Recently Watched Films 2016

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Shaun Costello, Forced Entry, 1973

Not for the faint hearted, be warned. Harry Reems, who said it was the film he regretted making the most (I think he was wrong on that one), plays a seriously deranged Vietnam vet who "came home from the war with a party in his head".. Spoiler alert! He works at a gas station, and tricks young women into giving him their addresses on the pretext that the credit card machine isn't working, after which he follows them home with a bowie knife and a pistol, rapes and kills them. Until, that is, he meets a couple of seriously stoned hippie girls who aren't in the least bit scared of him, and turns the gun on himself. Not much of a spoiler really, as the first thing we see in the film is Harry's corpse with brains spilling over the floor, so we know he's due for a nasty end. What's truly bizarre is that the sex scenes - this is X-rated, btw - are absolutely not exciting (you'd have to be a pretty sick pup to get turned on by this stuff), and don't even seem intended to be: the first extended sex scene, which doesn't feature Reems at all - he's peeping through the window - is actually accompanied by a baroque concerto, hardly the sleazy funk usually associated with the genre.. And all of Reems' scenes are intercut with real, grainy footage of Vietnam war atrocities. And I mean atrocities. Plus there's plenty of Vietnamese traditional music - hardly the kind of stuff you'd put on the 8-track cartridge if you wanted to get it on with the love of your life! It's a trip, really. The script is terrible (that doesn't matter though since nobody can act), but the filming and editing is, in its vicious cut-up way, quite impressive: one wonders what point, if any, Costello wanted to make. It's too rough and ugly to be "artistic", but far too grim and repugnant to please the thrill-seekers of 42nd Street, where I assume it played. I'm no expert in squelchy, hairy 70s porn / exploitation films, and have no real desire to be, so I doubt I'll be watching any of the 60-odd skinflicks the director went on to make, but if you're interested in cinema as subversive art, you might, just might, want to try it. I suppose this is for the kind of "discerning punter" who'd pay $$$ for a VOD boxset of Sutcliffe Jugend. Best of British.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Antoine wrote: Image
Try this one in case you've never seen it
Also good! In the Tetris one, you have a variety of interesting personalities competing honorably; in this one you get a prick against a nice guy, different kind of movie.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Alex Gibney, Zero Days, 2016

Though it's good old-fashioned shootings that seem to be in the news these days on a daily basis, the Powers That Be have clearly decided to move the world of warcraft into the next dimension - cyber. Whether or not it reassures or disturbs you to know that the American / Israeli secret service is able to launch a full-scale shutdown of Iran - and that they could retaliate in kind at a moment's notice (and, thanks to Mossad's zeal the prototype virus "escaped" and is now in the hands of the Russians, Chinese and probably the North Koreans too) - there's much food for thought in Alex Gibney's (slightly on the long side) documentary. I'm now trying to imagine what The Donald will do when the moment comes. Won't you pour me a Cuban Breeze, Gretchen..
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Claire Denis, Les salauds, 2013

Here's what the local rag wrote (bonne lecture): http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2 ... _3246.html
You said it - and a trawl through the mixed reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes is an interesting exercise. Allow me to quote Peter Bradshaw's Guardian review:
"Claire Denis has created a menacing and atmospheric neo-noir, as headspinning in its way as The Big Sleep. It isn't there to be watched and understood in the conventional sense, but experienced or inhaled. Denis has once again commissioned a pulsing original score by Tindersticks that enhances the disquieting mood. Vincent Lindon, a star in the old school of charismatic French masculinity, plays Marco. He is a sea-captain who returns to France when he hears his sister is in trouble. Her husband has committed suicide, driven to despair by debt repayments to a shadowy businessman (Michel Subor) – and also, apparently, by allowing this man to abuse his teenage daughter (Lola Creton) in lieu of cash. So for revenge, Marco sets out to seduce the man's mistress Raphaelle (Chiara Mastroianni) and mother of his infant son. In the course of this film's chaotically disordered narrative structure, a terrible revenge appears also to be planned against this little boy, but who carries it out is left a mystery up to the final credits and beyond. It is macabre and dreamlike; the deadpan preposterousness is tricky to negotiate, but leaves behind an oily residue of unease when you have awoken from the nightmare."
Needless to say the performances - particularly Subor's - are as outstanding as Agnès Godard's cinematography, and Stuart Staples once more finds just the right music. I look forward to watching it again one day, but the ending is so brutal I think I might wait a few months..
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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David Michôd, Animal Kingdom, 2010

This one has garnered rave reviews a-plenty, but I found it rather lacking in pace and light on character development myself. That said, Jacki Weaver's Ma Barker figure, who's nicknamed Smurf (no explanation for which given), is wonderfully diabolical, and James Frecheville's portrayal of the "hero", Joshua Cody (no relation whatsoever to one of the founding editors of Paris Transatlantic by the way :lol: ) is impressively autistic. Several questions remain tantalisingly unanswered, but the one that most readily springs to mind is: is Guy Pearce's moustache real?
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Lucio Fulci, Black Cat, 1981

I'm a sucker for adaptations of Poe's story, and a huge fan of Patrick Magee, but everyone else is pretty naff - shame David Warbeck's detective isn't fatally injured in the car crash, and they should have left Mimsy Farmer to die behind the brick wall too - and Pino Donaggio's score is obtrusive (heh, no surprises there). Nice shots of the pussycat though. But not enough blood! Miaow!
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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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for me, it's all about ben mendelsohn in animal kingdom. solid movie, great performance.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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dialectics of shit wrote:for me, it's all about ben mendelsohn in animal kingdom. solid movie, great performance.
I agree Pope is the most interesting character by far, but his re-emergence (at the beginning of the film he was in hiding for fear of his life, but then he returns and nobody seems to bat an eyelid) should have been explained, imo.

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Otto Preminger, Where The Sidewalk Ends, 1950

This is a terrific noir, with a great cast - Preminger paired up Andrews and Tierney again, but the latter isn't the classic femme fatale she was in Laura, and the former a more complex, tortured individual by far - a fine Ben Hecht script and (goes without saying) stunning camerawork. Nice conclusion too - justice is done, as it were, but it's not the happy end we would have wanted. Good stuff.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Ben Wheatley, Kill List, 2011

It starts out as a kind of Yorkshire kitchen sink Sopranos, but ends up as a crazy cross between Eyes Wide Shut and The Wicker Man - opinions vary as to whether these last twenty minutes actually work (I'm not convinced on one viewing), but they shouldn't exactly come as a surprise (the cryptic inscription behind the bathroom mirror..). It's pretty brutal at times, be warned..
Last edited by Dan Warburton on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Claire Denis, Beau travail, 1999

I've just read an extremely annoying collection of essays on Denis' films, all but three of which were horribly pretentious (time-image blabla post-colonial theory blabla body without organs blabla), but at least it's sent me back to watch them again. And Beau travail is simply extraordinary, every single minute of it. Now looking forward to revisiting the others - except Trouble Every Day and J'ai pas sommeil, which I've already seen three times. Wonderful work.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza, [REC], 2007

Well, it's a blast - and starts out so nicely with a boring evening in the local fire station. But you know you're in trouble when the first cop gets bitten :D If you want real angst I'd go for the one inside the cave I mentioned a few weeks ago, but if home-movie zombie bloodbaths are your cup of sangria, go for it!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Phil Karlson, Walking Tall, 1973

Based on the true story of Sheriff Buford Pusser (it has to be true with a name like that), who set about cleaning up the illegal stills and gambling joints of rural Tennessee, and starring the mighty Joe Don Baker as the man with the big stick, this spawned a couple of remakes and even a short-lived TV series. Many of the film's events are based on what actually happened (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buford_Pusser), and Pusser himself was consulted - he also planned to star in the sequel but died in a car crash on the way back from signing his contract with Bing Crosby - but unfortunately some aren't: the 9-year-old son (Pusser didn't have one) who shows up in his hospital room with a hunting rifle (wtf!), our hero struggling out of hospital to attend his wife's funeral and then ramraiding the villains' joint.. But no matter: it's definitely up there with Dirty Harry and Death Wish as one of the early 70s "justiciers de la ville" classics, and director Phil Karlson knew what he was doing juxtaposing twee sub-Copland happy family music with some truly ugly and vicious fight scenes..
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Phil Karlson, Walking Tall, 1973
Looks like Pusser's holding a smart phone there--maybe got interrupted by the breasts while he was texting his broker.

BTW, I get the the connection, but I wouldn't put that film up there with Dirty Harry!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

Post by Adrian »

Hello Dan.

[Adrian wrote:
Years ago I saw a film on television (so probably way older still, my guess is mid-80's) that featured French actor Richard Bohringer ('Gorodish' in film Diva) as a gangster and a very familiar looking French comedian (I think) with curly blond hair as his neighbour(?). All a bit hazy, but is there anyone among you connaisseurs who knows what film I'm talking about? Much appreciated

I love quests like this, but unless you can pin down the name of the other guy (you make it sound like Coluche - blond? hardly - but I don't find any film on IMDb they both appeared in - then again, I'm looking very quickly) it's a tricky search. Maybe check out the Bohringer filmography yourself, click on link by link and you might find something that rings a bell. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0092184/]

It's taken a while but I've figured it out:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096517/
now to find a dvd with English or Dutch subtitles... :-)
plus sonat quam valet - seneca

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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walto wrote:Looks like Pusser's holding a smart phone there--maybe got interrupted by the breasts while he was texting his broker.
:D :D :D :D :D Great one Walt - hadn't spotted that! haha!
walto wrote:BTW, I get the the connection, but I wouldn't put that film up there with Dirty Harry!
Oh I don't know - give it another try if you have time.. Karlson's an interesting cat - I suppose you know The Phenix City Story - he's very good at "putting the viewer through it" as Hitch would say.. You find yourself doing numerous double-takes, like, wow do I really agree with what Pusser's doing here? That fine line between justice and the law.. it's a much more subtle film than I thought it would be. And I'm a big fan of Dirty Harry, unlike Pauline ;)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Michel Deville, Raphaël ou le Débauché, 1971

Maurice Ronet never looks all that happy, so he's perfect as a melancholic, death-obsessed libertine, and Françoise Fabian (née Michèle Cortes de Leon y Fabianera) is well cast as the not-yet-sexually-fulfilled young widow, who has to become a "lady of the night" herself to get his attention, only to find out he rather preferred her as what she was before. Needless to say, it doesn't end all that well for either of them. Great locations, wish I could find out where the castle was.. somewhere in the Dordogne I suspect
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Sidney Lumet, The Fugitive Kind, 1960

This is a mess from start to finish, with Brando underacting nicely - though he doesn't come across as a musician to me, and looks a bit old - and Magnani overacting horrendously. Not much sexual chemistry between them either (nor was there during the shoot, from what I read). But if you think la Magnani is chewing the scenery, wait till you see Joanne Woodward. Not that her character actually does much. Nobody is really believable and the dialogue is ponderous - even when it's good, Williams is hard work, but when it's bad it's a fucking ordeal. I won't be returning to this one, methinks.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Claire Denis, Beau travail, 1999

I've just read an extremely annoying collection of essays on Denis' films, all but three of which were horribly pretentious (time-image blabla post-colonial theory blabla body without organs blabla), but at least it's sent me back to watch them again. And Beau travail is simply extraordinary, every single minute of it. Now looking forward to revisiting the others - except Trouble Every Day and J'ai pas sommeil, which I've already seen three times. Wonderful work.
what's the name of the book?

love beau travail. my computer's wallpaper right now is a screencap of lavant dancing from


:D

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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dialectics of shit wrote:what's the name of the book?
Marjorie Vecchio - The Films of Claire Denis: Intimacy on the Border (2014)
https://karagarga.in/details.php?id=199283
I hope you get more out of it than I did!

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2016

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HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS (2015) -- Sally Field/ Doris is a lonely office worker with a mad crush on a new co-worker who is about 40 years younger. Some solid laughs from the romance, as well as some genuine drama from the subplot involving her hoarding and her house. The main plot of the May-December relationship is developed and propelled by laughs and awkward moments; had it been explored unblinkingly, this could have been an exceptional indie movie. Still, quite enjoyable for its laughs and Doris's endearingly nutty character.
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