17 Films I Saw This February (Film List 2021) – PART 2

Hello All,

I hope everyone is well and staying safe.

I, like many come up with many new years resolutions, some I keep to and others I don’t. This may seem very strange to say for someone that has actively studied the craft of filmmaking, but I wanted to watch more films…

So the rules are that I need to pick films which I haven’t seen before, regardless of the era of cinema. So… the films. This month I have been very busy in terms of what I have been watching, some of these films have now become some of my favourite films ever now.

The King of Comedy – Date Viewed: 15/02/2021

Director: Martin Scorsese  

Studio: Embassy International Pictures

Release Date: 1982

Martin Scorsese’s black comedy follows Rupert Pupkin, a failing comedian who after being rejected by Jerry Lewis, decides to kidnap him in order to reach the heights he so desperately craves. This film is perhaps De Niro’s and Scorsese’s greatest collaboration as well as their best individual piece of work. It’s two artists at the height of their art form, which culminates in a film with such verve and darkness. This is an incredible watch and still carries so much weight, importance and relevance today.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

Monsters – Date Viewed: 18/02/2021

Director: Gareth Edwards

Studio: Vertigo Films

Release Date: 2010

Gareth Edwards’ debut film about a world where monsters have landed in Mexico, causing the country to go into quarantine, from there we follow a photojournalist trying to get his boss’ daughter from the Mexican quarantine to the American border in one piece. This was directed, written and shot by Edwards, who has done some incredible blockbusters since, but this film is worth a watch because of how mystifying the monsters and world is.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

Logan Lucky – Date Viewed: 19/02/2021

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Studio: Trans-Radial Pictures, Free Association

Release Date: 2017

Steven Soderbergh’s caper surrounds two brothers attempting to rob a NASCAR race in North Carolina. This has so many classic Soderbergh hallmarks, from the humour, set pieces and characters it’s a roaring watch, which keeps your eyes glues to the screen at all times. Above all of this the film has a heart its also about the relationship between a father and daughter and that drives so much of the film. A special mention for Daniel Craig who is so consistently funny throughout this.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

Searching for Sugar Man – Date Viewed: 20/02/2021

Director: Malik Bendjelloul

Studio: Red Box Film, Passion Pictures, Canfield Pictures, Sveriges Television. Yle Co-Production, Hysteria Film

Release Date: 2012

This mesmerising true story about Sixto Rodriguez, an artist by all accounts who was an incredibly talented artist who was tipped to reach the heights of Bob Dylan, but never did. The albums he recorded found their way to South Africa where they inspired a generation through the apartheid censorship and became a music staple in a divided country. Come into this film with zero knowledge for the best experience.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

Good Time – Date Viewed: 22/02/2021

Director: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

Studio: Elara Pictures, Rhea Films, Hercules Film Fund

Release Date: 2017

This Safdie Brother’s thriller is utterly insane, pulse-pounding in every aspect, but you also can’t take your eyes off the screen, even after disaster after disaster tumble one after the other. Robert Pattison stars as a man on the run desperate to rescue his brother after a heist gone wrong. The events get crazier and crazier, this film was created before Uncut Gems and it’s so evident to see their anxiety-inducing style evolving as they go. Highly recommend both films.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

Three Identical Strangers – Date Viewed: 23/02/2021

Director: Tim Wardle

Studio: CNN Films, Raw TV

Release Date: 2018

I’ve never seen anything like this before, this is so heart-breaking, insane and devastating in so many respects. Like ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ the less you know the better. The premise is a true-life story about three identical twins who reunited after years apart. That’s all I’ll say on the matter. Go watch this now.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

Parasite – Date Viewed: 24/02/2021

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Studio: Barunson E&A

Release Date: 2019

What more is there to say about this film apart from the fact that it deservedly got the recognition it deserved from Western audiences. Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece on the class, wealth gaps and family is something to behold it’s stunning in every aspect, so much so I feel I may do a disservice to describe it in so few words. This film is funny, dark and sad. It’s held up in such high-esteem for a reason, this is an essential watch.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

The Bling Ring – Date Viewed: 25/02/2021

Director: Sofia Coppola

Studio: American Zoetrope, NALA Films, Pathé, StudioCanal, Tobis Film, Tohokushinsha Film, FilmNation Entertainment

Release Date: 2013

Sofia Coppola’s satirical adaptation of the vanity fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”, follows the titular Bling Ring, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who tracked celebrity houses on the internet in order to rob them. I wasn’t so sure of the angle the film tried to take, Coppola’s stance is very non-judgemental, but I feel somewhat sad for the characters who feel so influenced by celebrity culture. Emma Watson is a scene-stealer in this, let me know what your thoughts are on this film.

Currently on BBCiPlayer (At the time of writing)

Raw – Date Viewed: 27/02/2021

Director: Julia Ducournau

Studio: Petit Film, Rouge International, Frakas Productions, Ezekiel Film Production, Wild Bunch

Release Date: 2016

Julia Ducournau’s coming of age film follows Justine, a veterinary school student who has been a vegetarian all of her life, but after a hazing ritual starts to develop a craving for human flesh. This film is an incredible showing of maturing, so much of this film is fresh and engaging and masterful in its depiction of its characters motivations and horror. I loved this film, it has humour and horror in abundance and it’s now one of my favourite horror films ever.

Thankfully I’ve been really on it this month, it’s been a delight to watch these films. Some of these films have been the most visceral and philosophical experiences I’ve had in recent memory. I would recommend all of these films, but I want to single out The King of Comedy, Parasite and Raw, these films are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Go watch these films now.

Hope you check these films out, I’ve watched them using a mix of Netflix, Amazon Prime and rental. Watching these films again helps get money back into the film industry, so it feels good to feel like I’m helping, while enjoying these films.

Stay safe, be present, enjoy things that you like.


Stills courtesy of FILMGRAB / Kiss Them Goodbye / Bluscreens.net / anothermag.com / Elevation Pictures / Movieclips Classic Trailers / movienco.co.uk / screenmusings.com / Screen Goblin / commonsensemedia.org

Published by Adam Shafi

Here's my work, ranging from films to essays. Hope you enjoy it!

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