Per usual I did nothing over the break but watch movie upon movie upon movie. (I also binged the final season of His Dark Materials and the full run of Fleischman is in Trouble -- the latter is astonishing and is deeply recommended; it's the best thing I watched over break, period.) But what else am I supposed to do, leave the house? Interact with people? Please. Who you talkin' to? Anyway you can as ever keep track of my watching pursuits by following me on my Letterboxd, but because I'm banging my head against the wall today trying to get myself back into the state of writing mood, let's make a list! Those are fucking easy.
The 5 Best First-Watch Movies
I Watched Over My Winter Vacation
Return to Seoul (2022) -- I hate that I don't have the time or the place to write a proper review for this one because it deserves all of that effort -- maybe if/when I get to my "Best of 2022" list we'll be talking it properly. Just know it's very much worth seeing out, and it's literally mind-blowing that this is the first performance from actress Park Ji-Min, who gives one of the great performances of the year here. I think this is still being rolled out? It's not streaming anywhere yet? So find it when you can. Maybe once it hits streaming I will write more. A real rewarding little marvel of a character piece.
Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000) -- This is one I always felt ashamed to admit I'd never seen when the subject came up, but that shame grew into a panic when Francois Ozon's Peter Von Kant (reviewed here) came out earlier this year -- knowing that Ozon's very first film was also deeply entrenched in Fassbinder-dom (it was based on an un-produced play by RWF) I knew I'd best hop on it already before I'd dashed all my reputation to pieces. You can see chunks of other finished Fassbinder products herein -- it especially made me think of Fox and His Friends and In a Year of Thirteen Moons, although it's far less devastating than either of those movies. There's a lightness and a broadness to this that's definitely more Ozon's than it is Rainer's, but as ever the place where those two minds meet is an utter delight to me.
10 Rillington Place (1971) -- A truly fucked up true-crime serial killer story about the British murderer John Christie, who strangled a bunch of people and buried them in the walls and back-yard of his flat. Directed by Richard Fleischer, the man behind Red Sonja and Soylent Green, this movie in now way shies away from the awfulness of its story and vibe, especially in its phenomenally unsettling lead performance by Sir Richard Attenborough as Christie -- I will never ever be able to watch Jurassic Park the same way again.
Be My Cat: A Film For Anne (2014) -- I really wanted to watch a found footage horror film that I'd never seen before a couple of days ago, so I googled around and saw this movie, which I had never even heard of before, on a list of best ones. Thankfully it is on Tubi (sidenote: literally everything is on Tubi) and holy f'ing hell y'all this movie is insane. I knew the basic premise going in but am loathe to give it away if you'd prefer to watch something unspoiled, and I think this would reward that instinct. So just trust me -- if you're ever looking for a new spin on found-footage and are cool with staring into the abyss of wackadoodle obsession, have I got a thing for you.
Dot Com For Murder (2002) -- Make no mistake, this movie is absolutely fucking awful. Just wildly inept on every level. And that is of course the appeal -- I have no doubt that's why Arrow is putting out a fancy blu-ray of it on February 7th (pick up your copy right here!) and that's what finally put this gem before me, as I was sent a screener. Of course the Gaylords of Darkness, the interweb's premiere nonsense podcast, have been hyping this movie for years now -- I'm happy to say they were right to obsess. It's ecstatic trash. Up there in the pantheon of so-bad-they're-greats. Get drunk, get very very drunk, and enjoy ye nude internet fingers for yourself!