Recently Watched Films 2017

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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Piano Mouth »

Thanks, Walto!

I'll be in your neck of the woods I think, in Cambridge, low residency, but hopefully making connections, friends, and slowly making my way into the city of Boston.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Are you going to Hahvahd??
"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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Loved Personal Shopper - i would argue that the trip to Oman was crucial because the phantasmal incidents only occur when she is at peace, or at a distance from her guilt, whereupon it remanifests itself. this is, of course, only my interpretation...

Seeing Collosal tomorrow, anyone seen it yet?

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Yeah I agree, I really thought Personal Shopper was great. Some people said the texting on the train and throughout the middle of the movie was boring, but I found it to be thrilling and suspenseful.

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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Sharunas Bartas, Freedom, 2000
Not on the level of Few of Us and his chef d'oeuvre, A Casa, for me, but it's still very good. I agree with you that a higher-quality version (I'm assuming you watched the rip on KG) would be nice, but I think it's a testament to the power of Bartas' images that even in a subpar rip they can have such a powerful effect.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

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William Klein, Mr Freedom, 1968

"Dr. Freedom: Let me tell you about the French. They are 50 million mixed-up, sniveling crybabies who haven't stood on their two feet since Napoleon, and that wasn't yesterday. And Napoleon wasn't even French.
Mr. Freedom: He was Corsican!
Dr. Freedom: That's right, boy. So the French are the white man's burden. OUR burden. We've had to carry them through two world wars already, and we're damn well gonna have to carry them through the next"

Donald Pleasence plays the Doctor, but the title role goes to John (not Jon :lol: ) Abbey, (above) who, apart from a brief appearance in Tati's Play Time, hasn't done much acting. But he's great here, along with a stellar cast including Delphine Seyrig, Philippe Noiret, Sami Frey (as Jesus Christ!), Rufus and, puffing merrily away at his piano, Serge Gainsbourg. The Criterion blurb runs as follows: "William Klein moved into more blatantly political territory with this hilarious, vicious Vietnam-era lampoon of imperialist American foreign policy. Mr. Freedom (John Abbey), a bellowing good-ol’-boy superhero decked out in copious football padding, jets to France to cut off a Commie invasion from Switzerland. A destructive, arrogant patriot in tight pants, Freedom joins forces with Marie Madeleine (a satirically sexy Delphine Seyrig) to combat lefty freethinkers, as well as the insidious evildoers Moujik Man and inflatable Red China Man, culminating in a star-spangled showdown of kitschy excess. Delightfully crass, Mr. Freedom is a trenchant, rib-tickling takedown of gaudy modern Americana." And it's not so far from Trumpton, either.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

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William Klein, Muhammad Ali The Greatest, 1974

Indispensable, as we say over here. A great documentary!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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William Klein, Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther, 1970

Watching all these guys in their dashikis sitting around talking fatuous bullshit about world revolution and takin' it to the Man while quite happy to be waited on hand and foot by bemused Algerian women, I can't help regretting Klein didn't do a follow-up documentary on Cleaver's later dodgy deals with North Korea, his work as a fashion designer (Cleaver codpiece virility pants, anyone?) and his flirtations with the Moonies, Mormons and - finally - the Republican Party. No wonder he ended up fucked up on crack.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Robert Hughes, American Visions, 1997

Most of the images I can find online are pretty fuzzy and crappy, but the eight-part series certainly isn't, and it seems most of it is up there on YouTube, failing which you can find it as a Featured Torrent over at KG. The interview above where Hughes skewers Jeff Koons is one of my favourite moments. To quote John O'Connor of The New York Times over at Wiki, "Agree or disagree, you will not be bored. Mr. Hughes has a disarming way of being provocative."
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

dialectics of shit wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Sharunas Bartas, Freedom, 2000
Not on the level of Few of Us and his chef d'oeuvre, A Casa, for me, but it's still very good. I agree with you that a higher-quality version (I'm assuming you watched the rip on KG) would be nice, but I think it's a testament to the power of Bartas' images that even in a subpar rip they can have such a powerful effect.
Yes indeed. Just came across this fine quote from Robert Hughes (see above), which seems curiously appropriate for Bartas.
"What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media."
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Jim Jarmusch, Paterson, 2016
William Carlos Williams wrote:I do not know if you will like my poetry or not—that is, how far your own inventive persistence excludes less independent or youthful attempts to perfect, renew, transfigure, and make contemporarily real an old style of lyric machinery, which I use to record the struggle with imagination of the clouds, with which I have been concerned. I enclose a few samples of my best writing. All that I have done has a program, consciously or not, running on from phase to phase, from the beginnings of emotional breakdown, to momentary raindrops from the clouds become corporeal, to a renewal of human objectivity which I take to be ultimately identical with no ideas but in things. But this last development I have yet to turn into poetic reality. I envision for myself some kind of new speech— different at least from what I have been writing down — in that it has to be clear statement of fact about misery (and not misery itself), and splendor if there is any" out of the subjective wanderings through Paterson.
JJ's best film to date, imo. Thoroughly enjoyed it - especially Method Man in the launderette :)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton wrote:Yes indeed. Just came across this fine quote from Robert Hughes (see above), which seems curiously appropriate for Bartas.
"What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media."
not coincidentally, said by a reactionary who dates the decline of art to the moment he himself entered middle age. (more coincidentally, i still have his 'nothing if not critical' on my bedside table, though i don't think i'll finish it, it's safe and boring, like the above quote :P .)

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Dan Warburton »

Wombatz wrote:a reactionary who dates the decline of art to the moment he himself entered middle age
A pretty good description of me :) which must explain why I like him so much. Safe, at times.. boring, never.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Skip Kite, Tony Benn Will and Testament, 2014

The only other work I can find credited to the colourfully-named Skip Kite is a documentary (?) on serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, which puts the late veteran Labour politician in rather dodgy company :) - but as both men marked their time in admittedly very different ways, I suppose there's a kind of logic to it. It's easy to dish the dirt on Tony, notably after it was revealed he'd left a cool £5m in trust funds to his kids and not a penny to the working folks he defended with such passion throughout his career, but as an iconic figure of the British Left he deserved the tribute, rather stagy and gushing though it is. "He hopes 'Will And Testament' will prove to be the defining documentary of the most globally and politically aware generation in a lifetime," writes Kite over at IMDb - a noble aspiration, but I can think of several other documentary-makers who are more worthy of the accolade (Adam Curtis, for example, though he casts his net much wider than the internal wranglings of UK politics, of course). If, like me, your formative years spanned the 70s and 80s, and names such as Michael Foot, Norman Tebbit and Arthur Scargill mean something to you, you'll probably appreciate it.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Alex van Warmerdam, Schneider vs Bax, 2015

Thanks again Antoine for hipping me to this one - excellent (though I think on balance I preferred Borgman)! Plenty of hilarious twists and turns in this (very) dark comedy, very original photography in challenging locations and, unlike one grouch I read on IMDb, I enjoyed van Warmerdam's music as much as I did his acting. If you like deadpan black humour - the Belgians and Dutch seem to be very good at it, the reasons for which would make a good subject for someone's film school dissertation - I can recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

Post by Antoine »

Glad you liked it! I'm going to watch De Noorderlingen soon, maybe tonight.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Edgar G. Ulmer, Bluebeard, 1944

John Carradine's predictably good, and later described this as his favourite role, but as far as serious portrait of mentally unstable killer goes, we're not talking M here (it's maybe worth remembering Ulmer worked with Lang on that film). More like B. Or B-minus. There's plenty of wild Dutch tilting and expressionist chiaroscuro - the DP was the mighty Eugen Schüfftan after all - but, like so many of Ulmer's films, the lack of a decent budget is keenly felt throughout. Poverty row, indeed. The title's stupid, too: Carradine's character didn't marry any of his victims. But never mind. For Ulmer / Carradine nuts only.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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William Friedkin, Conversation with Fritz Lang, 1975

There seems to be some confusion as to exactly who made this (the director's name is misspelt in the opening credits), and to how long it is; Wikipedia mentions a duration of 140 minutes, but the version I snatched from KG, also available here http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmsku6 ... shortfilms, only lasts 47 minutes, and ends with Lang's departure from Germany in 1933. I hope there's more, and that I'll find it somewhere / someday (anyone got a link?), because it's a great interview.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Takashi Miike, Graveyard of Honor, 2002

Just as depraved, depressing and dismal as the Kinji Fukasaku original I "enjoyed" a few weeks ago. Not as flashy as Ichi or Miike's other yakuza flicks, but very impressive nonetheless. There's nothing to laugh at, though: the scene where he slides on his back through the flat, stoned out of his brain and shooting up the ceiling is awesomely bleak (what's the music he's listening to? Wild!). Watch out for a director cameo: Miike's the guy who shoots up the restaurant shortly after the beginning.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Douglas Sirk, Sign of the Pagan, 1954

Wha, a Sirk swords-and-sandals epic? Well, um, yes, but I don't think his heart was in it, somehow. If I hadn't known it was directed by Sirk, I'd honestly never have guessed. With the exception of Jack Palance (as Attila the Hun!), the acting is absolutely terrible, the matte painted backdrops appallingly tawdry and what little location shooting there is looks like it took place on the backlot of a B-western. I read somewhere that an extended and rather risqué dance sequence featuring Ludmilla Tchérina (Pucheria), who was a decent ballet dancer in her own right and should have stayed that way instead of trying her hand at acting, was cut. But even that probably wouldn't have saved it. Interestingly enough, the script - penned by one Barré Lyndon (!) (nom de plume of a British screenwriter called Alfred Edgar, who also wrote the screenplay for War of the Worlds amongst other things) - is quite close to what little we know of Attila's life. But that hardly makes it worth your while watching, as far as I'm concerned.
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