Sorry for starting with something so completely egoistic, but it's very important to me.
Anyway, I went to the cinema to watch Hugo on the last day of the month, and that was actually my fourth visit to the cinemas this month, of which one was a double bill. You can read my first thoughts further down the page.
What else has been happening this month? Well, the Oscars of course... I'm still a bit tired, but never mind - it was worth it.
Most surprisingly, I watched only good films this month, can you believe it? There was indeed no trash whatsoever! The lowest rating I gave a film is 6.4. I also believe I've never seen as many black-and-white films in one month as this time, which is related to the "Tagore in Films"-DVD-Box I got as a christmas present. You can look forward to a whole post on the six (?) films.
Furthermore, you might remember my post on Kate Winslet, where I listed five Kate Winslet films I wanted to watch before I turn 17? Well, as there are only 9 days left, I'm in quite a hurry, but there's only two more to go: Heavenly Creatures and my long-awaited Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And my expectations for the latter are sky-high, so I prey for not being disappointed. In any case, I'll also do a post on my reactions to the five films by the time I've watched them.
So, let's take a lot at what else I have seen this month...
(The Tagore and Winslet films will be marked and there will only be a very short sentence about them, because of the upcoming posts).
*Blue-marked film means Film of the Month.
Watched for the very first time:
Applaus (2009) Martin Zandvliet - Denmark
A terrific performance from Paprika Steen, one of my favorite Danish actresses. By the way: Danish films rock! (... sometimes).
This is a quite typical Danish film; melancholic, slightly cool and depressing - and inspiring. Believe me, you won't forget this film very soon after seeing it.
Carnage (2011) Roman Polanski - France/ Germany/ Poland/ Spain
I just love films like this; rebellious with a bit of formula - and extremely entertaining. It helps that the ensemble is top-notch - especially Waltz.
Char Adhyay (1997) Kumar Shahani - India
(Tagore). Very experimental, my least favorite of this month's films.
Delhi Belly (2011) Abhinay Deo - India | review
One of the wonderful new wave Indian comedies - black and ruthless.
Elle s'appelait Sarah (2011) Gilles Paquet-Brenner - France
WWII films can be so incredibly boring, especially if you've been bombarded (!) by WWII books and movies ever since you went to first grade. This film is a welcome exception.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) Jon Avnet - USA
Nothing special; but then again, it is. Incredibly charming, and it made me want to move to the country even though I'm more of a big city person at this point of my life.
Gandu (2010) Q - India
I wrote a review for the ISHQ, so even though I would like to, I can't publish it here - maybe I'm going to do a visual review for a change. Anyhow, this is a milestone in the history of Indian filmmaking, and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. If you're willing to sit through some nasty stuff that turns out to be fantastic in the end, you should track down the DVD.
Ghare-Baire (1984) Satyajit Ray - India
(Tagore). Soumitra Chatterjee is an instant favorite, after I've seen three films with him. By the way, I also watched my first three Satyajit Ray films this month (all from the Tagore box). Nice fella.
Hamlet (1996) Kenneth Branagh - UK
(Winslet). It was a tough one, there was definitely too much (and difficult) dialogue for my taste. Actually I had to turn the English subtitles on to fully understand it. But it wasn't as bad as I had thought... at least now I don't have to read it. This was also a test for me: can you sit through Hamlet, THE Hamlet, Shakespeare's Hamlet? -YES!
Hugo (2011) Martin Scorsese - USA
I just watched it this afternoon, so I'm not sure about my opinion yet... I loved it, no doubt, but it was much more mainstream and predictable than I had thought. No masterpiece in my mind. But then again, it was just something else... something wonderful. Well, there'll be a post on it soon.
Rating: 8.3... until now
Hysteria (2011) Tanya Wexler - UK | short review
Yes, that's the one. The film about the invention of... yeah. Best idea for a comedy ever. Hysterically hilarious.
I'm Not There. (2007) Todd Haynes - USA
My respect for Cate Blanchett has sky-dived: what a performance! She was indeed the best of all the actors who portrayed Bob Dylan in this cool and confusing film. Rocking.
Inshallah Kashmir (2012) Ashvin Kumar - India
Wrote a review for the ISHQ, so again: I can't write much on this, because I already have, but let me tell you: it's an incredible film that needs all the support it can get. Just google it and there will be a site where you can watch it for a few dollars.
Intouchables (2011) Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano - France | short review
It's been so long since there has been a decent film on friendship... plus, this is also a wonderful and extremely funny comedy. French films are great. Oh, and watch out for Omar Sy - a beautiful name and face aren't the only things he has got.
Kabuliwala (1961) Hemen Gupta - India
(Tagore). Good songs and interesting topic that I knew nothing about. A little boring.
Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000) Rajiv Menon - India
Tamil is such a funny language! A good film, but there were parts I hated for being too formula-esque - I mean, this could have been so much better without certain elements.
Khudito Pashan (1960) Tapan Sinha - India (IMDB title: Ksudishta Pashan)
(Tagore). My favorite of the Tagore-Box-films - dreamy, imaginative, and very calm (but not boring).
Limitless (2011) Neil Burger - USA
The editing wasn't as good as I had expected, but on a whole it was a very suspenseful and exciting thriller. Also, the ending was perfect, just perfect - I thought about for a long time.
Little Children (2006) Todd Field - USA
(Winslet). I didn't like it that much to begin with, but fell in love slowly.... The narrator was really good, too.
Los Abrazos Rotos (2009) Pedro Almodóvar - Spain
Not as good as my first Almodóvar film (Volver), but still high quality. Penelope Cruz is such a good actress, I never realized.
Natir Puja (1932) Rabindranath Tagore - India
(Tagore). Not the original of course, which was destroyed or lost... anyhow, this was pretty boring because of the missing sound and sequences.
Raavanan (2010) Mani Ratnam - India | review
Good, but I liked the Hindi version better because it had three great actors instead of two.
Rabindranath Tagore (1961) Satyajit Ray - India
(Tagore). A very classic documentary in terms of style, but interestingly resembling a feature film.
Rio Grande (1950) John Ford - USA
My first John Wayne film turned out to be disappointingly boring - Maureen o'Hara also let me down. As somebody said on icheckmovies.com: "Pearl Harbor all over it".
Romance & Cigarettes (2005) John Turturro - USA
(Winslet). Catchy songs and choreographies, but not as good as I had expected. Kate Winslet was hilarious though.
Shor in the City (2011) Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru - India
Took some time to catch up with the 2011-essentials from India. This one was modern but not special enough to truly impress. What sticked with me was the song "Saibo" - I simply can't get it out of my head.
Super Size Me (2004) Morgan Spurlock - USA
I figured this was a film that everyone had to see, especially somebody like me who can't decide whether to dislike or completely hate McDonalds. Well, I don't think I'll ever eat a Mc-burger again, but the croissants, wraps and McCafé stuff is okay with me, if it's just once a month or less.
Anyhow, I was surprised by the outcome of the experiment, even though I had heard about it from several friends, teachers and acquaintances, it was still shocking. Furthermore, I really liked the style in which information was presented, it was figurative and very comprehensive.
Verdict: This should be in 1001 Movies instead of Rio Grande.
Teen Kanya (1961) Satyajit Ray - India
(Tagore). Interesting way of putting together a film, and I liked the portrayal of the different female characters. Did I mention that Satyajit Ray is cool?
The Dirty Picture (2011) Milan Luthria - India
Certainly one of the most discussed Hindi films of 2011. Vidya Balan's performance was striking, otherwise the film was very entertaining. Of course, there were certain weak points, but in a nutshell I very much loved it and would recommend it to most people.
Re-watched with the purpose of intense examination:
Amount of films watched this month: 29