Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wrapping it Up: June

It has been quite an eventful month. I completed a year of blogging U, Me and Films this month. Once again, I will say Thank You to everyone who commented on the post that day, or tweeted me or re-tweeted me. It really was overwhelming and definitely is one of the reasons that has helped me keep writing. I also put up '1001 Movies' page this month, as I promised few months ago. If anyone is interested, you can see it on the top bar. However, let us get right into what did I see over month of June.


The Double Life of Veronique(1991): I am not really sure if it is Kieslowski or Irene Jacob but there is something transcendental about Jacob's face, about expressions on her face that keeps me staring at her face ardently. Kudos to Kieslowski to bring it on screen as a complete package with gripping story and palpable emotions. It surely was a great start of month.

Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar(1991)(Re-Watch):This has a lot of nostalgic value. One of the movies that I loved as a kid, even before all this movie geekery started. It hasn't aged too well and feels too formulaic now but sometimes you have to listen to your heart and not your brain. 

Modern Times(1936)(Re-Watch): I was almost sure that I have seen this as a kid but I could only remember this in parts. It all came back to me while watching but I am happy that I saw it once more as you can almost never get it wrong with Chaplin.

Jules and Jim(1962): To tell you the truth, in the first 15 minutes I felt like Trauffaut was being a little too intellectual, on the verge of being pretentious. With the entry of Catherine, however it warmed up to me in the middle part until the end. But again in last 15-20 minutes, Catherine's behaviour had me pretty much turned off. There is a lot to like about this movie, in direction, story and technical aspects of it but if you do not care about the way it ends, especially being such a dramatic end, I don't think bodes well overall.

Police Academy(1984): I have no freaking idea why did I see it ? To tell you the truth, for some reason I always thought this was Jackie Chan movie and I usually love most of them, if nothing else for some great action. This was nothing like it, not even 'so bad it's good' way, just plain BAD.

Notorious(1946)(Re-Watch): Because it is my favorite Hitchcock and one of my all-time favorites and because of this.

Fallen Angels(1995): I haven't seen any other Kar Wai Wong since In The Mood for Love(2000) which I loved. So, I jumped on it when I saw it available on Netflix. But, this was a little too weird for me, especially the part with the mute guy even though all the usual Kar Wai Wong stuff like beautiful cinematography and very distinct background score was all there.

Belle De Jour(1967): Another Bunuel after The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie(1972) and That Obscure Object of Desire(1977). It wasn't as good as Discreet Charm but God, Catherine Denueve was amazing. I will probably never understand the whole surrealism thing, even this idea of housewife spending her weekday afternoons as a prostitute because she is bored didn't go down easily but it was so bizarre and I mean it in a good way.

Much Ado About Nothing(1993): This movie has caught me in dichotomy. On one hand, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit and thought Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh were really good in respective parts and I liked twists in the end too. While on the other hand, couple of things irritated me to no end like that language - I know that probably was authentic Old English but did they really have to use it? Also, I am no Shakespearean expert but who in this freaking world thought of Keanu Reeves and Denzel Washington as Brothers ??

Election(1999): My third Alexander Payne after The Descendants(2011) and About Schmidt(2002) and this surely was best so far and this is coming from someone who loved The Descendants(2011). Check out my review here.

Breathless(1960): Let me first start with saying that I quite liked it, especially lengthy conversations between Michel and Patricia. But there were few things that did bother me like that jump Cutting which may have been revolutionary then but it bothered me. And first 10-15 minutes of it - too much randomness. But, it settled down really well with Jean Seberg's entry. In the end, this will probably a movie that I understand and appreciate the importance of but do not get the appeal of.

2 Days in Paris(2007): It is completely inappropriate, way over-sexed and even racist at times, ohh and sexist too. But it was Hilarious !! Adam Goldberg was perfect for this kind of role and Julie Delpy seems to be getting hang of it after Before Sunrise/Sunset. I think I am now ready for 2 Days in New York(2012).

Iron Man(2008): And this is not a Re-Watch. I had never seen this before and I have seen Iron Man 2(2010) in theater. My room-mate wanted to watch all the Avenger movies after watching it since he has seen none of them. I sill haven't seen any of hulk movies yet, but otherwise probably the best of the lot yet.

L'Avventura(1960): Continuing my 'Foreign movies made in 60s from 1001 movies list', I ventured from French New Wave into Italian existentialism with Antonioni. For some reason, I could connect with this a lot more than any of the French movies I saw this month. It seemed much more plausible, much more natural, controlled.

Gods Must Be Crazy II(1989): Last month I saw first part of this movie and it was probably the most hilarious movie I have seen - I said that I never laughed so long and so hard in my whole life. I went into second part with little less expectations. It wasn't LOL kind of movie that the first one was but it was still very innocent, genuine and still good for few laughs.

The Audrey Hepburn Story(2000): Even though every single person that knew Audrey Hepburn was as enamored, as devoted by her charm as I am is little hard thing to digest but that's what this film tells me. However personally that is not the biggest success of this movie. It is the fact that despite my devotion, I have actually never written anything about her is soon to change. I really don't have much to say about this movie as I kept imagining real Audrey Hepburn at that place and once she is there, there is almost nothing I think is wrong with it.

Last Year at Marienbad(1961): I had no idea what was I watching for 90 minutes. It seemed to be getting somewhere by the end, but my brain was completely turned off by then to process anything. It just felt too tedious and laborious to reach from where it started. It might be my own loss that I could not keep my attention as I could not connect the dots in the end, but even that incessant background music was annoying the hell out of me by then. I don't want to call it a bad movie though - it was stunning visually, even the idea and execution was very unique but maybe next time I will have little more patience to understand it.

Doctor Zhivago(1965): I first heard of Doctor Zhivago and Boris Pasternak in an article about how he was harassed by the soviet government. I have been meaning to read/watch this ever since. It also spent quite a bit of time in my queue only because of its 199 minuted of running time. But, I am really glad to have finally seen it. I am still sure that if I read the book, it will affect me much more deeply but even movie touched me somewhere deep down.

Judgement at Nuremberg(1961): I usually don't but DVDs without watching a movie first but I have been looking for this for a long time and one day while I was waiting for The Hunger Games(2012) to start, I found it lying in one of the discount bins at one store. I am really glad that I bought it then because even though it was lying around for few months, I am sure that this will be in my top 100 list very high whenever I decide to revise that list. However, I will refrain from saying much further as it is difficult to say anything without getting into the politics of it for which I don't think this is right place.

Crazy, Stupid, Love(2011): I was little skeptical about it since I usually can not stand Steve Carell, especially when he is being himself. But I really like all the three other leads and I had heard lot of praise for it. So, I gave it a go and it is just what name suggests Crazy, Stupid and Fun and lot of it, even Steve Carell was so much better, not at all like him.

Arsenic and Old Lace(1944): I am little confused as to how to describe this. I didn't think it was a terrible movie but for some reason, I was infuriated by the end of it. You know Cary Grant in it in the end, I was feeling just like him - I wanted to charge up the stairs, scream at the top of my lungs, hit people, break things and I swear I am not like that usually. I guess it was little too much slap-sticky for me to take but then again, I really don't think it was a terrible movie.

Driving Miss Daisy(1989): Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy were both solid and it was absolutely pleasant otherwise. I had couple of small issues with it like in the end when she starts to deteriorate, it felt like it happens out of nowhere and I had no idea of any timeline. But, still worth watching for two leading performances.

Videodrome(1983): I usually don't say this foe any movie, but I HATED this movie passionately. There wasn't a single thing I liked in this movie, all around boring and pathetic. I wasn't scared, I wasn't least bit intrigued, I was only appalled and disgusted. It did become a little better in second half of it but once there comes a point where I stop watching a movie and start finding out flaws in it, and after that it is really difficult to get me back into it.

Broadway Danny Rose(1984): Another movie that warmed up a bit in second half whereas first half was stupid and very predictable. Woody Allen was being himself once again and there are very few occasions I can bare him alone for one and half hours and this wasn't one of them. Mia Farrow was saving grace here, very different from what little I have seen of her. I don't mean to sound acerbic as in the end I wasn't really disappointed because of second half but I am not really singing praises of it either.

Can on a Hot Tin Roof(1958): Tennessee Williams certainly knew how to make portray dysfunctional families in his provocative plays. It still isn't Virginia Woolf(1966) or even Long Day's Journey into Night(1962) but Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives just kill it. Dialogues certainly got to be the best aspect of this play but you know what, turn it off completely and I still can look at Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman all day long.

Pineapple Express(2008): It is got to be one of the most completely ridiculous, no-brainer and just outright stupid stoner comedies - Seth Rogen and Company doing what they can do best. Most of the times it just disgusted me but it really was so bad that it was good. Half the time I had no idea if I was laughing because I thought it was funny or because it was just plain bad and I had enough of it but I seem to have enjoyed it.

La Notte(1961): It's little too early to comment properly on it as I saw it less 2 hours ago and there is a lot to contemplate. Most important thing I need to think about is what makes it a part of trilogy with L'avventura(1960) and L'eclisse(1962) which I haven't seen yet, as there aren't many common elements that jump out, maybe except theme of alienation and longing. But if there was one thing that I admired about it, it was it didn't seem to be in any hurry to reach to any conclusion and despite that kept me interested in it all the time. All the three leads gave beautifully restrained performances, even Antonini's direction was stand-out.

Total Count:27. 24 First Time Watches and 3 Re-watches.

2012 YTD Count

Total Count:154. 146 First Time Watches and 8 Re-watches.

Usual division of this month comes out to be 12 classics and 15 new. 8 Foreign, 18 English and 1 Hindi. Considering how hectic this month was personally, especially first 15 days, I am actually surprised that I saw more movies this month than last two and it has been very peculiar too in a sense that I finally saw many movies that have been in my watchlist for a long time. Some of them turned out to be better than I expected(The Double Life of Veronique(1991) and Judgement at Nuremberg(1961)) whereas others left me tad disappointed(Last Year at Marienbad(1961) and Breathless(1960)) but that's always part of trade. 

I was actually planning to see quite a few of 60s foreign movies this month but I ended up watching only 6. I am going to continue it in the next month as I have got hold of quite a few by now and if Netflix didn't expire 5 movies off my queue by 1st July, I would have seen them this month itself. It also brought my foreign movie numbers down as I wanted to compensate for 3 foreign movies last month but it wasn't to be. I am also going to try and watch few 2012 movies this month as I have seen only like 4 till now and half of the year is already gone. Hopefully, there will be couple of trips to theater as well, one is already booked(The Dark Knight Rises(2012) off course) and second one looks pretty set too(The Amazing Spider-Man(2012)).

So, how was your month ? Did you see anything interesting ? What do you think of the movies I saw ? Any favorites ?


  1. Seems like you had a pretty awesome month for movies, especially with The Double Life of Veronique being part of it! Love that film. I also love Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, plus anything by Tennessee Williams. And yeah, I could turn off the sound and watch Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor all day long, too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Stevee !!

      Double life of Veronique is simply beautiful, no doubt about it.

      Tennessee Williams is a great writer no doubt. That screenplay for The Streetcar named Desire is like a Script Writing 101. And I know you Love Cat on Hot Tin Roof. I think your top 100 is first time I heard about it.

  2. You watched a lot of classics! I'm a little ashamed I've only seen one of these; Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Anyway, congrats on your anniversary, I didn't notice at the time!

    1. I am actually consciously trying to watch more classics, especially more 60s stuff. If you haven't seen them, maybe try them. I hope you will like some of them.

      And Thanks, Mette !! It was a great feeling for sure.

  3. Lots of great films here! Glad you enjoyed 2 Days in Paris it's one of my all time favorite comedies - Adam Goldberg was simply hilarious in this one. The Double Life of Veronique and Belle du Jour are both such hypnotic movies, in very different ways though. The only one I disagree with is Videodrome - I really liked this one, but I am admirer of Cronenberg's earlier works so that must have been it.

    1. 2 Days in Paris was really funny - Adam Goldberg really did a great job there, he seemed like a very natural fit for that role.

      I have only seen The Fly and eXistenz from Cronenburg's early stuff. I think they both are really good and I hate to disagree but I really hated it. I will admit though that I was exhausted that day and I watched it only because I didn't want to sleep too early. Maybe that affected my judgement too.

      Thanks for stopping by Sati !!

  4. The Double Life of Veronique(1991) I didn't get what the appeal when I was younger and found it just about a woman in bed a lot, but since I rewatched it on my own and read more, I realized what a masterpiece it really is.

    Modern Times(1936), not so modern anymore, I guess ( : Noticed it was on youtube, so shall try and catch that one soon, been on my queue for too long...

    Jules and Jim(1962) I was a bit bored by, I'm not sure François Truffaut is my cup of tea, because Les quatre cents coups (1959) I wasn't crazy about either.

    Notorious (1946)I haven't seen yet, I should get on that trail!

    Chungking Express (1994) is my favorite Wong Kar Wai film

    Best part of La Notte(1961) for me was the final scene.

    Is weird how polarizing Last Year at Marienbad (1961) is, because I loved it and know other bloggers who call it a favorite, then there are those tthat hate it like the plague! ( : By the way, many have tried, but nobody has connected the dots yet for that film, very ambiguous ( :

    1. The Double Life of Veronique(1991) He had me at Irene Jacob Chris though I certainly am with you thinking that it is a masterpiece.

      Modern Times(1936) It certainly ain't and you need a little patience to watch it now. But I am sure you will notice it's relevance even now and it's strong social commentary in it.

      Jules and Jim(1962) Even I think 400 Blows is a good film but I don't understand its greatness just yet. I haven't given up on Trauffaut though, maybe there will be one film that may renounce him.

      You really should see Notorious. I sure am biased a little but there are many great things about this movie.

      Haven't seen that one yet and it may take me some time to watch it as well as it is only movie not available on Netflix. I have sure heard a lot about it.

      Last Year at Marienbad (1961) is definitely a polarising film. It's so ambiguous that if you get it, you will be elated but if not it will really frustrate you. Good to know I am not alone though.

      Loved replying to your comment. Maybe we can start new trend with this though we probably should credit BT for that. :D

  5. I am not at all a fan of that particular version of Much Ado. Maybe because we'd just studied the play in class, but I found it over the top and ridiculous for the most part (although Kenneth Branagh did have some funny moments). Maybe I need to watch it again though. We all had the same difficulty believing the brotherly connection though, hahaha
    I've been wanting to see Jules and Jim for aaaaaaaaaaaaages! Can't wait! Seems like you had a great month!!

    1. It definitely was a good month, better than I expected. Try Jules and Jim, you have a very different perspective on New Wave. You will probably like it more than I did.

      Well, it was little loud but I don't much reference. So, I was OK with rest of it, except Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves being brothers off course. That was beyond ridiculous.

  6. Pretty solid month matey. I have given up keeping count now... I know I am a naughty boy!!

    Is it wrong that growing up I loved Police Academy? Probably.

    1. Ohh I am sure Rather I know I have loved a lot of similar Indian movies as a kid. So, I definitely can understand that.

      Thanks for stopping by Scott !!

  7. Congratulations on the one-year anniversary! There are some terrific films on that list. I've seen 2/3 of them, but I must see La Notte, Much Ado, and Fallen Angels soon.

    Thanks for the follow by the way! :)

    1. Thanks a lot Josh !! It is always great to find some new blogs and get a different perspective.

  8. Wow, what an impressive month of film! Out of them, my favorites are Election and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Newman, Taylor and Ives are just phenomenal in the latter.

    1. Thanks Eric !! It certainly was a great month for me. Election is hilarious no doubt and you are right on the money for Cat on Hot Tin Roof.

  9. That's a hell of a film month!

    Just so you don't feel so alone in this, I absolutely hated Last Year at Marienbad. That was the review that turned my PG-13 blog into one rated R for language.

    1. Hahaa !! Thanks for the support Steve !! I am debating whether should I dig up your review or not. I will probably give it one more chance before beating the shit out of it. :)

  10. Really glad I am now following this wonderful blog, enjoyed this post. I would love it if you considered checking out my blog and perhaps followed back? :)

    A very good film month right there, I love the 'you may also like' feature. Looking forward to your views on The Dark Knight Rises,I have high hopes for Nolan.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, comment and follow. I will surely check your blog out.

      CAN NOT wait for Rises. Tickets are already booked for the opening night.

  11. Wow, you watched some excellent films this month. Double Life of Veronique, Belle De Jour, Election, Breathless, Broadway Danny Rose – love them all! You’re having a pretty fine movie year I’d say!

    1. This month certainly was remarkable, even year if I could say so myself !! Can't really complain. :)

  12. Great list, I really really need to watch The Double life of Veronica and Jules et Jim! As for me, the June list was short, but intriguing- Chinatown, The Hours, Schindler's List are definite favorites!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Diana !! I can certainly recommend Double Life to anyone. As for the movies you mentioned, haven't seen The Hours myself but Chinatown and Schindler's List - some of the all time bests, no doubt.


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