August was a surprisingly top-heavy month for me, with 29 films viewed, most in the first half of the month. I visited the cinema 14 times in the first 3 weeks, and then not at all the last week. Quite a few of the films I saw at Sydney Film Festival are now getting a release, and as a result there is less new to see. The quality in August ranged from some of the worst films of the year, to a film a can’t stop thinking about, and a couple of amazing classics. At home I caught up with four Woody Allen films for the first time, and rewatched one of my favourite Harry Potter films. My August round-up is after the jump.
Screenings: refers to anything I have seen at the cinema/on the big screen.
New at home: encompasses new-to-me, first-time viewings on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD/Screeners
Rewatches: are [obviously] things I’ve seen before , which I’m viewing again at home
Best viewing: my favourite viewing in each of the categories listed above
Apart from the ‘Best Viewing’, films are listed in the order they were viewed in
Best viewing: Drinking Buddies
Now You See Me
The Way Way Back
We’re the Millers
The Best Offer
Eyes Wide Shut
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
What Maise Knew
New at Home
Best viewing: The Purple Rose of Cairo
Then She Found Me
Two Days in Paris
Husbands and Wives
Best viewing: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Drinking Buddies was so fantastic. I can’t stop thinking about this film, and yet, I haven’t been able to write about it. Sometimes I don’t want to write about the films I love, I just want to enjoy them. I related to so much in this film, it was actually quite unnerving. I really hope it gets a cinema release. Westworld and Eyes Wide Shut were the two classics I had the absolute pleasure of seeing on the big screen during August. I had never seen Westworld before and I was utterly blown away by its concept and execution. That film was way, way ahead of its time. As for Eyes Wide Shut – god this film is so much better than I remember it. I think I was too young when I watched it the first time. It was an electrifying, tense cinematic experience and I loved the hell out of it. I miss that Tom Cruise.
I’ve been trying to fill my Woody Allen void by watching a selection of his films. I loved The Purple Rose of Cairo – it was such a clever idea and so charming to watch. Manhattan was such a delight to watch, if only to see these beautiful women in their younger years – I can’t tell you how much I love Diane Keaton. Another film I watched for the first time that I really enjoyed was Two Days in Paris. Julie Delpy is such an enjoyable actress to watch – she has such a fiery energy that just leaps off the screen. I couldn’t help thinking that Two Days in Paris with Chris Rock playing the love interest instead of Adam Goldberg would have been an even more amazing film. Two Days in New York was really very weak when compared to the first film, although Chris Rock was the far better match with Julie Delpy, both in terms of comedy and chemistry.
Coming up in September? The Sydney Underground Film Festival is the big one for me this month, as I expect to see around 10 films over a 4 day period. I also have the Italian Film Festival media launch and a bunch of films I am looking forward to seeing (and hopefully viewing) in advance of the festival in October. I’m also really looking forward to catching Blue Jasmine and I’m curious (but a little nervous) to watch the theatrical cut of Mood Indigo – the full version was my favourite feature from Sydney Film Festival and one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
New at Home: 68
By Sam McCosh