if you tuned in for our Ins and Outs podcast, you’ll know that i have declared: FILM CLUBS ARE IN.

and the rumours are TRUE! i’ve got a film club! it’s me and my boyfriend, and one time it was also my boyfriend’s flatmate which was nice, but it’s also sometimes just ME on my own – one woman film club etc. but also if u wana hang out n go watch a film after work somewhere in london, slide into our twp DMs, lmk lmk, let’s be film friends. the popcorn is on me bc i think it’ll be tax deductible? idk, i think if we pretend it is a business meeting, it’ll be tax deductible so just make sure you say at least one thing about business and we’re groovy.

i think i’ve watched more films this January than i did allllll year last year. and i’m having a great time! which is surprising —- some context »

CONTEXT: i have been thru real ~phases~ with film. when i was a teenager i clocked that Film(TM) and Cinema(TM) was a Thing(TM) so i googled a list of 100 BEST FILMS OF ALL TIME and tried to watch as many on the list as possible – fight club, pulp ficiton, all the fuckboy classics. even watched citizen kane – fucking TERRIBLE film. then when i was at art school, i had an intense interest in World Cinema, and i was also convinced i was a Moving Image Artist (spoiler: i wasn’t), also one of my flatmates was on a filmmaking course – so i watched a lot more Weird Films, Art Films and Films With Subtitles, n i enjoyed them a lot more than the hashtag CLASSICS. the weirder the film, the better. i wanted action, spectacle, dream sequence, unconventional story trajectory, surreal disalogue and unhinged characters. i was loving it. then, when we were tiny baby god critics, early twp era, we did a critics-in-residence stint at Berwick Film Festival – i watched so many art-films across that week that by the end of it my brain just turned off. i found myself unable to stay awake in the warm, dark, comfy cinema seats. gabrielle would gasp n say ‘omg noooo’ when the film ended and i woke up declaring ‘i fell asleep in the first 5 minutes, i don’t know what’s happening to me’. i think my capacity for film has never quite recovered from that breaking point. i watch films, sometimes, but it’s like i lost my appetite for them. i wanted to read my stories rather than watch them play out in front of me. i started not knowing what to do with my hands or my legs, all i needed was my eyes and my concentration, not my actual body. this lack of body involvement had never been a problem before but i started to find films boring as a format. they were a weird length of time. tv shows are manageable chunks that i could fit into my lunch hours or while i was eating dinner. but of COURSE i found films unwieldy – i had no leisure time! i was a working adult! i was a critic slash day job desk job emails and spreadsheet tip tap typer and i’d get home after my hour commute, go to the gym, eat dinner and then open up my laptop for another shift (twp). i’m not complaining – that’s life! i’d have rathered and would still rather prioritise writing because it always brings me joy and excitement that i don’t find anywhere else or in anything else. but my relationship with film fizzled out almost completely. for the past year i haven’t had a tv at home. i leave my laptop at work in my locker. when i get home i am almost completely screenless (other than my phone). and i’ve enjoyed it! i read so many books, i drink wine and gossip with my flatmate, with the cat, i get home late most evenings anyway because i seem to do my best writing after 4pm – maybe it’s an old habit from my day job days.
BUt RECENTLY, my feelings and attitudes have shifted. i didn’t think i had any brain plasticity left to reboot my relationship with film. i thought the appetite for it, once gone, would be gone 4eva. but here i am. a new woman. plastic brain bending into new shapes that surprise me. isn’t it wonderful! maybe it’s just something about being in a relationship? like me n my fella are past that stage where we play it cool and aloof, i j love spending the evenings with him doing absolutely nothing at all! love having a night in, him making me a fancy lovely dinner, cosy and warm and together. maybe it’s also winter, like it’s too cold to be loitering in the smoking area of a pub. maybe it’s bc i remembered that wool and the gang crotchet jumper kit so now i finally have something to do with my hands while watching. idk! but i’ve regained my appetite for films. i’ve got a MUBI subscription (i’m sure ur all people who already have MUBI if you’re into that kinda thing, but here’s my invite link on the offchance you don’t – we both get a free month if u use it, which is nice!) and lads – i fucking LOVE mubi. so much better than the dry netflix roster of films no one wanted to watch anyway. i’m having a great time! i’m getting the rush of a good, weird, interesting story – the rush i am used to getting from the weird whacky books i read – i’m getting that from films again. i’m on fire i’m on a roll i’m enthused and excited because i have a brand new interest and i’m so excited to write about it here on the blog.

so here are the films i’ve really got a kick out of recently – pls, no judgement on how late i am to the party on some of these – like i said, i have been majorly screenless in the wilderness for many years and i’ve got some catching up to do. but yeyeyeye – WISLW film club deep dive special!

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the green knight

yes, dev patel. i watched this in 2 sittings. my boyfriend was a NAYSAYER! he said he’d tried to watch this a couple times, but found it disjointed and boring. so we compromised – he half-watched it next to me, while playing age of empires on his laptop (which fit the ye olde theme of the film). i did my knitting for a bit but eventually i was so bamboozled and awed by the scenes on screen, the sublime pictorial expanse, that i just froze in place. visually, this was like dune vibes, sci-fi rick owens house tour aesthetic cleanliness, crossed with ye olde medieval vibes. FUCKING PERFECT. THE BEST COMBO IMO. COMPELLING, I LOVED IT. as you may or may not know – I’M OBSESSED WITH MEDIEVAL TIMES – my favourite historical period, if i had to live in any other era, i’d be in Medieval times no hesitations and no questions. i just wna know everything about those funky lil medieval people! love the vibes, love the art, love the architecture – and most importantly for the mini-review of the green knight – love the stories. narrative construction in this film is bonkers, vignette style quest interludes. Dev Patel/Gawain goes off on a quest to fulfil his destiny according to the ye olde chivalric code and encounters a mystical fox, a ghost lady without a head, a valley where these enormous alien giants are just stomping around with their heads in the clouds, a lord and lady who are ?swingers? or at least interested in a thruple? surprising. i enjoy that they didn’t shoehorn the story into a bog the quest is a container for mini-quests, the quest is an excuse or shorthand for story. it’s a way of going about telling a story that feels Old, Ancient, vaguely mythological or folk-y in the way it articulates something old and deep and ancient – in that way it inspires a kind of reverence in me. paired with the actually bonkers beautiful cinematography, i was dead into this film. LOVED IT SO MUCH i made my bf take a picture of me in front of the telly once it had finished hahahahahahhahaa

triangle of sadness

i didn’t realise this film was SO LONG. sat down for tv dinner of pizza, freezer veg, curly fries, assorted condiments (my fav kind of dinner, i call this oven tapas). w my bf and his flatmate. all i knew was: this film was very funny, festival circuit darling!, people talked about it a lot on twitter, one of the leading actors sadly died after it was made and the oscars fully left her out of the in memorium tribute (horrible behaviour). i didn’t remember the actual content of people’s reactions n conversation n comments around the film. my bf’s flatmate introduced it as: big eat the rich vibes.

we were wholly UNDERPREPARED for what came our way. i cried laughing. i was hooting like a demented owl. it was disgusting, crude, a kind of body-comedy slapstick with the captains dinner scenes. so much of the plot drove forward by answering the question: and what if the most ridiculous thing that could happen ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN next? like, what then? beyond yes, and? and into and THEN what?

the act 1 pre-boat scenes were interesting too because they set up the model protagonists as 1: protagonists – and then every act that followed just disregarded them as the central focus. the film’s punches landed via the rest of the cast, who were so full that i can’t really call them supporting characters. politically too, i found them interesting because it was a way of interacting with ~timeline style discourse~ in a way that undermined it as a subject of legitimate or serious conversation. which i firmly agree with. like, i pay the bill, you pay the bill, who cares – it’s a subject that’s only fit for discussion if the discussion is a launchpad into the WORST CASE SCENARIO for a conversation.

the russian billionaire was my favourite character. i loved him. and i loved his dialogue with the american ship captain – the after dinner night time tannoy takeover was the kinda comedy that just Gets Me and i don’t know why. i think it’s bc i foudn it very relatable. if i was on a ship full of the ultra-rich, of course i’d get drunk, hijack the tannoy and make them listen to me read noam chomsky to them, my hostage audience. it’s a funny premise. it’s funny because it’s a kind of fantasy i feel ridiculous for wanting.

the desert island bits were politically fascinating to me. i was so delirous at this point in the film that legitimately anything could’ve happened and i’d have just blinked like boink boink. like, it went lord of the flies but make it workers rights, make it proletarian uprising. go abigail!!! i mean, god knows if i think it was politically astute or meaningful, it’s comedy or farce – i am willing to take this all with a pinch of salt. i just honked like a great big goose when the russian lady was vomming and shitting and sliding round the bathroom, missing the toilet as she went from wall to wall in the liquid mess of it all. soooo gross, a debasement that feels like i am allowed to laugh at it – the abjection of a rich person shitting liquid shit all over themselves. mwah mwah mwah.

only lovers left alive

i hate jim jarmusch? bc i watched this and i also watched Paterson, the one about adam driver the bus driver (ha) and I HATED them both. FULL offence. jim jarmusch, you’ve stolen like… 4 hours of my life and i want them back. i want compensation. i watched paterson first and when i hated it, i was kinda like … hmm… this was my fault. i knew i wouldn’t like it! the description was something like: ‘this is a film about a guy that lives a quiet life and Notices Things!’, which ended up being very accurate. i j don’t care for that. i was warned. BUT. only lovers left alive is described as like ‘these are sexy rock n roll vampires and they’re STYLISH and they’re full of ENNUI. it’s also a COMEDY.’

and ok – it was stylish, they are full of ennui. but it wasn’t funny. it couldn’t be! for things to be funny, haha, comedy – THINGS HAVE TO HAPPEN. AND NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENED. like, literally nothing. just weird wah wah piercing music long dizzy shot of tilda swinton all languid and etheral in some sunglasses or tom hiddleston staggering around a victorian house in detroit ??? what the fuck? NOTHING HAPPENED. IT WAS TWO HOURS LONG. ARE YOU JOKING??? i’m still pissed off about it. DON’T watch this film! i want to start a petition to make jim jarmusch eat the celluloid hard copy film reel version of this film, as punishment.

side note: just googled jim jarmusch and his wikipedia pages says he’s characterised as ‘a minimalist filmmaker whose idiosyncratic films are unhurried. In an interview early in his career, he stated that his goal was “to approximate real time for the audience."’ – i’m so sorry, that sounds terrible? like, criminally boring? that sounds like my worst nightmare? i should’ve googled him before watching anything he ever made. i hate him he stole 4 hours from me!!!!

the wonderful story of henry sugar

Roald Dahl? cancelled. terrible anti-semite, weird quaint silly books, murky legacy that i’mnerally bored of. Wes Anderson? my favourite guy. love him! even tho it’s cheugy and overplayed to love wes anderson – it used to be a personality trait, now it’s just a fact in The Culture (the personality trait now is HATING wes anderson, and i could never!)

henry sugar is about a rich midcentury man who learns about a clairvoyant circus guru who could see without using his eyes using the power of yoga. the rich man uses the clairvoyant’s yoga instructions to learn the trick too, so he can use his powers to cheat at blackjack. it’s a short story by roald dahl and – imo roald dahl is a really good match for wes anderson — we know this from fantastic mr fox, which was truly delightful as films generally go. there’s something about the rapid rolling pace at which wes anderson handles and treats dialogue – it’s so fast it kinda has to be colourless, deadpan, and he plays with the pace and slips gags into the quickfire onslaught. i often find myself laughing late like, wait - did they just say? did that just? what? like they say that you either laugh in suprise or in recognition and – laughing in recognition is much more common, far easier to pull off. i find way more value in the rarity of laughing in surprise, and that’s the kind of comedy wes anderson is really good at – and it’s really difficult! finely tuned! but so precious!

there are flashback scenes in india, with dev patel and ben kingsley, and wes anderson is so good at dealing with the kitsch-y goodness that just makes up indian aesthetic sensibility (see darjeeling limited)– i’ve said this already, many times probably, but i think indians literally invented pictorial flatness. that way of treating 3dimensional space and objects like they are completely flat and resting on a singular linear plane. indian flatness runs counter to western logic, that rennaissance handling of pictorial space, the painterly conceit of perspective, tricking the eye into thinking a 2dimensional plane contains 3dimensional depth. indian flatness is SO wes anderson, pre-wes anderson. but i love a bit of flatness in an image, perspective trickery gone askew. it’s the kind of perfect imperfection that i find charming and compelling, rewarding to look at. and that’s why i love wes anderson, because he makes those rewarding compelling crunchy images MOVE. the whole combination worked so well in this film, i was bamboozled and delighted. loved it!!!

medusa deluxe

murder mystery set in a competitive hairdressing contest! moody, artsy – i’ve been wanting to watch this film for MONTHS. i saw it on the ICA cinema listings and that one-sentence decription just HAD me. like, yes !! bonkers, let’s go. my boyfriend STAUNCHLY REFUSED bc he was convinced it’d be boring. he said he just knew, from the vibe. so – it’s on MUBI and i love MUBI and i had an evening to myself (lovely, rare treat) so i settled in to do my knitting.

i can’t lie, it was a bit more boring than i expected. just because the description is soooo good, it keyed my expectations all the way up. but the mystery part of the murder mystery is never quite given the narrative momentum it needs to make it genuinely exciting or even interesting. the film picks up after the murder has been discovered and the police come to shut the competition down. the camera is just a looming figure, fly on the wall for these bleh bleh scenes where the characters are all in limbo liminal space, being held by the police, going mad trying to climb the walls and investigate or find out what’s going on. that palpable frustration is good – intersting, executed well, but it’s the entire film. my intuition says it’d be best left at a couple scenes, max– wouldn’t be able to handle a whole act of that mood, so a whole film? wah wah what? the murder is also only actually solved at the end, but everyone kinda knows or suspects whodunnit in like… act 1? beginning of act 2? and the whole motivation is revealed but there’s a lingering question of who’s the mastermind still left lingering at the end – a loose end that never gets tied up. which i’d have found baffling if there’d been more narrative momentum and pursuit of mystery or stakes.

HAVING SAID THAT. the entire film’s TWP rating was saved in the end scene. after all the action, the grand reveal, the explanation and exposition finale. there’s a dream sequence!!! you know how GDLP said, on the ins and outs podcast, that old school musicals just go: Act 1 (normal), Act 2 (normal), Act 3 (fantasia), Act 4 (ending)? like for a bit before things wrap up, it just goes all woo-woo and dream sequence dancing, fantasia, spectacle, pizazz. WELL, THAT HAPPENED RIGHT AT THE END OF MEDUSA DELUXE. the security guard, the murder suspect and actual murderer (turns out), but also the lonely sad man who committed the murder after having his hair loss drugs spiked by potentially the murder victim's hairdressing assistant? complicated. yeah, he starts in the middle of a dark lit dancefloor, spotlight trains down and he’s in a sparkly lovely top. he’s dancing in a way that makes me think ‘o, he’s just a normal guy that’s a good dancer’. not like, ‘o wow, a professional dancer’ way, just ‘wow, he’s got club moves’ way. which i like. that’s humanising and charming. he’s doing these moves in a way that makes me think he’s really like, genuinely letting loose or expending tension. and good! it’s a moment that’s soooo full of tenderness actually, like big pathos, etc. the rest of the cast are staggered in and join him in dancing. first, the models are in sequined jackets and they click and stamp around, his backup dancers. then the hairdressers! they storm in like big diva energy! it’s the best scene in the film imo. and it’s such a throwaway unnecessary bit? it’s sooooo excessively opulent bc there’s no point in it! the story’s over! this is meant to be the credits! god, i love it. i watched it like 3 times. i found it soooo rewarding and delightful to watch, i took realy and genuine pleasure in it. the way the camera skims over the characters in this caress, like the shot is continuous, the camera lingers on people’s faces and movements, spins to hold contact. it’s fucking great. and the weird thing is, i kinda needed to watch the whole entire film and build this relationship with all the characters and be bored a bit to appreciate it? bc otherwise, it was just people dancing. the joy is in the story contained in their movmeent! SO GOOD!!!!


i want to watch POOR THINGS !!!! someone on IG said it was Horny, Like Saltburn and also the cultural vibe around it is: good film, odd as fuck —- that’s what i’m lookin for from a film!!! sounds 10/10 already! my bf has a vendetta against Yorgos Lanthimos for some reason so i am also Wary because – idk about you, when someone has a vendetta against someone they dont know, i always think that gut instinct might be well founded? like, there might be good reason for his bad vibe perception? idk idk. i’ll still go see it, just with ANOTHER member of my PERSONAL FILM CLUB.

and then, chasing after that green knight high, i also wana watch EXCALIBUR – this medieval epic fantasy film from 1981. i actually saw tiktok fancam aesthetic clips of it and was like ?? oo. looks interesting! and good! and bonkers! like a kitschy crap b-movie that may or may not be accidentally on purpose visually STUNNING. can’t wait to find out. i love medieval times!!!!

beyond that, idk! i haven’t got much else in mind beyond my MUBI watchlist or whatever’s recommended to me on the great big menu screen. i am enjoying umbling along and having a look! if you have any reccomendations for films you think i’d like based on this and all my other proclamations of taste, pls write in @thewhitepube on ig and slide into our DMs w ur reccoes. also lmk if u wana go to the cinema togeva, that was a genuine offer, let’s go love meeting strangers off the internet! ok that’s all for this week bye bye byeeeee ! <3 <3 <3 <3