Oct 072013


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
Magic Magic
Unhung Hero
Adjust Your Tracking
Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Unlawful Killing
The Final Member
The Canyons
Miele (Honey)
Mood Indigo (Theatrical cut)
Blue Jasmine
Stranger by the Lake
The Turning
Captain Phillips


New at Home

Best viewing: Paris, Texas

Broadway Danny Rose
The Dish and the Spoon
Good Night and Good Luck
Swimming Pool
The Worst Week of My Life
The Interval


gosling pines


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.


2013 totals
Screenings: 122
New at Home: 75
Rewatches: 47
Total: 244


By Sam McCosh

  4 Responses to “Monthly Film Round-up: September 2013”

  1. I’m a little jealous that you got to watch GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK for the first time this month. I adore that film, and constantly point to it as the best of its decade.

    I did just upgrade my dvd of it to blu-ray, so I’ll consider that my Clooney win of the month.

    • I liked the film, but I can’t say it left a lasting impression on me.

      • Remind yourself of where the world – and specifically America – was at for much of the last decade. Remind yourself further that in 2005 a statement like “We must not confuse dissent from disloyalty” was pretty much considered treason.

        • Perhaps I watched the film at the wrong time for it to really make that sort of impact on me. Additionall, iI’m not sure that sort of political statement would have been as big of a deal in this part of the world.

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