Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Yves Allégret, Dedée d'Anvers, 1948

Drop dead masterpiece - a fine example of how French noir differed from its American counterpart. In a way it follows on from the poetic realism of the 30s (Carne's Quai de brumes comes to mind, what with Gabin-lookalike Marcello Pagliero, and the love scene with Signoret is easily as great as the famous "t'as des beaux yeux tu sais" scene in the Carné), all dark, wet streets and foggy nights. Bernard Blier's hard-as-nails pimpmeister and black marketeer is chilling, and Marcel Dalio turns in one of his nastiest roles ever, torturing (yes) the divine Dedée in ways that'll make your toes curl up. But don't assume Simone is a nice girl - your sympathies lie with her through most of the film, but not at the end. This is a GREAT film, do yourself a favour and check it out
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MRS
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:What became of William Atherton?
"Jerry, if you think that by threatening me you can get me to be your slave. . .well, that's where you're right. But--and I'm only saying this because I care--there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today just as tasty as the real thing."

"I'm not kidding Chris."

"Neither am I Jerry."

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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:and I'll go out on a limb again and say that's one of my favourite Fassbinders
one of mine as well. querelle is my top fassbinder and one of my faves of any film period.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

John Schlesinger, Day Of The Locust, 1975

Cruelly neglected, it seems, like Kazan's Last Tycoon (another film I'll fly the flag for until people start taking notice), and sorely in need of a super BluRay reissue. For my money, this is Karen Black's finest hour - and she turned in some cracking performances in the 70s - and Donald Sutherland is heartbreaking as, yes, Homer Simpson (before you drop your donut in surprise, seems Groening came up with that name himself, and only discovered this movie later). What became of William Atherton? Great performance. Of course, John-boy goes over the top on the love scenes - I guess some Queer Studies prof could write a small book on this.. must mention it to my pal John Gill - and I can see aftershocks in both Lynch and Haynes.
Interesting. I never liked either of those too much. I prefer the Miss Lonelyhearts flick to this Locust and, for Fitzgerald, as mentioned before, I might be the only person in the world who really likes the Dern/Black/Redford Gatsby.

You know what's cruelly neglected in that arena? Wise Blood.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Agree with you on Wise Blood, Walt - Brad Dourif's finest hour.. Meanwhile, finally discovered Kiyoshi Kurosawa - wow

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Cure, 1997

I don't know if I'd ever be minded to list "favourite" serial killer movies, but this one would be right up there. Quite apart from the intriguing premise (ever been hypnotised?), and the fine performances from the lead actors, it's a remarkably filmed and lit piece of work - love how the camera moves, often when you're least expecting it, and the music and sound design are equally impressive.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Aki Kaurismäki, Lights in the Dusk , 2006

Maybe I should be working through these Kaurismâkis in chronological order - is he becoming more depressing / desperate? maybe not - as this one really stretches the limit of "dark comedy".. Laughter, when elicited, is more nervous and uncomfortable here than ever before, as we wonder why the "hero" offers almost no resistance (apart from a rather desultory attack with a table knife that only ends up with him beaten senseless again) to the injustices that befall him. As ever, wonderfully filmed and framed, and, as ever, accompanied by AK's beloved mix of pub rock, Carlos Gardel and Jussi Björling.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Cristi Puiu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 2005

Well, with a title like that you know what's going to happen - but (nice touch) we don't actually see the demise of the gentleman in question. On paper, a tale of a lonely, hard-drinking 63-year-old man who is taken from hospital to hospital in need of an urgent operation (but not one that will save his life - his liver is too far gone), doesn't sound like a recipe for a gripping two and a half hours - but it really is. Anyone who's had contact with an overworked and stressed out hospital - and if you haven't yet don't worry, your time will come - will sympathise with Lazarescu's predicament. And how doctors, nurses and ambulance staff who at first seem harsh and unfeeling eventually reveal themselves to be human after all. That said, they get progressively more callous and detestable as the film progresses. It's a remarkable piece of work, but definitely not a comedy (these geezers who write caption summaries for IMDb need medical help)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jean-Claude Rousseau, Jeune femme à sa fenêtre lisant une lettre, 1983

Practice your French. http://www.derives.tv/Presentation-du-f ... ne-femme-a Another intriguingly head-scratching slab of experimental Super 8 from Rousseau - and yes, there is a Vermeer connection.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Alfred Hitchcock, Champagne, 1928

"Naughty but nice" was the old advertising slogan for double cream, and that's a fitting description for this merry romp, the story of a spoilt heiress who runs away from Wall Street cigar-chomping millionaire daddy to meet her boring lover boy on an ocean liner bound for Paris. I won't spoil the story - needless to say it all ends happily ever after, if a little perfunctorily - but shots like the one above are a clear indication of what was to come. No Hitch cameo in this one, btw
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Luis Buñuel, Las Hurdes, tierra sin pan. 1933

Apart from a few hilarious moments, the most famous being the telltale puff of smoke from right of screen when the poor goat was shot and the director's apparently allowing a donkey to be stung to death by a swarm of bees, it's a grim affair. Did these poor buggers really have to carry dead babies miles across rivers because there was no cemetery in the village? One senses a tongue in cheek somewhere - that deadpan narration and relentless Brahms / Milhaud sountrack, yikes - but it obviously rubbed people up the wrong way back in Spain that it was banned for three years.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Practice your French. http://www.derives.tv/Presentation-du-f ... ne-femme-a Another intriguingly head-scratching slab of experimental Super 8 from Rousseau - and yes, there is a Vermeer connection.
Can I learn French from you? Maybe we can do a language exchange! (If you want to learn Mandarin :lol: )

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Russ Meyer, Motorpsycho!, 1965

Well, you didn't expect me to post a picture of a motorbike now, did you? Another decidely weird offering from the titmeister - three hoodlums en route for Vegas get sidetracked by curvacious females (the blonde above unfortunately escapes their clutches, but Meyer-regular Haji gets shot a couple of times and has to suck rattlesnake poison out of the hero's leg). Eventually the lead bad boy goes totally nutso, kills one of his buddies and goes into mad Viet vet mode in the middle of the desert. Lucky there was a stick of dynamite lying around that ol' abandoned mine.. Funny thing about Meyer's films is that though they're nominally obsessed with sex and violence, they're neither arousing or disturbing. Faster Pussycat is still the one to go for, if you have to pick one.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Piano Mouth wrote:
Practice your French. http://www.derives.tv/Presentation-du-f ... ne-femme-a Another intriguingly head-scratching slab of experimental Super 8 from Rousseau - and yes, there is a Vermeer connection.
Can I learn French from you? Maybe we can do a language exchange! (If you want to learn Mandarin :lol: )
There's always Google Translate if you want to try a hair-raising experiment - thanks for the offer, though the only mandarins I'm interested in would be these

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Meanwhile, if you're still hungry, howzabout a spot of dinner with these guys:

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Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 1986

And if you're having trouble cutting up yr meat, Dennis can help you:

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Why is it that (the first) sequels to genuinely original and often really good scary horror flicks - Night Of The Living Dead, Evil Dead and TCM - are feeble attempts at humour? This particular one is laughably bad - you know something has gone way wrong when you start feeling compassion for Leatherface, and Hopper's "I'll take you to hell!" (quote from Tracks, if I recall) as he hacks through the wooden pillars wins the grand prize. Dear me.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Robert Altman, The Gingerbread Man, 1998

Ha, Altman does John Grisham. Actually, it's not that bad - but when you see the chick pocketing the ashtray in the opening scene you know she's not to be trusted - even if Bob had to import Kenneth Branagh. I'm no expert on Georgia accents, but I did spot a few lapses into Royal Shakespeare Company English from time to time. Nice cameo from Duvall as the crazy barefoot dad, and amusing secondary roles for Robert Downey and Daryl Hannah (ooo, those sexy glasses). But I rather doubt I'd get much from watching it again
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Delmer Daves, Pride of the Marines, 1945

"Absolument sublime" sez Bertrand Tavernier, and I agree with him. Magnificent screenplay (hats off to the writers who squeezed some of these lines through the barbed wire at the Breen Office), terrific performances from John Garfield, Eleanor Parker and Dane Clark, a truly amazing nightmare sequence (f*ck Spellbound!) with reverse soundfiles (!), and a cunning mix of screwball / war film / melodrama genres, and a Sirk-like happy ending to boot. Magnificent from start to finish - I've yet to see a Delmer Daves movie I didn't like. Check it out!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Patrice Leconte, Monsieur Hire, 1989

And this is a cracker as well: how is it that Leconte went on to make truly awful things like La fille sur le pont after turning out something as exquisite as this? Impeccable performances from Michel Blanc and Sandrine Bonnaire (not to mention André Wilms as the too-clever-by-half detective), sensational photography and a decent Nyman soundtrack (about the last decent one he turned out, imo). Fine film, a worthy successor to Julien Duvivier's earlier telling of the Simenon story in Panique (you should see that too).
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Cure, 1997

I don't know if I'd ever be minded to list "favourite" serial killer movies, but this one would be right up there. Quite apart from the intriguing premise (ever been hypnotised?), and the fine performances from the lead actors, it's a remarkably filmed and lit piece of work - love how the camera moves, often when you're least expecting it, and the music and sound design are equally impressive.
Taku Unami is very tight with Kurosawa and the group of people around him, and in fact Kurosawa's cinematogrpaher at the time, Skiko Shizawa, took the photos we used on the Teatro Assente package. also Taku said that his use of cardboard boxes over his stretch of shows in NYC in 2011 (solo, w/Rowe, w/Toshi Nakamura, w/Malfatti, w/Krebs, w/Kawaguchi) was inspired by Kurosawa, who he said incorporates them into almost every film he makes, often with no obvious reason/purpose.

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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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I just saw It Follows, possibly the worst horror genre movie I've ever seen ever in my entire film viewing life. I don't know where to begin to slam it, but the pace is really awkward, there are so many tangents, the main theme is stupid, and doesn't tie together with anything. Yet it still has an air about it, it thinks it's really slick and hip, maybe because it's somewhat aesthetically pleasing, but even then, not really. The dialog in the film is abominable, and the editing job is the worst. Don't believe the hype. Oh plus, it's wicked boring too.

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Alex Garland, Ex Machina 2015

Intelligent writing regarding I.A. (including discussions of the Turing test and "Mary's Room"), a sinister, evil mastermind, and lots of beautiful naked women. I mean, what could be more "Today!"?
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Eugène Green, La sapienza, 2014

Strange cat, Eugène Green (above) - born in NY in 1947 but emigrated to France in the late 60s (he now refers to the US as "La Barbarie" and has as little to do with the place as possible), took French nationality, did an Arts Degree and formed his own theatre company, Théâtre de la Sapience, to perform classical French theatre with the correct diction (sort of like those early music groups that insist on using period instruments), before taking to the cinema in the late 90s. He played a small role in Bresson's Le diable, probablement in 1977, and that's a clue as to what his films look like - imagine Bresson-like flat delivery with super-stylised symmetrical framing à la Greenaway, combined with a rather formal (and to my ears, somewhat affected) delivery. It sounds rather pretentious, but the sheer rigour of his approach and the stunning beauty of the images - here predominantly the architecture of Boromini - becomes strangely powerful and moving. Certainly an acquired taste - but if you like the filmmakers mentioned above, you might want to check it out.
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