I’ve actually managed to watch a few movies over the last 3 months. Including ones that people might actually have heard of and/or seen. And as this list is getting quite long, I figured another blog post was in order.
7th October – Passion. Another Godard movie, this time from 1982. It’s not as entertaining as his earlier (or in fact later) work, and I think I need to watch it again before I can say much more than “It’s a movie about making movies”. I also think I should not try and watch things in a foreign language after a particularly tiring day at work.
11th November – Star Wars : A New Hope. Largely because it was on, and because I have not seen it for years. I’ll also be recording and watching the other two parts of the trilogy over the next few weeks.
17th November – Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back. See above. This is probably my favourite of the three, and is definitely the darkest. I think it takes me back to being a small child, and wanting so much to be Luke Skywalker. I think the only person I wanted to be more was Doctor Who (see below).
23rd November – An Adventure in Space and Time. This is a made for TV film about the early days of Doctor Who, and concentrates on William Hartnell and Verity Lambert. It’s a story I wasn’t too familiar with, but it was entertaining enough, and acted as a nice precursor for The Day of the Doctor, which I loved.
24th November – Star Wars – Return of the Jedi. Not much I can say about this one, other that that is is still probably my least favourite of the trilogy, despite being one of the first films I saw in the cinema as a child.
25th December – The Elephant Man. Another Christmas, another David Lynch box set, including the only thing of his I’ve not already seen. This was made in 1980, although feels much older, and does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of Victorian England. It’s a fairly faithful retelling of a story I already know, and is actually more linear than I expected it to be. All in all, it’s enjoyable enough, and does a good job of exploring themes surrounding how society treats people it perceives as “different”. It is also deeply moving on several levels, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is prepared to give it some time.
27th December – Inland Empire. I have no idea how to describe this in one paragraph. It’s a very complex movie that explores the blurred line between a performer and the role they play, and which also does a very good job of exploring the emotional complications that people who act or otherwise perform can find themselves in with the people they work with. But that is just scratching the surface, and there is also a lot in there about the conflict between narrative and chronology, (and specifically how narratives are formed when seemingly unrelated scenes are juxtaposed) as well as a whole load of other themes that I don’t really have the words for right now. It’s another of David Lynch’s “movies about making a movie”, which takes some of the themes of Mulholland Drive and twists them even further, but it also taps into the surrealism of Lost Highway, and probably shouldn’t be attempted until both of the aforementioned movies have been watched, and to a certain extent understood. I accept that this may mean many people never watch Inland Empire, but if you do, or you ever have, then I’d love to have a conversation about it one day.
28th December (a.m.) – Weekend. This is a strange one. It starts off as a fairly simple tale of infidelity and greed, but soon tangents into a very strange road movie, that could only be made by Jean Luc Godard, and only in the late 60’s. If you like his other movies from this era then you’ll probably like this, although I certainly wouldn’t start with this one. There are also some fairly disturbing scenes that might not be to everyone’s taste, although these are redeemed by the opening dialogues and the closing monologue which combine words and music to outstanding effect, and which make this a worthwhile viewing experience. I feel I should see it again if I am going to understand all of it, but at the time of writing I don’t want to see it again because it made me feel slightly uncomfortable.
28th December (p.m) – Shame. This one is a recommendation from a while ago (September, perhaps), and was another quite uncomfortable movie to watch, but one that I did really enjoy. It explores the idea of physical intimacy and emotional intimacy being two very distinct things, and ties in nicely with conversations I had around the time this was recommended to me, and also more recently. It’s on Netflix as of now, and is well worth a watch.
I think this project is going to continue throughout next year. I’ve enjoyed cataloguing what I’ve watched, and I think it helps me watch things properly if I know I’m going to write about them afterwards.