Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Marya E. Gates ""

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - Marya E. Gates

Marya E. Gates has a B.A. in Comparative and French Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She recently moved from San Francisco to North Hollywood to work for the Warner Archive Collection and just received an MFA in Screenwriting from Academy of Art University. She contributed the foreword to Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector available from the University Press of Mississippi. Her website is, she contributes to and can be found on Tumblr, Twitter, Mubi and iCheckMovies under the name oldfilmsflicker. Her first movie in theatres was Willow in 1988 and she's been obsessed ever since.
I would just like to start this out by saying I've seen 551 new-to-me films as of the writing of this, so narrowing down my favorite discoveries from such a large number was really hard. This is in chronological order of when I watched them in the year.

1. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, 1982 (dir. Lou Adler)
Punkrocking Diane Lane expressing female teenage angst in a post-feminist world. Hallelujah.

2. Modern Girls, 1986 (dir. Jerry Kramer)
Possibly my favorite new-to-me movie of the entire year. It's a one crazy night film with fun-loving early-twenties ladies, who learn a thing or two about themselves while getting in and out of the kind of hijinks that can only happen in1980s Los Angeles.

3. Valet Girls, 1987 (dir. Rafal Zielinski)
Speaking of 1980s Los Angeles, I feel like no one has seen this gem but me. Part lipstick feminism, part Hollywood satire, 100% awesome.

4. Jackie Brown, 1997 (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
Somehow hadn't seen this before. Boy was I missing out. Probably my favorite Tarantino film. Robert Forster <3

5. The Swimmer. 1968 (dir. Frank Perry)
Burt. Freaking. Lancaster. This was the film I was most looking forward to during TCMFF this year and it wound up being my favorite as well.

6. Suddenly, It's Spring, 1944 (dir. Mitchell Leisen)
Paulette Goddard and Fred MacMurray at their absolute best. Interesting entry on the post-war, coming home genre, but what happens when it's the wife that's coming home. Was lucky enough to see this at both TCMFF and Cinecon.

7. Autumn Leaves, 1956 (dir. Robert Aldrich)
Joan Crawford is flawless.

8. Untamed, 1929 (dir. Jack Conway)
See above.

9. Running On Empty, 1988 (dir. Sidney Lumet)
I don't know how I hadn't seen this earlier. Touching and raw and beautiful.

10. Dogfight, 1991 (dir. Nancy Savoca)
Lili Taylor shoulda got an Oscar nomination for her stunning performance in this film.

11./12./13. Metropolitan/Barcelona/The Last Days of Disco, 1990/1994/1998 (dir. Whit Stillman)
Caught up on my Whit Stillman sad yuppies in love trilogy. Loved it.

14. My Demon Lover, 1987 (dir. Charlie Loventhal)
80s hijinks romance meets ridiculous monster movie meets serial killer thriller. What else do you need? 

15. Get Crazy, 1983 (dir. Allan Arkush)
Everything I love about the movies and music boiled down to a perfect  92 minutes. 

16. Heaven's Gate, 1980 (dir. Michael Cimino)
A flawed, but brilliant epic masterpiece.

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