Well this month I did it, I finally watched the original Star Wars trilogy. I’ve always been “the film geek who hasn’t watched Star Wars”, it was kind of my thing. When I saw the promotion for seeing the original trilogy back-to-back on the big screen for only $25, I thought the time had come to do it. For the first two weeks of May I exclusively watched films at the cinema and as a result my overall viewing for May only clocks in at 25 films. May 2014 film 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. Films reviewed this month are linked – click to read the review.
Best viewing: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: Episode IV
Star Wars: Episode V
The Trip to Italy
Godzilla (IMAX 3D)
X-Men: Days of Future Past
My Sweet Pepper Land
Sunshine on Leith
A Million Ways to Die in the West
New at Home
Best viewing: The Possibilities are Endless
Ne me quitte pas
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
The Great Museum
Planet of the Apes (1968)
May was a rather average month at the cinema. I saw a lot of good films, but only a couple that got me really excited. The highlight at the cinema was easily the Star Wars trilogy on May 4th. For a start it was such a fun environment to watch the films in. I was surrounded by people who adored these movies and were so excited to see them at the cinema. People dressed up, they cheered and booed and appropriate moments, and I even had some fantastic film friends (Geek of Oz and Jabba) who came and chatted with me between the films to see how I was going. It was really such a wonderful experience. I’m going to write something after the film festival about how it was seeing the films for the first time at my age, so I hope you’ll pop back and check that out.
I’ve been lucky enough to watch some films in advance of Sydney Film Festival (which is 4 sleeps away!!!!) for the purpose of reviewing. I selected a bunch of documentaries as I didn’t have time to fit many of those in my schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed National Gallery and At Berkeley from Frederick Wiseman and I’m pretty sure between National Gallery and The Great Museum, I have reached the peak of what I will ever know about art restoration. It was a music documentary/bio-pic about Scottish musician Edwyn Collins and his experience of having a stroke which was the biggest surprise. The film was a real sensory experience – so layered and filled with incredible music, visuals and one hell of a story. I highly recommend you add The Possibilities are Endless to your ‘to watch’ list.
I also crossed off a couple of classic films thanks to some late night channel surfing. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan I really did not get. I think you had to have some affinity with the tv show or at least knowledge of the world before viewing it, because for large parts I was lost. I found Khan’s chest to be so distracting – is that thing real? It was pretty horrific. Right at the end of the month I caught Planet of the Apes which I absolutely adored. It is a little dated in some ways, but the main narrative is still relevant today. I also had no idea about the ending, so can you imagine how shocked I was?! What an iconic film.
Coming up in June? Sydney Film Festival!! I could not be more excited to dive into the fest. Since I’ll be working throughout I will only be seeing 25-30 films, but over 10 days this is still a decent amount. I’m most looking forward to Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Tom at the Farm and The Disappearance of Elenor Rigby: Her and Him. Expect the viewing total for June to be the highest for the year. I’ll review, tweet, letterboxd and facebook the festival as much as I can, so prepare for 10 days of festival saturation. Oh, I’m also heading to see Under the Skin which I’ve been looking forward to (with some anxiety – it looks scary) for a while.
New at Home: 56
By Sam McCosh