It’s that time again- time to keep myself honest with the various movie-related resolutions I set for myself back in January. One resolution has been completed, and another should be all finished in a matter of weeks. But there are many other resolutions that could use some work.
American Classics (including films directed by Otto Preminger and Ernst Lubitsch)
I have completely failed on the Preminger/Lubitsch promise. The last time I saw a film from either was March or April. I should probably get moving on this one soon because once September hits, I guarantee I’ll feel the call of horror films in preparation for Halloween.
As for American classics, the best I could conjure in the last month was The Long Goodbye (1973), which really doesn’t count as a “classic” in the normally accepted definition of the term. There was a British horror classic- The Village of the Damned (1960), which I’d somehow never seen. And there were a ton of French classics. But no American classics.
Wrapping up Steven Spielberg’s Films
This resolution is now complete.
Watching more classic or non-new release films at theatres
After faltering so much in that first category, it’s a good thing I made a ton of headway in the Big Screen Project. In fact, it was my most prolific month of the year, as I knocked out a whopping eight films in July on the big screen, most as part of the Cinema St. Louis Classic French Film Festival. That brings my grand total for the year up to 23, just two shy of my goal for the year.
The complete list in July includes MASH (1970); Children of Paradise (1945); The Italian Straw Hat (1928); Ghostbusters (1984); A Trip to the Moon (1902); Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974); L’Atlante (1934); and Zero for Conduct (1933). Additionally, there was a series of shorts from Georges Méliès the same night as A Trip to the Moon. I’m counting that night as one film. I’d say that particular night was the second best theater experience I’ve ever had, just a tick below The Godfather earlier this year. All of those films that I saw were special in their own way and I had a blast each time. I have to once again praise the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra for adding greatly to the Méliès shorts, and The Poor People of Paris for The Italian Straw Hat. Each punctuated their respective evenings with a flawless live accompaniment to the silent films.
Attack the AFI 100 Years, 100 Laughs list
I’m still stuck at 98 of 100 films, waiting on The Heartbreak Kid and To Be or Not To Be.
Challenge myself more
There were really only two films that were mildly challenging this month. I finally tackled Alien: Resurrection (1997), despite hearing a lot of mixed reviews about it. I thought it was pretty awful. The other film that was even mildly challenging was Demonlover (2002). I chose that one because it made the Times’ 100 Best French Films list. And that was the film that made me stop actively trying to check movies off of that list. It was horrible, and was barely even French, featuring several segments in Japanese and English. I’ve been very disappointed with that list. Time and again, they placed mediocre or downright bad movies in their top 100.
Basically, like June, my month of July was dominated by French film. While it was a blast, I’m ready to take a breather from it all. Now that the smoke has cleared, I can claim 31 French films in the last two months (plus all of the Méliès shorts). It’s slightly less than I thought I might have but that’s still an absurd total.
Up next in August- possibly Jaws and Ferris Bueller on the big screen.