2018 Film Challenge: 24. Mr. Morgan’s Last Love

This is a DVD that I got from my friend Emily when she was having a bit of a clear-out. It was a random film with Gillian Anderson in, which was enough of a reason for me to take it. I found it a slightly frustrating film in that it’s really let down by Michael Caine’s awful American accent. It’s so bad that it’s really distracting and kinda ruins the film. It’s a shame, as I think it could be a pretty good film with a different lead actor, or even just without the embarrassing accent. The choice to make the character American is odd in itself, as it’s a based on a novel where the character’s French, but then the screenplay was supposedly written with Michael Caine in mind (according to Wikipedia), so why not then make the character British?? Thankfully, Gillian’s character is awesome and by far the best thing in it. Her scenes really made the film for me, which wasn’t exactly a shock.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • Hee hee, the menu choices are Dutch or French. I guess I’ll go French as at least have a rusty GCSE in that…
  • OK, I think I can manage with clicking on ‘le film’.
  • What the hell is his accent meant to be?
  • How long’s he been living in France? He can’t even order a sandwich? Or at least say ‘merci’?
  • I feel like I missed something in the French bit there. The lack of English subtitles might prove interesting.
  • Is he meant to be American?!
  • Why didn’t they just make the character English? That accent’s so bad it’s distracting.
  • Are they going to have a thing? Surely not.
  • Wow, it’s gotta be pricey to have an Eiffel Tower view, surely.
  • It’s seeming a bit pervy
  • He’s got a framed picture of the bat signal? Or possibly just a bat, I suppose… If he turns out to be retired Batman, that’d be quite the twist.
  • I love Paris. Excited to go back in September.
  • When does Gillian appear? It’s going to be really brief isn’t it?
  • Dude, that’s an awful thing to say to her
  • I’m enjoying his eyebrows
  • Is Karen going to be Gillian?
  • Gillian!!
  • Ha ha, she’s so awesome. This film just got a million times better.
  • Gillian speaking French?!! Yes please!
  • Is she going to get it on with his son? There seems like some sexual tension there.
  • Don’t be correcting her English when you can’t even say ‘merci’ properly.
  • Nothing wrong with Maine
  • They’re totally gonna get it on
  • This film would be so much better without the bad accent. I’m impressed the other actors were able to take him seriously. Good acting.
  • Those are some proper old-fashioned suitcases
  • Wanna sound less pervy?
  • OMG!
  • Called it!
  • Can Karen come back now, please?
  • Well, that’s a bit Oedipal.
  • It’s been bugging me why I vaguely recognise this guy. Checked IMDb and he was in Goats with David Duchovny! Ah, the joy of watching random David and Gillian films.
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2018 Film Challenge: 23. Cabaret

I only watched Cabaret for the first time a few years ago. I was familiar with the songs and had seen clips of it, but somehow hadn’t ever watched the film. I now have it on DVD and really enjoyed watching it for a second time. I also saw the stage show last year, which was great.

The thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • 2 successive films with Joel Grey in. Is it weird that I mostly think of him as the lizardy dude from Buffy?
  • I love this song – it reminds me of a school dance show where a group of girls danced to it. Potentially more provocative than was appropriate, but it was great. I have it on video.
  • I love the Fosse dance style
  • She’s not shy, is she?
  • I love Sally in this scene. Classy syphilis conversation.
  • Gigolo’s a great word
  • A jumper with nothing underneath? I feel itchy just seeing that.
  • Ah, it’s the creepy Nazi child scene.
  • You can’t put a candle on a record!
  • It’s disturbing how much of this is still relevant.
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2018 Film Challenge: 21. Dancer In The Dark

I’d seen this film once before, whilst visiting my dad in Australia in 2011, and I’d really enjoyed it, so was keen to get to see it again (as I recently bought it on DVD). I happily enjoyed it just as much on second viewing. It’s a brilliant combination of joyful singing and dancing, contrasted with totally heartbreaking tragedy. I love the notion of music being a refuge when things are going wrong. It’s so well done and really lingers with you after the credits roll.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • I’d forgotten how sweet it is early on
  • I’d also forgotten how much film there is before the musical elements kick in
  • Tap dancing’s the best
  • You know something bad’s going to happen
  • Nooooo
  • So much of this film is really heartbreaking
  • You’re a bad man
  • Does Jeff actually work?
  • You’re a very bad man
  • It’s even more brutal than I’d remembered
  • That’s one handy handrail
  • That was a pretty dumb decision
  • It’s so tragic
  • It’s so heartbreaking
  • What do I recognise the prison guard from? Oh, she was in Dogville! That’s not surprising. Think I actually recognise her from Men In Black though.
  • Jeff’s so sweet
  • Brenda’s so lovely too
  • It’s so awful. If you don’t cry at this you’re probably dead inside.
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2018 Film Challenge: 20. The Graduate

Another film I acquired in the Jamie Belongings Cull of 2016. It was one of a vast number of well-known and ‘how have you not seen that?’ films that I hadn’t seen. It’s quite weird to watch a film that’s so well ingrained in popular culture that you’re already familiar with numerous parodies of it. It makes it difficult to take it seriously, though it’s also a less serious film than I’d expected anyway. I was slightly bemused by it, but I enjoyed it. Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching:

  • I quite like a bit of Simon & Garfunkel
  • Agh! Why would you have a picture of a clown up in your house? Is this The Bad Place?
  • Home bar goals
  • I wasn’t expecting the famous seduction line to be so early on in the film
  • He looks a lot older than 20
  • Poor guy – I can understand why he’s concerned about his future
  • He actually had a toothbrush?
  • This is funnier than I’d expected
  • That’s quite the first date
  • Dude, seriously?
  • Why would you tell your parents that?
  • Scarborough Fair always reminds me of the Story Teller Songbook I had as a child. I loved that tape.
  • Stalkery much?
  • It’s another film with monkeys in!
  • Don’t marry either of them Elaine, you can do better
  • Dressing table mirror goals. I kinda want the Robinsons’ house.
  • It’s weird watching such a famous scene when you’ve previously only seen it in parodies. It’ll always be a Wayne’s World scene to me. Though I’m now impressed by just how well it’s replicated in Wayne’s World.
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2018 Film Challenge: 19. Dogville

The first Lars Von Trier film on the list. You know that Von Trier films are generally going to be a bit odd, pretty interesting, possibly quite disturbing and often on the long side. This had all of those going for it. The oddness is mostly in the way it’s staged, in that it is done more like a theatre production than a film. It’s instantly intriguing though takes a little while to get used to. Once you’re engrossed in the film though, you almost stop noticing – kinda similar to reading subtitles. The disturbing elements are pretty disturbing, though less so than some of his more recent films, so that’s something. My decision to follow it up by then watching the first episode of the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale made for quite a full-on Sunday evening. I watched an episode of Grace and Frankie afterwards, just to lighten the mood slightly before bed!

Overall I enjoyed it – it’s an interesting exploration of morality, human nature and society. It’s maybe a little long, but that was my only real complaint. Plus I’m not really sure what you’d cut out. If it was too fast paced it’d be less eerie.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • Intrigued already
  • It’s him again! Faraday.
  • That’s definitely the most interesting dog I’ve seen in a film
  • An actual car! It looks really out of place.
  • Ha ha, I love the gooseberry bushes even more than the dog
  • I’m fascinated as to where this is going to go and how it’s going to last 3 hours
  • Creepy kid
  • Ooh, an actual bush
  • Really? Tom?
  • I like Martha
  • You should totally doubt him, he’s a dick
  • No! He’s being all gaslighty.
  • Pervy child!
  • Oh god. It was clearly coming, but still.
  • Aw, maybe Tom’s not so bad. Or he just seems less bad in comparison.
  • This doesn’t portray men in a great light
  • Prison’s gotta be better than this. Even the gangsters can’t be much worse. Do a runner!
  • Yikes. I knew it’d get dark, but still.
  • Don’t be hateful? They’re monsters!
  • Oh. I didn’t expect that.
  • Oh thank god.
  • Woah!
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2018 Film Challenge: 18. Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

The first of quite a few Almodóvar films on the list (I think there are 5 in total) – mostly because I inherited a box set of 4 of his films from my ex. This is one of the ones from the box set, plus one I’d seen before, though my memory of it was very vague. I’d remembered enjoying it and thankfully enjoyed it again on 2nd viewing (possibly partly because I’d forgotten what happens). It’s about a guy who kidnaps an actress (one who has worked in porn, though that’s not really relevant) and plans to keep her captive until she falls in love with him (because obviously). In some ways it’s a lot less disturbing than that makes it sound, as it has quite a bit of humour to it too, but it does also have a definite disturbing quality. It’s hard to say much about it without it getting spoilery, so I’ll just leave you with the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • How many of Almodóvar’s films include the making of other films?
  • I think I’ve mixed up bits of this with Broken Embraces in my memory
  • The wig!
  • Antonio Banderas plays weird and creepy so well
  • Creepy!
  • ‘My moustache will fall off’. Ha ha ha ha.
  • I love how he has no inner monologue and just says whatever he’s thinking
  • Why are there suddenly Nazis?
  • He Man!
  • Woman, what are you doing?
  • There’s more weeing in this film than in most films
  • This film’s so fucked up

Edit: I just checked and there were 5 films in the box set, so there are 6 of his films on the list

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