Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Michelangelo Antonioni, La notte, 1961

I just managed to catch the Antonioni exhibition at the Cinémathèque before it closed, but if you didn't you didn't miss much - nice to see archive letters by the likes of Tarkovsky and Kurosawa, but taking two-minute snippets of Antonioni films and looping them endlessly makes no sense. It's like listening to a thirty-second soundbite of a Mahler symphony, or The Crypt. No, you've got to subject yourself to the whole experience. So I did - and then I watched

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Michelangelo Antonioni, Il deserto rosso, 1964

- and if you ever try these two back to back, you'll understand why I don't feel like writing another inane review right away. Crikey.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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No way! La Notte is one of my favs of his. [emoji36]. I agree that Red Dessert kinda sux tho.

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Piano Mouth wrote:No way! La Notte is one of my favs of his. [emoji36]. I agree that Red Dessert kinda sux tho.
Wha? I don't know what gave you the impression I didn't enjoy La Notte :o I think both are extraordinary - though I don't know whether one actually enjoys Red DeSert

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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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LOL English language is tricky! looks...good...or something...[emoji16]

Hayao Yamaneko
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dominique Lohlé and Guy Marc Hinant - Luc Ferrari Facing his Tautology

This is great - it's in MOTM on Karagarga at the mo. There's nothing fancy - it just documents a studio session recording a new version of Tautologos. It's a couple of days of some people in a studio, edited down to an hour. But Ferrari is so charming, and the whole thing seems so much fun that nothing drags.
There's a lovely moment when his pianist auditions a very broad romantic phrase for his approval as one of the piece's repetitions. Ferrari's eyes light up: "Oh... that's very good. Yes, excellent ... You have really terrible taste!"

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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<i>ut taking two-minute snippets of Antonioni films and looping them endlessly makes no sense. It's like listening to a thirty-second soundbite of a Mahler symphony, or The Crypt. No, you've got to subject yourself to the whole experience.</i>

Please don't make me sit through any entire Mahler symphonies, Dan!! :)
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Ha, I thought about watching Ken Russell's Mahler but didn't have enough time yesterday afternoon - so went for this instead.. can't recall if you like Delius or not, Walt

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Ken Russell, Song of Summer, 1968

Eric Fenby worked with Russell on the screenplay, based closely on his own memories of working as Frederick Delius's emanuensis, but I don't recall if the story of Percy Grainger throwing a tennis ball over the roof and running through the house in time to catch it on the other side actually took place at Delius's place in Grez-sur-Loing or not. In any case, that event, and most of the ageing syphilitic composer's obnoxious behaviour really did happen – but that raises the eternal question of whether knowing sordid details of artists' lives is either necessary or desirable. It certainly colours your perception of their work.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Ken Russell, The Lair of the White Worm, 1988

This is great fun, with Ken taking the piss out of everything with great gusto, including himself. It's a kids' film for adults – without the bloody orgies and nasty 20-inch strapon pointed dildos it could almost be a Famous Five story (well, four.. no Timmy the dog), but the director can't resist going overboard on the sexual innuendo, both linguistic (“Do you have children?” “Only when there are no men around..”) and visual (he really likes those garter belts, our Ken..). Great casting, with Hugh Grant and Amanda Donohoe perfectly cast. Who cares that special effects are a bit tacky? Never did Pasolini any harm.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Terence Davies, The Long Day Closes, 1992

Ach, this one really rubbed me up the wrong way. You'd have thought that the director had dealt with his childhood memories (growing up poor, gay and Catholic in Liverpool) in his earlier trilogy and 1988's far superior Distant Voices, Still Lives, but no, here they come again, along with Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Kathleen Ferrier, “Once In Royal David's City”, all drenched in rain and filmed in that ultra-stylised way that works wonderfully once but not twice (imagine if Lars von Trier had done two Dogvilles..). Who defined sentimentality as “sentiment in excess of the facts”? I used to think it was Dr Johnson but I can't find any online proof of that. Whatever, this is certainly sentimental, even maudlin. Without the threatening father figure of Pete Postlethwaite, Distant Voices might have been too. That said, Davies' 2008 documentary about Liverpool, Of Time And The City, is well worth your time.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jean Gremillon, Remorques, 1941

Absolutely terrific – Gabin is easily as great in this as he is in better known classics by Carné and Renoir. Very few actors could bring off a role as complex as this, which goes from all round good guy to tough-talking, hard hitting tugboat captain to guilt-ridden widower. Excellent punchy dialogue from Prévert, who didn't care for the oratorio-like religious music at the end (though I thought it was magnificent). You can easily forgive the scale models of the storm at sea too. Fine film.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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George Romero, Dawn of the Dead, 1978

Non-stop fun in the shopping mall. Anyone recommend the Zack Snyder 2004 remake? I might give it a go, if only for Ving Rhames :D
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers, 2012

So I decided to give this one another go in glorious Blu-Ray this time. Franco's grillz and his hilarious “look at my shit!” speech still fun (thank God the ATL twins don't have much to do, yikes those guys are scary), and the gorgeous Benoît Debie cinematography and the dreamy Cliff Martinez soundtrack both stand the test of time well, but when all's said and done, you do wonder what it's all in aid of. That won't stop me going back to it again at some stage, I imagine, but I won't expect any flashes of enlightenment. Love the Britney Spears sequence though. Anyone work out what they're drinking there? Recognise the bottle?
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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BREATHLESS (1960) -- I was very sure I had seen this decades ago and not liked it. Glad to be wrong on both counts. Charming, beautifully filmed with two incredibly photogenic stars and Paris. Even the inevitable tragedy seemed breezy and light. Cool soudtrack by Martial Solal.
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Antoine
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Anyone work out what they're drinking there? Recognise the bottle?
Too difficult for Vivino, but Google Images is leading to this one, potentially: http://instachampagne.com/wp-content/up ... chelle.jpg

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

Antoine wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:Anyone work out what they're drinking there? Recognise the bottle?
Too difficult for Vivino, but Google Images is leading to this one, potentially: http://instachampagne.com/wp-content/up ... chelle.jpg
Yeurchk! The perfect beverage for Alien :lol:

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Bruno Dumont, Flandres, 2006

I enjoyed this very much indeed – but NOT the alternate (original?) ending, which turns the whole thing into a Twentynine Palms killing spree (interesting to read that Dumont himself didn't care for the ending of that film) – and yet as always I see there's plenty of violent reaction both for and against online. Those that don't like it seem to complain that it's just “more of the same” (well sure it is – but I think it's to the director's credit that he's really marked out that little corner of Northern France as “Dumont country”) or make dumb ass comments about Barbe being the town slut (she isn't). What's interesting is Dumont's take on war: of course, I'd hazard a guess he knows his Full Metal Jacket well, but apart from the fact that the conflict here is taking place in an Arabic-speaking country we have no real clue as to where and when. At one point the soldiers are seen on horseback, which, along with the fact that André and his pals in Flanders have “received their letter”, i.e. been conscripted, could point back as far as the Algerian War. Indeed, one of the reasons for ditching the alternative ending is that at one point André picks up a mobile phone, which inevitably dates the action – elsewhere, apart from the odd Peugeot 205 there's very little clue as to exactly when these events are supposed to be taking place. Good move. As usual with Dumont, sex is nasty, brutish and short, but this time there is genuine tenderness in the ending. Sensational filming and sound (would love to know what kind of mics he's using and where he hides them), and the influence of Bresson is once more clear, with a clear nod to Mouchette near the beginning when Barbe and Demester set traps for gamebirds.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Man Ray, Les Mystères du Château de Dé, 1929

Let's hear it for Viscount Charles de Noailles for throwing open the doors and gardens of his Mallet-Stevens villa (check out the furniture! and the sculptures!) as well as "starring" in this wonderfully oddball short. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Noailles Not as great as some of the other film projects Noailles supported, Buñuel's L'âge d'or and Cocteau's Le sang d'un poète
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Mervyn LeRoy, The Bad Seed, 1956

These days this seems like a real oddity, a strange mix of Hollywood Freud, noir, screwball comedy and horror that was a huge box office smash when it came out. Child murder, infanticide, suicide.. yahoo! Shame the Hays Office intervened with its corny bolt-of-lightning "happy" ending, but the happy spanking coda and the plea to audiences not to divulge the ending to anyone else likely to see the movie is just as weird.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING -- Lovely little romance + Zorba the Greek-like celebration of the pastoral. Beautifully filmed in the Herbrides, with Eliza . . . I mean Wendy Hiller and including a 13-year old Petula Clark. Directed by Michael Powell, just before his big films (Stairway to Heaven, Black Narcissus, Red Shoes).
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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A SERIOUS MAN (2009) -- Meant to catch this in the theaters, glad to have caught up with it now. Cohen Brothers dark comedy about suburban Jews in Minnesota. Touching, absorbing and very funny.
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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SqDanceCallingSteve wrote:Image

I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING -- Lovely little romance + Zorba the Greek-like celebration of the pastoral. Beautifully filmed in the Herbrides, with Eliza . . . I mean Wendy Hiller and including a 13-year old Petula Clark. Directed by Michael Powell, just before his big films (Stairway to Heaven, Black Narcissus, Red Shoes).
IMHO, that movie would have been ok (not great, but ok), if they didn't play that fucking tune 450 times in it.
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