April 2016 Roundup

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Bits and bobs or things that made me happy:

-The teaser trailer for Rogue One dropped and I, among many others, cannot wait until December. Felicity Jones has been a favourite of mine for ages so I’m really happy to see her in something like this. There were also other trailers for Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts, both of which I’m looking forward to. (As well as one for The Birth of a Nation, I think, or was that March? Time is a strange thing).

-Apparently Warren Beatty is thinking about a Dick Tracy sequel at some point which is…interesting. Dick Tracy is one of my favourite films and I’d certainly welcome a sequel if it was as colourful and bizarre as the first.

-A couple of people created a census or survey of dialogue in a whole heap of movies looking at how many words are spoken by men vs women, and so on. The results aren’t surprising but the more data there is about the imbalance in representation, the better.

-These polaroids from the set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show are incredibly cool and fun.

-This seriously adorable photo of Doris Day with her dog on her 92nd birthday gave me the warm fuzzies. That’s about it for this section!

Favourite April watches:

JesusChrist Superstar Yvonne Elliman

I managed to watch 15 new-to-me movies for April (two of which were shorts), which isn’t as many as I’d hoped but still a pretty good effort. My favourites were probably Jesus Christ Superstar (pictured above), Shock to the System (pictured below) and Zootopia (the only I saw at the cinema). Despite my love of musicals, it never occurred to me to watch Jesus Christ Superstar before, which was very remiss of me. It’s an outstanding film and I thoroughly loved it. I couldn’t stop listening to “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” for a few days after that.

Shock to the System had been on my radar for a while, and was the last of the Donald Strachey films I’d yet to see. It’s nothing outstanding in terms of mysteries but Donald and Timothy are great characters and, in a genre where minority characters are often only victims or killers, it’s nice to see them better represented (though they are largely white).

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I also watched four Mario Bava films (The Girl Who Knew Too Much (pictured in the top banner), Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Lisa and the Devil, and Kill Baby, Kill). Objectively, I’d say Kill Baby, Kill was the best but my favourite was The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Hatchet for the Honeymoon (pictured below) was a close second merely in terms of the way it looked. Bava’s films are very striking.

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I only got to the movies once in April but I’m glad it was to see Zootopia. It’s a lovely, delightful film.

Resolutions updates:
Watch more movies made by women.

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I watched five movies directed by women in April: Æon Flux; Somewhere; Dating the Enemy; Crossroads and Saute ma Ville, as well as rewatching The Brady Bunch Movie.

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The best was definitely Somewhere but I enjoyed Dating the Enemy the most. I found that Crossroads wasn’t anywhere near as bad as most people make it out to be, nor was Æon Flux. The Brady Bunch Movie is one of my favourites and I think it’s totally bizarre and completely underrated.

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Watch more Australian films.

DATING THE ENEMY, Guy Pearce, Claudia Karvan, 1996. ©Umbrella Entertainment

The only new-to-me Australian film I watched in April was Dating the Enemy (pictured above) which, while silly, was very enjoyable. I love Claudia Karvan and Guy Pearce and it was a very easy watch. I also rewatched Strictly Ballroom (pictured below), which will always be a favourite of mine.

I wasn’t well enough to get to the cinema to see any of the Australian films I mentioned last month but I’m crossing my fingers that I get around to seeing them before they leave cinemas. A Month of Sundays, which is one of them, is Anthony LaPaglia’s first film in Adelaide, his hometown! (Warning for auto-play video in that link).

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I was happy to read that Girl Asleep, which I stupidly missed at last year’s Adelaide Film Festival, has been picked up internationally and will be released here in Australia in September.

Write (and read) more!

I think I will take out this section, from next month. It’s really more of a personal thing, which extends beyond wanting to write and read more about cinema. Having this section in the roundups doesn’t seem to have helped me keep on track, so I’m not really sure it’s that necessary. I will think about it, though. I suppose it could be a good place to post links of what I have written during the month, which would make it more useful than just me waffling on about whether or not I’ve written anything.

April reading recommendations:

Oscar Isaac on ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’: ‘It feels like we’re making an independent film’ at The LA Times

Jessica Chastain: ‘It’s a myth that women don’t get along’ at The Guardian

The Bury Your Gays Trope Hurts Real Queer People & it Needs to End at Her Campus

‘I Will Survive!’: Australia’s 10 best LGBT Films at The Guardian

Hollywood’s upcoming films prove it loves Asian culture – as long as it comes without Asians at Media Diversified

Celebrating the Sly Subversiveness of ‘Josie and the Pussycats’, 15 Years Later at Flavorwire

Sofia Coppola and the Silent Woman at Bitch Flicks

On the Road Again with Thelma & Louise at Harper’s Bazaar

How non-white Aussie actors are struggling for recognition at Daily Life

Anti-Vaccine Doc ‘Vaxxed’: A Doctor’s Film Review at THR

Roger’s Favorites: A Table of Contents at RogerEbert.com (so far I’ve read the Sally Potter post)

Getting to know you

Around this time, last year, on Tumblr I reblogged a post that suggested making a list of the top 10 films that, right now, would let someone get to know you. ‘not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you’. You can see what I posted back then here.

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Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964)

I’ll admit that, while I love the idea, it’s a little abstract for my general way of thinking. While there is a great deal to learn about someone from their interests, I tend to struggle making the connection of what exactly it is I can glean from it. So, my way of choosing films was perhaps different than how others chose films. (Then again, it may not have been). For instance, I mostly chose films that had characters I thought reflected aspects of my personality or to whom I felt a deep connection (other films, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, were chosen because I’ve loved them for so long I felt they left an indelible mark on me).

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Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)

But I love making lists, especially ones that challenge me, so I thought it would be interesting to revisit it. Most of my current choices are the same, so this post may be redundant but I did swap out The Philadelphia Story for Stoker, and removed The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I spent a long time thinking about what I would change, but I honestly feel like I’m in such a similar place, now, as I was last year that there isn’t much point changing most of them.

Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964)

Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)

Muriel’s Wedding (PJ Hogan, 1994)

Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)

Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

Muriel’s Wedding (PJ Hogan, 1994)

Muriel’s Wedding (PJ Hogan, 1994)

Les Amours Imaginaires (Xavier Dolan, 2010)

Secretary (Steven Shainberg, 2002)

Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (David Mirkin, 1997)

Stoker (Chan-wook Park, 2013)

Stoker (Chan-wook Park, 2013)

Stoker (Chan-wook Park, 2013)

I was going to write a little from each film about what I connected to, and why I picked it, but I feel like it’s more interesting to let them speak for themselves. I will say that I think these films say that I’m still feeling a bit lost and uncertain about life. And maybe that I find it difficult to connect (to others). This is a far more personal post than I am accustomed to, but I just liked the idea so much, and I felt like I needed to revisit it. It would be interesting to see what others would choose!