October 2021 in Films

I can’t believe October is already over! It was quite a month. Over on the Classic Film Collective patreon I recommended The Velvet Vampire and wrote a poem about Lon Chaney. Making my debut at Inverse I wrote about the queer subtext of Venom becoming text in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. For Nerdist I wrote about toxic masculinity in The Rage: Carrie 2, reviewed Ghostbusters: After Life, recommended some classic Japanese horror films, and the folk horror of The Wind (2019). For The Playlist I compiled a list of the best films and TV episodes about abortion access and women’s bodily autonomy, reviewed Julie Delpy’s new series On The Verge and the new YA series I Know What You Did Last Summer. I reviewed The Souvenir Part II, I profiled Leslie Jones for Emmy Mag, and spoke to Caroline Madden about her book Springsteen As Soundtrack on the latest episode of Prog Save America. For Nerdist I compiled a list of 20 new horror movies directed by women, interviewed cinematographer Marie Rusche, Marisa Silver about the new restoration of her mother’s film Hester Street, and Wendell B. Harris, Jr. about the restoration of his masterpiece Chameleon Street. Lastly, for my column I spoke to director Julia Ducournau about Titane, Maritte Lee Go about her Blumhouse film Black As Night, Claudia Llosa and Samanta Schweblin about their film Fever Dream, Liz Garbus about her latest doc Becoming Cousteau, and Joanna Hogg about The Souvenir Part II. I also launched an Instagram account dedicated to bookstores in cinema!

Now that you’re all caught up on that, as always you can find everything I watched in October plus a handful of favorites after the cut!

  1. Mayday
  2. Witch Hunt
  3. Bingo Hell
  4. Black As Night
  5. The Many Saints of Newark
  6. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
  7. Stranded
  8. The Goose and the Gander
  9. King of the Underworld
  10. Jokeren
  11. Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón (Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom)
  12. Laberinto de pasiones (Labyrinth of Passion)
  13. Le bolle di sapone
  14. Cenerentola
  15. Bigorno fume l’opium
  16. La mosca e il ragno
  17. Il Giglio Nero
  18. The Man from Kangaroo
  19. Entre tinieblas (Dark Habits)
  20. An Old Fashioned Boy
  21. Guilty Hands
  22. British Agent
  23. I Found Stella Parish
  24. Give Me Your Heart
  25. Fool’s Paradise (1921)
  26. The White Angel
  27. Confession
  28. Allotment Wives
  29. Kika
  30. Carne trémula (Live Flesh)
  31. Geomsa-wa yeoseonsaeng (A Public Prosecutor and a Teacher)
  32. Moon Over Miami
  33. The Haunting of Rosalind
  34. Le ménage Dranem
  35. Phil-for-Short
  36. Knackningar (Knocking)
  37. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  38. Moral
  39. ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? (What Have I Done to Deserve This?!)
  40. Love of Chrysanthemum
  41. Ito, the Beggar Boy
  42. Hako’s Sacrifice
  43. Maciste all’inferno (Maciste in Hell)
  44. Tacones lejanos (High Heels)
  45. La Concejala Antropófaga (The Cannibalistic Councillor)
  46. Down Argentine Way
  47. Gold Dust Gertie
  48. Central Park (1932)
  49. The Case of the Black Cat
  50. Chatterbox (1936)
  51. The Hidden Hand
  52. Track of the Cat
  53. Mystery Date
  54. The Hypnotic Eye
  55. Strange Affair (1944)
  56. Flames
  57. Hooligan Sparrow
  58. Japanese Schoolchildren (1901)
  59. Japanese Funeral (1904)
  60. Japanese State Procession (1904)
  61. Japanese Dancers and Japanese Stave Duel (1905)
  62. Picturesque Japan (1907)
  63. Les Rapides de la rivière Ozu (Shooting the rapids on the River Ozu) (1907)
  64. Grand Fête du cinquantenaire de Yokohama (Japanese Festival) (1909)
  65. Récolte du riz en Japon (Rice industry in Japan) (1910)
  66. Rice Festival in Kyoto (1910)
  67. Fishing with Cormorants. Isle of Yeso, Japan (1911)
  68. Quelques types Japonais (Japanese Types) (1911)
  69. Apres midi d’une Japonaise (Among the Japanese) (1911)
  70. London: Late Emperor of Japan (1912)
  71. A travers les temples de Kyoto (Some Japanese Temples) (1912)
  72. The Ainus of Japan (1913)
  73. Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream)
  74. Chameleon Street
  75. Comanche Station
  76. Decision at Sundown
  77. Trick Or Treat (1986)
  78. Office Killer
  79. Bones
  80. Buchanan Rides Alone
  81. Waterfront
  82. The Personality Kid
  83. Journal of a Crime
  84. Secret of the Chateau
  85. Secret of the Blue Room (1933)
  86. Murder in the Blue Room
  87. The 9th Guest
  88. The Thirteenth Guest
  89. Maniac (1934)
  90. A Passport to Hell
  91. Man of the World
  92. Lonely Wives
  93. The Man Who Would Be King
  94. Deep Cover
  95. La bestia debe morir
  96. The Thing Called Love
  97. Wedding Rehearsal
  98. In the Best Interests of the Children
  99. The Dead
  100. A Walk with Love and Death
  101. An Algorithm
  102. William Eggleston in the Real World
  103. Possession (1981)

1890s: 0
1900s: 10
1910s: 17
1920s: 06
1930s: 25
1940s: 07
1950s: 04
1960s: 03
1970s: 03
1980s: 08
1990s: 07
2000s: 03
2010s: 02
2020s: 08

I spent most of October in bed recovering from a (non-covid) medical issue, so you can see I watched A LOT of random 1930s films. That said, most of the films that really hit me in October were either silents or from the 1980s. October as always was a great month for silent film because of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival (which did a hybrid online/in-person festival this year), but also thanks to the BFI which had an amazing selection of early 1900s films shot in Japan streaming on their YouTube channel.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage, 2021 (dir. Andy Serkis)

Obviously I looooved this sequel. You can read all about what worked for me in my full review here. I’ll just say I hope the third keeps this same bonkers energy. We deserve.

¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto! (What Have I Done to Deserve This?), 1984 (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

In preparation for his latest film I watched my way through the remaining Almodóvar films I had yet to see and this was by far my fave of that crop. High melodrama meets Pedro’s signature dark humor and sexual antics. You can really feel his vision as a director coming into focus with this film.

Maciste all’inferno (Maciste in Hell), 1925 (dir. Guido Brignone)

My favorite of the Pordenone online selections this year. It is exactly as the title suggests. Truly a wild piece of silent era cinema.

Les rapides de la rivière Ozu (The River Ozu), 1906  (dir. André Legrand)

I cannot believe this film is 115 years old. This restoration is glorious and the sights captured are astonishing. Early cinema rarely disappoints.

Chameleon Street, 1989 (dir. Wendell B. Harris Jr.)

Please do read my interview with the writer/director here, but also seek this restoration out if its playing near you or once it hits streaming/home video in a few months. Ahead of its time when it was release 30+ years ago, it’s still feels as transgressive as ever. Truly a singular work.

Office Killer, 1997 (dir. Cindy Sherman)

So glad I finally made time for this mordant horror film from master Cindy Sherman. It’s a shame she seems to be a one and done filmmaker because, like her photographs, she is clearly a master of tone and framing, but she’s also a fantastic director of actors.

Deep Cover, 1992 (dir. Bill Duke)

This is a great neo-noir with one of Laurence Fishburne’s best performances. Layers upon layers, with just the right amount of slick style. Unbeatable.

Possession, 1981 (dir. Andrzej Żuławski)

I suggest knowing as little as possible about this film before going in. Also see it with an audience if you can!

So that was October, and now here we are in throes of another Noirvember! If you don’t know where to start, try my suggestions from my appearance on this morning’s Pop Culture Happy Hour from NPR!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on November 1, 2021, in 2021 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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