Many of my classic film blogger buddies are already at TCM Film Fest RIGHT NOW – I won’t be able to get there until Friday night, but in the meantime, here’s my preview post at Flickchart that runs down some of the films easily available to watch at home if you’re not able to go to the fest, and some films that aren’t easily available at all to whet your interest in making it to the fest next year. Hope to see you this year or a future one!
I need to do better about cross-referencing the stuff I write elsewhere in this little “elsewhere” column. That’s what it’s here for! I’m continuing to write TCM programming guides every month at the Flickchart blog (April’s will be…soon…I’m behind), and managing the Decades series, where we look back at films celebrating decade anniversaries this year.
For April, we looked back 90 years to 1927, a watershed year in the history of cinema with the exploding popularity of sound films, but also possibly the height of silent film artistry. All of the films featured in the post are silent (The Jazz Singer did not make Flickchart’s Global Top Ten), and it’s an embarrassment of riches. Check it out!
Well, it’s been almost three months since my year-long movie challenge officially completed, and it’s taken me that long to decompress, rerank everything, and generally get ready to post a recap of the year. The short version: it was awesome! I watched a ton of movies I really liked, very few I didn’t like, and found several that are going to be long-term favorites. It was a wonderful year of movie-watching, with a ton of variety, a lot of blind spot greats I should’ve gotten to before now, a lot of hidden gems I was glad to seek out, and a solid mix of fun and homework (and I found favorites among both!).
Thanks to everyone who participated in this by giving me movies and waiting (often very patiently) for my feedback. If you have the time and freedom, I highly recommend doing a similar challenge. It was surprisingly freeing to not have to decide what movies to watch, and knowing everyone was waiting to hear my reactions was highly motivating to keep with this project.
Total films watched: 104 from 52 different people
Range of years represented: 1921-2014 (The Phantom Carriage to Whiplash)
# of countries represented: 14
Average ranking/percentage: 1066 mean, 999 median
Total films I have ranked: 3865, so that means the vast majority of films fell in the top third of my chart
Top 15% Challenge Films
All of these films landed at 85% or higher on my chart. I was initially going to do Top 10%, but there were too many films I truly loved that fell just outside 10%. Including 15% captured much better the films I loved compared to the ones I really liked, which fell in the 70-85% range. I’m not going to write anything about each one, as you can look at my full reviews if you’re curious. Links to every review are in the full ranked list below.
Finishing the Challenge out with a classic Bergman-Bergman film, the only one Ingmar and Ingrid ever made together, and it’s a doozy.
There are Ingmar Bergman films I love to bits, but I often find him a tough nut to crack, his film striking me as a bit austere and aloof rather than the deeply humanistic works I know they are. That kind of happened with Fanny and Alexander earlier last year, but with Autumn Sonata, it was almost TOO raw and full of naked emotion.
Well, I’ve kept Bas waiting WAY too long on this, plus everyone else waiting for a wrap-up of my Challenge, which was by and large a phenomenal success. More on that…later.
The only François Ozon film I’d seen prior to this was Swimming Pool, which I HATED (though I don’t remember enough about it now to articulate why, I still remember the feeling of dislike toward it), so I had understandably not bothered to seek out any more Ozon or even find out what his other films were. When I looked this one up after Bas assigned it to me, I was pretty instantly sure I was going to like it, though. I mean, a bottle movie with eight women in a house with a dead man that one of them presumably killed but nobody knows who, AND it’s a musical? Yes.