Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wrapping It Up: March

March Turned out to be another good month for movie watching. All I was aiming for was to keep pace of 1 movie/day. I just missed that mark because of couple of Interviews in last week but I am still satisfied with the count. I am making the most of my relatively free time right now, who knows I may not get this much free time again for a long time. In few days, I will have some idea of how April will shape up but I have a hunch that my vacation time is about to be over. It makes me happy since it will mean I will be moving forward in my career but a little sad as well, because it means less time for movies and such. But more on that later, once I know something for certain. So, this is what I saw in the Month of March.


My Week with Marilyn(2011): That was a good start to the month - Marilyn Monroe. Watch it for Fantastic performance by Michelle Williams. You can see my detail review here. 

Dazed and Confused(1993): Most of the Linklater movies or at least the ones I have seen work because of the flow of it and not because they have definite structure to it. Before Sunrise(1995) and Before Sunset(2004) worked wonderfully within their limits but still don't get the point of this movie. 

Young Adult(2011): Charlize Theron was great, Patton Oswald was awesome and everything else was cold. I will even say I liked Diablo Cody's script except for the fact that I did not believe the character of Mavis Gray. 

Audition(1999): Probably my first Japanese movie besides Kurosawa and Ghibli and what a terrifying movie it was - especially the last 45 minutes sent the chills down my spline. Words "Kiri Kiri Kiri" will have a very different meaning now.   

Serenity(2005): I recently saw the sole season of Firefly on Netflix and even though I had my problems with the show, I did not think that any of them warranted such an untimely demise of a good show. Even this movie was very true to the spirit of the show, ending was a little over the top but it led us towards it from the start. Overall, I am happy that they at least got a chance to wrap it up tidily.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953):I really don't know what to say about this movie. I saw it for Marilyn Monroe and for Diamonds are a girl's best friend and I got them both. Apart from that, even though there is nothing terribly wrong with it, I thought it to be perfectly forgettable movie.

Brick(2005): A strange, little movie which I am sure will find a lot more intriguing on the second watch because I am almost sure I must have missed few nuances on first. For first hour or so, I wasn't even sure if they are talking English or some strange language very much like it. But it turned out much more interesting by the end.

Deool(The Temple)(2011)(Marathi): Regional Indian movie in my mother tongue which recently won National Prize for Best Film, Best Dialogues and Best Actor. It is a very nice, little movie which shows strong attachments to values of rural India and how politics makes everything worse. With this national prize, I can only hope that it will get a little wider audience.

Le Cercle Rogue(1970): French New Wave and starting point of my Melville mini marathon. You can read about it here.

High and Low(1963): I am trying to think of a Kurosawa movie not set in the samurai background and I can only think of Rhapsody in August(1991). However, this movie about kidnapping set in modern Japan this is as good as any other Kurosawa movie. Just goes to suggest the versatility of this brilliant director.

Le Doulos(1962): Melville mini marathon continues. I thought this to be the weakest of all Melville's I saw during this time though.

Bob Le Flambeur(1956): Many think of this as a starting point of French New Wave, a movie that Inspired many recognizable forces such as Godard and Traffaut.

Army of Shadows(1969): Last of the four I saw for my Mini Melville Marathon and by far the best of the lot. You can read about it on a little more detail here. 

A Separation(2011): There are very few movies which have made such a profound effect on me like this one. Fortunately, I saw it late in the evening otherwise I would have wasted the whole day doing nothing but thinking about it. My review here.

The 400 Blows(1959): Even though I did not get any of supposed references to Truffaut's favorite directors, It is still a very honest, heartbreaking story of boy, misunderstood by his parents, tormented by his teachers and with only a Friend to rely on.

Castle in the Sky(1986): This is how it all started people. First movie by Hayao Miyazaki under the Ghibli banner and it just as Ghibli as it gets, if that makes any sense to you.

The Man who Knew Too Much(1934): It interests me a great deal that Hitchcock remade his own movie. Mind you, this is the older version of the two; newer version made in 1956 starred James Stewart and Doris Day(Remember 'Que Sara Sara'?). Hitchcock is believed to have said that he preferred older over new because it was so untidy. Untidy !! That's the word.

Rope(1948): You know, the main advantage of shorter films is you can watch a couple of movies and still have time to do lot of other stuff. The Man who Knew Too Much at 80 minutes and Rope at 74 minutes together took time equivalent to one Indian movie and when it is something as brilliant as this, you are in for something special.

Restrepo(2010):Filmmakers Sebastian Jungen and Tim Hetherington's document of their visit to the Korengal Valley when it was one of the strongest footholds of Al-queda during Afghanistan war. It was one of the areas which saw the fiercest fighting.

My Neighbor Totoro(1988): I am slowly but surely making my way through all the movies Miyazaki made himself for Ghibli. Next in line are Kiki's Delivery Service(1989), Pom Poko(1994) and Porco Rosso(1992). Even though I thought this was a little childish, Ghibli charm carries this one through Safely.

Repulsion(1965): I haven't seen whole lot of movies Polanski did but even then I never imagined him doing something like this. To tell you the truth, it is not really scary to watch but a prospect of a perfectly sane person leaving amongst normal people disintegrating into utter madness is far more haunting and Repulsion portrays it very effectively.

Grizzly Man(2005): My first encounter with Herzog in any format. I usually have a problem of not being able to appreciate something where I can not connect with a central character. However, I must appreciate Herzog's objectivity here in keeping matters straight.

The Chaser(2008): Another slasher Korean movie with a psychotic killer, lot of violence, blood and gore but like those other Korean movies, it does not feel like JUST that. It does have a story and enough twists and turns to keep your attention. However, better stay away if you are queasy.

The Great Escape(1963): I know that it is a true story and they show all the details of escape exactly as they were but I would have loved to see a little different ending, a little happier perhaps. Alas! It wasn't to be.

The Trip(2010): It probably needed a little more conviction in whatever it was trying to say, if at all it was trying to say something. But even then, it was a perfectly enjoyable movie with all their imitations and impressions.

The Towering Inferno(1974): Supposed mother of all disaster movies wasn't bad at all actually. Star studded cast of Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Fred Astaire definitely helped it a lot. One more movie down from Faye Dunaway's awesome decade of 1967-1976.

That Obscure Object of Desire(1977): My First venture into Bunuelian world. I loved it more as a character graph especially the idea of using two actresses to play the same part. I was confused a little at start with two actresses but it worked really well when I understood that he is doing is purposely. 

All About Eve(1950): I love it when movies take me by surprise. I had heard a lot about Eve and I found almost all to be worthy of all the praises, especially the female performances. I find it rather peculiar, that for a movie with such a strong female cast, only acting Oscar came through a male role.

Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie(1972): This was a frustratingly confusing film to watch. For quite some time, I really did not have any idea what was going on. After a few attempts, I even gave up on wondering if it was reality or just another dream they were in. I am definitely going to watch it again soon and try to make some sense out of all that mess Bunuel created in my mind.

Total Count:29. 29 First Time Watches and 0 Re-watches.

2012 YTD Count

Total Count:85. 83 First Time Watches and 2 Re-watches.

And I have done it again. Look at my Re-watch count - 0. There is soo much I haven't seen yet that every time I sit down and decide to watch something, I always feel my time is better invested in watching something new. I haven't even done my usual Lord of the Rings Marathon in almost 6 months, that has to be a record for me. But besides that I am again happy with the mix of the movies I have seen here - 15 Classics, 14 Contemporary and 13 Foreign, 15 English and 1 Indian. Pretty Good !! So, what did you see this March ?


  1. "Just as Ghibli as it gets" - I love that, haha
    I'm not entirely sure what The Trip was trying to say either. I just sat back and enjoyed the impressions and the banter "Gentlemen to bed, for we leave at 9.30!"
    I'm the complete opposite when it comes to rewatches - sometimes when I find time to sit down, I can't be bothered with something new and put on an old favourite instead. It's a bad habit, haha. I should try a month with no rewatches soon.....
    Great month for you!

    1. I just wanted to say I liked it a lot that's it. :)

      I liked their impressions and stuff and the conversation you refer to was hilarious. "When is the War? 12-ish??"

      About the re-watches, I was too when I was back in India. But then I made watch-lists and Netflix Queues. So, not any more. :(

  2. That's just what I think when I sit down and decide what to watch, so mostly I re-watch 1-2 movies a month, or less. But the one's I do re-watch are mostly the best, and the more I watch them the better they get.
    Of your films I've seen:
    A Separation - Brilliant.
    Castle in the Sky - Brilliant too.
    And the newer version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, which I loved.

    1. My re-watches are usually of my favorite movies too or movies that I do not understand on 1st watch, like I will watch Discreet charm of Bourgeoisie soon.

      To tell you the truth, I did not know there were two versions of The Man Who Knew until I saw it. I reckon newer version will be better than this but all I know about it is Doris Day and Que Sara Sara. I might check that some day as well.

  3. I'm glad you liked Repulsion it's one of my favorites and I think my favorite movie made by Polanski.

    1. I just checked how many Polanski movies I have seen - 4. Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist and this. This makes it infinitely harder to choose just 1 out of them as they are all really great. But Repulsion just was as good as any of them.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sati.

    2. You should also check The Tenant, it's really great.

    3. I will definitely especially after liking Repulsion. Thanks.

  4. wow, you have had a really busy one huh!! I have kind of lost the way slightly this Month, now the weather is too nice to be stuck inside

    1. Well, that is an argument hard to counter. Here, it looks like we might give Spring a Pass and go into Summer mode directly but hey, at least it won't be cold, right??

      Thanks for stopping by Scott !!

  5. Don't think I've commented on your blog before. Good post, you saw a few more than I did in March.

    Dazed and Confused was underwhelming for me too(I had to get over how different it is to Before Surise/sunset). I liked it better 2nd watch mainly for dialogue+soundtrack. If aliens from outer space wanted to see what the aimless teenage experience was about, this would be a good choice to watch ( : Perhaps its also a nostalgic thing for teens of the 1970s.
    Tarantino rates it among his favorites of the 90s, and had an interesting opinion, each viewing for him was like hanging out with and re-connecting with old friends.

    A Kurosawa movie not set in the samurai background I would highly recommend is Ikiru (1952).

    I’m going to be giving Discreet charm of Bourgeoisie a watch soon, so look out for my thoughts!

    1. Ohh..I LOVE your alien comment. That is Brilliant !! I just can't stop laughing.

      And IKIRU of course, How did I forget that? I have seen it. First half kinda frustrated me, but second half is a masterpiece, especially scene of his memorial with all his colleagues and bosses. Takashi Shimura is great as well in it.

      I would love to hear your thoughts on Discreet Charm. I think you will like more if you are used to Bunuel and his style. It took me some time to get used to it.

      Thanks for the detailed comment Chris !!

  6. Great month! Love Dazed and Confused, 400 Blows, Brick and Grizzly Man. Still really need to see a Separation and keen to see Young Adult too.

    1. I am sure almost everyone has told you by now that A Separation is a must, Young Adult isn't bad either. I liked 400Blows and Brick as well. As for Grizzly Man, I will write about it in a little more detail pretty soon.

      Thanks for you Input Pete !!


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