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Last Movie Seen

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Ivan0716
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Re: Last Movie Seen

#1721

Post by Ivan0716 » October 26th, 2018, 1:27 pm

Interesting stuff, I'll definitely have a look into Barn Burning. It's scary realising how little I actually remember about the details of the film after seeing those questions you raised, despite thinking so highly of the film and only having seen it weeks ago, maybe I will rewatch it in a couple of days, I'm sure by the time it rolls out in the cinema(in Feb) I would have forgotten most of it anyway. :lol:

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#1722

Post by flaiky » October 26th, 2018, 7:12 pm

outdoorcats wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 4:47 am
@flaiky, Ivan (btw I see you with the Burning screenshot as your new avatar!) - Spoilers for Burning:
SpoilerShow
There's no question that Ben is a psychopath. Even if you take everything he says at face value (for instance, he really is burning greenhouses and not murdering people he thinks are useless) he is a textbook psychopath. The question and the ambiguity is whether he's a violent psychopath and a serial killer. Or, more importantly, the question is, did he kill Haemi? Or did Haemi disappear on her own? Or did Haemi and Ben work together to mess with Jongsu? I don't think there's one correct answer; I think the point of the film is the ambiguity, which it sums up in the beginning of the film where Haemi discusses miming and what it means to her (which also eerily foreshadows her disappearance the the ambiguity of whether she's "there" - alive - or not there, and whether Jongsu can will her in or out of existence by whether he believes she's there). Then you have many questions throughout the film with no answer, which it purposefully balances out with evidence for both sides. Was there a cat named Boil, or not? Did Jongsu call Haemi ugly when they were children? Did Haemi fall into a well as a child, and is there even a well near her property? When Jongsu finds the watch in Ben's bathroom, is it one of his serial killer trophies, or proof Haemi is secretly living there? These are very Murakami-esque existential questions.

That said, the film is also filled with allusions to William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," which might tip the meaning of the film into Jongsu's murder of Ben not being justified. First of all, if you haven't, I highly suggest looking up Barn Burning online and reading it, as it's both arguably one of the best short stories of all time, and it helps clarify a lot of the film. But for those of you who want the cliffnotes, Barn Burning concerns a young child whose abusive, white trash father burns the barns of rich plantation owners out of pure class loathing.
-Jongsu's favorite writer is William Faulkner, and Ben is later seen reading Faulkner's short story collection
-The obvious barn/greenhouse burning connection
-Jongsu's father described as someone who terrified him and consumed by outbursts of rage. A scene of Jongsu watching his hearing from the back recalls the beginning of "Barn Burning"
-The themes of class rage and resentment carry over from the Faulkner story. Ben exploits both Haemi and Jongsu for his own amusement. Jongsu both hates him and is fascinated by him.
-If we're to see this story as principally about class resentment, and Jongsu is both the son and the father of "Barn Burning," then perhaps all the always-slightly-ambiguous "clues" that Ben murdered Haemi are merely his jealousy manifested into paranoia.
I read that the film is an adaptation of a Murakami short story called Barn Burning. I guess that in turn must be an adaptation of the Faulkner story? Weird.
SpoilerShow
I don't agree with your certainty about Ben being a psychopath. Like we both said, every other question in the film is very carefully crafted to have (at least) two viable options, and I think this is the same. There are clues, sure, but they almost seem too easy for this film and could definitely be there as red herrings (like the cat, and the watch, which don't necessarily mean what Jongsu assumes). The allusions to him as Gatsby could be significant since Jay Gatsby is presented as a shady, mysterious figure who readers learn is in the criminal underworld but ultimately a good man looking for love (and - spoiler, though I'm sure you both know the story - he gets unfairly killed). I think Ben is still at least a bit of a manipulative prick, because if he isn't murdering or burning down greenhouses then he made up the story simply to mess with Jongsu, but I still like the idea of us using this fact to get misled and make drastic, unfair judgements about him.

Ivan, as for what you said about Ben's behaviour in the second half: I got the impression he wasn't aware of how much Jongsu had become obsessed with him? Don't they only speak a few times? I didn't find inviting him into his house to be weird, they had hung out several times and he seemed to enjoy showing off. But yeah, he could also be a psycho murderer who loves the thrill of taunting him.

I've decided I love the fact that we can never know for sure (at least I can't).
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Dear flaiky,
I am totally jealous. She's been my favourite actress since the early 70s. Not surprised she was funny - of all the great dramatic actresses, she is one of the few who is equally adept at comedy. A legend.
Yay, glad to find another superfan. Have you seen the recently documentary about her? It's great - essentially an adaptation of her autobiography, with all the honestly, soul searching, and wisdom, but with lots of supplementary archival footage.
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#1723

Post by outdoorcats » October 27th, 2018, 4:14 am

(Burning spoilers)
SpoilerShow
What I meant was that Ben's self-described philosophy of life being about "fun" and thrill-seeking (through transgressions), that he's above the law because he's a superior being, etc is psychopathic, at least in the "socially acceptable" way many wall street bankers and politicians are psychopathic...still, even as I write that you have me doubting myself, wondering, wait a second, did Ben really say any of those things, or did I just project them onto him because of the way he carries himself and responds to people? This film is really playing tricks on my mind. (D:) :think:

I'm a huge fan of Murakami's fiction, but didn't read this particular story until just now (check it out, it's a quick read: https://www.mrflamm.com/uploads/2/2/0/0 ... rakami.pdf). This version doesn't directly reference the Faulkner story (though one website draws a connection with how both stories don't name their characters) but apparently the original Japanese version has the narrator reading William Faulkner while waiting for the plane to arrive (https://www.semo.edu/cfs/teaching/17526.html).

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#1724

Post by maxwelldeux » October 30th, 2018, 6:13 pm

maxwelldeux wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 1:10 am
beasterne wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 4:09 pm
Nathan Treadway wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 1:35 pm


I've been meaning to get around to this for a while now, being a fairly big baseball fan, even though my team hasn't done anything in quite a while now.
Oh yes I definitely recommend giving it a watch. It's pretty long but I still wanted another installment after it was all over. The parts that dealt with the history of baseball in the 20s and 30s were my favorites because I knew so little about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and all the rest and the documentary spends the time it needs to do their stories justice.
Oh this is a great rec - I love most things Ken Burns does, and I do like baseball. Just wasn't sure I wanted to commit to that much of it, but my interest is piqued now...
funkybusiness wrote:
October 19th, 2018, 4:03 am
Burns' Baseball is wonderful, I recommend it for anyone slightly interested. It is long but doesn't seem so because of its period focus, going from era to era, and each one seems like its own complete story. My only problem with it is that it, much like his series Jazz, doesn't give a shit about anything past the '50s-'60s, the so-called "golden era" of either subject. But he does emphasize that Jackie Robinson is one of the most important Americans ever, a statement which I totally agree with even if he was a Dodger. (I need to watch his film on Robinson, I could never track it down when it aired, maybe it's out there now).

No need to bother about the 10th inning sequel tho, it's not nearly as good. Basically, steroids were bad, everyone knew everyone was taking them but no one cared, the strikes almost killt the game, Bonds loved his dad too much, Red Sox broke da curse. saved you four extra hours.
I just finished Baseball (including the two extra innings), and I thought it was great. Well put together and a nice story of how the sport parallels issues that the US has been dealing with.

I liked a lot of the early history stuff, but I think I knew just a bit too much about the Gehrig/Ruth era to fall in love with that section, having seen the Babe Ruth doc recently, and read a book on Cal Ripken Jr. last year (which necessarily covers Gehrig extensively to place the record in context). But overall, great doc and it did a great job at contextualizing what was going on in Baseball with what was happening in America.

The sequel I enjoyed quite a bit. And a lot of the reason I enjoyed it is because I remember a lot of it. The steroid stuff really annoyed me because it started from the assumption that steroids are bad and a form of cheating, which is not necessarily something I agree with. I was hoping for the explanation of why it's bad, but it wasn't there. The Red Sox breaking the curse was super fun. In 2004, when they broke the curse, I was in grad school, and one of my classmates was from NY and a huge Yankees fan. Another classmate, also from NY, was a Mets fan and HATED the Yankees. So for the next year or so, we teased the the Yankees fan at random times, like "Can you grab some ice?" "Cubes or crushed?" "Crushed, like how Yankees fans felt after losing the ALCS up 3-0." Out of the blue, zero context. It annoyed the Yankees fan (we got a lot of eye rolls and "Oh, come on!"), but it was all in good fun. I think we were even cracking jokes like this at a Yankees playoff game when they were in town.

Back on topic. Yeah - while I agree the sequel wasn't as good as the original run, I still really enjoyed it and am glad I watched it.

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#1725

Post by blocho » November 12th, 2018, 7:53 am

The World Before Your Feet (2018)
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... your+feet/

I saw this at the Doc NYC festival last night. This one is pretty special for me. It tells the story of a man, Matt Green, who has spent the last six years walking every block, path, beach, etc. in New York City. He said after the screening that he had recently passed mile 9,000 and anticipated finishing in the next year, but the movie left the clear impression that his project has no clear finishing point and that he might be content to keep wandering for many more years, endlessly crossing over streets he has walked before. Matt comes across a little fuzzy in that he has no clear explanation in the movie for what he is doing and no clear plan for what he might do after. I think he is just a man who has become completely caught up in exploration.

This was special for me because I have pursued a similar project. Over 18 months that spanned 2009 to 2011, I walked every block in Manhattan. Manhattan, in terms of geographic size is a small subset of greater New York, and I didn't bother with every park path like Matt has. Overall, I covered about 473 miles. My project was tiny compared to his, and it was still one of the best things I've ever done.

I highly recommend this movie. I found it quite beautiful. It has a limited release in New York and Los Angeles at the end of the month, and may receive wider distribution later.

Here's the trailer:


Incidentally, there's another movie playing at the same festival tomorrow night that has even greater personal meaning for me. I'll be back later with an update.

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#1726

Post by funkybusiness » November 12th, 2018, 8:51 am

I don't have much to say but that's a quality post, blocho! Thanks :poshclap:

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#1727

Post by matthewscott8 » November 12th, 2018, 9:47 am

I play Pokemon Go a lot to find out more about where I live. I've seen about 20 times more of Bristol than I would have otherwise and found some fantastic places. It acts as a license to go anywhere basically, you don't need a reason.

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#1728

Post by funkybusiness » November 12th, 2018, 9:50 am

Bristol is nice but it's no Birmingham.

(there is one forumite who might understand this joke if they happen to remember the incident)

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#1729

Post by matthewscott8 » November 12th, 2018, 12:39 pm

We still get all the Brummies coming down here to holiday at Brean. A very old tradition that has outlived the demise of the mines and the factories. I had a walk around the town centre at Brum and went into the museum there. Was very nice, although I have been told by locals that things get a lot worse outside the centre.

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#1730

Post by blocho » November 13th, 2018, 6:07 am

Well, I promised another movie with even greater personal meaning, and here it is. I saw it just a couple of hours ago at the Doc NYC festival.

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/afterward/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9010460/

Why is this movie so important for me? Because my mother made it! She is not a professional filmmaker but rather a psychoanalyst who has moved into amateur filmmaking over the past 20 years. This is her first really professional effort. As you'll gather from the synopsis below, Afterward is a movie that takes on very controversial issues. But the screening was well-attended and her movie was well-received, and my mother is meeting with distributors over the next few days. I'm hopeful that something will come of it.

Here's the synopsis:
Jerusalem-born trauma expert Ofra Bloch forces herself to confront her demons in a journey that takes her to Germany, Israel and Palestine. Set against the current wave of fascism and anti-Semitism sweeping the globe, 'Afterward' delves into the secret wounds carried by victims as well as victimizers, through testimonies ranging from the horrifying to the hopeful. Seen as a victim in Germany and a perpetrator in Palestine, Ofra faces those she was raised to hate and dismiss as she searches to understand the identity-making narratives of the Holocaust and the Nakba, violent and non-violent resistance, and the possibility of forgiveness.

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#1731

Post by flaiky » November 13th, 2018, 10:02 am

blocho wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 6:07 am
Well, I promised another movie with even greater personal meaning, and here it is. I saw it just a couple of hours ago at the Doc NYC festival.

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/afterward/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9010460/

Why is this movie so important for me? Because my mother made it! She is not a professional filmmaker but rather a psychoanalyst who has moved into amateur filmmaking over the past 20 years. This is her first really professional effort. As you'll gather from the synopsis below, Afterward is a movie that takes on very controversial issues. But the screening was well-attended and her movie was well-received, and my mother is meeting with distributors over the next few days. I'm hopeful that something will come of it.

Here's the synopsis:
Jerusalem-born trauma expert Ofra Bloch forces herself to confront her demons in a journey that takes her to Germany, Israel and Palestine. Set against the current wave of fascism and anti-Semitism sweeping the globe, 'Afterward' delves into the secret wounds carried by victims as well as victimizers, through testimonies ranging from the horrifying to the hopeful. Seen as a victim in Germany and a perpetrator in Palestine, Ofra faces those she was raised to hate and dismiss as she searches to understand the identity-making narratives of the Holocaust and the Nakba, violent and non-violent resistance, and the possibility of forgiveness.
Wow, you must be very proud! Great stuff. The film sounds really interesting.
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#1732

Post by blocho » November 14th, 2018, 12:12 am

Thanks, Flaiky. My mother has worked on it for the past six years. It's very gratifying.

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#1733

Post by Gershwin » November 14th, 2018, 8:10 am

I hope it gets distribution, blocho. Sounds promising.
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#1734

Post by OldAle1 » November 16th, 2018, 8:06 pm

Well I wish I was getting to see some of the amazing films that some of you who don't live in shitty midwestern American towns with <40,000 people are getting to see, but I will pimp Overlord all the same. I thought the trailers amusing but probably would never have gone to see this if not for the very positive RedLetterMedia review - this is the kind of film I trust these guys on. And it delivered - a throwback to 70s exploitation on some levels, and to 60s "men on a mission" war movies like Where Eagles Dare on another. It's not doing well at the box office which is really too bad - I guess it's probably too hard to fit in a box for most multiplex viewers to get. Wait, is this a war movie? Wait, no, it's a horror movie? I'm confused, let's see Halloween again instead. Or maybe it's the historical inaccuracy of having black soldiers in WWII fighting alongside white dudes? I'm sure it got plenty of flack for that. In any case, if you want an unpretentious, fun little genre pic that knows exactly how seriously to take itself, and features the Next Kurt Russell (Wyatt Russell, Kurt and Goldie Hawn's son, who sounds just like his dad and looks a lot like him as well), check it out.

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#1735

Post by Ivan0716 » November 16th, 2018, 10:00 pm

Saw Overlord today, "unpretentious, fun little genre pic that knows exactly how seriously to take itself" is the exact opposite of what I thought of it. I went to see it because I kept seeing people describe as a Wolfenstein film, and thought a film with Nazi mutants would at the very least be mindlessly entertaining. But after 10 minutes in the village it was obvious that it wasn't going to be anything more than a by-the-book action film with cardboard characters, which would have been fine if it was self-aware or ironic about it, but it wasn't, I spent most of the film cringing at how seriously it took itself and the utter predictability of it. It did look good though.

Wyatt is nothing like his dad, he doesn't have the natural charisma, at least he's much more tolerable here than in that episode of Black Mirror.

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#1736

Post by outdoorcats » November 16th, 2018, 10:01 pm

@OldAle You've convinced me to shell out the money and watch Overlord tonight (especially because at this rate it won't be in theaters very long). It honestly looks like fun.

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#1737

Post by outdoorcats » November 17th, 2018, 3:15 am

Maybe fun was the wrong word. It was honestly much more intense and genuinely scary than I was expecting. Ivan if we're going with video game comparisons then it's less Wolfenstein (i.e., constantly winking at the audience) and more of the nightmarish atmosphere of, say Zombie Army Trilogy. In other words, willing to create a bleak and intense atmosphere (and for us to invest at least something in the characters) without afraid of occasionally being ridiculous. That's more my style to be honest; I don't enjoy horror/genre films too much when they try overly hard to be ironic.

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#1738

Post by matthewscott8 » November 20th, 2018, 10:16 am

n00b question, is the "iCM Unofficial Forum" group on iCheckMovies something for people here?

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#1739

Post by joachimt » November 20th, 2018, 12:34 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 10:16 am
n00b question, is the "iCM Unofficial Forum" group on iCheckMovies something for people here?
Yes. Not there's a lot of activity there. Groups will not be present in 3.0 anyway.
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#1740

Post by outdoorcats » November 23rd, 2018, 6:10 pm

Finally got around to Sorry to Bother You...holy shit. :o

I'm actually glad I didn't see this in theaters, for the same reason I'm glad I didn't see mother! in theaters--so I don't have to deal with the people loudly complaining about how much they didn't like it or didn't understand it (I think both films got an "F" Cinemascore IIRC?). This is a film perfectly aligned with my tastes, because I like weird shit--as long as it's united by a clear overall vision the director has.

And Sorry to Bother You, with it's heavily surrealistic tone, starts off pretty weird, but still basically grounded. Then...things take kind of a turn...

...um, how to describe it without spoiling anything...

...

:think:

...you know what? You're all gonna have to see this one for yourselves. You'll see.

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#1741

Post by Kublai Khan » November 24th, 2018, 4:35 am

I watched Southland Tales (https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/southland+tales/) this evening.

I realize that it's a mess, but it's such a fascinating mess. So many big names in weird roles. So many pointless scenes and relentless narrated exposition. It's fascinatingly bad. I'm going to have to track down the prequel graphic novels just to see if it makes more sense.

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#1742

Post by RedHawk10 » November 24th, 2018, 6:22 am

Southland Tales honestly looks pretty interesting to me, and not at all in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. I hope to see it soon.

Today I saw: Exotica (1994) - 8/10

The scene where
SpoilerShow
Christina attacks Eric (side note - Elias Koteas is slowly becoming one of my favorite actors) after he tries to stop her from leaving following his admission about his role in the "touching" incident
is not only one of the best and most visceral depictions of an enraged emotional outburst I've ever seen, but also the moment where the film really fell into place for me. There's a lot of looking in Exotica, and a lot of things behind those looks, but there's no touching. That's not part of the deal. Perhaps because it would break the illusion.
Last edited by RedHawk10 on November 27th, 2018, 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#1743

Post by matthewscott8 » November 26th, 2018, 5:56 pm

I watched Portrait of Jennie (1948 - William Dieterle) on the weekend. It's a moving film, lovely to watch something that plucks at your heart strings. It came off to me as a film that was nostalgic for a time of innocence before the two global wars, the film is made and mostly set in 1948, but Jennie is from 1910. Watching from 2018, an extra sense of nostalgia comes in. After the two global wars (and the death of chivalry) it became far more tricky to make out that human beings had positive characteristics, or that God was around and acting as a shepherd to humanity. Since 1948, we've had further depletions, the erosion of any collective meaning by the post-modernists, recognition that each of us individually are culpable for despoiling our planet, and insidious technological developments such as internet pornography, to name a few. So it was nice just to see 2 lovely people falling in love. I also thought the special effects were beautiful, and it was just lovely to see all the New York 1948 photography. It felt like the philosophical set up of the movie was quite learned, that is the movie seems to suggest a block universe, or an eternalist one, which God lives outside of. All of Einstein's theories on the matter were available at the time of the movie (space and time are not absolute, only spacetime is). Great special effects, so nice to see people doing VFX without a computer. That's my thought splurge!

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#1744

Post by flaiky » November 28th, 2018, 1:24 pm

El Sur (1983): it works beautifully, but I was gutted to learn that it was meant to be double the length. I would love to see Erice's full vision, with the film expanding as an intimate epic. It does end abruptly and
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more of older Estrella finally travelling south and learning about her father's past would have been amazing.
Damn producers.
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#1745

Post by RBG » November 30th, 2018, 2:38 am

love el sur and portrait of jennie!

i watched serra's historia de la meva mort (story of my death), 2013. this is my second serra and while his aesthetic is amazing, his films seem vague to the point of incomprehension. this one goes on a bit but creates quite a mood in the second half (if you can hang in that long)

Image

Image

Image

i respect the guy doing his thing and filming in catalan though in interviews he seems a bit full of himself. he's the greatest spanish film maker etc etc
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#1746

Post by RedHawk10 » December 1st, 2018, 6:52 am

Tokyo Tribe (2014) - 8/10

Gratuitous and comic book-y beyond belief. Terrible rapping aside (although this added to the absurd humor of the picture for me), this is as good an encapsulation and (simplistic, sure, but also sort of spot on) subversion of braggadocios/machismo attitudes in hip-hop/life as I've ever seen. Sono's style is goofy and dazzling.

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#1747

Post by Ivan0716 » December 11th, 2018, 2:47 pm

The Old Man & The Gun (2018)

A bit too sweet for my taste but any fan of Robert Redford will love this. It feels more like a tribute to Redford's career than a film of its own, the entire thing hinges on his charm and Sissy "pleaseadoptme" Spacek's warmth. I didn't love it but I "adored" it as much as anything I've seen this year.

Oh, I really do hope Redford never makes another film after this, it's about as perfect(and elaborate) a swansong anybody could ever ask for.

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#1748

Post by cinewest » December 11th, 2018, 11:13 pm

flaiky wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 1:24 pm
El Sur (1983): it works beautifully, but I was gutted to learn that it was meant to be double the length. I would love to see Erice's full vision, with the film expanding as an intimate epic. It does end abruptly and
SpoilerShow
more of older Estrella finally travelling south and learning about her father's past would have been amazing.
Damn producers.
I just saw this last night, and also listened to the director speak about the original intentions for the film. In this case, the positive critical and audience reception to the curtailed version killed any chance for him to complete it, though I agree with the filmmaker that El Sur felt incomplete, and wish he had had the chance to complete it because his idea would have probably made it a classic for the ages, just like Spirit of The Beehive is.

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#1749

Post by flaiky » December 12th, 2018, 1:10 pm

cinewest wrote:
December 11th, 2018, 11:13 pm
listened to the director speak about the original intentions for the film
Did he go into detail about the story?
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#1750

Post by Ivan0716 » December 18th, 2018, 10:28 am

One Cut of the Dead (2017)

Almost impossible to talk about without spoiling anything, so let's just say the 40 minute uninterrupted opening take of a small-scale zombie attack is not even close to being the most impressive thing about it. It's the most refreshing film I've seen in a while, worth checking out even if you're not a fan of zombie movies or horror comedies. Go in blind, don't bother reading about it.

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#1751

Post by Carmel1379 » December 18th, 2018, 10:36 am

Thanks, haven't heard of it before.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#1752

Post by mightysparks » December 18th, 2018, 10:36 am

Ivan0716 wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 10:28 am
One Cut of the Dead (2017)

Almost impossible to talk about without spoiling anything, so let's just say the 40 minute uninterrupted opening take of a small-scale zombie attack is not even close to being the most impressive thing about it. It's the most refreshing film I've seen in a while, worth checking out even if you're not a fan of zombie movies or horror comedies. Go in blind, don't bother reading about it.
Me just now: Man, I really feel like watching a new horror movie that I don't know much about

Ivan0716: *reads mind and saves the day*
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#1753

Post by mightysparks » December 18th, 2018, 12:46 pm

That was really fun - even if it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Thanks for the rec :thumbsup:
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#1754

Post by peeptoad » December 18th, 2018, 1:22 pm

Atanarjuat (2001), which was very good, but it made me even colder (and it was way below freezing walking into work this morning!). :wacko:

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#1755

Post by matthewscott8 » December 18th, 2018, 1:36 pm

I watched The House That Jack Built, Lars von Trier's serial killer movie. Devastating.

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#1756

Post by OldAle1 » December 18th, 2018, 5:39 pm

So I saw The Mule a couple of days ago, and while I would have a hard time really defending it, or recommending it to people in general, I certainly think serious Eastwood fans should go, regardless of the relatively negative reviews. I've seen all of the man's films new in the cinema since Unforgiven so I suppose I'm probably as hard-core a fan as there is on this forum, but I'm certainly not an uncritical one. I was with him very strongly through the 90s, the 00s and even into this decade - I liked Hereafter and especially J. Edgar much more than most folks; but his last several films have all been pretty mixed bags to me, all of them worth seeing on some level for Eastwood's command of fluid narrative and his handling of duration - I am essentially never, ever bored during any of his films - but all also problematic in lots of ways. The mythologizing heroism of Sully and American Sniper stands in stark contrast to the more evenhanded depiction of violence and human foibles in earlier films, and his consistent reliance on the currently fashionable color-drained type of cinematography that goes back to Letters from Iwo Jima also usually hasn't worked for me. And sometimes his plots are just too damned streamlined, and the nuances in character and theme that might have resulted in something more than simple entertainments just haven't been there.

I'm pleased that the new film at least looks better than many of his recent pictures - it's got some color - and of course it offers something "new" that they don't, namely the master himself in the lead role once again. And overall I like his performance, and while I do think the bits of casual racism and sexism he spews out may say more about Clint than about Earl Stone the nonagenarian horticulturalist/drug mule he plays, I'm not entirely unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt either; I actually think on some level he is trying to offer some self-criticism, and trying to get us the audience to look at this old, dying dinosaur breed with some measure of compassion while also recognizing his inadequacies and failures. But it doesn't really work all in all because he doesn't just ask for absolution, he offers it to himself, and I don't think it's an artist's business, at least not within a work of art, to both beg for and give himself this kind of moral grace. This is a rather complex idea though and I'm not too sure of it myself, of how it works or doesn't here, I'm just reasonably sure that it's there and conscious in the mind of the filmmaker. It would help if the family scenes registered as strongly as the scenes of Earl on the road and dealing with his drug-lord bosses, though the weakest part of the film by far is the DEA investigation subplot, with fine actors like Bradley Cooper and Laurence Fishburne barely registering at all.

All in all an interesting coda to Clint's career as an actor, and if it's the last film he directs as well, I guess it's not a terrible send-off either, though I definitely hope he's still got something better to give us.

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#1757

Post by RedHawk10 » December 21st, 2018, 7:02 am

My third watch of Dead Man, this singular, haunting masterpiece, and I'm still amazed at how thematically dense it is. One of the few films I wouldn't hesitate to call genuinely brilliant.

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#1758

Post by Gershwin » December 21st, 2018, 11:03 am

RedHawk10 wrote:
December 21st, 2018, 7:02 am
My third watch of Dead Man, this singular, haunting masterpiece, and I'm still amazed at how thematically dense it is. One of the few films I wouldn't hesitate to call genuinely brilliant.
I really should rewatch it. Loved it very much the first time I saw it, but I probably still didn't get everything out of it.
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#1759

Post by peeptoad » December 21st, 2018, 11:40 am

36.15 code Père Noël aka Dial Code Santa Claus, which was fantastic, even having to watch it with no subs. I hope a NA blu release is under consideration since it just got rereleased by Alamo draft house.

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#1760

Post by Kublai Khan » December 21st, 2018, 4:17 pm

RedHawk10 wrote:
December 21st, 2018, 7:02 am
My third watch of Dead Man, this singular, haunting masterpiece, and I'm still amazed at how thematically dense it is. One of the few films I wouldn't hesitate to call genuinely brilliant.
Yeah, it's really good. Jarmusch's pinnacle, I think.

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