I barely finished this week’s loot, and it was only by the skin of my teeth. This weekend was full of parties, hit-and-run accidents (I was the victim), police reports, Christmas tree hunting, and the likes. Which didn’t leave very much time for movies. I did, however, managed to get through all eight.
All the President’s Men would claim the top spot as my favorite of the week, if it weren’t for Winter Light. Usually, I’m not a fan of the political thriller/dramas, but ATPM was outstanding. Without going too much into detail, the performances were fantastic, so was the direction, and the plot was so complex, it puts Chinatown to shame. Yes, I realize it’s a true story, but putting it all in to one, furiously well-paced film, is remarkable.
Amarcord was a whole lot of fun, once I got in to the mood. It was a difficult pace change from the others, and when I finally made peace with it, it was hilarious, and charming. Not my favorite Fellini, but still, really great. And it features a midget nun. It doesn’t get better than that.
Faces gave me a little trouble. The in-your-face style of it all was a little brusque for me. I suppose it’s because I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s the first Cassavettes film I’ve seen, and, at the very least, I’m not very intrigued to see what else he has to offer.
Mephisto was the grab bag. I hadn’t heard of it before I went to the library, just happened to glance at the cover, saw it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and I thought I was in the mood for a Nazi movie. I don’t necessarily regret my choice, but it wasn’t quite on par with the others. It felt a little muddled. Besides some great imagery and a mildly interesting plot, there’s not much more this film than meets the eye.
Sawdust and Tinsel (if you’re looking for reviews of this film, look for The Naked Night) is what, I suppose, would be called ‘lesser Bergman.’ It was a solid film, but lacks the power of his other classics. I hate to use the word forgettable, but it’s kind of how I feel.
Smiles of a Summer Night was confusing at first. I didn’t realize it was a comedy when I check it out (I’m just catching the rest of Ingmar’s films that I haven’t seen), so I basically didn’t know how to handle what I was seeing. There are some good laughs, and, of course, devastating moments. Overall, not a very influential pick.
There’s nothing I could say about To Kill a Mockingbird that hasn’t been said before. It’s a quintessential staple of American film, and is as well done as I had always heard.
Lastly, there’s Winter Light which is my personal favorite of these eight. Its frightening portrayal of a clergyman losing his faith and taking it out on those around him was poignant, and well done, and, well, bitchin’. I’d highly recommend it.
Here’s this week’s loot: