So this month I watched far less than in previous months because. . .I watched four whole seasons of The X-Files! It has been years since I rewatched that show (I watched from the day it aired during its original run on TV!) and I feel real hard into a re-watch, which sort of distracted me from my new-to-me goals. That said, I am about forty films shy of 8,000 films watched! I’ll have to make sure #8000 is something really special.
Here’s a look at everything else I did this month! On my podcast Prog Save America I spoke with WilliamScurry about prog rock album art, Rich Bunnell about ELO, and Robert Daniels about Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline”. Over on the Classic Film Collective I contributed a monthly movie rec, wrote a poem about Marilyn Monroe, and joined Jill Blake on the Watch With Jen podcast to talk about Girlfriends. Over at Nerdist I celebrated the 20th (!!!) anniversary of Moulin Rouge! with a look back at the drama of an Ewan McGregor Yahoo! group of which I used to be an active member, for Pride Month I explored the queerness of Venom and looked at 23 of the earliest queer films from the silent and pre-code eras. For my Moviefone column I interviewed Tove director Zaida Bergroth, Skater Girl filmmakers Manjari & Vinati Makijany, Good On Paper director Kimmy Gatewood, I Carry You With Me director Heidi Ewing, and took a look at documentaries about Rita Moreno and Jane Fonda.
As always, after the cut you can find everything I watched in June + some of my favorites from the month.
May was a pretty busy month for me. It started with the tail end of the Atlanta Film Festival (one of those last films made my favorites list for the month) and ended with me writing my very first professional film (and TV!) reviews. So in case you missed it, here is everything I wrote in May: movie recs and a poem over at the Classic Film Collective, I profiled Marielle Heller for Netflix Queue, I interviewed Aubrey Plaza for RogerEbert.com, dropped several more episodes of Prog Save America, speaking of podcasts I talked small town cinema on Movies With Gravy, still talking Zodiac with Zodiac Minute, talked the sled scene with Citizen Kane minute, for Moviefone I wrote about women who made films while pregnant for Mother’s Day, curated a watchlist for The Fast Times, for Nerdist Vampire Week I wrote about vampire films directed by women, Jean Painlevé’s Le Vampire, and the horniest Dracula movie of them all, for The Playlist I reviewed Natalie Morales’ directorial debut Plan B and the new YA show Panic, and lastly for my Moviefone column I interviewed Gia Coppola, Haifaa al-Mansour, and Danielle Lessovitz, and wrote about a couple of rock docs.
Whew. And now to everything I watched in May! After the cut, as always, you’ll find the list, a breakdown by decade, and a handful of my favorite first time watches!
I almost made it to an average of a film a day in August. I got a little behind because the fourth season of Cable Girls dropped (it was WILD) and I started to watch a new Spanish show called 45 RPM (so far it’s great!), but I think my average for August was pretty damn good. I want to give a big shout out to KJ Relth at the UCLA Film and Television Archive for really making my summer something special with her amazing programming of female directors at the Billy Wilder Theatre. So grateful to see these thrilling films all summer, and especially to see a few of them introduced by their directors (Nina Menkes, Mary Lambert, Penelope Spheeris). As always, you can find everything I watched after the cut plus a few of my faves.
Eugene: That’s stupid. Punk rock. I don’t, you know. . .I just think of it as rock ‘n’ roll cuz that’s what it is. You know?
Penelope: What do you like about it?
Eugene: Well, I like that it’s like. . .something new and it’s just reviving old rock ‘n’ roll. And it’s like it’s raw again. It’s for real. And it’s fun, and you know. . .it’s like, it’s not bullshit. There’s no rock stars now, you know.
Stymie: Why don’t go make up with him, Alfalfa? You guys have been friends since you were one.
Alfalfa: He started it!
Stymie: And you should finish it. You’re a team, like Bert and Ernie. Superman and Clark Kent, Milli and Vanilli. At least go talk to him. What could it cost?
Spanky: You mean, besides my dignity and pride?
Stymie: All I know is, you only make a once-in-a-lifetime buddy, once in a lifetime.
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.