Recently Watched Films 2020

Not the stuff on your shower tiles.

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Benoît Delépine & Gustave Kervern, Mammuth, 2010

IMDb: "Serge Pilardosse has just turned 60 and is about to retire from his job in a slaughterhouse. He has always worked from the age of sixteen, never been on sick leave. So, how will this man fill his days? He does not like reading; doing odd jobs about the house is not his cup of tea; shopping is not his passion ... To make matters worse, his wife Catherine, who still works in a supermarket, notices that her husband will not get full retirement benefits since some of his former employers failed to do the requisite paperwork. So off goes Serge, riding his old Munch Mammut bike, in search of the missing documents." To say Depardieu is a big star is no exaggeration - he's bloody enormous (I rather doubt he does drink twelve bottles of wine a day, as he's claimed, but even three or four would be enough..), and any director worth his salt knows how to use it to his advantage. After all, Gérard's never been backward about coming forward when it comes to revealing his body (even that bit of it - especially that bit(e) of it: see Ferreri's La dernière femme and weep). Delépine and Kerven help deliver one of Depardieu's finest performances; like the vintage bike he rides, he's a wounded, lumbering beast in a world he longer understands, and can only come to terms with by recalling his past (wait till you see who plays his long-lost lover..). He doesn't say much, but literally fills the screen whenever he appears - even in long shots, his enormous size is impressively framed. Great supporting role for Yolande Moreau as his wife, stuck in a miserable job as a supermarket cashier, and a splendidly weird cameo for Benoit Poelvoorde and his metal detector on the beach. Simultaneously hilarious and desperate, easy to access but artistically subtle, one of the best films I've seen all year. Do check out.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Max Makowski, One Last Dance, 2006

Nah, I've never heard of the director either, but he evidently wishes he was Guy Ritchie or Quentin Tarantino. He isn't. Even dragging Harvey Keitel in to guest star as a mafioso (he seems to be doing a very poor impression of Walken in True Romance) and all kinds of gratuitous Snatch-inspired special effects can't detract from the basic facts, namely a) the story is a mess b) it's badly told c) badly acted (special Golden Turd award for a certain Joseph Qwek as Ko) and d) filmed in Singapore, which is only slightly ahead of Dubai in my book in the list of Cities I Have No Desire To Visit. Won't bother resuming the plot, such as it is. BTW, Not to be confused with the 2003 film of the same name with Patrick Swayze, which I haven't seen (but it can't be worse than this).
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Antoine
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Dan Warburton wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:04 pm
Benoît Delépine & Gustave Kervern, Mammuth, 2010

IMDb: "Serge Pilardosse has just turned 60 and is about to retire from his job in a slaughterhouse. He has always worked from the age of sixteen, never been on sick leave. So, how will this man fill his days? He does not like reading; doing odd jobs about the house is not his cup of tea; shopping is not his passion ... To make matters worse, his wife Catherine, who still works in a supermarket, notices that her husband will not get full retirement benefits since some of his former employers failed to do the requisite paperwork. So off goes Serge, riding his old Munch Mammut bike, in search of the missing documents." To say Depardieu is a big star is no exaggeration - he's bloody enormous (I rather doubt he does drink twelve bottles of wine a day, as he's claimed, but even three or four would be enough..), and any director worth his salt knows how to use it to his advantage. After all, Gérard's never been backward about coming forward when it comes to revealing his body (even that bit of it - especially that bit(e) of it: see Ferreri's La dernière femme and weep). Delépine and Kerven help deliver one of Depardieu's finest performances; like the vintage bike he rides, he's a wounded, lumbering beast in a world he longer understands, and can only come to terms with by recalling his past (wait till you see who plays his long-lost lover..). He doesn't say much, but literally fills the screen whenever he appears - even in long shots, his enormous size is impressively framed. Great supporting role for Yolande Moreau as his wife, stuck in a miserable job as a supermarket cashier, and a splendidly weird cameo for Benoit Poelvoorde and his metal detector on the beach. Simultaneously hilarious and desperate, easy to access but artistically subtle, one of the best films I've seen all year. Do check out.
Long time I haven't seen it, I didn't remember the Poelvoorde cameo. I thought Isabelle Adjani also appeared in this one, but not sure anymore...
But yeah, it's the best Délépine / Kervern I've seen.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Antoine wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:26 pm
Long time I haven't seen it, I didn't remember the Poelvoorde cameo. I thought Isabelle Adjani also appeared in this one, but not sure anymore...
Dan Warburton wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:04 pm
(wait till you see who plays his long-lost lover..)
Ah, spoiler alert!
There's a cool Fred Poulet Making Of documentary too - https://karagarga.in/details.php?id=118812 - Adjani as horrendously self-obsessed as ever in front of her mirror. Meanwhile Gérard comes across very well.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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THE TOWN (2010) -- Ben Affleck starring and directing, unusually successful merging of robbery and love plots. A career criminal falls for a woman he briefly took hostage during a robbery, and decides to get out of the neighborhood trades. Strong sense of place, the Boston neighborhood of Charleston, winning performances by Jeremy Renner as a friend and partner in crime and Rebecca Hall as the love interest.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Steve Minkin wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:32 am
I finally got that Complete BBC Shakespeare set from e-bay for the lowlow price of $90, box notes in Korean but subtitles in English, came to $2.36 per disc! Excellent Cymbeline, solid cast overall with a charmingly icy Claire Bloom as The Queen and Helen Mirren giving the kind of magnificent performance as Imogen that makes one appreciate why the role has been so prized by actresses over the centuries.

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Delighted to see this - as well as Jonathan Miller's Othello - as now up for grabs as a temporary freeleech at KG! Needless to say I've snatched it :)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Ulrich Seidl, Spass ohne Grenzen ("Fun Without Limits"), 1998

Europapark is a huge, horrendous theme park in the Rhine Valley outside the town of Rust, several of whose inhabitants, with silent spouses at their side, are filmed in Seidl's typically brutal perfect symmetry as they wax lyrical on why the place is so wonderful. "Above all, it's very very clean.." But pride of place here goes to Hannover's Mrs Dorothee Spohler-Claussen, the self-styled queen of theme parks (I'm not making this up, Google her), who had already notched up several hundred visits to place back when this was made over two decades ago (from what I can see online, she hasn't stopped, and she's now into her sixties). She looks as miserable as fuck as she rides around the park on a sled pulled by a mechanical gorilla or sails above it in cable cars, but she was evidently perfectly happy to show her old family photographs and recall a bruised and unhappy childhood with a hard-drinking abusive father. The word is pitiful, literally. Seidl's brutal cutting between Dorothee's appalling life story and the scary precision of the mechanics underpinning the park's attractions and the omnipresent security cameras enabling glum, bored guards to survey the thousands of punters trying very hard to have a good time is awesome. I'm reminded of Pynchon's description of Zwolfkinder, the children's amusement park in Gravity's Rainbow, run with the clinical precision and effiency of the concentration camps not too far away. Very very clean.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Woody Allen, Another Woman, 1988

Plenty of interesting observations on the Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Woman_(1988_film) and Roger's review is on the money (if a little spoiler-heavy, beware) https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/another-woman-1988 It is a tad overwritten, perhaps, but then again we're in Marion Post's head most of the time and that is the way she thinks / speaks. Gena Rowlands is exceptional as ever, but she's not alone: as usual Woody's casting guru Juliet Taylor deserves a magnum of champagne. Hackman, Holm, Houseman (touching swansong), wow.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Russ Meyer, Black Snake, 1973

Shot in Barbados on a shoestring budget - Meyer only got permission to shoot there because he told the government "the blacks win" - the director's only foray into blaxploitation bombed at the box office, but in our post-Tarantino world it looks rather good, actually. Say what you like about Meyer, though his characters and plots are pretty stupid, he did know how to use a camera and edit. So if you enjoy crucifixions, whippings, hangings, rape, buggery and don't mind half a dozen N-words (not to mention a couple of F's), have fun. One interesting sideline, which you can read about here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Snake_(film) is the casting of Anouska Hempel as the sadistic racist nymphomaniac plantation owner - Ms Hempel later went on to become Lady Weinberg and now runs and designs swanky hotels for the rich and famous. Let's hope they all have Black Snake as a free option on their pay-to-view teevee heehee
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Woody Allen, Zelig, 1983

"I'm awfully sorry for marrying all those women. It just, I don't know, it just seemed like the thing to do. My deepest apology goes to the Trochman family in Detroit. I never delivered a baby before in my life, and I just thought that ice tongs was the way to do it. And to the gentleman who's appendix I took out, I... I'm, I don't know what to say, if it's any consolation I may still have it somewhere around the house."
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Pierre Schoeller, Versailles, 2008

One of the last films Guillaume Depardieu made before his untimely death, and one of his best performances, though most folk will probably focus their attention on little Enzo and his big brown eyes (played by a certain Max Baissette de Malglaive - aged 8 at the time but playing a boy two years younger, and very well too.. unsurprisingly with a name like that he's continued his acting career), who gets left with Damien (Depardieu) and his dropout pals shacked up in the woods next to the Château de Versailles when his mother Nina buggers off to find work. So it's a sort of mix between Kramer vs Kramer and Varda's Sans toit ni loi, if you can imagine that. Unlike Hoffman in the hoary old tearjerker, Depardieu does a runner himself and leaves the kid with his own parents - but the mother eventually returns, or writes to say she's going to. Nina's decision to leave in the first place is as hard to justify as Streep's in the Benton movie, imo, but never mind. Far bleaker though it is in every way, I preferred Klotz's Paria. But Schoeller's film has much to commend it. http://www.frenchfilms.org/review/versailles-2008.html
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Jean-Claude Brisseau, La croisée des chemins, 1976

Brisseau's first feature-length film was shot on Super 8 and already starred his future partner Lisa Heredia (aka Maria Luisa Garcia), who's helped tidy up and reissue this and Brisseau's other early shorts. Despite some terrible acting (Brisseau himself's one of the worst offenders) and some hamfisted sound editing (if you don't like George Delerue's theme from Le mépris you'd better give this a miss, as Brisseau sticks it in all over the place), many of the director's concerns / obsessions are already in evidence. Particularly his fondness for young girls. He even gets into a threesome himself at one point, visibly aroused. Eric Rohmer apparently loved this film, taking Brisseau under his arm (and stealing Heredia for a couple of his own moral tales), but I wonder what he thought of that bit. Can't imagine an erection appearing in a Rohmer, can you? Anyway, this one's for Brisseau completists only. No subs either.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Baltasar Kormákur, Eiðurinn AKA The Oath, 2016

Kormákur gets better and better with each film, as both director and actor. Here he plays a surgeon whose attempts to rescue his daughter from the clutches of a local dealer (yeah, I know, it seems to be a recurring theme in Icelandic cinema, along with child abuse - Christ, for a country with a total population 20% that of Paris they're not doing too well) go baaadly wrong. Splendid cast, well paced, well edited. One for Michel Chion's Cinema And Morality class. Well worth checking out.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Various (curated by Peter Conheim), Ears, Eyes and Throats: Restored Classic and Lost Punk Films 1976-1981, 2019

No prizes for spotting Devo, and I guess everyone by now has seen The Residents careering around the set in their pointy dodgem cars in Third Reich 'N' Roll, and their One Minute Movies - but the one I enjoyed most was the last and longest of this set of nine, Stephanie Beroes' Debt Begins at 20, a half hour spent in the company of Pittsburgh's finest, The Cardboards. Cool article on that here
https://storyboard.cmoa.org/2017/01/bor ... 980s-punk/
and here are The Cardboards
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Dan Warburton wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:59 am
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Michael Winterbottom, The Trip (Seasons 1-3), 2010-2017

Yeah, OK, this should be in I Hate TV but wtf, a cinema version already exists. Reviews range from mad rave to tired yawn, and I can see why. Fans of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (I consider myself one) will love their impersonations, though one does get a bit tired of them trying to outdo each other as Michael Caine, Roger Moore and Mick Jagger after a while, and the landscapes they drive through on their tour of restaurants (ha, what a good idea - can I volunteer for Season 4? I'll carry the Steadicam if it gets me a free dinner in one of these places) are stunning - even more so now that I know we won't be able to visit Cumbria, Italy and Spain for a loooooooooong time.. But the sideplot, grouchy Coogan vs upbeat Brydon, both playing fictionalised versions of themselves going through some sort of dull midlife crisis (complete with occasional forays into marital infidelity) and the distinctly melancholy end to each episode (is that Michael Nyman piano music?) is rather curious. Still, worth it for the Richard Strauss "Im Abendrot" in Season Two and Coogan's hilarious De Niro impersonation in Season Three. Which ends way out in the Moroccan desert, go figure - no, wait for Season 4, due out shortly.
As the world spirals into ever-increasing absurdity and I view the prospect of spending the rest of my life outdoors wearing a fucking mask, we decided to watch this all again (a bit difficult for my wife without subtitles, but she survived), if only for the pleasure of seeing people in bars and restaurants talking to each other over a good glass of wine. And found a fine article on here (first two seasons) http://sensesofcinema.com/2015/feature- ... ng-comedy/
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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George Lucas, American Graffiti, 1973

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/amer ... ffiti-1973 Ebert's glowing review is one of many. Or try this:
https://the-take.com/read/what-makes-am ... -the-1950s
Yes, it's hard to fault the screenplay, the casting's super, Wexler's photography and Murch's sound design are excellent, etc etc - so I'm left wondering why this didn't really do much for me. The fact that it depicts a time and place I never knew (though I did once drive around Redding CA in a '74 Alfa Romeo on a starry summer Friday night ending up watching two kids banging each other on the back of a pick-up truck in the car park of Doc's Skyroom) and could therefore hardly be expected to feel nostalgic for has nothing to do with it - I like The Last Picture Show for example. Anyone else a big fan (or not) of this? Anyone reading this at all?!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Dan Warburton wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:48 am
Dan Warburton wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:59 am
Image

Michael Winterbottom, The Trip (Seasons 1-3), 2010-2017

Yeah, OK, this should be in I Hate TV but wtf, a cinema version already exists. Reviews range from mad rave to tired yawn, and I can see why. Fans of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (I consider myself one) will love their impersonations, though one does get a bit tired of them trying to outdo each other as Michael Caine, Roger Moore and Mick Jagger after a while, and the landscapes they drive through on their tour of restaurants (ha, what a good idea - can I volunteer for Season 4? I'll carry the Steadicam if it gets me a free dinner in one of these places) are stunning - even more so now that I know we won't be able to visit Cumbria, Italy and Spain for a loooooooooong time.. But the sideplot, grouchy Coogan vs upbeat Brydon, both playing fictionalised versions of themselves going through some sort of dull midlife crisis (complete with occasional forays into marital infidelity) and the distinctly melancholy end to each episode (is that Michael Nyman piano music?) is rather curious. Still, worth it for the Richard Strauss "Im Abendrot" in Season Two and Coogan's hilarious De Niro impersonation in Season Three. Which ends way out in the Moroccan desert, go figure - no, wait for Season 4, due out shortly.
As the world spirals into ever-increasing absurdity and I view the prospect of spending the rest of my life outdoors wearing a fucking mask, we decided to watch this all again (a bit difficult for my wife without subtitles, but she survived), if only for the pleasure of seeing people in bars and restaurants talking to each other over a good glass of wine. And found a fine article on here (first two seasons) http://sensesofcinema.com/2015/feature- ... ng-comedy/
Huge fan of The Trip; I could watch these dudes riff for hours. The latest (in Greece) is easily the weakest, but I still enjoyed it plenty.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Ah, I'm waiting for Season 4 to show up on KG, if only to find out how Coogan got his ass out of the desert in Morocco :D
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Russ Meyer, Supervixens, 1975

No apologies for not featuring yet another screenshot of one of the director's beloved buxom beauties, but Charles Napier's bathtub massacre is by far and away the best thing in this, as this enthusiastic blogger makes abundantly clear: http://mooninthegutter.blogspot.com/201 ... ry-26.html Elsewhere, it's all just a question of Russ having fun, and making fun of everybody, himself included. I wonder, therefore, whether those who howl in anger at Tarantino's ultraviolence feel the same way about Meyer.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2020

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Woody Allen, Match Point, 2005

I made friends with trumpeter Greg Kelley after he told me he enjoyed my distinctly unenthusiastic review of his solo album on Meniscus years ago. Bad reviews are more fun than good ones, he said - they're certainly more fun to write, anyway. Here's a corker: https://www.newstatesman.com/node/163527 For all its flaws - and there are many, which the attached gleefully enumerates - I still enjoyed watching this again. Quite why I'm not so sure, as the characters are without exception either unrealistic or unappealing, or both, and Allen's London feels as odd as Kubrick's "New York" in Eyes Wide Shut or Linklater's Paris. No way could anyone without any business know-how whatsoever land a top City job, even with the father-in-law's blessing (and what vicious capitalist fucker would ever risk his money on such an appointment?). How many poor Irish boys dig opera and read Dostoevsky, anyway? But after all these are just pegs for Woody to hang his story on, and as stories go it's not all that bad, but not as good as Crimes and Misdemeanours, which he obviously liked enough to pillage for this.
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