Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First-Time Viewings (November, 2011)

Due to various activities and projects, I didn't have time to catch up with as many films as usual in November. One major highlight came via PBS with the extraordinary American Masters presentation of Woody Allen: A Documentary, a work which really blew me away. In theaters I saw two of the best films of the year, the chilling Martha Marcy May Marlene and the stunning Melancholia, films that feature the two of the best performances I have seen in some time courtesy of Elizabeth Olson and Kirsten Dunst. I also saw Breaking Dawn and, while I thought it was the most problematic of the Twilight series, I quite enjoyed the film's second half.

Of the older films I watched, the best features were two Jean-Pierre Melville films I had never seen (Bob le flambeur and Le Doulos) and Steve Mcqueen's powerful Hunger. I also greatly admired the documentary on filmmaker and Warhol collaborator Danny Williams, A Walk into the Sea.

Here are the complete lists for those interested:

2011 Films:

Martha Marcy May Marlene ****1/2
Melancholia *****
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 ***
Woody Allen A Documentary *****

Pre-2011 Films

A Walk Into the Sea *****
Anthony Zimmer ***1/2
Bob le flambeur ****1/2
Dagmar & Co. **1/2
Ghosts Italian Style **
Hunger (2008) ****1/2
I Was a Male War Bride ****1/2
La Strega in Amore ****
Le Doulos *****
Loose Change: An American Coup ***
My Soul to Take *1/2
Night of a 1000 Cats *
Philip Glass: Looking Glass ****
Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh ****1/2
Sassy Sue **
Sky West and Crooked ***1/2
Stones in Exile ****
The Climax (1967) ***
The Devil's Angels ***
The Possession of Virginia **1/2



MrJeffery said...

i also loved 'martha marcy may marelene' and 'melancholia' was pretty interesting.

ThatQuebecGuy said...

Melancholia has to be one of the first von Trier I actually feel compelled to go watch at the cinema, hope it's as good as it looks!

Maybe a first-time viewing for the future, have you seen Alexander Whitelaw's Lifespan? I recently watched it and I was completely blown away by the film + it features lovely Tina Aumont, thought it would be of interest to you (if you haven't already seen it).