Thursday 6 May 2021

April films 2021

I’ve watched 43 films, 28 directed by men and 15 directed by women (basically I’m trying to make sure a third are directed by women each month). 14 are rewatches – definitely a 2021 and beyond determination to rewatch films a LOT more.

This year’s awards bait has proved to be hugely disappointing – Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and Black Bear do not represent the wonderful year of movies that 2020 produced. Nomadland, I admired a lot and of the best film contenders in the Oscars and Baftas it would have got my vote too….though I would have included Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Rocks, Miss Juneteenth and others in my shortlists. 

Disappointments? Quite a few I’m afraid but especially Carpenter’s Escape from New York. I DO NOT understand how this is a cult film. Also, Ratatouille = BORING! Also, Moulin Rouge is NOT the film I remembered ☹

Loves? Ammonite – destined to be underrated I fear, and Catherine Corsini's Summertime. Obviously, I try to search out and champion films directed by women but I’ve arrived at the stage, fairly seamlessly, where female directors are making most of my favourite films – this month I went back to Debra Granik, Kelly Reichardt, Jane Campion and also discovered Ildikó Enyedi. Asian cinema continues to provide me with a well of rich, meditative films - Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Café Lumiere was probably my pick of the bunch this month; I’m continuing my journey through exploitation and this month and tried Jean Rollin and Walerian Borowczyk with mixed results. However, Borowczyk’s Blanche is FUCKING GLORIOUS and now I’m wondering whether I should check out his mid-70s erotica too. Weird but true.

I listen to quite a few podcasts to send me off to sleep and I tried Jack Howard’s The Screen Test where he and guests pits three films against each other to decide what’s best. I’m not sure why I did this because I don’t really like Jack Howard and I think the idea is pretty stupid but hey. In this episode he pitted the latest A Star is Born v La La Land v Whiplash. No brainer right? A Star is Born wins every time! Apparently not. So I watched all three again and, who knew? A Star is Born wins hands down 😊 Also, Damien Chazelle, on reflection and without all the hype, turns out to be a reactionary asshole wasting whatever talent he might have. Who knew?

Great performance in a mediocre film? Katherine Hepburn in David Lean’s Summertime (1955)

Feminist Friday: The Piano & Mouthpiece OR Ammonite & Summertime (2015)

Weird Wednesday: Viy and Blanche 

Chill-the-fuck-out Saturday night: Palm Springs & Space Sweepers

And have you seen the new Verhoeven trailer for Benedetta ( – a Verhoeven lesbian nunsploitation film – sorry to make it sound so sleazy – but, yeah, can’t wait.

Short reviews for all films on Letterboxd: My profile on Letterboxd

1. Full Moon In Paris (1984) (Éric Rohmer)
2. Space Sweepers (2021) (Jo Sung-hee)
3. Friday Foster (1975) (Arthur Marks)
4. Ratatouille (2007) (Brad Bird)
5. Viy (1967) (Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov)
6. The Nude Vampire (1970) (Jean Rollin)
7. The Shiver of the Vampires (1971) (Jean Rollin)
8. Whip It (2009) (Drew Barrymore)
9. The Piano (193) (Jane Campion)
10. Begin Again (2013) (John Carney)
11. Starship Troopers (197) (Paul Verhoeven)
12. Real Women Have Curves (2002) (Patricia Cardoso)
13. Moulin Rouge! (2001) (Baz Luhrmann)
14. Palm Springs (2020) (Max Barbakow)
15. Minari (2020) (Lee Isaac Chung)
16. Christmas in August (1998) (Hur Jin-ho)
17. Ammonite (2020) (Francis Lee)
18. Requiem for a Vampire (1971) (Jean Rollin)
19. A Star is Born (2018) (Bradley Cooper)
20. Summertime (2015) (Catherine Corsini)
21. My Twentieth Century (1989) (Ildikó Enyedi)
22. Love and Monsters (2020) (Michael Matthews)
23. Wendy and Lucy (2008) (Kelly Reichardt)
24. Meek’s Cutoff (2010) (Kelly Reichardt)
25. Imagine Me and You (2016) (Michael Tuviera)
26. Possession (1981) (Andrzej Żuławski)
27. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981) (Walerian Borowczyk)
28. Café Lumiere (2003) (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
29. Summertime (1955) (David Lean)
30. Escape from New York (1981) (John Carpenter)
31. Blanche (1971) (Walerian Borowczyk)
32. Promising Young Woman (2020) (Emerald Fennell)
33. Black Bear (2020) (Lawrence Michael Levine)
34. Sound of Metal (2019) (Darius Marder)
35. Strange Days (1995) (Kathryn Bigelow)
36. Winter’s Bone (2010) (Debra Granik)
37. Mouthpiece (2018) (Patricia Rozema)
38. Leave No Trace (2018) (Debra Granik)
39. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
40. On Body and Soul (2017) (Ildikó Enyedi)
41. Somewhere (2010) (Sofia Coppola)
42. Whiplash (2014) (Damien Chazelle)
43. Queen and Slim (2019) (Melina Matsoukas)