New year, new image. Can’t say I’m completely crazy about the screencap I found for this cute moment in THE CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, but it’s not the sort of film that is exactly tearing up Tumblr. If anyone has leads on a clearer/higher-res version, please let me know.

2016 is a year I’m dedicating to a project spearheaded by Women in Film. Back in the autumn, they launched a campaign for moviegoers to do a more active job of seeking out films made by women. Specifically, they wanted viewers to track down one film a week and hashtag their activities as #52FilmsByWomen (click the link for full details about the project). 

For someone like me this sort of idea really isn’t asking all that much considering how many movies I watch in a given year. So consider me a happy participant.

did want to try to turn my selections into a writing series, but that proved problematic. You see I don’t believe in writing true reviews of films well after the fact (even my Blindspot Series isn’t really about whether or not the films are “good”), and couldn’t figure out a way to discuss the topic of women in film as a man covering film. That I watch and that I spread the word is important; what I think, far less so. So in the end I consider myself an interested observer; watching carefully, making mental notes, and speaking only when spoken to.

As for the challenge itself, I’m focusing on trying to watch films by 52 different women (which isn’t hard), and looking for selections I’ve never seen before (which, sadly, takes Ava DuVernay out of the picture for my series). Besides being posted here, you’ll be able to keep up with my weekly picks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Letterboxd.

Where this week’s selection is concerned, I will say that I am really surprised to see so much negative reaction to Angelina Jolie’s BY THE SEA. It never seems to be playing things straight and is clearly influenced by so many films from our past…so why all the hate? Perhaps filmgoers and critics were expecting something a little more “prestige picture” than what Jolie had to offer?

For my money, this film is a huge step-up from Jolie’s previous effort, UNBROKEN, and one that leaves me quite anxious to see what she does next.



Here’s the week at hand…


THE REVENANT – An incredible watch. More thoughts on this tomorrow.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
SHALL WE DANCE – I could die happy watching nothing but Fred and Ginger movies.
THE CANDIDATE – It’s amazing how many modern movies we can see influenced by this one 70’s classic. I need to track down more classic Redford.
BY THE SEA – Misunderstood by many. Mark my words, in five years, the film blogosphere will be littered with posts that are titled “Why You’re Wrong about By The Sea”
FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE – I watched this one by accident. It happened to be on my PVR and I thought I had recorded it for some reason. Turns out Lindsay had, and by the time I figured that out, it was half-over. So, not my favorite, but not bad either.
MRS. BROWN – This, on the other hand, I liked the heck out of. Very “90’s Miramax” in places, but the performances of Dench and Connolly are splendid.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
EASY RIDER – Inspired by a stretch of reading 1960’s film criticism back around the beginning of the year.
THE MARTIANHolds up fantastically on rewatch, which is particularly surprising considering how worried I was about its translation to the smaller screen.
THE LAST PICTURE SHOWIs it weird that I want to hang out in this town for a while and buy these people a round or two?
ANT-MAN – Turns out I enjoyed this one better the second time around. Still ‘Lesser Marvel’, but plenty to be enjoyed on rewatch.
AMADEUS – Always gives my surround sound system a workout.