Films in 2013: October

This month was filled with chills and thrills, as is usual in the spooky month of October. I didn’t get to watch as many horror movies as I wanted to, but I managed to watch 8 new-to-me movies from AFI’s 100 Thrills list. You can find updates on my progress (as well as on the other AFI lists) here.

New-to-Me: 33

Re-Watched: 3

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 7
  • 1950s – 9
  • 1960s – 5
  • 1970s – 2
  • 1980s – 2
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 2
  • 2010s – 1

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Braveheart (1995)
  2. Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  3. The Uninvited (1944)
  4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  5. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  7. The Plough and the Stars (1936)
  8. All That Heaven Allows (1955)
  9. Good News (1947)
  10. Gravity (2013)
  11. I Married a Witch (1942)
  12. Suspiria (1977)
  13. Magnificent Obsession (1954)
  14. The Cranes are Flying (1957)
  15. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
  16. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
  17. The Mark of Zorro (1940)
  18. Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953)
  19. Curse of the Demon (1957)
  20. Deliverance (1972)
  21. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
  22. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  23. The Hunger (1983)
  24. Fear and Desire (1953)
  25. House of Usher (1960)
  26. The Earrings of Madame de… (1953)
  27. Crash (2004)
  28. Cat People (1942)
  29. Seconds (1966)
  30. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  31. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  32. Freaks (1932)
  33. Carnival of Souls (1962)

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 2 movies from the year 1968 in a row.
  • Watched 3 movies starring Rock Hudson (2 of them directed by Douglas Sirk and co-starring Jane Wyman)
  • Watched 3 movies from the year 1953.

Five Favorite Discoveries:

This will be another month with a top 6 instead of a top 5. I guess I might have to start permanently picking 6, but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes. Anyway, only one horror movie is featured (though I enjoyed others such as Night of the Living Dead). Like I said earlier, I didn’t get around to watching more, but here’s to watching more next year! Also, it appears that 4 of the 6 are from the 1950s.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), directed by Don Siegel

My favorite new-to-me horror movie this month! I didn’t think I’d enjoy this movie so much, but I was intrigued throughout. It’s a great paranoia thriller filled with special effects that still hold up well today. I was quite disturbed when they first show the new bodies bursting out of the pods!

Recommended if you enjoy: The Thing, Alien…basically any horror/sci-fi movie where people are not what they seem.

All That Heaven Allows (1955)

All That Heaven Allows (1955), directed by Douglas Sirk

All That Heaven Allows is up there in my top favorite Sirk films. Another great commentary on society, featuring beautiful technicolor scenery (all the autumn scenes are simply gorgeous!). Jane Wyman gives another great performance. Here she plays a widow and mother of two adult children who falls in love with the young Rock Hudson. Wyman and Hudson also have nice chemistry together, and I’m glad they did another movie together with Douglas Sirk, Magnificent Obsession.

Recommended if you enjoy: DOUGLAS SIRK MOVIES! Technicolor melodramas! Also the remake Far From Heaven starring Julianne Moore (which I haven’t seen yet but I’ve heard good things about it).

Gravity (2013)

Gravity (2013), directed by Alfonso Cuarón

This is most definitely one of those movies you NEED to see in a movie theater, I can’t imagine watching this movie on a smaller screen at home. It’s one of those movies that should be fully experienced on the big screen. I’m sure it’ll win a number of technical awards at the Oscars, but I do hope Emmanuel Lubezki wins one for cinematography. The camera movement in Gravity is so fluid, and the opening single-take that lasts about 15 minutes is just magnificent.

There’s no other movie that’s really like this, plus I think anyone and everyone should see it (especially in theaters!), regardless of if you like space movies.

The Cranes are Flying (1957)

The Cranes are Flying (1957), directed by Mikhail Kalatozov

I wasn’t at all familiar with this Russian film until I saw it was available on Hulu, so I thought I’d check it out. And I’m glad I did; it’s a really moving anti-war film. It has a pretty simple story too, about two lovers that are separated because of the war. Tatyana Samoylova is brilliant as Veronica, the lover left behind, and I love the character’s arc in the movie. It also features great editing techniques and camera movements.

Can’t think of any specific movie that’s similar to this, but I highly recommend it!

The Earrings of Madame de… (1953)

The Earrings of Madame de… (1953), directed by Max Ophüls

The film opens with a tracking shot that follows the title character as she looks through her jewelry drawer, her closet full of fur coats, and the rest of her mansion (part of which is evidenced in the screenshot above). Right away the audience is taken in with the film’s grandeur, both aesthetically and technically. The set design and costumes are to die for, there’s a lot of detail in them. The three main actors, Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer, and Vittorio De Sica all give good performances too.

Recommended if you enjoy: The Rules of the Game, Letter from an Unknown Woman, and All That Heaven Allows.

Seconds (1966)

Seconds (1966), directed by John Frankenheimer

This movie is proof that Rock Hudson could work well in a dramatic role, and not just as a romantic leading man. I’d say this movie is a good one to watch in October too, though it’s not quite horror, it’s a perfect paranoia film like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The atmosphere remains quite creepy throughout, thanks to Jerry Goldsmith’s score and James Wong Howe’s cinematography. And the opening credits by Saul Bass give a sure sign for disturbing things to come.

Recommended if you enjoy: The Manchurian Candidate, another film directed by John Frankenheimer.

3 thoughts on “Films in 2013: October

  1. Sorry I’m a little late in checking in, Keisha! Cool about Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but there are three other entries I’m interested to hear your thoughts on…three I really like, and which are all part of my DVD collection: Planet of the Apes, Deliverance, and Freaks.

    • Planet of the Apes: Despite knowing how the movie ended, I was still pretty disturbed! And I also knew about the famous movie quote (“Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”) but not the context, so I really loved that that was the first thing that Heston’s character said to the apes. I had fun watching it.

      Deliverance: Another disturbing movie for me! I wasn’t too familiar with the movie beforehand (aside from the creepy hillbillies), so I found a lot of it shocking. A good thriller/adventure movie!

      Freaks: Loved this! Really interesting to get a bit of an insight on the lives of circus performers. The scene towards the end with Hans and his friends go after Cleopatra was actually pretty scary, especially after seeing what they did to her! I do wish the movie had ended there though instead of seeing Hans and Frieda reunite.

      • Cool Keisha, glad you liked them! And if I remember correctly, I think I’d read somewhere where the ‘Hans and Frieda’ ending to ‘Freaks’ was tacked-on after the fact. I too wish the film had ended with the previous scene!

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