Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Olivier Van Hoofstadt, Dikkenek, 2006

The title translates, amongst other things, as "dickheads" - and that's the one I prefer. Forget all that crap about "oh it's Belgian humour" (as in nobody else could understand it or find it funny) - a dickhead is a dickhead wherever you go, and this hilariously un-PC black comedy is full of them. Recommended! Though you probably won't want to eat a fricadelle when you find out what goes into them :)

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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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we saw before the devil knows you're dead, sidney lumet's last movie

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every still of the film i find on the web suggests that the actors are overacting all the time, but actually they don't seem to at first (except albert finney, who is forgiven), it is just that the stills don't know that this cleverly written and structured, beautifully filmed, and intensely acted movie appears to hold together very well for quite a stretch until all the plotting board strategies finally become too much after about two thirds of the thing (depending on your tolerance for clever writing), which is the point when the bleary-eyed emoting indeed becomes as intolerable as the above still suggests. started as fun and finished as a waste of time.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Wombatz wrote:before the devil knows you're dead, sidney lumet's last movie
every still of the film i find on the web suggests that the actors are overacting all the time, but actually they don't seem to at first (except albert finney, who is forgiven), it is just that the stills don't know that this cleverly written and structured, beautifully filmed, and intensely acted movie appears to hold together very well for quite a stretch until all the plotting board strategies finally become too much after about two thirds of the thing (depending on your tolerance for clever writing), which is the point when the bleary-eyed emoting indeed becomes as intolerable as the above still suggests. started as fun and finished as a waste of time.
I haven't seen it for a while, but your description corresponds to my memory.. the ending was a bit of a mess. But as messes go it wasn't too bad. Meanwhile, thanks Antoine for hipping us - that's myself and my architect wife! - to
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Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine, Koolhaas Houselife, 2008

Splendid to see it all from the housekeeper's point of view, warts and all (leaks, rather than warts) - and the architect himself ("with those big ears, like antennas!") is also amused at what is at times a rather unflattering portrait of one of his great works.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Jean-Luc Godard, Une femme coquette, 1955

Terrific nine-minute adaptation of a Maupassant short story (relocated to Geneva by the director, here using his alias "Hans Lucas"), with many little indications of what was to come. I have a soft spot for directors who will quite happily spend more than a minute of precious running time filming someone writing a letter. Here it is on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzpFi0uBmzs but if you want English subs (good ones, too) you'll have to snatch it at KG. Which you should, anyway.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Josh Aronson, Orchestra of Exiles, 2012

Affectionate, informative and well-made documentary on Bronislaw Huberman's quest to create what later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. More details here:
http://seenandheard-international.com/2 ... lharmonic/
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Theo Angelopoulos, Athina, epistrofi stin Akropoli ("Athens, Return to the Acropoli"), 1983

Thanks to Jean-Luc Guionnet for hipping me to this one. I don't know how he finds time to watch films, with all his concerts. I don't have time for anything else :)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Gerard Kargl, Angst, 1983

Yikes. Makes Se7en and The Silence of the Lambs look like the Hollywood glitter they are. Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer comes to mind, understandably, but you're more likely to think of Gaspar Noé; Angst is referenced in Seul contre tous and the seen-from-above gimmick that soon overstays its welcome in Enter The Void clearly has its origins in Zbigniew Rybczynski's stunning camerawork. Noé claims he's seen this film more than 40 times, which, if it's true, probably makes him an even sicker puppy than Erwin Leder's psychopath. Extraordinary film, but I doubt I'll ever see it again, somehow.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Howard Koch, Badge 373, 1973

Apologies for the huge image, but I can't find a smaller version and there's nothing as good on Google Images. Anyway, I like it. The film a little less, though it has its moments, provided you're prepared to suspend disbelief - especially concerning the bus chase, which must have been the director's pale attempt to imitate the classic car chase in The French Connection. The connection there being that Eddie Egan (the real life Popeye Doyle) was also "technical advisor" here.. but surely a cop who'd been suspended wouldn't have been able to waltz into every precinct, conduct house to house searches and generally play Harry Callaghan without some sort of sanction. Well, never mind - the villains are awfully stereotyped, and the girlfriend far too nice, but Duvall's performance as the racist cop out to revenge his partner (I wouldn't have bothered myself, on finding out what he got up to) is solid.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Sharunas Bartas, Koridorius ("The Corridor"),1994

Wow, what's it all about? Who cares? Nobody speaks on camera in Bartas's corridor, but there's plenty of terrific diegetic/non-diegetic sound/music, and these extraordinary images will stay with you for a long time.. the kid setting fire to the washing, the people staring out into a snowbound, smoky Vilnius (couldn't resist Ekaterina Golubeva, well you know me ;) ). Is it set in the present? (A police car with siren appears at one point..) Or in some horrible nuclear winter future? Or in the grim Soviet past (the reel to reel tape recorder..)? Whatever, it's an oustandingly beautiful piece of Pasolinian cinema de poesia. Moodily magnificent.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Henri Decoin, Le bienfaiteur, 1942

France during the Occupation must have been a weird, paranoid place, and if this tale of a gangland boss hiding out under an assumed identity in a small town makes you think of Clouzot's Le corbeau, it's because you might have spotted some of the actors who graced that better known film. But this has much to commend it, especially Raimu's performance - you can see where Gabin got it from in his later gangster flicks. The rather mushy ending is a bit of a wank, though, I admit.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Luc Moullet, Les sièges de l'Alcazar, 1989

Another deliciously potty comedy from Mad Moullet, based on his souvenirs of life as a Cahiers du Cinéma critic (his love interest works for the enemy publication, Positif :) ). It helps if you're au fait with some of the nouvelle vague in-jokes, but even if you're not you'll enjoy it. If you already like Moullet, that is - if not, steer clear.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Jean Eustache, La Rosière du Pessac, 1968

It's a straight TV documentary of the election and coronation of the Virgin of Pessac (a tradition dating way back, but one that was suspended after the French Revolution and reinstated in 1896 thanks to the will of a local notable, Monsieur Jobert). Eustache plays it straight - but this was 1968, and the vicar's reference in his sermon to student unrest, "Bob" Kennedy, Nigeria and Biafra, might raise an eyebrow or two. File alongside Eustache's other splendid documentaries, Le cochon and Odette Robert.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Angst and Koridorius on the same page = my kind of page. :D I included the former on a list of my favorite horror films.

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Aleksandr Sokurov, Kamen, 1992

Did a rewatch of this, and it's still one I'd highly recommend. I'm not sure where the title comes from (translation "Stone"), although it seems appropriate given the way time is hardened and frozen, and the images calcified into a kind of sempiternal reminder of existence—something far removed from a place where life is fluidly happening. No mere moodpiece of long takes, Sokurov's commitment to immersion in this world is such that time is essentially obliterated; it doesn't exist.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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between books, the manchurian candidate. i wanted to refresh my very hazy memory of this film for conversations on current u.s. politics ... and it turned out i had never seen it! it's very good! (aside: marvelous use of that film noir trope where attractive blonde women will fall for any man with obvious psychological damage, it made for an atmosphere of complete unreliability.)

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Wombatz wrote:Image

between books, the manchurian candidate. i wanted to refresh my very hazy memory of this film for conversations on current u.s. politics ... and it turned out i had never seen it! it's very good! (aside: marvelous use of that film noir trope where attractive blonde women will fall for any man with obvious psychological damage, it made for an atmosphere of complete unreliability.)

Plus, you get Amram!
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Werner Herzog, The Wild Blue Yonder, 2005

The chap writing on the site I snatched the pics from http://sensesofcinema.com/2013/cteq/the ... ue-yonder/ seems to like it, but I found it rather annoying, feeling like a grab-bag of outtakes from other Herzog films (though, to be fair, Henry Kaiser's Antarctic underwater footage here predates its later appearance in Encounters at the End of the World). And that Sardinian choir and Ernst Reijseger's cello music really got on my nerves.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Raul Ruiz, Généalogies d'un crime, 1996

Another glorious headscratcher from Ruiz, the magic missing link between Godard and Lynch (and probably smarter than both of them). Stellar performances from Deneuve, Poupaud, Piccoli et al. (and watch for a cameo appearance from Nobel Prizewinner Patrick Modiano), gorgeous Arriagada soundtrack. Class act. It's in French.. so practice your French: http://www.lesinrocks.com/cinema/films- ... n-crime-2/
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Bruno Dumont, Hors Satan, 2011

I thoroughly disliked last year's Ma Loute - though I am prepared to try again with it, after a good friend whose opinion I respect enormously sang its praises - so I'd been putting off watching this for a while. Which I now regret: this is the best Dumont I've seen (finally got through them all, at least once each), set once again in his beloved dunes of the Côte d'Opale, between Boulogne and Calais, and once more featuring a cast of non-actors (non-attractive non-actors too, another Dumont trait) in a film that owes much to Dreyer (Ordet) and Bresson (via Bernanos, also from the same region, particularly Mouchette), but which can stand alongside those giants with pride. Great, slow, beautiful, mysterious, disturbing.
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/j ... tan-review
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Luc Moullet, Parpaillon, 1993

What's most hilarious about this movie is that Moullet managed to get his actors (and crew and props - including a phone booth!) all the way up one of the most gruelling mountain passes in France - dirt road, altitude 2780m (that's 9120 feet) - and film them, himself including, cycling up the bloody thing. It's a typically pince sans rire collection of Moullet vignettes, nearly 200 (!) tiny sketches both visual (eg the chick who locks her bike to a tree to go have a pee, then realises she's lost the key so she uproots the tree and carries it off with her!) and verbal (English subs are available). Moullet's part Tati, part Mocky, and it's a fun mix. Much to enjoy, whether you're a cyclist or not.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark, 1987

Great fun, especially the finger lickin' good barroom scene. Bigelow, no slouch when it comes to deconstructing things, with all that heavy art school background, manages to crossbreed the vampire genre with the road movie, western and melodrama. And maybe even a nod to future hubby Jim's Terminator to boot.
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