It’s December but MMC! isn’t yet in the holiday movie watching mode. Instead, MMC!’s last ten films deck the halls with Spaghetti Westerns (new and old), lovable tramps, monkey love, and some rough domestic interactions in Russia (including a 2020 favourite of John Waters). Lost in Translation and Let the Corpses Tan remain MMC! classics, while the top first-time watch certainly goes to Kirikou and the Sorceress which was a clever, adorable, and distinctively animated feature drawn from West African folk tales.
- Kirikou and the Sorceress (Michel Ocelot, 1998)
- Bastards y Diablos (A.D. Freese, 2015)
- Tora-san Meets His Lordship (Yoji Yamada, 1977)
- Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2017)
- Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
- Compañeros (Sergio Corbucci, 1970)
- Max Mon Amour (Nagisa Oshima, 1986)
- The Long Farewell (Kira Muratova, 1971)
- Cut-Throats Nine (Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent, 1972)
- Why Don’t You Just Die! (Kirill Sokolov, 2018)
Shout-out to Andrew Perez who reached out to MMC! regarding Bastards y Diablos (A.D. Freese, 2015), a film Perez wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in. Perez played Klaus Kinski in Maverick Moore’s My Dinner with Werner (2019), one of MMC!’s favourite short films at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Bastards y Diablos concerns a pair of estranged brothers who tour Colombia to fulfill the wishes of their recently deceased father. For my tastes, I found the film’s flashbacks a bit too fragrance-commercial dreamy and the central brother dynamic a too … bro-y. That said, Bastards y Diablos absolutely sings as a love letter to Colombia. Early on, the film has a character proclaim its mission statement: to represent Colombia as something more than Pablo Escobar and drug cartels. Moving scene to scene, episode to episode, this travelogue shows the country as one filled with families and love and generosity, all against a vibrant backdrop of lush countryside, scenic beaches, and charismatic urban environments. This is a gorgeous film in service of a place in need of better appreciation and it glows, figuratively and at times literally, by its sumptuous visuals and clear affection. No one’s going anywhere right now. Watch Bastards y Diablos on Amazon Prime and let it play tour guide to a beautiful, tropical destination.