April 2019 in Films

Apologies for the tardiness of this post. I moved into a new apartment (yay!) right before the beginning of the month, but didn’t have internet for a week (boo!). At long last I have the internet again! You will notice perhaps a wider variety than usual for April. This was due to a few factors: I had cable so I watched a bunch of films I had pointedly skipped in theaters, the TCM Classic Film Festival was a few weeks ago, and I am back in LA so I have access to so many movies! April was a very exhausting month between moving and starting a new job, but I saw quite a few gems and I’m excited to keep seeing great stuff back here in LA.

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  2. Daredevil
  3. Dumbo (2019)
  4. The Rains of Ranchipur
  5. 11 Harrowhouse
  6. The Razor’s Edge (1984)
  7. Salut les Cubains
  8. High Life
  9. Hell and High Water
  10. Unicorn Store
  11. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  12. The Lords of Flatbush
  13. The Wind (2019)
  14. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  15. Pet Sematary (2019)
  16. The Driver
  17. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
  18. Vanity Street
  19. Double Wedding
  20. Blood Money (1933)
  21. The Student Nurses
  22. Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
  23. Someone Great
  24. Wild Nights With Emily
  25. Little Woods
  26. Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 0
1930s: 3
1940s: 0
1950s: 3
1960s: 0
1970s: 5
1980s: 1
1990s: 0
2000s: 1
2010s: 13

High Life, 2019 (dir. Claire Denis)

This movie has a lot to say and I don’t know that I understood it all, but I was drawn in by its persistent vision, its visuals, and particularly by the performances of Robert Pattinson and André Benjamin.

Double Wedding, 1937 (dir. Richard Thorpe)

This was the film of TCMFF for me this year. I loved it so, so much. I was so happy when it was over I felt like I was floating for hours.

The Student Nurses, 1970 (dir. Stephanie Rothman)

Ostensibly greenlit to be an exploitation film about the titillating topic of nurses, this film has far more depth of character than you would ever expect. It tackles timely issues and is one of those films that, while fiction, almost feels like a documentary of its time.

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, 2019 (dir. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter)

A concert film, it tells the story of Beyoncé’s post-pregnancy journey to becoming the first Black woman to headline Coachella (basically the biggest music festival in the USA). It’s very honest about the amount of time and energy it takes to put on a show of that calibre, but for me the parts that were the most impressive were its look at her postpartum depression. I will never get over her actually saying how much she weighed right before giving birth to her twins (not just how much weight she gained). A powerful film.

Wild Nights With Emily, 2019 (dir. Madeleine Olnek)

This is the zany lesbian biopic we’ve all been waiting for. It knows (and loves) its subject so much. A delight from start to finish.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, 2019 (dir. Pamela B. Green)

I donated to the Kickstarter for this film many years ago and it was so wonderful to finally see the finished product. The film is not just about pioneering filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché, but also the journey Green went on to find Alice’s films and as much information about her as possible.

Also I want to encourage everyone in LA to visit the New Bev this month in May. Almost everything they have programmed is directed by women (along with several matinees during the week featuring films with female screenwriters). You can listen to their Pure Cinema Podcast here, where I walk through the month’s programming with the hosts. So far my month has started with a bang and there are just so many films I’m looking forward to in theaters (new and rep) and in the wild world of streaming to watch for the rest of year. I hope you find some gems in the coming weeks too!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on May 5, 2019, in 2019 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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