Just Watching A Film: 2022

It’s a happy crisp new year and that means a crisp new list of films to watch from my lovely daughter. It’s an eclectic list as usual but I think it’s slightly more modern – there are 4 titles from this century and 8 of the 12 are after 1980.

The highlight for me is in July, I think Almodóvar makes perfect films for summer evenings so I’m really looking forward to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I found Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Women quite difficult last year so I’m interested to see if I get on any better with La Ciénaga . Anyway here’s the list to be watched:

January: After Life (1998, Japan)
A group of people who have recently died are asked to choose one memory to take with them for eternity.

February: The Double Life of Veronique (1991, France/Poland)
Two parallel stories about two identical women, one in Poland the other in France, whose lives are profoundly connected although they don’t know it.

March: I am Cuba (1964, Soviet Union/Cuba)
Four vignettes about the lives of Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

April: It Happened One Night (1934, USA)
Clarke Gable and Claudette Colbert team up as mis-matched lovers in this screwball comedy – could this be the first Hollywood rom-com?

May: The Woman Who Ran (2020, S. Korea)
When her ever-present husband finally goes away on business, a woman visits three friends and reflects on her life choices.

June: Shirkers (2018, Singapore)
In 1992, Sandi Tan and her friends shot a quirky film on the streets of Singapore. Then the footage disappeared, sending her on a hunt for answers. I already feel confused by this!

July: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, Spain)
A black comedy with bite written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, whose films I love so I’m amazed I haven’t already seen this.

August: Grizzly Man (2005, USA)
Pieced together from Timothy Treadwell’s actual video footage, Werner Herzog’s remarkable documentary examines the calling that drove Treadwell to live among a tribe of wild grizzly bears on an Alaskan reserve.

September: La Ciénaga (2001, Argentina)
The story of a group of families passing the summer in a rural country house that roves, rambles, and stumbles into each new event.

October: Sunset Boulevard (1950, USA)
Norma Desmond, an ageing silent-screen actor, gets a second shot at fame when a screenwriter agrees to write a script for her. Classic black comedy from Billy Wilder

November: Throne of Blood (1957, Japan)
Macbeth is transferred to medieval Japan and a Samurai warrior.

December: Caravaggio (1986, UK)
Derek Jarman’s fictionalised re-telling of the life of Caravaggio, with Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.

There’s a lot that looks very interesting here but I’ve learnt that it’s often the oddballs that are the ones I remember the most. Last years list contained the bonkers Czech film Daisies and the utterly beautiful Portrait of a Lady on Fire, but my favourite of the year might just be The Watermelon Women. Written and directed by Cheryl Dunye, it was so fresh and she was such a fun person to spend a couple of hours with, I’m wondering if Shirkers might have the same vibe?

26 thoughts on “Just Watching A Film: 2022

    1. It’s a long wait until the Kurosawa and Jarman but they’re highlights for me too. I see that Kurosawa did The Idiot as well which is intriguing, may be one for next year?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A fantastic selection of films here, including some of my personal favourites: The Double Life of Veronique, Sunset Boulevard, After Life, and the Almodóvar. It’s years since I last saw It Happened One Night, but I recall it being very good. Happy viewing, Jane!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have seen The Headless Woman. I loved it! It’s a very unsettling film, and the complicity/sense of ambiguity is so striking. I haven’t seen La Cienga, but I’m curious to see how you find it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only seen one of these but it’s one of my favourite films of all time – Sunset Boulevard. I might have seen It Happened One Night too since it would undoubtedly have been shown many times on TV, but if so it has left no impression. Enjoy your watching!

    Liked by 1 person

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