Just Watching A Film: 2023

A Happy New Year means a happy new list of films to watch from my two favourite family film gurus. It’s an eclectic list from different decades and for the first time includes films from Senegal and Palestine.

I haven’t seen any of these before not even What’s Up Doc, which is strange since I love everything about Barbara Streisand; but on first glance I think I’m looking forward to Septembers Daughters of the Dust and Wanda in November, which made me smile straight away! Here’s my list To Be Watched:

January: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, France)
Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and starring Renee Jeanne Falconetti as Joan, this silent film is based on the historical records of her captivity in England, trial and execution and is considered a landmark of cinema.

February: Nights of Cabiria (1957, Italy)
Giulietta Masina stars as Cabiria, a prostitute living in Rome and looking for love in this romantic drama from Federico Fellini.

March: What’s Up Doc? (1972, USA)
A romantic, screwball comedy directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neil.

April: Om Shanti Om (2007, India)
In this fantasy romance, Om, an aspiring actor, is murdered, but when he’s reincarnated he attempts to discover the mystery of his death and find Shanti, the love of his life.

May: 3 Women (1977, USA)
A psychological drama from Robert Altman depicting the mysterious and bizarre relationship between a women (Shelley Duvall), her room mate and co-worker (Sissy Spacek) and the wife of a bar owner (Janice Rule) in a dusty Californian town.

June: Black Girl (1966, Senegal)
A young Senegalese women (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) moves to Antibes to work for a French couple, as she becomes aware of her constrained situation she start to question her life in France. Written and directed by Ousmane Sembène, this was his first feature-length film and is often considered the first Sub-Saharan African film by an African film maker to receive international attention.

July: Beau Travail (1999, France)
Loosely based on Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd, an ex-foreign legion officer recalls his life leading troops in Djibouti.

August: Smooth Talk (1985, Amazon)
15-year-old Connie (Laura Dern) flirts with a stranger in the Northern California suburbs in this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”.

September: Daughters of the Dust (1991, USA)
Set in 1902 this is a portrait of three generations of Gullah women as their family struggle with the decision to migrate from their sea island home off the coast of South Carolina to the mainland.

October: Divine Intervention (2002, Palestine)
Set in the segregated world of checkpoints and bombings, two lovers arrange clandestine meetings in this satire on life both sides of the Palestinian-Isreali border.

November: Wanda (1970, USA)
Written, directed and starring Barbara Loden, an apathetic woman living in Pennsylvania inadvertently goes on the run with a bank robber. 

December: Ikiru (1952, Japan)
When Kanji Watanabe, a Tokyo bureaucrat, discovers he is terminally ill he sets out on a final quest for meaning in his life in this reflective drama from Kurosawa.

12 thoughts on “Just Watching A Film: 2023

  1. Yep, What’s Up, Doc? is the only one I’ve seen, way back when it was new and so was I! Loved it at the time, but don’t remember much about it now. I haven’t even heard of the others on your list! 😂 Happy watching!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think they’ve surpassed themselves with little known films this year, I had heard of Joan of Arc and Doc and that’s it – all available on Netflix, Amazon or BFI though!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you Rose, sorry it’s taken me a while to get started! I can’t spot a theme at all, I feel a bit baffled actually but hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have some favourites!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beau Travail is excellent, as is Daughters of the Dust, although it’s years since I saw either of them. Both Wanda and Ikuri are on my BFI Player watchlist, so I hope to get to those two at some point this year. Happy viewing, Jane – a fascinating list as ever!

    Liked by 1 person

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