Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - Marya E. Gates ""

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - Marya E. Gates

Marya E. Gates does social media for TCM and FilmStruck, runs Cinema-Fanatic.com, and can be found on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and iCheckMovies. Her first movie in theatres was Willow in 1988 and she’s been obsessed ever since.


2017 was a great year for me in terms of cinema watched so whittling down everything I watched to my absolute favorite discoveries was quite a task, but I think the films below really sum up my year well:

Street Scene, 1931 (dir. King Vidor): 
I saw this at the TCM Film Festival because I will see anything for my girl Sylvia Sidney. What a tremendous ensemble film!
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I Could Go On Singing, 1963 (dir. Ronald Neame): 
I watched this during Pride month for Dirk Bogarde and what I got was not only one of his best performances, but probably my favorite thing Judy Garland has ever done. It left me breathless.
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Maurice, 1987 (dir. James Ivory): 
Speaking of breathless, this epic adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel of the same name not only left me breathless, but it was my favorite thing I saw in all of 2017 (new releases included). I just love this romance so damn much!
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Lions Love (. . . and Lies), 1969 (dir. Agnès Varda): 
I finally did the mother of us all a solid and watched most of her films (well, maybe half. Girl made a lot of films!) Of the ones I watched this year, this quasi-faux-documentary set in Los Angeles has stayed with me the longest.
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Buck and the Preacher, 1972 (dir. Sidney Poitier): 
On Sidney Poitier's day during Summer Under The Stars this year TCM showed several of the films he directed and this western also featuring Harry Belafonte and Ruby Dee absolutely blew me away.
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After Dark, My Sweet 1990 (dir. James Foley): 
During Noirvember this year I watched a lot of neo-noir and this adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel hit all the right notes.
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The Dying Swan, 1917 (dir. Yvegni Bauer) / The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, 1927 (dir. Ernst Lubitsch) / Ménilmontant, 1926 (dir. Dimitri Kirsanoff) / La Boheme, 1926 (dir. King Vidor): 
I watched a lot of silent film in 2017, some at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, and some on my own. I just love silent film so much and these four films have stayed with me all year.
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The Merry Widow, 1952 (dir. Curtis Bernhardt) / A Life of Her Own, 1950 (dir. George Cukor): 
I watched about 33 Lana Turner movies for the first time last year. 33! She is a legend and while I liked most of her films, these two I enjoyed the most.
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Forever Amber, 1947 (dir. Otto Preminger): 
This was one of the last films I watched in 2017 and boy did I go out with a bang. This is Linda Darnell at her most exquisite. I'd love to see a more faithful (read: racy) adaptation of the source material, but despite the restrictions of the production code, this film soars.
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