Watching movies that match your outside environment can be a real comforting and reflective treat, and could be a potential stress reliever. As summer in Syracuse turns to fall, the leaves turn bright colors and the days start to feel shorter and cooler, why not catch some movies anticipating the new season?
I recommend the following films that radiate total fall complexion. Ranging from 1971 to 2021, and created by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, they all share a common ground of collective nostalgia. With visuals showcasing the changing seasons, a thirst for memories and a seasonal spirit, these films exude the singular vibe that only fall can emit.
“Little Mama”, 2021
From the mind behind 2014’s “Girlhood” and 2019’s extraordinary “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” writer and director Céline Sciamma is crafting a story of motherhood like you’ve never seen before.
Like a children’s book come to life, “Little Mom” tells the story of an eight-year-old girl named Nelly who comes to terms with the loss of her grandmother. As Nelly and her parents help clean up her mother’s childhood home, feeling weak and bewildered by her grief, she wanders around the outside of the house and in the woods.
It is there that she meets and befriends a girl of the same age, and from there a friendship ensues, completing Nelly’s transition to accepting the loss and the lessons she teaches.
The house and its neighboring woods are a great backdrop for Nelly’s exploration. The orange and red leaves on the trees give off the perfect fall vibe, and the film’s warmth and poignant energy is too good to ignore. Everyone should see this movie once.
Tender and moving, I find “Petite Maman” powerful and extraordinary. For seventy minutes, you are immersed in a snippet of fantastic life that is keen to embrace family ties.
Adam Driver stars in this simple yet beautiful tale about the philosophy of life itself. Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who solidified himself as a movie legend with classics like ‘Mystery Train’, ‘Stranger Than Paradise’ and ‘Night On Earth’, creates another picture of ordinary people’s lives, as mundane and strange as it is.
“Paterson” takes place over a week in the life of Paterson, a bus driver and poet, who goes through his usual routine in the town of Paterson, New Jersey. We see firsthand the trials and tribulations of daily life in Paterson, accompanied by a backdrop of a city in the fall.
The pilot’s performance seems effortless and is moving and enjoyable to watch. Jarmusch’s writing in this film is outstanding, and the surrounding cast of characters led by Golshifteh Farahani, William Jackson Harper, and Barry Shabaka Henley are also terrific.
“Paterson” is a very original, refreshing and unique piece. I think it’s Adam Driver’s best work to date – playing a character that some may find boring, but is actually happy and lucky to be in the situation he finds himself in.
“Some women”, 2016
“Certain Women” features a trio of powerhouse actors – Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart – who embark on a journey of self-discovery in writer and director Kelly Reichardt’s adaptation of three Maile short stories. Meloy.
The three play a lawyer, a mother, and a law student, all trying to navigate their journey to a better understanding of themselves.
The backdrop of Livingston, Montana, is a perfect tone for definitions of fall, telling the story like a melodramatic western in modern America today. It’s a lonely, moving film that’s thematically bright and cold.
“Certain Women” is another of Reichardt’s simple emotional breakthroughs, a modern frontier picture that contains fantastic editing, strong cinematography and outstanding performances.
“The Last Picture Show”, 1971
A coming-of-age movie hasn’t been more effective or tragic than Peter Bogdonavich’s adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel of the same name.
“The Last Picture Show” spans eleven months in the desolate town of Archer City, located in northern Texas. As the city faces imminent extinction due to economic problems and societal collapse, we are immersed in the dramatic lives of two high school best friends, played by Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms in their performances in small groups. Their relationship is tested with their transition to adulthood and their ambition to get as far away from their wasteland as possible.
With an outstanding supporting cast that includes Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson and Cybill Shepherd, “The Last Picture Show” is a film like no other. Through incredible black-and-white cinematography, Archer City is presented as a dust bowl of wasted potential, host to a vanishing childhood odyssey that is haunting and beautiful to watch.
The film is ageless and thoughtful in every way you can imagine – both a devastating and exceptional experience.
“Autumn Sonata”, 1978
With “Autumn Sonata”, Ingmar Bergman creates a perfectly melodramatic tale so powerful and tragic that your eyes won’t be able to leave the screen.
Starring Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann as Charlotte and Eva, “Autumn Sonata” tells the story of a night between a mother and her daughter who haven’t seen each other in seven years. In this reunion, they open up about the pain, torment, and joyless experiences they had growing up in each other’s absence.
As deep and brilliant as all of Ingmar Bergman’s other work, the use of color in this one is absolutely stunning. The visuals are almost warm and cozy, acting as a juxtaposition towards the sad relationship the loving duo of mother and daughter face before them.
With incredible dialogue that almost feels like a stab in the heart, “Autumn Sonata” might be emotionally draining, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
Published September 6, 2022 at 10:57 p.m.