Wait, 2014? I know it’s late, but it’s explained at the bottom of the post. Great cinema is timeless, anyway!
Sometimes I’m browsing around, trying to find a good movie, but I just can’t seem to find one that makes me want to watch it.
If you ever find yourself in the same spot, I’d like to help you out by suggestion a few truly fantastic works that definitely quenched my cinephile thirst at the time.
And remember: even a seemingly boring film can surprise you. You may find it tedious, or you’ll immediately assume you won’t like it, but that’s just a first impression, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. That’s when you give the film a chance, and by the time you’re looking at the end credits, you can’t believe you almost skipped it!
In my case, I keep a watchlist at MUBI, where +800 films are patiently waiting to be watched.
So I managed to get a hold of several really good films in 2014*, and here are those that stood out:
- The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, 1991)
- Blast of Silence (Allen Baron, 1961)
- The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1961)
- Fedora (Billy Wilder, 1978)
- Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (Les Blank, 1980)
- High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)
- My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, who also makes collage art, 2007)
- Night and the City (Jules Dassin, 1950)
- Overlord (Stuart Cooper, 1975)
- The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang, 1988)
- Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 1966)
- Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966)
There’s a bonus pick: an honorable mention for the last movie I watched in 2014.
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
Many critics have compared Dan Gilroy’s neo-noir/thriller debut Nightcrawler with Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The posters for both movies may look kind of the same, sure… but I’d say that’s where the similarities end.
If I had to compare Nightcrawler to a Scorsese film, its soulmate would be The King of Comedy.
The King of Comedy is a more immediate Scorsese comparison to be made, I think. My failure to find a big similarity between Taxi Driver and Nightcrawler is this: while Bickle decides to fight against all injustices and gets ready to hit the streets (to set things straight, according to his enlightened sense of justice), Bloom doesn’t really seem to care about others, and especially the real consequences of his actions, breaking basic rules of conduct and/or hurting innocent people on the way, be it directly or indirectly.
On the other hand, Scorsese’s Rupert Pupkin is an obsessed man, drowned in America’s media culture, who will do everything to reach the same celebrity status of the idol he worships. This sounds more like Bloom to me.
In any case, regardless of the usual comparison habit: Nightcrawler is indeed a film that surprises and entertains, and I’ll leave you with a few irrelevant reasons why you really should give it a chance:
- Debut! It’s a director’s debut… not bad!
- Budget. Any good movie made on a very low budget, at least for the “independent-ish Hollywood” standards, deserves credit these days.
- No CGI frenzy. Always nice when the cinemas are invaded with Marvel/DC/etc fantasy movies.
- Rene Russo! Where had she been?
- A villain for the modern age. Louis Bloom is one of the greatest villain-types of recent cinema.
I’m always looking for new movies to add to my watchlist, so feel free to use the Comments below to share yours. What are your latest film discoveries?
* This was an old draft that had been pending for a couple of years. I’ve reviewed, re-edited and published in part for my fondness of cinema, but also to stay in the game for my friend Flavio’s #1postxdia challenge:
— Flavio Amiel 📉 (@fba) March 22, 2017