September kicks off my favorite time of year for moviegoing—and that’s not because fall is when all the prestige Oscar bait films come out (yaaaawn). It’s because I can start wearing coats that are not too bulky to rest on my lap, but with big enough pockets for snuck-in movie snacks (usually Raisinets purchased at the Rite Aid across the street for a quarter of the concession stand price or a box of Pocky from the Japanese deli). I’m already giddy thinking about all the light peacoats and oversized denim jackets in which I will conceal said snacks, leaving room in my inconveniently tiny purses.
Snack storage was heavily on my mind when I went to see Richard Linklater’s latest, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, last week and while it is a bland movie that’s probably more thrilling in audiobook form, I was sartorially inspired by a fishing vest Cate Blanchett’s Bernadette orders on Amazon during one of her manic episodes and wears while running errands that do not at all involving fishing.
At some point, I stopped caring about the way-too-easily answered titular question (sorry, I didn’t read the book, I was expecting something more along the lines of Gone Girl), and instead became fixated on how chic the vest looked, thrown over a navy blue turtleneck and peeking out from underneath a trench coat, its roomy pockets both utilitarian and aggressively statement-making. If I had one of these vests, I could shove all my belongings in the compartments (I think I counted eight of them on Blanchett’s), thus justifying a petite Jacquemus purse. The fishing vest reminds me of these Prada boots, which I can’t see myself wearing, but do cause me to fantasize about what I’d store in them: business cards, cough drops, bobby pins, chapstick….
Anyway, I love appropriating outdoor gear for idle activities, such as, yes, movie-watching, and plan on adding one of these to my wardrobe. Unfortunately, a quick online search brings up nothing nearly as cute as Bernadette’s, so please… if anyone knows where one can get a stylish-without-trying-to-be fishing vest, drop some suggestions for me below. NYFW ain’t ready.
3 New Netflix Movies Come and 1 Cate Blanchett Movie Goes…
Speaking of Cate Blanchett breaking free from the monotony of domestic life, Carol is set to leave Netflix on the 20th—extremely poor timing before the holiday season, imo. So squeeze in all that Christmastime longing three months early… or befriend someone like me, who bought the movie on Blu-ray in preparation for a day like this.
But, enough mourning those we’ve lost, and on to new gifts for the queue, courtesy of Netflix: On September 1st, American Psycho arrives, and if I were to remake it, everyone would be whipping out business cards from the aforementioned Prada boots. But honestly, Mary Harron’s way-better-than-the-book adaptation does not warrant a remake (despite what Bret “women can’t direct” Easton Ellis may think).
There are also a couple Netflix originals I’m excited to check out this month, including Between Two Ferns: The Movie, which I think just involves Zach Galifianakis doing the same crazy shit that made the web show famous. It hits Netflix on the 20th. I’m also looking forward to Tall Girl, about an insecure 6’1 teen girl (played by newcomer Ava Michelle) who falls for an even taller Swedish exchange student, and gets caught up in a love triangle. Tall Girl (which arrives on the 13th) comes from first-time feature filmmaker Nzingha Stewart, whose directorial credits include episodes of Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, and is produced by McG, who directed the flawless 2000 Charlie’s Angels.
It’s been a while since I came of age, but I will always be a sucker for movies about the awkwardest years of one’s life. A new coming-of-age comedy worth watching in theaters now is Blinded by the Light (from the director of Bend It Like Beckham, a classic from my pubescent years), about a Pakistani teen boy growing up in the ’80s who becomes obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. The musical cues are obviously great, and despite all its corniness (ugh, there are lyrics on the screen), it is so very charming.
It’s the Best Time of Year for New York Cinephiles
Another reason September is such a great time for film is that it kicks off the New York Film Festival, which takes place at Lincoln Center from September 27th to October 13th and always renews my sense of cinephilia and makes going to the movies feel more like an event. Last year’s opening night film was The Favourite, but I took fashion cues from Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960 call-girl melodrama, Butterfield 8.
There are so many movies I’m dying to see at this year’s NYFF (the new Scorsese, Baumbach, Arnaud Desplechin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, to name a few), but a lot of last year’s highlights are available to stream now, making for a good catch-up watchlist. The Favourite is now on HBO Go, while the Korean slow-burn thriller Burning (no pun intended) is now on Netflix, so you can fume (seriously… no… pun… intended…) about its lack of an Oscar nom. Two of last year’s bests can also be found on Hulu: the choose-your-own-family tear-jerker Shoplifters from Hirokazu Kore-eda and Olivier Assayas’s publishing world infidelity comedy, Non-Fiction.
Claire Denis’s High Life, about Robert Pattinson raising a baby in space, is available to rent on YouTube, Google, and other places, but Metrograph is bringing it back from August 26th–29th. While all space movies deserve the big screen, there’s something about Denis’s terrifying portrayal of the loss of autonomy (and a spaceship dildo machine) that is rendered even more freaky in the darkness of a movie theater (it’s kind of like watching from inside a blackhole).
Cinema to Chew on Over at Criterion
If you want a father-daughter Claire Denis movie of a totally different flavor (low-key, literally down-to-earth), head over to the Criterion Channel to stream 35 Shots of Rum, about a dad and daughter who live in the Parisian projects, their small worlds intertwining with those of their neighbors (exes and love interests). It involves a lot of humble home-cooking shot intimately in close quarters, and stars Denis regular Alex Descas as well as Mati Diop, who has a movie she directed in this year’s NYFF main slate. 35 Shots of Rum is one of my favorite culinary films, and many others from my recent food on film guide (the ramen western Tampopo, the unlikely love story Ali: Fear Eats the Soul) are also available on Criterion. And for one awkward dinner table conversation about vegetarianism, turn on Éric Rohmer’s The Green Ray, which I recommended last month as the movie version of “Summertime Sadness.” I just rewatched it last week and felt young and sad in a good way for hours afterward. If you’re in New York, though, you absolutely must go see it on 35mm when it opens at Metrograph on August 30. It is a perfect film.
For More of a Summer Thrill…
If you’re not in the mood for summertime soul-searching, let me just say that I had dumb fun watching that alligator hurricane movie Crawl, and am equally excited to see the shark flick 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The first 47 Meters Down (which was caged) is also a deliriously riveting time, and can be found on Netflix. Last month, I admitted I had Tarantino FOMO because I’d been out of town for so long and well, I finally watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (and enjoyed it moderately). I don’t have much to add that everyone on the Internet hasn’t already but 1) I am starting to get Margot Robbie now and 2) I was pleased as punch to learn it was choreographed by Toni Basil (Yes, “Hey Mickey, you’re so fine” Toni Basil), whom I love dearly and whose one-hit-wonder status I find unjustifiable. Meanwhile, Basic Instinct hits Hulu on September 1st for some naughty fun in a white dress. And speaking of white dresses, there’s nothing I want to watch more than Ready or Not, that new horror movie about a bride who gets hunted down by her in-laws when she marries into a rich family. I’m just waiting for friends to text me back about going to see it… I, for one, am very ready.