Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2015 - Matt Barry ""

Friday, February 5, 2016

Film Discoveries of 2015 - Matt Barry

Matt Barry is a New York City-based writer, filmmaker and all-around cinephile. His favorite genres are classic comedies and film noir. You can read more of his thoughts on film at his blog, The Art and Culture of Movies (

Here's his Film Discoveries list from last year:
Groundbreaking independent film, written, directed by and starring Allen Baron, about a hitman who comes to New York City around Christmastime on a job to take out a mobster. Filmed entirely on location, Baron uses the city to powerful effect in contrasting the lonely, isolated hitman with the holiday cheer that surround him. The perfect movie for those who prefer their Christmas movies dark.
2) SALESMAN (1968)
Brilliant verite documentary by Albert and David Maysles, following a group of bible salesmen during a trip to Florida and the many challenges the men face in trying to make a living. An incredibly poignant, honest, and insightful character study, beautifully captured through the Maysles' observational documentary style.
Atmospheric British romantic thriller about a pair of schoolteachers on holiday who become lost on the Yorkshire Moors during a storm and seek refuge in the house of a tortured but brilliant concert pianist, played by James Mason in an early role. The production is entirely studio-bound, which gives it a delightfully artificial and stylized look, photographed by great Austrian cinematographer Gunther Krampf.
4) REMBRANDT (1936)
A follow-up to their critical and commercial hit "The Private Life of Henry VIII", Charles Laughton reunited with director Alexander Korda for this thoughtful, sensitive biopic about the celebrated Dutch painter. There is one scene in particular that struck me, when Rembrandt, during a particularly difficult time in his life, returns to his hometown and to his father's mill, where he realizes that he is now entirely out of place. It is the perfect depiction of the idea that "you can never go home again".
An all-star Hollywood comedy-drama about several characters who cross paths on a luxury cruise liner. This offbeat production is especially interesting for its cast, which includes silent screen star John Gilbert in his final appearance, and The Three Stooges in one of their first, and for Lewis Milestone's distinctive style, which is more subdued here than in his earlier films but still contains some unique camera angles that keep the film visually interesting even in its talkier moments.

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