Weekly Roundup – September 14 – 20

Weekly Roundup – September 14 – 20

My computer is still working but my internet is sketchy. Ahhh such is the life of a university student. And the life of a film student means my total film watching for this week isn’t quite as high as I would have liked but the films I’ve seen were pretty awesome. Strangely no new Contenders again this week, but because of a viewing for class, Double Indemnity is getting away without a full review (I just don’t have time at the moment) but is being moved up from Contender to Canon status. Four films for classes and one for Kino Hearts, then another two for another project I’m working on with some friends and my total films watched for fun this week amounts to only 3. Le sigh.

FS252 – Film Noir

Scarlet Street (1945) dir. Fritz Lang

★★★★★★★ (7)

Edward G. Robinson is a truly incredible actor. Of the actors I have columbused recently he is easily my favourite and this film solidifies that fact. Between Little Caesar, Double Indemnity, and now Scarlet Street. Here rather than playing the cold hearted gangster or the witty Insurance fraud investigator, he’s a schmuck who gets pulled into immoral activity by a true Femme Fatale. Its a sad story, but well worth checking out.

The Killers (1946) dir. Robert Siodmak

★★★★★ (5)

I first saw this in first year film class and I still feel roughly the same towards it as I did then. The first twenty minutes or so, before the flashback investigation begins, are incredible. Totally thrilling and invigorating cinema. The rest of the film falls flat. And to be honest, I think that has to do with the fact that the first bit is almost moment for moment an adaptation of the Hemingway story. Its incredibly faithful in movement and tone and that makes a difference.

Double Indemnity (1944) dir. Billy Wilder

★★★★★★★★★★ (10)

In my initial review I said that I wanted to watch the film again immediately after it ended. That was true of the second viewing as well. Just watch the clip below, it demonstrates the incredible talent of all involved and just how noir the film is. The blinds, the girl, the dialogue, the sexual tension. Its all there. Its all noir. And that’s just the opening scene.

“How could I have known that murder, can sometimes smell like honeysuckle.”

Double Indemnity is a classic, and one that I feel will end up in the Canon soon.

Continue reading “Weekly Roundup – September 14 – 20”


Critiquing Boyhood

“The Seattle Times says Boyhood is “the most engrossing coming-of-age movie in the history of the genre.” That assertion may be true, but it’s also true that the popular history of the genre has been largely limited to imagining the lives of white kids.”

I’ve avoided writing a lot about Boyhood because there were issues with it that I didn’t have the language to describe. Luckily for me, Imran Siddiquee at The Atlantic does have the words and provides exactly the criticism that is necessary of this film. So please go and read his piece because the rest of this won’t make a tonne of sense without it.


Continue reading “Critiquing Boyhood”

Weekly Roundup – August 17 – September 13

Weekly Roundup – August 17 – September 13

My computer is back in action and I’m finally settling into my routine at school so I can finally get back to doing this. Luckily in the three weeks since moving to Waterloo I have watched exactly six movies. I think it is apt to point out that in the time between July 20th and August 16th I watched 118 films and since then I have watched 24. I will admit that I’ve marathoned 2 seasons of Suits as a way of distracting myself from training and work and school, but nevertheless it is a massive change. The other massive change is that there were only four 9 or 10 star films and two of those I had seen before.

Starting with this week you will be seeing more films that I have watched for the classes. There will be four a week specifically mentioned in my syllabi and soon I will start doing research for my papers, which I will include in these roundups. Therefore you will soon be seeing two more additions to the roundup post. FS252 – Film Noir and FS341 – Classical Film Theory. There will be some comments about the films and what I’ve been doing in terms of thinking about those papers. I want them to be good so I want to document the experience of writing them.

The final new addition to these roundups (only applying to half of them) is what I’ll be calling the Film Society Picks. Every other week (kind of) the WLU Film Society gets together for dinner and drinks and to talk about a movie we collectively decided to watch that week. It’s a fun time and I want to dedicate some time to each of those films here. If it turns out I become seriously invested in the films then I will do full posts and link to them here.

There are no contenders this week so on to the roundups for class.

FS252 – Film Noir

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) dir. Boris Ingster

★★★★★★★ (7)

Peter Lorre is incredibly creepy. As soon as this film got going I could tell it is totally typical noir with plenty of expressionist imagery and lighting throughout the film. Its also pretty good in general thanks Lorre’s performance. The protagonist isn’t terribly compelling but the rest of the film makes up for it.

Continue reading “Weekly Roundup – August 17 – September 13”