April Showers, 117 Films, One Film Festival and Finishing Off Woody Allen

This month was a bit of a slow month for me. Lots of subbing and I spent the last few days at the TCM Classic Film Festival, so I had less time to watch films than previous months. You can see my month-in-review for January, February and March here. I watched a lot of great Ray Milland films this month (thank you TCM), some “Classic Cerebral Foreign Films” (or, that’s what Netflix calls them), as well as several of Georges Méliès short films. Last month I saw films from 11 different decades, this month I trumped that and saw films from all 13 decades that there have been films! I mean by that, at least one film from the 1890s-2010s; see the following list for a breakdown by decade. Oh, and I also (finally) finished watching all of Woody Allen’s directorial filmography. Starting in May I’m going to do an extensive look at his body of work leading up to the release of his 43rd feature Midnight In Paris.

  1. À Propos de Nice (aka Nizza)
  2. Small Town Girl (1953)
  3. Blinkity Blank
  4. Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip To The Moon)
  5. Secret Ceremony
  6. Frankenstein (1931)
  7. The Great Lie
  8. Trapeze
  9. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)
  10. Celebrity
  11. Hollywood Ending
  12. Anything Else
  13. Zéro de Conduite: Jeunes Diables au Collège (Zero for Conduct)
  14. Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows)
  15. L’Atalante
  16. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
  17. Billy Liar
  18. Some Came Running
  19. Melinda and Melinda
  20. When Ladies Meet (1941)
  21. The Actress
  22. Green Mansions
  23. Five Miles to Midnight
  24. Good Girls Go To Paris
  25. Raintree County
  26. The Major and the Minor
  27. The Crystal Ball
  28. A Woman of Distinction
  29. The Doctor Takes A Wife
  30. Polly of the Circus (1932)
  31. Dancing Lady
  32. Band of Angels
  33. The Wheeler Dealers
  34. The Bad and the Beautiful
  35. That Hamilton Woman
  36. The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)
  37. Sparrows
  38. Matchpoint
  39. Scoop
  40. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy
  41. Madame de… (The Earrings of Madame de..)
  42. Galaxy of Terror
  43. Du Barry Was A Lady
  44. Meet The People
  45. Merton of the Movies (1947)
  46. The Baroness and the Butler
  47. Le Million
  48. Run Silent Run Deep
  49. America, America
  50. Lassie Come Home
  51. Conspirator
  52. Father’s Little Dividend
  53. Dead Ringer
  54. The Young Philadelphians
  55. Stage Door
  56. Too Many Girls
  57. So Evil My Love
  58. Blonde Crazy
  59. The Glass Key
  60. Payment Deferred
  61. Rango
  62. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
  63. The Safecracker
  64. The Birth of a Nation
  65. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
  66. Hostile Witness
  67. Crossfire (1947)
  68. Adventure
  69. Beat The Devil (1953)
  70. Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
  71. Whipsaw
  72. Paper Moon
  73. Stage Door Canteen
  74. Out of the Fog
  75. Born To Dance
  76. Fire Down Below
  77. The Tales of Hoffmann
  78. Camille (1921)
  79. The Verdict
  80. Algiers
  81. Wise Girl
  82. Everything Happens At Night
  83. Kitty (1945)
  84. Reap The Wild Wind
  85. Neighbors (1920)
  86. The Boat (1921)
  87. Beau Geste (1939)
  88. Raw Meat (aka Death Line)
  89. Girl Shy
  90. The Freshman (1925)
  91. Welcome Danger
  92. Jeanne d’Arc (1900)
  93. Excelsior! – Prince of Magicians
  94. Partie des cartes (Card Party)
  95. L’arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat (Arrival of a Train At La Ciotat)
  96. Requiem for a Heavyweight
  97. Le Cauchemar (A Nightmare)
  98. Une Nuit Terrible (A Terrible Night)
  99. La Manoir du diable (The House of the Devil)
  100. Un homme de têtes (Four Troublesome Heads)
  101. Les cartes vivantes (The Living Playing Cards)
  102. Easter Parade
  103. The Silver Chalice
  104. Phantom Lady
  105. The Tunnel of Love (1958)
  106. Mystic River
  107. Who’s That Girl?
  108. The Hill
  109. Julie
  110. Love Me Or Leave Me
  111. Please Don’t Eat The Daisies
  112. The Great Lover (1931)
  113. Something To Sing About
  114. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
  115. The Miracle Woman
  116. Girl Happy (TCM Classic Film Festival)
  117. Niagara (TCM Classic Film Festival)

1890s – 6
1900s – 4
1910s – 2
1920s – 7
1930s – 22
1940s – 23
1950s – 24
1960s – 13
1970s – 4
1980s – 4
1990s – 1
2000s – 6
2010s – 1

There are several films I saw this month that deserve to be talked about, but I think lots of words have already been written about them; I’m sure many of you know what films I’m referring to. So this list is four lesser-known films and one 2011 release that has set the bar pretty high for the rest of the year. Two months in a row where my favorites are from the 1970s. I don’t even know what’s happening to me. One of the films I saw from the 1970s I DVR’d off of TCM’s during their “TCM Underground” late night cult cinema Friday, and wound up enjoying so much more than I thought I would. Anyways, here are my choices for the month.

L’Atalante, 1934 (dir. Jean Vigo)

This is my favorite of the “Classic Cerebral Foreign Films” I watched this month (the others, according to Netflix, would be La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game), Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows), Le Million, Madame de…, etc.) I actually watched all four of Jean Vigo’s films this month (he died at the age of 29 of tuberculosis). L’Atalante was his only feature length film (Zéro de Conduite: Jeunes Diables au Collège (Zero for Conduct) is only about 40 minutes long), but it’s also his most fully realized film. So many of the shots in the film are hauntingly gorgeous, almost dream-like. When you finally do see this film you will fully understand what a loss Vigo’s death really was.

The Baroness and the Butler, 1938 (dir. Walter Lang)

This was such a wonderful gem of a film that TCM showed during their tribute to French actress Annabella earlier this month. William Powell plays Johann Porok, the titular butler and faithful servant to Annabella (the Baroness)’s father, who is the head of parliament. Porok is part of the opposing political party and when he is accidentally voted to parliament chaos ensues. Powell is wonderful in every film I’ve ever seen him in, but he is particularly charming in this zany little film. Sadly, I don’t think it’s available on DVD.

Rango, 2011 (dir. Gore Verbinski)

I cannot even describe how much I loved this film. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I definitely don’t think it was a film for kids and I also think it’s the kind of film that will improve upon multiple viewings. There are just SO MANY references to so many other films, I really don’t think I caught them all. I look forward to getting this film on DVD and catching more and more each time. As far as I’m concerned, the bar for film 2011 has been set very high.

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, 1976 (dir. Nicolas Gessner)

Yet again recording cult film off of TCM on Friday nights has paid off. I cannot believe how much I enjoyed this film. It is so much better than it has any right to be, especially if you go by plot alone. Part of this has to do with the force of nature that is Jodie Foster. What a great actress she was even as an adolescent. The film also featured a perfectly sinister and completely unhinged performance from Martin Sheen.

Paper Moon, 1973 (dir. Peter Bogdanovich)

I cannot believe I had never seen this movie before. After ten minutes I had already added the DVD to my Amazon wishlist. It is just too perfect. Tatum O’Neal gives what may well be the best child performance of all-time, a performance that earned her a much deserved Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Ryan O’Neal is incredibly charming in his role as well and the two, real-life father and daughter, have such amazing chemistry together. Definitely a film I would recommend to just about everyone.

This was a great month for watching, though it was a little less than the last two months. The TCM Classic Film Festival has been an amazing experience. Today is the last day and I am going to miss it when it’s over. I will post links to my articles for YAM Magazine as soon as they’re posted. Happy watching and see you next month!

About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on May 1, 2011, in 2011 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oh wow, Paper Moon…I have that coming from Netflix tomorrow, actually. Attempting to catch up on my Bogdanovich.

    Also, Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is really cool. Stumbled across that DVD for like 4 bucks at a Barnes & Noble of all places.

    I think you mentioned on Twitter that you’ll be watching Intolerance at some point, so I’m interested to see what you think of it compared to Birth of a Nation. I think Intolerance is way more ambitious, but Birth is the better overall movie…it just happens to be about 100% more racist too. : /

  1. Pingback: Oscar Vault Monday – The Thin Man, 1934 (dir. W. S. Van Dyke) « the diary of a film awards fanatic

  2. Pingback: 2011 in Films: A Year-Long Cinematic Odyssey Through 1,117 New-To-Me Films « the diary of a film awards fanatic

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