May 2018 in Films

So May was very different from April in that I didn’t watch nearly as many films directed by women as I had intended. Mostly this was because there were a bunch of films expiring from FilmStruck that I had to watch. Like, so many films. You’ll see. As always, the whole list of everything I watched in May plus my favorites can be found after the cut.

  1. Disobedience
  2. Deidra & Laney Rob a Train
  3. Mal de pierres (From the Land of the Moon)
  4. Speed Racer
  5. Marvel mon amour
  6. Petticoat Fever
  7. Fast Workers
  8. Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers)
  9. Petulia
  10. Lo scopone scientifico (The Scopone Game)
  11. Série noire
  12. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
  13. Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
  14. Beastly
  15. Beautiful Creatures (2013)
  16. …One Third of a Nation…
  17. The Wagons Roll at Night
  18. Beast (2018)
  19. Prêt-à-Porter
  20. Unzipped
  21. Kinky Boots
  22. L’amour fou (2010)
  23. The Clay Pigeon
  24. The Password Is Courage
  25. The Film of Her
  26. City Walk
  27. Ghost Trip
  28. Decasia
  29. The Mesmerist
  30. Light is Calling
  31. Outerborough
  32. Porch
  33. The Highwater Trilogy
  34. Who By Water
  35. Spark of Being
  36. Release
  37. The Miners’ Hymns
  38. Just Ancient Loops
  39. The Great Flood
  40. Re: Awakenings
  41. Beyond Zero: 1914-1918
  42. Visages villages (Faces Places)

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 0
1930s: 3
1940s: 3
1950s: 0
1960s: 3
1970s: 2
1980s: 0
1990s: 4
2000s: 10
2010s: 17

All I have to say about this mixture of favorites for the month is that I contain multitudes.

Mal de pierres (From the Land of the Moon), 2017 (dir. Nicole Garcia)

This bonkers French romance received terrible reviews, but I loved every damn minute of it. Marion Cotillard, as always, is luminous and fierce. Louis Garrel was good, but for me it was Alex Brendemühl’s complex, understated performance that made this movie sing.

Speed Racer, 2008 (dir. Lana & Lilly Wachowski)

I can’t believe I’d never seen this before! I like a good candy coated anti-capitalist fairytale.

Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers), 1961 (dir. Luchino Visconti)

Holy wow Alain Delon’s face. That is all.

Série noire, 1979 (dir. Alain Corneau)

Sometimes you watch a movie at just the right time and boy did I need this movie the day I watched it. This is an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s A Hell of a Woman, with a strong, intense, and slightly deranged lead performance by Patrick Dewaere. Dewaere’s life ended a few years after this film was released (at his own hand), but now having seen this I think he may well have been the best French actor of his generation. I also think this is the best Jim Thompson adaptation I’ve seen to date.

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, 2018 (dir. Sara Driver)

More a portrait of New York City’s underground art scene at the time than a straight forward bio-doc about Basquiat. I loved every minute of it. It really captured that intensity that comes with creation and the hope that comes with youth.

Beast, 2018 (dir. Michael Pearce)

A gothic romance noir a la Rebecca or Suspicion, but with a modern twist. I already loved Johnny Flynn (go watch Song One!), but now I can’t wait to see more from lead actress Jessie Buckley. She was ferocious in this film.

Spark of Being, 2010 (dir. Bill Morrison)

Bill Morrison makes new films from orphan films, decaying films, and fragments. Using this technique, this film retells the story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s astonishing.

Visages villages (Faces Places), 2017 (dir. JR & Agnès Varda)

This was a ray of sunshine. I’m still mad it didn’t play in a theater here in Atlanta. Had I seen it last year it definitely would have been on my end of the year favorites list. Seeing the friendship and artistic partnership blossom between JR and Varda was delightful, as was seeing several callbacks to films deep in Varda’s oeuvre. How dare you make Agnès cry JLG!

So that was May. In June I plan to mostly watch Pride Month related films, though I’m sure a few non-queer films will sneak their way into my viewing. Happy June!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on May 31, 2018, in 2018 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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