Daughters of the Dust, Penda’s Fen and More: My Films of the Week #17

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
dir. David Mirkin
1997, USA

Two stereotypical West Coast blondes and BFFs plan to attend their reunion and attempt to change their lives for the better at the last minute. In other words, it is exactly the type of nostalgia-tinged comedy that you’d expect from the title. It’s surprising to see Jenine Garofalo effortlessly steal the show from the two leads in her supporting role.

 

Bebia, à mon seul désir
dir. Juja Dobrachkous
2021, Georgia

Caught a preview online screening of the film ahead of its premiere at the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam. I will be respectful and avoid making any comment on this movie before its proper premiere.

 

Penda’s Fen
dir. Alan Clarke
1974, UK

An amazing and underrated coming of age drama with shades of horror, drawing on British mythology. Dense with meaning about self-discovery and identity, and visually stimulating. Almost impossible to believe that it was originally made for television.

 

The Bridge
dir. Bobby Garabedian
2003, Czech Republic

A drama of intertwining lives and personal drama. It’s difficult not to fall for its blend of tenderness and tragedy. However, the stylized cinematography, lending The Bridge a type of fairytale-like aura, is excessive and doesn’t work in its favor.

 

Gritt
dir. Itonje Søimer Guttormsen
2020, Norway

Caught a preview online screening of the film ahead of its premiere at the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam. I will be respectful and avoid making any comment on this movie before its proper premiere.

 

Amor Pedestre
dir. Marcel Perez
1914, Italy

Commonly identified as a Futurist short film. Not particularly original in terms of narrative. However, the idea of filming the entire scene from the waist down is positively stimulating in its simplicity and even lends it a surprisingly contemporary feel.

 

Daughters of the Dust
dir. Julie Dash
1991, USA/Germany

Poetic. History-making piece of cinematic history as the first film directed by a Black woman to be theatrically released in the United States. The film itself is a rightly acclaimed picturesque meditation on black heritage and history.

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