Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Jeremy Richey's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011! ""

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jeremy Richey's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011!

Jeremy Richey, the proprietor of the fantastic film blog Moon In The Gutter(and the Jean Rollin tribute site Fascination), provided today's guest list. If you're not already reading Jeremy's stuff, I have to recommend you check it out.

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2011 proved to be quite an adventurous movie watching year for me with more than 400 films finding their way for the first time to my TV screen. Choosing just a dozen favorites was really tough, as I saw many quite a few truly great films, but these twelve really stood out.


1. The Hit (1984): I hate that I only just now caught up with Stephen Frears masterful and moving crime film as it immediately became a favorite. Frears’ film, starring the brilliant trio of Stamp, Hurt and Roth, is totally unique, unbelievably compelling and finally very haunting.


2. Tony Manero (2008): Pablo Larrain’s extremely disconcerting portrait of a dangerously disturbed man obsessed with John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever is one of the most penetrating character studies I have seen in a long time. Larrain’s caustic film is on par, I dare say, with Scorsese’s The King of Comedy…it’s that bloody good.


3. Playing With Fire (1975): Somehow this incredible film from the much-missed French novelist and director Alain Robbe-Grillet has never been granted the respect given to some of his other more recognizable works, but it’s a masterpiece on par with any of them. Featuring several of the most iconic European actors of the period, including Trintignant, Alvina, Noiret and Kristel, Playing with Fire is simultaneously one of Robbe-Grillet’s most accessible and subversive films.


4. Alex in Wonderland (1970): ‘Wow’ was the word I kept muttering to myself as I watched Paul Mazursky’s miraculous counterculture film starring a never better Donald Sutherland. Thank God for Turner Classic Movies and Warner Archive for unleashing it again in 2011!


5. Kidnapped Coed (1976): A beautifully composed and startling art-film posing as a Grindhouse Exploitation picture, Frederick R. Friedel’s first-feature is an absolute stunner and is deserving of a huge cult-following.


6. Le Doulos (1962): Another great classic film I am ashamed that it took me so long to see.


7. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984): A film worthy of being called important, Rob Epstein’s The Times of Harvey Milk is an astounding portrait of a truly heroic man and it proved to be one of the most unforgettable viewing experiences I had in recent memory.


8. Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978): One of the only films that made me cry in 2011, Barbet Schroeder’s powerful study of a truly extraordinary animal is an astonishing work on every level possible.


9. I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (2006): Want an overlooked classic from just a few years ago? Look no further than Jeff Garlin’s funny, poetic and wonderfully rendered dialogue-driven piece starring Garlin, Bonnie Hunt and Sarah Silverman, who all give knockout performances. Fingers-crossed Garlin writes and directs another one as this is a really special film.


10. Jigoku (1960): Nobuo Nakagawa’s eerie Japanese film is as startling as any horror-film being made today and it remains one of the most visually-impressive works of the sixties.


11. Bombshell (1933): One of the best and brightest films of the unforgettable Jean Harlow’s legendary career. An absolute delight from beginning to end.


12. Joy (1977): One of the most entertaining and sexiest adult-films from the golden-age of the seventies, this Sharon Mitchell vehicle directed by Harley Mansfield is a wonderfully funning and probing satire. Mitchell is dazzling and Mansfield’s smart direction and script turns what could have been a wildly misogynistic work into a sharp social commentary.

5 comments:

Ned Merrill said...

Finally saw THE HIT a few years ago when the Criterion disc came out and it definitely belongs in the upper strata of the British crime film pantheon. TONY MANERO was near the top of my "favorite new films seen in 2009" (when it had its U.S. theatrical release)...glad you've had a chance to see it. BOMBSHELL is tops on my list of Harlow films. Saw it years ago on VHS and then had a chance to revisit on 35mm at Film Forum a couple years back...Lee Tracy and Harlow are gold! Need to track down some of your other choices, particularly PLAYING WITH FIRE and ALEX IN WONDERLAND (big Mazursky fan, I am).

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks so much Ned. I am particularly glad to hear you share my admiration for TONY MANERO as I read some harsh criticism of it after I watched it that I couldn't comprehend. I thought it was spellbinding.

Ned Merrill said...

Haven't seen any negative on TONY MANERO myself and all my cinephile friends here who saw it then concurred with you and I.

Saw Larrain's follow-up POST MORTEM at the NYFF premiere in '10, with Larrain introducing and taking questions. Also stars Alfredo Castro (star of TONY MANERO). Very intriguing premise, quite striking and shocking at times, as TONY MANERO was, but I wasn't ultimately as affected as I was by TONY MANERO.

Jeremy Richey said...

That's great to hear Ned (re the Manero reaction). I still haven't seen POST MORTEM and need to check it out.

Ned Merrill said...

POST MORTEM hasn't been picked up for distribution in the States, but looks like you're in luck if you go region free (which I'm quite sure you do):

http://networkreleasing.com/release/made-in-chile-two-films-by-pablo-larrain-0