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The Second Chance Saloon

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brokenface
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The Second Chance Saloon

#1

Post by brokenface »

This is a log to encourage me to rewatch films that I was lukewarm on first time round (typically rating around 6/10) but that I think deserve a second viewing - whether that is because I think I watched it in the wrong mood or in bad condition, or in some cases because it was my first experience of a style/film-maker that I probably didn't get. I'm not going for outright dislikes or films where I'm pretty certain I'll remain immune to their charms, but stuff where I think there's reasonable hope of positive re-evaluation.

I'm going to aim to do one a week, working off this watchlist:

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls071298446/

If anyone wants to push me towards one in particular to start off, that'd be good 'cause I'm indecisive.
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PeacefulAnarchy
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#2

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Watch The Wild Bunch. For most of those films, whether I agree or not, I can see how they could leave you with that lukewarm "appreciate but don't really like" kind of feeling, but The Wild Bunch doesn't really fit that mold.
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#3

Post by Lammetje »

Of course you could just participate in the Revisiting Challenge... :rolleyes:
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brokenface
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#4

Post by brokenface »

Lammetje on Nov 3 2014, 06:56:48 PM wrote:Of course you could just participate in the Revisiting Challenge... :rolleyes:
I did, but then I stopped. I figure if I do it as a log with a plan to watch one a week, I'm more likely to keep it up. that said, my previous log fizzled out after a couple of months so who knows..
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#5

Post by jgwr »

I definitely liked L'avventura better on a second viewing, same with Solaris (which I frankly didn't get on first go).
Quite a few on there I still haven't seen, but also a good number I should revisit.
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#6

Post by Gershwin »

jgwr on Nov 4 2014, 07:55:47 AM wrote:I definitely liked L'avventura better on a second viewing, same with Solaris (which I frankly didn't get on first go).
Quite a few on there I still haven't seen, but also a good number I should revisit.
I'm also eager to watch L'avventura again. Didn't have a huge impact, but then I saw La notte and L'eclisse a few years later, and was smitten by both. They are in my top 20.
Last edited by Gershwin on November 4th, 2014, 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#7

Post by brokenface »

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The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969)

A western is a rather appropriate starting place for my saloon. I think I first (and last) watched this somewhere getting on 10 years ago and it would've one of the earlier westerns I saw, along with the Leone films - it was a genre I was pretty hostile to until I started working on lists of classics and so forth.

So to start with there was several layers I couldn't really appreciate to this film: most particularly, I didn't have the knowledge of the classic westerns to see how this was such a tonal shift, particularly in terms of level the violence on display. And to an extent it's still difficult to appreciate that now; I can't watch it with completely fresh eyes and be shocked in the way that someone might have been in 1969 when they'd grown up on John Wayne but at least now I do have a level of familiarity with the staples.

I mentioned Leone films already and they are probably a big reason I was fairly lukewarm on this one first time round. I fell in love with Leone's style straight away, and I found (and still find) Peckinpah's fast-cutting brutality & explosiveness here much less appealing. Indeed, my two favourite Peckinpah films are ones which he is rather toned down in comparison: The Ballad of Cable Hogue and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.

All that said, I enjoyed this rewatch plenty. It's upgraded from a tepid 7 to a solid 8. It's got several great action set pieces and a script with some killer lines. I've never been fussed about William Holden as an actor and that doesn't change here, but it's an ensemble piece and there's a great supporting cast - probably helped in several cases knowing them more from other things (for example, I'd completely forgotten Warren Oates was in this). But I'm not sure it needed the 2.5 hour runtime to make its point and in fact, it might lessen its impact. I think of its near-contemporary Once Upon a Time in the West and that justifies 3+ hour runtime with a beautiful consistency in tone & an epic scope. The Wild Bunch just doesn't quite give off that same epic vibe to me & I think it might've worked better for me as a sharper blast.
Last edited by brokenface on November 14th, 2014, 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#8

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The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)

Can't say exactly why this one didn't work for me first time round, but it steps up in my estimations now. I've bumped it up from a 6 to an 8, 'cause it really just nails the delicate romantic-comedy balancing-act of developing the central pairing's characters and potential relationship whilst keeping them apart in a believable (within the context of the film) way. I can quibble at little at the rather clunky portrayal of the suicide attempt, and do wonder that Shirley Maclaine's sharp-witted character wouldn't - even with low self-esteem - have seen through Fred MacMurray's heartless dullard a little sooner. But generally the writing is the strongest point and the ending deserves its reputation.
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#9

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L'avventura (Antonioni, 1960)

There's beautiful shots throughout, a general air of mystery and plenty of Monica Vitti but overall this one just doesn't click for me. Too many scenes that just leave me utterly cold and while that may be part of the point, I just find myself disengaged from the whole film. I can't pinpoint what it is that makes me gripped rewatching Red Desert (about which I most love the beautiful shots, mystery & Vitti) yet find this one such hard work to get through, but that's the way it is..
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