Recently Watched Films 2014

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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by dialectics of shit »

Top ten film for me—a masterpiece.

Edvard Munch, that is.

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Frank Tashlin, The Girl Can't Help It, 1956

"The worst job I ever had was with Jayne Mansfield..."
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dialectics of shit
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by dialectics of shit »

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Klimt (2006; director's cut), Raúl Ruiz

Here we have something of an antithesis to Edvard Munch in terms of artistic achievement—indeed, quite far from a masterpiece and perhaps best labeled a "mess"—but certainly an agreeable experience and better than its reputation. The assumption that one should watch a film ostensibly about an artist's life, and come away having learned much about him/her, is, well, presumptive and overrated. Quite frankly, a film that approximates the artist's aesthetic is more interesting to me; see also Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. Admittedly, I tend to be a fan of just about everything from Ruiz, even his panned works, e.g., A Closed Book; don't make the mistake of avoiding that melodiously tone-deaf exercise. I also have a bit of a weakness for what are considered disasters or trainwrecks by lauded art directors. I think it has more to do with a contrarian impulse when it comes to taste than any masochistic propensity, but such could also be a factor. Always looking for recommendations in the Glorious Auteur Failure department. :)

F&B
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by F&B »

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Gus van Sant's "Last Days". Depressing, and dull. Seemed forced, though I liked the idea.

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Paradjanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964). Beautiful film.

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Dohol
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dohol »

The Station Agent.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340377/



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How much do I love this film?

( a lot)

I could add any amount of verbiage to support that but I do not need to.. sometimes a simple good thing is a simple good thing..


(and Peter Dinklage deserves the career he's gotten..)
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Matt Wuethrich
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Matt Wuethrich »

Dohol wrote:The Station Agent


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Agreed on this. I remember randomly picking this film to watch with my wife years ago and it has stayed with us. Thanks for the reminder to watch it again! The whole scenario borders on the absurd but they make it seem natural.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by F&B »

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True Confessions, 1981
One of belgian director Ulu Grosbards only 7 films. He also did Falling in Love with DeNiro.

The plot was interesting, but a bit old school. Two brothers, one a police detective other a priest with lots of connections due to his big role in local community building politics among other things. The main funder of the project is a filthy rich, dirty millionaire Jack, played convincingly by Charles Durning. A murder of a prostitute (cut in half even) and part in a dirty cinema ensemble connected to Jack, makes the lives of the two brothers crash. And priest Dinero starts doubting his morals as he has to pull strings...

I liked the first 50 minutes, then it sort of just ended...

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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John Schlesinger, Darling, 1965

Not exactly subtle, our man Schlesinger, showing rich upper clarse London ladies stuffing their faces at Third World charity fundraising events and depicting the French as sex-crazed libertines - but Julie Christie is perfect as the (not always) naïve socially upwardly mobile model. I wonder why so many people took her to task - for me this is her greatest performance. Great catty script from Frederic Raphael, fabulous location footage from, amongst other places, Capri (were they thinking of Le Mépris, I wonder?), fine performances from Laurence Harvey and - it goes without saying - Dirk Bogarde (I bet he loved the tongue in cheek street interview with the bloke complaining about "too many homosexuals"..), and splendid slinky John Dankworth soundtrack. A pinnacle of 1960s Brit cinema, for sure.


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Charles Vidor, Gilda, 1946

I never understood the Rita Hayworth phenomenon, to be honest. She basically copies every starlet cliché in the book, ogling and simpering, tossing her curls, trying to be Pickford, Garbo, Mae West, Dietrich and Bette Davis rolled into one and ending up being totally nondescript. She can't even sing her own songs, and the dancing isn't all that hot either (she was good with Astaire though, once). Meanwhile, all Glenn Ford can do is snarl. The plot's bloody stupid, a sort of sub-Casablanca / Shanghai Gesture mess which makes no sense at all. I've suffered through this twice now. There won't be a third time.


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Jean Vigo, L'Atalante, 1934

But THIS is a drop-dead masterpiece from beginning to end. You can't help wondering what Vigo would have done had he lived longer. Stunning images - amazing framing! - and Michel Simon's Père Jules is one of cinema's great characters. Likeable but with a distinctly sinister dark side. Love the cats that keep flying into the frame - literally: Vigo and his crew hurled the poor kittens at the actors :D


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Maurice Pialat, L'Enfance-Nue, 1968

There's a flying cat in this one too: but it doesn't end happily for the poor beast, thrown down a flight of stairs by ten-year-old François, abandoned by his mother and placed in foster care - the old couple who eventually adopt him in the film are not actors: they were the real-life foster parents of the kid François is based on. While students were lobbing paving stones at cops and pretending they were changing the world by doing so, the quiet, drab miserable life of working class Northern France went drearily on. Not surprisingly perhaps, the film bombed. It looks more like British kitchen sink cinema than anything the Nouvelle Vague crowd was doing at the time (funny that Truffaut, who never missed a chance to take a dump on English films, was an enthusiastic champion of Pialat).


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Peter Mullan, The Magdalene Sisters, 2001

Vanessa Redgrave was originally slated to play nasty little Sister Bridget, but had to drop out. Even so, Geraldine McEwan's character makes Redgrave's nun in The Devils look like Maria in The Sound of Music in comparison. The shot of the sisters pigging out on succulent pink ham while the girls below fork down their.. what is it? gruel? is right out of Oliver Twist. Maybe Mullan had Dickens in mind - certainly we're supposed to reel in horror reading the end titles of the film, which inform us that last of these Magdalene Asylums closed only five years before the film was made - but he overplays his hand at every conceivable opportunity. Some plot elements are far-fetched (the itching powder), others simply gratuitous (the nude scene). The acting is fine, but the script is as bland as the Craig Armstrong noodling soundtrack. If you want a film about the brutality of penal institutions, you'd be better off watching Scum instead. Peter Mullan's a fine actor, but as a director he's not a patch on Alan Clarke. Even so, I hope somebody sent a copy of this to Vatican City.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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John Waters, Female Trouble, 1974

It's a real baby, but I don't think it's a real umbilical cord :lol:
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lao
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by lao »

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Last edited by lao on Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Marcel Carné, Le quai des brumes, 1938

Curiously underwhelming, despite all the hype ("t'as de beaux yeux, tu sais.." - there's a case for saying Jacques Prévert invented the soundbite, at least on this side of the Atlantic). Gabin and Michel Simon are, as you'd expect, great at what they do (though the former does angst better in La bête humaine and the latter obsession better in La chienne), and Michèle Morgan does indeed have beautiful eyes, but we never really find out what Gabin's running away from, and Pierre Brasseur's gangster is more comical than scary. Perhaps deliberately so, I dunno. But by and large there's too much talk and not enough action. Don't understand what the dog has got to do with it, either.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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Alan Rudolph, Trixie, 2000

"One more malapropism and I'll stub the cigarette out on your tongue!" If Hal Hartley had half-written Fargo and been forced at gunpoint to readapt it as one of those limp episodes halfway through the second season of Twin Peaks, it might have ended up something like this. It's a total mess from start to finish, and the novelty of the gimmick - Emily Watson can't string two sentences together without mixing a metaphor - wears off as quickly as your interest in the plot, such as it is. Maybe it's all a deliberate exercise in post-something or other on the part of the director - perhaps we're supposed to react to the film as a whole like the audience in the casino does to the terrible jokes of comedian Kirk - but I'm not likely to test that hypothesis by watching it again. What does our resident Rudolphian Lao Tsu Ben make of this, I wonder?
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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David Lean, Doctor Zhivago, 1965

They must have had a ball spraying that artificial snow all over the place during the summer in Spain, where most of this was filmed. I don't normally side with Truffaut on British cinema, but for once I share his lack of enthusiasm for David Lean. It's all too self-consciously blockbusterish - why do a crowd scene with 50 extras when you can have 300? - and the "great" landscape shots impress rather than move the spectator, especially if s/he's already familiar with similar epics like The Cranes Are Flying, Andrei Rublev and, of course, War and Peace - which were at least shot in Russia. It's all very British, in a rather stodgy way (Ralph Richardson and his "old chaps", Alec Guinness and his impeccable dic-tion, Julie Christie who looks and sounds more like Mary Poppins than a Russian teen). Fine for Dickens, but we're a long way from Great Expectations here.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Lao Tsu Ben »

Dan Warburton wrote:Alan Rudolph, Trixie, 2000
"One more malapropism and I'll stub the cigarette out on your tongue!" If Hal Hartley had half-written Fargo and been forced at gunpoint to readapt it as one of those limp episodes halfway through the second season of Twin Peaks, it might have ended up something like this. It's a total mess from start to finish, and the novelty of the gimmick - Emily Watson can't string two sentences together without mixing a metaphor - wears off as quickly as your interest in the plot, such as it is. Maybe it's all a deliberate exercise in post-something or other on the part of the director - perhaps we're supposed to react to the film as a whole like the audience in the casino does to the terrible jokes of comedian Kirk - but I'm not likely to test that hypothesis by watching it again. What does our resident Rudolphian Lao Tsu Ben make of this, I wonder?
Don't have much access to a computer these days but I'm sorry you didn't like it, since I'm a big fan of the movie. That scene between Emily Watson and the comedian at the beginning is magnificent! "Robert Goulet", and the appreciative smirk:"Yes, Robert Goulet, how did you know?", or something like that. The timing in that scene is perfect.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

Well, we can't all like the same things (fortunately).. at least we agree on Alex Cox :) Meanwhile

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Raul Ruiz, Le temps retrouvé, 1998

It helps, perhaps, to live with someone who's just read Proust - all of it - as my wife assures me the film makes numerous references to earlier volumes of À la recherche du temps perdu. But, not having tackled Proust myself, it's not necessarily a disadvantage: the film's gorgeous, beatifully shot (those lovely fluid camera movements - Dreyer and Ophüls come to mind) and well acted. Fine casting, with Malkovich, Deneuve, Greggory and Pisier on great form. Even Emmanuelle "Sexy Lips" Béart impresses, for once.


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Luigi Comencini, L'ingorgo, 1979

Wish I could have found a better screenshot than Comrade Depardieu, but never mind. Nobody does black comedy better than the Italians, for some reason. This one's as vicious as Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, except this time we never get as far as the slums on the outskirts of Rome. Instead, we're stuck in the Mother Of All Traffic Jams, which forms the backdrop to a set of brutal vignettes, ranging from sneaky infidelity to gang rape. Yeouch!
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by yonhosago »

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Alain Resnais Stavinsky (1974)
classically trained

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Dohol
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dohol »

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words fail me...
“In a kind of middle-aged crisis, it dawned upon me that there was a possibility that music might not even be an art form.”

Morton Feldman


http://soundcloud.com/doug-holbrook

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

Can't decide if that means you liked the film (or the poster) or not, Doug :)

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Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin, Chronique d'un été, 1961

Justly praised as a key document of cinéma-vérité, but you do wonder if some of the participants (Mary Lou in particular) would have behaved that way if the camera hadn't been rolling (well of course they wouldn't, but you know what I mean..). Cameo appearances by Régis Debray and - very moving - monologue by concentration camp survivor Marceline Loridan, who went on to work in film herself. If you like documentaries of French folks sitting around and smoking (I do), you'll enjoy it; personally I have a sneaking preference for Chris Marker's more scripted documentaries. Makes for a nice comparison with Le joli mai (see reviews passim)


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John Carpenter, They Live, 1988

Better a good B-movie than a lousy A-movie, imo, and JC makes a cracking B-movie. Shame the script wasn't fleshed out a bit more, and shame he couldn't have got Kurt Russell instead of Roddy Piper (though KR's probably done enough Carpentering as it is). Cool idea though, and I see from wiki that Mister Žižek is a fan: "They Live is definitely one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left. ... The sunglasses function like a critique of ideology. They allow you to see the real message beneath all the propaganda, glitz, posters and so on. ... When you put the sunglasses on you see the dictatorship in democracy, the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom." I guess we should have followed the sunglasses idea further by following this up with Men in Black.. but, uhh, no thanks. Instead -



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Ben Whalley, Motor City's Burning: Detroit from Motown to the Stooges, 2008

Classy BBC Four docu also available here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQuUD6tC2H8 with awesome footage of Martha and the Vandellas invading a Ford assembly line, the MC5 in action and Iggy Pop splattering his adoring fans with peanut butter. The Ig's on fine form in the interview section too. Check out that dental work.



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Jeff Nichols, Mud, 2012

"What's that boat doing up that tree?" Hmm, well, there's only one film worth watching with a boat stuck up a tree, and Werner Herzog made it in 1972. Seriously underwhelmed by this Huck Finn coming of age tale, despite a cast including personal heroes Joe Don Baker, Michael Shannon and Sam Shepard (all woefully underused). As for Matthew McConaughey, well, he can do this kind of stuff in his sleep. Nowhere near nasty enough - I guess Nichols was aiming at a Paris Texas-like family audience and wanted to keep the language clean. Result: yawn.
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Adrian
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Adrian »

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
plus sonat quam valet - seneca

Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2014

Post by Dan Warburton »

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/

Meanwhile, we were absolutely captivated by this one last night -

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Raoul Ruiz, Les trois couronnes du matelot, 1983

Guess I should spell it "Raoul" after all. http://www.critikat.com/panorama/analys ... telot.html if your French is up to it. Only just beginning to get into Ruiz's considerable filmography, thanks to the Blaq Out 3DVD set of his first French features and that cunning Proust adventure (see above). Strongly recommended as a point of departure, though, this - if you like Bunuel, Resnais (DP Sacha Vierny worked with both) and especially Welles (here Mr Arkadin, The Trial and The Lady from Shanghai) you ought to give it a go. And whatever became of Jean-Bernard Guillard? What a great performance.
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