Some Movies Recommendations

A very short movie list for you. Just some movies I watched this year that I really liked. You might too.

Topaze (1933)

Prof. Topaze is a truly innocent man in a corrupt world. Not some evil bad world, just your normal everyday corrupt one. He really believes in the simple morals he teaches his pupils. The children seem to have more awareness of the true nature of their world than he does. But somehow, with the way this is played, he doesn’t come across as idiotic. It’s the corrupt machinations of the world that are stupid and silly.

He refuses to give a child good grades when the boy hasn’t earned them. The mother, a high society type, insists. Topaze loses his job. By a curious twist of fate he starts working for the boy’s father as an unwitting front for a corrupt scheme. And the professor slowly learns how the world really works.

This film is a delight.

Forever Female (1953)

Ginger Rogers plays an actor in her 40s who is still playing girl-becoming-her-own-woman types of roles.

I was surprised by this. I wasn’t expecting much. It is a typical old movie in fairness. But it also shows part of the good side of growing older; growing acceptance of yourself and of what you can and cannot do.

I don’t know. I just liked it. And the relationship between Paul Douglas and Ginger Rogers characters wasn’t typical old movie stuff and it was believable.

Also when I watched it I was after reading different bits and pieces on research into stopping ageing. They weren’t serious in depth features. But I was really surprised by how much I find the idea of stopping ageing or overcoming mortality to be quite a horrifying prospect. I’m all for overcoming disease and any type of discomfort really – but we’re part of something. We’re part of life cycles. We age. We die. These cycles are all part of something much larger. Ageing is natural and beautiful really. I find the idea of separating from that natural cycle deeply unsettling. But hey, maybe I’m just old fashioned.

The other thing I liked about this is that Ginger Rogers in her 40s is a playing the role of a woman in her 40s and it’s a good one.

Jestem morderca (2016) I’m a Killer

This is based on a true story. In the 1970s in Poland a serial killer of women, nicknamed the Silesian Vampire, was at large. The police were under great pressure to stop the murders and they had no experience of hunting down a serial killer.

We follow the story from the perspective of a young ambitious detective who is determined to get his man. You develop a lot of sympathy for the police and how difficult their job is. And you can understand how important it is for them to get the guy and make sure they get evidence together. And it’s good to see them have some success. Not so good to watch as they get trapped by it and it becomes difficult to express any doubts.

This is really good. Very sympathetically done with regards to all the characters.

Učitelka (2016) The Teacher

I don’t know if this is based on a true story. It certainly seems very realistic.

In the 1980s a teacher working at a school in Bratislava is making life and learning difficult for parents and some pupils. She is well connected to some high official in the Communist party. She asks her pupil’s parent to do favours for her, and if they don’t comply she destroys their child’s grades or refuses to let them attend to their extra-curricular activities.

The parents have a meeting to discuss what to do. But what can they do? What would you do in that situation?

It’s very good.

Some situations you can’t deal with until they no longer exist.

In a way this is a great companion to Topaze.

The Night Eats the World (2018)

A young man attends a party in a flat Paris. His ex invited him. But she’s too busy with other people to have time for him. He ends up crashing at the flat. Wakes up the next morning to find … zombies!!!

Actually this is great. I loved it. It doesn’t have much gore. It does have that sense of isolation, and having your world, your reality, ripped from you. A world which you weren’t exactly thrilled with to begin with. And there is an uncomprehending brutality clawing at your door. And the situation is so inhuman that it threatens your own humanity as much as it threatens your life.

Now that’s what I call a zombie movie.

And this is nicely done – loads of nice touches to it.

I’m after finding clips of it in French. The version I saw was in English and wasn’t dubbed. Anyway it’s out there, take a look.

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