Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Jack Conway, Red-Headed Woman, 1932

As tales of girls sleeping their way to the top go, I much prefer Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Face (see a few pages back). The problem here isn't just Harlow - who often looks rather frumpy and certainly doesn't exude as much raw sex appeal as Barbara - or even the script she has to deal with (middling), but the ineffectual and plain stupid male characters she lures into bed. Thalberg reported hated it, and I can see why. Still, if a glimpse of stocking sets yr heart athrob, give it a go, why not
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train, 1989

Screamin' Jay steals the show, but I also enjoyed Joe Strummer's opening volley ("fuckin' BOLLOCKS!") and the deadpanning Japanese couple in the opening segment. Nice how the stories interleave - I suspect Tarantino and Jarmusch have been watching each other from a respectful distance for a while (clear I think that QT knew this before making Reservoir Dogs) - and as usual there's a cool soundtrack and half a dozen hip nods to other hip movies. Looks great too. Profound? Hardly - but I have more fun with JJ's rock'n'roll than with a lot of the heavier stuff.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Piano Mouth »

Great film, though not sure how it relates to Tarantino?

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Piano Mouth wrote:Great film, though not sure how it relates to Tarantino?
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice, 2014

I preferred our man Surfer's post on page 2 of this thread to the film itself, by a long way. As an adaptation of the book goes, it's quite good, and obviously done with the best intentions (then again Inherent Vice is the only Pynchon novel that could ever have been turned into a film - and still loses a lot in the process), but PTA's gushing praise online for The Big Lebowski ("the best film ever made"?!) should act as a warning shot: and I much prefer Jeff Bridges' White Russian drawl to Joaquin Phoenix's weedy whine. Sounds like he's trying to imitate Vincent Gallo. Transferring the narration to Sortilège's character makes sense - though after a while Joanna Newsom's speaking voice becomes as irritating as her singing (at least there isn't that fucking harp) - and Brolin's well cast as Bigfoot, I suppose. Yet when all's said and done, it's too long (you could say that of the book too), and not very imaginatively filmed. Bit of a damp squib, really
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Aleksandr Sokurov, The Second Circle, 1990

There's a touch of Beckettian humour at times when they can't get the coffin through the door, but apart from that it's a bleak and dreary 90 minutes. Obviously haven't seen enough Sokurov – this is only my second, after Mother and Son – but I'm taking those comparisons with Tarkovsky with a large pinch of salt. Somebody out there tell me what I'm missing.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Bruno Dumont, P'tit Quinquin, 2014

The fact that our two fabulously inept gendarmes can't solve the mystery after four 50' episodes and find out who's been stuffing body parts into cows leaves open the possibility of a second (or third, or fourth) season. Bernard Pruvost's Van der Weyden and Philippe Jore's Carpentier are a great double act, assuming you can put up with the former's facial tics and the latter's gormless toothless smiles, and the child actors – Alane Dehaye as the eponymous hero and Lucy Caron as his girlfriend – are touching. Some of the disturbing subplots featuring the mentally and physically handicapped work better than others, and as usual Dumont makes the Opal Coast look quite inviting by opting to film when it's sunny (you should try Cap Gris Nez sous la pluie). But whether I could enjoy a second season as much, I'm not sure. Meanwhile, M. Dumont is apparently at work on a musical. Hard to imagine that, but..
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Cold Fever, 1995

I'm so glad we'll be visiting Iceland in August, and not when the weather's as inclement as it is here. This entertaining but rather lightweight tale of a Japanese company man who has to journey to the wilds of the Icelandic interior to perform Shinto last rites for his parents (who died there) has its ups and downs, the ups being the landscapes he has to drive through, the downs being the odd characters he meets along the way (the Bonnie and Clyde hitchhikers with their sock puppets are definitely a major down). I'm getting rather worried about those unappetising grey sheep's heads that seem to pop up in every Icelandic film I see – ha, as if every French film had to show someone eating snails and frogs legs – and I'm seriously sceptical as to whether two guys could down an entire bottle of Brennevin, but I'm certainly looking forward to taking Route One.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Roger Corman, The Masque of the Red Death, 1964

Vincent Price has never been better, and Roger goes waaay over the top with his colours. Who cares if the story's little more than fluff (though Poe fluff's better than normal fluff)?
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Georges Franju, Thomas l'imposteur, 1965

I searched in vain for a decent screen capture of the horse with its mane ablaze racing through the bomb debris, which must be one of the ten greatest images ever filmed. This is another truly great discovery – why on earth do we never hear about it and how come it's taken me so long to discover it?! – and I'll go out on a limb and say I think this a greater film than Jules et Jim and in the same league as La Règle du Jeu. Yes, I think it's that good. The Jean Marais narration of the Cocteau text is terrific, the images of war devastating, and Emmanuelle Riva absolutely stunning. There's a fine rip with good subtitles over at KG, which I recommend without reservation since the Rene Chateau DVD is French audio only. But where oh where is the goddamn Criterion release?
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Roger Corman, The Masque of the Red Death, 1964

Vincent Price has never been better, and Roger goes waaay over the top with his colours. Who cares if the story's little more than fluff (though Poe fluff's better than normal fluff)?
Those films have a cult following. I've been in that cult since I was about 13, and I still dream about Barbara Steele's cheekbones occasionally. Recently, I caught Price in Theatre of Blood (Hickox, 1973), which I enjoyed for all it's utter ridiculousness. It's about a hammy Shakespearian actor (Price) who starts knocking off every critic who's panned him, using variations of scenes from the play they'd whacked. It might have almost been autobiographical, except this fictional scenery eater had an army of homeless people to help him (for some reason). So perfectly cuckoo. Plus, as the ads crow, GALLONS OF BLOOD! Image

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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walto wrote:Price in Theatre of Blood (Hickox, 1973), which I enjoyed for all it's utter ridiculousness. It's about a hammy Shakespearian actor (Price) who starts knocking off every critic who's panned him, using variations of scenes from the play they'd whacked. It might have almost been autobiographical, except this fictional scenery eater had an army of homeless people to help him (for some reason). So perfectly cuckoo. Plus, as the ads crow, GALLONS OF BLOOD! Image

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Ha, that looks like fun! Nice to read yr posts as ever, Walt - at least somebody's reading the thread :lol:
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Ulrich Seidl, Import / Export, 2007

Seidl came in for a lot of flak for filming those folks in the geriatric ward (despite permission having been granted by families), but as he started out as a filmmaker making documentaries nobody should be very surprised. The other scene that gets peoples hackles up is the humiliation of the prostitute, probably because the woman in question was indeed a prostitute (and didn't understand German, hence her utterly confused expression). Whatever, I thought this was an outstanding – if thoroughly distressing at times – experience. The run-down tower block occupied by gypsies is the stuff of nightmares for sure

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Hayao Yamaneko »

Still reading the thread! For some reason I've really not been in the mood to sit down and watch a film for a long time.
But I did watch Mystery Train based on your recommendation - it looked exactly the kind of thing I fancied watching, and so it turned out. First film I've watched through in a couple of months I think.
Hawkins & bellboy are as great as you promised. I could have have happily spent several times as long with them at the front desk.

Didn't get any of the filmic nods. Didn't mind missing them.


Last film I think I saw was this:

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Jess & Moss - Clay Jeter

Again this hit the spot. It's all surface and nostalgia, but the surfaces are fantastic. 90mins of late adolescent texture and mood. The plot - orphans, isolated friendship, growing up - is archetypical enough to be pure mcguffin, but it does exactly what's asked of it in structuring the mood and the emotional shape of the thing. Odd bits jar, but not enough to shake the spell. It more or less perfectly sketches and inhabits a mood, and then leaves the viewer alone with it. Well done.

Since then I've just watched Looking and Girls - 1/2 hr chunks have been about my level. The latter is patchy this season, they're all quite unlikeable now, the plotlines are absurd but some nice moments. I think I'm still watching out of fidelity to the first season.
Looking I liked a lot more: superior Dawsons Creek melodrama but handled very well within that bracket. Though they cancelled it.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Edward D.Wood Jr., Plan 9 From Outer Space, 1959

Quite apart from the hilariously bad special effects, legendary cobbled-together footage of Lugosi, terrible framing and wonderfully mismatched montage, the script beggars belief.. how about this:
“And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.”
“For a time we tried to contact them by radio, but no response. Then they attacked a town. A small town, I'll admit. But nevertheless a town of people. People who died.”
As opposed to a ghost town, I suppose.. And how about this for Stephen Hawking-level astrophysics -
“Take a can of your gasoline. Say this can of gasoline is the sun. Now you spread a thin a line of it to a ball, representing the Earth. Now, the gasoline represents the sunlight, the sun particles. Here we saturate the ball with the gasoline, the sunlight. Then we put a flame to the ball. The flame will speedily travel around the Earth, back along the line of gasoline to can, or the sun itself. It will explode this source, and spread to every place that gasoline, or sunlight, touches. Explode the sunlight here, Gentlemen, and you explode the universe.”
As Criswell says, “God help us – in the future.”
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Michael Roemer, The Plot Against Harry, 1969

Ah, here's a real treasure.. the story of why this splendid film was shelved for 20 years and only resurfaced in Cannes in 1989 (hence the erroneous date you might see if you google) has been told very well by JR here http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1990/0 ... -must-see/ The non-star performances are all magnificent, Roemer's location shoots in bar mitzvah parties, health clubs, dog shows and fashion parades are terrific, the dialogue bright and sharp (well-mixed too, soundwise) and the story, which I won't spoil for you, a delight. I'm as big a Huston fan as anyone, but if it's dumb mafiosi you're looking for, this blows Prizzi's Honor right out of the water. Criterion release with bonus docs and subtitles, please! (Meanwhile, vive Karagarga)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Philippe Garrel, J'entends plus la guitare, 1991

And if, after that, you want to come down with a bang, or a paper bag full of heroin to sniff, you could always try this one. Based on his experiences with Nico (though I sense that all Garrel's work is autobiographical to some extent), it's pretty miserable at times. Nice to see Johanna ter Steege again, after her disappearance in Spoorloos – but she looks so down for most of the time here, I wonder if she'd not have better off buried alive :D For hardcore Garrel fans only, I reckon
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:“Take a can of your gasoline. Say this can of gasoline is the sun. Now you spread a thin a line of it to a ball, representing the Earth. Now, the gasoline represents the sunlight, the sun particles. Here we saturate the ball with the gasoline, the sunlight. Then we put a flame to the ball. The flame will speedily travel around the Earth, back along the line of gasoline to can, or the sun itself. It will explode this source, and spread to every place that gasoline, or sunlight, touches. Explode the sunlight here, Gentlemen, and you explode the universe.”
If only this were the Werckmeister Harmonies opening scene.

(I second Theatre of Blood!)

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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My own understanding (admittedly not terribly deep) is that this sunlight exploding business can be mitigated (at least) by the wearing of shades--the UV filtering ones work especially well.

With gasoline, I think you're supposed to use a wet blanket or the top of a garbage can.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Aleksandr Sokurov, The Second Circle, 1990

There's a touch of Beckettian humour at times when they can't get the coffin through the door, but apart from that it's a bleak and dreary 90 minutes. Obviously haven't seen enough Sokurov – this is only my second, after Mother and Son – but I'm taking those comparisons with Tarkovsky with a large pinch of salt. Somebody out there tell me what I'm missing.
Kamen (aka The Stone) is an out-and-out masterpiece

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