RR Films: Falling In Love

As this week’s episode falls on Valentine’s Day, we have to be looking at films about love, don’t we?

I have probably made great efforts to avoid things like Love Story, so the love films that stick in my mind don’t come smothered in flowers and choccies. I was going to recommend Mother, my favourite film of 2010, about the extent of a mother’s love for her son, but that’s a little too downbeat. So let’s go with Some Like It Hot, in which Tony Curtis and all heterosexual males fell in love with Marilyn Monroe, and Jack Lemmon acquired a suitor too. The story starts exactly 88 years ago today…..

What films about falling in love would you recommend?

RR Films: Refusal

John Bercow may be a puffed-up ego on short legs but I applaud his rejection of the tiny-fingered one and his attempt to prevent Parliament from hearing more of his bile. It’s a start.

Lets celebrate films about refusal then, those where the little man or woman digs their heels in to stop the big bully. 2012’s No, about RenĂ© Saavedra’s advertising campaign to defeat Pinochet in a referendum in 1988 fits the bill perfectly but I’ll kick off with Made In Dagenham instead.

Again, based on truth, the women refusing to take their lowly status any longer are also fighting against the patriarchy; which seems to fit the moment even better.

What films about refusal would you recommend?

RR Films: (Other) Musicians

Amidst all the petulance, prejudice and posturing of Adolf Trump’s first week, I found one glorious ray of sunshine: the Scorsese-produced doc about the Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip, was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Yippee!!

It’s the full 4-hour treatment awarded to Dylan, George Harrison and Tom Petty and it garnered much positivity from Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. I will swallow my pride and take a trial subscription to Amazon Prime to see it when it airs in 6 parts there in May.

Currently, my favourite film about musicians is, naturally, The Grateful Dead Movie (closely followed by Stop Making Sense), Jerry Garcia’s labour of love, which opens like this:

What films about musicians, in real life or biopic form, would you recommend?

RR Films….Named After Women

Two days after millions of women all over the world marched to protest against his misogyny, Trump enacted his revenge on the weakest and most vulnerable of them. By following the Republican tradition of banning any aid agency that receives US cash from providing counselling or referrals for abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country, the maverick outsider has ensured the death and suffering of untold thousands of women and girls.

So let’s counter with a celebration of films about women, specifically those named in the title. It’s a wide and varied field. Some (Ida, Philomena) have cropped up in previous topics but the choice is still vast. I’ll pick a German film that stuck in my mind from 2013, Lore, about a girl protected by her Nazi parents who discovers reality in 1945.

What films named after women would you recommend? Feel free to go for something lighter than my choice!

RR Films: Smiling And Laughing

Sh*t is just about to get real: Theresa is actually stating something like a position on breakfast and the Donald is about to get the keys of doom in his tiny hands. So let’s get the fun out of the way now, with films that induce Smiling And Laughing.

To put it another way, what are the funniest films you’ve ever seen? For me, in recent years, it is Team America: World Police. Fuck yeah!

What are your favourite funny films?

RR Films: Inspired By or About Films

As the Awards season gathers momentum and presidential hangers-on, the (English-speaking) film world yet again celebrates itself by gushing over – and, in Emma Stone’s case, going googly-eyed about – La La Land. I haven’t seen it yet but I can’t help feeling it’s The Artist all over again…..

There are scores of films about the movie business, from Sunset Boulevard to the last Coen Brothers flim-flam, Hail, Caesar. I rather liked the believable insanity of 2014’s Maps To The Stars:

What films about films and the film business would you recommend?

RR Films: Independence

The Office of Congressional Ethics – whose job it is to examine tales of corrupt members of the US House of Representatives – is was about to lose its independence and come under the control of those it should be investigating, until that beacon of public probity, Donald Trump, twittered about it. How comforting that must be would have been for the would-be swamp drainers: out of sight, out of mind…..

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe there are some things that must remain independent, starting with the judiciary and complaints processes. And young women, like Star in American Honey, one of my favourite recent films:

What films about independence would you recommend?