September saw me visiting the cinema 19 times, largely thanks to the Sydney Underground Film Festival, where I viewed one of my favourites this year, A Band Called Death. I also have the documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction for inspiring me to see one of the greatest films I have ever seen. The round-up of the 27 films I viewed in September 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: A Band Called Death
The Dance of Reality
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
Adjust Your Tracking
Birdemic: Shock and Terror
The Final Member
Mood Indigo (Theatrical cut)
Stranger by the Lake
New at Home
Best viewing: Paris, Texas
Broadway Danny Rose
The Dish and the Spoon
Good Night and Good Luck
The Worst Week of My Life
Best (and only) viewing: The Place Beyond the Pines
The Sydney Underground Film Festival provided the best and the worst of my cinema-going in September. A Band Called Death was an incredible, moving and heartbreaking documentary which I sincerely hope gets a cinema release. The story of these brothers making punk music in the heart of motown is something else. At the other end of the scale I saw Birdemic: Shock and Terror which was easily the worst film I have ever seen. It really doesn’t even qualify to be called a film. I’m sure the average primary school kid could do a better job. You can read my thoughts on all the films I saw at the Sydney Underground Film Festival here.
One of the worst experiences I had at the cinema in September was viewing the theatrical cut of Mood Indigo. In July I was lucky enough to see the full version at the Sydney Film Festival and it was my favourite feature film at the festival. At 130 mins it was a little lengthy side, however most of that length was justified. The film spent a long time building up the world and it’s seemingly random oddness, so that when the story progressed and the “action” started, we had context and understanding. The butcher job theatrical cut of the film is just awful. Apparently foreign audiences just couldn’t handle the full version. It has had 40 minutes cut from it and as a result the film seems completely random and hollow – it’s all action without cause or context. Have a little more faith in your audiences distribution companies! I really hope this isn’t the start of a trend.
On a happier note, Captain Phillips was a tremendous way to end September. Ton Hanks gives a powerful performance as the Captain of a shipping freighter which is held up by Somali pirates. This was an extremely intense cinema experience and I loved how the film showed us the events from both the Captain and the pirate’s side.
The best film I watched at home in September was Paris, Texas. I can’t believe I had never seen this film. One of the best films I have ever seen? Quite possibly. I need to rewatch this a few times before I try to put my thoughts into words, but I can say that this was an incredible viewing experience. From the performances to the cinematography, the narrative to the direction – utter perfection. Every frame in this film is stunning and I was in awe watching it.
My one and only rewatch was one of 2013’s best films The Place Beyond the Pines. My rewatch of this film cemented my love for it and bumped it up from 4.5 to 5 stars. Side note – I’m also obsessed with ‘Dancing in the Dark’.
Coming up in October? Well I started my month with Gravity, so that’s a great way to kick off. I suspect there will be less cinema trips, as my non film job becomes more demanding. I’m also hoping to study (something film related) in 2014, so I have a big application to work on! I’m looking forward to seeing The Great Beauty at the Italian Film Festival and I have a bunch of interesting screeners to review ahead of the upcoming Japanese Film Festival.
New at Home: 75
By Sam McCosh