April 2018 in Film

I didn’t see as many films in April as I normally would have, mostly because I work A. LOT. of late nights. That said, most of what I watched in April was directed by women and it was so refreshing. It felt like A Year With Women again. There’s just so many great films by women left for me to discover! The end of April included the TCM Classic Film Festival, but attending the festival as an employee is very different from when I attended as press (read: I actually have to work and don’t get to see very many films), but I did attend TCMFF again this year (my 8th festival; 3rd being on staff) and it is always the best week of my year. I only saw four films (all ones I’d seen before) + one short (new-to-me by Bill Morrison!), but I was lucky enough to see several fascinating panels and I got to meet Gillian Armstrong (!!!), James Ivory, and John Toll so it was a blast. As always, everything I watched plus some favorites can be found after the cut.

  1. Den skaldede frisør (Love Is All You Need)
  2. Få meg på, for faen (Turn Me On, Dammit!)
  3. The Last Days of Chez Nous
  4. The Phantom of Paris
  5. Butterflies Are Free
  6. El verano de los peces voladores (The Summer of Flying Fish)
  7. Clockwatchers
  8. Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum
  9. Guinevere
  10. Cameraperson
  11. Córki dancingu (The Lure)
  12. Aria Diva
  13. Viva Maria!
  14. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond
  15. Smooth Talk
  16. Party Girl (1995)
  17. You Were Never Really Here
  18. Little Pink House
  19. The Train
  20. The Ballad of Jack and Rose
  21. Angela
  22. Greed
  23. The Letter (2018)

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 1
1930s: 1
1940s: 0
1950s: 0
1960s: 1
1970s: 1
1980s: 1
1990s: 5
2000s: 3
2010s: 10

My favorite films for the last few weeks have almost exclusively been films by women. I’m just finding so many stories that resonate deeper with me by continuing to explore films by and about women. I actually already hit the 52 Films By Women goal. You can see all the films I’ve watched so far here. My new goal this year is to try to keep my new-to-me ration 50/50 directed by men and women. We’ll see! While I saw so many films I really loved this month, these five are the ones I loved the most.

Den skaldede frisør (Love Is All You Need), 2012 (Susanne Bier)

I am just a sucker for a good rom com and this mostly-Danish with a smidge of English rom-dramedy from Susanne Bier was a GREAT one. Pierce Brosnan is as charming as ever and Trine Dyrholm brings a buoyancy to the many crises her character finds herself in. We need more rom coms about people find their person later in life!

Cameraperson, 2016 (dir. Kirsten Johnson)

I wish I had been able to see this one in theaters. What a stunning portrait of the world and wonderful contemplation of the subjective nature of documentary. Just beautiful.

Smooth Talk, 1985 (dir. Joyce Chopra)

Honestly did not know what I was gonna get going into this and what I got was a stirring critique of the patriarchy and the way in which women and girls can find themselves trapped in its clutches. The first half perfectly captures the listlessness of adolescence during the summer and the latter half plays like a terrifying chamber piece with Laura Dern and Treat Williams giving near-career best performances. This one will haunt you.

You Were Never Really Here, 2018 (dir. Lynne Ramsay)

Lynne Ramsay is such an amazing filmmaker. I have never been disappointed by one of her films. Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of her films on the big screen! I’m so glad that I did because the sound design was TO DIE FOR. Just amazing. Ramsay builds a world so complete, and a protagonist so complex they will stay with you for a long time after the film’s exquisite final moment.

Angela, 1995 (dir. Rebecca Miller)

This was a tough watch, but wow I can’t even compare it to anything. It follows two young girls whose mother is suffering from a bipolar breakdown. The girls, Angela and Ellie, have just learned about Christianity and attempt to purify themselves in order to make their mother better. The film weaves magical realism in with moments of the girls playtime in such a way that you are never really sure what is imagined by them and what is reality. A harrowing film that explores the way in which children absorb the pain of their parents, no matter how hard they try to shield them from it.

So that was April! I hope to get my numbers back up in May. I saw so many trailers for films that I want to see at the Midtown Art Cinema, so I think I’ll be spending a lot of my month there. See you in June!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on May 1, 2018, in 2018 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve been meaning to watch Smooth Talk, the short story it’s based on messed me up for days. Glad you watched Clockwatchers, it’s been a fave since I was little. I still have the VHS, too sentimental to get rid of it even if it’s useless, lol.

  2. So glad you liked You Were Never Really Here. That will definitely be in my top 10 of the year. And yeah, how great was it to be able to see a Ramsay film in the theater? That sound…

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