Thursday, January 1, 2015

'14

Illness has pretty much sapped any desire I may have had for putting together an end-of-year post more comprehensive than the humble sketch below, which doesn't feel "representative" of very much to me. But it would have felt weird to not post anything in this spot at all, and so the bare minimum amount of thought to justify its existence was put forth. Pivotal first time home viewings were plucked freely from the jumbled memory cloud and may easily have included many more.

5 pivotal first time viewings (16mm/35mm)

Grand Illusion (Renoir '37)
The Loves of Pharaoh (Lubitsch '22)
A Report on the Party and the Guests (J. Nemec '66)
Shutter Interface (Sharits '75)
Third Eye Butterfly (De Hirsch '68)

*********************

5 pivotal first time viewings (home viewing)

Cry Danger (Parrish '51)
Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong '07)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Lang '33)
Travelling Players / Hideko the Bus Conductress (Naruse '40/'41)
Un soir, un train (Delvaux '68)

...and five more:

Im Schatten (Thomas Arslan '10)
Intimidation (Kurahara '60)
Le garcu (Maurice Pialat '95)
Mr. Thank You (Shimizu '36)
Neighbouring Sounds (Filho '12)

*********************

5 favorite new movies seen 2014:

1) The Strange Little Cat (Zurcher)
2) Seventh Code (K. Kurosawa)
3) Night Moves (Reichardt)
4) The Homesman (T.L. Jones)
5) Oculus (Flanagan)

also liked/worth mentioning: Under the Skin (Glazer); Norte, the End of History (Diaz); Maps to the Stars (Cronenberg); The Immigrant (Gray); Snowpiercer (Bong); Coherence (Byrkit); Jauja (Alonso); Proxy (Parker); Black Coal, Thin Ice (Yinan); Particle Fever (Levinson)

*********************

5 film books that I always kept near in '14:

Japanese Film Directors (Audie Bock)
The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium (Gilberto Perez)
Rio Bravo (Robin Wood)
Films and Feelings (Raymond Durgnat)
A Man With A Camera (Nestor Almendros)

*********************

DVD/Blu-Ray personal highlights:

Bakumatsu Taiyo-Den (Masters of Cinema)
Classe Tous Risques (BFI)
The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka (Masters of Cinema)
Eric Rohmer l'integrale (Potemkine)
Don Siegel's The Killers (Arrow Academy)
Frank Capra: The Early Collection (TCM)
Ghost Hound: Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks)
Les Blank: Always for Pleasure (Criterion)
Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery (CBS)
Western Union (Koch Media Western Legenden)

6 comments:

Jeff Duncanson said...

Cry Danger is a great, snappy little Noir that I would love to see again. I remember it having tons of great, sharp Noir dialogue.

I also remember thinking how underrated Dick Powell was.

Jeff Duncanson said...

I also see Sadeo Yamanaka on there. He was a discovery of mine last year, as well. I wrote a commentary on "Humanity and paper Balloons" a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact.

I'll have to look up the set you mention here.

Drew McIntosh said...

Hey Jeff, yeah, Cry Danger is really special. It feels familiar in all the conventional ways but is also so consistently unique in between the margins that I'm ultimately hard pressed to compare it to much of anything else I've ever seen. The dialogue is great but just as impressive I think is the way the tone is managed so that the dialogue doesn't overwhelm any more than it needs to. Robert Parrish is a very underrated director. I like Powell also and this is the best thing I've ever seen him do.

I can't recommend the Yamanaka Masters of Cinema set highly enough. Humanity is a masterpiece of course, and I think I may like Million Ryo Pot just a tad more.

Matt said...

Nice to see the Naruse and Shimuzu films mentioned. I've discovered them recently too. Hope you're well.

Carson Lund said...

Always nice to get a refresher on what you've been viewing, so this is a welcome post despite its brevity.

Good to see another ardent supporter of The Homesman and Night Moves. Two of the most carefully shot and paced American films of the year.

Drew McIntosh said...

Matt, thanks, happy new year! Naruse has actually been my favorite Japanese director for some time, but I did play catch up with many of his deep cuts in 2014 which was very satisfying, particularly the two mentioned in the post which I would rank equally alongside his greatest works. Shimizu on the other hand was a completely new discovery for me via the Criterion Eclipse set which is just incredible, as well as a couple of back channel rarities sought out that were interesting as well. Even in that small, very diverse sample size one is struck by a singular personality and it's clear that he's a real major figure. I look forward to digging into him further.

Carson, thanks! I agree with you entirely on both of those, neither of which I've been able to shake. The Homesman seems to have deservedly gotten something of a second breath embrace in many of the same corners that wrote it off during Cannes, but it feels like the Reichardt has drifted out of the conversation almost entirely which is too bad, it's very strong for me.