Last week I attended a Silent Film Festival, which was great, but it also reduced my interest in continuing watching oscar nominated silent films. So I introduced The Randomizer to change things up from time to time. It’s as simple as it sound. Random number from 1-4823, the amount of oscar nominated films, corresponding to the number on this list. Worked out great.
The Jazz Singer (1927)
My first film this week, after a bunch of silent films was ironically the very first sound film. Even though it is a silent film for the majority of the movie. If it wasn’t for this technologically achievement, the film would probably not have been remembered well. It’s okay, but the sound is a stand out, of course. And the black face. It’s pretty fascinating just how casual someone paining himself in black face is in the movie. The most dramatic scene in the movie is during black face. I had a hard time taking it serious.
Mouse and Garden (1960)
So here is where I used the randomizer, which selected I Never Sang for My Father, and since it was a rather short film I wanted to have a short to warm up with first, so the randomizer picked Mouse and Garden, a Looney Tunes cartoon. Not the best I’ve seen. I wanted to check out the competition it had in its oscar category, so next one became…
A Place in the Sun (1959)
Is basically Pixars (also nominated animated short film) Night and Day, only 51 years prior. A fun watch.
Was the winner, and it is not hard to see why as it is aimed to adults and has strong politically themes.
High Note (1960)
Probably my favorite of the bunch. It is very creative, not only in its concept, but also the use of “camera” angles, music, characters and style.
Goliath II (1960)
I realized I had watched this before, several times, when I was a kid. It was almost like having Deja Vu through the entire film. The is almost like a prequel to the Jungle Book when it comes to style, and it was the very first Disney film to use the animation process called xerography, that most of the disney films in the 60’s and 70’s used.
I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
So for the main feature of the randomizer this day. Based on a play, and it is noticeable. It takes place in mostly one setting, with a solid script and great acting. I enjoyed it.
Days of Thunder (1990)
Because a friend of mine was coming over and we wanted to watch an action film. And we both like Tom Cruise. Not a great film, but the sound for which it was nominated for was.
So after a de-tour, it was back on track and straight to the beginning. The very first best picture winner. It surprised me how little has changed in almost 100 years when it comes to spectacular blockbusters. It was great fun, and the production was insanely good. The air battles alone are crazy!
7th Heaven (1927)
Next, I was planning a Janet Gaynor double feature with this and Street Angel, but after watching this the silent film fatigue struck once again. I did enjoy a lot of 7th Heaven, but it’s too long, with unnecessary comedic scenes, and a disappointing ending. Gaynor’s eyebrow acting is on point, though.
Mon Oncle (1958)
Back to the randomizer, and it chose a film I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. I love Play Time and M. Hulot’s Holiday by the great Jacques Tati. But Mon Oncle was kind of a tough watch for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I loved parts of the film, but it just felt so slow. Bummer. Maybe I had to high expectations.
The Illusionist (2010)
It just felt right to follow up Mon Oncle with anothe Tati film (so to speak). Based on an old screenplay by Tati, it is starring him (his likeness that is) and it even has a cameo from Mon Oncle. It was really sweet and moving. Loved it! Hopefully Tati would have loved it too.