Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Ulrich Seidl, Paradies: Liebe, 2012

Apologies for not writing this one up when I saw it - and the two other parts of the Paradise trilogy - a year or so ago, because I think it's extraordinary. I've yet to see Laurent Cantet's Vers le sud ("Heading South") (2005), which features Charlotte Rampling in a similar tale of sex tourism in Haiti, but I don't think Seidl has admitted being influenced by it directly. Here the destination is Kenya, where a group of middle-aged, chubby Austrian housewives / divorcees allow themselves to be picked up by the local gigolo boys. It's a fascinating tale of exploiter and exploited and how roles are subtly reversed, a beautifully crafted film that explores relationships on many levels: male/female, European/African, coloniser/colonised, master/slave. Hats off to Margarete Tiesel especially for b(e)aring all. Excellent work.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Jean-Luc Godard, Nouvelle Vague, 1990

After a second viewing and several listens to the complete audio track on the ECM release, plus reading the fine discussion between Kaja Silverman and Hanun Farocki in the final chapter of their Speaking about Godard (http://nyupress.org/books/9780814780664/ - a recommended read), I think I might dare to say this could be - or could one day become - my favourite Godard. Though, as Farocki memorably says, it might take us 50 years to find a way to discuss it properly. With a script consisting almost exclusively of quotations from elsewhere - as with the Histoire(s) which preceded it, you can play the same "who said that?" game here, if you wish - , a rich and diverse soundtrack ranging from Godard's beloved Hindemith to ECM mainstays inc Saluzzi and Darling and excellent performances from all concerned, notably Alain Delon. As usual, there are often several levels of dialogue occurring simultaneously, and in several languages at once (subtitles might help you, but they will only indicate one of many possible readings), and the director uses passages of text and characters as musical motives in their own right, reinserting them at strategic moments in accordance with an overall structure as elegant as a Bach fugue. Above all, the film must be the most beautiful visually of the director's entire oeuvre: his beloved Canton de Vaud has never looked so gorgeous.
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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan, have you seen Le rapport Darty? If not, highly recommended.

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Steve Minkin
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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HIDDEN FIGURES (2017) – A predictable, formulaic, manipulative 'feel-good Hollywood blockbuster.' But very well done -- I FEEL GOOD! Well acted, intelligently written, enlivened by period newsreels, stills and music (1961-2), and tells a little known tale worth telling.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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dialectics of shit wrote:Dan, have you seen Le rapport Darty? If not, highly recommended.
It's nearing the top of the pile - in the meantime, I didn't get much out of this one:

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Céline Gailleurd & Olivier Bohler, Jean-Luc Godard, le désordre exposé, 2012

Godard's 2006 exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, itself a hasty afterthought to an earlier abandoned exhibition project, was a frustrating and messy - if as always thought-provoking - affair, and this documentary shows that very well. But I was a little underwhelmed by André S. Labarthe's commentary and omnipresence throughout, with slouch hat and Gitanes maïs stuck to lip (huh, as if you could smoke inside the gallery even back then). Is he trying to outStraub Straub? If JLG set out as much to irritate as educate, I suppose you could say this documentary succeeds.. but there are other Godard documentaries more worthy of your time. And, of course, his films.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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John Ford, Young Mr. Lincoln, 1939

I seem to recall I found a similar image of Fonda with feet up and swinging back on his chair to illustrate My Darling Clementine a while back. Do we have Henry to thank for this quintessentially American stereotype of the man in power? (The Japanese would, I imagine, be horrified..) Whatever, it's a favourite of Wim Wenders, this tale of Abe when he was just a small town aspiring lawyer in Illinois, though I found the dénouement a little contrived, even if the film was loosely based on a true court case.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Sergio Leone, C'era una volta il West, 1968

After enjoying an old interview with Fonda as a bonus to the Ford film above, we felt like a return visit to Leoneland. The first hour or so is absolutely terrific, but I always feel the director gets bogged down just after halfway through. Cardinale's love scene with Fonda is rather hard to swallow (we won't list the sexist tropes / gropes.. I'm not particularly PC myself, and neither is my wife, but eyebrows were raised), and Cheyenne's death is neither prepared nor convincing. But it's still worth the price of admission for the opening scene, the sound work, the camera framing, Fonda spitting and one of Morricone's finest soundtracks, even if those leitmotifs do become somewhat tiresomely predictable.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Baltasar Kormákur, Djúpið ("The Deep"), 2012

Based on the amazing true story of Icelandic fisherman Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, who managed to survive for six hours in the North Atlantic after his trawler went down, then swim to shore and walk three miles across lava fields barefoot in subzero temperatures (read the bloody details here http://www.vikingrune.com/2009/03/true-viking-grit/), this is a fine and refreshingly honest piece of filmmaking. And seeing how some of it was shot
http://deadline.com/2012/12/director-ba ... ep-390137/ is almost as hair-raising as the movie itself. Another good solid outing from Kormákur.
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MRS
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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MRS wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Stephen Frears, The Hit, 1984

More I see this (this was the third time), more I like it. Stellar performances from Terence Stamp and John Hurt, classy cinematography from Frears and great location shooting in Spain. Nice one. Good essay on it here too
http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/ ... to-nowhere
"Myron?! That's an unusual name. . .Myron. Well. Paris. So. Cross the frontier at. . .where? Somewhere quiet, eh? Up through France, should get to Paris five, six in the morning? Quick word with Mr. Corrigan and then. . .lights out Willie. The executioner. And his assistant."

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Ah, that alien he was carrying around finally got him. The late, great John Hurt - RIP.




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Patrick Keiller, London, 1994

https://imagestudies.wordpress.com/2013 ... er-london/
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/patr ... iew-london

"Dirty old Blighty, undereducated, economically backward, bizarre. A catalogue of modern miseries with its fake traditions, its Irish war, its militarism and secrecy, its silly old judges, its hatred of intellectuals, its ill health and bad food, its sexual repression, its hypocrisy and racism and its intolerance. It’s so exotic... so home-made."

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Also recommended, if you like left-leaning Sebaldian walks through English history old and new (maybe this won't interest you, Lutz ;) ), the two sequels, Robinson in Space (1997) and Robinson in Ruins (2010) - though I suspect their frequent references to British politicians might limit its appeal to citizens of Her Britannic Majesty's United KIngdom. Who remembers John Profumo, Michael Portillo and Douglas Hurd? I prefer to remember Hurt than Hurd..

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Alain Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour, 1959

The opening ten minutes of atrocious post-bomb injuries are still hard to watch, and remind us that the film started out as a documentary - would have made quite a pair with Nuit et brouillard - until Resnais and Duras fashioned it into a love story. Or a kind of love story. Riva was the perfect actress for Duras's script, and don't forget Eiji Okada, who you might recognise as the hapless entomologist in Teshigahara's sublime Woman in the Dunes. Time I saw that one again, too.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Alex de la Iglesia, Perdita Durango, 1997

I'm so glad Rosie Perez got to play the lady in question and not Madonna as was originally the idea. I just love the way she says the eternal F-word... fffffockk! This is an enjoyable train wreck of a movie, with Rosie hooking up with Javier Bardem as a deranged witch doctor who ends up smuggling a truckload of human fetuses to Vegas - pursued by James Gandolfini (and Alex Cox as ineffectual sidekick) - for one Marcelo Santos.. If the name rings a bell, it should: written by Barry Gifford, this has been described as a sort of sequel to Wild at Heart (Isabella Rossellini's character in Lynch's film was Perdita Durango, you recall), but it stands alone perfectly well as it is. It's nowhere near as technically stunning as Lynch's movie, but it's just as much fun. And you get Screamin Jay Hawkins as a bonus free gift, yay.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Manchester by the Sea

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Nothing to write home about but it wasn't bad. It's really pretty humdrum and the cinematography isn't great, though it seems like it thinks it is. It's pretty mundane, and almost boring, and has no impact on anything. There's no epiphany, there are no surprises after the first third of the movie. How Casey Affleck got nominated for best actor is beyond me.

I would check out You Can Count On Me instead.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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The Letter Never Sent -dir. Mikhail Kalatozov

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This was great, made in 1959/1960 about a Russian group on a diamond expedition in Siberia, which goes horribly wrong as mother nature pounds them down.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Alain Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour, 1959

The opening ten minutes of atrocious post-bomb injuries are still hard to watch, and remind us that the film started out as a documentary - would have made quite a pair with Nuit et brouillard - until Resnais and Duras fashioned it into a love story. Or a kind of love story. Riva was the perfect actress for Duras's script, and don't forget Eiji Okada, who you might recognise as the hapless entomologist in Teshigahara's sublime Woman in the Dunes. Time I saw that one again, too.
I remember being blown away by Hiroshima mon amour when I first saw it in my early 20s, but it seemed really boring to me on later viewings, and I haven't seen it in a long time.

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I'm a bit surprised at the Manchester-by-the-Sea review above, since I've really liked the two Lonergan things I've seen. My daughter said it isn't as good as Margaret (which is unsurprising, since Margaret is a terrific movie, IMO), but she gave it a B anyway, and I've continued to want to catch it. (The other thing I've seen of Lonergan's was his play "This is our Youth"--in NY with Cera and Culkin, which was very enjoyable.)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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walto wrote:I'm a bit surprised at the Manchester-by-the-Sea review above
Me too, as I've heard very good things about it from several people.. but I recall Mark loved the last Star Wars thing so there's no accounting for taste :D

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Gus Van Sant, Drugstore Cowboy, 1989

Burroughs steals the show, as you might expect, but even so it's a splendid debut, well cast and well filmed. Love the scene (an accident, thanks IMDb trivia) where Matt Dillon smashes the lamp practising his golf swing.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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OK I recommend watching it but I don't get the hype and Oscar hoorah about it. Lonergan also did *you can count on me* which I thought was a very good film

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton wrote:
walto wrote:I'm a bit surprised at the Manchester-by-the-Sea review above
Me too, as I've heard very good things about it from several people.. but I recall Mark loved the last Star Wars thing so there's no accounting for taste :D

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Gus Van Sant, Drugstore Cowboy, 1989

Burroughs steals the show, as you might expect, but even so it's a splendid debut, well cast and well filmed. Love the scene (an accident, thanks IMDb trivia) where Matt Dillon smashes the lamp practising his golf swing.
Dan, I used to be a big fan of the Drugstore Cowboy soundtrack--but I haven't heard it in years. How does it hold up in your view?
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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To be honest Walt I wasn't paying much attention to it - apart from the awesome Abbey Lincoln song - but if I hadn't liked it I would have remembered.. Meanwhile, I enjoyed this one very much:

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Julien Temple, The Filth and the Fury, 2000

Whether it's all true or not - of course, it's told very much from Lydon's POV, so McLaren doesn't get a say (maybe he didn't want one) - it's the best all-round doc on the Pistols I've come across so far. Lech Kowalski's DOA was filmed at the time - and is strongly recommended as a document of the fateful US tour - but with hindsight and generous samples of 70s Brit TV comedy (Tommy Cooper, Ronnie Corbett, Max Wall, Bernie Winters, Benny Hill all pop up) you see where these geezers came from, and why. Recommended.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Radu Muntean, Boogie, 2008

Hooray, yet another excellent Romanian director. Simple story: husband and wife and four-year-old son on holiday in tacky Black Sea resort run into two of hubby's old pals, and he heads off for an evening of boozing, bowling and whoring and then has to face his wife in the morning. Sharp script - some of the arguments are so realistic I'm guessing they could have been improvised - unobtrusive but effective filming. Good work.
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