February in Movies

February, in comparison to January, was an almost pisspoor month in terms of the number of films watched, but I still did see some good ones, despite the 29 day handicap.

Movies Watched for the First Time in February 2012

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: Spurlock’s latest documentary is interesting but not as clever and well-made as I’d expected. A let down. ★★★

The Help: This is a film so ridiculous it makes even talented actors such as Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain look bad. And Bryce Dallas Howard needs to SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP MAKING MOVIES! ★

The Trip: I love dialogue-driven movies, just as much as I love movies with little to no dialogue whatsoever. Believe me, The Trip is loaded with fantastic lines, and is never “too talkative.” True comedy greats are the ones that sound funny without saying anything comic, and believe me, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon can do this. ★★★★

Nonfilm: Quentin Dupieux (aka the “No Reason” filmmaker) started making movies in 2002, and Nonfilm was his first. At 45 minutes, it’s a relatively short watch, but one filled with Dupieux’s nonsensical filmmaking style and strange plotlines. However, it is creepily effective and worth seeing, whether you’re a fan of Rubber (2010) or not. ★★★★

Waking Life: Good films have you thinking for hours, even days after you’ve seen them. Great ones are the ones you’re unable to get out of your head at all, ever. Waking Life is one of the latter. Filled with fantastically thought-provoking philosophy illustrated with stunning animation, it is one of the movies I can guarantee will have you thinking, even if you don’t like it. ★★★★★

The Beaver: Fuck off. ★

La Haine: Dark, bloody, funny, hilarious, sad. Mathieu Kassovitz’s Hate is one of the best indie movies of the 90s, filled with Tarantinoesque humour, tracking shots, characters and dialogue. Starring the notoriously creepy-looking Vincent Cassel in one of his earliest – and greatest – roles, it’s a combination of Tarantino and Kevin Smith, with a distinctly French twist. ★★★★

My Best Fiend: Werner Herzog’s well-known documentary about his friend/enemy Klaus Kinski, My Best Fiend tells amazing stories of their love/hate relationship with startling footage to back up the claims. ★★★

Le Notti Bianche: Just a few hours after Anna at Defiant Success had a go at me for never watching the movies she recommends, I saw the film in question that had got her so angry at me, Le Notti Bianche, a film directed by Luchino Visconti that she loves. It’s my first film from the Italian mastermind, and I gotta say, I loved it. ★★★★

A propos de Nice: I decided to get started catching up on Jean Vigo, the famous French filmmaker who made four movies in the 30s before dying abruptly. I only saw three of his films this month, but A propos de Nice is definitely my favourite so far. Darkly humorous and strangely daring, it echoes the experimental work of Luis Bunuel during the same time period. ★★★★1/2

Taris: Also known as La Natation, this was Jean Vigo’s second film, and his shortest, at nine minutes. A fascinatingly photographed series of images depicting a famous swimmer named Jean Taris, the film is excellently edited and well-presented, with fascinatingly gripping imagery. ★★★★

Zero de Conduit: The influence this 45-minute film by Jean Vigo had on Francois Truffaut is perhaps incalculable. The similarities between it and Truffaut’s New Wave groundbreaker The 400 Blows are remarkable. This is a story of rebellion at a boys’ boarding school, with superb images and tightly excellent direction. ★★★★

Antoine et Colette: Speaking of The 400 Blows, this 35-minute film starring Jean-Pierre Leaud is the first of several sequels to the 1959 story of Antoine Doinel. Leaud reprises his role as a mature Antoine who tries to win the heart of Colette, a seemingly nice but in reality cold and distant woman who is obviously not right for him. Worth seeing for the reappearance of Doinel only a couple of years after the first film! ★★★★

Rewatched in February 2012

Amarcord (1973) ★★★★★

Black Swan (2010) ★★★★1/2

Metropolis (1927) ★★★★★

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) ★★★★

Inland Empire (2006) ★★★★★

Rubber (2010) ★★★1/2

Withnail & I (1987) ★★★★★

Hot Fuzz (2007) ★★★★1/2

Nights of Cabiria (1957) ★★★★★

Un Chien Andalou (1929) ★★★★★

The Lovers (1958) ★★★★

Closely Watched Trains (1967) ★★★★

L’Eclisse (1962) ★★★★1/2

Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974) ★★★★★

Best Movie Watched in February 2012 (not including rewatches):

Waking Life (2001)

Worst Film Watched in February 2012 (not including rewatches):

The Help (2011)

So, what did you see this month?

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Posted on March 3, 2012, in Lists, Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I got really lucky and enjoyed all the films I watched in February! haha
    I think A Separation would have been my favourite though.

  2. I haven’t really watched an awful lot lately. Time to pull myself out of that and start getting back to at least one film a day.

  3. Loved the Trip as well, and Waking Life is one of those you can keep returning to every so often!
    Tiny Furniture (2010) impressed me, underrated indie I saw in Feb with fun and witty dialogue. I’m told it was Natalie Portman’s fav film of 2010.
    Detachment (2011) I viewed recently, even though the story has been done before a few times, I can’t shake it from my memory, extremely powerful.

    I agree that The Help was undeserving of praise, the good characters behaved like saints all the time, and the filmmakers left no room for us the audience to interpret anything, that had already been mapped out and dumbed down, as if we were kids watching.

    I think I’ll give Le Notti Bianche a watch, thanks!

  4. I watched a lot of good films in February, my worst rating was 6.4…
    Of your first-timers, I’ve only seen The Help and didn’t find it that bad… nothing to really remember but okay. But I’ve been wanting to watch La Haine ever since Jack L. wrote about it.

  5. I watched 21 films in Feb. and just like you,some of them are just re-watchings,I wrote about 7 films I watched for the first time here http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2012/7-unforgettable-films-i-watched-in-february/ .

    La Haine is a super cool film and I’m glad Criterion will upgrade it to Blu-ray in May.

  6. FWIW, I wasn’t angry at you for not seeing Le notti bianche. I sorta figured being the foreign film fanatic (say that three times fast) that you are, I thought you saw it already.

    (And by the way, I watch the movies you recommend. Just FYI.)

    • That’s okay. I felt kinda bad for not seeing it, so I had to. Next up from Visconti will be either SENSO, ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS or THE LEOPARD.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Recap (Mar 1-Mar 7) : Posts & Pics You Don’t Want to Miss | Taste of Cinema

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