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The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Chungking Express (Wong)
2. Bernie (Linklater)
3. In the Mood for Love (Wong)
4. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks)
5. The Cannibals (De Oliveira)
6. Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (Vasyukov/Herzog)
7. Ravenous (Bird)
8. The Big Lebowski (Coens)
9. Deep Cover (Duke)
10. Moolaade (Sembene)

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About michaelgloversmith

Filmmaker, author and Film Studies instructor. View all posts by michaelgloversmith

2 responses to “The Last Ten Movies I Saw

  • Mitchell

    I don’t believe that In The Mood For Love is appreciated for the revolutionary film it is. I think it is astounding and every time I watch it I can’t get over the audacity and control in the film. Do you own the Criterion edition? There is an interesting documentary attached that shows the the first improvisational rehearsals, which show a work that is absolutely nothing like the finished product.

    And Howard Hawks. I know I am supposed to revere his like a good Auteurist, but frankly I don’t get it. Red River seems over-baked to me in comparison to Ford and Hathaway westerns. But nothing is as flat and dull to me as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. What is he trying to accomplish there?

    • michaelgloversmith

      I own the Criterion Blu-ray but this particular viewing was via DVD because I was showing it in a class. I love that outtake you’re talking about. It looks like the film was going to be a musical comedy in its earliest incarnation!

      I can sort of sympathize with your Hawks sentiments. I think he’s a great director but I do also think he’s somewhat overrated. As far as classic Hollywood goes, he’s not in the same league with Ford, Welles or Hitchcock. And some of his acknowledged “classics” don’t hold up as well as their reputations suggest (Red River, like you say, and also The Big Sleep). Having said all that, I actually think Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is his best film! I’ve recently come to realize that I think comedy is what Hawks did best. There’s a lot of subversive sexual innuendo in Blondes and it IS Marilyn Monroe’s signature role (even more so than Some Like It Hot). Most of all, I love the way that Hawks and Monroe slyly suggest that her “dumb blonde” routine is just a routine and that her Lorelei Lee character is actually rather smart after all. Plus, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is one of the most brilliantly staged musical numbers ever!

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