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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Ingmar Bergman, Passion of Anna, 1969

The Swedish title is simply “En Passion”, which would have been much better: it's not only Anna who suffers here, but everybody. No prizes for guessing the painful subject matter or the cast – von Sydow, Ullmann, Andersson and Josephson – but there are some intriguing touches here, notably an openness to improvisation (the dinner sequence), quite rare for Bergman, and intercut interviews with the actors themselves talking about the characters they're playing. And that closing slow zoom shot (wish I could have found a decent screenshot of it) is sensational.
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by walto »

Liv Ullman was so beautiful.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Dan Warburton »

walto wrote:Liv Ullman was so beautiful.
She's still looking good for 76 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liv_Ullmann FWIW, always preferred Bibi Andersson myself.

Meanwhile, for you KG hounds -
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Raoul Ruiz is this month's MoM. Go ruin yr ratios - and give me yr bonus :D
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jean-Luc Godard, Vivre sa vie, 1962

Busy reading Antoine de Baecque's monumental Godard biography – which I hope might be translated into English one day, as it's far superior to any of the others I've read – and dipping into the back catalogue. I'd forgotten how austere (structurally) this one is.. and how terribly sad Karina looks (not really surprising given all those suicide attempts). Magnificent stuff though – and a huge influence on later filmmakers. Fassbinder said he'd seen it dozens of times.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jacques Demy, Trois places pour le 26, 1988

You may remember a lot of hoo-hah about Montand paternity suits a while back – they even dug the bugger up to do DNA tests – and his liaisons dangereuses with various femmes fatales (and several young enough to be his daughter) were well-documented during his lifetime. But it's certainly surprising to see him accept a role which finds him bedding his own daughter. And, even more oddly, none of the reviews I've read of this late and not particularly inspired Demy musical mentions the fact. The incest (not seen but certainly hinted at) is not too deftly brushed aside (the script is woefully lite, but it doesn't really matter because Mathilda May can't act – and she's no great shakes as a dancer either) in favour of a rushed ending. Thank goodness for Françoise Fabian, but the real star of this thing is set designer Bernard Evein, whose constructions are gorgeous. Elsewhere, clumsy choreography and uninspired Michel Legrand music make this one for Demy completists only.
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by jon abbey »

Dan Warburton wrote:Raoul Ruiz is this month's MoM. Go ruin yr ratios - and give me yr bonus :D
any recommendations for entry points?

Lao Tsu Ben
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by Lao Tsu Ben »

I generally like more the idea of Raoul Ruiz's films than the actual films themselves. When he's at his best, he can be cerebral and fun, otherwise he might be just fun, which is still very good, or plain boring.
I would advise people who don't know him to have a look at Colloque De Chiens, a fun and gruesome short film telling the story of a crime and entirely composed of still shots, as in a photo novel. It's short and entertaining so I can imagine no one having problems going through it.

The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting is also short, though a while longer (an hour, if I correctly remember), fun but rather highbrow this time (that doesn't mean one has to take it too seriously). It was written by Pierre Klossowski and deals with ideas his very abstract novels (I don't like them much) were full of. With the help of Ruiz, it's perhaps the best thing that he did, besides translations of Nietzsche, Hölderlin etc.
Their other collaboration, The Suspended Vocation, though seemingly fun, is not only pretentious but also very boring. Perhaps I have to give it another chance.
That Day is in the just fun category, but I remember it to be immensely (that's perhaps a little too strong) enjoyable. Takes place in Switzerland, has a very special humor, as it should be the case with any dark comedy about a serial-killer.
I also think that his adaptation of Proust's Le Temps Retrouvé is one of the few true successes of the genre, even more so considering the difficulty of the adaptation.
His New York film, The Golden Boat, which has a soundtrack by John Zorn and a cast that includes Jim Jarmush among others, has a good reputation.
I also like Klimt, which has a good phoney-Viennese atmosphere, if that means anything.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Lao Tsu Ben wrote:I generally like more the idea of Raoul Ruiz's films than the actual films themselves. When he's at his best, he can be cerebral and fun, otherwise he might be just fun, which is still very good, or plain boring.
I would advise people who don't know him to have a look at Colloque De Chiens, a fun and gruesome short film telling the story of a crime and entirely composed of still shots, as in a photo novel. It's short and entertaining so I can imagine no one having problems going through it.
Thanks! Just watched it (20 minutes, now I need to get to my choreography of the day.) Very fresh! I liked the dogs-as-Greek-chorus. But I really loved the single narration, very involving, like old radio shows or good storytellers.

It put me in mind of a movie I loved long ago, used to see on TV although I think it's been 40 years since I've seen it. Don't think it every made to tape or disc, also a single narrator throughout, but a full length movie, I think it was called A Patchwork Quilt, black and white, about a woman who believed in everything and a man who believed in nothing.

I will check out some more Ruiz, that was very interesting!
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j-p
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by j-p »

I remember enjoying the photography in Three Crowns of the Sailor but I don't remember much else about it. I'm going to watch some more Ruiz this week, thanks for the recomendations.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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YO-YO (1965) -- Pierre Etaix.

Blown away by the movie, and by the fact that I'd never heard of it before. Magnificent fable, gorgeously filmed with an extraordinary eye for detail, full of wonderful surprises. Too funny and lighthearted to be taken seriously by some critics, I'm sure; but I found it an almost perfect comedy, a warm-hearted work of art with links to La Strada and As You Like It. Will have to see it again to render a more critical judgement, but a shoo-in to enter my pantheon of favorite films. WOW!
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Nice one!

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John Flynn, Rolling Thunder, 1977

Fascinating if flawed (fascinating because of its flaws) tale of combat-hardened Vietnam Vets out for revenge, with fine performances from William "Knots Landing" Devane and a young Tommy Lee Jones. Paul Schrader's original script https://subcin.files.wordpress.com/2014 ... hunder.pdf was toned down by Heywood Gould (Schrader originally had an idea for Major Rane to meet up with a certain Mr Travis Bickle.. just as well that project was shelved), but there are some great lines. ("It's like my eyes are open and I'm looking at you but I'm dead. They've pulled out whatever it was inside of me. It never hurt at all after that and it never will.") However, here are a few things I didn't care for: 1) the Cliff subplot, the more you think about it, is totally unnecessary - even the police tail on Rane's red Cadillac - and the shootout in the abandoned house completely gratuitous. OK, you say, so is the crop duster scene in North by Northwest, but Cliff is a minor character here, not the principal protagonist. 2) Linda just disappears, and just when you think things might be getting Gun Crazy interesting - as her firearms skills are never put to the test, the scene where she shoots at the logs in the river feels uncomfortable (did Schrader originally intend her to go on the killing spree with Rane, I wonder?) 3) the original intrusion into Rane's house, upon reflection, is pretty dumb - would these bad hombres really go to all that trouble for a measly $2500? And why did they have to shoot the wife and child? 4. The "happy" ending, which is surely meant to be some kind of joke (like the "happy ending" of Taxi Driver) but ends up veering too close to exploitation cheap melo ("time to go home", or whatever dumb shit he says. The original Schrader script doesn't end that way (see above) and he understandably didn't like the changes Gould made and refused to endorse the film. Anyway, as you all probably know, this is another one of Tarantino's all time favourite movies - I reckon he could do a decent remake of it himself, if he put his mind to it.

Possible Raoul Ruiz "entry points" (I'm still discovering his work myself):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Cro ... the_Sailor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Regained_%28film%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogies_of_a_Crime
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hypot ... n_Painting
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Fwiw there are two of his films on iTunes, and another movie directed by Antonio banderas which doesn't look too bad actually, which I downloaded by accident thinking it was Ruiz, but sometimes if you search for Raoul instead of Raul, it'll get you nowhere. "Mysteries of Lisbon" is what I'm watching now, it's pretty good so far, I'm going to try to finish it this weekend, as it's pretty long, at 4.5 hours!

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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

Post by dialectics of shit »

Love Ruiz (even some shat-on entries like Black Book are good fun). He has a bunch of must-watch films, but La ville des pirates, Combat d'amour en songe, and Mistérios de Lisboa (I recommend the miniseries version) are probably the most essential.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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In Bruges, that film with Colin Farrell from some years ago. It started out fine, not exactly likeable but with enough downtimes and asides for nice pacing and a welcome lack of psychology. The thing was just biding its time, though, until the point where you no longer switch it off because it appears easier to sit this through. And then it became a rip-off of one of those Korean revenge movies, only soft-boiled until sagging at every minute and with nothing to drive it except said need to sit this through. And still they can't find ways of letting those that have to die die, without all manner of empty gestures and forced misunderstandings. Utter waste of time (and not in a good way).

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) -- Robert Downey, Jr. as a scruffy Holmes. I regularly watch Sherlock and Elementary, both much more eccentric characters than Downey's. The television Sherlocks are also modern day, while this movie is set in the original, Victorian times. Its visual renderings of London are some of the best things about the movie. Irene Adler is elevated to a major role, which I rather like, and the plot is grand and engrossing. Unfortunately almost all the action scenes are trashy, cartoony, and detract from the movie. The overdone pyrotechnics seem to betray a perverse fascination with fire on somebody's part. Uneven. Not sure if I should watch the second one or not.

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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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SqDanceCallingSteve wrote:Not sure if I should watch the second one or not.
Don't. We liked the first one fine as family entertainment, in the second, all the breeziness is gone ...

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Claud601
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/the-tal ... e-of-tales

This was brilliant very highly recommended

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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THE MAN IN THE WEB (1959) -- This one's a little odd but a lot of fun. Kind of like seeing Spanky, Darla, Buckwheat and the rest of the gang wander into a film noir to rescue the misunderstood artist (Alan Ladd) falsely accused of murdering his wife from hell (Carolyn Jones). I can't think of another in the genre that features children in prominent roles. Fine performances by most of the kids, especially Barbara Beaird, and the insanely intense Carolyn Jones (later to win fame as Morticia).
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Sidney Lumet, The Hill, 1965

Fine performances from Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, and Ians Hendry and Bannen in this gritty drama set in an army prison in the Libyan (I think) desert. Great filming – Lumet frequently came in for stick as being a “television” director, not that that should be anything to be ashamed of, but some of the camera moves here are worthy of Max Ophüls. Interestingly, it's one of Woody Allen's all time favourite movies. Wonder why.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Carlos Saura, El séptimo dia, 2004

Based on a true story of the massacre of Puerto Harraco in 1990 – a bit of a spoiler perhaps, but you know from the voiceover intro as soon as the film starts that something nasty's going to happen: and as such Saura's able to ratchet up the tension magnificently. Nice to see José Garcia playing a (very) serious role for once, and nice to see Victoria Abril looking like shit. She's scary as hell here.
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