In 2018 I asked my daughter for a list of films that she thought everyone should see, it was a lovely eclectic list that covered different genres, nationalities and decades. I learnt a lot about cinema and watched some films I would never have chosen myself. This year she’s given me a list of 12 films, each chosen for its specific month:
January: Diabolique (France, 1955)
A psychological horror/thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzet
February: The Arbor (UK, 2010)
A documentary with fictional elements that tells the story of playwright Andrea Dunbar and her life growing up on a Bradford housing estate. Directed by Clio Barnard.
March: Paris, Texas (USA, 1984)
Directed by Wim Wenders, ‘A tale of loss, redemption and the ties that bind a family together.’
April: Our Little Sister (Japan, 2015)
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian calls this ‘A touching but unsentimental take on sisterly love.’
May: Cleo From 5 to 7 (France, 1962)
What to do when you have 2 hours to spare in Paris. Directed by Agnès Varda.
June: Elephant (USA, 2003)
A drama that chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting directed by Gus Van Sant.
July: Persepolis (Iran, 2007)
Written and directed by Marjane Satrapi, this animated film is based on her autobiographical graphic novel.
August: Do The Right Thing (USA 1989)
A comedy drama produced, written and directed by Spike Lee, following one scorchingly hot day in Brooklyn.
September: The Headless Woman (Argentina, 2008)
Psychological thriller directed and written by Lucrecia Martel.
October: Poetry (South Korea, 2010)
Written and directed by Lee Chang-dong, a women in her 60’s develops an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimers and her grandson.
November: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie (France/Spain 1972)
A surrealist fantasy drama directed by Luis Buñuel.
December: The Big City (India, 1963)
Directed by Satyajit Ray, life changes for a middle-class women from a conservative family in Calcutta when she starts working as a saleswomen.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of The Big City anywhere so Cry-Baby was chosen instead. A teen musical rom-com directed by John Waters in 1990. Set in Baltimore in 1954 teenage culture is divided between the ‘Drapes’ and the ‘Squares’. Johnny Depp stars as rebel Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker who drives the girls wild with his ability to shed a single tear and Amy Locane is Allison Vernon-Williams, the Square he falls for.
At first glance the one I’m most looking forward to is Our Little Sister, because the Japanese film I watched in the previous list Late Spring, was so beautiful. But who knows, a real surprise of 2018’s list was M, Fritz-Lang’s 1931 film about the hunt for a serial child killer. . .