A Year With Women: March 2015 in Films
March was an interesting month. I didn’t see very many films on the big screen directed by women, but I did see quite a few films on the big screen! That is, because of the TCM Classic Film Festival, I took a bit of a moratorium from A Year With Women. I go to TCMFF every year and I just couldn’t skip it. That said, this month’s favorites will include a least one film not written or directed by a woman. I also managed to watch quite a few films that I didn’t really care for (one that I loved so much it’s ridiculous!) As always, a full list of the films I watched in March can be found after the cut.
- Mansfield Park (1999)
- And While We Were Here
- Johnny Dangerously
- October Gale
- And Then There Was You
- La Pointe-Courte
- Mikey and Nicky
- Last Night
- Ung flukt
- Entre nos
- Me Myself I
- Amour Fou
- Pink and Blue
- Happy End?!
- Reign of Terror (TCMFF)
- Don’t Bet On Women (TCMFF)
- The Bank Dick (TCMFF)
- Why Be Good? (TCMFF)
- Malcolm X (TCMFF)
- The Loved One (TCMFF)
- Nothing Lasts Forever (TCMFF)
- Calamity Jane (TCMFF)
- Desk Set (TCMFF)
- Houdini (1953) (TCMFF)
- The Grim Game (TCMFF)
I have a lot to say about these five films, and you should watch my YouTube videos on them to really hear what I have to say.
Mansfield Park, 1999 (dir. Patricia Rozema)
You guys, I watched this movie on March first and then I watched it again three or four times before March 7th. I love this movie so much. I even read the book right after (it’s good, but I totally dig all of Rozema’s changes). I love, love, love this movie. I louuuuvre this movie. It’s the queer feminist Jane Austen movie I never knew I needed. It’s on Netflix. Just watch it already! P.S. Henry Crawford for life!
La Pointe-Courte, 1955 (dir. Agnès Varda)
I bought the Criterion Collection’s Five By Varda a few years back and never got around to watching the films on it I hadn’t already seen, so finally I watched one! This movie had so many cats in it! I’ve never seen so many cats in a movie! It’s a wonderfully impressionistic film that compares and contrasts a marriage on the rocks with a small fishing village town trying to stay alive. This edition had a bunch of great interviews with Varda on it. She’s such a badass.
Last Night, 2011 (dir. Massy Tadjedin)
Two things: I love Keira Knightley and I hate Sam Worthington (he’s got less screen presence than a mop!). This film is about a couple (Knightley and Worthington) who are apart for a night and contemplate cheating on the other; one physically, one emotionally. If Sam Worthington wasn’t in this film, it would be a masterpiece. The scenes between Knightley and Guillaume Canet are so emotionally electric, it’s astounding. The writer/director says she was inspired by Éric Rohmer, and it shows. This is a very talky film, but also very passionate. I cried. The ending destroyed me. I want more!
Why Be Good?, 1929 (dir.William A. Seiter)
This is one of those great late-era silent films that also has sound effects. The print screened at TCMFF was from MoMA and it was GORGEOUS. Colleen Moore plays a shopgirl who loves to do the Charleston and win dance contests, but although she appears to be a flapper, she’s really a “good” girl. She gets swept off her feet by a man who later turns out to be her boss. But when he wants to test whether she’s “good” enough to be his wife, she really lets him have it. There’s a lot of great feminism in this film. Actually, quite a bit of what Moore’s character says to her beau and her father and the same kind of bullshit we still have to say today.
Malcolm X, 1992 (dir. Spike Lee)
This was the film I was looking forward to the most at TCMFF. They screened a 35MM print and Spike Lee spoke briefly before the film. The scope of this film is breathtaking; it’s an epic like Ben-Hur or Gone With The Wind. Denzel Washington gives one of the screen’s most accomplished performances. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.
So that was March. I will be continuing A Year With Women in full force from her on out (with a possible moratorium for Noirvember, but I’m looking into a way to make it fit in the guidelines; more on that later). Here’s to April!