Film reviews

Please watch I Walk Through Moscow – and I’m quoted!

Hey! Remember me!

I think we all know the answer to that is “Probably not!”

Sorry, I know it’s been a very long time and I’ve been absolutely awful at keeping in touch, but honestly I’ve still been thinking of you all and how I can actually review movies again.

Probably, if a lot of movie sites were to start quoting me, that would help. Because Klassiki has actually just started quoting my review of Я шагаю по Москве (I Walk Through Moscow) (1964) in its promo literature! It’s been an awful long time since anyone has done that. And look! It seems to have brought me back to life.

I say review, but this is about as much as I can do right now.

I can’t add much more to that, TBH. I’ll get better though.

It’s just a delightful film, with a group of guys walking around Moscow, looking for purpose in life and bumping into random people. One minute, they’re helping to tame an angry dog by reuniting it with its owner, the next they’re guiding a Japanese tourist (who only speaks Japanese and English) to where they think he’d like to go, the next they’re trying to dodge the draft so they can get married, the next they’re meeting poets and girls who work in record shops, trying to work out their futures and whether they need to be properly qualified geologists to work for the Soviet metro system.

It’s all set against the wonderfully beautiful backdrop of 1960s Moscow in the summer and also features one of the genuine classics of Soviet cinematic music, the eponymous Я иду, шагаю по Москве, which went on to become an unofficial anthem for Moscow youth, in a surprising musical number that’s as joyful as the movie itself.

Please do go and watch it when you have the chance!

The Adam Project
Film

What Natya added to her streaming queues this week, including The Adam Project

All the movies added to streaming services in the past week that Natya has added to her watchlists and hopes to watch. But might not

I’ve been a teeny weeny bit naughty here, since I watched The Adam Project at the weekend. But I probably should have put it on the list last week, shouldn’t I, so I’m just fixing my own mistake!

Netflix

The Adam Project (2022)

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-travelling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.

Disney+

Nightmare Alley (2022)

In 1940s New York, down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle endears himself to a clairvoyant and her mentalist husband at a traveling carnival. Using newly acquired knowledge, Carlisle crafts a golden ticket to success by swindling the elite and wealthy. Hoping for a big score, he soon hatches a scheme to con a dangerous tycoon with help from a mysterious psychologist who might be his most formidable opponent yet.

MUBI

Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According To St Matthew) (1964)

Starting from his Immaculate Conception, the life of Jesus is retraced according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. When Jesus begins to travel through Palestine with his disciples to spread the word of God, the Romans conspire to have him silenced, leading to his arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection.

MUBI adds: “A ravishingly textured, soulful take on the life of Christ from Italy’s greatest poet-filmmaker. Coming from a gay atheist-Marxist such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, the film’s radically realist—dare we say reverential—treatment of religious belief was startling, even winning acclaim by the Vatican!”

Klassiki

Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) (1965)

The first mature masterpiece from one of world cinema’s true poets, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors bursts with imagination. Grounded in the folk traditions, aesthetics, and dialect of the Hutsul people of western Ukraine, Parajanov’s tale of the forbidden love between star-crossed Ivan and Marichka showcases his trademark visual exuberance. This magical realist triumph established Parajanov as one of the Soviet Union’s pre-eminent auteurs.

iPlayer

Queen of Katwe (2016)

Kampala, Uganda. Young Phiona finds surprising distraction from her life grafting in the Katwe slum when she is introduced to chess by youth worker Robert, and proves to be talented at it.

Film

Tune into MUBI to celebrate women, including Andrea Arnold and Céline Sciamma

I had hoped to do something big! and bold! and political! and exciting! on Tuesday for International Women’s Day.

But typically – perhaps even ironically – I was too busy working to do it. Pfft. 🙄

Fortunately, it’s also Women’s History Month – or should that be Herstory?

That’s a good get-out clause for me. Yay! I’m still succeeding in life!

Why don’t you all head over to MUBI then? Although it hasn’t formally said so, seems to be celebrating two women directors in particular this month. And they couldn’t be more different!

American Honey (2016)

Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold is English and very much dedicated to social realism, particularly with regards to working class women. She won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005, and her feature films include Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey, all of which have won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s also recently shot her first documentary, Cow, which is all about… a cow.

MUBI has pretty much her entire catalogue and while my above précis of her work doesn’t sound like too much fun, as I found with Wasp, it’s not as bleak as you might think. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try, starting with her short movies:

And if you’d like to hear her discuss her most recent work, I’d recommended listening to this interview:

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma is easily one of the most important and accomplished female directors, perhaps even directors working in France and perhaps the world in the past decade. The New Yorker argued last month that she’s on a ‘quest for a new feminist grammar of cinema’ – while simultaneously arguing that her representation of Black women in Girlhood is unfeminist.

At the very least, with movies such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Water Lilies, Girlhood and Tomboy she has managed to bring into the mainstream feminist ideas and complex questions about gender and queer identity that previously have been poorly addressed by cinema. And with movies such as Petite maman, she shows she can do movies that are fantastic and beautiful, rather than political.

And here’s another lovely podcast where Sciamma talks about her work.

Film

The TMINE Multiplex: I Am Twenty, The Truth about Cats and Dogs and more

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

I’m not saying I’m going to turn into a cat lady any time soon, but I’ve not been out in a while. At least, not to the movies. This is strange for me, particularly with a Robert Pattinson movie in the cinema at the moment (The Batman), but honestly, that just looks nasty. I know: after the entire Dark Knight trilogy, could Batman get any nastier? I’m reassured by people who enjoy such things that yes, Batman can get nastier. So I’m going to give it a miss.

I really hope, though, that are some lovely new films for me to watch at the cinema soon, though.

I’ve not been watching many new films at home, either. Not even that collection of all the James Bond movies I got given for Christmas.

(I really did.)

But I have been running a few retrospectives, which I’ll cover briefly after the jump. I’ve also been watching a few Russian movies. For understandable reasons, I hope? 😭

So here’s what you can look forward to discussing in the TMINE multiplex after the jump:

  1. Black Hawk Down (2001)
  2. Мне двадцать лет (I Am Twenty) (1965)
  3. Цапля и журавль (The Heron and the Crane) (1974)
  4. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
  5. The Truth About Cats And Dogs (1996)

Re: the last of those – I promise I’m not turning into a cat lady.

Continue reading “The TMINE Multiplex: I Am Twenty, The Truth about Cats and Dogs and more”
West Side Story
Film

What Nat added to her streaming queues this week, including West Side Story and Короткие встречи

All the movies added to streaming services in the past week that Natya has added to her watchlists and hopes to watch. But might not

I thought I’d go with a little mix this week! Some sublime options, some stupid options, I know – hello, Pierce, please tell me you sing in this one, too – but isn’t that the beauty of movies?

Netflix

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

A CIA researcher is shocked to see that all of his co-workers are dead. He is bookish and has little knowledge of how to outwit those responsible. How does he figure out who he can really trust?

Disney+

West Side Story (2021)

Love at first sight strikes when young Tony spots Maria at a high school dance in 1957 New York City. Their burgeoning romance helps to fuel the fire between the warring Jets and Sharks – two rival gangs vying for control of the streets.

Amazon

The Misfits (2021)

A band of modern-day Robin Hoods known as “The Misfits”, recruit renowned thief Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) to help them pull off the heist of the century. Hold on tight for a globe-trotting, action-packed thriller from the director of Die Hard 2.

MUBI

Petite Maman (Little Mother) (2021)

After the death of her beloved grandmother, eight-year-old Nelly meets a strangely familiar girl her own age in the woods. Instantly forming a connection with this mysterious new friend, Nelly embarks on a fantastical journey of discovery which helps her come to terms with this newfound loss.

Klassiki

Короткие встречи (Brief Encounters) (1967)

The debut feature from Kira Muratova, one of Russian-language cinema’s most fearless auteurs, Brief Encounters is a quietly devastating gem. Banned for twenty years and only rediscovered in the late ‘80s, this beautifully staged domestic drama uses flashbacks to tell the story of a love triangle, female rivalry, and dashed dreams. Starring Muratova herself opposite legendary singer Vladimir Vysotsky and debutante Nina Ruslanova, Brief Encounters marks the first step in the career of one of the most singular female directors of all time.