Skip to main content

August & September Favourites

I have always wanted to do a «monthly favourites» type of post on this blog, but I kept putting it off some reason or the other. Last year, though, I finally decided to do it. I will be doing one of these every month (or every two months) and I will include literally everything that I loved or made me happy during that time, be it a film, a song, a TV show or anything else. Here are my August and September favourites. Prepare yourselves. There's A LOT of them.

1. Elite (2018-)

The first season of Elite was amazing, but the second one was even better. I loved every single thing about it! Even the things I didn't like I loved (if that makes sense). My babies Omar and Ander had more screen time together, even though their relationship wasn't always unicorns and rainbows. Guzman and Nadia FINALLY got together, which made me very happy. I love the relationship between Lucrecia and Valerio, even though they're brother and sister (excuse me, medio hermanos!). I know it's wrong, but I can't help it. They're perfect for each other! They reminded me of Cesare & Lucrezia from The Borgias, which I loved and miss terribly. 
What else? Oh, I CANNOT stand Cayetana, I still hate Polo, and I used to hate Samuel and Carla, but after season 2 I'm not so sure anymore. I'm kind of in love with them now. I would never in a million years picture them together, but they're actually perfect for each other. They sort of complete each other in a way. And I think the first time Carla has ever showed some real, genuine emotion and feelings towards someone was with Samuel.

2. The Society (2019-)

Recently, I lot of Sam & Grizz videos have been recommended to me on YouTube, so I became curious to know who they were and what show they were from. I found out they were from a Netflix show called The Society, so I went and watched the show. And now I'm obsessed. 
The Society is about a group of teenagers who return home after a cancelled school trip and realize that everyone else is gone. Their town appears to be surrounded by a dense forest, and the outside world apparently no longer exists and cannot be contacted by phone or Internet. In order to survive, they have to come up with their own rules and learn to run their own community, where resources are limited. It's sort of like Lord of the Flies, only they're not British school boys, they're not on an island and they don't have to hunt for their food.

3. Never Look Away (2018)

Never Look Away is a German film about a young artist (played by Tom Schilling, one of my favourite actors) tormented by his experiences as a child during World War II, who is struggling to find his voice and have some kind of artistic breakthrough. And as fate would have, he ends up falling in love and marrying the daughter of the Nazi doctor who had deemed his aunt schizophrenic, ordered her forced sterilization and ultimately sent her to a camp to be killed. 
If you haven't seen Never Look Away yet, I urge you to watch it. It's beautifully shot, the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous — it's Caleb Deschanel, so of course it would be — and the entire cast is simply outstanding. Tom Schilling is one of the best actors of his generation, and I was completely mesmerized by his performance in this film. As of you now, it stands as my number one favourite film EVER. It's honestly the best film I have ever seen in my entire life. It's one of those films that, even though it's three hours long, you wish it was longer. The story is so compelling and so beautiful that you just don't want it to end. If you look up the definition of «masterpiece» in the dictionary, I guarantee you will find Never Look Away right next to it.

4. Lust, Caution (2007)

I had a World War II movie marathon back in August and Lust, Caution was one of the films of that genre that I saw. It's loosely based on the story of a group of Chinese university students who plot to assassinate a high-ranking special agent working for the puppet government during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1942. They decide to use one of their group, an attractive young woman, to lure the agent into a honey trap, but things get complicated because she becomes too emotionally involved and cannot carry out their plan properly.
Lust, Caution captivated me from beginning to end, and it has become, without a doubt, one of my top 10 favourite films of all time. It's a visually stunning film, and everyone in the cast is phenomenal, especially Tang Wei, who is simply mesmerizing in the lead role.

5. The Chinese Widow (2017)

The Chinese Widow was another film I watched during my World War II movie marathon. I had never heard of such a film (maybe because it's a Chinese film, even though it stars Emile Hirsch, who is American, and was directed by Bille August, who is Danish), but I loved it so much. It's about an American Air Force pilot who crash lands his plane China after bombing Japan during the Doolittle Raid and his helped to safety by a local widow.
As far as World War II films go, The Chinese Widow has become another of my personal favorites. It's incredibly well-directed, and the two stars are exceptionally well-matched. Along with Lust, Caution, this film has truly sparked my interest in Chinese cinema, which is something I've never been particularly keen on, but I've now realized that I've been missing out.

6. Rocketman (2019)

The fourth and final film in this list is not a World War II drama; it's actually a biopic about one the greatest entertainers the world has ever met, Mr. Elton John. The film recounts his life from his early days at the Royal Academy of Music through his partnership with Bernie Taupin and his struggles with substance use, which culminate with a suicide attempt. 
Rocketman is a beautiful tribute to Elton John and it is an absolute joy to watch. The musical sequences in particular are a visual spectacle. I also think Taron Egerton was born to play this role, and if he doesn't get an Oscar nomination for it, then the world has really gone to the dogs. 

7. «Rocket Man» by Elton John

After watching Rocketman, I listened to Elton John non-stop for about two weeks and «Rocket Man» became a personal favorite of mine. I already knew the song and had listened to it several times before, but it was only after watching the film that I truly appreciated it.

8. «High-Flying Bird» by Elton John

«High-Flying Bird» was one of the many Elton John songs I discovered after watching Rocketman and it became one of my favorites. I still listen to it pretty much everyday.

9. «Queendom» by AURORA

The first time I ever heard «Queendom» was during that EPIC club scene in Elite with Omar and Ander. I was obsessed with the song for like a week after hearing it.

And that's it! These are the things I've loved throughout August and September. 
What have you been loving lately?


Popular posts from this blog

Golden Couples: Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal

It was April 1948 when director King Vidor spotted 22-year-old Patricia Neal on the Warner Bros. studio lot. A drama graduate from Northwestern University, she had just arrived in Hollywood following a Tony Award-winning performance in Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest . Impressed by Patricia's looks, Vidor approached the young actress and asked if she would be interested in doing a screen test for the female lead in his newest film, The Fountainhead (1949). Gary Cooper had already signed as the male protagonist, and the studio was then considering Lauren Bacall and Barbara Stanwyck to play his love interest.          Neal liked the script and about two months later, she met with the director for sound and photographic tests. Vidor was enthusiastic about Patricia, but her first audition was a complete disaster. Cooper was apparently watching her from off the set and he was so unimpressed by her performance that he commented, « What's that!? » He tried to con

Golden Couples: Henry Fonda & Barbara Stanwyck

In the mid- and late 1930s, screwball comedy was in vogue and practically every actress in Hollywood tried her hand at it. Barbara Stanwyck never considered herself a naturally funny person or a comedienne per se , but after delivering a heart-wrenching performance in King Vidor's Stella Dallas (1937), she decided she needed a « vacation » from emotional dramas. In her search for a role, she stumbled upon a « champagne comedy » called The Mad Miss Manton (1938), originally intended as a Katharine Hepburn vehicle. Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda as Melsa and Peter in The Mad Miss Manton .   Directed by Leigh Jason from a script by Philip G. Epstein, The Mad Miss Manton begins when vivacious Park Avenue socialite Melsa Manton finds a corpse while walking her dogs in the early hours of the morning. She calls the police, but they dismiss the incident — not only because Melsa is a notorious prankster, but also because the body disappears in the meantime. Sarcastic newspaper editor

Films I Saw in 2020

For the past four years, I have shared with you a list of all the films I saw throughout 2016 , 2017 , 2018 and 2019 , so I thought I would continue the «tradition» and do it again in 2020. This list includes both classic and «modern» films, which make up a total of 161 titles. About three or four of these were re-watches, but I decided to include them anyway. Let me know how many from these you have seen. As always, films marked with a heart ( ❤ ) are my favorites. Sherlock Jr. (1924) | Starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire and Joe Keaton The Crowd (1928) | Starring James Murray, Eleanor Boardman and Bert Roach Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) | Starring Henry Fonda, Alice Brady and Marjorie Weaver Brief Encounter (1945) | Starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard and Stanley Holloway The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) | Starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman The Girl He Left Behind (1956) | Starring Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood Gidget (1959) | Starring Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson an

Wings of Change: The Story of the First Ever Best Picture Winner

Wings was the first ever film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since then, it has become one of the most influential war dramas, noted for its technical realism and spectacular air-combat sequences. This is the story of how it came to be made.   A man and his story The concept for Wings originated from a writer trying to sell one of his stories. In September 1924, Byron Morgan approached Jesse L. Lasky, vice-president of Famous Players-Lasky, a component of Paramount Pictures, proposing that the studio do an aviation film. Morgan suggested an «incident and plot» focused on the failure of the American aerial effort in World War I and the effect that the country's «aviation unpreparedness» would have in upcoming conflicts. Lasky liked the idea, and approved the project under the working title «The Menace.»   LEFT: Byron Morgan (1889-1963). RIGHT: Jesse L. Lasky (1880-1958).   During his development of the scenario with William Shepherd, a former war correspondent, Morga

80 Reasons Why I Love Classic Films (Part II)

I started this blog six years ago as a way to share my passion for classic films and Old Hollywood. I used to watch dozens of classic films every month, and every time I discovered a new star I liked I would go and watch their entire filmography. But somewhere along the way, that passion dimmed down. For instance, I watched 73 classic films in 2016, and only 10 in 2020. The other day, I found this film with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. that I had never heard of — the film is Mimi (1935), by the way — and for some reason it made me really excited about Old Hollywood again. It made me really miss the magic of that era and all the wonderful actors and actresses. And it also made me think of all the reasons why I fell in love with classic films in the first place. I came with 80 reasons, which I thought would be fun to share with you. Most of them are just random little scenes or quirky little quotes, but put them together and they spell Old Hollywood to me. Yesterday I posted part one ; here i

Top 10 Favourite Christmas Films

Christmas has always been a source of inspiration to many artists and writers. Over the years, filmmakers have adapted various Christmas stories into both movies and TV specials, which have become staples during the holiday season all around the world. Even though Christmas is my favourite holiday, I haven't watched a lot of Christmas films. Still, I thought it would be fun to rank my top 10 favourites, based on the ones that I have indeed seen. Here they are.  10. Holiday Affair (1949) Directed by Don Hartman, Holiday Affair tells the story of a young widow (Janet Leigh) torn between a boring attorney (Wendell Corey) and a romantic drifter (Robert Mitchum). She's engaged to marry the boring attorney, but her son (Gordon Gebert) likes the romantic drifter better. Who will she choose? Well, we all know who she will choose.   Holiday Affair is not by any means the greatest Christmas film of all time, but it's still a very enjoyable Yule-tide comedy to watch over the holi

The Gotta Dance! Blogathon: Gene Kelly & Judy Garland

In 1940, up-and-coming Broadway star Gene Kelly was offered the lead role in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's new musical Pal Joey , based on the eponymous novel by John O'Hara about an ambitious and manipulative small-time nightclub performer. Opening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Christmas Day of that year, the show brought Gene his best reviews up to that date. For instance, John Martin of The New York Times wrote of him: «A tap-dancer who can characterize his routines and turn them into an integral element of an imaginative theatrical whole would seem to be pretty close, indeed, to unique .»   One of Gene's performances in Pal Joey was attended by established Hollywood star Judy Garland , who requested to meet him after the show. Gene agreed and then accompanied Judy and her entourage, which included her mother Ethel and several press agents, to dinner at the newly-opened Copacabana nightclub, at 10 East 60th Street. They sang and danced until 3 a.m., after whi

Films I Saw in July & August

In the past five years, I shared a year-end list of the films I saw throughout 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 and 2020 . For 2021, I decided to do this monthly and share a list of the films I saw during each month of the year. These are the films I saw in July and August, which make up a total of 18 titles. As always, films marked with a heart ( ❤ ) are my favourites.   Resistance (2011) | Starring Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha and Michael Sheen Siberian Education [Educazione siberiana] (2013) | Starring Arnas Fedaravi čius The Last of Robin Hood (2013) | Starring Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning The Water Diviner (2014) | Starring Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko and Yılmaz Erdoğan Holding the Man (2015) | Starring Ryan Corr, Craig Stott and Anthony LaPaglia The Last King [Birkebeinerne] (2016) | Starring Jakob Oftebro and Kristofer Hivju The Pass (2016) | Starring Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene Access All Areas (2017) | Starring Ella Purnell, Edward Bluemel and Georgie Henle

The Sinatra Centennial Blogathon: Frank Sinatra & Gene Kelly

  In January 1944, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer happened to see a young crooner by the name of Frank Sinatra perform at a benefit concert for The Jewish Home for the Aged in Los Angeles. According to Nancy Sinatra, Frank's eldest daughter, Mayer was so moved by her father's soulful rendition of « Ol' Man River » that he made the decision right then and there to sign Frank to his studio. Sinatra had been on the MGM payroll once before, singing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the Eleanor Powell vehicle Ship Ahoy (1942), although it is very likely that Mayer never bothered to see that film. Now that Frank was «hot,» however, Metro made arrangements to buy half of his contract from RKO, with the final deal being signed in February of that year. Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in  Anchors Aweigh Being a contract player at the studio that boasted «more stars than there are in the heavens» gave Frank a sudden perspective regarding his own talents as a film performer. The «g

Films I Saw in May & June

In the past five years, I shared a year-end list of the films I saw throughout 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 and 2020 . For 2021, I decided to do this monthly and share a list of the films I saw during each month of the year. These are the films I saw in May and June, which make up a total of 16 titles. As always, films marked with a heart ( ❤ ) are my favourites.   Pelle the Conqueror [Pelle Erobreren] (1987) | Starring Pelle Hvenegaard The Elementary School [ Obecná škola] (1991) | Starring Václav Jakoubek Female Agents [Les Femmes de l'ombre] (2008) | Starring Sophie Marceau Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe [Vor der Morgenröte] (2016) | Starring Josef Hader ❤ Cold War [Zimna wojna] (2018) | Starring Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig and Borys Szyc Dreamland (2019) | Starring Finn Cole, Margot Robbie, Travis Fimmel and Garrett Hedlund Mr Jones (2019) | Starring James Norton, Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard Official Secrets (2019) | Starring Keira Knightley, Matt Smith an