365 Films, 365 Days- May

Inspired by the Doug Benson Movie Challenge, I attempt to watch 365 movies over the calendar year of 2017. Any genre of film is eligible, including documentaries and Netflix originals, as long as it’s something I haven’t seen before (you’ll have to trust me on that). The hope is I can cross off some films I’ve been dying to see for ages but have never gotten round to, as well as discover some gems I might never have come across otherwise.

As a fun little twist, every couple of weeks I will be drawing a random genre/category of film to focus on for the week’s viewing. This should hopefully keep things fresh.

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May

This Month’s List

  1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (dir. David Gelb, 2011)
  2. Grey Gardens (dir. Albert & David Maysles, Muffie Meyer, Ellen Hovde, 1975)
  3. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (dir. Anika Iltis, Timothy Anthony Kane, 2014)
  4. The Last Waltz (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1978)
  5. Where You’re Meant To Be (dir. Paul Fegan, 2016)
  6. We Were Here (dir. David Weissman, Bill Weber, 2011)
  7. The Look of Silence (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
  8. The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts (dir. Steve Yu, 2015)
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (dir. James Gunn, 2017)
  10. Chicken Run (dir. Peter Lord, Nick Park, 2000)
  11. Meek’s Cutoff (dir. Kelly Reichardt, 2010)
  12. Mindhorn (dir. Sean Foley, 2016)
  13. Commando (dir. Mark L. Lester, 1985)
  14. Sabotage (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1936)
  15. The Levelling (dir. Hope Dickson Leach, 2016)
  16. The Red Turtle (dir. Michael Dudok de Wit, 2016)
  17. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (dir. David Mirkin, 1997)
  18. Alien: Covenant (dir. Ridley Scott, 2017)
  19. A Fistful of Dollars (dir. Sergio Leone, 1964)
  20. Breathless (dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  21. Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  22. Belle de Jour (dir. Luis Bunuel, 1967)
  23. Bonnie & Clyde (dir. Arthur Penn, 1967)

Documentary Week

1960’s Week

 

Week 1- Documentary Week

This week was a lot of fun. Like with any theme week I aimed for a fair amount of variety, and this was easy to do in regards to release period, country of origin, subject matter and tone. Jiro Dreams of Sushi took a fairly light-hearted look at an expensive sushi restaurant and managed to tell a story that is more about the quest for perfection and the difficulty of living in your father’s shadow than a movie about how to prepare raw fish.

In Grey Gardens, the Maysles stumbled on documentary gold with the Beale’s as an eccentric subject matter, but their ramblings wore on me by the end, and the film ultimately revealed a lot less than the likes of Salesmen.

The Last Waltz and Where You’re Meant to Be, both music documentaries, with the former celebrating the end of an iconic group (goes great when you turn it up real loud and watch it with a glass of Jura), while the latter was about the preservation and rejuvenation of a form of music (Scottish folk), that is at risk of being lost forever.

And then there was The Look of Silence. Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to the startling The Act of Killing, returning again to the subject of horrific genocide in Indonesia, stripping back the theatrics of his first film but still delivering appalling testimonies of the atrocities. The pair together make essential viewing.

Week 2 & 3

It was a mixed bagged for a couple of weeks as I struggled just to keep my head above water. Despite high expectations Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, managed to deliver an unapologetically fun and exciting comic book adaptation. I may have enjoyed even more than the first one.

I finally saw Commando. So now everyone can get off my case about it (it was good ok, what do you want from me?).

Mindhorn was good value for money, and was delighted it went to US Netflix at practically the same time as its UK cinematic release. I always prefer Julian Barratt over Noel Fielding in The Mighty Boosh lineup, and it was good to see him shine in this. It lacked the out and out laughs of the Boosh, or the even better Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, but it was good fun from start to finish.

The Red Turtle was another real plus of the month. A triumph of simplistic storytelling that really hits home. The animation is restrained, the dialogue minimal, but it still manages to tug at the heart strings in a way few other films have managed this year.

And for the record Alien: Covenant is ok. Yes everyone in it’s an idiot, and the actual alien gets dispatched rather easily at the end, but I have seen a lot worse this year alone. Its biggest problem is that it carries the wait of being an Alien franchise film. With some minor retooling you could remove the alien, keep the twisted android antics, and have a film people are far more accepting of.

Week 4- 1960’s Week

Another fun week, although I didn’t see as many as I’d hoped. A Fistful of Dollars is perfectly good, without ever getting near the genius of Yojimbo.

Breathless went a long way to getting Godard back into my good graces after being forced to watch all of Weekend in a film class ten years ago. I like him a lot better when he follows a narrative and the film shares a lot of the same DNA as Fassbinder’s Love is Colder Than Death.

Persona was the highlight of the week (and one of the best of the year so far). Still trying to wrap my head round the whole thing, but will most definitely be watching more of Bergman’s work this year.

 

Highlights

A good month in general, the two theme weeks brought me to some awesome films I hadn’t even heard of before I started researching titles to watch. I’ve been singing the songs from Where You’re Meant to Be since I watched it, and the film brought a tear or two to my eye out of homesickness. The Barkley Marathon was also an awesome watch, a fun documentary about an insane race in the mountains of Tennessee and it’s masochistic founder. Highly enjoyable.

Low Points

My low point for the month is a film that I could not even add to my list, as I wasn’t able to complete the whole film; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This film might be my White Whale for this process. I rented it for three weeks and never found the time to sit down and actually watch the thing. The one time I did finally clear some time aside to watch the blasted thing, I fell asleep after about 45 minutes. It felt a lot longer than that. The parts I was conscious for was pretty dreary, the Harry Potter movie offerings were a mixed bag at best, but this seemed to be lacking the spark that they all possessed. I doubt I will go back for another attempt this year.

 

Performance of the Month

Despite being very different performances, I can’t choose between Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman in Persona. Ullman is near mute for the entire film, while Andersson barely stops talking to draw a breath, but together they cast a mesmerising spell over the film that makes it hard to look away. For a film that is essentially one person talking and one person listening, if one of them isn’t on point the whole film collapses, but they make it work and the film is unforgettable because of it.

960

 

Top 5 of the Month (in no particular order)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Where You’re Meant to Be

Persona

The Red Turtle

The Levelling

 

The Year So Far

Breakdown by Decade

2010’s- 73

2000’s- 8

1990’s- 11

1980’s- 6

1970’s- 19

1960’s- 12

1950’s- 4

1940’s- 3

1930’s- 4

1920’s- 3

Days to film ratio

150 days gone by, 143 films watched. It’s not going to improve any time soon.

Total minutes of film watching

14,507 minutes logged, I have officially passed the 10 day mark for film watching. And I’m only about a third of the way through.

Films by the Nations

USA- 78

UK- 34

France- 17

Germany- 10

Japan- 7

Spain- 4

Belgium- 4

Italy- 3

Canada- 3

New Zealand- 3

Sweden- 3

China- 2

Hong Kong- 2

Ireland- 2

Mexico- 2

Luxemburg- 2

Australia- 2

Taiwan- 2

Netherlands- 2

Norway- 2

Denmark- 2

South Korea- 1

Greece- 1

Brazil- 1

Austria- 1

Switzerland- 1

Romania- 1

Argentina- 1

Chile- 1

Soviet Union- 1

Cambodia- 1

Hungary- 1

Tunisia- 1

Jordan- 1

UAE- 1

Qatar- 1

Senegal- 1

Finland- 1

Indonesia- 1

Israel- 1

Some films are co-produced by multiple nations, which explains why the numbers may not add up.

Recurring Directors

Luis Bunuel- 3 (Los Olvidados, L’Age d’Or, Belle de Jour)

Danny Boyle- 2 (Steve Jobs, T2: Trainspotting)

Powell & Pressburger- 2 (A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes)

Mike Mills- 2 (Beginners, 20th Century Women)

Ridley Scott- 2 (Thelma & Louise, Alien: Covenant)

 

The complete list so far…

  1. The Good Dinosaur (dir. Peter Sohn, 2015)
  2. Your Name (dir. Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  3. Star Trek Beyond (dir. Justin Lin, 2016)
  4. Notes on Blindness (dir. Pete Middleton, 2016)
  5. Le Samourai (dir. Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967)
  6. I am Not a Serial Killer (dir. Billy O’Brien, 2016)
  7. Bridget Jones’s Diary (dir. Sharon Maguire, 2001)
  8. Keanu (dir. Peter Atencio, 2016)
  9. La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle, 2016)
  10. Train to Busan* (dir. Sang-ho Yeon, 2016)
  11. Don’t Breathe* (dir. Fede Alvarez, 2016)
  12. Nosferatu* (dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922)
  13. Carrie* (dir. Brian De Palma, 1976)
  14. Re-Animator* (dir. Stuart Gordon, 1985)
  15. Jack Frost* (dir. Michael Coon, 1997)
  16. Blair Witch* (dir. Adam Wingard, 2016)
  17. What We Did on Our Holiday (dir. Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin, 2014)
  18. The Devils (dir. Ken Russell, 1971)
  19. Eddie the Eagle (dir. Dexter Fletcher, 2016)
  20. Chef (dir. Jon Favreau, 2014)
  21. The One I Love (dir. Charlie McDowell, 2014)
  22. Steve Jobs (dir. Danny Boyle, 2015)
  23. Manchester By The Sea (dir. Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
  24. The Killing (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1956)
  25. In the Heat of the Night** (dir. Norman Jewison, 1967)
  26. Shakespeare in Love** (dir. John Madden, 1998)
  27. The Sting** (dir. George Roy Hill, 1973)
  28. Mutiny on the Bounty** (dir. Frank Lloyd, 1935)
  29. Patton** (dir. Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970)
  30. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (dir. Gareth Edwards, 2016)
  31. Little Men (dir. Ira Sachs, 2016)
  32. Julieta (dir. Pedro Almodovar, 2016)
  33. Fish Tank (dir. Andrea Arnold, 2009)
  34. Spa Night (dir. Andrew Ahn, 2016)
  35. 1984 (dir. Michael Radford, 1984)***
  36. 10 Rillington Place (dir. Richard Fleischer, 1971)***
  37. 44 Inch Chest (dir. Malcolm Venville, 2009)***
  38. Watership Down (dir. Martin Rosen, 1978)***
  39. Thelma and Louise (dir. Ridley Scott, 1991)
  40. David Brent: Life on the Road (dir. Ricky Gervais, 2016)
  41. The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer, 2015)
  42. The Magnificent Seven (dir. Antoine Fuqua, 2016)
  43. Hello, My Name is Doris (dir. Michael Showalter, 2016)
  44. Toni Erdmann (dir. Maren Ade, 2016)
  45. Manhattan (dir. Woody Allen, 1979)
  46. The Clan (dir. Pablo Trapero, 2015)
  47. Black Sheep (dir. Jonathan King, 2016)
  48. T2: Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle, 2017)
  49. Florence Foster Jenkins (dir. Stephen Frears, 2016)
  50. Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (dir. Kihachi Okamoto, 1970)
  51. The Girl with All the Gifts (dir. Colm McCarthy, 2016)
  52. Hidden Figures (dir. Theodore Melfi, 2016)
  53. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (dir. Eli Craig, 2010)
  54. The Secret of the Kells (dir. Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey, 2009)
  55. Ixcanul (dir. Jayro Bustamante, 2015)****
  56. Aquarius (dir. Kleber Mendonca, 2016)****
  57. The Club**** (dir. Pablo Larrain, 2015)
  58. Los Olvidados**** (dir. Luis Bunuel, 1950)
  59. El Topo **** (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970)
  60. Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele, 2017)
  61. Wrinkles (dir. Ignacio Ferreras, 2011)
  62. Logan (dir. James Mangold, 2017)
  63. The Taking of Pelham 123 (dir. Joseph Sargent, 1974)
  64. Laura (dir. Otto Preminger, 1944)
  65. L’Age d’Or (dir. Luis Bunuel, 1930)
  66. Battleship Potemkin (dir. Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1925)
  67. Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan & Conrad Vernon, 2016)
  68. Love and Death on Long Island (dir. Richard Kwietniowski, 1997)
  69. Moana ^(dir. Ron Clements, Chris Williams, Don Hall, John Musker, 2016)
  70. Sleepless in Seattle^ (dir. Nora Ephron, 1993)
  71. Paris is Burning^ (dir. Jennie Livingstone, 1990)
  72. Sixteen Candles^ (dir. John Hughes, 1984)
  73. National Treasure: Book of Secrets^ (dir. Jon Turteltaub, 2007)
  74. Like Crazy^ (dir. Drake Doremus, 2011)
  75. Kong: Skull Island (dir. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, 2017)
  76. I am Not Your Negro (dir. Raoul Peck, 2016)
  77. Beginners (dir. Mike Mills, 2010)
  78. Godzilla (dir. Ishiro Honda, 1954)
  79. Tabloid (dir. Errol Morris, 2010)
  80. A Matter of Life and Death (dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)
  81. Pink Narcissus (dir. James Bidgood, 1971)
  82. The Devil Rides Out (dir. Terence Fisher, 1968)
  83. Somm (dir. Jason Wise, 2012)
  84. I Live in Fear (dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1955)
  85. White God (dir. Kornel, Mundruczo, 2014)
  86. Super Fly (dir. Gordon Parks Jnr., 1972)
  87. Foxy Brown (dir. Jack Hill, 1974)
  88. Black Belt Jones (dir. Robert Clouse, 1974)
  89. Blacula (dir. William Crain, 1972)
  90. Three the Hard Way (dir. Gordon Parks Jnr., 1974)
  91. The Mack (dir. Michael Campus, 1973)
  92. Whale Rider (dir. Niki Caro, 2002)
  93. Dragon (dir. Peter Ho-Sun Chan, 2011)
  94. The Love Witch (dir. Anna Biller, 2016)
  95. Distant Voices, Still Lives (dir. Terence Davis, 1988)
  96. Headhunters (dir. Morten Tyldum, 2011)
  97. Dead Ringers (dir. David Cronenberg, 1988)
  98. Love is Colder Than Death (dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1969)
  99. The Red Shoes (dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
  100. La Promesse (dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 1996)
  101. Lion (dir. Garth Davis, 2016)
  102. To Kill a Mockingbird (dir. Robert Mulligan, 1962)
  103. Fences (dir. Denzel Washington, 2016)
  104. Theeb (dir. Naji Abu Nowar, 2014)
  105. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (dir. Lotte Reiniger & Carl Koch, 1926)
  106. Shaun the Sheep (dir. Mark Burton & Richard Starzak, 2015)
  107. Kirikou and the Sorceress (dir. Michel Ocelot & Raymond Burlet, 1998)
  108. Ghost in the Shell (dir. Mamoru Oshii, 1995)
  109. Corpse Bride (dir. Tim Burton, 2005)
  110. The Iron Giant (dir. Brad Bird, 1999)
  111. 20th Century Women (dir. Mike Mills, 2016)
  112. The Fate of the Furious (dir. F. Gary Gray, 2017)
  113. Free Fire (dir. Ben Wheatley, 2016)
  114. Eyes Without a Face (dir. Georges Franju, 1960)
  115. Room 237 (dir. Rodney Ascher, 2012)
  116. Mifune: the Last Samurai (dir. Steven Okazaki, 2015)
  117. Paterson (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  118. Stagecoach (dir. John Ford, 1939)
  119. The Assassin (dir. Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 2015)
  120. Black Girl (dir. Ousmane Sembene, 1966)
  121. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (dir. David Gelb, 2011)
  122. Grey Gardens (dir. Albert & David Maysles, Muffie Meyer, Ellen Hovde, 1975)
  123. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (dir. Anika Iltis, Timothy Anthony Kane, 2014)
  124. The Last Waltz (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1978)
  125. Where You’re Meant To Be (dir. Paul Fegan, 2016)
  126. We Were Here (dir. David Weissman, Bill Weber, 2011)
  127. The Look of Silence (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
  128. The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts (dir. Steve Yu, 2015)
  129. Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (dir. James Gunn, 2017)
  130. Chicken Run (dir. Peter Lord, Nick Park, 2000)
  131. Meek’s Cutoff (dir. Kelly Reichardt, 2010)
  132. Mindhorn (dir. Sean Foley, 2016)
  133. Commando (dir. Mark L. Lester, 1985)
  134. Sabotage (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1936)
  135. The Levelling (dir. Hope Dickson Leach, 2016)
  136. The Red Turtle (dir. Michael Dudok de Wit, 2016)
  137. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (dir. David Mirkin, 1997)
  138. Alien: Covenant (dir. Ridley Scott, 2017)
  139. A Fistful of Dollars (dir. Sergio Leone, 1964)
  140. Breathless (dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  141. Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  142. Belle de Jour (dir. Luis Bunuel, 1967)
  143. Bonnie and Clyde (dir. Arthur Penn, 1967)

*=Horror Week

**Best Picture Oscar Winners Week

***John Hurt Week

****Latin American Cinema Week

^ Wifey’s Choice Week

Blaxploitation Week

Animation Week

Documentary Week

1960’s Week

 

 

Ten Best of the Year So Far…

Your Name

The Fits

Persona

The Devils

Train to Busan

I Live in Fear

Los Olvidados

El Topo

In the Heat of the Night

Get Out

 

That’ll do it for this month, I’m going to get some sunlight.

Can’t wait a month to see how I’m getting on? You can follow my progress film-by-film on Twitter, @clancyhighhat.

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