Top Four Films of June, 2011
I give top scores to very few films, but this is definitely a 10/10. The short is available to watch on Youtube, so no one really has any excuses not to watch it. After checking out other worth by the director, I discovered that he also directed Dear Zachary, another essential film. Definitely check both films out if you can.
See my blog post.
The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
I had pretty much given up on Hal Hartley. However, I did not know about this spectacular early film of his. It was one of those moments: "Oh, so this is why everyone likes Hal Hartley."
Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)
When Tamara Jenkins was promoting her film The Savages, she kept mentioning her first feature-length film, Slums. More than a few years later, I finally checked it out. There was a realness to it, as well as an other-worldly feel that really made a close-to-perfect movie. The cousins (played by Natasha Lyonne and Marisa Tomei) have their own language and their fathers have this incredible dynamic. Everything is paced wonderfully, it made sense, and also had an emotional impact. I had no expectations for this film, but if I had, they would have been exceeded.
Two honorable mentions:
Girl with Green Eyes (1964)
A friend recommended this awhile back and it just happened to be playing on TCM. I was glad to catch it. It was a remarkable coming-of-age story. While we've seen it all before practically, the story is incredibly fresh. And the film is from 1964! It's almost if nothing has changed. That being said, it reminded me of An Education a few times (the English setting, older man/younger student dynamic, the ending). However, Girl with Green Eyes is definitely a different story and is to be recommend.
Director Catherine Corsini is a favorite of mine, however she has two problems: she hasn't made enough films and her endings are typically abrupt. Partir (or Leaving as it is known in English language markets) pretty much solves both of those problems. Kristin Scott Thomas is great in this film and I believed Yvan Attal when he got angry. The characters felt so real that it was scary. Of course, Corsini's characters always do. That's why I recommend Partir, La nouvelle Ève, and La répétition.