Quantity doth not equal quality.
I saw 53 films in April, though if you subtract the 17 as part of the Sundance London Film Festival, the total comes in at 36. I distinctly remember at some point – maybe towards the middle of April – glancing at my current tally for the month and vowing that after the 15th, at the very least, I would solidly watch a good number of cinematic gems to compensate for my thus far dismal showing.
The quality wasn’t up to snuff. I’d been so resigned to plonking an old VHS in the 17-inch box telly downstairs night after night that I’d allowed my true cinematic preferences to go by the wayside. May is going to be the month; I’ll break the year’s record of 53 and concurrently swamp my mind with pure, unadulterated cinematic mastery.
Sundance London was a joyous experience. Aside from the films themselves, I savoured the chance to convene at length with a good bunch of fellow critics, a few of whom I now have the pleasure to work alongside. It’s a thing of rare beauty to be able to walk up to a complete stranger, ask them the preliminary ‘who do you write for?’ and then dive straight in with your individual responses to, say, Upstream Color. I’m grateful for it, having always conducted most of my in-depth film talk exclusively online with other cinephiles (whose company and conversation I certainly appreciate).
Anyway, leaving out the festival rankings (click here for those), here’s my Top 7 for April:
- Bad Timing (dir. Nicolas Roeg, 1980, USA)
- Still Walking (dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2008, Japan)
- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (dir. Russ Meyer, 1970, USA)
- Angustia (dir. Bigas Luna, 1988, Spain)
- Spring Breakers (dir. Harmony Korine, 2012, USA)
- The Kid with a Bike (dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2011, Belgium/France/Italy)
- Somewhere (dir. Sofia Coppola, 2010, USA)
I know, I know.