[Pickups: March revival]

* In the Mood for Love. Yes, this is the second time this year. It was scheduled as the start of this Metro Classics sequence, and my toes curl at the words “shown on 35 mm”. It was a gift to be able to see it that way, particularly since the digital projection in January had so many issues. Films like ItMfL make me consider doing a best beloved films feature here from time to time.

* The Cutting Edge is a ridiculous movie, obviously. Ridiculously entertaining. Central Cinema showed it as the March Pajama Party, and for that it is pretty much perfect. Toe pick!

* I have never seen The Terminator before. Shocking but true. Luckily, Central Cinema is there to help me correct these grievous errors. Sarah Conner is totally my kind of action hero. She wears shoes she can run in! She gets to keep on all of her clothes! Pretty great overall, except for the full frontal Arnold. That’s what we get for sitting in the front row.

* Finally, the best TV dinner ever: Pride & Prejudice! Shown over two Wednesdays at (do we detect a pattern?) Central Cinema, Pride & Prejudice was just a fabulous, hilarious, satisfying experience. Sold out, full of fangirls of all ages, puddles of estrogen everywhere. You should all be jealous.

[Pickups: January]

(Note: “Pickups” is a new feature collecting quick reactions at the end of the month for films I won’t file a complete post on.)

* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One. First film of 2011, seen with a friend & fellow HP fan when I was in BC for the New Year. It still works better than most of the previous ones — except my beloved Azkaban, of course — and I still can’t wait for Part Two in July.

* Blue Valentine. Fantastic performances, particularly from Michelle Williams who very much deserves her Oscar nomination (her & Jennifer Lawrence I approve of; any & all of the other three I would trade in a heartbeat for Carey Mulligan in Never Let Me Go). Great concept of cutting back and forth between time periods in a relationship, but it felt about 20 minutes too long.

* In the Mood for Love. This is often one of my top five favorite films of all time. It depends on my mood; occasionally I’m all about Happy Together. Even with the inevitable technical difficulties of digital it was stunningly beautiful. (I feel an entry on format coming)

[Alejandro González Iñárritu]

So, Babel was coming out, but I felt that I should watch Iñárritu’s previous feature two films. Possibly because I am a crazy person. First up was Amores Perros, which is a gritty and violent film about love, told in 3 interrelated stories (a hallmark of Iñárritu).

Next came 21 Grams, which I think is my favorite of the bunch. From my impression of the marketing I had expected it to be a much more spiritual/religious film than it really was. It’s much twistier than the other two, but certainly compelling, so I had no trouble following it.

Finally, Babel was an intense and devastating film, one of those pieces that makes you wonder why anyone attempts to communicate at all, since it is so clearly doomed to failure.

(In looking up Iñárritu, by the way, I also discovered that he directed one of the most memorable segments of 11’09″01, a collection of shorts very much worth watching.)