9 Films I Saw This October (Film List 2021)

Hello All,

This month I haven’t been able to watch much more than I did last month, but I have managed to cross a couple of classic films off my list. My scope has narrowed, as I no longer use Disney+ or BFIPlayer, but I have found IMDb TV, which is free with an Amazon Prime subscription. They have a lot of good films to offer, which I have used a few times for the October list and the November list.

The rules are I can only write about films I haven’t seen before – I want to engage with films that have been on my watchlist for a while now. I have enjoyed the films I have seen in this series so far.

Spotlight – Date Viewed: 02/10/2021

Director: Tom McCarthy

Studio: Participant Media, First Look Media, Anonymous Content, Rocklin/Faust Productions, Spotlight Film

Release Date: 2015

Spotlight tells the incredible true story regarding the Boston Globe’s uncovering of the child molestation scandal and the cover-up in the Catholic Archdiocese. The film handles the subject matter delicately while allowing the nature of the crimes to be fully understood, but it’s a demonstration in substance over style – which serves the film well as it doesn’t try and present the truth in a pretty way, but gives it the dignity it deserves. It also questions the response to the scandal both by the Boston Globe and the local community, who are strongly religious. The performances are great and the direction is superb.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

Boyz n the Hood – Date Viewed: 05/10/2021

Director: John Singleton

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Release Date: 1991

The late great John Singleton’s decade-defining drama follows Tre Styles and his friends as they grow up in South Central Los Angeles. A portrait of poverty, drugs and violence seems through the eyes of young boys who turn into a different version of men, which culminates in some extremely powerful dialogue exchanges, violent ends and life lessons, which leave an impression long after the film has finished. The film was selected for preservation in 2002, which should illustrate the cultural relevance and importance this film has.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

The Lighthouse – Date Viewed: 13/10/2021

Director: Robert Eggers

Studio: A24, Regency Enterprises, RT Features

Release Date: 2019

Robert Eggers creates a dark, atmospheric and claustrophobic piece that is superbly fronted by Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson. When a storm stands two lightkeepers on a remote island, they start to descend into madness. The film is shot in a very unique way with a 1.19.1 aspect ratio and in full black and white to evoke 19th-century photography. The aesthetic combines with the dark feeling which the film generates as the tension cranks up and up. A really interesting and tense watch.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

High-Rise – Date Viewed: 14/10/2021

Director: Ben Wheatley

Studio: Recorded Picture Company, Film4, British Film Institute, HanWay Films, Northern Ireland Screen, Ingenious Media

Release Date: 2016

Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G Ballard’s titular novel is wide in scope and anchored brilliantly by the charismatic Tom Hiddleston. A notoriously difficult story to adapt, especially with the monolithic building being so varied inside, but Wheatley has presented it fantastically and the building feels like it has a personality, which becomes hauntingly apparent as the residents start to turn insane by the claustrophobia and political turmoil which hang over every action.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

The Platform – Date Viewed: 21/10/2021

Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Studio: Basque Films, Mr. Miyagi Films, Plataforma La Película A.I.E

Release Date: 2020

An abstract film, which takes a look at the upwards mobility with the class system and breaks it down into its most important components. The film is a very violent affair, which amongst the brutalist architecture seems so sterile as we follow Goreng as he meets various characters up and down the prison, which after a certain amount of time moves the inhabitants up or down at random with only a certain amount of residents being given access the deciding table of food which goes down one platform at a time. The film is a very well done, well-presented story of class struggles that will surprise and intrigue you on your first watch.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

Rashomon – Date Viewed: 25/10/2021

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Studio: Daiei Film

Release Date: 1950

Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece tells the story of a group of people who discuses the events regarding the murder of a samurai and the rape of his wife by a bandit. All recollections of the events are different and varied, which makes it naturally very difficult to trust any version of events, but the film is a moving portrait of the nature of humanity – the good and the bad and it has an almost ethereal quality of it which reads like a fairy tale. A truly stunning film, which has even had the phenomena named after it.

Currently on IMDb TV (At the time of writing)

Meek’s Cutoff – Date Viewed: 26/10/2021

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Studio: Evenstar Films, Film Science, Harmony Productions, Primitive Nerd

Release Date: 2010

Kelly Reichardt’s western drama follows settlers travelling down the Oregon trail, loosely based on real events the story follows Stephen Meek and ill-fated journey as he leads a wagon trail through the desert. Tensions rise as the route is questioned and as the group comes close to tearing itself apart as a journey that takes two weeks stretches into five weeks. A striking film that uses the landscapes perfectly and creates a sense of tension with a methodical pace, which allows interactions to breathe.

Currently on IMDb TV (At the time of writing)

Prisoners – Date Viewed: 29/10/2021

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Studio: Alcon Entertainment, 8:38 Productions, Madhouse Entertainment

Release Date: 2013

Denis Villeneuve’s searing thriller centres around the disappearances of two children and the subsequent search to bring them home safely. It’s a moral tale, which illustrates the lengths some people go to bring back those they love in the cruellest of circumstances. The film looks fantastic as Roger Deakins shot the film, but Villeneuve’s direction is also incredible as the range of performances from Hugh Jackman, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal are incredible as we see characters get even more desperate to bring back the missing children.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

Dune – Date Viewed: 31/10/2021

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Studio: Legendary Pictures

Release Date: 2021

Denis Villeneuve’s latest film tackles the notoriously difficult to adapt novel of the same name. A remake of the ill-fated David Lynch adaptation, which took over from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unsuccessful adaptation of the novel. The film is stunning visually and it has such a strong sense of location as every room has a personality. The film is the first part of a duo, which feels the case when you watch it as it has to dump a lot of information, but it does break it up with some incredible set pieces. I’m looking forward to the next part of the story.

Currently in Cinemas (At the time of writing)

I have been watching these using a mix of Netflix, Amazon Prime and IMDb TV. I also use other platforms such as All4 and BBCiPlayer, which are both free in the UK. I have also set myself a benchmark to watch at least one film in the cinema a month. I think it’s vital to see these films on the big screen, as it’s the way these films were intended to be seen.

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 / NME / Joe’s Movie Blog / cultandexploitation.blogspot.com / fancaps.net / ingloriousbaguettes.com / starwarsscreencaps.com / boardchairman / animationscreencaps / forum.pixarpost.com / shattereddteacup / MyCenterMovie / disney.fandom.com / talkbass.com / indyweek.com / theguardian.com / echoartists

Published by Adam Shafi

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

One thought on “9 Films I Saw This October (Film List 2021)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: