Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015 in Cinema

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
In 2015 I shifted my cinematic focus to women. I wanted to make this year a conscious goal to watch movies that were either directed by or about women. I kept to this goal all throughout the month, and while I rewatched a lot of films with men at the center and behind the camera my newest viewings were aligned with women in one way or another. Most notably I began the Female Filmmaker Project on this blog, and reviewed Sally Potter's The Gold Diggers, Catherine Breillat's Romance, Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher, and Karen Gehres' Begging Naked. All of these films were worthwhile in different ways, and I was especially drawn towards Breillat's deconstructive picture of sex and love. Outside of those films I officially reviewed for this blog I fell in love with Whisper of the Heart and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. In lieu of Blackhat I rewatched my favourite Michael Mann pictures (Collateral and Miami Vice), and my hype for Blackhat was completely warranted as it proved to be a total realization of Michael Mann's aesthetic qualities he had been building towards ever since he started working with digital. Adam Cook summarizes it as a picture whose innovations are equal to or more expansive than Godard's Goodbye to Language 3D, and I'd have to agree with him. The lukewarm at best reception by critics at large is baffling to me. I would close the month with rewatches of Blade Runner & Darkman at the digital cinema festival being held in St. John's. I appreciate Darkman more than I did years ago, as I now understand both comic books and cinema much better than on that initial viewing. My happiest cinematic moment happened in the middle of the month though as I introduced my boyfriend to Broadcast News. I would fall asleep with his arms wrapped around me with about 20 minutes left in the picture, and I have a feeling it's a movie that just became even more special to me.

Best of January
1. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman, 1982)
2. Whisper of the Heart (Yoshifumi Kondo, 1995)
3. Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
4. Hookers on Davie (Holly Dale, Janis Cole, 1984)
5. Barton Fink (Coens, 1991)
6. Romance (Catherine Breillat, 1999)
7. The Gold Diggers (Sally Potter, 1983)
8. Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)
9. The Floorwalker (Charlie Chaplin, 1916)
10. Begging Naked (Karen Gehres, 2007)

Favourite rewatches

Broadcast News (James L. Brooks, 1987)
Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat, 2001)
Miami Vice (Michael Mann, 2006)
Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004)
Darkman (Sam Raimi, 1990)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

Tally: (Before I started this year I wanted to keep all my new to me viewings balanced on a gender spectrum. I do realize it's ridiculous to note gender as a binary, but I currently do not know any non-binary filmmakers. Drop a line in the comments to alert me of some if you know of any. Thank you. I'll be keeping this tally as I watch movies this year. Rewatches do not count towards this number.)

Women: 9
Men: 12

So you can see I'm already failing. However, Women already have the lead 1-0 this month. Let's hope they can pull back to the front in February. 


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