Rubber – My Reddit Secret Santa knocked it out of the park for Arbitrary Day this year. Among the gifts included were a poster checklist meticulously categorizing films and a copy of Rubber that I could then check off said list. This is a weird movie about a tire that starts killing people. Yes a tire. The film is wonderfully meta, which I love. Hell, it started with a whole monologue about how things happen in films for no good reason all the time. Except I think it leaned in too much on the meta, which slowed the pace of the story way down. I wanted more gore and more story. Just more really.
My Dinner with Herve – I will watch Peter Dinklage in anything, so watching this was a tragic delight. He stuck to a very distinct and recognizable character, while maintaining the emotional depth to keep from falling into caricature. It was a really interesting look at the life of Herve Villachaize, and the deep dive tribute he deserves.
Gaslight – We’ve all prolly heard the term “gaslight” recently, to mean a form of psychological abuse or control where a person insists that a lie is the truth leaving their victim questioning their sanity and reality. The term actually comes from this movie, where that’s the basic plot. Hubby tries to convince wife she’s going crazy, but he’s actually trying to keep her under his control. I was very much creeped out watching this. Even before he really escalated his behavior, I could see where he was taking it, and it’s a very real fear. I actually zoned out a good chunk of the movie because I couldn’t handle what was unfolding. It made me very uncomfortable, but in a good way.
Lady Snowblood – Unfortunately, I was very tired when I watched this, so I wasn’t awake for much of it. However, I didn’t need more than a few minutes to recognize what this was: the source of inspiration for Kill Bill. Tarantino practically stole the whole movie. The look and feel, the music style, the basic plot, various bits of imagery. I know KB well enough that I could identify everything that it took. Minimal internet research afterwards confirmed that this was the primary inspiration, to the point where QT would make the cast and crew watch this while working on KB. Kinda cool getting all that background on it, but IDK if it makes me think less of KB now that I see how much of it was borrowed (I don’t wanna say ripped off bc QT def put his own spin on it)
The Tale – Queue the Laura Dern song from this year’s spirit awards. She is a goddess and I adore her, and therefore I soaked in every single word and action of hers in this film with rapt attention. It’s an intense story and she tells it so well. Normally when I’m watching something at home, I’ll start scrolling IMDB trivia before the film is even over. I made a point not to do that because as desperately as I wanted to know what would happen, I wanted Laura to tell me the story her way. It’s difficult subject matter that may not be suitable for everyone, but it’s worth the discomfort if you can stomach it.