“What I Watched in…” will be a monthly article recommending films I watched the previous month, so this article’s for September. I watched 40+ films last month, so I won’t be recommending all of them or else this’ll be over 40 paragraphs long. I’m just going to recommend a select few films that I watched.
Charlie Kaufman is one of my favorite screenwriters, and his latest film, i’m thinking of ending things, released on Netflix early last month. I watched it and I wasn’t sure what to think, so, like any normal person would do, I decided to watch every film he’s done. From Being John Malkovich to a rewatch of i’m thinking of ending things. Most of them were rewatches, but I found a few gems that I hadn’t seen before. So, here’s a few of my favorites:
Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Synecdoche, New York (2008), and i’m thinking of ending things (2020).
Synecdoche is my personal favorite of his. Kaufman’s films, unlike most filmmakers, genuinely succeed at making “puzzle-box” movies. By that, I mean, his films are like enigmas and riddles that you have to decode. Yes, there’s hints and clues that help you, but most of the meaning comes from whomever views it, and it could even change depending on the viewer’s mood. His films aren’t for everyone, and if you watch them and happen to dislike his style, that’s completely okay. But if you go after Philip Seymour Hoffman, then you’re not okay in my book.
As the current president of Film Club, obviously, I had to watch my picks for the month, which were Hugo (2011) and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8thDimension (1984). The former is based on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and the latter is a film that I can’t explain accurately, so you’ll just have to watch it and see.
In Media, we are going over documentaries and how to make them, so, I watched a seminal documentary to prepare: The Thin Blue Line (1988). The film is about the investigation of a police officer’s murder, which re-enacts key events and interviews the actual people involved. Come to my surprise when Mr. Shelburne later said that he’d screen the film for us. I also watched A Band Called Death (2012) and The Battle of Algiers (1966). The former is about one of the first punk bands and the latter is about the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s’, it’s one of the most influential documentaries ever made, and makes for a very timely watch.
Other than that, I watched Election (1999). I recommend knowing nothing before you watch it. It’s much better with fresh eyes, it makes for a better viewing experience. I also watched two films from Iranian director, Jafar Panahi, The Mirror (1997) and The White Balloon (1995). Both films are very simple in story, but it’s their effectiveness that makes them great.
To start my October watches early, I watched the horror/thriller, The Vanishing (1988). It’s a foreign film about the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, and that’s all I want to say. Just like, Election, the film is much better if you know very little. I haven’t felt this moved by a horror film, or a film in general, in a long time. It instantly became one of my favorite horror movies. Don’t expect a slasher or a fast-paced thriller, it’s a slow-burn that hurts to watch, but that’s the point of horror movies.
I highly recommend watching all of the films I just listed. If you want to know where you can find them or you’re having trouble deciding if you should watch a particular one, you can send me an email, or a message, or just come up to me and talk. I do not mind talking about movies with people as it’s one of my favorite things to do.
P.S. – During the month of October, I’m going to try to write at least one horror film recommendation a week. So, be on the lookout for that!
P.P.S – If you’re interested in movies, and I don’t just mean a semi-liking for them, I mean a deep passion for them, I recommend checking out Letterboxd, it’s a social media app for movies. You can log movies, review them, make lists about them, and all that jazz. I love it as I’ve discovered so many movies and made many friends because of it. If you wish to check out my profile: Link Here!