Recently Watched Films 2015

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SqDanceCallingSteve
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by SqDanceCallingSteve »

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THE KILLERS (1947) -- First twenty minutes is a taut and pretty faithful adaptation of Hemingway's short story, ending with the death of The Swede, played by Burt Lancaster in his screen debut. Rest of the movie follows Edmond O'Brien as an insurance investigator tracking down the money and the backstory, with effective and extensive use of flashbacks. Ava Gardner is gorgeous and William Conrad makes his film debut as one of the killers. Enjoyable.
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Two movies on Netflix over the weekend. In a World, about trailer voice-overs, had a couple of engaging stars, including Dimitri Martin. But the protagonist's father was soooo hairy.

The other thing, The One I Love, was too stupid to discuss.

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

dialectics of shit wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Philippe Grandrieux, Un lac, 2008
A masterpiece if you ask me. Here's a decent write-up on it: http://lumenjournal.org/issues/issue-i/ramdas
Fine article, thanks very much for linking.

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Liv Ullmann, Miss Julie, 2014

Inculte that I am, I have to admit I haven't read the Strindberg play (most of the negative write-ups of this film over at IMDb take Ms Ullmann to task for somehow not being close enough to the original), but I'm left wondering if the kind of class-based angst it wallows in doesn't resonate so well in the early 21st century, when the only thing that defines your place in society is how much money you have/earn. That said, the performances of the three leads are impressive - Jessica Chastain, Samantha Morton and Colin Farrell all do angst very well, especially Farrell, who's specialised in tortured, guilt-ridden individuals for nearly two decades now. Not sure I fancy watching it again, though - but if anyone out there has read the Strindberg and wants to convince me otherwise, I'm open to suggestions
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Samuel Fuller, Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street, 1974

To quote Jonathan Rosenbaum's write-up from which I swiped the screenshot (actually the rest of it is worth a look http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1973/09/17542/ to read JR's first impressions of La Maman et La Putain:
"Not all of DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET is peaches and cream, but the beginning is extraordinary — a brilliant burst of action that illustrates the title in lightning flashes — and the mad finale in a weapons room is not far behind. Fuller’s habitual obeisance to the title composer reaches an apogee of sorts in a scene set in the Beethoven Museum, where the heads of both of the leads (Gene Evans, Christa Lang) are cut off by the top of the frame in order to give one of the Master’s pianos a privileged place in the composition. Some of the personal/filmic references get pretty Baroque, too: a clip of RIO BRAVO dubbed into German; a snippet from ALPHAVILLE to reveal an earlier acting part of Christa Lang, Fuller’s wife (seen as a prostitute servicing Akim Tamiroff); Stéphane Audran doing a guest bit, if I remember correctly, as a lesbian named Mme. Bogdanovich. If this all sounds like a movie freak’s nightmare, I can only confess that Sam seemed to have a whale of a time making this two-bit classic, and I for one had a whale of a time watching it. It may not have production values like ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, a conformist crowd pleaser shown in the Grande Salle — a film that aims to out-gross the highest grossers by synthesizing at least six other “hits,” heartily recommended to all viewers with like temperaments — but by God, it has style. As is customary with Fuller, the acting veers from woodblock-hard to awful-ugly (automatically turning every face into a mug shot), the violence is corrosive, the double crosses mutual, the implications perfectly bananas, the imagination fertile. As a modest entry in the Louis Feuillade tradition, this is a minor joy."
Yep, forget the rather hammy acting of the hero (and his moustache) and thrill to an opening shootout in a maternity ward and patients in wheelchairs hurled down flights of stairs. Good old Sam :D
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Werner Herzog, Nosferatu the Vampyre, 1979

Hadn't seen this for ages, but as I've just finished reading the Bram Stoker original, I thought I'd have another crack. Great stuff! Of course, you'll have to be prepared to excuse the make-up artist, and, if you're a real Stoker purist, various deviations from the book (in the novel Jonathan doesn't get bitten, and Lucy isn't his wife either.. nor does Drac curl up and die when the cock crows, but goes out in time-honoured style when his coffin is ambushed by the heroes on the way home to Transylvania.. and Herzog's Van Helsing is nothing like Stoker's annoyingly know-it-all doctor) - but Herzog's feeling for light and landscape is magnificent and who can forget those 11,000 rats?
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

I really like Herzog's version of that story. I'm especially fond of the way the vampire "feeds"--gets down on his haunches like a cat, instead of embracing his victims the way Lugosi or some romancy hunk does. It's creepier.
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Dan Warburton wrote:

Inculte that I am, I have to admit I haven't read the Strindberg play....
You better not let Lutz hear you say that!!
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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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walto wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:

Inculte that I am, I have to admit I haven't read the Strindberg play....
You better not let Lutz hear you say that!!
Huh? Oh no, I don't like Strindberg's naturalist plays. He doesn't care for people, it's all pretense and cliche (a bit like Moore's Esther Waters). So I don't think the class-based angst thing has just dated badly, it never was more than a tool for properly boosting a literary genre.

Speaking of aging badly (or not at all and still badly), I'd rate Herzog's Nosferatu near the bottom of bloodsucker movies somewhere between Polanski's Dance of the Vampires and the musical remake of that. Kinski nibbling at his own teeth like a pet bunny is kind of cute, though.

Anyway here's some prime Strindberg (not the greatest translation):

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Lutz, what's your favorite Dracula movie?
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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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I'm not at all into camp, so I'm the wrong person to ask, but of course Murnau's Nosferatu. Probably at first I thought the figure of Hutter was a bit too foppish, but since then I've seen the film a lot (soundtracking it several times), and it's really amazing how consistent the mood is.

Nothing really comes close. I guess my second-favorite would be Son of Dracula 1943 with Lon Chaney jr. Not a great movie, but it's more noir than trash, which makes for a nice mix.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Thanks. My own faves are the Herzog and the Lugosi. Sometimes also Vampyr, though it's sloooowww.

BTW, I have a question for you film buffs that I was reminded of by SqD's pic of Ava Gardner above. Several years ago, I bought this nice pic in Provincetown. It has, obviously, Gardner and Mickey Rooney (who was likely married to her at the time) in it. The tall, dashing fellow whom, based on her face, Gardner wishes she was married to instead, is Maurice Tobin, who was both Mayor of Boston and Governor of Mass. (Dunno which he was when this picture was taken.)

But I haven't been able to I.D. the other two guys who I'm sure are character actors I've seen many times. Do any of you know?

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Thanks.
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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we can't see that pic, or at least I can't.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Hmmm. I can't see it on my phone, either--only on this computer.

How do I upload a pic from my files?
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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you might have to post it somewhere like flickr first, then link to that.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

OK, try this:

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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Wombatz »

they all look like van johnson to me.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by j-p »

Blood for Dracula (1974) all the way!

Recently watched Ex Machina which was pretty good, one of the few sci-fi films with a bit of content to match its ambitions.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

I forgot about Blood for Dracula. My favorite Warhol by far! "Don't you read the magazines?"
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Somebody I.D. those actors for me!!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING -- Joss Whedon directing, 2013. Breezy black and white, contemporary dress rendition by members of Whedon's Shakespeare reading group and set in his house. Great!! The play translates beautifully to a modern setting, and there's a lightness to the approach that I love. Amy Acker is a delicious Beatrice. And Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) is a terrific Dogberry, playing him deadpan straight. Some St. Germain in the soundtrack. Won't replace Branagh's definitive version set in Tuscany, but no less entertaining.
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