This month I watched quite a bit more films (I curbed my rewatch of The X-Files, but it’s still happening. Trust.) But before we get into the log, here’s a recap of all the writing I did this month. For The Classic Film Collective I recommended a great silent film and wrote a poem about Merle Oberon. On my podcast Prog Save America I had director Allan Arkush (Rock and Roll High School, Get Crazy) on to talk about being a teen Bob Dylan fan in the 60s and working at the Fillmore East, and I had Amanda from the podcast Discord & Rhyme talk about The Moody Blues. Speaking of podcasts, I joined Ryan from the Matineecast to talk about Zola. For Nerdist I wrote about crazy credits, the classic films that may have inspired Captain America: The First Avenger, and Arthurian adaptations you may have forgotten about. For Moviefone, I wrote about Zola & American Honey, films that inspired The Last Letter From Your Lover, and interviewed Shahad Ameen about her film Scales, Leigh Janiak about the Fear Street Trilogy, Augustine Frizzell about The Last Letter From Your Lover, and Sonia Kennebeck about Enemies of the State. For The Playlist I reviewed This Way Up season 2, The Last Letter From Your Lover, and The Pursuit of Love. For RogerEbert.com I wrote about how the doc about Anthony Bourdain is a disaster. Lastly, one of the pieces I am the most proud of yet, for Musings I wrote about how Ethan Hawke has infused autobiography into his body of work.
As always, after the cut you can find everything I watched in July as well as some of the highlights of my month in film.
Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.