Moving, Jobs and Birthdays: June 2013 in Films
As I stated in last month’s end-of-the-month wrap-up, I moved to Los Angeles (North Hollywood to be specific) to start a job with the Warner Archive Collection at Warner Bros. in Burbank. I officially started on the 7th of June and it’s been a great few first weeks. We even got to go to the Saturn Awards last week (I met an Ewok and talked to Joss Whedon!!!). As far as cinema-going goes, I’ve gone to the ArcLight Sherman Oaks and the Laemmle NoHo 7 (several times). I also saw Some Like It Hot at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as part of Cinespia, I saw Dial M For Murder at the Academy in 3D (amazing, Hitchock really used it as part of his storytelling tools) and finally got to see Boxing Day at the L.A. Film Fest, which co-starred my friend and teacher Matthew Jacobs. Yesterday was my 27th birthday and I am looking forward to a new year and another six months of unfettered cinematic love.
- The Bishop Murder Case
- The Dragon Murder Case
- The Casino Murder Case
- The Garden Murder Case
- Calling Philo Vance
- Before Midnight
- Camelot (1967)
- The Music Man (1962)
- The Girls in the Band (2013)
- When Harry Met Sally…
- Outlaw’s Son (1957)
- Forever Female
- The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
- The Two Mrs. Carrolls
- Cry Wolf
- The Woman in Red (1935)
- The Gorgeous Hussy
- The Golden Fleecing
- Our Modern Maidens
- Dance, Fools, Dance
- The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
- The Valley of Gwangi
- The Hollywood Revue of 1929
- Min and Bill
- Their Own Desire
- The Bride Walks Out
- Man of Steel
- Boxing Day
- Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
- The Bling Ring
- The Mask of Dimitrios
- Lone Star (1952)
- Paradise For Three
- Miracles For Sale
- Untamed (1929)
- Running On Empty
- The Great Divide (1929)
- Pretty Baby (1950)
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller
I saw so many movies this month from the 1930s, it’s like it’s the spring of 2011 all over again. I foresee this not changing any time soon. I also somehow did not watch a film from the 90s or 00s, but that’s okay because I pretty much have those decades covered. As always, below are some films I felt the need to highlight above all the others I saw this month.
Before Midnight, 2013 (dir. Richard Linklater) / Much Ado About Nothing, 2013 (dir. Jos Whedon)
More than likely both of these films are going to be on my favorite fifteen films of the year list when 2013 is all said and done. They were both perfect pieces of intimate, lived-in cinema and I loved them with all of my heart. I hope they both fare well come awards season. I’m sure I will write more about these later on in the year.
When Harry Met Sally…, 1989 (dir. Rob Reiner)
Yes, I had never seen this movie before. I don’t know what to tell you because I have seen an obscene amount of rom-coms and Meg Ryan movies and Billy Crystal movies and yet somehow this movie just never got watched. And the longer I avoided it the more I avoided it, you know? I’m glad I finally saw it because it really is a wonderful gem of a film that has aged gracefully and, at least for me, rings a lot truer than many films made of similar stuff.
The Golden Fleecing, 1940 (dir. Leslie Fenton)
Goddamn I love Lew Ayres. He was so delightfully dumb in this flick. I loved everything about the shenaningans and situations he found himself in and I thought he had great chemistry with Rita Johnson. I’m not sure if this is the kind of classic than non-classic film fans will enjoy, but it’s definitely one that fans of the era will not regret watching.
Untamed, 1929 (dir. Jack Conway)
Young Joan Crawford is a thing of pure cinematic joy to behold. She’s got such verve and vitality and presence on the screen. Watching her in these early films makes her domineering, strong woman era in the late-40s and early-50s make even more sense. You can really see how her presence evolved over time as she aged (we won’t talk about the psycho-granny films of the 60s though). Throw in young Robert Montgomery and basically you’ve just got more energy and passion than you can shake a stick at.
Running On Empty, 1988 (dir. Sidney Lumet)
This is another film that I somehow never managed to catch. I didn’t really know much about it other than the fact that it starred River Phoenix and was directed by Lumet. That said, I was really confused at the beginning and then slowly as you find out the family’s secret, I was genuinely shocked, which rarely happens in this era of IMDb and Wikipedia plot summaries and spoiler-filled trailers. I’m really glad I went in cold. Phoenix gives a phenomenal performance, for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. That’s a load of shit, as he definitely is the lead in this film and should have been nominated for Best Actor. This was definitely a clear case of the “omg this actor is so young, we can’t stick him in the lead category even though he is the lead of the film!!!” Damn I hate that. Regardless, he is amazing in this film and seeing it nearly twenty years after his death (he died in October of 1993), it makes his loss all the more felt. Martha Plimpton also gives a wonderfully spirited performance, playing one of the most complicated and real depictions of a teenage girl I’ve ever seen in a film. This is just a genuinely sweet, heartfelt and at times utterly heart-wrenching film.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller, 1971 (dir. Robert Altman)
Sunday Morning Western is about to enter into its second year (though I have missed a few Sundays) and June’s final western was this anti-western from Robert Altman starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. I love that the film really looked and felt as grimy and undeveloped as the Old West probably actually was. I also liked that the Christie character was a savvy businesswoman and she took no-nonsense from the Beatty character. Also, any film that features a soundtrack of songs sung by Leonard Cohen is aces in my book.
So that was June. It was a great a month and I’m looking froward to exploring the Los Angeles area and all its cinematic offerings more and more throughout the next few months. I hope y’all have had a great six months of movies so far in 2013 and even more in the next six!
Posted on July 1, 2013, in 2013 in Films and tagged Before Midnight, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Much Ado About Nothing, Running On Empty, The Golden Fleecing, Untamed, When Harry Met Sally.... Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.