March was far more productive on the cinematic front. A severe drought in actual work led to ample time in which to watch many, many films. I initially believed this month’s tally of 36 to be quite admirable, but as always a few of my cinephile acquaintances manage to muster well over 50, sometimes 60. Am I not watching enough shorts? Is that it?
Despite crossing my goal of 25 films a month and thereby compensating for a poor February, I’m still not confident in the quality of this month’s selections. My eyeballs lapped up hot garbage like it was going out of fashion. Sometimes I enjoyed it (Stand By Me); other times, not so much (Twilight).
Being fairly new to London, I’m still discovering a number of cinemas that pack a personality. One particularly favourable venue is Curzon in Soho, just behind Leicester Square. It has a cafe on the ground floor, and below a comfortable seating area with a bar and two screening rooms. The films on show are mostly independent; I believe on my visit the choices included To the Wonder, Beyond the Hills and Post Tenebras Lux.
And of course, BFI London is always a pleasure to visit. I’ve yet to scope out their library, but I’ve wasted far too many minutes thumbing through the books on sale in the gift shop, in addition to the vast array of reasonably-priced DVDs and Blu-Rays that I still can’t afford. This month, I attended a screening of Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew, as part of a comprehensive retrospective of the great Italian director running from March to May. If all goes according to plan, I’ll attend a few more of his features in the coming month.
Here are my Top 10 viewings for March:
- Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring (dir. Kim Ki-duk, 2003, South Korea)
- To the Wonder (dir. Terrence Malick, 2012, USA)
- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (dir. Pedro Almodovar, 1988, Spain)
- Bug (dir. William Friedkin, 2006, USA)
- Caesar Must Die (dir. Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani, 2012, Italy)
- Meek’s Cutoff (dir. Kelly Reichardt, 2010, USA)
- The Funeral (dir. Abel Ferrara, 1996, USA)
- The Gospel According to St. Matthew (dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964, Italy)
- Mother (dir. Bong Joon-ho, 2009, South Korea)
- Side Effects (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2013, USA)
- Ran (dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1985, Japan/France)
- Pina (dir. Wim Wenders, 2011, Germany)
- Stand By Me (dir. Rob Reiner, 1986, USA)
Rewatch of the Month:
- Andrei Rublev (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974, Russia)
- Twilight (dir. Catherine Hardwicke, 2008, USA)
- Inside Man (dir. Spike Lee, 2006, USA)
- The Roommate (dir. Christian E. Christiansen, 2011, USA)
Coming up in April: SUNDANCE LONDON.