The besties review
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The Man Who Fell to Earth
This was weird and wild and wonderful. If you don’t dig the production design or overall style of this movie, we can’t be friends. And I know the plot is a bit thin, but I couldn’t care less. Davie Bowie was a freaking cat-eyed alien with a fedora. I loved it.
My one real grievance with the movie is that level of eroticism was a bit much for my taste. But it’s Bowie! What did I bloody expect?!
*David Bowie’s name pops up*
Me: I love it.
*35 minutes later*
Me: Ew. This is not the Bowie I came for.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
I enjoyed this, but admittedly I had higher hopes. Most of the performances are very good (especially Bowie, Tom Conti, and Takeshi) but I felt that the narrative was lacking and the pacing was a bit slow. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score was excellent, but it often felt tonally jarring when it bumped up against the melancholy of the rest of the film. I’ll definitely be watching this again at some point in the future, but for this first watch I just felt a little let down.
Wow, this really skirts the line between cute and terrifying... like really skirts it.
I spent so much of this movie trying to decide whether I would’ve liked this as a kid, but once I got to the scene at the Bog of Eternal Stench I knew that the answer would’ve been abso-toot-ly!
I’m looking forward to many rewatches of this thing. I especially loved the puppet effects, character design and performances, production design, score/Bowie songs, and just the sheer oddity of it all.
This was a really affecting, well-directed film, anchored by a fantastic lead performance from Jeffrey Wright. I also thought Christopher Walken was awesome in his cameo as a writer who comes to interview Basquiat— he had a suspicious energy that played really well off of Wright’s sort of calculated nonchalance. Best scene in the movie!
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!