2014 was a pretty good year for me…film wise.
As of January 12th 2014 I began recording and writing about films I watched for the first time in 2014 and by December 31st I counted and discovered I had watched over 260 films (counting re-watches, films I watched in school and the films I saw before I began recording etc). I’ve decided to share some of my favourite films I saw last year…
1. AUNTIE MAME (1958)
When Patrick Dennis’ is left orphaned, his eccentric and flamboyant Auntie Mame takes him in, and introduces the boy to her wacky and versatile life, where parties are always being thrown and art is always a priority. As Patrick grows older Mame finds him to become under the influence of his stuffy trustee, who despises Mame and her bohemian lifestyle. Auntie Mame is just one of those movies that can make you laugh during one scene and cry during the next. If you’re a fan of movies like Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and How to Marry a Millionaire, I’d recommend it.
2. LA HAINE (1995)
La Haine focuses on three friends Vinz, Hubert and Said and a day in their lives in the Parisian ghettos. This movie follows the trio throughout the day, as riots run amok and a close friend remains in a coma due to police brutality. As the day goes on, the audience discovers that Vinz has stolen a gun and plans to kill a policeman and Hubert wants to leave his hatred filled neighbourhood. This movie completely mesmerized me. The characters, the coarse subject matter, the directing…everything just seemed to fit perfectly. I recommend this movie to almost everybody who asks for one. It’s modern, tough and gritty.
3. ACCATTONE (1961)
Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of the most prominent filmmakers to come out of Italy during the 20th century. Before making movies he was already established as a poet and writer. His first film made was Accattone, made in 1961 just around the time Italian Neorealism began to die down a bit and Accattone fully embodies that notion. Where Neorealism promotes the prosperity of the everday civillian, Accattone focuses on the pimps and thieves of a small Roman town and their exploits. Vittorio ‘Accattone’ lives comfortably as a pimp, but once his prostitute breaks her leg after an attack, he begins to starve. Desperate, he steals from his child, eats other peoples food, and eventually lures a young girl to become his new prostitute. Accattone is gritty and filthy. Some of these characters have the ability to make your stomach churn, yet, you sometimes find yourself feeling for them. I found Accattone to be incredibly realistic and a bit heart breaking. If you’re a fan of foreign cinema, or enjoy anti-hero stories, watch this movie!
4. SCARFACE (1932)
One of the many things I learned this year was that Brian De Palma’s Scarface is actually a remake! When I finally got the chance to watch the original Scarface (which stars Paul Muni) I was pleasantly surprised at how much De Palma’s version stayed true to the original. If you’re a fan of De Palma’s Scarface you should watch this movie without question. Despite taking place during the Prohibition and main characters having names, the story is almost parallel. However, the more I watch this version the more I like it.
Monica Pallotta is 16 and hails from Toronto, Canada. She likes watching anything from glossy over the top Hollywood productions to gritty and cheap grindhouse flicks to neorealist italian films and hopes to one day write and direct her own films. For now though she tweets garbage @monica_dumb and posts garbage atmonica-jpg. Her top 5 movies are Pulp Fiction, Casino, The Graduate, Freaks and Rome Open City.