Thursday, June 30, 2011

Monthly Round-Up: Best Films I Saw in June

Well June is over, and we hit the halfway point of the year. This is my 257th post of the year, which means I am on pace to surpass 500 posts. That's pretty intense. I have watched, by my calculations, 167 films so far this year, which is a little less than a film a day. That's not to the level of some bloggers around, but I have reviewed or posted on nearly all of these. Though, the more films you review, the less time you have to watch them.

Quite a high volume of them have been new releases, and I feel pretty good about my coverage of 2011 so far. I feel like I have seen everything I have needed to see, and some that I wish I hadn't. In the next week or so, I'll be uploading my 'Best Films from the First Half of 2011' list, which will be feature some truly outstanding cinema, and some Half Yearly Awards of some description. I haven't thought too much about it yet, but check back to see what I come up with.

I had a lot of fun at the Sydney Film Festival watching multiple films a day, and meeting some great new people. I hope you all enjoyed my Festival coverage. It was quite exhausting work, but well worth it. The only film from the Festival I haven't reviewed is The Tree of Life, which will come shortly. Hopefully, after all this time (well, two weeks) I can create a fresh response to this widely discussed film.

I considered, for the month of July, working through the 30 Day Movie Challenge. I might hold off until August/September though. There are still plenty of new releases to cover each week, and I am also thinking of working through the notable films of Krzysztof Kielslowski and Henri Georges Clouzot, two directors that interest me very much. I love the White/Blue/Red Trilogy, but I have been meaning to see The Decalogue and The Double Life of Veronique for some time. As for Cluzot, Diabolique is top of the list.

I saw a total of 35 films in June. Find out my 'Essential Viewing' selections after the jump...

First Viewing (Cinema) - X-Men: First Class (Michael Vaughn, 2011), Julia's Eyes (Guillem Morales, 2010), Bridesmaids (Paul Feig, 2011), Super 8 (J.J Abrams, 2011), The Trip (Michael Winterbottom, 2010), Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois, 2010), Cars 2 (John Lasseter, 2011), Kung Fu Panda 2 (Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011)

First Viewing (Sydney Film Festival) - The Troll Hunter (Andre Ovredal, 2010), The Guard (John Michael McDonagh, 2011), Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin, 2011), Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh, 2011), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog, 2011), Even the Rain (Iciar Bollain, 2010), Project Nim (James Marsh, 2011), A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011), Three (Tom Tykwer, 2010), The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011), Win Win (Thomas McCarthy, 2011), Norwegian Wood (Tran Anh Hung, 2010), Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within (Jose Padilha, 2010), Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, 2011), Jane Eyre (Cary Fukunaga, 2011), The Beaver (Jodie Foster, 2011), Senna (Asif Kapadia, 2011), Armadillo (Janus Metz, 2010) and 13 Assassins (Takashi Miike, 2010)

First Viewing (DVD/Torrent) - Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960), The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003), The Last Circus (Alex de la Iglesia, 2010)

Re-watched (DVD/Torrent) - The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988), Batman and Robin (Joel Schmacher, 1997), Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009), Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010), 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010)

Essential Viewing

The Thin Blue Line

Inglourious Basterds


13 Assassins

Of Gods and Men

Martha Marcy May Marlene 

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Project Nim 

A Separation

The Tree of Life

Win Win


Take Shelter

127 Hours

Blue Valentine

Tally for the year to date - June (35), May (30), April (22), March (26), February (19), January (35) = 167


  1. So many look so good.

    ... So many haven't been released yet.

  2. I haven't kept an exact count of how many films I've seen this year but it would be pretty close to one a day too.

    Of the ones in your list I haven't seen, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is the one I'm most looking forward to.

  3. Wow, the film of the month for me and probably for the year is definitely The Tree of Life.

    I too, haven't seen The Decalogue though there are copies of the film at my local library. The only problem is that I've got so much stuff on my DVR, I really need to see those films in order to keep them down to a minimum. Tomorrow, I have one more Ang Lee film to watch and then do some Jim Jarmusch, a couple of films by Godard and Michael Winterbottom, and a bunch of European films plus a few 2010 releases I've missed.

  4. @ Bonjour - Cave of Forgotten Dreams really is something special. Hope you enjoy it. If you like Herzog docos, there's no doubt you will.

    @ Steven - I don't know how you write such lengthy reviews daily. You still seem to have an endless supply of films to review. Keep up the amazing work, man. Tree of Life again tomorrow...after Transformers 3. Oh yeah!

  5. Actually, a lot of the reviews that I've posted are mostly old reviews if you noticed some of the posts on top of them. I had done a lot at from 2000-2010 but various issues with the site and the people involved forced me out. I'm moving all of them to the blog though it allows me to take a look at them and do some re-writing. I'm a much different writer now than I was back at I have more time and pace myself while not worrying about the competition. Plus, that site is going to be out of business soon with the way they're running things.