Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Millie De Chirico ""

Friday, January 9, 2015

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Millie De Chirico

Millie De Chirico is Manager of Programming at Turner Classic Movies where she's responsible for picking the films for their late-night cult movie franchise, TCM Underground. She's on Twitter at @milliedechirico (and holds down the @TCMUnderground account as well).

Girlfriends (1978)
I can’t believe this was off my radar for so long. This movie has everything I really love: a story about female friendship (via a coming-of-age tale), artists in New York, depressing apartments, Eli Wallach as a rabbi…plus, young hunky Christopher Guest. Someone put this on Blu-ray already!

Duel in the Sun (1946)
Dare I say this movie is even more psychotic than GONE WITH THE WIND. Gregory Peck plays a dirty sleazebag in this, which is great. And being bi-racial myself, I'm fascinated by classic Hollywood movies where white women from Oklahoma play people of color. One of those fabled box-office disasters that ends up as fun, over-the-top viewing.

The Silent Partner (1978)
I loved this one! A little heist flick/Canadian tax shelter movie starring Elliott Gould, who was basically the man in the 1970's. Also, Christopher Plummer in drag is pretty mind-blowing. 

To Find a Man (1972)
I read about this for first time on TCM’s Movie Morlocks blog (proving once again my co-workers are a treasure trove of film information). Another coming-of-age flick, it feels very much like an after school special or classroom film strip, which is majorly in my wheelhouse (the opening credits are a slow, dissolving montage of photographs set to flute music). Definitely another one that needs a proper DVD release.

The Astrologer (1975)
I saw this for the first time at Fantastic Fest in Austin this past year and man, how do I even describe it. If you are fascinated by the idea of a random, crazy person producing, directing, and starring in their own magnum opus, this is the movie for you. I couldn't believe how many locations this guy used! Who are you, Craig Denney? And why did you just get me to buy Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues on iTunes?

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975)
A really fascinating experimental essay film by Thom Anderson of LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF -fame. The pacing of it was so glacial and wonderful and Dean Stockwell's narration will put you in a trance. I love stuff like this. Thanks to Emory University for bringing a print of it to Atlanta!

The Rose Tattoo (1955)
Okay, enough 70's movies already. This was one of the only Tennessee Williams film adaptions I hadn't seen yet and features my personal style and life icon, Anna Magnani. Whoever had the forethought to pair her with Burt Lancaster in the same movie is probably an evil genius. Subtle they are NOT. These two are desperately trying to out-emotion each other in every single scene together. Also, I recently visited Key West, Florida and could not find evidence that it was once a prime destination for Italian-American immigrants, which really bummed me out.

Boxing Helena (1993)
I've been wanting to see film this since high school because of the Kim Basinger + Georgia connection (i.e. when she backed out of the film, got sued, and had to sell Braselton, the town she bought here) and the fact that the movie was filmed down the street from my house. I finally got the chance when the erotic thriller film society I belong to, Consenting Adults, screened it a few months ago and wow. Julian Sands is truly our generation's finest Gentleman Pervert -- this feels like his defining movie in that regard. Plus, I think of Jennifer Chambers Lynch being in her mid-20's directing and writing this movie (and writing The Diary of Laura Palmer) and it's like, "Lena Dunham, who?"

Dogfight (1991)
More coming-of-age movies! I can't get enough. Adorable Lily Taylor in 60's hair hopper garb and River Phoenix as a young military guy with a buzz-cut; can't go wrong in either of those scenarios. Plus, E.G. Daily has THE best look EVER in this movie. Many thanks to Matt Patterson at Warner Archive for forcing me to take this DVD home at the TCM Classic Film Festival -- it was as good as you promised!

Sudden Fear (1952)
As long as Hollywood is recycling old movie scripts, this one would be a great film to re-imagine. A thriller with 50's Joan Crawford playing (yet another) role as an older woman so desperate for love she almost gets the okey-doke from creepy Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame. Her revenge is cold, however, and will make you remember to never to have loud conversations about killing someone in front of giant recording equipment.

1 comment:

Hal said...

Another terrific list. DUEL IN THE SUN has one of my favorite lines from the great and underappreciated Butterfly McQueen (I'm sure you know which one). THE SILENT PARTNER gets a lot of love from those in the know, and deservedly so. DOGFIGHT is a Danny Peary fave as well. I'll have to give Key West a closer look next time I visit...