28 Dec 2017
You know what’s not funny? How I was certain that the New Year’s is next weekend but it’s actually this one! I had prewritten them posts, planned what I was going to talk about up to the Big Day and only this morning it’s become apparent that, um, it’s only 4 days to go? F-ck. Three-four years ago I created a little FaceBook tradition where I write a list of my favourite movies of the going year. I was planning to post the list next week but, hello, the year will have gone next week (this is still tripping me out) and I am frantically hitting my laptop keys so this can go up tomorrow.
Basically, what I do is make a list on my iPhone of all the movies that I love throughout the year. This list is extremely subjective and is based on nothing but the number of times I watch them. So, if I make an effort to see something more than once – voluntarily, not by chance whilst flicking through channels – it goes on the list. Sometimes it happens that I am late to the party and catch up with an iTunes release, but the same rule applies: if I watch it more than once, that means I love it loads and up on the list it goes.
In the year of 2017 a few fantastic movies have been made (Wonder Woman!) but most of them did not make me go back for more. The next four did:
The Death Of Stalin.
It is rare that I laugh out loud in the movie theatre but I did laugh during The Death Of Stalin. The bureaucratic shamble that followed the sudden death of Communism’s own self-appointed Jesus is satire at its finest. The film, unlike the times it portrays, is both hilarious and flawlessly cast. LIKE the times it portrays, it is not without the greyness, horrors and brutality of Stalin’s regime. I do not know how such grim facts could marry scathing satire and produce this perfection but they have. Power is a ridiculous thing and The Death cleverly unveils that.
(Shame about Jeffery Tambor though.)
This is one of those I caught up with later than it was originally released (2016), and I remember missing its original run because it was so limited that I had no chance to catch it as I was away on summer holiday when it showed. I will not understand how this incredible movie did not get more theatrical play. First of all, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy are in it. And Oh.My.God they are charming the f-ck out of the screen, Hammer especially. It is a good thing I warned you from the start how subjective my choices are.
It is a film about an arms deal in the 70s, set in Boston, that goes tits up. Within the first 20 minutes, every character is shot and the rest is the survival of the fittest. Or the most conniving. And because throughout the entire film everyone is acting wounded, the physical comedy is on another level. During the two days I’ve had it for rent, I watched it 4 times. Yes, that is twice a day.
This is not an original choice, as plenty of people have rightly got on the Girls Trip wagon. The film is a comedy, so what else is there to say other than it is ridiculously funny. There’s a golden showers scene that the prude in me refused to consider funny on the first watch but I had to realise that, f-ck it, if women are preconditioned to laugh at dudes’ piss jokes then said women should have the freedom to lol at their own piss, too. Truly, this is a stand-out scene and Jada Pinkett is the golden showers kween. Same principal goes for Tiffany Haddish’s character giving a valuable blow job lesson to her onscreen crew, but really to all of the unlucky sisters who have had to deal with a dick the size of which no vagina should have to be expected to recieve. Grapefruit the f-cker and, while you’re at it, choke a little bit because “that will make him feel more like a man”. Got it, lesson learned (starts on 1.15).
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME.
I have watched it six times (so far) in the cinema and have made a pre-order on iTunes. I have twice listened to the book on Audible and broken out in tears in the public transport. I have read it in print and written a piece on it for the Creative Writing club. I have watched everything there was to watch on YouTube and start my mornings with listening to Love My Way. I have written down the names of the streets in piazzettas Oliver and Elio visited (because of course they are real and not fictional) on their short trip to Rome so that when Sofia and I go there in a few months this is where I will wander. I have got the soundtrack and the plan was to find the music sheets so my piano teacher, while I’m on holiday in Moscow, could help me learn a couple of the classics but, unfortunately, she couldn’t find the notes. I am keeping this plan for my next holiday, in Easter.
There is nothing I can say about CMBYN that would do it justice. I love all of it together and every bit of it separately. The writing, the cinematography, the performances, the music - there are no favourite parts and no less-favourite parts – this film, this story, gave me life in 2017.
A close second – the movie I intended to go see again but for some reason ended up not – The Florida Project. The entire thing was shot on an iPhone and the actress was cast via Instagram. This blows my mind.
Now on to films that I hated. I never walk out of the cinema, for I am thorough, but good God, these were testing me:
Lady Macbeth. I pride myself on “getting” pretentiousness and often act like a cinema snob. But even knowing how much the critics enjoyed this film, f-ck no, don’t ever sign me up for the story of Macbeth again, I would rather crack my own scull. This was long, fam.
Home Again. I was hoping it could be one of those sh-t films that you secretly go back to from time to time but I ended up not asking my friend Jorge for my money back after I’d dragged him to see this. It was BAD.
Keeping Up With The Joneses. I refuse to spend energy on typing anything about this sh-t show. Worse than Home Again.