Shorts, Documentaries and Horror, Oh My! October 2011 in Film

This was  a great month of films for me. I saw all kinds of fantastic films, including several 2011 releases (and one 2011 release that was just awful). As usual, I also saw several really great classics on the big screen at the Castro (Brighton Rock, The Third Man, Dinner At 8, Libeled Lady, the Moroder version of Metropolis, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus). I also went to the Roxie theater for the first time this month. This Saturday Midnites for Maniacs did a triple feature of Laura, the Twin Peaks pilot and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. I did an interview with Jesse Hawthorne Ficks, who runs Midnites for Maniacs, over at YAM Magazine. You might notice I also watched a lot of short films this month. This was mostly due to a class I am taking that requires us to watch three to five shorts a week outside of class and then often we watch one or two in class. I really recommend you watch Validation if you’ve got about 17 minutes to spare. It is fantastic. As always, full list of films after the cut.

        1. 50/50
        2. The Cat and the Canary (1927)
        3. 3 Bad Men
        4. Out West
        5. The Angel Wore Red
        6. Murder With Pictures
        7. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
        8. The Navigator
        9. Steamboat Bill, Jr.
        10. Real Steel
        11. Dream House (2011)
        12. Fool For Love
        13. Vincent (1982)
        14. In The Name of the Father
        15. For The Birds
        16. The Limits of Control
        17. Geri’s Game
        18. The Old Man and the Sea (1999)
        19. The Ides of March
        20. Spider (2007)
        21. And The Red Man Went Green
        22. Take Shelter
        23. Island of Lost Souls
        24. The Big Trail
        25. Brighton Rock (1947)
        26. The Saphead
        27. Validation
        28. Balance
        29. The Big Year
        30. F For Fake
        31. The Heart of the World
        32. Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair
        33. L’arroseur arrosé
        34. The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952)
        35. An Exercise in Discipline – Peel
        36. Lady of the Tropics
        37. Audrey Rose
        38. Three Smart Girls
        39. The Great Gatsby (1949)
        40. In My Merry Oldsmobile
        41. Micmacs
        42. The Capture
        43. Der er en yndig mand (This Charming Man)
        44. West Bank Story
        45. The Evictors
        46. Mr. Arkadin
        47. Midnight Express
        48. Dead Man
        49. I Married A Witch
        50. When It Rains
        51. Passionless Moments
        52. Istället för abrakadabra (Instead of Abracadabra)
        53. Around The World With Orson Welles
        54. Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley
        55. The Falklands Play
        56. Margaret (2009)
        57. Lifted
        58. Kiwi!
        59. Presto
        60. In The Bedroom
        61. The Cat That Hated People
        62. La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In)
        63. Sayonara
        64. Arizona (1940)
        65. All Good Things
        66. George Lucas In Love
        67. The Black Cat (1934)
        68. The Invisible Ray
        69. Pleasures of War
        70. The Powers of Ten
        71. Miss Austen Regrets
        72. Suburban Plight
        73. Blood and Sand (1941)
        74. Videodrome
        75. Martha Marcy May Marlene
        76. Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque
        77. In Old Arizona
        78. ‘Neath the Arizona Skies
        79. Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse

1880s: 1
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 1
1920s: 6
1930s: 9
1940s: 6
1950s: 5
1960s: 1
1970s: 6
1980s: 7
1990s: 7
2000s: 21
2010s: 9

I wrote about The Skin I Live In for YAM Magazine (you can find the link above), so I decided not to include it in the featured section. I also really want to recommend Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was phenomenal. The five films I decided to feature include one 2011 release that is in my top five so far for the year, two documentaries, the last Jarmusch film I needed to see and a David Cronenberg film that I’m pretty sure I would have hated about five years ago but totally loved.

Take Shelter, 2011 (dir. Jeff Nichols)

I really hope Michael Shannon gets some love come awards season for his performance in this film. He is so captivating and at times downright devastating. Jessica Chastain has had an amazing breakout year, with three performances worthy of a Best Supporting Actress nomination (Take Shelter, The Help, The Tree of Life). This is an unsettling movie. In a different way than Martha Marcy May Marlene, but when I think about it, they’d make a killer double feature. This is definitely a film I feel like I need to watch again to catch everything.

F For Fake, 1973 (dir. Orson Welles)

Basically, this is Orson Welles having fun. He’s having fun with cinema as art and cinema as fakery and cinema as magic. Anyone who loves films will love this film, which may well be Welles’ most personal and reflective.

Dead Man, 1995 (dir. Jim Jarmusch)

I did it! I finished Jim Jarmusch’s filmography. This was everything I love. It was a western. Y’all know how I love westerns. It was filled with sly Jarmuschian humor and such exquisite long takes. This is definitely one of the most beautifully shot films in the last twenty years. Johnny Depp was great, as were all the (many) cameo appearances. Basically, I love everything about Jarmusch and I can’t wait for his next film.

Videodrome, 1983 (dir. David Cronenberg)

This is a film that I probably would have hated five years ago. I would have found it disturbing and just “too weird.” But I guess my cinematic comfort zone has widened a lot in the last few years because instead of being disturbed by the film, as I was all prepared to be, I was just fascinated by it. Part of what I love about cinema, especially now that it’s so accessible, is that when you watch something years after its original release a new layer can be added by time that was never intended by the filmmaker. In this case, at one point in the film O’Blivion says something about someday we’ll all have “special names,” referring to our becoming one with the television. I found that fascinating, because nowadays we all have “special names” that we use on the internet. It’s interesting how the sort of ideas regarding television that this film brought up are now go more hand-in-hand with the lives we live on the internet. This is another film I want to give a second viewing.

Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque, 2004 (dir.  Jacques Richard)

Lastly, I wanted to talk about this documentary about Henri Langlois, who is basically the greatest film curator there ever was. He is the man behind the Cinémathèque Française, which is where many of the great French New Wave directors went to “eat films” and learn and absorb everything cinema had to offer. These are my people and anyone who also suffers from “rabid cinephila” ought to see this film.

Overall, October was a great month for me. I’m still as much in love with cinema as ever. Maybe more. I cried in public several times (well, if dark movie theaters count as public). November looks to be just as great, what with all the Oscar contenders coming out and the Castro doing Woody Allen Wednesdays (I know, right?!) and Minites For Maniacs showing Ishtar so I can finally see how it ends and just so many other great cinematic expeditions on their way. I hope y’all had a great October, too!

About cinemafanatic

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on November 1, 2011, in 2011 in Films and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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