I already posted my thoughts on the seven “Man” films. Here’s the rest of the letter M. This letter was plagued by an abundance of technical problems.
Note: Of course, I loved Microcosmos and The Maltese Falcon and Magnolia and Midnight Cowboy and Minority Report and Manufacturing Consent and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and my all-time favorite Murder, My Sweet. But those are films I’ve already seen. The following are films I wanted to see, but hadn’t, until now.
- Malcolm X — 1992. I can’t believe I never sawa this before. Parts of it seemed familiar, but maybe that’s because of my vague familiarity with Malcolm X’s story. Fascinating stuff.
- My Life as a Dog — 1985. Sweet, sad, superb. And Swedish. I actually did see this at the Ryder film series back in the 80s, and it was every bit as good as I remembered.
- Manhattan — 1979. I think this is Woody Allen’s best film, at least of the one’s I’ve seen.
- Monsoon Wedding — 2001. Charming. I love weddings, and I’ve always wanted to visit India.
- Mountains of the Moon — 1990. Uncritically celebratory of Europe’s exploitation of Africa, but an enjoyable tale nonetheless.
- Mrs. Brown — 1997. Politically suspect, with its adulatory view of royalty, but another enjoyable tale of Victorian England.
- Mr. Deeds Goes to Town — 1936. Don’t care much for Gary Cooper. He was OK in this, but it’s very much Frank Capra’s movie.
- Marnie — 1964. A not-very-good film by Alfred Hitchcock is still marginally interesting.
- Marat/Sade — 1967. Complex and challenging. Radical play marred by bad transfer to DVD.
- Matewan — 1987. I wanted to like this movie a lot more. Great subject matter (the Coal Wars of the early 1920s), but it deserves a better telling. Another inferior transfer to DVD.
- Melvin and Howard — 1980. A good-natured loser gives a ride to an old bum who turns out to be Howard Hughes. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I’d known it was based on a true story. But really, this is mostly the story of Melvin’s life, and it seems somewhat aimless. The movie could have used more Howard and less Melvin.
- The Mystery of Picasso — 1956. Watch Picasso paint a series of twenty works. That’s it — nothing but painting! I preferred the commentary tracks to the music. Probably of greater interest to painters and art students.
- The Maids — 1974. I found this Jean Genet play barely watchable. Another inferior transfer to DVD.
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller — 1971. Altman’s alt.western flick. Again, not a great transfer to DVD. I think I might have enjoyed this more if I was strapped down in a movie theater and forced to may close attention to every detail. As it was, I found the hwole thing kind of a yawner.
- Medium Cool — 1969. Required viewing for any serious student of the 60s, but mostly boring. Maybe I should have listened to the commentary instead of the regular soundtrack.
- My Man Godfrey — 1936. Starts off interestingly, with some class tension, but quickly degenerates into shrill and tedious farce. Oh, it is supposed to be a screwball comedy. Overexposed film print, too.
Not sure what to think:
- Mephisto — 1981. A brilliant German stage actor sells out to the Nazis. When we watched this I was a little drunk, and it was late, and I started nodding off. Plus, the DVD skipped about 25 minutes, so I think we missed a major chunk of the story. But I didn’t care enough to rectify the problem, so that tells you something.
- McKenzie Break — 1970. After I put this one in the player I heard a loud pop and the screen said, “Bad disk.” When I ejected, I discovered the DVD was severely cracked! Could have gotten a replacment, but I decided I didn’t really want to watch this war movie.
Hmmm… Looks like we’ve made it halfway through the alphabet.