Last month I saw 2 films at the cinema, this month it was 32. After wanting to go for so long, it’s kind of hard to believe that the Toronto International Film Fest is done and dusted. Other than the fest and the long plane trips there and back, I didn’t see a whole lot else. On the TV front I finished the entire series of 30 Rock, a show that I can’t say I love but I can say I liked. I loved the relationship between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, but the rest was rather patchy. I saw 41 films in September, which for me is a lot. Check the round-up out 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: Nightcrawler
Clouds of Sils Maria
Beyond the Lights
The Duke of Burgundy
While We’re Young
The World of Kanako
This is Where I Leave You
The Last 5 Years
I am Here
A Second Chance
Tales of the Grim Sleeper
The Riot Club
The Keeping Room
The Infinite Man
New at Home
Best viewing: Tabloid
All this Mayhem
New Year’s Eve
The Monuments Men
They Came Together
Best viewing: What We Do in the Shadows
The Lego Movie
What a month at the cinema! Nightcrawler is by far and away the best thing I’ve seen this month and it’s something I really hope to write about. The thing about having a month off is you lose the motivation to write, well I did anyway. I have enjoyed seeing films and just enjoying thinking about them and discussing them, rather than writing. Perhaps I should start a podcast? Nightcrawler has changed the way I look at the “news”. It’s not something I watch often anyway, but now when I do, I feel dirty. What a heck of a film.
My second favourite film out of TIFF have is the devastatingly beautiful Coming Home, an ode to true love and the lengths one man will go to, to be with the woman he loves. I have heard this film described as “slow” and “boring”, but I would say that is wrong. It’s beautifully paced, almost like poetry. It doesn’t rush, it’s gentle, delicate and subtle, and all the more powerful for it. I also love Beyond the Lights, a film which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. It’s a powerful look at mental health and stardom, and the manufacture & sexualisation of females in the entertainment industry. People need to see this film and I am crossing my fingers like mad that it makes it to Australia, at the very least at a festival.
In LA, Andy and I saw The Drop with Alex Withrow (one of the nicest humans on the planet). What an odd beast of a film. It’s one of those films I walked out of and really wasn’t sure how I felt. It takes the low-level gangster film and puts a few interesting twists on it. I think it gets a bit convoluted in the latter stages, but it is an engaging tale. Hardy and Gandolfini are excellent and it’s worth seeing for their performances alone. Last night I saw Gone Girl (check back for a review tomorrow) and again, here’s a film I walked out of not knowing what I thought. It’s very loyal to the source material and lacks some of Fincher’s usual technical wizardry, but….yeah, I’m still thinking on this. I can say that the supporting cast was excellent, particularly Carrie Coon as Margo (the sister) and Tyler Perry as the hot-shot lawyer.
Finally I want to give a shout out to two Australian films that I watched this month, All this Mayhem and The Infinite Man. All this Mayhem is a documentary about Australian brothers Tas and Ben Pappas, who were world champion skate boarders and had an interesting rivalry with Tony Hawke. The film chronicles the brothers on the world skating boarding circuit – the highs, the cash, the drugs, the rivalries and the terrifying lows. Their story is quite incredible and goes to really dark, surprising places. It’s an extremely well-made film and one I would urge you to watch even if (like me) you have no interest in skateboarding. The Infinite Man is an extremely sharp film out of South Australia – a time travel love story about a man so in love with his girlfriend that he wants to create ‘the perfect day’ for her. It’s so funny, so clever and so very well-made. This film is the perfect example of how to execute a time travel genre film without making it overly complicated. It really is quite brilliant and will definitely be in my best of the year list come December.
Coming up in October? There’s actually quite a lot coming out that I want to see. The Judge, Whiplash and Obvious Child are three of them, and I know there’s some early media screenings for end-of-year films too. On the TV front I’m also working my way back through The West Wing and Entourage from the beginning.
New at Home: 83
By Sam McCosh