Films in 2017: April

April saw a good mix of movies from TCM and FilmStruck, including a few films that were directed by women. I haven’t been doing as well with keeping up with women-directed movies since the 52 Films By Women project last year, but I did manage to watch six of them this month, including two in the theater! As you’ll see later on in the post, a couple of them even made my list of favorites for April. I’m going to keep this post brief as I have a long, busy week ahead. And though I don’t have it as a favorite discovery of the month, I highly recommend checking out Netflix’s three-part WWII documentary series Five Came Back, which TCM did a wonderful spotlight on a few years back with Mark Harris, who wrote the book on which the film series is based.

New-to-Me: 22

Re-Watched: 7

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 2
  • 1940s – 6
  • 1950s – 6
  • 1960s – 0
  • 1970s – 2
  • 1980s – 0
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 1
  • 2010s – 4

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Wilson (1944)
  2. Five Came Back (2017)
  3. Antonia’s Line (1995)
  4. The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)
  5. Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
  6. A Night to Remember (1958)
  7. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
  8. Life of Brian (1979)
  9. Tales of Manhattan (1942)
  10. Maid’s Night Out (1938)
  11. Sister Kenny (1946)
  12. Gentleman Jim (1942)
  13. People on Sunday (1930)
  14. 2 Days in Paris (2007)
  15. 2 Days in New York (2012)
  16. Autumn Leaves (1956)
  17. Queen Bee (1955)
  18. Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
  19. Never Fear (1949)
  20. Their Finest (2016)
  21. He Walked by Night (1948)
  22. A Star is Born (1976)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Antonia's Line (1995)

Antonia’s Line (1995), directed by Marleen Gorris

I watched Antonia’s Line just before it expired on FilmStruck, so, unfortunately, it’s not available to watch on there anymore. But if you ever get the chance to see this movie (which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film), I really recommend giving it a watch. The film follows the family line of Antonia (hence the title), showing the lives of herself, her daughter, her granddaughter, and her great-granddaughter throughout the years. It essentially focuses on all the various lifestyles of the women in Antonia’s family, as well as their relationships within the tight-knit community they form within the small Dutch town.

A Night to Remember (1958)

A Night to Remember (1958), directed by Roy Ward Baker

A Night to Remember is a movie I had been interested in watching for years but never got around to watching until now (thank you FilmStruck!), and it really lived up to my expectations. Of course, there have been other film iterations of the Titanic disaster, such as the 1953 film Titanic starring Barbara Stanwyck, and more famously, the 1997 film Titanic with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and having seen those prior to A Night to Remember, I was afraid I wouldn’t be as taken with this film as I had with the other two. But it ended up being a truly gripping movie, even already knowing very well what the outcome would be. While I appreciate the more romantic hooks in the other Titanic movies I mentioned, what I really liked about this movie is that it doesn’t solely focus on a select number of characters, and instead really illustrates just how massive the tragedy of this event is.

Their Finest (2016)

Their Finest (2016), directed by Lone Scherfig

I actually didn’t hear about Their Finest until I saw a trailer for it before The Zookeeper’s Wife earlier in the month (which would actually make a good double bill with this movie, as both are WWII stories that are also directed by women). It was refreshing to see a WWII-era story that wasn’t merely regurgitating what’s been seen before in other similar movies. Instead, it showed something more unknown to the public conscious, with a British film crew figuring out how to build morale for the war and incorporate propaganda through their film. It was especially great seeing how women were working behind-the-scenes in these sorts of jobs while many men were away at war. It’s a movie worth seeking out if it’s playing at a theater near you.

Life of Brian (1979)

Life of Brian (1979), directed by Terry Jones

I posted another entry for the 2017 Blind Spots series a few days ago on Life of Brian, another film I enjoyed discovering this month. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

3 thoughts on “Films in 2017: April

  1. Their Finest sounds fascinating, and it’s one that I haven’t heard about either. Plus, Scherfig also directed An Education, which I love, so I’d like to see more of her work. Thanks for recommending it!

    • An Education is the only other film I’ve seen of hers, and I really loved that one too. I do hope you get a chance to see Their Finest soon!

  2. I watched Queen Bee this past month as well…I thought it was a lot better than the ‘camp’ status it’s known for. And glad to see you liked ‘A Night to Remember’…I thought it was very well-done, and it’s my favorite of the three Titanic films.

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