The Last Ten Movies I Saw

1. Written on the Wind (Sirk)
2. The Messiah (Rossellini)
3. Before Sunset (Linklater)
4. Fading Gigolo (Turturro)
5. Love Unto Death (Resnais)
6. Life is a Bed of Roses (Resnais)
7. Manhattan (Allen)
8. A History of Violence (Cronenberg)
9. Ishtar (May)
10. Terror Train (Spottiswoode)


About michaelgloversmith

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

14 responses to “The Last Ten Movies I Saw

  • John Charet

    I am going to give a few replies today cause I have been a too behind in replying to your posts (I posted a comment under your Bob Dylan post earlier in the week). First things first: I have seen numbers 1,3,4,5,7,8 and 9. I gave numbers 1,3,7 and 8 * * * * out of * * * * stars and numbers 4 and 5* * * out of * * * * stars. I gave number 9 * * out of * * * * (more on that in the next reply). It has been a while since I have seen numbers 2,6 and 10.

  • John Charet

    First off and despite the fact that she has only directed four feature films to date, I still believe that Elaine May is a far superior filmmaker than her old partner Mike Nichols. I gave her first three films: A New Leaf (1971), The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and Mikey and Nicky (1976) * * * * stars. I really wanted to think that Ishtar would be at the very least a * * * star film, but it ended up being little more than mediocre. I understand that it had a troubled production history, but that is not what ruins the film for me. The problem is that it never comes as being truly funny. The idea sounded perfect (teaming up Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty together), but the execution strangely leaves a lot to be desired. As others have pointed out, you never know much about the two lead characters. Even the intentionally bad songs (by the talented Paul Williams) are not as hilarious as they should have been. Having said all that, I will say that Charles Grodin (as in The Heartbreak Kid) is at his best and the cinematography by the great Vittorio Storaro is beautiful. Overall, it is far from the fiasco critics make it out to be, but I just can’t share legendary film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum’s defense of the film. Regards:)

    • michaelgloversmith

      ISHTAR is definitely not for all tastes. It does have a bloated, sprawling quality that May’s other movies do not and nothing after the first 30 minutes is as good as the beginning. But I still think it’s hilarious.

  • John Charet

    Since Memorial Day is right around the corner, I will be watching The Steel Helmet (1951) and The Big Red One (1980) among other Samuel Fuller films in the genre and let us not forget John Ford’s They Were Expendable (1945). I love Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and The Thin Red Line, but those are more anti-war films than traditional ones and Kathryn Bigelow’s brilliant The Hurt Locker (2009) is more apolitical (though I will concede that you can say that Fuller arguably takes the same position). Apolitical is a compliment by the way. I will admit that as a whole, War films do not interest me (Westerns are far superior), but Samuel Fuller is one of the few directors who knows how to tackle them:) Regards:)

    • michaelgloversmith

      You pretty much just listed all of my favorite war films (which is also not one of my favorite genres). To add to your list, I would throw in some of the great WWI films from the silent and early sound era: especially Rex Ingram’s THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, King Vidor’s THE BIG PARADE and Lewis Milestone’s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

  • Mitchell

    THE BIG PARADE is stunning. Glad you mentioned it. Like most great silent, it needs to be better know. Also, have you ever seen J’ACCUSE by Abel Gance? Even more stunning than ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which is pretty damned stunning!

    • michaelgloversmith

      I’ve actually never seen J’ACCUSE but thanks for the recommendation. I’ve just added it to my Facets queue.

      • Mitchell

        Are you doing their mail subscription? I did that for a while and was very happy with it. My DVR got so full with things I was taping off of Turner Classics that I stopped the service. I might look into starting it again.

        They don’t stream, do they?

      • michaelgloversmith

        You are correct that they don’t stream. If you have a membership though you have the option of either renting in person OR renting by mail. I typically go in person. The fact that you can rent PAL import DVDs, VHS tapes and Blu-rays (in addition to regular DVDs) makes it, for me, the best way to see movies that I don’t necessarily want to pay to own. Plus, you can see everything playing in their theatre for free.

      • Mitchell

        I should join Facets again just to support that wonderful institution. We don’t get up there that much – it is out of the way from Hyde Park, but just to make sure they stay in business is a good incentive. A few years back they sent a video crew down to interview me about the video service. So – somewhere in the vaults of Facets their is a video of me gushing about how I love the place.

        I really need to get a region free DVD player. This is getting ridiculous!

        The only way to see most Naruse is either PAL or illegal!

        BTW – I am still hoping to sit in on one of your classes soon, if the offer still stands!

      • michaelgloversmith

        I live in constant fear that Facets is going to go out of business.

        Of course my offer still stands! Unfortunately, I’m not teaching at Harold Washington this summer (which will be the easiest college, by far, for you to get to if you want to sit in) but I will be there again on Wednesday nights in the fall.

  • Mitchell

    Harold Washington might be easier. I work within walking distabce,,,,

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