dassin)
- Night Nurse (William Wellman)
- Career Girls (Mike Leigh)
- Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh)
- Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of my Voice (Epstein/Friedman)
- Bombshell (Jay Roach)
- Little Women (George Cukor)
- 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 Girls. Each 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