#1930to2020: Films from 2010 - 2020
With limited access to cinemas, I'm still having fun discovering new films and revisiting old favourites at home. Back in June 2020 I started an ambitious viewing project: #1930to2020, to watch at least one film from sequential years. With this blog I have reached the end of this journey, having watched 26 films from 2010 - 2020. 20 were new to me, the rest re-visits.
You can read about the 52 films I watched from 1970 - 1989 here.
You can read about the 50 films I watched from 1990 - 2009 here.
For those interested in knowing more about films directed by women, from the films I watched from this and the previous 10 years, 12 were by female filmmakers, 9 feature films and 3 documentaries. New discoveries which I will be revisiting in the future include Rocks directed by Sarah Gavron and Freak Show directed by Trudie Styler.
I also happened to watch 5 films that featured lead characters from the LGBTQ+ community, 4 feature films: Freak Show, Mapplethorpe, Carmilla and Summerland and one documentary, Love Cecil.
Top 5 new to me films
Love Cecil (2017) d. Lisa Immordino Vreeland Documentary on the life/work of photographer/film designer Cecil Beaton. What makes this worth watching is the huge amount of visual material collected, contextualised by those who knew him and those inspired by him. Narrated: Rupert Everett.
Her Smell (2018) w/d. Alex Ross Perry Comprises five snapshots in rock star Becky Something's (Elisabeth Moss) life. Each vignette plays out in real-time as we witness a moment in Becky's work/personal life from close to rock-bottom to some kind of redemption/hope. Loved it.
You Don’t know Me (2019) d. Jeffrey McHale Examination of Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls. Worth watching for the montages to demonstrate its place within PV’s oeuvre and its use of film form to develop themes and Interviewees demonstrating their love of, or at least affection/confusion.
Happy Death Day 2U (2019) d. Christopher Landon Love a Time Travel/Time Manipulation movie, less keen on slasher film. But this sequel, like its predecessor, deals more with Tree’s (Jessica Rothe) repeating day than the gruesome death(s) she tries to avoid/re-write. Funny/Knowing.
Rocks (2019) d. Sarah Gavron w. Theresa Ikoko A moving slice of life which sees Rocks (Bukky Bakray) taking care of her younger brother (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu) when their mum leaves them. Tremendous performances esp. Bakray who has to navigate a complex emotional journey. Great!
Top 5 re-visits
The Muppets (2011) d. James Bobin I love The Muppets and I love movies with a theatrical settings and I do love a musical plus I love meta-ness and absolutely love Chris Cooper's 'maniacal laugh' Perfect balance of sheer joy, knowingness and nostalgia. Just lean in and enjoy. Love it.
Life of Pi (2012) d. Ang Lee Based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, a visual triumph which sees its young rising star (Suraj Sharma) spending much of his screen time acting alongside a decreasing cast of CG animals. The bookend with the older Pi (Irrfan Kahn) now has added poignancy.
The Bling Ring (2013) d. Sofia Coppola A critique of celebrity culture as a group of (adrift) young woman and chap's desire for designer stuff and a closeness to the celebs they admire leads them to break into their homes. Based on a real crime spree. A lively take on vapidness.
The Love Witch (2016) w/d. Anna Biller A glamorous witch Elaine (Samantha Robinson) moves to a new town. In her very colourful yet Gothic apartment she brews potions to lure a man, yet things don't go to plan. Stunning visual/aural hypnotic experience. Terrifically trippy. Fab!
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) d. Alexandra Dean Entertaining enlightening doc on enigmatic HL who for years was known for her glamorous looks and Hollywood Golden Age movies, but is now being equally recognised for her contribution to modern communications technology.
And here's the full list...
1. Brighton Rock (2010) w/d. Rowan Joffe
2. The Last Circus (2010) w/d. Álex de la Iglesia
3. First Position (2011) d. Bess Kargman
4. The Muppets (2011) d. James Bobin
5. Life of Pi (2012) d. Ang Lee
6. Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) d. Roger Michell
7. Phil Spector (2013) w/d. David Mamet
8. The Bling Ring (2013) d. Sofia Coppola
9. Grace of Monaco (2014) d. Olivier Dahan
10. The Voices (2014) d. Marjane Satrapi
11. Queen of Earth (2015) w/d. Alex Ross Perry
12. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) d. Burr Steers
13. The Love Witch (2016) w/d. Anna Biller
14. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) d. Alexandra Dean
15. Freak Show (2017) d. Trudie Styler
16. Love Cecil (2017) d. Lisa Immordino Vreeland
17. Mapplethorpe (2018) w/d. Ondi Timoner
18. Her Smell (2018) w/d. Alex Ross Perry
19. Mega Time Squad (2018) w/d. Tim van Dammen
20. You Don’t Know Me (2019) d. Jeffrey McHale
21. Happy Death Day 2U (2019) d. Christopher Landon
22. Rocks (2019) d. Sarah Gavron
23. Carmilla (2019) w/d. Emily Harris
24. Summerland (2020) w/d. Jessica Swale
25. Godmothered (2020) d. Sharon Maguire
26. Mank (2020) d. David Fincher
David Fincher's Mank (2020) was the perfect film to end my #1930to2020 film viewing project, as the film's earliest flashback was to 1930 - Hollywood.