Sils Maria

No progress on the #52FilmsByWomen  project this week, but I have seven weeks left to watch ten films…so I’m not worried. Heck, I might well be caught-up by this time next week. Sounds like a challenge, don’t it?

No, this week, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done outside of a festival…I went to six screenings in seven days. The crux of it came from TIFF Lightbox hosting a series Guillermo del Toro lectures on Buñuel’s Mexican films, with this week’s new release added in for good measure.

It’s a little strange to stay sequestered off from the world for four whole nights…especially when they are four nights as tumultuous as the last four of this week. It’s like I’m pulling the covers up and refusing to get out of bed. It’s like I’m bolting the door shut and refusing to step outside. Sometimes it’s also like I’m just surrounding myself with like-minded people and denying what’s happening in the world around me.

To that I can only say that I found this week to be something of an exhausting comfort. Nothing I sat in a cinema to see was exactly what I’d call “comfort food” (nor is what’s playing on the screen as I type, for what it’s worth). There were no big action sequences, few laughs, little familiarity, and precious few warm and fuzzy feelings.

What I did get was true human nature, clarity, perspective, and contemplation. I spent three nights listening to one of the most film literate people in the world go over works that some consider “lesser”…and underlining why they are not. He went into each piece of work, and illuminated their value, their theories, and what they said about the world around them.

If I’m being honest, part of me thought about skipping a lot of them. Part of me even thought about giving my one commercial film this week a miss – especially after the early show was sold out. However, I forced myself. I waded through the cold muddy waters and tried to use the discomfort to learn more about the world. In the end, I did bail-out on the final screening (IL BRUTO), but that was only after the crowd around me made the first one such an unpleasant experience.

Can’t win ’em all, right?

Still – times like these are making me remember why I love cinema, why I love the theatrical experience, and how it can help me make even a sliver of sense of the world around me.

I don’t want to pull up the covers…I don’t want to bolt the door.
I want to feel life around me, and stare through giant windows that look out on the world.


Here’s the week at hand…



SUSANA –Damn, the patriarchy!
EL –Sorta like VERTIGO but without the pageantry.
NAZARIN –I feel a strong urge now to watch DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST.
VIRIDIANA –This one might have been the bleakest of the bunch.
LOS OLVIDADOS –Poverty makes people do truly rotten things.
ARRIVAL –I don’t think any new release could have been more aptly timed.

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
PRIMARY –I was feeling hopeful the night before the election.

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
QUANTUM OF SOLACEAfter My trip to Sienea, I needed to re-watch the chase and shoot-out.
THE NEW WORLD –The irony of watching this film this week is not lost on me. I swear it was a co-incidence.
LINCOLNNo really…I was feeling hopeful before the election.
SHINE A LIGHTLord-eeee…that performance of “Champagne and Reefer”


Boxscore for The Year
219 First-Timers, 117 Re-Watched
79 Screenings
336 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?