Saturday, August 31, 2013
Films That I Saw: August 2013
Summer is finally coming to an end. All I can say about that is this…
That’s right. That’s me after spending part of my summer watching Woody Allen films for my four-part Auteurs series. I’m finally glad I’ve now seen every film he’s directed so far and would I do something like this ever again? Fuck no. I’m extremely burned out after watching many films about neuroses, nagging women, slapstick gags, and all sorts of crazy shit. I love Woody Allen but I need a break from the guy. In fact, I need a break from film-watching just for a while. I saw a slew of films in the course of the summer and I think I overdid myself.
I think there’s a lesson to all of this. I think if one is to cover one filmmaker’s entire of body of work for example like John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, or Ingmar Bergman. The best approach is to spread it out to a year or two at the most. An entire season on one of these filmmakers will be exhausting. Especially if it’s John Ford who has made over a 100 films in his career. An entire season on his entire body of work is more or less likely to drive someone insane. I have four more filmmakers to cover for the rest of the year where thankfully, their bodies of work won’t be exhausting as Allen as I’m going to take my time with those filmmakers.
I’m currently in the process of finalizing the selection of filmmakers to cover in my Auteurs series for the next year as a few of them will have bodies of work that are huge. Yet, I will spending my time watching some of their work that I haven’t seen for the duration of the year so I wouldn’t burn myself out like I did with Woody Allen. Speaking of the Auteurs series, the Woody Allen piece will be the last one I will post at this blog. Courtney of Big Thoughts from a Small Mind has asked me to be a contributor to his new blog in Cinema Axis which I’ve accepted as I will post all my new Auteurs series at this blog from now on while the older ones will stay where some of them will be updated whenever a new film is out.
For the month of August, I saw a total of 34 films this month. 20 first-timers and 14 re-watches. Definitely down from last month due to burn-out though I still don’t think it’s quite bad. Especially as I spent a week watching The Decalogue which was the highlight of the month. Here are my top 10 best first-timers for August 2013:
1. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
2. The Grandmaster
3. Fruitvale Station
4. The Spectacular Now
5. Blue Jasmine
6. From One Second to the Next
7. How the West Was Won
8. Casting By
9. I'm So Excited
Here Comes the Boom
I think Kevin James is a funny guy though I really think he should cut his ties with Adam Sandler as it just makes more of a goof than a real comedy actor. This film was OK at best where his character is a teacher who goes into MMA fighting to save his school’s music program as it has a few funny moments though it’s very predictable. There’s some nice supporting performances from Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler that does help the film. It’s not a total waste of time but it’s not one of James’ better films.
I like historical films and anything that has to do with World War II though I was very wary about this one. Largely as there was a TV movie from HBO made in the mid-90s about the Tuskegee Airmen that also starred Cuba Gooding Jr. as well as Laurence Fishburne, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Andre Baugher, and John Lithgow. While I applaud producer George Lucas for wanting to tell this story, I felt the film was very uneven in the fact that there’s a lot of dramatic storylines that really takes away from the film despite some noteworthy performances from David Oyelowo, Terence Howard, and Bryan Cranston. I also had some issues with some of the air-fighting as I felt it looked too much like the Star Wars films as I thought it felt unreal in the way the planes flew and such.
I saw this through the Pitchfork’s new film site the Dissolve as they were talking about shorts. It’s a funny little short about Mickey Mouse wanting to reach Minnie’s home up in the mountains but had to make sure he doesn’t make any noise and cause an avalanche. It’s part of the new series of Mickey Mouse cartoons as I really liked watching Mickey Mouse as a kid and I’m glad that there’s more to come in this new series of shorts.
Top 10 Re-Watches:
2. Life of Pi
3. Sweet and Lowdown
4. Match Point
5. Superman the Movie
6. Forrest Gump
7. Private Benjamin
8. The Kids in the Shoe
9. Small Time Crooks
10. Detroit Rock City
Well, that is it for August and the summer. Later today, I will have reviews of The Spectacular Now and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg finished and ready to be posted but I won’t release them until next weekend. I’m going to spend the first week in September just taking a break and not make any posts. When I do return, there will be a review of The Grandmaster (in both its original 130-minute Chinese cut and the 108-minute American cut) as well as some new releases like The World’s End and Don Jon. Also slated for September will be a slew of films by Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Luis Bunuel, Aki Kaurismaki, and a few other things. There will also be a special 10th Anniversary piece I will to celebrate my all-time favorite film Lost in Translation. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and just needing to take break…
© thevoid99 2013
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Glad you liked The Decalogue so much.
Sorry you are burned out from film watching (and especially Woody Allen).
Good move to spread out a filmography over a longer period.
Since you say you need a break, do you want to postpone the Nine Inch nails guest post until later? I have other music I can post, so it's ok, if you prefer to wait.
Wow, Lost in Translation is my all-time favorite too. What a fantastic film.
@Chris-I can give you some of my NIN essays and such that I wrote in a week. Right now, I just don't want to do anything at the moment. Plus, I'm still trying to digest the new album right now as I'm listening to it countless of times. So far, it's a really great album.
@Crist B-Well then get ready for my 10th Anniversary piece coming later in September.
Looking forward to your Umbrellas and Grandmaster reviews.
@Bonjour-The Umbrellas of Cherbourg review is already finished and I'll post it on Friday. The Grandmaster might be on a Sunday if I see the American cut of the film that weekend.
Hey, we both watched a Superman movie this month :D I hear ya about being burned out, I don't think I can do what you did even if I LOVE the director's work. I just don't have that dedication, ahah.
What do you think of The Spectacular Now? I missed the screening of that but I probably end up renting it.
@ruth-I'm going to release my review of The Spectacular Now on Saturday. I really think it's worth seeking as it's one of the better films about teens and high school life.
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