I contributed two short reviews to this post detailing Flickchart’s Top Ten films of 1939 – a good year of cinema by any gauge, and maybe one of the best. I got to do The Roaring Twenties and The Women (which is not one of Flickchart’s Top Ten, but is in my own all-time Top Ten). The rest of the mini-reviews are also really good!
Monday, March 16
5:00am – TCM – Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque
If you like American film since about 1970 or French film since the 1950s, then take a minute to thank Henri Langlois, founder of the Cinematheque Française in Paris. He showed American films from the 1940s, Italian Neo-Realist films, European artsy films, anything he could get his hands on, and fed a love of cinema to the writers and filmmakers who would lead the Nouvelle Vague in France, which in turn would influence the New Hollywood of the ’70s. Without Langlois, there’s no Truffaut, no Godard, no Chabrol, no Rivette, but also no Scorsese, no Bogdanovich, no Coppola, etc. This fascinating documentary follows the ups and downs of the great cinematic hero.
2:30pm – IFC – Raging Bull
8:00pm – TCM – The Navigator
I can’t remember if I’ve seen this Buster Keaton film or not, but it’s Buster Keaton. Therefore it’s worthwhile.
9:30pm – TCM – The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
A cult classic of the first degree. There’s even a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version, if you’d rather seek that one out.
1:15am (17th) – TCM – Frenzy
One of Hitchcock’s last films, made in 1972 when many of the content rules had been lifted and he could be a lot more explicit than he previously could. And he is, in a somewhat lurid story of the Necktie Killer, a serial killer terrorizing London with failed rape attempts and successful murders.
Tuesday, March 17
6:45pm – IFC – A Hard Day’s Night
Sorta musical, sorta comedy, sorta documentary, sorta concert film, all Beatles, and all fantastic.
(repeats 7:50am and 1:30pm on the 18th)
8:00pm – TCM – The Quiet Man
Wednesday, March 18
8:15am – TCM – Holiday
Besides Bringing Up Baby, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn also made this film in 1938, and though it isn’t as well known and possibly hasn’t aged as well, it’s still well worth watching, not least of all for the great supporting turns by Lew Ayres (All Quiet on the Western Front) and Gail Patrick.
10:00am – TCM – Top Hat
8:00pm – IFC – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
(repeats 1:45am on the 19th)
10:00pm – IFC – The Royal Tenenbaums
(repeats 3:45am on the 19th)
12:00M – IFC – This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Documentary about the abuses of the MPAA ratings board gets a little sensationalist at times, but still manages to bring up very good points about the ratings system’s fallibility and arbitraryness.
Thursday, March 19
6:00am – TCM – Dark Victory
7:15am – IFC – Picnic at Hanging Rock
(repeats at 12:45pm)
6:05pm – Sundance – Avenue Montaigne
6:25pm – IFC – Trainspotting
9:30pm – IFC – Moulin Rouge!
(repeats 11:50 am on the 20th)
11:45pm – IFC – Dogville
Lars von Trier specializes in making difficult films, and Dogville is difficult both stylistically and thematically, and many people hate it. Love isn’t quite the right word for the emotion I have towards it, either, but it remains one of the most powerfully impactful films I’ve ever seen. Not to mention it has what is quite possibly Nicole Kidman’s greatest performance (and I love Nicole, so I don’t mean that sarcastically).
Friday, March 20
9:15am – TCM – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
4:15pm – TCM – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
5:45pm – IFC – Stage Beauty
Sometime around Shakespeare’s time, theatrical convention changed from having all female parts played by males on stage to allowing women to perform female roles themselves. Caught in this shift were the effeminate men who had made their careers and indeed, their identities, out of playing women. Stage Beauty is about one such man and his crisis of self when he no longer had a professional or personal identity. It’s a fascinating film in many ways.
6:15pm – TCM – Freaky Friday (1978)
Jodie Foster as a kid who switches bodies with her mom! Gotta love it.
2:30am (21st) – TCM – Two-Lane Blacktop
Fiercely independent road picture – a sort of Easy Rider but with cars, less plot, and no stars.
Saturday, March 21
3:30pm – TCM – The Caine Mutiny
1:00am (22nd) – TCM – Oklahoma!
Sunday, March 22
6:00am – TCM – The Roaring Twenties
One of James Cagney’s classic gangster pictures.
8:00am – TCM – Angels With Dirty Faces
Another of James Cagney’s classic gangster pictures, this time with kids and a priest thrown in.
6:15pm – IFC – Wassup Rockers
I watched this last time it was on IFC, and quite liked it. Small, intimate little film about a group of teenage Latino skateboarders from South Central LA. They go up to Beverly Hills to skateboard, get caught by cops, escape, meet up with some girls, get in fights with preppy 90210 guys, and try to get home. But the moments that’ll get you are when they’re just talking, to the camera, or to the girls, about their life and what it’s like to live in South Central. The acceptance that one of their older friends was recently shot by a black gang, or the shy recounting of their last experience trying to find a girlfriend. It doesn’t go anywhere, really, but it’s a wonderful slice of life.
12:00M – TCM – Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans