Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton
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Recently Watched Films 2017

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Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, Singin' in the Rain, 1952

Is it too soon to nominate it as Best Film of the Year - or Best Film of All Time? Happy New Year to all.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Hiroshima, Mon Amour ( Dir Alain Resnais)
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A love story set in Hiroshima right after the bombings. Two married couples tangled in a love affair. The woman wants him to be a write off in her black book, but the man keeps on going after her, even when she tells him no it's over, and to stop bothering her. She is like a helpless flower, amongst the Japanese, where she is constantly harassed in her acclimations into Japanese society. Though that's not what she wants in the end, and a very relevant back story about her first love is shown through backflashes and there is a lot of grotesque imagery of deformed people in the first act of the film due to the bombings. The pursuit of the man, his continuous pursuit is rather parallel to another movie I saw on FilmStruck this Holiday Season:

Last Tango in Paris

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Marlon Brando is everything people say he is. He is just great. I remember I would listen to David Bowie and R.E.M. mention him in their songs, and be like I'm' a little too young to know who he was besides the Godfather which I didn't really like upon first viewing, but that's who he is basically for my generation I think. There are some weird parallels to Last Tango and Hiroshima Mon Amour that are quite interesting to me. R.E.M. mentions Brando at least twice, once in a song called "Me and Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and Me."

Mo Noyz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Mo Noyz »

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Finding Dory

Hey, hat's off to Pixar for finally breaking their losing streak with sequels (outside of the excellent Toy Story franchise). After turds like Monsters University, and the unwatchable Cars 2, they finally knocked one out of the park. This one still has a sweet side like the original, but leans more on humor.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Piano Mouth wrote:Hiroshima, Mon Amour ( Dir Alain Resnais)
Image

A love story set in Hiroshima right after the bombings. Two married couples tangled in a love affair. The woman wants him to be a write off in her black book, but the man keeps on going after her, even when she tells him no it's over, and to stop bothering her. She is like a helpless flower, amongst the Japanese, where she is constantly harassed in her acclimations into Japanese society. Though that's not what she wants in the end, and a very relevant back story about her first love is shown through backflashes and there is a lot of grotesque imagery of deformed people in the first act of the film due to the bombings. The pursuit of the man, his continuous pursuit is rather parallel to another movie I saw on FilmStruck this Holiday Season:

Last Tango in Paris

Image

Marlon Brando is everything people say he is. He is just great. I remember I would listen to David Bowie and R.E.M. mention him in their songs, and be like I'm' a little too young to know who he was besides the Godfather which I didn't really like upon first viewing, but that's who he is basically for my generation I think. There are some weird parallels to Last Tango and Hiroshima Mon Amour that are quite interesting to me. R.E.M. mentions Brando at least twice, once in a song called "Me and Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and Me."
Nice. Two old faves of mine. Haven't seen either in over 20 years.

I saw Fences (Washington, 2016). Didn't like it too much. I'm not a huge August Wilson fan--disliked Two Trains Running and one other Pittsburgh play also. Viola Davis is very good, though. Great actress.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Carlos Saura, Elisa, vida mia, 1977

“In the poetic Elisa My Love, Spanish director Carlos Saura (Cria Cuervos, Cousin Angelica) turns again to an isolated world with few characters. After a separation of 20 years, Elisa (Geraldine Chaplin) visits her father, Luis (Fernando Rey), a 60-year-old writer living in seclusion in the Castilian countryside. As they exchange stories and experiences, memory and reality become surreally confused. Luis incorporates their conversations into his writing, and when he dies, Elisa continues the story her father began. The resulting film is a rich intertwining of fiction and reality, a haunting exploration of two people's loneliness. ‘I accept that, as people say, everything you do is autobiographical and...I can say that Elisa, Vida Mia is among all my films the nearest one to my own thoughts.' (Carlos Saura)”
Fair enough description, as far as it goes, though beware that word "surreally".. there are no cows sprawling on pianos or melting wristwatches here, but instead a subtle exploration of different levels of text - spoken, written, narrated (often confusingly: is her father writing the story of her and Antonio? - both characters read it at certain points in the film). Fine performances from Rey and Chaplin, but it could have been 20 or so minutes shorter and would have worked just as well.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Henry Hathaway, Niagara, 1953

I suppose this is what Ms. Kael would have called good trash - a gloriously tacky plot, cardboard characters (dialogue's quiet sharp though) and splendid Technicolor shots of the falls (bravo to Hathaway for being able to find sunshine in Buffalo.. I never did). Marilyn was still under contract elsewhere at the time, and apparently earned less than the make-up artists, but the quintessential Monroe sex bomb image was already well-established and milked for all it was worth: apart from wearing that garish red lipstick everywhere, not only in the shower (!), she seems incapable of actually closing her mouth, keeping that sexy aperture eternally open and promising. Not surprisingly, every bloke who sees her starts drooling instantly, and other dames just can't compete; Jean Peters, whose Candy in Pickup on South Street was sexy as hell, plays the rather boring nice girl here, and you certainly can't imagine her getting down'n'dirty with her goofy husband (Max Showalter). Joseph Cotten's OK, given the thin character he has to portray, but I suspect Hathaway's original choice for the role, James Mason, would have been better. Who knows?
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Fences had to be the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen in my entire life. I don't even want to go into it right now. Worst movie of the year. So shitty.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Piano Mouth wrote:Fences had to be the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen in my entire life. I don't even want to go into it right now. Worst movie of the year. So shitty.
Wow, care to go into detail there (not that I'm likely to want to see it in a hurry)? Seems like it really rubbed you up the wrong way! Try this instead Mark, it's brilliant:

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Alexander Kluge, Abschied von gestern - Anita G. (aka Yesterday Girl), 1966

I just checked the source of the fine review that was appended to the page over at KG, and found - surprise! - it's one of Ed's. So I can do no better than to send you here http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.fr/2009/ ... -girl.html Excellent film. Happy New Year Ed, wherever you are
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Giuseppe Tornatore, La sconosciuta, 2006

Very impressive, and - yes - all the odd micro-flashbacks are explained eventually. The only thing I didn't manage to figure out was where she stashed the money.. the plant pots? It's quite long but doesn't drag, well played (Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport actually learnt Italian during the shoot.. I'm impressed) and elegantly filmed (Fabio Zamarion, bravo) - I see many people online rave about the Morricone soundtrack but I thought there was too much music myself, and I can't remember any of it - does that make it one of EM's best soundtracks, as some folks say? Not for me.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Alain Cavalier, Le combat dans l'île, 1961

Cavalier's first feature is an odd affair: set during a period where Algerian War-embattled France was jittery and paranoid - you can feel this in Rivette's first film too, and in Godard's Le Petit Soldat, which this movie is a kind of reply to - it's the tale of a spoilt rich kid (Trintignant, seriously detestable throughout) flirting dangerously with extreme right terrorism that becomes a curious fight over a woman (Romy Schneider, gorgeous as ever) between him and his erstwhile good buddy Henri Serre (Jim from Jules et Jim). A fine soundtrack by Serge Nigg - I'm reminded of Henze's score for Resnais's Muriel - and stunning photography by Pierre Lhomme can't quite assuage the disappointment; one wonders why Romy sticks by her man when she finds out what he's up to - fuck, if my wife found a bazooka in my bedroom cupboard you can be there'd be some serious questions to answer - and Serre's almost too good to be true (felt the same way about him in the Truffaut, too). The pace is a little uneven too, but it's certainly worth a look if you're a fan of this period of French cinema.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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I was in a really bad mood when I said those things about Fences, I don't think I meant it entirely.


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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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As indicated above, I disliked Fences too. Didn't really think it was Washington's fault--or Wilson's either. It just didn't age well. Not as bad as sitting through Raisin in the Sun, I guess. But along those lines.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Julian Benedikt & Andreas Morell, Blue Note - A Story of Modern Jazz, 1997

I suppose Gil Melle, as the first white saxophonist to sign to Blue Note, has a right to appear in any documentary on the label, but wtf is Kareem Abdul-Jabaar doing in there? Or Santana for that matter. Just a few of many indications of how wonky and shoddy this "documentary" is: musicians who you hear and see are rarely credited, there's far too much hiphop (OK, so it was 1997 but so what) and what we end up is another sorry string of anecdotes and outtakes that's almost as bad as that thing on Bernie Worrell I mentioned a while back (don't bother looking it up, it's not worth your time). Don't bother watching this, either - just listen to the music.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Denny Tedesco, The Wrecking Crew!, 2008

That's more like it: well researched and structured, with a wealth of archive footage and interesting / relevant interviews with the stellar LA session musicians who you've heard a million times without ever even knowing their names. Check out the albums -http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-w ... -crew-2015
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Kenji Mizoguchi, Ugetsu monogatari, 1953

I'm ashamed to admit I'd never seen this before last night - but what a film, wow. I can see why it frequently appears on those Top 10 lists. Awesome in every way. Further reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugetsu and https://www.criterion.com/current/posts ... ther-shore
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Frank Henenlotter, That's Sexploitation!, 2013

An affectionate trawl through the archive of public health films, burlesques, nudist colony movies, peepshow reels and the odd roughie, narrated by the late great exploitation maestro David Friedman. The story ends - alas? - when hardcore comes in in the early 70s
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Peter Whitehead, Tonite Let's All Make Love in London, 1968

Worth a look if only for David Hockney's ZOOM glasses and to see Julie Christie pretending to smoke :) Nice slowmo footage of Jagger getting groped onstage, and Michael Caine playing the prude.. but, oh, how the world has changed!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Randall Wright, David Hockney: Secret Knowledge, 2002

I've yet to get to Wright's later documentary on Hockney - one of about half a dozen things that still make me proud to be British these days - but this TV documentary whets the appetite. To quote from an IMDb user review, "Hockney's thesis is that from the Renaissance to the 1850's the dominant styles in painting depended on secret use of lenses to project images from three dimensional scenes onto flat surfaces such as walls. The artist would then trace the two-dimensional projection and fill it in later with paint. He points to areas in paintings that are blurry, in just the places where painters would have had to change the focus to get details from closer objects.In other words, they used simple cameras." It in no way detracts from the genius of Van Eyck, Caravaggio, Rembrandt et al. (how could it?) but Hockney makes a compelling case. And it sent me back to watch Godard's magnificent Passion again with fresh eyes.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Jean-Luc Godard, Passion, 1982

My wife has just finished reading de Baecque's excellent Godard biography, and we've lined up a good dozen JLGs for a retrospective viewing binge, so expect some more soon. I love this movie - seem to recall Christof Kurzmann and Burkhard Stangl do too - a typically dense tale of a film within a film, or rather a film of/about paintings (tableaux vivants.. was JLG into Ruiz at the time? I'll bet), shot (or not) in Switzerland, intercut with tales of industrial strife at an adjacent factory and typically cheeky nods to the political climate of the time.. Stellar cast - Huppert, Piccoli, Schygulla, Radziwilowicz, Szabo..- awesome photography (Coutard, bien sûr), crackling smart script. Au revoir... oh! Revoir :)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Richard Quine, Strangers When We Meet, 1960

No, not the song of the same name by Bowie (RIP one year on), but one of Captain Kirk's finer performances, even if Kim Novak steals the show. Shame that Code was still in place at the time: it would have been better without the copout happy ending, and it would have been nice to see Walter Matthau (truly obnoxious, for once) get his face kicked in, instead of Douglas skulking off in the rain..
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