#Afilmclub - August
I came home from work a fortnight ago and made pasta for myself. I'd decided to take a little break from blogging and an evening that usually would have been spent typing and procrastinating now stretched ahead of me. I decided to watch a film and only then did I realise how long it had been since I sat down and did that.
Television has been scoring home run after home run for years now (The Wire, House, Dexter, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, OITNB, American Horror Story and on and on it goes) and I had neglected films. My favourite Twitter chat, hosted by @afilmclub has had me pining for tears, romance, car chases and happy endings. I highly recommend you join in on Thursday evenings. In the spirit of the club, I'm going to share with you the films I watch every month.
I've been in love with Emily Blunt ever since she rolled her eyes in 'The Devil Wears Prada'. Her career has been a really good mash of lame, box office and indie but I was still surprised when she was cast in this film as an FBI agent. I love Benicio del Toro too but this film slipped through the cracks somehow.
The character requires Emily Blunt to play the 'everywoman', one of the hardest roles there is; you have to be a blank canvas for the audience to project on to but have enough personality to carry a film. She's really amazing in it and I forgot I was watching a film star, something which is tricky nowadays in the celebrity obsessed culture we live in.
I find Josh Brolin hard to watch because he's on my list of 'famous people who make me feel gross and uncomfortable' after he was arrested for domestic assault. Other than that, I loved this film. The scenic shots are incredible - I've never seen anything like them in any film, ever.
Why did I wait so long? This film has been on my to-watch list for years but somehow always got nudged further down the queue. The only Jack Lemmon film I'd ever seen was 'Glengarry Glen Ross' but I was always keen to see more, as he was a father figure and huge inspiration to Kevin Spacey.
Guys, this film is perfect. There is no other word for it at all. I have nothing else to say.
One of the reasons I read Diane Keaton's autobiography was to hear about Al Pacino. She said he struggles with social conventions, as if he were raised by wolves. He doesn't understand why you would go and eat with other people in a restaurant when you could do it by yourself in your own kitchen. It's this oddity which has made him one of the greatest actors of all time. You could watch 1970s Al Pacino sit alone in a room for two hours and it would probably still be one of the best performances you'd ever seen.
Serpico is a classic and Al Pacino is fantastic (duh). He plays a police officer who's basically the only one in New York who A) Doesn't take bribes and B) Actually does his fucking job. I really enjoyed it but I'll never watch it again...does that make sense? It was just so long and intense that it was a bit of an experience so once is enough. Definitely a winner for Pacino fans.
The Way We Were
"And then...the music comes in."
"Meeeemories - it's so good..."
"LIKE THE CORNERS OF MY MIND!"
If you're familiar with Sex and the City, you'll remember the famous scene where they reenact the final moments of The Way We Were. I watched it years ago, possibly hungover, and drifted in and out of sleep throughout. I decided it was time to watch it again.
It's so close to being amazing that it's frustrating. It's a brilliant premise - Barbra Streisand is a politically active, feminist, Jewish woman who dates the college jock played by Robert Redford, who's ever so dreamy...and a complete wuss.
I love the conflict of her trying to tone herself down for him but wanting to be who she is. But there were problems with the script when shooting and it shows. It's very disjointed and it feels like scenes are missing. I was making mental notes the whole way through and wishing I could rewrite it. The character of Katie is fantastic and the film isn't good enough for her. I hate to say this, but I think a remake would do it the world of good...
Are there any films I HAVE to watch in September? What films did you love recently? Let me know in the comments!