I want to love every film that I see. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. I’ve have watched twenty films in the last three weeks, I feel exhilarated. I can’t shake them from my head. I’ll start with Death in a French Garden, a quirky and memorable love triangle with a subtle and enigmatic supporting performance by Richard Bohringer. Cronenberg’s sharp use of editing to quicken a scene and Julianne Moore at the end of her world in Maps to the Stars. Timothy Spall’s grunt, and Mike Leigh’s direction of landscape in Mr. Turner, Leigh was this close to me and my partner Maja after a Q&A. There were questions of self-worth in Winter Light, and Wild Strawberries, the latter being one of Maja’s personal favourites. Walk the Line is a fairly typical Hollywood biopic of Johnny Cash and June Carter with great performances and great songs. The strangeness and uniqueness of Drowning by Numbers, the girl on the skipping rope, the great outdoors, as Roger Ebert says whether you love or hate Peter Greenaway you don’t understand him. I continued to be taken on a journey with Greenaway with The Draughtsman’s Contract, a film that spends its opening minutes introducing many people and then shows us the beautiful outdoors once again.
In The Secret Garden, the children chanting for Craven’s return with a stunning long fade out in the distance of fire. Every time I hear Zbigniew Preisner’s track ‘Rain’ for this film I can feel the world opening up. In Alice in the Cities you’re on the road with Wim Wenders, the human story of a young girl and photojournalist who has to unexpectedly take care of the child. Take Out Your Handkerchiefs, a film that crosses the line of relationships but it’s Bertrand Blier so it’s done in an absurdist comic way. In Wrong Move, again you feel like you’re with Wenders’ characters. In The Straight Story an old man is on the road, I just wish that the side characters could be as memorable. Gone Girl, a twist which I’ve seen in many TV murder mysteries, not Fincher’s best but the critical nod that this film is the Gaslight of the 21st Century, a film which I haven’t seen makes it sound more interesting I suppose.
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, a masterpiece, my film of the week, Michael Gambon is towering, hilarious and scary in the same moment. My favourite scene is when Albert (Gambon) goes into the ladies room where Georgina (Helen Mirren) and Michael (Alan Howard) are together in a cubicle, Mirren’s strong side tells him to fuck off. Gambon says he’ll go back out, when Mirren appears we discover Gambon is still there. The whole film is Mirren’s nightmare she begins to wake up after a tragedy and has finally risen from her bed in the final scene. The satire Election maybe has too much voiceover, but I love this film’s attitude by letting the morals as Alexander Payne himself says ‘sit there’ in front of the characters. The New World, a film that I want to love as much as Mark Cousins but I’m not sure. You think that Christine is going to be about Dennis played by John Stockwell, than the character of Arnie played by Keith Gordon, who changes so drastically that the film shifts its protagonist. I watched Kings of the Road and I need to see it again in a few years, my least favourite of the road trilogy but I watched it in a third sitting due to other life commitments. And finally To the Wonder, before seeing it Mark Cousins said “Dreading seeing To the Wonder in case I don’t like it and my idol Mr T Malick falls from his pedestal and smashes into tiny bits of rubble and dust. He then said, “Finally saw Terry Malick’s To the Wonder. Sad to say that he didn’t take me there. Too much and not enough.” This film tells its story beautifully and subtly. Ben Affleck has few lines. Everything is clear and unclear at the same time. Who are these people? What else would you expect from the latest offering of Terrence Malick. Films should first be seen, then remembered. For each film that you see that means something to you, log one image of it in your brain, cherish it, and remember it.