June was crammed packed with amazing films thanks to Sydney Film Festival. It’s a weird feeling when the festival is done – on one hand I don’t want to see a cinema for a little while, but on the other hand I mourn the end of the fabulous array of films and wonderful people who visit Sydney to see them. I haven’t written about the festival films in my round-up this month, I think I said enough online, in our festival awards post, and in my various reviews. Brief thoughts of everything else I watched, including two of the year’s best, are after the jump.
Films viewed at the cinema are underlined. Films directed or co-directed by women are in green. Note: for the purpose of the 52 Films by Women pledge, I am only counting first-time views of films directed or co-directed by women, but I want to highlight all the films by women that I watch. Films are listed in the order they were viewed.
New to Me
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015) – Absolutely amazing. I had heard noting but praise for this film before I saw it, but it still shattered my expectations. Powerful, meaningful filmmaking.
Films viewed at Sydney Film Festival (June 8 – 19) can be seen on Letterboxd.
Me Before You (Thea Sharrock, 2016) – This film was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. It’s watchable and passably entertaining, but that’s it. The film doesn’t include some of the darker, tougher stuff from the book, and as a result it’s much fluffier and lacking depth.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016) – This film is enormously charming, and it’s very easy to see why it has become one of the year’s indie hits. The dry Kiwi humour mixed with Waititi’s obvious love for his ragamuffin group of characters results in a hilarious and heartwarming watch.
Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, 2015) – The underrated, under-seen gem of the year thus far. The trailer for this was so utterly uninspiring that I gave it a miss at the cinema. What a mistake. This is a gripping film about modern warfare – a beautiful tangle of morality, bureaucracy, and humanity.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Woody Alan, 2010) – There is a very good reason that I’d never heard of this film before I came across it on a streaming service. It is barely watchable. Josh Brolin was lots of hair was amusing though.
She’s Funny That Way (Peter Bogdanovich, 2015) – This reminded me of an Altman film. Lots of characters crossing paths in amusing and weird ways. Although I wasn’t that fond of Imogen Poots and her clunky accent, I was rather charmed by this.
2016 Viewing totals:
New to me: 139
Total includes: 57 films at the cinema
41 films towards my 52 Films by Women pledge
Unreal – Season 2, Episode 1 & 2 – What a juicy start to the season. This show is so dark, so deeply cynical, and 100% entertaining. Get onto season 1 if you haven’t seen the show.
In the Thick of It – Season 4, Episodes 2 – 7 – This was much weaker than the previous seasons, but still enjoyable. I am already missing Malcolm Tucker rants in my life. I think this show will become one of my escapes when I have had a shit day.
Masterchef Australia – Shut up, don’t judge me.
Chef’s Table – Season 1, Episode 5 & 6 – This show is probably the most beautifully produced show about cooking/chefs around. It’s worth watching for the stunning photography alone. I really enjoyed learning a little more about where these talented chefs featured on these 2 episodes came from.
Bloodline – Season 2, Episode 1 – I absolutely adored the first season, so I was very excited when the new season hit Netflix. The first episode didn’t exactly grab me, but if season 1 taught me anything, it’s that this a slow burn show that pays off in the long run.
London Spy – BBC Miniseries, Episode 1 – Fantastic first episode. I was immediately grabbed by the pre-credit opening sequence that is handsomely produced and packed with intrigue. Very much looking forward to digging into the rest of the show.