Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Albert Serra, La mort de Louis XIV, 2016

And that's all there is - Jean-Pierre Léaud (it is indeed he!) spends all the film on his back in bed watching his leg go black with gangrene. No shit! The only time he smiles is shortly after the beginning when he's allowed to stroke his hunting dogs one last time. It's really rather a risky strategy, making a film that basically shows, in slow, painstaking and often quite boring detail, the comings and goings of awestruck fawning doctor servants ("sire" and "majesty" are by far the most frequently occurring words in the not-very-wordy script). All based in (well-documented) fact, though I'd always thought Louis's doctor prescribed Burgundy and not Spanish wine. Amazingly, I found it curiously engrossing and not in the least boring - I imagine similar scenes will soon be played out in Buck House when Lizzie and Phil Windsor finally get round to shuffling off this mortal coil (can't come a moment too soon for me).
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Michael Mann, Heat, 1995

It certainly deserves its good reputation, but I'm not sure if I'll need to watch it again (this was the fifth time). The Pacino De Niro coffeeshop showdown is always good, and the action scene montage is stunning, but I could never really buy into the De Niro love interest.. why the hell would she have tagged along with this guy after barely a couple of dates? And did he really need to take a detour to ice Waingro en route to the airport (amazing how close that guy's hotel was to LAX.. still, hum, suspend disbelief & all that)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Andrzej Zulawski, Cosmos, 2015

A total headfuck, this final awesome outing from the master of cinematic hysteria. Based on the novel of the same name by his compatriot Witold Gombrowicz (though the director can't resist numerous punning namechecks to his own medium - "Luc Bresson" indeed!), it's almost impossible to summarise, let alone understand. Shot in Portugal and produced by Paolo Branco, it's closer to one of Raoul Ruiz's wild polyglot extravaganzas (think On Top Of The Whale) than to anything else I can think of. Great performances throughout - Balmer and Azema of course, but Jonathan Genet is damn good as our hero (?) Witold and Victoria Guerra is drop dead gorgeous. But don't ask me what the fuck it's about, I have no idea. Great!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Norman Jewison, ...And justice for all, 1979

I snatched this because I enjoyed Christine Lahti in Housekeeping so much (see above), not suspecting that it was one of Pacino's best performances. Tons of IMDb trivia for you, if you're interested, but I was particularly impressed that they shot the final courtroom scene in just one take. Bravo. Of course, the authenticity of all the courtroom screaming and the procedure is as dodgy as it was in Kramer vs Kramer (the film that Pacino turned down to do this one, fwiw - and then Dustin nabbed the Oscar), though there have been several instances of judges taking firearms into courtrooms. Aww shucks, that Barry Levinson script tugs at yr heartstrings like the cheesy Dave Grusin soundtrack, but I can take a bit of Hollywood schmaltz if there great actors like Lee Strasberg tag wrestling with Pacino. And his scenes with Lahti are great. Best Baltimore locations since Pink Flamingos.
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Albert Serra, La mort de Louis XIV, 2016

And that's all there is - Jean-Pierre Léaud (it is indeed he!) spends all the film on his back in bed watching his leg go black with gangrene. No shit! The only time he smiles is shortly after the beginning when he's allowed to stroke his hunting dogs one last time. It's really rather a risky strategy, making a film that basically shows, in slow, painstaking and often quite boring detail, the comings and goings of awestruck fawning doctor servants ("sire" and "majesty" are by far the most frequently occurring words in the not-very-wordy script). All based in (well-documented) fact, though I'd always thought Louis's doctor prescribed Burgundy and not Spanish wine. Amazingly, I found it curiously engrossing and not in the least boring - I imagine similar scenes will soon be played out in Buck House when Lizzie and Phil Windsor finally get round to shuffling off this mortal coil (can't come a moment too soon for me).

Jabba the Hutt!


BTW, I agree on "Housekeeping" and "And Justice for All"
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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I enjoyed the new Baumbach (for Netflix) film Meyerowitz Stories the other night. Dustin Hoffman was bad--almost doing Rain Man again, it seemed to me--and I thought Elizabeth Marvel was Jane Alexander (whom I never liked) but I thought everybody else was good, as was the script. Probably Sandler's best performance ever.

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Patrice Leconte, Le mari de la coiffeuse, 1990

What an intriguing and original little film, perfectly formed and exquisitely paced at just under 80 minutes long. Obsessed as a boy by a busty Alsatian hairdresser (shades of Amarcord) who later kills herself, young Antoine decides that his ambition in life is nothing more than "to be a hairdresser's husband". Which indeed he turns out to be. Excellent performances from Jean Rochefort and Anna Galiena - and I won't say any more other than to recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Michael Haneke, Amour, 2012

Second time, now that another ageing parent(-in-law) is beginning to shows the telltale signs of terminal decline. Nothing to add to what I wrote three years ago - a very fine film with exceptional performances from Trintignant and Riva. I wonder when - or whether - I might have to watch it again.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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John G. Avildsen, Joe, 1970

Wow, 37 years before the disaster happened, here's the magnificent Peter Boyle as the archetypal Trump voter, your classic low-income low-IQ (but sort of street smart) meat-and-potatoes overtly racist gun-toting ex-Vet who's not averse to grabbing the hippy chicks by the pussy but doesn't bat an eyelid when it comes to taking them all out in a blaze of gunfire. Terrific film - as was the first Rocky, which Avildsen also directed - and deserves a deluxe DVD reissue.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Victor Fleming, Gone With The Wind, 1939

So I finally got to see it all the way through - not that I'd ever set out to deliberately avoid doing so in the past - and.. very good it is too! Provided, of course, you don't swallow all that awful Southern gentleman bullshit (Rhett Butler doesn't anyway), and can put up with some cringe-inducing politically incorrect bordering on outright racist subtexts. It'd take you almost as long as the film lasts to wade through the swamps of trivia on this one (the one anecdote I can't resist mentioning is Vivien Leigh moaning about Clark Gable's death breath - though as she was getting through four packs of cigs a day at the time, as opposed to his three - kissing her must have been like licking an ashtray) - better just to sit back with a good glass of bourbon and enjoy the fine performances and great photography. Let others worry about what to do with statues of Robert E. Lee
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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I saw Joe when it came out (to a lot of acclaim, IIRC) and once again maybe a decade later. Didn't like it either time. But can't remember why at this late date.

I suppose GWTW is, you know, what it is.

W
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Sohrab Shahid Saless, Still Life, 1974

Highly rec'd. One thing that's a bit funny: For as #SlowCinema as this is, the few segments of dialogue seem unnaturally fast—though only slightly—as if the film is sped up. Not sure if it's just the rip I watched (from KG), but it makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the non-stylized, presented-as-they-are, labored moments of domestic life.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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walto wrote:I saw Joe when it came out (to a lot of acclaim, IIRC) and once again maybe a decade later. Didn't like it either time. But can't remember why at this late date.
I doubt you'll have changed your mind two decades later. I'll see how I feel about it when I'm your age :lol:

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Don Hardy, Theory of Obscurity, 2015

A well-made and informative documentary, I suppose, but I don't think I'll need to return to it. I've never been much of a Residents fan, but you've got to admire their staying power. Don't care for the new costumes though http://brooklynrail.org/2016/06/music/t ... he-shadows
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Philippe de Broca, Les jeux de l'amour, 1960

The kind of wacky early 60s silly love triangle plot and repartee that will probably drive our friend Lutz to drink, or to drink more, if he does already, but Pierre Lhomme's virtuoso camerawork in those cramped, swingin' Latin Quarter jazz cellars is a wonder to behold. No slouch, de Broca; I suspect if he'd stuck to more, ahem, artistic projects à la Truffaut & Chabrol (both of whom he worked with - and Claude has a cameo here) instead of hitting paydirt with Belmondo action movies, we might hear a bit more of him http://www.dvdclassik.com/critique/les- ... r-de-broca
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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dialectics of shit wrote:Image

Sohrab Shahid Saless, Still Life, 1974

Highly rec'd. One thing that's a bit funny: For as #SlowCinema as this is, the few segments of dialogue seem unnaturally fast—though only slightly—as if the film is sped up. Not sure if it's just the rip I watched (from KG), but it makes for a interesting juxtaposition with the non-stylized, presented-as-they-are, labored moments of domestic life.
How's the rip quality? Looks interesting - thanks for the tip
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Curtis Harrington, Whoever slew Auntie Roo?, 1971

Shelley Winters goes wayyy over the top as wonderfully as she always does, but you can't help feeling a bit sorry for her here, especially since the little brat who eventually kills the wicked witch (and was she as wicked as all that? the butler was the real creep) is the kid who played Oliver!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Marcel Pagnol, Topaze, 1951

"Des moutons...Des moutons...étaient en sûreté dans un parc ; dans un parc (Il se penche sur l'épaule de l'Elève et reprend). Des moutons...moutonss (L'Elève le regarde ahuri). Voyons, mon enfant, faites un effort. Je dis moutonsse. Etaient (il reprend avec finesse) étai-eunnt. C'est-à-dire qu'il n'y avait pas qu'un moutonne. Il y avait plusieurs moutonsse ».
Let's just say that a) if your French isn't up to it and b) you agree with Mr Bresson that cinema should be everything but filmed theatre, you'd better leave this one well alone ;)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Bernard Borderie, Les femmes s'en balancent, 1954

I'd like to say I enjoyed this as much as Eddie Constantine seems to be doing so - but seeing that eternal shitfaced grin throughout, I'm not sure. Maybe he was happily drunk - if the whisky he drinks in almost every scene in the film (mornings included) was real, he'd be totally ratted. But, whatever, this second (with Eddie) adventure of federal agent Lemmy Caution is a blast. Who cares if the plot is so convoluted you need a five-minute Agatha Christie-style dénouement, who cares if the continuity gaffes are almost as frequent as the fistfights? I loved it as much as the nouvelle vague B-movie loups did. Almost as much as Alphaville in fact
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Philippe Grandrieux, Sombre, 1998

Just returned to this after wading through Greg Hainge's recent book on Grandrieux - and I still have to see the last two films - but this time it really delivered. I suspect that when people have long forgotten about the likes of Gaspar Noë (who started well, but has done nothing of note since Irréversible imo) they'll be returning to this. Great work. Several friends have been underwhelmed by the latest one, but I'm curious - must get round to that soon
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2017

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Dorian Supin, Arvo Pärt 24 Preludes for a Fugue, 2002

Hm. Seems to be trying to follow the format of the 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould (see above), but I found barely half of these little vignettes to be interesting. Like his music, Pärt the man comes across as indubitably sincere but, well.. a little dull.
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