January was a pretty good movie watching month, although it seemed like I didn’t watch as many as I usually do. I’ve been distracted from my movie watching obsession because of a new one: the kpop boy group EXO. But I did make it to the movie theater five times last month which was wonderful. I hope to keep it up for the rest of the year. Also, I know I’m posting this five days into February but it’s been really hectic lately. I’ve limited myself to three films only because I’m struggling to write well and I didn’t watch enough notable ones. I would like to mention Denzel Washington’s Fences however, which is amazing.
Here’s what I loved in January:
dir: Alfred Hitchcock
A stunning and disturbing piece of work. I was most impressed by the camerawork. It was actually shot in one continuous take! Rope is a masterful film that doesn’t just build up suspense but shrouds the viewer in it. There is nothing but dread and intensity for its 80 minute runtime. “Did you think you were God, Brandon?!”
Hidden Figures (2016)
dir: Theodore Melfi
A film which celebrates the achievements of three unsung black women. But that’s usually the case when it comes to extraordinary black women or other people of color; they’re often missing from our history books. Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) helped put men in space with their unmatched minds and skills. How important are their stories and this film for black girls who aspire to be in the STEM fields. It was also great to see a film which acknowledged the civil rights struggle without glossing over the racism. Black struggle and joy were wedded together and that was something I really appreciated. There was still a moment in which Kevin Costner solved racism, but it’s an extraordinary film regardless.
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2016)
dir: Fisher Stevens, Alexis Bloom
A beautiful and sharply funny tribute to the love story of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Their unique bond and individual personalities shine through in equal measure. Although I can’t imagine the depth of loss and grief Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd are experiencing, I think this film is good for them and the fans. On a related note, I got to see Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen last month (!), as part of TCM’s Fathom Events screenings. I met a lady at the theater who told me it was her favorite musical ever. She met both Carrie and Debbie and she has a newborn niece who was named after Debbie as well. I was so glad that she shared all of that with me, and it made me even happier to know how special Debbie and Carrie are to so many people.