Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monthly Round-Up: Best Films I Saw in May

So it's that time again - the end of the month. This would usually be the opportunity to revisit everything that has happened over the last month; the type of films I have been watching, the ones that impressed me (and the ones that did not), a recap of Festivals and other significant events (like the LAMMY's). But I feel like I have been covering that on a weekly basis through my Monday Links post, so I won't go too crazy here. I'll stick with a quick recap of the the films I watched, with a few personal recommendations from the bunch.

I'd first like to thank the Mad Hatter of Dark of the Matinee for his shout out to my blog on his recent MatineeCast Episode (#34 with Kai Parker). Here is the man who I think sets the bar for film blogging in every way; from his fantastic reviews, to his awesome Podcast, to his all-round creativity. I mean, he was nominated for 8 LAMMY Awards! If I can cover the upcoming Sydney Film Festival half as well as he covered TIFF last year, or Hot Docs, then I will feel accomplished. Huge cheers for the mention good sir, I was stoked. I do hope that we can catch up for a beer one day!

I'd also like to shout out to Sam Fragoso, creator of Duke and the Movies. Sam is just 16 years of age, but is already writing high quality (and frequent) reviews for a number of online publications, including Anomalous Material. The guy writes about at least three new releases a week, which is very impressive. He has been a huge support for me over the last couple of months. We even contemplated working on a Podcast together, but decided to make it a challenge of the future. He's destined to be an elite in this industry and a critic to keep an eye out for.

LAMMY and SFF information and my Monthly Recommendations after the jump...

As many of my fellow LAMBS are aware, the nominees for the 2011 LAMMY Awards have been announced. To check out the nominees and to cast your vote, visit The Large Association of Movie Blogs. Next month will be quite different here on Film Emporium, as I will be predominantly attending screenings of films at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival (June 8-19). If you are a local film blogger/critic/fanatic and are also checking out some sessions, drop me an email because there is a chance I will be too. This is the first time I have made the opportunity for myself to be able to see numerous films. Last year, with the simultaneous release of Sex and the City 2, I ended up working all but one day of the Festival, and squeezed in only two films. This year it is different, and I'd like to meet some new and interesting people.

I watched 30 films in May.

First viewing (Cinema): Mrs Carey's Concert (Bob Connelly Sophie Raymond, 2011), Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011), Insidious (James Wan, 2011), Water for Elephants (Francis Lawrence, 2011), Mad Bastards (Duncan Fletcher, 2011), Your Highness (David Gordon Green, 2011), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall, 2011), The Hangover Part II (Todd Phillips, 2011), Get Low (Aaron Schneider, 2010), Snowtown (Justin Kurzel, 2011)

First viewing (DVD): The Red Shoes (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1948), Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961), The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966), Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983), The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986), Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988), Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg, 1991), Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996), City Island (Raymond De Felitta, 2009), Centurion (Neil Marshall, 2010)

Re-Watched (DVD/Other): The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Weine, 1920), Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968), The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992), Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001), Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004), The Decent (Neil Marshall, 2005), The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005), 300 (Zach Snyder, 2006), The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010), Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Essential Viewing: 

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

The Red Shoes

The Battle of Algiers

The Fly

Naked Lunch (Seriously Weird!!)

The Last of the Mohicans

Spirited Away

Shaun of the Dead

The New World

Winter's Bone


Tally for the year to date - May (30), April (22), March (26), February (19), January (35) = 132


  1. How you managed to watch "Winter's Bone" again is beyond me. A good film, just not one I'd get hyped up to watch again.

    I should keep track of how many films I watch a month. I'd probably be around 20-25 - a little less than you. Though, I do see just about everything in theaters.

    Thanks for the shout out Andy - and I'll be 17 in September - legally aloud to watch R-rated films ;D

    As for your take on "Get Low" ... oh how sad I was ;D

    1:15 in the morning - I should probably go to bed, yeah?

    Peace Andy.

  2. Heh - Duke wonders how you could watch WINTER'S BONE again, meanwhile I look at the shelf above my computer and can see the copy of it I *own*! Dif'rent strokes, right?

    Thank you very much for your kind words sir, they are much appreciated and humble me muchly. How about we make an accord - you keep reading, I'll keep writing. Sound fair?

    There are some stellar films amongst this month's watches, not the least of which is MOHICANS - one of my all-time faves! RED SHOES is a rather choice selection too, one that I must fully credit my wife for introducing me to a little more than a year ago. Every once in a while that plays on a big screen around these parts, and one of these days I'm finally going to catch a showing!

    Here's to another month of film watching!

  3. @ Duke - It was one of my top films from last year, and thought i'd give it another go. It is actually a very watchable film. I really like the way it is shot and the performances are compelling. I thought you liked my review of 'Get Low' despite our difference of opinion haha.

    @ Hatter - Man, I'll keep reading and listening to anything you come up with. Sounds fair to me! Yeah it was a bit of a mix this month. The Cronenberg was great, The Red Shoes and Algiers also. After a few poor new releases I had to watch something I enjoyed...turning to Mohicans and Shaun of the Dead haha. Next month I will definitely top 30. It's festival time!!

  4. The Mad Hatter ... c'mon man :D

    Your review was well written, just not the correct opinion - because it wasn't mind ... you know :D ?

  5. Wow, you watched a lot of my favourites as well as a lot of films I've been meaning to watch.
    I love pretty much everyone of the films you listed as essential, all great films.

    I liked Centurion a lot, I know it's not great film, but it stood out as a good action film amongst all the other bad ones last year.

    Great post Andy, and I'm looking forward to your coverage of SFF.

  6. @ Jack L - I didn't mind Centurion either. I didn't write anything on it, but I thought it was 'bloody' good entertainment.