Day 112: The Mountain Between Us 2017 + The Love Punch (2013) + Twenty articles later!

The Mountain Between Us 2017

Sitting in a cinema watching a movie. I had expected to be home looking after my oldest, who has a tummy bug, but she’d been brave and decided to go back to school today, despite two days off sick. With a window of opportunity open, I decided to see Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Right at the last moment, standing at the ticket counter, I changed my mind and decided to watch the original film again, first, and see The Mountain Between Us (2017) instead, now. I don’t know anything about it and I’m not particularly enticed to see any film with Kate Winslet. I’ve nothing against her. She’s one of the best actresses around. I thought she was very good in The Reader (2008).

Blade Runner (1982) isn’t a film I need to see to refresh my memory but as it is on the 2012 Directors list, I’m including it on the films to see this year. There’s no better time than this week to see the original again. It is one of a handful of – maybe ten – films which I’ve seen more often than any other film.

I don’t need to see it again before seeing the sequel, made 35-years-later. I’ve seen it more times than I’ve seen any of the guilty pleasures below:

  • 10 (1979)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • Die Hard (1986)
  • Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • The Great Waltz (1938)
  • The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Silverado (1985)
  • Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Victor Victoria (1982)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • You Can’t Take it With You (1938)

The Love Punch (2013)

It’s not a film I needed to add to my brain’s already bulging capacity, but I couldn’t have handled anything demanding tonight. Something light and fluffy.

I wonder why Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan took this on? It’s one of those bad movies which people accept when they want to go somewhere they’ve never been before.

I’ve read that Michael Caine often accepts films based on where they’re based and that Nicole Kidman accepts films based on whether she wants to work with the director. The draft of the screenplay they may or may not read is secondary. It’s not a bad yardstick.

Anyone who’s worked in the industry for a while knows that the script you accept today will be significantly different to the script they type up at the end of filming. Better to attach your fortune to another criteria: 1 – money; 2 – location; or 3 – director.

I’m not sure what happened with the The Love Punch (2013).

Some actors just like to keep busy. Some actors need the assurance of knowing they’re still desirable because they’re still – well – desirable.

Twenty articles later!

Comments made online can always come back to bite you and yesterday’s comments about not really enjoying The Rules of the Game (1939), probably will. I read a lot of articles today about this film.

Last night I chose to post a very personal and very real response to my second-viewing of the film, despite revealing my complete and utter ignorance of what films are great and what’s not.

I did it to be true to the project so that when I come around to understanding Régle more fully, with a completely new appreciation of it, I can look back and see the growth: the expansion of my mind, if a further expansion is even possible.

I’ve decided to put next week’s planned films on hold, in favour of watching more films by Jean Renoir. I’ve watched four Jean Renoir films but I’ve tracked down another seven: The River (1951), La Bête Humaine (1938), La petite marchande d’allumettes (1928), The Lower Depths (1936), French Cancan (1955), The Southerner (1945) and Elena et les homes (1956).

As much as this 100 Greatest Films Ever project has become an exercise – getting through all of the films on the list – the more serious aspect is that I’m trying to understand more about the nature of film, in all its variety: especially in its particular era and in its particular culture.

In finding a personal meaning or understanding in Régle elusive – maybe even illusive – I hopefully can discover something beyond all the words that I have read today which haven’t brought me any closer to liking this film. I appreciate it just fine. I just don’t love it.

It’s time to go back to square one. To re-read everything I’ve written down about Régle, write my observations into a kind of essay, and then move on to other Renoir films.

One of the reasons I’m staying in the land of Renoir for another week, is that in Richard Roud’s book, Cinema: A Critical Dictionary, he writes,

“Every man has his own Renoir; indeed, if Renoir is, as I believe, the greatest of all filmmakers, one reason is that his oeuvre is so varied, rich and complex.”

Greatest of all filmmakers? That’s a big call.

And who is Richard Roud when he’s not writing critical dictionaries? He was, when the book was published in 1980, Director of the New York Film Festival, and former program director of the National Film Theatre and the London Film Festival; and was – from 1963-1970 – film critic of The Guardian.