Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2019 - KC (of A Classic Movie Blog) ""

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Film Discoveries of 2019 - KC (of A Classic Movie Blog)

Kendahl "KC" Cruver writes about movies at A Classic Movie Blog and as a regular contributor to ClassicFlix. You can find her all over the web:

And have a peek at her Discoveries list from the last couple years here:

Ingrid Goes West (2017)
Watching this painfully accurate take on social media influencers and the people who stalk them was uncomfortable, but I perked up every time O'Shea Jackson Jr. appeared. I can't wait to see him steal more movies. He's like a goofier version of his dad Ice Cube and just as charismatic.

Skate Kitchen (2018)
This movie gets girls and gets why it is fun to be a girl even when everyone around you seems to think it should be pure horror. Just because it isn't easy, doesn't mean it isn't great. It irritates me that this movie didn't make a bigger splash. It is revolutionary.

The Student Nurses (1970)
I caught this at a TCMFF midnight with an intro featuring director Stephanie Rothman. I already loved her weirdly not exploitative take on exploitation in The Velvet Vampire (1971), this earlier flick is even better, with interesting characters I really cared about. It's a fun, slightly hippy-dippy film with an intriguing bit of social commentary.

Roll Bounce (2005)
Being obsessed with roller skating films as I am, it is ridiculous that it took me so long to get to this little treasure. Set in the 70s, with great music, cool rink routines and the most charming cast. 

The American Soldier (1970)
Of course Fassbinder's take on noir is going to be more Fassbinder than anything else, but his eternally weary characters fit perfectly into the genre and that bizarre closing scene makes it truly special.

Hit Lady (1974)
Tired of being the passive blonde, Yvette Mimieux wrote a series of television movie roles for herself in the 70s/80s. This is my favorite. She wears all the fashions while she tries to get out of the business of killing people. She gives it all more depth than she needs to, injecting a familiar plot with a few little interesting flourishes that give her character fascinating nuance.

Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore (1996)
What a tragedy that director Sarah Jacobson died in 2004. She would have killed it in this age. She killed it in grungy 1996 with this punk rock flick that perfectly captures the weirdly passive/passionate thrift store thrust of the time.

Who Killed Captain Alex? (2010)
Thanks to AGFA releasing this and lots of other goodies on TUBI, I got my first taste of the Ugandan film industry, affectionately known as Wakaliwood, which is the studio based in Kampala's slum Wakaliga. I've heard crazy things about the no-budget productions this group makes. Apparently they even made their own camera equipment? This is the first and best Wakaliwood flick I've seen, but they all share a similar go-for-broke, violent, fast-paced feel with a streak of comedy provided by a sort of MST3K-type MC called the Video Joker who comments on the action throughout the film. The movies would be watchable without the VJ, but with it, they have a sort of genius because no matter how serious everyone gets onscreen, the VJ always finds a reason to laugh. I wish more Hollywood action directors would study the pacing of these flicks.

Olivia (1951)
Jacqueline Audry's tale of jealousy and passion in a French boarding school was my favorite discovery of the year. I'd heard of Audry before, she directed the first film adaptation of Gigi, but knew nothing of this film until Icarus Films released it on DVD/Blu-ray in late 2019. It's lush, tense and decades ahead of its time.

The Nun (1966)
When Anna Karina passed near the end of 2019, I decided to pay tribute by watching her in something I hadn't seen before.  Karina plays the title role, a young girl who is unwilling to enter religious life, but has no other options for survival. It's a devastating film, but Karina is so riveting that I happily struggled through with her. This would be a good double feature with Olivia; lots of shared themes.

More good flicks:
Sweetheart (2019)
One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977)
Knife+Heart (2018)
The Amphibian Man (1962)
Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground (2018)
Dead and Buried 
We Are the Radical Monarchs

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