Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2019 - Michele Eggen ""

Friday, February 7, 2020

Film Discoveries of 2019 - Michele Eggen

Michele Eggen started writing about horror films in 2010 on her blog, The Girl Who Loves Horror. She now contributes her writing to the sites Wicked Horror and Ghastly Grinning in between trying to cram as many movies into her brain as she can. Twitter: @micheleneggen Letterboxd:

Check Out Michele's Discoveries from 2017 and 2018 here:

I gotta break the pre-2000-movies rule a little bit to gush about my favorite movie I watched all year - 2017’s PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN. The basic story is that of the man who created Wonder Woman and the women in his life who helped inspire the character. But the most beautiful thing about the movie is the wonderful queer representation of bisexuality, and also the idea of polyamory. As a recently-out bisexual woman, this movie touched me deeply, and it made me SO happy to see the characters’ love portrayed the way it is, in such an honest, open, and believable way. Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, and Luke Evans are not all just good-looking together, they also bring wonderful life to this special triad relationship and shows the positive side to it that is practically never seen on film.
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NOISES OFF! (1992)
I was still working my way through Peter Bogdanovich’s films this year when I came upon this absolutely gut-busting gem that is perhaps my favorite of his so far. I had no idea what I was in store for with this, only knowing that his name and the stellar cast was enough to draw me in. And let me tell you, I pretty much sat through the whole movie with my eyes wide and a huge smile on my face, completely in awe of the comedic talent and timing on display. It’s truly unreal to me how they made something this rapid-fire funny and intricate - I barely had time to laugh at one thing before the next punch came - and every moment is perfectly executed.
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Another discovery through my beloved Arrow Video, GAS FOOD LODGING is an incredible little indie film from a new filmmaker I need to sink my teeth into, Allison Anders. Brooke Adams, Fairuza Balk and Ione Sky lead the way as three women in a small desert town dealing with growing up, finding love, and finding themselves. At time sweet and funny, and at times very heartbreaking, I loved how Anders explores these women’s life trajectory in a unique way through their experiences and the people they meet. She also establishes a wonderful sense of place to the location, making it an important part of the story.
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I found this DVD at Dollar General of all places and couldn’t believe my luck. I wasn’t familiar at all with the story, which is based on a Neil Simon play, and that made it all the better a discovery. Alan Arkin plays a pretty unlikeable married who decides that it’s time he had an affair. So he uses his mother’s apartment to invite three different women over for sex. Unfortunately, or probably more fortunately, none of them make it easy for him. Each woman (Sally Kellerman, Paula Prentiss, and RenĂ©e Taylor) is very strong and different in her own way and their back-and-forth with Arkin is hilarious and delightful with each new turn of events.
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It’s only just over an hour long, but MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS has a lot of greatness packed into that short runtime. In the film, a desperate young woman, Julia, takes a new job as a secretary with a woman named Mrs. Hughes - or so she thinks. She wakes up one day imprisoned in a mansion, all her stuff is gone, and she is told that she has had a nervous breakdown and is actually the wife of Mrs. Hughes’s son. This is one of those tight and twisty film noirs with great atmosphere and setting, and it hooks you right away with both the plot and the characters.
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These lists would not be as much fun if there were no just completely bonkers titles sprinkled in. That award this year goes to the 1991 sci-fi film STEEL AND LACE. It popped up in my Amazon Prime suggestions as a rape-revenge movie, describing the plot as a victim who comes back from the dead to kill her attackers. Okay, cool, I’m in. The description, however, completely failed to mentioned that she comes back AS A ROBOT! As bonkers as that reveal - and most of the kills - are, the confusion just kept coming as the movie actually ended up being... kind of sweet and endearing in a weird way? I don’t get it either, but I really enjoyed this one a lot. Also worth it for Bruce Davison and David Naughton!
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