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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Georges Lautner, Pas de problème! 1975

Well, you can't watch Seidls and Grandrieuxs every day.. it's nice to relax with a totally potty comedy once in a while. And just because it's wacky doesn't mean it's no good – quite the contrary: sharp script smartly delivered by a strong cast (Bernard Menez is an unsung genius), smashing sets and costumes, and a totally gratuitous but jawdroppingly impressive car chase to kick it off.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive, 2013

A Jarmusch vampire flick, haha - predictably self-indulgent stuff (if you're a guitar enthusiast like JJ, you'll love it), with beautiful nighttime footage from Tangiers and Detroit and (as usual) a fine performance from Tilda Swinton. I was less blown away by Tom Hiddleston, who's so laidback he's annoying, but I can't imagine the director's original choice Michael Fassbender would have delivered his laconic script any better. Nice to see - hear, rather - that my good buddy Jozef van Wissem netted a few prizes for his soundtrack. Of course, if Jarmusch winds you up the wrong way, you're probably better off steering clear - but he seems to be making movies for a generation of fans who are growing older along with him, and there's nowt wrong with that. Certainly, the Twilight generation won't give a flying fuck for scratchy vinyls and shoegazing grungy guitars - but that's getting old for you. Did you play chess with Byron, indeed
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THE MUSIC MAN -- Love the music, love that Cary Grant rejected the lading role and told them to stick with the original, love that the main ballad and the marching song are the same tune at different tempos, love the Buffalo Bills 4tet, and love the text:
Mrs. Paroo: I know all about your standards
And if you don't mind me sayin' so
There's not a man alive who could hope to measure up
To that blend of Paul Bunyan, Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've concocted for yourself
Out of your Irish imagination
Your Iowa stubbornness and your library fulla' books!

At least my sixth time through.
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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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First Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie. The story was nothing great, but Jude Law completely hid behind his face while Robert Downey kept looking out of the screen at unmotivated angles seemingly on the verge of crying. That carried the film very well. We began the sequel the next night, it's utterly charmless.

Lao Tsu Ben
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive, 2013

A Jarmusch vampire flick, haha - predictably self-indulgent stuff (if you're a guitar enthusiast like JJ, you'll love it), with beautiful nighttime footage from Tangiers and Detroit and (as usual) a fine performance from Tilda Swinton. I was less blown away by Tom Hiddleston, who's so laidback he's annoying, but I can't imagine the director's original choice Michael Fassbender would have delivered his laconic script any better. Nice to see - hear, rather - that my good buddy Jozef van Wissem netted a few prizes for his soundtrack. Of course, if Jarmusch winds you up the wrong way, you're probably better off steering clear - but he seems to be making movies for a generation of fans who are growing older along with him, and there's nowt wrong with that. Certainly, the Twilight generation won't give a flying fuck for scratchy vinyls and shoegazing grungy guitars - but that's getting old for you. Did you play chess with Byron, indeed
This what ex-rock critic Mark Prindle wrote on the film on facebook.

"I just watched the first half of "Only Lovers Left Alive" and just have one question: are these vampires SUPPOSED to be corny - with their '50s rock'n'roll fetish, old r'n'b 45s, being named 'Adam' and 'Eve,' reading old magazines about Basquiat, calling human beings 'zombies,' actually liking Jack White -- or is Jim Jarmusch himself just corny? Because, speaking as a 41-year-old, this shit is embarrassing. It all sounds like it was written for hipsters just out of their teens.

Does it get any better? They're setting up Eve's sister as somebody who might finally bring a plot to the movie. Is it worth watching to see, or am I just setting myself up for more genius dialogue like "I can show you the Motown museum, though it's not much from the outside" "I'm more of a Stax girl myself."

Yes, those words are supposed to come from the mouths of two 400-year-old vampires. Seriously, why would 400-year-olds be stuck in the 1950s? That is so unbelievably lame."

Certainly not very enticing to me but Jarmush usually winds me up the wrong way, as you put it, so nothing surprising to it.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Lao Tsu Ben wrote:Certainly not very enticing to me but Jarmush usually winds me up the wrong way, as you put it, so nothing surprising to it.
Yeah, I think you can probably skip this one Ben. Meanwhile, the thing you quoted from FB reminds me why I still think I'm better off avoiding the place..
Mark Prindle wrote:I just watched the first half of "Only Lovers Left Alive" and just have one question
Me too - why the hell bother posting something about a film you haven't even seen to the end?
Mark Prindle wrote:are these vampires SUPPOSED to be corny - with their '50s rock'n'roll fetish, old r'n'b 45s, being named 'Adam' and 'Eve,' reading old magazines about Basquiat, calling human beings 'zombies,' actually liking Jack White
Well of course they are. Interesting choice of word, corny. There's corny good and corny bad as far as I'm concerned.
Mark Prindle wrote:speaking as a 41-year-old, this shit is embarrassing. It all sounds like it was written for hipsters just out of their teens.
My son isn't quite out of his teens yet, but I can tell you he doesn't like this now (he enjoyed Ghost Dog, with reservations) and he won't like it any better in five years' time. No, as I said, I think JJ's making films for his (my) generation. At 41 Mr Prindle is probably too young to remember vinyls first time round - now of course they've become commodities par excellence
Mark Prindle wrote:Does it get any better? They're setting up Eve's sister as somebody who might finally bring a plot to the movie.
Yes it does get better (I guess MP switched off before sis turned up) and yes she did precipitate the plot change. Next time watch the film instead of posting on Facebook.
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Piano Mouth
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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The Host - Dir. Joon-ho Bong (Korea, 2006)

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Man, this movie was so good up until the ending. Not that the ending was terrible, but it kind of makes the whole movie a rather pointless affair, rather than making it something smart and out of the ordinary, which it had all the potential to do. However, as far as monster movies go, I'm pretty sure it's better than Jurassic World, which seems to be just regurgitated crap. I recommend it though, not a must watch, but fun and pretty scary, though it seems to cut corners that does more harm to the story, while it also introduces too many new characters while not developing the main characters in the beginning of the film.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Takashi Miike, The Happiness of the Katakuris, 2001

I rather like the French title of this one (for once): La Mélodie du malheur (you should know that La Mélodie du bonheur is what the French call The Sound Of Music :lol: ). If Julie Andrews were dead, she'd be turning in her grave, which is what many of the undead do in this totally potty comedy horror musical about a family who open a guest house in which all of the guests die in remarkable ways. Plenty of colourful gore, but that's obviously not enough for Miike, who goes apeshit with claymation as well. Crazee
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Robert Altman, Quintet, 1979

Dearie dearie me. Quite how Altman managed to recruit a cast which has graced many of the finest films made in the last half-century – Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Fernando Rey, Bibi Andersson, Brigitte Fossey.. – and end up with something as terrible as this is absolutely beyond me. At least if someone had explained the rules of the stoopid boardgame everyone is playing in this frosty Arctic disused railway station (you're forgiven for tittering when you see all that tacky old 70s office furniture), or told us how they all ended up in the godforsaken hole in the first place, or where they got hold of a pack of ravenous Dobermans, I might have managed to take an interest. But no, and there's a fuzzy border to all the images which is as annoying as it is meaningless – unless the whole sorry affair is meant to be just a bad dream. I dare say anyone involved with this movie wishes it were.
Last edited by Dan Warburton on Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Walter Ruttmann, Berlin Symphony of a Great City, 1927

What an awesome piece of work – I wonder if someone could dust it off and release a decent HD BluRay. Fabulous companion piece to Mennschen am Sonntag, and make sure you read Berlin Alexanderplatz too.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Roy Andersson, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, 2014

Oh, I was so disappointed. Let's just say that if you haven't seen RA's last two films, you'll probably enjoy it – assuming the director's bleak deadpan green-brown humour appeals – but, with a couple of notable exceptions (the surreal scene in which the King of Sweden rides into the café, and the disturbing nightmare of the Africans inside their copper treadmill (?)), there's nothing here he hasn't already done, and better. No need to repeat the vampire teeth joke so often. But feel to disagree, folks.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Jessica Yu, In The Realms Of The Unreal, 2004

This is a rather tedious and unimaginative documentary about an extraordinary figure – outsider artist Henry Darger, who worked all his life as a hospital janitor and spent over half a century in his tiny cluttered Chicago room writing and illustrating the 15,000 word novel that gives the film its title, as well as writing his own autobiography and noting the changing weather in Downtown Chicago every day for over ten years. KG hounds have probably already spotted that an enormous Darger monograph is up for grabs as a .cbz file.. just as well, because I very nearly spent an absurd amount of money on a copy when I last visited the Musée d'Art Brut in Lausanne. I may yet do so, as there's a Darger exhibition currently running at the Musée d'Art Moderne here in Paris, in case you're in the neighbourhood.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:[img]
Robert Altman, Quintet, 1979

Dearie dearie me. Quite how Altman managed to recruit a cast which has graced many of the finest films made in the last half-century – Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Fernando Rey, Bibi Andersson, Brigitte Fossey.. – and end up with something as terrible as this is absolutely beyond me. At least if someone had explained the rules of the stoopid boardgame everyone is playing in this frosty Arctic disused railway station (you're forgiven for tittering when you see all that tacky old 70s office furniture), or told us how they all ended up in the godforsaken hole in the first place, or where they got hold of a pack of ravenous Dobermans, I might have managed to take an interest. But no, and there's a fuzzy border to all the images which is as annoying as it is meaningless – unless the whole sorry affair is meant to be just a bad dream. I dare anyone involved with this movie wishes it were.
Saw this some months ago not expecting to get very far but really enjoyed it. Dunno, it simply felt different from anything. Indeed not beholden to dramaturgy, but then I prefer not knowing what's going on to much exposition (if you'd cut the first 15 minutes out of every film ever made movies would be much more fun).

I also hugely enjoyed Only Lovers Left Alive (and I generally don't care for Jarmusch). It had perfect pacing and wore itself lightly, I thought.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Wombatz wrote:[ I prefer not knowing what's going on to much exposition (if you'd cut the first 15 minutes out of every film ever made movies would be much more fun).
Stephen Greenblatt's 'Will In The World' goes into this in depth in regard to Shakespeare's late tragedies. He uses the terms 'strategic opacity' and 'radical excision of motive' to describe WS's intentional removal of motives that would make sense of the situation. The most blatant excision (probably equal to the opening 15 minutes) is in Lear, which opens with that strange property division with the weird demands on his daughters. In the old story, that scene was explained -- Cordelia wanted to marry somebody Lear didn't approve of and she was adamant that she would choose her husband herself. But Shakespeare leaves out this backstory story that explains it, and Lear seems without a coherent rationale for his behavior, "which makes his act seem more arbitrary and more rooted in deep psychological needs."

What are Iago's motives? At one point, he provides a list, which Coleridge dismisses as 'the motive-hunting of motiveless malignity'), but he exits by saying, "Demand me nothing. What you know you know. From this time forth I never will speak word." Why does Gertrude remarry so quickly? WS does this all the time in his later works, leaving us without tidy explanations for characters' actions.
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Wombatz
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Thanks, that's fascinating! (Now what could we cut out of Shakespeare to improve the plays? all paragraphs in which speakers refer to their own present feelings or imminent actions :-)?)

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Yeah, I think you can probably skip this one Ben. Meanwhile, the thing you quoted from FB reminds me why I still think I'm better off avoiding the place.
Ah sorry about that. He often comments on the movies he sees, and most often those are bad horror movies that I've never heard of, and he does that in the dullest way possible or in a rather pedestrian manner (both assumed) as someone who doesn't know anything about movies. Nothing to take offence at. What interested me is that he made a few points that I've seen other persons make who cannot tolerate Jarmush any longer (and the fact that his cinema has become all surface and hipness).

Armond White's review is not uninteresting either.

Feel free to find it stupid :) , I'm used to it when it comes to AW.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Wombatz wrote:Thanks, that's fascinating! (Now what could we cut out of Shakespeare to improve the plays? all paragraphs in which speakers refer to their own present feelings or imminent actions :-)?)
Not a huge fan of the soliloquies eh? Harold Bloom thinks these are central to 'the invention of the human.'

Duke Vicentio's whole character depends upon him being long-winded, although since he is moralizing and citing past examples he may be exempt from your cuts. I've never seen or read the play (Measure for Measure) without wanting to shout "Shut up, already!" But that's who he is, the powerful man in love with himself. Of course, he has the last word, closing the play by 'claiming' the magnificent heroine, who all along was preparing to be a nun. How she plays her response is not in the script, and has run the gamut on stage.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Meanwhile, the thing you quoted from FB reminds me why I still think I'm better off avoiding the place..
sorry, I can't leave this alone. you get that FB is pretty much entirely what you make of it, meaning you don't have to see anyone's feed who you don't want to, right?

blanket assertions about FB (from people actually on it, not you) always leave me thinking "um, maybe you should get better friends, because I didn't see any of what you're talking about in my feed."

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Philippe Grandrieux, Un lac, 2008
A masterpiece if you ask me. Here's a decent write-up on it: http://lumenjournal.org/issues/issue-i/ramdas

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Saw Spy last night. Funny--especially the three lead women. The men were OK, except for Bobby Cannavale who was terrible (and also given bad lines) and 50 Cent who managed to be simply awful even in his little cameo.

But the women were hilarious, and the writing quite good, though it could have been a bit shorter. (Incidentally, I think it was a better take on the Bond-type flick than Django was on spaghetti westerns.)
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