What better way to end the year 2018 than with my last Blindspot entry?! I think it’s the most fitting end, as it also reflects my year quite well. There were a few bad things, some ugly things, but it was mostly good! Plus, your girl here finished her first Blindspot year with flying colours. All the movies are reviewed, you can find the list at the end. Also, if you want to know what I will be watching for my 2019 Blind Spot Series, go here.
When I sat down to watch The Graduate, I only knew its famous last scene where the characters drive off in a bus, looking sad and defeated. There wasn’t even a moment where I thought this is the movie with the famous “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me!” quote!! Like, this is where the Mrs. Robinson figure of speech comes from. A bit baffled by it, I continued watching and here are my final thoughts.
RIP Burt Reynolds
It’s a bitter coincidence that my 2018 Blindspot October pick happens to include one of Burt Reynolds’ famous roles. Reynolds, who died a little over a month ago, was a film legend in his own right. My first Boogie Nights experience was definitely affected by seeing this man on screen so soon after his passing. But the movie also features Phillip Seymour Hoffman, which simply adds salt to the wounds. Because its Hoffman’s early passing, leaving his career unfinished, that hurts here the most. Hoffman’s strong presence on the background of Boogie Nights is what helped to create an extremely layered film.
I wanted to sit down and write about Boogie Nights right after I watched it. No, that isn’t true, I wanted to write during it. The film, released in 1997, is over 20 years old but it’s biggest theme is still an issue in today’s Hollywood. It’s the money hungry white men that run the business, and everybody else suffers, especially the women. Boogie Nights, while being a film about an adult porn actor, surely feels like a much bigger film. And it doesn’t seem that far from the current reality.
You know, I’m gonna be a great big bright, shining star.
– Dirk Diggler
Boogie Nights opens with a 17 year old Eddie working at a night club, and being spotted by an adult filmmaker Jack Horner. Eddie is cocky and definitely not shy about his sexuality, probably because he is well hung and knows it. After attracting the filmmakers attention, they make their first film together, for which Eddie changes his name to Dirk Diggler. The film progresses to tell a story of the uphill momentum Dirk has in the industry, to his fast decline later on. Also providing some strong supporting stories along with it, Boogie Nights is a dark, slightly comedic, but mostly dramatic portrait of lost souls.
There are strong performances from all the supporting actors, and the only one, who does stand out for not being 100%, is Mark Wahlberg. Then again, I know his strengths and I do think he learned a lot from Boogie Nights. His performances in The Departed, for instance, is spot on. Yet, the self-doubt that Wahlberg possesses here works for Dirk Diggler in the end. His character starts to unravel, and it’s almost like he breaks down.
What does stand out the most with my Boogie Nights experience is the fact that I found it a lot more watchable. Most likely due to the fact that it is from 1997, which feels comfortable to me. I grew up watching 90’s movies, and it’s what I associate my childhood with. It made me feel nostalgic. Plus, that full monty in the end, made me laugh and gave the film a huge ending!
This year, I had two movies that I thought to be bigger challenges for me than others. For September, I watched one of those movies, and turns out, my 2018 Blindspot, has only one truly challenging movie. And it ain’t Casablanca.
It’s too early to say, since I have four movies to go, but I think Taxi Driver is my favourite Blindspot pick of this year. Better than 2001: A Space Odyssey, better than the Before trilogy, and yes, a little better than The Shining. With Taxi Driver I felt more at ease, and more pleased by the end of it. Because the focus matter, the topic, the themes – it all sort of clicked.
The third and final Stanley Kubrick film in my Blindspot list this year is his 1971 feature film A Clockwork Orange. Based on a novel by the same name, written by Anthony Burgess, this movie explores a futuristic world. In its center is a sadistic gang, lead by Alex, going around tormenting people.
The reason I added this 2005 film to my Blindspot list was simple. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and have seen most of his films. With that in mind, I set myself a goal to watch his lesser known film Brick. The fact that it’s also the directorial debut for Rian Johnson, was simply a coincidence. Turns out, adding Brick was like getting hit by a brick.
Every time I sit down to write about my Blindspot pick, I get this writer’s block thing. It’s like, I’m scared to speak my mind about these well loved movies without sounding like an idiot. Because most of these movies in my Blindspot list are very much adored by bloggers and regular movie lovers. This also applies to Goodfellas, a 1990 Martin Scorsese film based on real events.
That’s right, I had not seen The Shining before last week and I’m okay with that. Because only in recent years have I started to appreciate horror, and its genre for something other than jump scares and blood splatters. So it seems that it was just the right time for me, to finally watch The Shining.
For my March Blindspot series pick I chose something recent to shake things up. Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a French movie from 2013, which won big at the Cannes’ film festival and made waves in the blogging community.