Question: Your anticipated films of 2017/2018 ?

 

Rustic Signboard With The Words Coming Soon

 

I wrote a similar post at the start of the year at my old blog. Suffice to say, many of the anticipated films of the year so far were good but not great. A YouTuber I follow called movies of this era “passable“, just good enough to be acceptable, but rarely reaching greatness. I would have to agree. If you want to find originality these days, Hollywood (with a few exceptions this year such as Get Out, Mother!, Moonlight) is not the place to look. It’s tempting to explore foreign, European cinema instead, which offer fresh perspectives.

 

I realize some of the below have been released in other parts of the world already. The thing is, I’m still waiting, we are often late getting them to our screens in Denmark.
Bare in mind, this is not an attempt at an exhaustive list. Just a selection of key titles that interest me. Click the links for trailers and local release dates. Without further ado, let’s look ahead!

 

 

 

 

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Red Turtle (2016) (Michael Dudok de Wit) (dvd, September 25)

 

 

 

 

 

The Square 2017

The Square (2017)  (Ruben Östlund) (November)
(Winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in May. From the look of the trailer, the film is about art exhibitions and their place in society, with a twist of absurdity.
Östlund’s last effort, Force Majeure, was my favorite film of 2014, a black comedy-family drama set at a ski resort)

 

 

 

 

Thelma (2017)

Thelma (2017) (Joachim Trier) (November)
(Norwegian Joachim Trier is among my favorite Scandinavian directors working today. Thelma is a change of direction from realism into supernatural territory)

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Name (2016) (Makoto Shinkai) (dvd, November 6)

 

 

 

 

 

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On Body and Soul (2017) (Ildikó Enyedi) (November)
(Hungary’s Foreign Film Oscar submission. Won the Golden Bear in the main competition section of the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) (Rian Johnson) (December)
(Force Awakens was familiar yet satisfying, with Harrison Ford back to his wise-cracking best. A number of fans felt E7 was too safe and retro, and they did have a point, but the cliffhanger ending left many eager for the next chapter. Will be interesting to see what the future holds for the characters, both new and old)

 

 

 

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England is Mine (2017) (Mark Gill) (dvd, December 4)
(Didn’t receive a theatrical release over here. Mixed reviews so far, but if you are a fan of The Smiths, it’s hard to ignore this biopic, about Morrissey and his rise to fame. Judging from the trailer, the actor who portrays him has nailed the voice)

 

 

 

 

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Lost In Paris (2016) (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon) (dvd, December 4)
(A sweet, whimsical comedy. Released at festivals in 2016, in cinemas in 2017. Alex at Boycotting Trends placed it as one of his top 15 of 2017 )

 

 

 

 

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World of Tomorrow Episode 2 (2017) (Don Hertzfeldt) (rent, Dec 20)

 

 

 

 

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Væbnet med ord & vinger (2018) (Torben Skjødt Jensen) (January, 2018)
(Documentary about Danish 80s poet Michael Strunge. The director has previously made feature length docs about other famous Danes, Carl Th. Dreyer and Asta Nielsen)

 

 

 

 

 

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A Ghost Story (2017) (David Lowery) (dvd, January 15)

 

 

 

 

 

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Daphne (2017) (Peter Mackie Burns) (dvd, January 22)

 

 

 

 

 

Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread (2017) (Paul Thomas Anderson) (Feb, 2018)
(I liked The Master and There Will Be Blood, but hated Inherent Vice. Surely another oscar nomination is in the cards for Daniel Day-Lewis. This is said to be his final performance before he retires)

 

 

 

 

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The Shape of Water (2017) (Guillermo del Toro) (Feb, 2018)
(The reviews have been glowing. Appears to be a return to form for the Mexican filmmaker, in what could be described as another del Torian-ian fantasy/fairy tale. Interestingly, Salley Hawkins plays a quiet, isolated woman, presumably the polar opposite of talkative Poppy in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky)

 

 

 

 

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Call Me by Your Name (2017) (Luca Guadagnino) (Feb, 2018)
(From the maker of A Bigger Splash.  Set in early 80s Italy, gay romances don’t particularly interest me, unless they are done exceptionally well, such as Blue is the Warmest Color. Call Me by Your Name is being hailed as one of  2017’s best, and might be this year’s surprise find)

 

 

 

 

 

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You Were Never Really Here (2017) (Lynne Ramsay) (March, 2018)
(Lynne Ramsay is a talented director. Expect another powerhouse performance from Joaquin Phoenix. A film that apparently pays homage to Scorsese’s Taxi Driver)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Florida Project (2017) (Sean Baker) (March, 2018)
(Will likely gain oscar attention, the child acting has been particularly praised. Perhaps this year’s Captain Fantastic, though potentially a more accomplished film)

 

 

 

 

 

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Loving Vincent (2017) (Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman) (March, 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

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Lady Bird (2017) (Greta Gerwig) (April, 2018)
(Positive reviews have me intrigued. Greta Gerwig co-wrote Frances Ha and Mistress America.  Lady Bird, which she wrote and directed, sees Gerwig staying behind the camera, and has been spoken of as her strongest effort to date)

 

 

 

 

 

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Tully (2018) (Jason Reitman) (April, 2018)
(I’ve followed Reitman’s career and enjoyed most of his stuff, including the critically maligned Labor Day (2013). Hopefully re-teaming with Diablo Cody and Charlize Theron brings out the best in all of them)

 

 

 

 

 

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Juliet, Naked (2018) (Jesse Peretz) (August, 2018)
(Based on the book by Nick Hornby. Check my review of the novel here. World premiere at Sundance in January)

 

 

 

 

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The House That Jack Built (2018) (Lars von Trier) (November, 2018)
(At first was going to be a tv series. The latest is it’s a drama/horror/thriller feature. The plot about a serial killer sounds controversial, and you wouldn’t expect anything else considering his filmography.  I’m sure it’s a challenging film, as is all his work)

 

 

 

 

Mute (2017)

Mute (2017) (Duncan Jones) (2018 Netflix release)
(Has been labelled a spiritual sequel to Jones’ earlier film, 2009’s Moon w/ Sam Rockwell)

 

 

 

 

Life After Flash

Life After Flash (2017) (Lisa Downs)
(A kickstarter funded documentary. Won’t appeal to everyone. For those who love the movie Flash Gordon (1980), like myself, this is a must-see. Had its world premiere in London in October. Hopefully an on-demand vimeo release for the rest of the world will happen soon)

 

 

 

 

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Ex Libris: New York Public Library (2017) (Frederick Wiseman)
(A look within the walls of the New York Public Library)

 

 

 

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First Reformed (2017) (Paul Schrader)
(I’m not sure what to make of this one. If you believe the early hype, writer/director Paul Schrader has made a comeback worthy of notice. Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried co-star. As of now, slated for a US release in April 2018)

 

 

 

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Hal aka Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story (2018) (documentary) (Amy Scott)
(In the vein of Spielberg (2017), another career retrospective by a female director, this time the focus is acclaimed 70s director Hal Ashby. He is responsible for such classics as Harold and Maude, The Last Detail (pictured), and Being There)

 

 

 

The Souvenir Part I (2018)

The Souvenir: Part I (2018) (Joanna Hogg)
(I enjoy Joanna Hogg’s work, which up to now have been smaller budget character studies. Her next project is an ambitious two-parter. A 1980s-set romantic mystery that centers on a young film student who is involved in her first serious love affair with a complicated and untrustworthy man. The risk is with a bigger production the substance becomes watered-down, I hope she is able to keep her creative vision intact)

 

 

 

Sweet Country (2017)

Sweet Country (2017) (Warwick Thornton)
(I had honestly never heard of this Australian western until Jordan mentioned it to me on Twitter. A letterboxd reviewer described the story as “No Sweet Country for Old Men”. Currently at 100% on RT. Look for a 2018 release)

 

 

 

What do you think? What are you looking forward to? As always, comments are welcome

 

List updated 5 January

 

Question: Which music blogs should I follow?

I’m currently struggling to attract people to respond to my music posts. I can hardly be bothered to write about music when interaction/feedback is minimal.

I’m wondering whether I should discontinue music posts and just write album reviews for myself on Rate Your Music. Isn’t worth the effort posting contents on a blog if the audience isn’t there. Sorry if I’m playing the “hard done by” card. I just feel a little disheartened by the time I put into the posts and the lack of response. It’s frustrating there are millions of music fans online yet I feel I’m unable to reach them.

Perhaps my content just isn’t unique or personal enough, who knows.  I can see there are lots of music bloggers who comment on each others blogs, many on wordpress, but I can’t seem to get hardly any to swing by these parts, even though I’ve been on blogspot since 2010, and visited plenty of music sites. It’s been said blogging is ”dying” even if I think there is proof that it isn’t dead.

Of course, it isn’t only me, me, me, and my comment section that matters. 😊  Reading other music blogs is fun and educational, regardless if they comment back on my site or not.

To sum up, I’d like to increase the number of commenters. I can’t force others to comment though.
Any suggestions? Do wordpress users avoid blogspot? Which friendly music bloggers should I seek out so as to expand my network? 

Question: Your anticipated films/albums/books of 2017?

In this post, I’ve listed my most anticipated films and albums. You can click on the links for descriptions/trailers. New books I don’t follow, I prefer to read the classics.

I realize several of the below films have already been released in some areas of the world. The thing is, I’m still waiting for them in Denmark, we are often late getting them to our screens.
I included a bunch of these based on early buzz. One More Time with Feeling was praised by Jordan, The Wailing by Zach, Elle by Lisa, The Handmaiden by Sati, Christine by Dave, and T2 Trainspotting by Anne. There’s no guarantee I’ll react the same way though.

 

Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve) (October)

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson) (December)

 

One More Time with Feeling (Andrew Dominik)

 

Elle (Paul Verhoeven)

 

Christine (Antonio Campos)

 

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

The Wailing (Hong-jin Na)

A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies)

Song to Song (Terrence Malick)

The Handmaiden (Chan-wook Park)

 

Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari)

 

Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo)

T2 Trainspotting (Danny Boyle)

Mute (Duncan Jones)


Other films:
Logan (James Mangold)
Tully (Jason Reitman)
Happy End (Michael Haneke)
The Square (Ruben Östlund)
Inner City (Dan Gilroy)
Thelma (Joachim Trier)
Downsizing (Alexander Payne)

 

2017 Anticipated Albums:

 

I’m looking back rather than forward at the moment. Prefer to explore the classics.
Most of my anticipated are tentatively set for 2017 and may not arrive until 2018. Only two have an official release date so far.

 

Silver Eye by Goldfrapp (March 31)

Life Will See You Now by Jens Lekman (Feb 17)

Ylajali by Fleet Foxes

Other albums, TBA:
Arcade Fire
Beck
Gorillaz
The National
The War on Drugs
Jessie Ware
Lana Del Rey
Phoenix
Belle and Sebastian
Björk
Arctic Monkeys
Dear Tommy by Chromatics

Feel free to join in and list your own anticipated films/albums/books of the year

Question: your favorite Christmas-related films?

I’m probably jumping the gun, as I haven’t watched every so-called Christmas classic.
Below are a few I enjoy, including three short films:

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) (Frank Capra)
Probably one of the most uplifting and inspiring films ever made. A feel-good drama with fantasy elements. Arguably James Stewart’s finest performance, he has an effortless charm. Stewart plays George Bailey, a thin, skinny, well-meaning and selfless character, who has much responsibility. He grows up in Bedford Falls in Connecticut and dreams about leaving and exploring the world. At the same time, he feels duty towards the community. My favourite scene is between Mary and George, when they talk about the future and he promises to pull the moon down for her. Like The Shipping News (2001), a film about community and what that entails, pros and cons.

Santa Claus – The Movie (1985) (Jeannot Szwarc)
The Christmas movie I have rewatched the most. They seemed to show Santa Claus – The Movie on TV every Christmas in the UK when I grew up. Probably my first movie memory, I was not very old when I first saw it, maybe 5, so obviously very nostalgic. Heck, I even rented the video once as a child when it wasn’t even Christmas! The effects still hold up well, especially the reindeer sleigh-rides. They had a budget of 50 million dollars, which in 1985 was huge. The money is up on the screen and the toy workshops look amazing. The actors I thought were perfectly cast, the short actor Dudley Moore as the small elf Patch, the fatherly David Huddleston as Santa Claus, and John Lithgow as the sinister toy manufacturer. The story is partly about the origins of Santa Claus and might even get you interested to find out more about the history of the real Saint Nicholas. Probably will appeal more to kids. A film that can get you in the mood to celebrate Christmas.

A Christmas Story (1983) (Bob Clark)
The quintessential American Christmas movie. From the perspective of a young boy, we’ve all been kids who wanted something desperately for Christmas. Very quotable and rewatchable. With relatable childhood moments at school and with the family at home.



Black Christmas (1974)  (Bob Clark) 
Odd how Bob Clark made the beloved family-friendly A Christmas Story in 1983, yet even earlier made a horror film with Christmas in the title.
Black Christmas is one of the earliest and most influential slashers. A murder mystery in which a community receive obscene phone calls, those calls still hold up as very creepy.

Gremlins (1984) (Joe Dante)
Part comedy, part horror. Not for kids, I remember I saw it fairly young, before the 15 rating on the video box said I should. The cute little creatures are not all cuddly!! Amazing to me how many classic 80s movies Corey Feldman is in, he reminds me of childhood. Feels very 80s, they don’t make them like this anymore. A definite nostalgic movie. Joe Dante was at the top of his game in the 80s.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) (Jeremiah S. Chechik) 
A goofy comedy classic. A bit uneven, but very funny in places, especially the dinner scenes cracked me up.
The third installment in National Lampoon’s Vacation film series, written by John Hughes, and based on his short story in National Lampoon Magazine, Christmas ‘59.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (Henry Selick) 

I guess you can watch this to celebrate Halloween or Christmas. Atmospheric and timeless, a masterful piece of stop motion animation. I love the opening sequence. There are countless details which add to the charm and rewatchability, such as when the father opens his head and scratches his brain, the walking bath tub, the dog ghost, or the girl sewing her body parts back on.
I didn’t need to have Christmas explained to me. Although I admit it’s healthy to look at traditions with fresh eyes like a child does, so as to (re)discover what makes things magical in the first place. Hijacking Christmas is a unique idea and we can all relate to Jack’s feeling of something missing in our lives and tired of the old routine. Part of me feels like Burton as a kid would have preferred the ghoulish Christmas presents.
I admire the film more than I love it, but there’s enough to enjoy here in terms of visuals, music and quirky characters. The effects hold up well and so do the songs. Memorable tunes, especially ”This is Halloween” from the opening, and “What’s This?” when Jack Skellington encounters Christmastown.

Bad Santa (2003) (Terry Zwigoff) 
A Christmas comedy with offensive swearing, drinking, lustful behaviour, and not least showing (deliberate) disrespect to Jesus and the lord. Guaranteed to divide audiences, I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Why the love interest and grandmother can’t see Santa is a jerk is implausible, but the story has its moments. Especially memorable are the scenes when Bernie Mac repeats ”half”, the staring guy at the bar, the boxing, and the jumper cables. The story felt sort of like a reworking of Home Alone, in which the kid befriends a crook. I’m usually not a fan of vulgar comedy, but the story was better than average.

Home Alone (1990) (Chris Columbus)


Batman Returns (1992) (Tim Burton)


Die Hard (1988) (John McTiernan)


Eyes Wide Shut (1999) (Stanley Kubrick)


Love Actually (2003) (Richard Curtis)

Short films:

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) 
Surprisingly melancholic, but very very rewatchable, whether you are child or grown-up.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) 
An iconic story. You can understand how the grinch could be fed up with seeing xmas decorations and hearing all the music and caroling.

The Snowman (1982)
An Academy Award Nominee. I mainly remember the short for the flying scene featuring the song Walking In The Air

Yet to watch: White Christmas (1954), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Remember the Night (1940), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), Scrooged (1988), Elf (2003), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (47 min 1964 TV special), Frosty the Snowman (25min 1969 TV short), The Little Drummer Boy (25min TV short 1968), A Garfield Christmas Special (30min, 1987)

Thanks to this site for use of the image

Question: Which classic or new TV shows are on your watch-list?

 

Here are a few on my list:

UK:
Porridge (1974–1977)
I, Claudius (1976)
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981-) (review)
Playing Shakespeare (1982)
Yes Minister (1980–1984)
The Young Ones (1982-84)
I’m Alan Partridge (1997-)
Spaced (1999-2001)
Little Britain (2003–2006)
Buried (2003)
Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge (2010-)
Black Mirror (2011-)
The Hollow Crown (2012–)
Travel Man (2015–)
The Crown (2016-)
Mum (2016-) (Season 1 review)
Peter Kay’s Car Share (2015-)

US:
The Honeymooners (1955-1956) (thanks to Dell for the recommendation)
The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) (selected episodes)
Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69)
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Breaking Bad
The Simpsons (season 1-8)
Miami Vice (1984-) (season 1
review)
Behind the Music (1997-)
Dinner For Five (2001–)
The Wire
Firefly (2002-2003)
What’s In My Bag? (2006-)
Diggin’ in The Crates (2017-)
On Death Row (2012-)
BoJack Horseman (2014-)
Daria (1997 – 2001)
Mr. Robot (2015-)
Hip-Hop Evolution (season 1) (2016) (Thanks to Nostra for the recommendation)
Twin Peaks (Season 3) (2017) (review: E1-E4  E5-E8  E9-E12  E13-E18 )
Stranger Things (2016-)  (Season 1 review) (Season 2 review) (season 3 review)


Other:
Matador (Danish TV series) (24 episodes) (1978-1982) (review)
Historien om Danmark (2017-)
My Brilliant Friend (2018-) (HBO series in Italian)
Danmarkshistorien fortalt af Erik Kjersgaard (1:12)
Three part BBC2 series – The Novels That Shaped Our World (upcoming)
Richard E Grant visiting locations that inspired writers in France, Italy and Spain for a three-part documentary on BBC Four.
The War (mini-series ) (2007) (netflix)
World War II In HD Color (netflix)
Great British catles (s1) (netflix)
Babylon Berlin (2017) (S1-S3)
Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) (15h TV Mini-series)
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction (2018) (6h documentary mini-series)

 

I prefer UK comedy. For drama I like a story (like Twin Peaks or The Wire) that progresses.

Have you seen any of these? Which TV shows are at the top of your queue? What TV-series should I watch next, any suggestions?