Films in 2021: February

February was another movie-filled month, though I didn’t watch quite as many movies as I did in January. Probably my biggest enjoyment this past month was watching more of Pedro Almodóvar’s films after TCM played several of them the previous month. So now I’m just one movie away from completing his filmography! Before this year, I had just seen seven of his 21 feature films, but I had only watched most of those in the past couple of years, so it’s been great watching much of his work pretty close together. He’s really become one of my favorite filmmakers, and it makes me even happier that I got to see him in person twice at the New York Film Festival back in 2019 (and now I’m reminiscing on simpler times when we could go to movie theaters; hopefully we’ll be back soon). Anyway, I’ll have a bit more of Almodóvar further down, as well as a couple of other favorites, so now let’s move on to the rest of what I watched in February.

New-to-Me: 55

Re-Watched: 14

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1910s – 0
  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 15
  • 1940s – 7
  • 1950s – 11
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 3
  • 1980s – 4
  • 1990s – 4
  • 2000s – 4
  • 2010s – 2
  • 2020s – 2

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Polyester (1981)
  2. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957)
  3. The Conqueror (1956)
  4. Hallelujah (1929)
  5. Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)
  6. Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
  7. Inside Man (2006)
  8. The Last Station (2009)
  9. South Pacific (1958)
  10. Dancing Co-Ed (1939)
  11. Spring Madness (1938)
  12. We Were Strangers (1949)
  13. Three Hours to Kill (1954)
  14. Saratoga (1937)
  15. Honky Tonk (1941)
  16. To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)
  17. Live Flesh (1997)
  18. Bad Education (2004)
  19. Back Street (1932)
  20. The Good Fairy (1935)
  21. One Touch of Venus (1948)
  22. A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)
  23. Somewhere in Time (1980)
  24. The Firm (1993)
  25. Under Fire (1983)
  26. The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)
  27. She Had to Say Yes (1933)
  28. Goodbye Again (1933)
  29. The Doorway to Hell (1930)
  30. The Mayor of Hell (1933)
  31. Operation Petticoat (1959)
  32. Law of Desire (1987)
  33. High Heels (1991)
  34. Super Fly (1972)
  35. Coffy (1973)
  36. Avalon (1990)
  37. Native Son (1951)
  38. Good Morning (1959)
  39. Saturday’s Children (1940)
  40. Castle on the Hudson (1940)
  41. Out of the Fog (1941)
  42. The Password Is Courage (1962)
  43. Our Mother’s House (1967)
  44. Take a Giant Step (1959)
  45. St. Louis Blues (1958)
  46. Belle of the Nineties (1934)
  47. Goin’ to Town (1935)
  48. Klondike Annie (1936)
  49. Go West Young Man (1936)
  50. Every Day’s a Holiday (1937)
  51. My Little Chickadee (1940)
  52. I’m So Excited! (2013)
  53. Julieta (2016)
  54. Sparkle (1976)
  55. Ali (2001)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Good Fairy (1935)

The Good Fairy (1935), directed by William Wyler

William Wyler and Preston Sturges are among my favorite filmmakers, and here the two come together as director and writer, respectively, for this delightful romantic comedy. The Good Fairy isn’t as well-known now, especially compared to many other films in both Wyler’s and Sturges’s filmographies, so I hadn’t heard much about it until seeing it. Margaret Sullavan is pretty endearing here as a kind and naïve young woman who finds herself quickly moving up in society after growing up in an orphanage. I especially enjoyed her scenes with Herbert Marshall and Reginald Owen.

Law of Desire (1987)

Law of Desire (1987), directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodóvar excels at melodrama and comedy, and here he walks a tight line between the two (though this movie leans more into the former). More often than not his films can be quite over the top, but in Law of Desire, I think it’s reigned in enough that it doesn’t risk going in a completely ridiculous direction. It helps that one of his best and most frequent collaborators, Antonio Banderas, is always committed to whatever Almodóvar asks of him, and he delivers here as a young man who becomes possessive over his affair with a film director.

High Heels (1991)

High Heels (1991), directed by Pedro Almodóvar

High Heels was another Pedro Almodóvar film I really enjoyed this past month and even more than I expected to. While there’s still plenty of humorous moments, this is much closer to a drama, focusing on the estranged relationship between a daughter and her actress mother, with the added element of a murder mystery. Victoria Abril’s central performance as the daughter trying to reconnect with her mother really anchors the film.

Good Morning (1959)

Good Morning (1959), directed by Yasujirō Ozu

I’ve been meaning to watch more of Yasujirō Ozu’s films since watching Tokyo Story a few years ago (back when I did the Blind Spot series), but somehow hadn’t gotten around to watching another one until now. I really enjoyed Good Morning, a lighthearted family comedy about two young brothers who decide to take a vow of silence after their parents refuse to buy a television set. It was amusing to see the ripple effect their quiet protest had on other aspects of their lives and their parents, along with a few running bits throughout the movie.

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