The last 10 films I’ve watched have all been worthwhile. His Kind of Woman succeeds despite some very odd mixing of tones. Inside Out deserves its accolades, including the rumour that it passed on being in competition at Cannes out of fear of winning the Palme d’Or and hurting its American box office. The Force Awakens was lots of fun, even if it hits many of the same beats as New Hope. And I’m always entertained by how much my non-academic wife loves listening to Slavoj Zizek talk about film and ideology.
I also feel like I need to address the Donphan in the room – Jellyfish Eyes (perhaps even write a more elaborate defence of the film in a separate post). While Murakami’s film is something of a poor cousin to Takashi Miike’s explorations in children’s cinema, such as MMC! favourites Zebraman (2004) and Yatterman (2009), it’s hardly as poor a film as many claim it to be. If anything, the general response to Jellyfish Eyes seems like yet another example of the Collection being punished for attempting to approach contemporary cinema and daring to include something that fails to resemble classical Hollywood or international art house cinema. While not the example I would have chosen, I greatly admire Criterion for including Murakami’s film and offering a more expansive view of world cinema.
- Jellyfish Eyes (Takashi Murakami, 2013)
- Hellzapoppin’ (H. C. Potter, 1941)
- Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo (Toshiya Fujita, 1970)
- His Kind of Woman (John Farrow, 1951)
- Odd Obsession (Kon Ichikawa, 1959)
- 3 Dev Adam (T. Fikret Uçak, 1973)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015)
- Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, 2015)
- The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (Sophie Fiennes, 2012)
- Spring (Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead, 2014)
Lastly, a shout out to Dennis Kelly’s British conspiracy-thriller, Utopia (2013-2014). I finally got around to bingeing the 6-episode second season and it was a welcome follow-up to first series’ complex and unsettling run. With no third season forthcoming from Channel 4 and HBO’s American adaptation apparently cancelled, it looks like I’ll have to go somewhere else for hard moral choices, stomach-churning violence, and saturated colour palettes. It might also be a good time to consider a more involved discussion of the series here at MMC!