Films in 2017: September

This past month saw a good variety of films, as far as watching at least one film across almost every decade beginning in the 1920s (didn’t get a chance to watch anything from the 2000s). I also ended up bookending September with a few films starring Jane Fonda; throughout the beginning of the month I was listening to the latest season of the podcast You Must Remember This on her early life and career compared to Jean Seberg, then towards the end of the month I watched the last movie she did with Robert Redford prior to their latest outing together, Our Souls at Night, which just started streaming on Netflix over the weekend. Another fun tidbit: I ended up watching three of her movies that also featured Bruce Dern, who also has a small role in her new film with Redford. Anyway, aside from the Fonda trend, I also got the chance to see two classic sci-fi films directed by Steven Spielberg on the big screen: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. So it was a fun movie-watching month, to say the least. Anyway, on to what I watched over the past 30 days…

New-to-Me: 28

Re-Watched: 5

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 5
  • 1940s – 5
  • 1950s – 4
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 4
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 2
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 4

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Coming Home (1978)
  2. Wild at Heart (1990)
  3. Framed (1947)
  4. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
  5. Fire Over England (1937)
  6. It (2017)
  7. The Intern (2015)
  8. Barbarella (1968)
  9. 711 Ocean Drive (1950)
  10. The Bride Wore Red (1937)
  11. The Dresser (1983)
  12. Notting Hill (1999)
  13. Jane Eyre (1943)
  14. Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)
  15. Cinderella Liberty (1973)
  16. The In-Laws (1979)
  17. Romance (1930)
  18. Queen Christina (1933)
  19. Smilin’ Through (1932)
  20. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  21. Henry V (1944)
  22. Scandal Sheet (1952)
  23. A Stolen Life (1946)
  24. ‘Til We Meet Again (1940)
  25. The Electric Horseman (1979)
  26. Our Souls at Night (2017)
  27. Interlude (1957)
  28. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Wild at Heart (1990)

Wild at Heart (1990), directed by David Lynch

The beginning of September brought the end of the revival of Twin Peaks, and before the finale, I thought it’d be a good idea to watch a David Lynch movie. Though not quite as surreal as his most famous works, there’s still plenty of the director’s touches throughout the film, mixing strange scenes with silly, warm-hearted moments. While I still have a number of his films to see, I think Wild at Heart is Lynch’s most enjoyable movie (though not my top favorite), with a sincere love story at the center of it making it easier to take in some of the film’s more disturbing parts. And Laura Dern being fantastic as usual goes without saying, and Nicolas Cage is always an entertaining watch, and together they make a magnetic pair.

Scandal Sheet (1952)

Scandal Sheet (1952), directed by Phil Karlson

I’ve been tuning in to TCM nearly every Sunday morning for their Noir Alley screenings that started back in March, and while I’ve seen many of the movies they’ve aired in this series, there’s a few that I hadn’t seen before, including Scandal Sheet, which has been my favorite discovery from the program so far. Generally, I’ll watch any movie that features journalism, especially if it’s a film noir, which often shows the dark side of my chosen profession. This film was based on a book written by director Samuel Fuller, who was a crime reporter before his film career, so there’s a good sense of realism infused with the noir conventions. Broderick Crawford is excellent as ruthless newspaper editor Mark Chapman, who lets reporter Steve McCleary (played by John Derek) cover a murder that he committed himself. Donna Reed is also great as a feature writer for the paper named Julie Allison, who can see through Chapman’s tactics and helps McCleary solve the crime.

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), directed by Sydney Pollack

After becoming a sex symbol with the sci-fi film Barbarella (a movie I watched for the first time earlier in the month), Jane Fonda followed it up with this harrowing drama, in which she was able to really prove herself as an actress, earning her first Oscar nomination in the process. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? follows a group of characters hoping to win a $1500 prize from a dance marathon during the Depression. It can be hard and exhausting to watch at times, as the characters are constantly at their wit’s end, barely keeping themselves from collapsing as the audience watches with bated breath. The film reminded me a bit of Network, as they both show the really dark side of spectacle and the lengths the powers that be will go to to keep the masses engaged, no matter the human cost.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), directed by Carl Th. Dreyer

I posted another entry for the 2017 Blind Spots series a couple days ago on The Passion of Joan of Arc, another fantastic movie discovery from the past month. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

One thought on “Films in 2017: September

  1. Some great titles! I really like 711 OCEAN DRIVE and of course love PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC. You’ve made me want to revisit THE DRESSER, a film I saw in the theaters during its original release. (I think I was one of three people in the theater…) Wonderful film. I also think WILD AT HEART evoked a similar reaction with me. I think in some ways it’s Lynch’s most traditionally romantic film (without being a typical romance film, if that makes sense!).

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