I saw 48 new movies in the month of November, plus 2 TV show
seasons, plus a re-watch of a Web series season. Last month I mentioned I had found myself
working on several different movie lists and as a consequence had some films
that I simply could not locate. I asked
for help in finding them and was the beneficiary of the generosity of multiple
people. After being pointed towards a
free trial of Hulu Plus last month I also examined a few other lists I have in
order to see both what was hard to locate and what was available via Hulu Plus.
If you have a good memory you know that I was working on the
Sight and Sound Critics’ Top 250 Films
list last month, but have not mentioned
it yet. That is because I am in a state
of limbo. I have now watched every film
on it, except one – Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks – which is one of the films
that I cannot locate anywhere. So I have
not completed the SSC list, but I have gone as far as I can with it. I will have to consider this list dormant
until such time that that film ever becomes available.
All of these different lists can be seen by clicking on the
names of them. They link to my Lists
from Chip posts on them.
THE FILMS I CAN’T
Last month I listed 19 films that I was unable to
locate. With the help of people who
responded to that post, plus some extreme internet searches on my part, I was
able to locate and see 7 of those. There
are two others that someone has said they will get to me when they have a
chance. I did have to add two new films
from other lists, though, so the net total of movies that I am hoping someone
can help me find is now 14.
Here are the films that I simply cannot track down, but need
to in order to complete various lists.
Note – the only pay services I have looked at so far are Netflix and
Hulu Plus. I suppose if enough show up
on another pay service it might be worthwhile to join to see them. I’m hoping to keep costs as low as possible,
though. If you have a good source for
them, but do not want to tell the world by leaving a comment here, then please
email me at email@example.com
Here are the films
I was able to see, along with where you can get them, too.
The Red Badge of
Courage (1951) – I finally found it.
Out 1, Spectre (1974)
– After further research on my part it turns out that this is not a follow-on
to the 1971 TV minieries. It is actually
an attempt to release the 13 hour original as a four and a half hour theatrical
movie. Considering that I saw the entire
thing, combined with the lack of availability of the theatrical cut, I am going
to consider this entry as being completed, too.
Yes, there were a few comments I found that said the theatrical cut used
different takes in some scenes, but honestly, after 13 hours of watching people
do acting exercises like rolling around in a pile muttering gibberish, I don’t
think a different take of it will be any more enlightening.
Kings of the Road aka
Im Lauf der Zeit (1976) – I finally found it.
Flowers of Shanghai aka Hai shang
– A post for it appeared about a week after I did last month’s
status. By the way, if you are looking
for foreign films, especially Asian ones, and most especially South Korean
ones, then this site may be a godsend for you.
Alice in the Cities aka Alice in den Stadten (1974)
– thanks to
thevoid99 of Surrender to the Void
and Steve Honeywell of 1001plus
. The first pointed out that it was going to be
shown on TCM, an American cable channel dedicated to classic films. I actually learned from this that the TCM
website has a bug in it when you are looking to see if a film is in the
upcoming schedule. Instead of checking
TCM’s site directly, choose the “TCMdb” option, then in the resulting list
click on the film’s name, then on this page it will show you if it is coming
up. The second pointed me to Hulu Plus
for another film and I discovered this one was also there. If you have never signed up for this service
you get a one week free trial. I
discovered how to make it a two week free trial by going as far as putting in
my contact information, but not my credit card, then canceling out. They then sent me an email offering to double
the time of the free trial. I accepted
Carnival in Flanders aka La kermesse heroique (1935)
– thanks to
Steve Honeywell of 1001plus
. He pointed
out that this was available via Hulu Plus.
If you have never signed up for this service you get a one week free
trial. I discovered how to make it a two
week free trial by going as far as putting in my contact information, but not
my credit card, then canceling out. They
then sent me an email offering to double the time of the free trial. I accepted it.
The ones I am
City Streets (1931)
– a gangster film with Gary Cooper, directed by Rouben Mamoulian
The 1,000 Eyes of Dr.
Mabuse (1960) – a gangster film directed by Fritz Lang. I have had someone say they will make this
available when they get a chance.
Sight & Sound Critics Top 250:
(This is the only film I
have left to complete the list.)
Tie Xi Qu: West of
the Tracks (2003) – a nine hour documentary on the falling industry in a
region of China
from director Bing Wang.
They Shoot Pictures Don’t They:
Andy Warhol’s experiment to see if he could do anything and still get film
critics to fawn over him. It worked. This is an 8 hour static shot of the Empire State
from dusk to
3:00 AM. I suppose I could just stare at
a picture of the Empire
for 8 hours and call it good. J
Ana-ta-han (1953) – a Japanese film from Josef von Sternberg
Minamata: The Victims and Their World aka Minamata: Kanja-san to sono sekai
(1971) – a Japanese documentary on industrial chemical poisoning. I swear that this exists only on the TSPDT
list and on IMDB and nowhere else on the internet. Even IMDB has little information on it.
Liebelei (1933) –
an early Max Ophuls film
Doomed Love aka
Ill-Fated Love aka Amor de perdicao (1979) – a six episode Portuguese TV
mini-series from Manoel de Oliveira retelling Romeo and Juliet. Believe it or not, I tracked down the
video. Unfortunately it has Portuguese
audio and hardcoded Italian subtitles only.
I’ve searched and English subtitles do not exist, but I found one
comment that said that someone had done a rough translation of the Italian ones
embedded in the video and had posted them at karagarga.net. Unfortunately, that site appears to require
that you be invited by someone else to even view the forums. I don’t need an invite, but if you have
access to it, could you please save the English subtitles to someplace where
they are available? Or you could email
them to me since the files should be small.
Thanks to an anonymous responder last month I now know that there is
also a theatrical version that runs about 30 minutes less than this. I would take either version and be very
Dust in the Wind aka
Lian lian feng chen (1987) – a period film from director Hsiao-hsien
Under the Bridges aka
Unter den Brucken (1946) – a film from Helmut Kautner
Variety aka Variete
aka Jealousy (1925) – a film from E.A. Dupont
The Italian Straw Hat
aka The Horse Ate the Hat aka Un chapeau de paille d’Italie (1928) – a film
from Rene Clair. I have had someone say
they will make this available when they get a chance.
Roger Ebert’s Great Films:
A Woman’s Tale (1991)
– a film from Paul Cox
– a sort-of documentary/travelogue where director Andrew Kotting drives around
England with his 90 year old grandmother and 9 year old daughter.
Any help you can provide in tracking these down will be most
THE FILMS I SAW IN
Here are the 48 new movies and TV show seasons I saw in November. Highlighted movies are ones to which I would
give at least three stars out of five. I
will single out the four and five star films, as well as the worst films, in
the paragraphs below the lists.
Oscar Nominees (5): David
Copperfield (1935), The
Informer (1935), Les
Miserables (1935), One
Hour With You (1932), Crossfire
101 Genre (12): The Innocents (1961), Grey Gardens (1975),
Lacombe, Lucien (1974), High Tension (2003), Sonatine (1993), The Dinner Game
(1998), The Red Badge of
Courage (1951), Phantasm (1979), Reefer Madness (1936), Foxy Brown
(1974), The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912), When Worlds Collide (1951)
SSC (6): Kings of
the Road (1976), A
Canterbury Tale (1944), Melancholia (2011), Flowers of Shanghai (1998), Colossal
Youth (2006), Out 1: noli me tangere (1971)
TSPDT (12): Alice
in the Cities (1974), Carnival
in Flanders (1935), Princess
Yang Kwei-fei (1955), The Tenant (1976), Spies (1928), Sauve Qui Peut (la vie) (1980),
Purple Noon (1960), Il Grido (1957), Il Posto (1961), Out 1: Spectre (1974), In a Year with 13 Moons
(1978), Alexander Nevsky (1938)
Fall of the House of Usher (1928), Souls for Sale
Other Movies (11):
Thor: The Dark World
Happy (2008), The
Croods (2013), White
House Down (2013), The Way Way Back (2013), The To Do List (2013), The Internship (2013), Red 2 (2013), R.I.P.D.
(2013), People Will Talk
TV Series (2): How I Met Your Mother Season 8, Eureka Season 5, Web series The Guild Season 6
I had no five star movies in November. Here are the four star films I saw:
Les Miserables (1935)
is superior to the recent musical version in two main ways. First, Charles Laughton is fantastic as
Inspector Javert. He brings some
humanity to what often becomes a two dimensional role. Second, the ridiculous innkeepers that were
so out of place in the musical barely appear in this version.
One Hour with You
(1932) is a lot of pre-Code naughty fun from director Ernst Lubitsch and
stars Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald.
The two play a happily married couple who are tempted by others. I loved the very suggestive song Three Times
a Day that was sung by Chevalier and Genevieve Tobin, whose character is trying
to seduce him away from his wife.
Souls for Sale (1923) might be the earliest parody of Hollywood that I have
seen. A newly married woman thinks twice
about her husband and leaves him. (Good
instincts since he’s going to kill her for her money.) She ends up in the desert and comes upon a
sheik on a camel. It turns out he’s just
an actor, who is also a great seducer of women. (The resemblance to Rudolph
Valentino is completely intended.) She
ends up becoming a film star. There are
numerous cameos from big names, like Charlie Chaplin, actually making films of
Micmacs (2009) is
another piece of strange, happy weirdness from director Jean-Pierre
Jeunet. A man whose father was killed by
a land mine, and who has himself been the victim of a drive by shooting, seeks
revenge against the two arms merchants who made the weapons. He gets helps from a bunch of people living
on the fringes of society. By the way,
the title does not refer to the Indian tribe from Maine and Atlantic Canada. Apparently “micmac” is a slang term for a
prankster in French.
I recently reviewed Thor:
The Dark World (2013)
. It is a big
step up from the first film and a worthy successor to The Avengers (2012). You can read that review here
I had two one star films in November. Reefer
Madness (1936) is a “cult classic” that I finally got around to
seeing. I’m guessing that the people who
are entertained by it are probably smoking reefer while they are watching
it. It’s not a “so bad it’s good” kind
of film; it’s just plain bad. Colossal Youth (2006) is an extremely
slow and boring movie where all the characters talk AT each other in an
artificial manner instead of talking TO each other. Pretty much everyone in the film is a
non-actor, too. Want to watch a 15
minute long, unbroken shot of a woman complaining about the birth of her child,
all while the other person in the scene looks very bored, then screws up his
line towards the end, calling the character by the wrong name? Then this is the movie for you.