How is it already nearly the end of July? This year has been an utter blur. Perhaps a fun sign of getting older?
I’ve watched so many good films this year. A big plus to going to the cinema more often. (Shout out to the Prince Charles Cinema for being my second home.) I’ve made an effort to watch more international films, and have been greatly rewarded for doing so.
So for the first six months of this year. Here are the five new-to-me movies that I’ve enjoyed the most.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) dir. by Daniels
When I saw this at the cinema, the woman behind me was sobbing like a baby. Not much more needs to be said.
Okay. Actually, I have a lot more to say about this movie, which is largely about the immigrant experience. It’s hilarious, truly moving and utterly unforgettable. Michelle Yeoh is a treasure. As is Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan (IN THAT STUIT!!!!), Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong… The cast is brilliant.
Black Dynamite (2009) dir. by Scott Sanders
“Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!”
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began watching Black Dynamite, a parody of the Blaxploitation movies of the 70s. But it’s so funny and very clever. A true love letter to the genre.
If you’re fond of the films of that era, it’s a must-watch. Even if you’re not, the comedy is excellent. It’s a fun ride that keeps the pace moving at all times.
Mother (2009) dir. by Bong Joon-Ho
First off, shout out to my coworker who took the time to give me an excellent list of Eastern Asian movies to watch. It’s been an endless source of great
When I saw Mother in cinemas, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. But I left stunned and in tears.
It’s best to go blind into this one to avoid any expectations. But the story examines the lengths people (mothers) will go to protect their children, sometimes to the detriment of others.
The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968) dir. by Noriaki Yuasa
If there’s one thing I’m excited to explore more of, it’s classic Japanese horror. The monsters are unlike anything I’ve seen in Western cinema.
I have, of course, seen many of Yuasa’s Gamera movies, but this fantasy horror outing is special. The Snake Girl follows a young girl who is reunited with her family after spending time in an orphanage. Though her family is not quite everything she hopes they would be.
This movie reminded me vaguely of the excellent A Tale of Two Sisters, which is also a story about family betrayal and secrets. But this one has witches and crazy ladies with snake necks!
Switchblade Sisters (1975) dir. by Jack Hill
I’ve seen some of Jack Hill’s movies before, but was so surprised by how engaging Switchblade Sisters was.
Based loosely on Othello, this exploitation gang movie follows a group of school girls who fight for power and leadership of the Jezebels. There’s betrayal, excellent outfits and plenty of violence.