MY, OH, MY IT’S BEEN TOO LONG

Hello, internet! My laptop charger broke and I was without my precious MacBook for nearly a month, but I’m back and better than ever. Other than that, life has been tremendous. Being without a computer was quite wonderful, honestly. It gave me time to do things other than stare at a screen for hours on end. So, I’m going to recommend some things that I enjoyed during my absence from the internet.

1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

I finally read Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem (happy belated birthday to the truly inspirational Didion- she just turned 80 and is still as stylish and lovely as ever) and it blew me away. Her prose will make you want to be a better writer. It will also make you want to read everything she’s ever written.

2. Twin Peaks (TV series, 1990-1991)

Shamefully, it took me until 2014 to finally watch Twin Peaks in its entirety. It’s still haunting me. David Lynch has a way of doing that- peering into the darkest places and making you feel terror that shouldn’t exist outside of actual nightmares. The scenes with Bob have given me nightmares like nothing else.

3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Yes, Please is so incredible and honest and my, God, we are lucky Amy Poehler exists in our lifetime. I suggest you read this one right away. It’ll make you want to take the world by storm and experience everything.

3. The One I Love, 2014, dir. Charlie McDowell

I saw the trailer, which reveals little but intrigues a lot, and was transfixed. Mark Duplass tweeted that it was finally available on Netflix and I watched it immediately. You need to do the same before you hear anything about the plot. It’s the most uniquely original film I’ve seen in quite some time. I was entertained from the first scene. It should also be noted that Ted Danson is in this for little bit, which makes The One I Love well worth watching just for that. His stepson, Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen), directed the movie, and Mary Steenburgen’s voice is featured in one scene. It’s a family affair!

5. “Birthday” by Selena Gomez
My friend Rachel heard this song while shopping in Forever 21 and immediately reported back to me on how girly and fun it is. It’s been our car ride go-to, and it really is the most girly and the most fun.

“WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCARY MOVIE?”

Netflix is filled to the brim with great horror movies right now, and I, of course, am long overdue to recommend some movies to you. So, grab yourself some candy corn and a bottle of Oktoberfest and start setting up your Netflix queue because I’ve got 20 great movies you need to be watching this month.

Scream, 1996, dir. Wes Craven

Scream is my personal favorite horror movie. It’s the horror movie for movie buffs. It’s super, super 90s, which is always welcome in my book, and Matthew Lillard is in it, which is also always welcome in my book. Scream was written by Kevin Williamson who writes a lot of great horror/thriller genre titles including The Following and Stalker. Williamson is responsible for a load of 90s excellence namely ScreamI Know What You Did Last Summer, and, surprisingly, many an episode of Dawson’s Creek. While the first installment of Scream is the best, the entire trilogy is on Netflix and it’s a top notch trilogy… just leave out Scream 4. I like to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Cabin In The Woods, 2012, dir. Drew Goddard

Cabin In The Woods takes a wicked awesome turn not even half way through the movie. It’s written by Joss Whedon, who many people think turns everything he touches to gold.

Black Sunday, 1960, dir. Mario Bava

lot of Mario Bava’s films are on Netflix right now, but Black Sunday is the creepiest. I mean, just look at that picture. Those are the most terrifying eyes I’ve ever seen in my life! No Steve Buscemi jokes, please. 😉

The Blair Witch Project, 1999, dir. Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez

Okay, The Blair Witch Project gets a lot of flack, but it’s a classic. It defined the found footage genre and terrified the pants off a ton of 90s kids. I remember seeing the trailer and hearing my cousin and her friend talk about wanting to go see it and being scared for my life that the witch that took the three filmmakers that went out into those woods was going to somehow make her way to me because I wanted to be a filmmaker at the time. It’s scary, and yes, at times goofy. But when they get to that house at the end… all bets are off.

Carrie, 1976, dir. Brian De Palma

I’m just going to say this: the scene where Piper Laurie is going after Sissy Spacek with that knife STILL permeates my nightmares.

Evil Dead II, 1987, dir. Sam Raimi

Bruce. Campbell.

Grave Encounters, 2011, dir. The Vicious Brothers

It’s going to become aware that I really really like found footage films. They bring the scares, and Grave Encounters is no different. A television production crew (think Ghost Hunters) travels to an abandoned mental hospital and some scary stuff happens. See photo above.

The House of the Devil, 2009, dir. Ti West

The thing I liked about this movie is the fact that it looked and felt like a late 70s/early 80s horror film. It was shot on 16mm which did the trick, but the absolute coolest thing is that they promotionally released it on VHS. In 2009! So cool. The story was captivating until the end (the end disappointed me, but this is a great watch. Greta Gerwig is in it and she’s great).

Insidious 2, 2013, dir. James Wan

James Wan has directed so many of my favorite horror movies of the past decade. Insidious 2 is frightening, and the story is unique.

Let The Right One In, 2008, dir. Tomas Alfredson

A modern classic vampire story.

Night of the Living Dead, 1968, dir. George A. Romero

The definitive zombie film. Forget The Walking Dead (seriously).

Paranormal Activity 4, 2012, dir. Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman

Okay, so look. I know a lot of people hate on the Paranormal Activity franchise, but there is absolutely nothing better than going to the theater to see one of these films on opening night and getting jump scared over and over again. I thought Paranormal Activity 4 was great; I think all of them are great. Disagree all you want. They’re fun, fun movies.

Red State, 2011, dir. Kevin Smith

Red State was a pleasant surprise. Kevin Smith, who you probably know better as Silent Bob, wrote and directed this film and just released a new horror film, Tusk, that I’m psyched for, especially after seeing Red State.

V/H/S, 2012, dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, & Adam Wingard

Until I saw V/H/S, I hadn’t ever seen a film that I wanted to turn off within the first 20 minutes because I was shaking-scared. There’s something about V/H/S that just crawls under your skin. I highly recommend it, though, because it is freaking horrifying. I’ll admit right here right now that when I went to google a photo to use for this movie I was scared because I knew I was going to use a photo of the “I like you” girl and I didn’t want to look at her because she gives me nightmares.

V/H/S 2, 2013, dir. Simon Barrett, Jason Eisner, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, & Adam Wingard

Remember what I said about V/H/S? Yeah, same goes for V/H/S 2.

You’re Next, 2011, dir. Adam Wingard

Adam Wingard directed and Joe Swanberg wrote You’re Next, and they both directed shorts in the V/H/S movies, so I had high expectations for this. It was good, not great, but highly entertaining and a good one to keep in your queue for a Halloween movie marathon.

Dead Silence, 2007, dir. James Wan

A. Ventriloquist dummies (which were made terrifying for all children of the Goosebumps generation, thanks R.L. Stine) and B. Mary Shaw, who is the Woman in Black but more visible due to more camera time, and scarier. I mean, she’s a ventriloquist with like a million dummies!

Bad Milo, 2013, dir. Jacob Vaughan

Horror comedies are the best, and while nothing can trump Shaun of the Dead, Bad Milo makes a valiant effort. It stars Ken Marino and Gillian Jacobs, and that simple fact makes me very, very happy.

Rosemary’s Baby, 1968, dir. Roman Polanski

I’ve mentioned Rosemary’s Baby before in my 1960s film recommendations post, and I’m mentioning it again because it’s that good. Just watch it. If you haven’t yet you’re a fool.

Zodiac, 2007, dir. David Fincher

Let us list the terrific components of this movie, shall we? David Fincher. Jake Gyllenhaal. Robert Downey, Jr. Chloë Sevigny. Mark Ruffalo. True crime. It’s all there, and it’s all perfect, which explains why this film is the best feature film adaptation of a true crime book to ever exist. I challenge anyone to challenge that, because I want more true crime films.

10 MOVIES FROM THE 1960S STREAMING ON NETFLIX/HULU THAT YOU NEED TO WATCH

The 1960s were an EXCELLENT time for film. It’s when the world was introduced to the French New Wave, it’s when Stanley Kubrick really found his voice as a filmmaker, it’s when the cult film really came into being, and those are just a handful of landmarks in film history that happened in the 1960s. If you haven’t seen many films from the 1960s, what’s wrong with you? Get to it! You have a plethora of fantastic choices at your fingertips through the beauty that is Netflix and Hulu, and I’m here to give you some recommendations.


10. Cléo from 5 to 7, 1962, dir. Agnès Varda
Available on: Hulu Plus

If you want to really experience Paris, France in the 1960s, the movie you need to watch is Cléo from 5 to 7. Cléo, a French singer, is nervously awaiting a biopsy from her doctor. To distract herself, she travels around Paris for two hours.


09. Persona, 1966, dir. Ingmar Bergman
Available on: Hulu Plus

Want to watch something that really messes with your brain? Persona will do the job, for sure. A nurse is delegated the task of looking after an actress who can’t speak. The nurse begins to feel the actress’s personality molding with her own. It’s exceedingly trippy and bizarre and beautiful. One of Bergman’s best.


08. Valley of the Dolls, 1967, dir. Mark Robson
Available on: Netflix Instant

Sharon Tate, God rest your beautiful soul, you were captivating in Valley of the Dolls, a 1967 film about women trying to make it in New York and Hollywood. Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.


07. Week End, 1967, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
Available on: Hulu Plus

One of the most interesting and original movies available to view currently, married couple Corinne and Roland Durand decide to take a weekend trip. The trip takes a turn for the worst due to a series of car pileups, traffic jams, and everything else you could possibly think of. Along the way, though, they run into various characters from history and literature, and that’s where the real fun happens.


06. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961, dir. Blake Edwards
Available on: Netflix Instant

Oh, Audrey. Her most charming and acclaimed role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is not my favorite performance of hers, but this film is extremely important and wonderful. Holly is a complicated character- when in public she’s flighty and sociable, but behind closed doors she’s a bundle of neuroses.


05. Rosemary’s Baby, 1968, dir. Roman Coppola
Available on: Netflix Instant

“This isn’t a dream… this is really happening!” Rosemary and her husband Guy move into a new apartment. After Rosemary becomes pregnant, things start getting weird.


04. L’Avventura, 1961, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni
Available on: Hulu Plus

Simple plot: A woman goes missing and while searching for her, her best friend and her boyfriend start to fall in love. Antonioni puts his glorious spin on the story and the directing is impeccable.


03. Breathless, 1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard
Available on: Hulu Plus

Godard’s seminal classic and a great collaboration between Godard and Truffaut. Jean-Paul Belmondo is Michel Poiccard, a criminal on the run from the police who is trying to persuade his American lover, Jean Seberg as the adorable Patricia Franchini, to join him in fleeing France.


02. A Hard Day’s Night, 1964, dir. Richard Lester
Available on: Hulu Plus

Do I really need to explain? It’s the Beatles’ first and best movie. It’s hilarious and full of happiness.


01. The Graduate, 1967, dir. Mike Nichols
Available on: Netflix Instant

My all-time favorite movie, The Graduate is perfect filmmaking. It never once loses your attention. It’s perfect. Dustin Hoffman is Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate who finds himself in an affair with his father’s business partner’s wife, Mrs. Robinson. Things get confusing when Benjamin starts to fall in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, Elaine.

CURRENT FAVORITES

favorites
I’m always discovering new things that I love. I’m a compulsive try-er. When shopping for clothes, I’ll try just about anything on “just to see”. I’m not a picky eater; I’ll try any food once. I smell every single candle/perfume/lotion when I see any. You get my drift. What I’m trying to say here is, I always always have favorite things! These are my favorite things from previous months June-August. Since I wasn’t blogging then, I figured I would just conglomerate them.

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