Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Films That I Saw: July 2019

I don’t really know how to start this as I know that for anyone, the death of a parent is to be expected and it can be sudden. I just didn’t expect to happen sooner as I’m still trying to cope and accept everything that had happened. I’m just more worried about my mother as she had a harder time dealing with it as I’m just with her all the time mainly because I don’t want to leave her alone for too long. I’m grateful for the fact that we have longtime family friends to be there for us as well as relatives from her side of the family. My sister has also been here as I’m just glad she and her husband live a few minutes from our house as we also have my nephew Mateo and their dog Chester to keep us company. She has been handling a lot of the business stuff and arrangements including the funeral service that happened on the 20th at the church of Christ the King on Peachtree as well as give the eulogy.

It’s been hard as I’ve spent days just not really sleeping or just not wanting to get out of bed. It’s still kind of tough to deal with as the past few months have been a blur including the last month just as my mother and I thought things were going to be fine. My father was doing better as one of my uncles took him and my mother to Destin, Florida earlier in June just for a small vacation and it looked like things were about to go well before the surgery. It was the surgery that I think really did it for him as I’m not angry or putting blame on the doctors and surgeons as they did whatever they could. It was just something unfortunate as the tumor had spread not just into my dad’s stomach but also part of the pancreas as they had to get rid of the stomach and part of that pancreas. The surgery was fine but looking back, I felt my dad should’ve stayed in the hospital much longer for the recovery as he went home a week after the surgery.

The time he was home after the surgery sucked. It really fucking sucked as my mom and I struggled to get a fucking feeding machine to work as there would be a tube attached to his stomach. We had used feeding machines before with my younger sister a long time ago because she was born premature yet she managed to live for 23 years. With my dad, he’s the kind of person that doesn’t like to sit still for too long as he also hated the fact that he would be attached to something if he’s sleeping. Plus, I would have to turn the fucking feeding machine on whenever it would beep to continue the feeding. It was awful and then there was that awful day we had to send him back to the hospital because he was feeling sick and couldn’t breathe. I probably drove faster than I had expected as I was also glad to turn off the oven before I left as I was about to eat a frozen pizza for dinner. We arrived at Emory at around 8 and he was immediately sent into surgery. What happened was a staple that was in the intestines got loose and all of the milk that we were feeding him spread into his lungs or something. The doctor didn’t know what was going on.

My sister, a friend of my sister, a few friends of the family were there for us as we waited as I wanted to sleep but found myself unable to as I really had a hard time seeing him in a helpless state as the idea of him going to die came into my mind as I kissed his forehead with the possibility that he was going away. At 5:59 AM on June 30, 2019, he was gone. My mother was just beyond devastated as a couple of relatives who had been there for us took us home as I just went to bed and slept. Later that day, two of my cunt aunts from my father’s side of the family arrived and I saw them and just stayed in my room as my sister and my brother-in-law were not happy to see them. Even Mateo didn’t like them as he cried around them as a longtime family friend went to my room to talk as she didn’t even like those bitches. There’s people in my father’s side of the family in not just his sisters but their children that are just the worst. My cousins didn’t even show up at the service which didn’t totally surprise me but the people who did show up did see my cunt aunts and their loser husbands there as they saw them for who they really are.

There was an upside to them showing up as many of those who knew and loved my dad as some of them visited him while he was in the hospital and even called him and such. The fact that his sisters, nieces, and nephews didn’t bother to see him at the hospital or contact him during these past few years is proof of how full of shit they are and they can no longer hurt me. As far as I’m concerned, they’re not family. They never gave a fuck about me, my mother, and my sisters so in truth. We don’t give a fuck about them anymore as we have people such as my mother’s cousins, other relatives, a few of my uncles from my dad’s side who were sad over his passing, longtime family friends including those who came from Florida and Tennessee despite their own illnesses showed up at the service on the 20th of this month. That is my family and if anyone fucks with them. I will fuck those people up even worse.

Given the severity of what I’m going through, I haven’t been seeing a lot of films this month mainly because I just didn’t want to as I tried to get myself back in the game but realized I’m not exactly ready. I don’t know when I’ll be on board full time as I’ve already decided to postpone a few projects such as my Auteurs piece on David Lean as I’m going to push it again for next year. I will focus on finishing up on Kelly Reichardt and then do J.C. Chandor while I’m unsure if I want to finish the year with Michael Mann. I will still do my Blind Spots as I’ve been able to get a few DVDs with the exception of one film that I’ve been unable to get but hopefully I will by the end of the year. There is still a project relating to the MCU that I still want to do for the end of the year but I’m just going to take it slow for a while as it’s been harder to try and watch a new film on TV as I was trying to watch Harlan Country U.S.A. only to be bored and fall asleep as I decided to watch it some other time in the future.

In the month of July, I saw a total of 24 films in 10 first-timers and 14 re-watches with one film directed by a woman as part of the 52 films by Women pledge. Due to the lack of first-timers that I saw as one of the highlights has been my Blind Spot in Gone with the Wind and a big highlight in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. I won’t post a top 10 list as some of the other films I saw I didn’t bother wanting to write reviews for.

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Good, the Bad, the Hungry

One of three 30 for 30 documentaries that I saw this month is the only film that I saw is directed by a woman as it explores the rivalry between Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut in eating contests with the most notable rivalry being the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every 4th of July. The film examines the rivalry as well as the reason why Kobayashi hasn’t competed due to political and financial reasons between the people who check on eating contests and such. It’s a fun piece from the ESPN series as I saw around the time Chestnut would win the contest again.

Rise of a Texas Bluesman: Stevie Ray Vaughn 1954-1983

From AXS TV is a documentary about the early life of Stevie Ray Vaughn from his birth and days playing for countless bands as a teenager to finally getting a break at the 1982 Montreaux Jazz Festival with his band Double Trouble. Through interviews from journalists, musicians, and those that knew Vaughn, the film doesn’t do enough to show more footage of Vaughn of the early days but it does manage to play into his rise and how he got discovered by Jackson Browne and David Bowie as the latter would have Vaughn play lead guitar in his 1983 album Let’s Dance.

The Cure in Orange

The 1987 concert film that was filmed at an old French amphitheater the year before by longtime Cure collaborator Tim Pope was something I had been watching on YouTube during this time of grief. It’s a look into a band that was on the rise into their commercial zenith in the late 80s/early 90s as well as playing music from their 1985 album The Head on the Door while vocalist/guitarist Robert Smith displays a new haircut which was considered shocking among his fans as he was known for his big hair. It’s a show filled with a lot of highlights as well as the sound of a band that was becoming tighter and more confident in their playing despite the changes that would emerge in the years as its proof of how great the Cure were and still is.

Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau

The second 30 for 30 documentary that I saw is about the surfer Eddie Aikau as he was a native Hawaiian who was from a large family as he would become a surfing legend yet it is more about his role as a Hawaiian. Especially in bringing back a culture that was seemed to be forgotten after the U.S. acquired the territory through nefarious means and stripped away some of the legendary aspects of the Hawaiians until Aikau would show what surfing meant to native Hawaiians dating back to the 18th Century. In 1978, Aikau and a crew of people attempted to follow an ancient route from Hawaii to Tahiti as a way to recreate the Polynesian way of traveling that unfortunately lead to Aikau’s disappearance during his attempt to find help following a storm that destroyed part of its ship. It’s a piece that fans of surfing must see but also for insight into the history of Hawaii.


I saw this film on Disney Channel sporadically though I kind of knew what it was about as I watched it during a marathon of the two films in anticipation for the third and final film of the series. As a musical, it’s got some catchy songs but it’s also got some amazing choreography courtesy of director/co-choreographer Kenny Ortega as it is about the offspring of classic Disney villains who are sent to boarding school in a land that is the home of Disney fairy tale heroes and their offspring in an attempt to steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand for Maleficent. Yet, Maleficent’s daughter Mal and her friends find themselves wanting to be part of something bigger while they also sing and dance with Mal falling for the son of Belle and the Beast.

Slaying the Badger

The third and final 30 for 30 documentary that I saw is about the friendship/rivalry of American cyclist Greg Lemond and French cyclist Bernard Hinault as they were teammates where the former helped the latter win his fifth Tour de France. A year later, Hinault promised Lemond that he would help him win the Tour de France yet backstage politics and other issues relating to those running the team wanted Hinault to win but Lemond would eventually win. It play into the world of cycling and the Tour de France and what it took to win before the big emergence of doping and Lance Armstrong as Lemond is still considered to be the only American to have won the Tour de France while Hinault remains the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France.

Heaven’s Gate (149-minute version)

While this isn’t really a first-timer nor is it a re-watch, the shortened version of Michael Cimino’s 1980 film in its newly remastered print based on the 2012 restoration version of the film is quite odd to watch. Since it was Cimino who supervised the re-editing for its 1981 general release in the hope to have the film seen by a wide audience. It was strange in what got cut as well as where certain sequences have been shifted into one part of the film while Kris Kristofferson’s voice-over narration which was added for this version never really got me invested. I would suggest just watching the 2012 216-minute restoration version as it is the definitive version of Cimino’s film whether people liked it or not.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. From the Earth to the Moon

2. Midnight in Paris

3. Goldfinger

4. The Spy Who Loved Me

5. Follow That Bird

6. Wingspan

7. The Rocker

8. The Winning Season

9. Beverly Hills Ninja

10. Beerfest

That is it for July as the only theatrical release that I want to see is Spider-Man: Far from Home while I am unsure on what else to see. Other than films that is available on my never-ending DVR list and through some DVDs I recently bought. I also managed to acquire Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services from my sister as something for myself and mother to check out although we’re still unsure about what to do with it. Until then, this thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2019


Brittani Burnham said...

I'm sorry about your father and the family drama that came after. It's hard enough losing someone you love without relatives making it worse.

Professor Brian O'Blivion said...

A big fan of your blog and I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my mom a couple years ago and some days it seems just like yesterday.

Tom said...

During my last year in college, my mom passed due to a heart attack she did not recover from. For a long time afterwards, I hard a hard time watching any new movies (couldn't focus), but one weekend I decided to rewatch all the Muppet movies and it brought me some needed comfort (your mention of Follow that bird reminded me of that).

Chris said...

I think writing down your thoughts (and listening to music) can help in times of distress, and you are doing both. Shame to hear about the unfriendliness in your family, but a beautiful gesture to kiss your dad on the forehead, that way he knew you loved him without words.
If you got Netflix, I recommend Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

KatyRochelle said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and having to deal with unsupportive family members. It's terrible to go through handling a loved one's illness and death, and then have more drama piled on top.