Ilonka Tolnay: Do you own this place?
Headwaiter: No, I don’t.
Ilonka Tolnay: Well, when I buy, I like to buy from the owner, not the help.
Headwaiter: But, please, the owner here does not take orders at the table.
Ilonka Tolnay: Probably because he’s ashamed of his prices.
Corporal Harry Marten: Please, this is Vienna. Everything’s a little higher.
Ilonka Tolnay: Asparagus is asparagus, even in Vienna.
September was a crazy month for me with work and starting up a new semester (My last! Soon I will have my M.F.A.!) and thus, not as much watching of films happened as I would have liked. In fact, I averaged just barely over one a day. I guess this is what happens when you start being a productive member of society. . .and go to school full time. . .at the same time. It’s also meant I haven’t had time to do Oscar Vault Monday. It looks like I probably won’t be able to start that feature up again until after my final presentation or perhaps even upon the new year. But when I do have time, it will be back and better than ever, I promise! Until then, as always, I have listed all the films I watched this past month below, as well as a few highlighted favorites.
- Sutter’s Gold (Cinecon 49)
- A Thrilling Romance (Cinecon 49)
- Oh, Mary, Be Careful (Cinecon 49)
- April Love (Cinecon 49)
- Wet and Warmer (Cinecon 49)
- Castles For Two (Cinecon 49)
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Cinecon 49)
- Spring Parade (Cinecon 49)
- China (Cinecon 49)
- Fifty Roads to Town (Cinecon 49)
- Hi, Good Lookin’ (Cinecon 49)
- It Started With A Kiss (1959)
- The Servant
- The Castle (1997)
- Gunfighters of Abilene
- Apur Sansar
- The Sport Parade
- Cold Feet (1989)
- Girlfriends (1978)
- Gun Street
- Undertaking Betty
- Ljuset håller mig sällskap (Light Keeps Me Company)
- California Dreaming (1979)
- Carson City Raiders
- The Butcher’s Wife
- Shotgun Stories
- The Paper (1994)
- The Last Days of Disco
- Eight Men Out
- Ride With The Devil
- So Young So Bad
A cheated again and have listed seven films, but when you see how I did it, you will understand. . .it’s not really cheating, I swear.
Spring Parade, 1940 (dir. Henry Koster)
I saw this at Cinecon (which is a strange little festival that is really hit or miss, but completely comprised of films you will probably never get another chance to see on the big screen) and fell head over heels for it. Deanna Durbin is so wonderfully wacky in this film. It’s also a sweet film, without being sappy, that’s also got a sly sense of humor. Basically, it’s a perfect film.
The Servant, 1963 (dir. Joseph Losey)
I saw the new print released by Rialto (which looked great) and I still am not really sure what I saw. Talk about film as a subversive medium. Wowza. Dirk Bogarde is great (as he always is) as the titular servant, who starts out the perfect valet, and winds up something completely different. I’m sure for the English who live with their distinct classes (are they still like this? I don’t know), it packs even more of an impact.
Aparajito, 1956 / Apur Sansar, 1959 (dir. Satyajit Ray)
At the end of August I went to the final Oscars Outdoors screening of the summer. It was Cinema Paradiso (one of my all-time favorites). Before the start of the film they gave everyone who wanted them tickets to the newly restored Apu trilogy at the Academy theatre. I saw Pather Panchali a few years back, but I had never seen the other two films. I don’t think I have the words to describe how moving seeing these three films together really was (it was split between two nights). Each film builds on the other, as we start before Apu is even born and watch him grow from a child, to a boy to a man. We see him discover the joy of learning, the pain of loss and the power of love. Films like these are why cinema exists.
Barcelona, 1994 / The Last Days of Disco, 1998 (dir. Whit Stillman)
Another trilogy I finished this month was Whit Stillman’s “Doomed-Bourgeois-in-Love” series. A few months back I saw Metropolitan and I finally got around to watch the next two films. All three of them are filled with the kind of upper class East coast prep-school Ivy league type people that I have never really dealt with, but figure I would probably not enjoy knowing. Yet, despite the world in which these films are set, Whitman adds a bit of a critical edge to their lives (usually in the form of an outsider), so he doesn’t mock the characters, but he doesn’t let them off easy, either. These films are definitely not for everyone, but I really dug them. Also mad props for having Chris Eigeman in all of them because I love him so.
Re-Animator, 1985 (dir. Stuart Gordon)
I almost wish I had waited until October to watch this for my horror-movie-a-day viewing plans, but man I loved every minute of this gem. It’s funny and it’s gross and it’s all around perfect. If you haven’t seen it, make it one of your horror movies for the month of October, okay? You will not regret it.
Like I said, I have big plans for a horror-movie-a-day (via Netflix and Warner Archive Instant) this coming month and in November, don’t forget about Noirvember. Awww yeahhh best month of the year. See you on the flip side, my friends.