Movie-a-Day: April 2008

Has it really been four months since I last posted a compulsive record of my movie regimen? Guess so. Around the winter holidays I stopped watching for “homework” purposes and wrote down no titles from the first few months of 2008. (All I can remember from that time is Apocalypto, which made my adrenal glands light up like a love-tester game at the carnival.) Even though movie-a-day is a summer thing and classes didn’t end till the start of May, I impatiently dived back into the ongoing mission on April 1, armed with a list of remedial filmgoing provided by my friend Chris Dumas.

Dumas, who in terms of cinema aesthetics is the filet mignon to my Philly cheesesteak, has been imploring me since our grad-student days at Indiana University to watch more European modernism and less Die Hard; hence the predominance of Godard and Bergman on the list below. As always, titles that kicked my ass get a star. The aforementioned adrenal glands can testify that I persist in evaluating even the most Brechtian of works in terms of visceral impact, despite the fact that, as Dumas naggingly reminds me, “modernism requires the cultivation of another kind of response as well.” Perhaps. Yet the frigid bleakness of Winter Light, like the inky, geometric delerium of Branded to Kill, seem at least as much about mood as mind — sweat as sentience.

Movie-a-Day: April 2008

A Woman Is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)*
Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)
City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
1408 (Mikael Hafstrom, 2007)
Beowulf (Robert Zemeckis, 2007)
Green Street Hooligans (Lexi Alexander, 2004)
Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967)*
A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 1964)
The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
Hardcore (Paul Schrader, 1979)
Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)
Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
Belle de jour (Luis Bunuel, 1967)
The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2002)
Masculin feminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)*
Quintet (Robert Altman, 1979)
Sunrise (F. W. Murnau, 1927)*
Otaku no video (Mori Takeshi, 1991)
Second Skin (Juan Carlos Pinero, 2008)
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
Feast of Love (Robert Benton, 2007)
Band of Outsiders (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)
Who the F*** Is Pete Doherty? (Roger Pomphrey, 2005)
Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1962)*
The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)
The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, 1945)
Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1962)

One thought on “Movie-a-Day: April 2008

  1. Really healthy list! Dumas is right on in his assertions. I look forward to the day when I can see more, what I will call, “beauty” films. Until I find job security, I don’t think I will…

    I’ll admit that I haven’t yet seen many of the films you listed, either. However, of the ones I have seen — Contempt, City Lights, Modern Times, Breathless (just to be obstinant, I refuse to call it by the native title), 2 or 3 Things, Masculin Feminin, Band of Oustiders, Belle de Jour, The Devil’s Backbone, Sunrise — many of these I consider to be among the greatest films ever made.

    …At least of what I have seen in my 32 short years…

    Sunrise is possibly my favorite, definitely in my Top 5.

    And Devil’s Backbone. Just how great is del Toro? Haven’t I been telling you this since the beginning of time? I still think this is possibly his best film (so far).

    Interesting footnote: I know one of the producers of Hooligans.

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