101. Ikiru (A-)
The first of Kurosawa's non-samurai-related films I've seen; I was mooting watching this as my one-hundredth of the year, but it didn't work out that way. Makes for an interesting comparison with Wild Strawberries
, another foreign auteur piece from the 1950s about a man reflecting on how little his life has amounted to. Has a lot of very affecting parts; one can see why it's still remembered. All the same, it drags in places.
102. Beasts of the Southern Wild (B+)
This and Moonrise Kingdom
have been the big buzz-attractors so far this year. Debuting director Benh Zeitlin (who also co-writes and composes for the film) has been compared to Terrence Malick pretty widely, and it is indeed the obvious influence (just like with Malick's The New World
, it's got a young female lead with an unpronouncable first name); it shares the strengths and drawbacks of his work, too. I'm not really clear what the (real/metaphorical?) aurochs are meant to represent, or really what the point of all this was. It's worth seeing because it's quite unique, but there's also a sense that the film is very aware of how unconventional it is, and is perhaps coasting a bit on that. This was apparently based on a play (the original author co-writes the screenplay), which I'd be interested to see, because so much of what makes this film is rooted in its visual style, which obviously wouldn't be part of the stage version. Good performances from the cast of largely local people hired as actors.
Cinema: 25 (+1)
Home Video: 67 (+1)