52 Films By Women – September 2016


#52FilmsByWomen

And there was much rejoicing. I honestly did not believe I’d ever get this far way back in January, but I did and I made it to 52. That kind of means the challenge part is over, so now it’s time to find myself some new goals. I could be a little more picky in what I’ll watch, but for now the next goal is to reach 52 different directors as well. I’m only six directors away from reaching that goal, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Perhaps after that I’ll try to find films from as many different countries as possible. I have a few left that I can check off that list also.

Prior posts

Watched

The year is slowly coming to an end. Just three more months to go, but I intend to keep this going unofficially and without these posts after that. I’ve seen so many great things I would have otherwise missed out on and I want it to continue. But it’s also time to look beyond just women directors. Maybe I need to put similar effort in films from countries that are not that well known for their film industry. MUBI seems perfect for that, even though lately there hasn’t been much of interest to me on their roster. I have a while to figure that one out. Until then, enjoy these eight films by women.

 

Yume to kyôki no ôkoku CoverOriginal title: Yume to kyôki no ôkoku
Rating: 7.5/10
Year: 2013
Directors: Mami Sunada
Duration: 118 min.
Genres: Documentary

This film is a documentary about the making of The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s last film that was released in 2013. It’s also said to be about Isao Takahata’s last film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (also 2013), but ignore the people who say so. It was a bit of a letdown for me as I prefer the latter film and really wanted to know more about how it was made. Instead we learn all about Miyazaki’s doodling, the resident cat and the roof terrace. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is a quiet and gentle documentary. There’s a lot to take from it and it’s sad realising that these two films are among the last ones Studio Ghibli will ever give to the world. Money problems aside let’s be honest, what will they ever do without their two major artists making films?

 

Tallulah CoverOriginal title: Tallulah
Rating: 6.8/10
Year: 2016
Directors: Sian Heder
Duration: 111 min.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy

Ellen Page would almost certainly be in my top 3 most favourite currently active actors and actresses. In Tallulah she plays a sort of hobo-with-a-van girl who ends up babysitting for a contender in the world’s worst mom competition. The film is a little strange but it has something compelling that at least kept me watching. It’s an entirely unrealistic story told in such a way that it almost feels plausible. But if you ignore the credibility issues you are left with a strange and heartwarming story of two people who are re-inventing themselves after a long period of slumber or faffing around. A very nice film coming from Netflix.

 

 

The Intervention CoverOriginal title: The Intervention
Rating: 5.4/10
Year: 2016
Directors: Clea DuVall
Duration: 90 min.
Genre: Comedy, Drama

In The Intervention a bunch of middle aged white people have a family gathering in a huge mansion. The goal is to have an intervention. To tell a couple they should get a divorce because their marriage just isn’t working anymore. Before they get around to that, it becomes painfully obvious that they’re not the only couple with problems. Basically the first hour of this film is super predictable, as in it takes ten minutes to figure out what will happen in the next fifty. That means you will likely be making sarcastic remarks in your head like ‘ghee, did not see that coming..’ a lot. Once they finally get to where they work towards in the first hour, things pick up a little. Much of the damage may have already been done, however. I kind of liked the film aside from this though, so it may not be a complete waste of time to give it a try. You might enjoy watching Cobie Smulders (HIMYM’s Robin) and some other characters being completely oblivious to their problems.

 

Embers CoverOriginal title: Embers
Rating: 6.1/10
Year: 2015
Directors: Claire Carré
Duration: 85 min.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

Out of all eight films on this list, I imagine this will be the one that divides viewers the most. You’ll either hate it, or like it. Unfortunately I doubt it will be good enough for people to say they loved it. I fall in the like-category. Whenever a film is slow, Sci-Fi, a little vague and philosophical you can put me down for a watch. The locations serving as backdrop in this film are chosen brilliantly. They give an amazing sense of desolation in a strange post-apocalyptic world. The film follows a few people who wander through this world in which a virus is causing people to lose their ability to remember things. We are shown a girl and her father who live safely but in complete isolation, a couple (or are they?) wandering around, a little kid, a frustrated boy and a professor type. They each cope with their situation in a different way. Nothing much happens in this film, but I found it a very interesting experiment in humanity. Definitely not for the masses though.

 

 

Ratchet & Clank CoverOriginal title: Ratchet & Clank
Rating: 4.4/10
Year: 2016
Directors: Jericca Cleland
Duration: 94 min.
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Ratchet & Clank is an animated film that is based on a game, so I guess if you’re a fan of that there might be something in this film for you. Otherwise I recommend you don’t bother. You can watch it without knowing the characters and the animation quality is all right, but the story is cookie cutter, highly predictable, full of cliches and also a little boring. You have probably seen this film a few times before with different characters. The humour fell flat most of the time. I really can’t think of a whole lot in favour of this one so I’ll stop and move on to the next film.

 

Me Before You CoverOriginal title: Me Before You
Rating: 7.8/10
Year: 2016
Directors: Thea Sharrock
Duration: 110 min.
Genre: Drama, Romance

Me Before You is easily the best of these eight films. It stars a gorgeous Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) in the role of a caretaker. The visuals in this film are stunning. It’s as if there are beautiful castles and mansions around every corner. It’s the subject matter of the film – euthanasia – that might chase some people away, or result in negative responses. Clarke sort of nurses a young man who became paralyzed up to his neck after a traffic accident. He’s now a sad and bitter man who lives in the adapted stables of one of the huge mansions I mentioned before. The young, happy and slightly naive Clarke is supposed to be a caretaker for this young man. It’s not Mar Adentro, but I recommend you to watch it anyway!

 

 

Døden er et kjærtegn CoverOriginal title: Døden er et kjærtegn
Rating: 6.7/10
Year: 1949
Directors: Edith Carlmar
Duration: 88 min.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Film Noir

Death is a Caress is the first Norwegian film directed by a woman. It is also the first Norwegian film noir. And it’s dark, very dark. It seems an accidental common theme in many of this month’s films, but here too very little actually happens. Erik and Marit are engaged, but one day Erik meets a rich femme fatale driving a flashy car. She’s unhappily married, but that doesn’t stop either of them from pursuing a relationship of sorts. This film is quite explicit for its time, and it definitely would not have made it past the Hollywood censors. One can find many of the standard film noir tropes in this one. I already mentioned the femme fatale, the sucker Erik who she lures in her web and the poor nice-girl fiance who is left behind alone. The film plays with shadows just like any US noir, takes place in a Norwegian concrete jungle and is mainly driven by characters who do what they do because they simply couldn’t do it any other way (even though really they could have). Its style reminded me of nouvelle vague too, but that may just be because I don’t speak Norwegian or because of how the subtitles were written. Death is a Caress is a very interesting and well made film for a seasoned film noir fan, but if you’re just starting out I suggest looking up the better known American noirs and perhaps pick Rififi as a non-US attempt at film noir over this one.

 

Red Road CoverOriginal title: Red Road
Rating: 6.0/10
Year: 2006
Directors: Andrea Arnold
Duration: 113 min.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Uneasy to watch, 18+. That’d be Red Road in short. In a very uneventful first hour there’s always a very present and unpleasant feeling of unease. I got pretty bored watching that first hour, and that rarely ever happens to me. Still I gave it a 6.0 because it was just really well made and it picks up a little after that. Things start rolling when a woman working for some surveillance company spots someone she recognises and doesn’t seem too happy to see. For some unclear reason she’s compelled to seek him out, resulting in some very awkward moments and strange scenes. As a viewer you are left in the dark on why she’s doing whatever it is she’s doing, but everything seems to point towards something sinister or dark.

 

 

The list!

There’s no place like the list.

short: At Land:7.7 Stars (7.7 / 10)
short: Du côté de la côte:6.2 Stars (6.2 / 10)
short: Le lion volatil:6.2 Stars (6.2 / 10)
short: Laloux Sauvage:6.3 Stars (6.3 / 10)
shorts: Lotte Reiniger Fairy Tales 1-5:5.9 Stars (5.9 / 10)
shorts: Lotte Reiniger Fairy Tales 6-10:6.1 Stars (6.1 / 10)
doc: Evaporating Borders:7.1 Stars (7.1 / 10)
doc: Indie Game: The Movie:7.2 Stars (7.2 / 10)
doc: Olympia I - Festival of the Nations:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
doc: Olympia II - Festival of Beauty:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
doc: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness:7.5 Stars (7.5 / 10)
doc: Triumph of the Will:5.6 Stars (5.6 / 10)
American Psycho:7.7 Stars (7.7 / 10)
August Rush:8.3 Stars (8.3 / 10)
Born in Flames:7.0 Stars (7.0 / 10)
Death is a Caress:6.7 Stars (6.7 / 10)
Despite the Falling Snow:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Documenteur:6.8 Stars (6.8 / 10)
Embers:6.1 Stars (6.1 / 10)
Into the Forest:7.3 Stars (7.3 / 10)
Longing for the Rain:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Mädchen in Uniform:8.2 Stars (8.2 / 10)
Maggie's Plan:6.3 Stars (6.3 / 10)
Manuela Jankovic's War:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Merrily We Go to Hell:5.8 Stars (5.8 / 10)
Me Before You:7.8 Stars (7.8 / 10)
Mikey and Nicky:4.2 Stars (4.2 / 10)
Money Monster:3.6 Stars (3.6 / 10)
Outrage:6.9 Stars (6.9 / 10)
Paramount on Parade:5.4 Stars (5.4 / 10)
Ratchet & Clank:4.4 Stars (4.4 / 10)
Red Road:6.0 Stars (6.0 / 10)
Summertime:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
Tallulah:6.8 Stars (6.8 / 10)
Terminal Island:6.6 Stars (6.6 / 10)
Testament:7.3 Stars (7.3 / 10)
The Bigamist:6.4 Stars (6.4 / 10)
The Devil from Seventh Grade:5.7 Stars (5.7 / 10)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl:5.2 Stars (5.2 / 10)
The Disobedient:6.7 Stars (6.7 / 10)
The Dressmaker:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
The Dry Valley (Sukhodol):7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
The Fairy:5.5 Stars (5.5 / 10)
The Hurt Locker:7.8 Stars (7.8 / 10)
The Intervention:5.4 Stars (5.4 / 10)
The Lesson (Urok):6.5 Stars (6.5 / 10)
The Virgin Suicides:7.4 Stars (7.4 / 10)
The Woman Condemned:5.1 Stars (5.1 / 10)
Three Cases of Murder (1st segment):7.2 Stars (7.2 / 10)
Thursday Till Sunday:5.9 Stars (5.9 / 10)
Wings:8.2 Stars (8.2 / 10)
Winter's Bone:6.8 Stars (6.8 / 10)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *