Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy New Month: Films of August 2012

You guys are simply too awesome!
Ever since March 2012, my stats have been going higher and higher each month, and I am so happy about this. Every new month is truly a Happy New Month, so I want to thank everyone who has been following and reading the ramblings I put out here. Thank you.

As I said in the latest Pensieve post, my life is if not chaotic at least very stuffed at the moment, by which I mean that there are lots of things for me to do. Everything of this is my own choice off course - I want to get an education, a driver's license and so on - and yes, it's more important than blogging. If not, I guess I'd have to get worried about my life.
So there's a bit of cutting down on blogging, I'm satisfied if only I can post once a week next month. But like I know my readers, I'm sure you won't abandon this little blog.

Anyway, what's also more important than blogging about films? Watching films. And I've managed better than I thought to squeeze in a movie here and there, especially a lot of classics...


Aadukalam (2011) Vetri Maran - India
I expected more from a film that has won so many awards. And seriously, rooster fighting isn't a very interesting topic to me. But Dhanush is a great actor.
Rating: 6.8

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Richard Brooks - USA
This movie just had me right from the start. One of the best dialogue-orientated films I've ever seen. Why is this one not in the 1001 book?
Rating: 8.6

City of Ember (2008) Gil Kenan - USA
I can't say this one was surprisingly good, because I knew when I saw it at the library, that it was just what I need it and that I would like it. 
Rating: 7.4

Cosmopolis (2012) David Cronenberg - France/ Canada/ Portugal/ Italy
Only my second favourite film of the year. So it's kind of awesome to be honest.
Rating: 8.5

De grønne slagtere ["The Green Butchers"] (2003) Anders Thomas Jensen - Denmark
Danish films... they're either very dark comedies or very dark tragedies. (I mean the newer ones, like 1990+). Or stupid comedies. This is one of the funniest dark ones.
Rating: 7.8

Dirch (2011) Martin Zandvliet - Denmark
And while we're talking about Danish films, I love old Danish films. And I love Dirch Passer. And I loved this film. 
Rating: 7.7

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) Stephen Daldry - USA
Yes-this-film-deserved-the-Oscar-nominations-just-as-little-as-everyone-says. But the main actor is quite talented.
Rating: 6.9

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) Wes Anderson - USA
Until now this is my least favourite Wes Anderson movie - so you can see I really like the guy. I wonder how the animation was done, it looked like nothing I've seen before.
Rating: 7.5

Fatso! (2012) Rajat Kapoor - India
Somehow I love Rajat Kapoor, but there is always some fault in his films. I mean, this man's a genius but why doesn't he dare really show it? And why did he choose Gul Panag, that woman just can't act.
Rating: 6.3

King Kong (1933) Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack - USA
Is it ignorant to find an old film "just okay" because the animation and everything is poor? I don't know. But you know, not even the story was that great. That doesn't mean I didn't like it. I especially liked the animation. But as a whole, something was missing here.
Rating: 6.3

L'age d'or (1930) Luis Buñuel - France
Just when I thought I knew what pretentious art house films look like, I found out I didn't. It's very likely I only rated this film so high because I'm pretentious myself. But perhaps I actually did understand some of it. 
Rating: 6.7

Låt den rätte komma in ["Let the Right One In"] (2008) Thomas Alfredson - Sweden
To begin with I didn't see what was so special about this film, but it really lingered with me after I'd seen it. It's very beautiful, on the outside as well as on the inside. But there's something keeping me from loving it.

Rating: 7.4

La Danse (2009) Frederick Wiseman - France
Ballet really is an incredible art form. It was hard not to sit with your mouth wide open for two hours during this movie - but perhaps that's only because I take ballet classes myself.
Rating: 7.6

Les quatre cents coups ["The 400 Blows"] (1959) François Truffaut - France
So, what's up with all those cold classics? I just don't seem to get them. They just don't touch my, they don't get me you know. Yes, The 400 Blows is a rememberable film but... it's so... not-as-good-as-expected.
Rating: 7.1

Little Big Man (1970) Arthur Penn - USA
Whereas, when you don't expect anything, you can end up getting everything. This movie is so awesome, I can't believe it. Perhaps it's the Dustin Hoffman factor, but there's something about the story (and Faye Dunaway) too. Who would have thought I'd ever love a western?
Rating: 8.6

Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) F.W. Murnau - Germany
I know that I'm mean and ignorant, but silent films just p*** me off sometimes. Almost always to be honest. With the exception of another Murnau film, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
The only cool film about this film was Nosferatu himself, really a cult-y looking vampire. But the terrible supporting actors ruined everything.
Rating: 5.0

Notes on a Scandal (2006) Richard Eyre - UK
(Part of the Cate Blanchett Essentials).
My favourite of the Cate Blanchett films I've seen for this feature until now. It's very subtle and British, in a close-to-perfect kind of way (though it has its flaws).
Rating: 8.0

Notorious (1946) Alfred Hitchcock - USA
Oh, I dreaded this moment. The moment in which I have to confess to all of you, especially the ones that recommended this film to me, that I didn't love it. And that it didn't inflame my love of Hitchcock. You see, I find Hitchcock interesting. And judging from interviews, that man was a genius. But there have only been two of his films that truly, truly made me feel very impressed. I like all of his films (the ones I've seen), but there's always a certain stiffness to them I don't like. Anyway, let's talk about that at some other point.
Rating: 7.4

Pyaasa (1957) Guru Dutt - India
I should see more Indian classics. This film is a melancholic piece of poetry on celluloid. Which is a compliment.
Rating: 8.5

Robin Hood (2010) Ridley Scott - USA/ UK
(Part of the Cate Blanchett Essentials).
Why the heck did I listen to my friend who liked this film? She even liked Nowhere Boy, I should've known this. Damn. I wish I'd never selected this one as one of the Cate Blanchett Essentials.
Rating: 3.9

Sønner av Norge ["Sons of Norway"] (2011) Jens Lien - Norway/ Sweden/ Denmark/ France
Weird and slightly disturbing movie. I had expected a light hippy vs. punks comedy. But anyway, I discovered The Sex Pistols.
Rating: 7.1

The Darjeeling Limited (2007) Wes Anderson - USA
Why on earth doesn't this film get the love it deserves? It is fantastic! In fact, it's my second favourite Wes Anderson movie after Moonrise Kingdom!
By the way, why didn't I notice that Owen Wilson actually is a great actor before? I mean, I thought Midnight in Paris was just a lucky hit, but the more Wes Anderson movies I see, the more I like the guy. And don't forget: watch this movie if you haven't!
Rating: 8.4

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Wes Anderson - USA
You know, when you kind of had a Cousteau Mini Blogathon, this movie is kind of the coolest thing that every happened to you. At first I doubted the connection, but it became clear with the time. That being said, I didn't love the movie to begin with. I don't know if I do even now. I know that I really like it though and... I just think about it not-so-seldom. 
Rating: 7.7

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) Wes Anderson - USA
Wait, I said that Fantastic Mr. Fox was my least favourite Wes Anderson film, right? That's not true. This one is. Yes, can we have the argument later on? My point is, Wes Anderson is awesome. Sublime. But his most acclaimed and worshipped movie was the one I liked this least. It's not (just) Gwyneth Paltrow. It's something I can't explain.
Rating: 7.5

Un chien andalou (1929) Luis Buñuel - France
I know, I know. "Much greater than a 7.5". "Much more pretentious than a 7.5". It was cool and pretentious. But at least shorter and funnier than L'age d'or.
Rating: 7.5

Vertigo (1958) Alfred Hitchcock - USA
One question - who came up with the idea that Kim Novak is beautiful? Because she really isn't. And her acting really freaked me out too. The magic of Hitchcock is the fact that I still liked this movie.
Rating: 7.3


Into the Wild (2007) Sean Penn - USA
So, I want to burn all my money and hitchhike until I starve to death in Alaska. That's how great this movie is.
Rating: 9.7

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris - USA
Seriously, re-watching is so great, I should do it far more often. Except I wouldn't have the time to get to know more films then.
Rating: 8.5


What I love about series is that they make you stay awake until 3am even when you've worked 9 hours that day. And that's what I hate about them too. 

Amount of films watched this month: 28 (July + 12)
Average rating: 7.4 (July + 0.1)

Worst film of the month: Robin Hood
Best film of the month: Into the Wild


  1. Still haven't rented 'Loud.' There are a lot of good reviews out there though.

  2. I was just reading a book on Guru Dutt, essentially a biography through interviews of people who knew him. The man truly was a genius, and left us well before his time. It's kind of weird how reality parallels his fiction - I think Pyaasa showed that he knew that his work would be even more appreciated after his demise.

    I also like your reviews of the classics, like Nosferatu etc. It's one of those things .. sometimes a film that doesn't impress or leaves you could on a personal level, you have to try to look at through the prism of its time, and see what made it so classic and/or influential. But it's not easy to do that so in the end you're just going "meh" at a classic.

    1. That's true - I always try to get myself together and see a classic under the context of its time, but it's very hard. And then you think, well there are this and that film that are old classics and that I liked without trying to get myself to.

      What is the name of that book? It sounds intriguing.

  3. Nice little roundup of films, here!

    Thought that it was a universal fact that Kim Novak is rather attractive, but everyone has different tastes I guess.

    I do agree about your opinion on Hitchcock, though. Get that he was important, but I think his films have been put on a ridiculous, unreachable pedestal that they would never be able to touch in reality.

    1. I guess so.

      Oh no, I think her eyebrows are so thick and fake, and her whole face seems so fake to me.

      I thought you'd be one of the people that would kill me for not loving Notorious ;). No, honestly, you're right about Hitchcock - I've heard too much of his films, so my expectations are simply too high I guess.

  4. Yay for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof love! That is an awesome movie. I love it to pieces.

    Totally agree about The 400 Blows. In fact, the more I think about it, the less I like it. It didn't really "speak" to me.

    1. It was my first Elizabeth Taylor movie I discovered - hurra for that :).

      Great to hear someone agree on The 400 Blows, because until now I have seen no negative review on it at all.

  5. You seem to watch many Wes Anderson movies. Reminded me that I should too! It seems like a nice month for you. I didn't really impressed with Into The Wild like you, just because the ending.

    1. Yeah, I only have two more W.A. films to go until I've seen all of his films. I was so intrigued by Moonrise Kingdom that I just had to see more of him.
      About Into the Wild, well it was the true story so... that's how it goes sometimes. But I know a lot of people that didn't like the ending.

  6. Let the Right One In, & 400 Blows, I agree both are overrated, and I don't think as good as the reputation.

    Sorry to disagree, I found characters in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) pretty unbearable, I mean the acting was brilliant, but ohh, most of them are unlikeable to me.The most touching scenes I thought are towards the end between father and son.

    wow! Vertigo (1958) only a 7.3, sight & sound recently named it the greatest movie of all time, oh well, I guess we can't love all the classics.

    Into the Wild (2007) is amazing , I especially love the Eddie Vedder soundtrack, and the trailer is one of my favorites to rewatch.

    Thanks for Little Big Man (1970) recommendation, might give it a watch!

    1. Well, I didn't say I liked the characters in CoaHTR, they were all nuts in some way, but I just loved the way the story was constructed and the conflicts were displayed.

      I don't know what it was with me and Vertigo. I loved the narration, as in any Hitchcock film, and the story was cool... but it wasn't that special.

      You remind me that I wanted to get my hands on the Into the Wild soundtrack, it's amazing!

      And do watch Little Big Man, I'm pretty sure you'll like it.

  7. CoaHTR - I never realized how smoking hot Liz Taylor was until I saw this film.

    Cosmopolis - Yay!

    Green Butchers - Never heard of this, but sounds like I would enjoy it from your description, putting it on my list.

    Fantastic Mr. Fox - Amazingly the animation was all done by hand 'stop-motion'.

    King Kong - My favorite version is actually the 1976 one, it's a terrible film, but that's the one I used to see on TV all the time as a kid.

    Let the Right One In - It's beautifully shot, got an intriguing story, and it combines horror and romance better than anything else I've seen, but yeah it's not one of the greatest films of all time.

    400 Blows - Not my favorite Truffaut film either. I prefer his next one Shoot the Piano Player, and also Jules and Jim.

    Nosferatu - I prefer the Herzog verion of this. I also agree with you about most silent films. It takes a really special story or performance like Sunrise or Passion of Joan of Arc to get me going.

    Notorious - I didn't love it either, but loved seeing Grant and Bergman at their very best.

    Darjeeling - I actually don't like Owen Wilson very much, nor Adrien Brody for that matter, so it's a testament to Wes Anderson's writing and directing that I enjoyed this one at all.

    The Life Aquatic - Not quite my favorite, that would be The Royal Tenenbaums. But it's the one I've seen the most times, and I really love the soundtrack.

    The Royal Tenenbaums - It was my first WA film, and in my heart is still my favorite, love Gene Hackman, though it's been quite awhile since my last viewing, so that may change when I finally get around to it.

    Un Chien Andalou - I think 7.5 is about right. It is a pretentious short, and like L'age d'or only gets so much attention because it's Dali and Bunuel.

    Vertigo - It's one I've always struggled with too. Despite everyones love for it. Screw the Sight and Sound poll, I don't think this would even place in my top 5 of AH films.

    Into The Wild - Strangely inspirational story, a bad ending of course, but he does things I wish I had the guts to do.

    1. I really hated Liz Taylor's hair do, but somehow she managed to pull it off.

      Cosmopolis for Oscars!

      Do watch Green Butchers, it's foreign so it should be just your thing ;).

      Oh wow, stop-motion for Fantastic Mr. Fox?! That's incredible!

      My favourite King Kong is obviously the 2006? version, because it's the only other I've seen. Maybe I'll watch the other versions too, especially the one you mentioned.

      There was some awkward erotic undertone in Ltroi though, wasn't there? But still, it's quite a good film.

      Don't know if Truffaut is my kind of director, but I'll surely check out some more of his work.

      I heard the Herzog version of Nosferatu is really cool, and I love him anyhow. You remind me that I want to see the Passion of Joan of Arc, many people have recommended it to me.

      Glad to see you didn't love Notorious either! And Darjeeling!

      Hm, The Royal Tenenbaums was just not my piece of cake, it was Wes-Anderson-good (which is good) but not as good as the other films of his I've seen.

      Pretentious is just the right work to describe Un Chien Andalou and L'age d'or.

      About Vertigo, I don't think so either... well, maybe, but only because I haven't seen that many Hitchcock films.

      I really want to read the Into the Wild book some time.

      - Thanks for the long comment.


Let the discussion begin!