What I Enjoyed, June 2017

Looking back on the art and entertainment that I enjoyed in June 2017.

I’m back after taking a three-month break from What I Enjoyed, so I’ll get right to it. Here’s what I enjoyed in June 2017.

Films

I watched a pretty decent number of movies this past month. Here are the ones that stood out:

Funeral Parade of Roses

A beautiful, tragic, and funny Japanese film by Toshio Matsumoto about trans women who work at a Japanese nightclub. I’m grateful that I got to see the restoration at the Hollywood Theatre. It’s one of the most special films I’ve had the chance to see.

My review of Funeral Parade of Roses.

Stalker

The day before seeing Funeral Parade of Roses, I had the pleasure of seeing Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi masterpiece Stalker in the same theater. The visuals of Stalker have stuck with me. It’s a plodding movie, but I think, ultimately, one’s patience is rewarded. Not in the sense of the story paying off or there being some mind-blowing twist, but in the sense that it ingrains itself in your mind.

My review of Stalker.

The Godfather Part I & II

The Godfather Part II - Michael Corleone Sitting

I managed to never see The Godfather, even growing up in a partially Italian family. Not that it feels like required viewing, but the first two films are staples of Italian-American culture. 

The first two parts are referred to as some of the best films of all time, and now I can see why. The transformation of Michael Corleone in both films is brilliant. I love the art film feel, and while there is a fair share of violence, the films are much more about family, trust, and drama. 

I’ll get to Part III eventually, but I’m still basking in the bliss of the first two.

Jackie

My partner and I watched Jackie together, and we both truly enjoyed it. Natalie Portman’s performance is on another level. The movie tells this small story over the course of a few days, and it feels much more like an art film than a biopic. It’s also got an impressive look to it all. If you ever get the chance to see it, it’s very much worth watching. Jackie is hauntingly beautiful.

Baby Driver

My favorite 2017 movie release so far. It’s funny, brutal, and unlike any action film I’ve seen.

My review of Baby Driver.

Podcasts

I didn’t start listening to any new podcasts regularly in June, but here are the episodes I enjoyed the most.

The Incomparable Godfather Part I & II Episodes

The three episodes of The Incomparable podcast that cover The Godfather Part I & II are epics in their own right. The episodes made me look at and appreciate both films in a new way. John Siracusa stands out with his reads on the scenes throughout the films. The three episodes are required listening for fans of the films.

Here are the three episodes:

/Filmcast Transformers: The Last Knight

One of my favorite film podcasts takes one for the team and reviews the latest Transformers film. It’s a hilarious look at a film franchise that has always been questionable at best. 

Listen to the episode.

Music

Something happened at the end of June where I snapped and bought a bunch of new albums, and I’m happy that I did.

Chelsea Girl by Nico

I’m not overly familiar with Nico, but this album is solid. “These Days” hits me right in the heart:

Low-Life by New Order

New Order - Low-Life Album Cover

The first New Order album I bought was Power, Corruption, & Lies in 2016. My introduction to them was the song “Elegia,” which is one of my favorite songs. For my second New Order album, I decided to purchase the album with “Elegia” on it, Low-Life. It’s a heck of an album. I love that there are only 8 songs, with none of them being shorter than 4 minutes. I feel like songs these days don’t often reach the 5 or 6-minute mark.

Highlights: “Elegia” and “The Perfect Kiss”

Legacy by David Bowie

David Bowie - Legacy Album Cover

I, sadly, never listened to any of David Bowie’s music before his death, but I am working on righting that wrong. I decided to dive in with Legacy (Deluxe Edition), which has 40 songs on it from throughout David Bowie’s career. It’s unbelievable how great the 40 songs are. Hearing his evolution and changes without knowing much of the context is interesting to me. Plenty has been written about David Bowie, so I won’t ramble on any longer, but I’ll just say that I’ve truly been enjoying his music. I’m looking forward to digging into individual albums.

Highlights: Too many to choose from, but right now I’d say they are “All the Young Dudes,” “Fashion,” “Ashes to Ashes,” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away.”

TV

I’ve been focusing on films lately, but there is, of course, one exception.

Twin Peaks: The Return

Twin Peaks The Return Whisper

Twin Peaks: The Return has been insanely impressive. I’m blown away by it every episode. I’ve rewatched most of the episodes twice, and it is an 18-hour film split into hour long parts. I’m eagerly awaiting my next hour-long fix.

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