Subscribe to Bigsmash!

Films/Television watched 2014

01/01/2014 07:58 by Kier-La Janisse

My second attempt to keep a yearly log of everything I watch. Hopefully if I forgo pictures and exact dates I'll be able to keep it updated this time...Note: not all of these are first-time viewings, the list includes things I'm rewatching.


THE LOVE BOAT Season 5, episode 16 "Green but Not Jolly / Past Perfect Love / Instant Family
(guest starring Tanya Roberts, John Phillip Law, Linda Day and Corey Feldman! Plus Julie dyes her hair green!)

GHOST STORIES (Late Night Work Club, 2013)
Great, cutesy indie animated mid-length anthology ghost film

ABSOLUTION (Anthony Page, 1978)
Decent British boarding school psychodrama based on Anthony Schaeffer play and co-starring the kid from Kes!

LOVE, MARY (Robert Day, TV 1985)
Made for TV movie starring Kristy McNichol. I had been putting this off for a while as I think McNichol lost it a bit after The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. It was really hokey.

SEE THE SEA (Francois Ozon, 1997)
Disturbing short Ozon film recommended to me as a possible inclusion in a future edition of House of Psychotic Women. I would have to agree. Co-starring Marina de Van.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (David Cronenberg, 2005)

SHUTTER ISLAND (Martin Scorcese, 2010)

SCHALCKEN THE PAINTER (Leslie Mugahey, TV 1979)
Fantastic BBC Christmas ghost story starring Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy fame!

WINTER'S BONE (Debra Granik, 2010)
Chris D. thought I would like this movie and I really loved it, even though it took me over three years to follow up on his recommendation!

WISEBLOOD (John Huston, 1979)
"Where you come from is gone. Where you thought you were goin' to... weren't never there. And where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it." Brad Dourif is mesmerising in this film, and this line of dialogue was a staple of my old mixtapes! (which may have come from Ministry's sample in Jesus Built My Hotrod and not the actual film...)

Michael McLeery, the kid I love from Mother's Day shows up at the end as the teen driver - although technnically he was not old enough to drive since he was only 13 when they made the film!

KES (Ken Loach, 1969)
David Bradley is the most adorable waif ever. I've seen this before but still sobbed my eyes out at the end.

What could have been a promising doc about youth transport interventionists - sanctioned thugs who kidnap your children in the middle of the night to take them to juvenile reformatories - is hampered by its most confrontational scenes being revealed as dramatizations.

THE DOG (Allison Berg and François Keraudren, 2013)
"You know I like Mounds? Not Almond Joy. MOUNDS."
Second doc (that I know of) about real-life Dog Day Afternoon bank robber John Wojtowicz.

THE BLAZING WORLD (Jessica Bardsley, 2014)
Short experimental bibliodoc about female depression and shoplifting.

THE HEART OF BRUNO WIZARD (Elisabeth Rasmussen, 2013)
Meandering doc about the frontman for UK punk band The Homosexuals.

THIS MAY BE THE LAST TIME (Sterlin Harjo, 2014)

Afterschoool Special: "SEASONAL DIFFERENCES" (Tom G. Robertson, 1989)
Christmas/Hannukah smakdown starring Meghan Follows (and co-starring Frank Whaley and Jonathan Tiersten of Sleepaway Camp)

Afterschool Special: "A MOVIE STAR'S DAUGHTER" (Robert Fuest, 1979)
Trini Alvarado and the late, great Alexa Kenin in one of a few Afterschool Specials helmed by the director of Dr. Phibes!

Afterschool Special: "AMY AND THE ANGEL" (Ralph Rosenblum, 1982)

Afterschool Special "A SPECIAL GIFT" (Arthur Allan Seidelman, 1979)

Afterschool Special "DON'T TOUCH" (Beau Bridges, 1985)
Lenny Von Dohlen (of Electric Dreams and Twin Peaks) stars as a child molester suspected by a teenage baby sitter played by Kelly Wolf.

Afterschool Special: "THE GREAT LOVE EXPERIMENT" (Claudia Weill, 1984)
OK, Kelly Wolf is officially adorable.

THE GLITTERBALL (Harley Cokeliss, 1977)
One of two Children's Film Foundation specials directed by Harley Cokeliss (who directed an ambryonic version of JG Ballard's Crash in 1970).

Great doc about the pioneering gay porn director and the pop-cultural criss-crossing of his storied career.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS (John Krish, 1984)
Creepy Children's Film Foundation film about kids in an old village trying to settle the ghost of a medieval plague victim.

SUITCASE OF LOVE AND SHAME (Jane Gillooly, 2013)
Weird sexy doc made using just reel to reel audiotapes that were found in an abandoned suitcase.

This 6-part British series is a classic of children's horror television, based on the book 'Marianne Dreams' which was also the basis for Paperhouse.

KEPT (Maki Mizui, 2014)

bizarre puppet exorcism short from the director of Finnisterrae.

FISH AND CAT (Sharam Mokri, 2014)
Unconventional Iranian horror film that uses dread rather than bloodshed in one continuous shot.

SORROW AND JOY (Nils Malmros, 2013)
Sober arthouse drama about a film director who comes home to find that his wife has murdered their baby. Nils Malmros' proclaimed last film, whose tragic event occured in his own real life.

CHERRY PIE (Lorenz Merz, 2014)
Rambling road movie with one manic character who travels from France to Brighton, escaping something that is never disclosed.


RUIN (Amiel Courtin-Wilson, 2013)
The latest from the director of the amazing HAIL. While still visually beautiful, unfortunately this one lacked the intensity and dynamism of HAIL's central performance.

DARKNESS BY DAY (Martin DeSalvo, 2013)
Decent, restrained Argentinian horror with lovely cliffside locations.

SEE NO EVIL (Jos de Putter, 2014)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Nils Malmros, 1983)
A man realizes he has confused jealous feelings when his daughter starts dating. The Nils Malmros film that drove his wife to commit murder. It was eerie watching this after watching SORROW AND JOY, which includes dramatizations of scenes from this film.

FAREWELL TO THE MOON (Dick Tuinder, 2014)

CASTELLO CAVALCANTI (Wes Anderson, 2013)
Short film about a race car driver that crashes in a small Italian village, starring Jason Schwartzman and shot by Darius Khonji. Nice looking but a total waste of talent and money.

OBVIOUS CHILD (Gillian Robespierre, 2014)
Fun! Girl fart/abortion comedy.

METALHEAD (Ragmar Bragason, 2013)
I may be the only person who didn't totally love this. Although the opening accident scene was brutal, the rest was kind of by the numbers but with corpsepaint.

PERISCOPIO (Kiko Goifman, 2013)

THE REUNION (Anna Odell, 2013)
Loved this, uncomfortable doc/art project about an artist who confronts the people who bullied her in school.

SECRETLY GREATLY (Jang Cheol-Soo, 2013)

SOMETHING MUST BREAK (Ester Martin Bergsmark, 2014)
Edgy indie gay film that's a blend of crass and romantic, like early Gregg Araki. Nice golden shower scene.

BELLA VISTA (Vera Brunner-Sung, 2014)

OILFIELDS, MINES, HURRICANES (Fabien Altenreid, 2014)
A man wears a gelatinous fish on his face and walks arond really slowly.

INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. (James Franco and Travis Matthews, 2013)
Franco's re-imagining of the missing 40 minutes from Friedkin's Cruising. Actually pretty smart and funny.

TIGER MORSE (Andy Warhol, 1967)
Rare 16mm screening of this short portrait of the eccentric designer of the vinyl light-up dress.



LA DISTANCIA (Sergio Caballero, 2014)
New film from the director of Finnisterrae

ACHING HEARTS (Nils Malmros, 2009)

ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA (Declan Lowney, 2013)

THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY (Josephine Decker, 2014)
Unexpectedly dark lust on a farm flick with Joe Swanberg

GOD HELP THE GIRL (Stuart Murdoch, 2014)
Musical from the main singer-songwriter of Belle and Sebastian, semi-autobiographical tale of a girl who escapes from a mental hospital and forms a band with a shy musician.

Weird but visually flat fiction film about the kidnapping of the famous French writer, playing himself.

THE PACT 2 (Patrick Hovath and Dallas Hallam, 2014)
Unworthy follow-up to Nicholas McCarthy's great short and feature combo.

RED ROBIN (Michael Wechsler, 2013)
Judd Hirsch as renowned scientist father whose adopted children accuse him of conducting medical experiments on them.

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (Jane Pollard and Ian Forsyth, 2014)
Nick Cave doc by video artists Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth of Cramps-at-Napa-Mental-Hospital-reimagining File Under Sacred Music

STARRY EYES (Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer, 2014)
A girl will go to dangerous lengths to be famous. I can't decide whether this film was totally ridiculous or, as my friend Jose suggested, that its events were not meant to be read literally at all. It was definitely over the top in every way, full of familiar indie faces, and lead actress Alex Essoe really goes for it. A more articulate reading will undoubtedly make the revised edition of my book.

THE BABADOOK (Jennifer Kent, 2013)
Best horror film at EFM.

THE GUEST (Adam Wingard, 2014)
Wingard and frequent screenwriter Simon Barrett master the action thriller subgenre and still manage to sneak in some Christmas lights.

BLIND (Eskil Vogt, 2014)
Great film about a blind woman shut-in who imagines perverted scenarios involving her square husband and some imaginary neighbours.

SUPERNOVA (Tamar van den Dop, 2013)
Uninspired coming of age film

TRIPTYCH (Robert LePage and Pedro Pires, 2014)
Solid drama that follows three characters - a mental patient poetess, her jazz-singer sister and the brain surgeon who has to operate on the latter while experiencing an increasing onset of tremors.

GALORE (Rhys Graham, 2013)
Australian coming of age drama about a girl who cheats with her best friend's boyfriend and then all kinds of bad things happen as a result.

FRANK (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)
Affecting (very) fictional take on the life of Frank Sidebottom, the paper-mache-headed alter-ego of British musician and comedian Chris Sievey. Great cast, great music, just the right amount of quirkiness to still guarantee some kind of mainstream crossover.

A HISTORY OF FEAR (Benjamin Naishtat, 2013)

QUE TA JOIE DEMEURE (Denis Cote,2014)
Existential factory-porn (which just means lots of entrancing repetitive footage of machines doing their thing) about the joys and meaning of work from celebrated Montrealer Denis Cote.

JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (Lisa Gottlieb, 1985)
I watched this a million imes as a budding teen, and after rewatching, it still totally holds up, especially Billy Jacoby as horny brother Buddy, whose every line is pure gold. Co-stars two of my 80s faves, Deborah Goodrich and Clayton Rohner, who apeared together again in April Fool's Day.

PATCHTOWN (Craig Goodwill, 2014)
Goofy Canadian dystopian musical with some impressive production design and Canuxploitation fave Julian Richings as the villain.

DMD KIU LIDT (George Tiller, 2014)
Pretentious but nice-looking mid-length B&W film about Austrian band Ja, Panik featuring stunning, slouching lead singer Andreas Spechtl and a single, epic song.

LITTLE CHILDREN (Todd Field, 2006)
Jackie Earle Haley steals the show as a creepy yet sympathetic pedophile.

A simple ice cream man fantasizes about meeting his favourite soap star, wile the world gradually becomes more and more hostile to him, prompting an act of violence. A great central performance.

WETLANDS (David Wnendt, 2013)
Gross-out romantic comedy based on the popular novel by German MTV VJ Charlotte Roche.

Afterschool Special: VERY GOOD FRIENDS (Richard Bennett, 1977)

Afterschool Special: ANDREA'S STORY: A HITCHHIKING TRAGEDY (Robert Mandel, 1983)
Clunky cautionary rape movie starring smiley child actor Moosie Drier all grown up and great character actor Matt Clark as the father of future LA Law star Michelle Greene.

PAPERHOUSE (Bernard Rose, 1988)
Remake of Marianne Dreams/Escape into Night. Wasn't as creepy as I remembered but I do love the demonization of an alcoholic father as an alternate to the Watchers in the original.

HONKYTONK MAN (Clint Eastwood, 1982)
I think this may be the only thing Alexa Kenin was terrible in. Some nice musical performances but a bit of a lightweight country movie.

APOCALYPTIC (Glenn Triggs, 2013)
Doomsday cult found-footage horror.

Afterschool Special: "FRANCESCA, BABY" (Larry Elikann 1976)

Afterschool Special: "MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID" (Robert Fuest, 1981)

Afterschool Special: "THE HORRIBLE HONCHOS" (Larry Elikann, 1976)

SHADOW OF A DOUBT (Alfred Hitchcock,1943)
Mopey teen infatuated with her serial-killer uncle! Perverse early noir.

13 SINS (Daniel Stamm, 2014)
Decent, tense, but ultimately unnecessary remake of Thai film 13 Beloved, from the director of The Last Exorcism.


MARCH 2014:

SISTERS (Brian DePalma, 1973)
Rewatch for pending DVD liner notes!

XEROX FEROX (John Szpunar, 2013)
A book, not a movie, but I finished reading this today.

AU NOM DE FILS (Vincent Lannoo, 2012)
Surprising French black comedy about a fervent, charitable Christian woman finally losing it with the corrupt priesthood, co-starring Philippe Nahon of Haute Tension and I Stand Alone

ANIMOSITY (Brendan Steere, 2013)
Some serious plot holes but the great performance from lead actress Tracy Willet almost makes you forget them. Also starring the "dog food guy" from my fave film of 2013, Drew Tobia's SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY.


Afterschool Special: "A DESPERATE EXIT" (Martin Tahse, 1986)
Cosby kid commits suicide, Mr Belvedere kid wonders why.

So much debate about the mysterious John Shadow! The least druggie of all druggie films.

QUI ETES VOUS, POLLY MAGGOO? (William Klein, 1966)
They don't really get better then this. This is the kind of film you look at and everything is just RIGHT.

THE FORBIDDEN (Clive Barker, 1978)
Early experimental B+W film bearing the same name as his Books of Blood story that was later adapted as Candyman, but apparently inspired by the myth of Faust.

BLADES of GLORY (Will Speck and Josh Gordon, 2007)

TEEN LUST (Blaine Thurier, 2014)

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL (Merlin Dervisevic, 2013)

HOUSEBOUND (Gerard Johnstone, 2014)

Beautiful short horror film.

STREET OF DREAMS (Martin Sharp, 1988)
Amazing, apocalyptic Tiny Tim doc that contrasts Tiny's falsetto singing, Christian ideologies and drunken debauchery with the 1979 Ghost Train fire at Sydney's Luna Park.


WOLFEN (Michael Wadleigh, 1981)
Psychedelic Bronx-set Nature-strikes-back horror from the director of Woodstock.

THE HOUSE OF THE END TIMES (Alejandro Hidalgo, 2014)

APRIL 2014

THE POOL (Chris W. Mitchell, 2014)

ASMODEXIA (Marc Carrete, 2014)

ABC Afterschool Special: "A FAMILY AGAIN" (Camille Thomasson, 1988)

News special about the death of child actress Judith Barsi.

ABC Afterschool Special: "A QUESTION ABOUT SEX" (Tom Skerritt 1990)

ABC Afterschool Special: "A MATTER OF TIME"

ABC Afterschool Special: "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR"

ABC Afterschool Special: "TWO LOVES FOR JENNY"

MASSAGE PARLOUR MURDERS (Chester Fox and Alex Stevens, 1973)
Fun exploitation film set in 70s Times Square, featuring Chris Jordan who I loved as the constantly-eating neighbour in Joe Sarno's Confessions of a Young American Housewife. Also the soundtrack is the same on used in VInce Collins' 1976 Bicentennial film "200", commissioned by the United States Information Agency!











MAY 2014

Neglected young girl kidnaps a younger child to become her 'mother'. Been wanting to see this since reading about it in Eyeball Magazine over a decade ago. Haunting soundtrack and amazing performances from the two kids.

LA MARGE (Walerian Borowczyk)
rare 35mm screening at the BFI - Joe Dallesandro and Sylvia Kristel in a Last Tango-riff. Shocked to hear 10CC music in a Borowczyk film!

MS. 45 (Abel Ferrarra)
My fave rape-revenge film, restored and on the big screen at a Berlin microcinema!

THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Pedro Almodovar)
Great, twisted film.

Go back