The Queue: 365 Movies I Never Saw Because I've Spent Too Much Time on Twitter - Part I (January 2023)
Part 1 of a 12-part series whereupon I watch one movie a day and rank them in their given month based entirely on subjective preferences.
1) must be a movie I've never seen
2) review must be 32 words or less
3) must include an assortment of genres, directors, countries, and films inside and outside my comfort zone
4) must watch the film in its entirety, no matter how atrocious
Like you, I have a lot of movies on my list, many of which are so painfully popular, I carry great shame in having missed them. Few regrets. But great shame.
For each, I shall write only brief thoughts and become an intolerable quasi-cinephile who thinks Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is more interesting than any Marvel movie, and Phil Alden Robinson is a better director than James Cameron. Both of which are true.
I apologize for nothing.
Parker Posey is a national treasure. This movie is not. One bonus point for being a quirky nineties micro-budget indie, as is required by federal law.
... I had to. Morbid curiosity. Through a modern lens, context aside (which I would debate) it's a freakish display of misguided cinema. Like a sideshow from a parallel universe.
Not much of a plot—not an alluring one anyway—unless I (very probably) missed something.
Like a slow-burn, semi-effective "Twilight Zone" episode. Could have used more twilight. Backdrop is innately unsettling. I'd be shocked if this wasn't a Kubrick influence.
Saying it's "weird" would be too obvious—and inaccurate, because it's arthouse cinema of the seventies, so it's all weird. The cutout animation is haunting. Wistfully timeless story.
As a fan, I (usually) make a point to see (most) Wes Anderson films when they're released. Can see glimmers of Wesness here—just not terribly engaging. Despite its indisputable charm.
I won't explain why it took 13 years to get to this pretty OK movie, but yes, it's well-done, and no, I don't particularly wish to watch it again.
#24) Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
Wild ... French New Wave inspo aside, I can think of no more independent an independent film.
I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but worth your time, if not only to immerse yourself in Del Toro oddity.
I was supposed to see it in 6th grade, but Michael Santos and Michael Varela spoiled the ending in Miss Bradley's class, so I skipped it. But yeah, it's aight.
More of an expertly choreographed crime/action ballet—with some awesome long takes. Given the story, I bet it'll age well. Chaos begets chaos.
#20) Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Obvious statement: you can most definitely spot Justin Lin's skills here. And why it's a notable work.
I knew this was lauded for its stunts, but good lord ... Also trying to figure out how they shot some of these scenes. Drones? Probably drones.
Not sure about the ending, but whatever—well-deserved hype.
#17) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
This was her debut feature ... Lol. A marvel of indie cinema. No notes.
They earned that exclamation point with the 15-minute surreal dream sequence!
#15) Burn After Reading (2008)
Worth it to see John Malkovich punch Brad Pitt in the face. And one moment that made me gasp aloud. "What did we learn?"—an eloquent bookend.
Markedly enjoyable, skillfully directed, cast is delectable (puns!). But disjointed. Is it sloppy in theme? Or just really layered?
I don't know what to tell you other than that, despite a relatively small number of features, The Maysles are perhaps cinema's greatest documentarians.
#12) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Peter Weir should at least be in the conversation of all-time best directors.
Slaps you across the face with camouflaged feels—and the luminosity of Faye Wong.
I don't know how a movie like this gets made, but pleased it did.
Charming. Didn't expect it to hit that hard.
I'm hesitant to say it's one of the best comedies of the 2000s, but it wouldn't be a stretch ... Top 10? Can it get a top 10?
A grotesque and disorientating spectacle of surrealism.
You had me at long static shots, Ackerman. Per usual. Anyway, this is a phenomenal documentary. A simple but entrancing mother/daughter story unlike anything I've seen.
Still catching up on the dialogue.
A masterclass in writing. And losing Carole Lombard is a cinematic tragedy.
#3) Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Did many years of accumulating an affection for dry, nonsensical humor and silly politics pay off in dividends so that I might appreciate this to its full extent? It has!
#2) The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
Or, "How to Masterfully Tell A Story Visually in Less Than 90 Minutes."
Certifiably tense and tautly paced. Hans Zimmer is the soundtrack of the eighties. If only Twitter was around when this came out ... the discourse, my word. Anyway—it's brilliant.
*Feature image by fran_kie (Adobe)