Just after work, I run into a coworker my mom’s age who’s waiting for a bus taking her down to the subway line. I tell her ‘I have the choice of watching a 1960’s movie about French guys teaching a loose woman a lesson or a new movie about alien sex.’
She oohed and replied, ‘Good luck with that.’ Then we talked about how useful her sons are in the kitchen. I tried to steer back the conversation to my topic. ‘I was thinking about this yesterday, that I’d rather be the new school film lover who says “Fuck Citizen Kane, 2010 is a great year” instead of the one who says “Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever, get off my lawn.” But then I feel like the latter right now.’ She laughs.
I’ve always been the kind of person who thinks that good movies are there if you find them, but with financial constraints, it’s really hard to do that now.
I then look at my other choices, eventually becoming entertainment for the both of us. ‘On Etobicoke, there’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. You should have read how Norah Ephron made fun of the lead character. “I’m gonna smoke intensely because I have small breasts.” ‘
‘Poor girl. Small breasts are nothing to be ashamed of.’ We get off the bus into the station, walk down to the platforms.
‘On the West end, there’s a movie where Michael Caine shoots a bunch of teenagers.’
‘Yeah, I’ve heard of that.’
‘There’s a probably old movie called What I Learned from LSD, playing in some guy’s living room. I’ve been there -‘
‘That’s the kind of place you only go to once. Promise me you won’t go there,’ she says in her best mother-like tone.
‘Fine. That reminds me of a short experimental film playing tomorrow afternoon at the Harbourfront called The Power of the Vagina.’ She then reverses her motherly tone by making jokes about vaginas and barbells. Don’t worry, I wasn’t freaked out. We’re close. And I’ve said a lot of stuff to her that’s too much information for her. Or anyone.
ph. Whitney Seibold
‘On the east end, there’s the Tom Cruise movie.’
‘I can’t stand looking at his face. It’s like with Angelina Jolie.’
The train stops at St. George. My coworker asks, ‘Is this your stop?’
I answered ‘It would be if I was watching the French orgy movie. I’m gonna go with the weird alien sex one.’
‘Ok, have fun.’
I get off at Bathurst. I dig down my pockets for my phone. There’s two messages, the first from a friend who has the hat I lost on a birthday party. The second is from Lars, who told me about the End of Youth Triple Bill on TVO, with The Last Picture Show, Y Tu Mama Tambien and River’s Edge. I gratefully replied ‘Thanks for the heads up, I was almost gonna see Splice.’
By the way, how much are prices at the Carlton these days?
TIFF via Craig from LivinginCinema released their 100 essential films. I’m only doing this post so that I can push back the other stuff I’m already working on/done. Lists like this are supposed to make me feel inferior, but as I’ve watched 48 of these already I kinda feel good about myself. But then, you know, I’m the only douchebag that wrote down a number, and tomorrow someone’s gonna say 72, or 81, or 90.
These are the ones I haven’t seen and will hope to see. This list and post also exists for the purpose of telling the four or five people who read this blog who actually know me in real life and telling them what I’ll be doing for the rest of the year, unless hindered by unexpected circumstances like bankruptcy, or worse, Rob Ford shutting down government institutions that supports the arts.
1 THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Theodor Dreyer) Seen parts in TCM.
3 L’AVVENTURA (Michaelangelo Antonioni)
5 PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson)
7 PATHER PANCHALI (Satyajit Ray)
11 ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
13 BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (Sergei Eisenstein) Clips in film class.
15 TOKYO STORY (Yasujiro Ozu)
19 L’ATALANTE (Jean Vigo)
20 CINEMA PARADISO (Giuseppe Tornatore)
21 LA GRANDE ILLUSION (Jean Renoir) Parts at TCM.
23 PERSONA (Ingmar Bergman) Saw THAT part.
27 VOYAGE IN ITALY (Roberto Rossellini)
29 CITY LIGHTS (Charlie Chaplin) Parts
31 SHERLOCK JR. (Buster Keaton)
32 RULES OF THE GAME (Jean Renoir – 2)
35 L’ARRIVÉE D’UN TRAIN À LA CIOTAT (Frères Lumiere Louis Lumière and Auguste Lumière)
37 LA JETÉE (Chris Marker) (parts on TCM)
39 NIGHT AND FOG (Alain Resnais)
47 SALÓ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (Pier Paolo Pasolini) August 3!
48 THE SEVENTH SEAL (Ingmar Bergman – 2) Parts.
49 LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (Georges Méliès)
53 VIRIDIANA (Luis Buñuel)
54 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (Roberto Benigni) Saw the ending.
55 THE SORROW AND THE PITY (Marcel Ophüls)
57 THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE… (Max Ophüls) Parts on TCM.
59 THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES (Abbas Kiarostami)
60 LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS (Marcel Carné)
63 JOHNNY GUITAR (Nicholas Ray)
65 MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea)
67 SCORPIO RISING (Kenneth Anger)
69 DUST IN THE WIND (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
70 SCHINDLER’S LIST (Steven Spielberg) Saw ‘Look at the snow!’
71 NASHVILLE (Robert Altman)
72 CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (Ang Lee) Seen enough of it.
73 WAVELENGTH (Michael Snow)
75 CHRONIQUE D’UN ÉTÉ (Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch)
77 GREED (Erich von Stroheim)
79 JAWS (Steven Spielberg – 2)
81 THE BIRTH OF A NATION (D.W. Griffith) Can’t wait for the picketing!
82 CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Wong Kar Wai – 2)
87 ANDREI RUBLEV (Andrei Tarkovsky)
90 WRITTEN ON THE WIND (Douglas Sirk) Saw the beginning. Betty?
91 THE THIRD MAN (Carol Reed) TCM has been dicking me on this movie.
94 BREAKING THE WAVES (Lars von Trier) Parts.
95 A NOS AMOURS (Maurice Pialat)
96 CLEO DE 5 A 7 (Agnès Varda)
97 ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (Pedro Almodóvar)
99 OLDBOY (Park Chan-wook) My cousin Antoinette’s favourite.
100 PLAYTIME (Jacques Tati)
As part of my celebration in welcoming the new season of Mad Men this Sunday, and because I’m lazy and this will give me content for the next 12 days, I’m gonna be screen capping the Sopranos episodes that Mad Men creator Matt Wiener has written.
And since this is a movie blog, here’s a Sopranos film reference. Spoiler!
Speaking of Citizen Kane, the female gaze on a man’s descent is fucking hilarious.