Film(s) of the Month
Both of these viewings were thanks to recommendations from my good friend and podcast co-host Mike Ewins. Solaris takes impenetrable metaphysical sci-fi concepts and boils them right down to an intensely emotional account of the relationship between a man and a woman. I’d always avoided it because I’d heard Tarkovsky was rigorous and not a little dull, but Solaris is as moving a film as I’ve seen for ages. Eric Rohmer may be my favourite discovery of 2013 so far, and Love in the Afternoon, a beautifully observed drama about a man trying to decide whether to give in to temptation and cheat on his wife (despite loving her) is engaging, amusing and credible throughout thanks to his understated direction and the cast’s brilliant performances.
Worst of the Month
Of course I also have Mike to ‘thank’ for this. I haven’t got on with Jean-Luc Godard and was told this would turn me round. I LOATHED it, hated it from start to finish in a way I haven’t hated a film for a very long time. Again I find Godard’s showy, annoying, look at me pretensions as a director get in the way of storytelling and emotional engagement. God, I just hated it.
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey - Mud
Best Actress: Natalya Bondarchuk - Solaris / Ann-Sofie Kylin - A Swedish Love Story
Best Supporting Actress: Jena Malone - Bastard Out of Carolina
Best Director: Andrei Tarkovsky - Solaris
Best Original Screenplay: Eric Rohmer - Love in the Afternoon
Best Adapted Screenplay: Fridrikh Gorenshtein / Andrei Tarkovsky - Solaris
Biggest Surprise - Solaris
Biggest Disappointment - Une Femme est Une Femme
Most Fucked-Up Movie - The Holy Mountain
“I’m Pretty Damn Sure No One Else Has Seen This”: Vinterkyss / Don’t Deliver Us From Evil / Black Legion
Person/Character I Never Want to Meet: Members of the ‘Black Legion’ [KKK analogue in 1937 anti-racist film Black Legion]
Ultimate WTF? Moment: The first 40 minutes of The Holy Mountain
Best Scene: Kris and Hari at the mirror - Solaris
Movie I Finally Got to Friggin’ See: Street Fight
Coolest Title: Don’t Deliver Us From Evil (watched it purely on the strength of its title).
Hottest Lady: Deborah Francois - Populaire