Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Samuel B. Prime ""

Monday, December 8, 2014

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Samuel B. Prime

Samuel B. Prime is a writer, film curator, and archivist based in Los Angeles, where he currently works in film distribution. He is presently writing and editing a two-volume set for The Critical Press on the pioneering and highly influential LA-based pay cable station, the Z Channel, which existed from 1974 - 1989. As a film curator, he has helmed high-profile screening events for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and UCLA's Melnitz Movies. Otherwise, he deeply admires Dick Cavett's savoir faire and his favorite Sonny Chiba film is Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's perpetually unavailable WOLFGUY: ENRAGED LYCANTHROPE (1975). Find him online at for essays and free streaming movies.

WICKED WOMAN (Russell Rouse, 1953)
White-hot, low-budget 1950s crowd-pleaser noir with a script as lean as its leading lady - I love this movie so much that I made its unforgettable opening theme my ringtone for whenever my pal Kim Morgan (who guest programmed this title for the Telluride Film Festival) calls. -Letterboxd review 

THE ERNIE GAME (Don Owen, 1968)
Alexis Kanner is one of my favorite actors to have ever lived a life on the screen and in this late 60s Canadian masterpiece he delivers a performance so open, dangerous, and exhilarating I can barely contain my enthusiasm - for him and it. -Letterboxd review

NIGHTBIRDS (Andy Milligan, 1970)
I think about this film at least once every week. I guess Andy's films are a bit like ailments for which there are no cures. You can't unsee them. This is the first time a film moved me to compose a nursery rhyme - available via my Letterboxd review.

Here's the other film that I think about at least once every week. George E. Carey writes, produces, and stars in this story of a Hollywood Dad who - tasked with directing an era-typical youth-in-rebellion picture - "spends the weekend with the babysitter," if you know what I mean. Seems frivolous, I know, but trust me - this movie has style, especially regarding the way it is shot and edited. When I inevitably make a film, I know that I'll be stealing from this little ditty. - Letterboxd review.

THE SKI BUM (Bruce D. Clark, 1971)
Aspires to - and almost always achieves - a kind of radical, freeform greatness. Zalman King kicks a poodle. - Letterboxd review.

37-73 (Richard Myers, 1974)
Forget Linklater's BOYHOOD. Richard Myers made a 55-minute marvel that captures all of childhood's dreamy, abstract, and gargantuan complexity without even the slightest hint of the schmaltzy, saccharine delivery that defines the former. - Letterboxd review.

THE PROMISED LAND (Andrzej Wajda, 1975)
A sweeping, uproarious, and blood-soaked turn-of-the-century Polish epic about the rise of industrialism. -Letterboxd review.

THE MOON MASK RIDER (Yukihiro Sawada, 1982)
THE MOON MASK RIDER is basically Japanese Robin Hood on a motorbike. And completely bonkers. Because, of course. - Letterboxd review.

FULL CONTACT (Ringo Lam, 1992)
Chow Yun-Fat with high-top fade volleys some memorable insults at evil dudes while bathed in red and blue neon light. - Letterboxd review

FLOUNDERING (Peter McCarthy, 1994)
I watched this movie in late January 2014, a time when I was (much like the film's main character) desperately searching for full-time employment in Los Angeles in-between weird, random gigs. The movie is a true celebration of life - the good and the bad. The film isn't perfect, but my viewing of it at that time was - it was beyond prescriptive. - Letterboxd review.

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