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the 2009 project

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Re: the 2009 project

#161

Post by matthewscott8 » April 8th, 2019, 10:53 am

St. Gloede wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 9:53 am
Nanjing! Nanjing! is a film that I have kept noticing, and even had a general idea that I would like, but never actually got around to watching, but I had no idea what to expect (except seemingly good b/w cinematography) and it was always passed over for other films. I had to idea it was such a cold and harrowing experience. Are we then essentially talking about the methodical and minimalist (?) cousin of Come and See? If so, this has suddenly become one of my major must-sees.
I was thinking about Come and See a fair bit. The destruction in Belarus was pretty widespread and terrible, but I think as an individual you had some hope of survival, that is there was somewhere to run. If you were caught up in Nanjing there was nowhere to run. At the start of the warfare at Nanjing the Chinese commander abandoned the city and the morale was very low, so you can see it is hopeless straight away. The Japanese attitude towards defeated peoples was one of scorn, how could you possibly let yourselves be dishonoured? So there was next to no hope of being treated well; this is similar to what the Germans attitude towards Slavs I guess. The Japanese were definitely not hypocritical about this, note the mass civilian suicides and fighting to the death on Okinawa as the allies made ground in WWII. It's definitely not a Hollywood type movie and is much closer to something like Haneke.

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#162

Post by cinewest » April 18th, 2019, 2:25 am

I am assuming that you are familiar with this site: http://www.fipresci.org/awards/2010
http://www.fipresci.org/awards/2009

There are films from 2009 in both links

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#163

Post by matthewscott8 » April 18th, 2019, 8:40 am

cinewest wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:25 am
I am assuming that you are familiar with this site: http://www.fipresci.org/awards/2010
http://www.fipresci.org/awards/2009

There are films from 2009 in both links
Way ahead of you bud ;)

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls062186422/

Not particularly easy to source a lot of the stuff they give prizes too, but generally a very reliable quality standard.

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#164

Post by cinewest » April 18th, 2019, 8:43 am

I figured you were aware this site, and also making use of it, but maybe a few others here will make use of the links. Just a quick note: The 2010 list of awards also has quite a few 2009 films.

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#165

Post by matthewscott8 » April 21st, 2019, 8:57 pm

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Yi ngoi / Accident (2009 - Soi Cheang)

This is a bit of a sleeper, only 166 checks. Accident screened In Competition at Venice and was produced by Johnnie To. It is a very good looking movie, managing to continuously find interesting imagery of a certain tone, urban sadness. Feels like there was some inspiriation from Wong and some from To.

Louis Koo plays "The Brain" very well, a man who leads a small team of criminals who plan murders to look like accidents. The movie is however more about the emotion paranoia, and concepts like trust, trauma, and chance. The movie plays a lot with different views of how events unravel: karma, luck, and fate, in an intelligent and satisfying manner. It seems designed to achieve a self-questioning response from the audience.

Accident was very little commented on at the time, I would never have seen it but for a deep dive like this. Thanks to Cinephage for the recommendation.

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#166

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » April 21st, 2019, 10:14 pm

Have you seen Claudio Caldini's short film 'Lux Taal' yet?

It's phenomenal!
... and on vimeo in decent quality.
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere

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#167

Post by matthewscott8 » April 22nd, 2019, 11:29 am

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500 Days of Summer (2009 - Marc Webb)

This one was a big talking point back in the day. A story about a love of about 1 year that didnt work out, and I remember people taking sides pretty vigorously and either being for Summer or Tom. I had expected to feel more strongly about that but could only shrug in the end, I didn't think either of them behaved badly, they just weren't meant to be. It'd be quite nice if in early life you knew what to look out for in relationships, like when Summer tells him she's not looking for a boyfriend, women often give signals like that in a quite gentle way that are easy to write off, you have to get better at listening. It also reminded me that the women I've known tend to find it a lot more attractive if you're comfortable with where you are, the fact that he really wants to be an architect but works for a greeting cards company isn't great. If he was passionate about greeting cards, different story. I had been quite worried about watching this, expecting it to stir up a lot of emotion, which it did. It's just sad that loves a crapshoot, and mostly about compatibilty, and you can keep on throwing and crapping out, and sometimes that's all that happens and then you die or fall into despair. I think at least I get the same joy out of watching buildings that Tom does, I get a lot of pleasure from light and perspective, it's a pleasure that's always there for you if you want it. It's really annoying for me to think how much I haven't done in my life, because I've been waiting for someone special to do it with. Also I have no idea what I'm meant to be doing that would make me happy and make me attractive. The second person in my life that I've fallen in love with got engaged a month ago. She's my best friend now.

I thought it would be nice to have seen more of the movie from Summer's point, like where were the conversations she had with her friends. I guess it's just a hands up from the director that he doesn't know that side of the story. I lived Chloë Grace Moretz in the movie as Tom's younger sister and relationship support. I think the movie was imperfect but that's somewhat its appeal as well. I can't say I liked it, but I do really want to see 500 Days of Autumn, too late to make a sequel now though (probably). This is the type of movie a poppy Yank makes if they get into watching Garrel and Truffaut, and the film kind of acknowledges that.

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#168

Post by OldAle1 » April 22nd, 2019, 2:30 pm

I loved (500) Days when I saw it new, but it's one of those films that doesn't necessarily stick in my memory as "great" anymore; it's been on my potential re-watch list for a while though and I have the BD so I should give it a shot again. I think though that it did stimulate a then-dormant interest in romantic comedy, or I should say in current-day romantic comedy, and I was starting to watch some Korean films at the time that are more romantic as well, so I give it some credit for that; its just too bad that the rom-com genre has remained so moribund in English-language cinemas. And also the location work - it wasn't until 2011 that I saw Los Angeles Plays Itself for the first time but this film and it's use of many iconic LA locations certainly was fixed in my brain then, and I wouldn't be surprised if it had some influence on La La Land in that respect. Love your comments and as someone who has been alone for much longer than I was in relationships I can certainly empathize with much of it.

PS how many films from the year have you seen now, and how large is your remaining watch-list?

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#169

Post by matthewscott8 » April 22nd, 2019, 3:29 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 2:30 pm
I loved (500) Days when I saw it new, but it's one of those films that doesn't necessarily stick in my memory as "great" anymore; it's been on my potential re-watch list for a while though and I have the BD so I should give it a shot again. I think though that it did stimulate a then-dormant interest in romantic comedy, or I should say in current-day romantic comedy, and I was starting to watch some Korean films at the time that are more romantic as well, so I give it some credit for that; its just too bad that the rom-com genre has remained so moribund in English-language cinemas. And also the location work - it wasn't until 2011 that I saw Los Angeles Plays Itself for the first time but this film and it's use of many iconic LA locations certainly was fixed in my brain then, and I wouldn't be surprised if it had some influence on La La Land in that respect. Love your comments and as someone who has been alone for much longer than I was in relationships I can certainly empathize with much of it.

PS how many films from the year have you seen now, and how large is your remaining watch-list?
I think you're dead right about the influence on La La Land. This movie used animation too and had a musical number. I imagine there would have been more of both with a bit of budget. I tend to like films which balance drama and comedy well, I watched Safety Last this week which I felt did that really well. I felt too sad when the credits rolled on this one, maybe if things worked out well romantically for the viewer, this film would be a funnier watch. I've been invited to a party before just to show me that the other person is with someone else and has moved on. Hard to balance that out with comedy.

I'm up to 180 watched for 2009, my remaining watchlist is 175, although I am aiming to get to 365. Will be getting to some fun landmarks soon. Should be getting to a film you really like as well.

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#170

Post by OldAle1 » April 22nd, 2019, 3:45 pm

Cool. I've been considering - probably since you first started this - doing something similar myself, and I might have started it once I joined this forum had I not fallen down the black hole of the monthly challenges. The most likely year for me would be 1988 which happens to be the year from which I've seen the most films, a year with 3 films perpetually in my top 100 since they came out, and really the first full year where I was really quite serious about film, and met a couple of friends who really influenced me over time. And I suppose it's 80s nostalgia as well, for me this is near the end period of large numbers of fun low-to-medium budget SF/fantasy/horror/action films that actually played in cinemas regularly. So it's kind of bittersweet too. Maybe I'll start it up this summer, I may start focusing less on challenges soon.

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#171

Post by matthewscott8 » April 22nd, 2019, 10:10 pm

viktor-vaudevillain wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 10:14 pm
Have you seen Claudio Caldini's short film 'Lux Taal' yet?

It's phenomenal!
... and on vimeo in decent quality.
Thanks this was beautiful https://vimeo.com/114456588 wasn't sure what the hand signal sequence was about. Woozy film though.

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#172

Post by matthewscott8 » April 28th, 2019, 7:55 am

Image

The Happiest Girl in the World (2009 - Radu Jude)

I enjoy Romanian arthouse cinema, its subtle humour and realism usually stirke the right note for me. This film is about a youngster on the verge of adulthood who wins a car in a lottery competition, she travels from the countryside to Bucharest with her parents to take part in the promotional activites surrounding the "competition". One part of the film concerns the obvious fakery of the cinema, e.g. a fake greenscreened orange grove is created, Delia is only pretending to be happy, etc. I learned very little from those pieces, though I enjoyed watching the hair and makeup lady at her work. By far the more interesting element for me were the family dynamics between Delia and her parents. A central issue in society is that the media portray the lives of normal people as more luxurious than they actually are. Most people struggle for even the simple necessities, and can't afford things like luxury goods and holidays. This creates a huge anxiety and fear of missing out. Throughout the movie the family have an important decision to make, and the to-and-fro of that are very interesting.

I liked the movie a fair bit, but I had to have a fair few breaks and wouldn't say it was as insightful as another Jude film I've seen, Aferim!

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#173

Post by Onderhond » April 28th, 2019, 10:57 am

matthewscott8 wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 8:57 pm
Accident was very little commented on at the time, I would never have seen it but for a deep dive like this. Thanks to Cinephage for the recommendation.
I'll double this recommendation, great film! Not fit for this challenge of course, but try to see Cheang's Dog Bite Dog too.

Oh, and just for reference, my 2009 count is currently 348!

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#174

Post by matthewscott8 » August 18th, 2019, 11:10 am

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Technotise: Edit & I (2009 - Aleksa Gajic, Nebojsa Andric, Stevan Djordjevic)

This was a lot of fun, a genial piece of cyberpunk. The animation quality is often very high indeed, and it's quite funny as well. The narrative is about Edit, a young psychology student in Serbia of the late 21st century. Whilst much of the film is simply involved with what that time and place would look like, there is also a thread about a mysterious autistic mathematician that Edit looks after and a ghost that appears to her. Unbeknownst to herself Edit is helping an ominous corporation extract a secret knowledge. It is not terribly original in its motifs, and it feels like there were an anthology of influences on the movie. However it has a fairly unique emotional and spiritual feel, and a brilliant energy. The movie ends rather abruptly and forcedly.

9/10 for me, just missing out on my top list, for all its imperfections I will remember it only with fondness.
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#175

Post by mightysparks » August 18th, 2019, 11:53 am

Probably seen most of these, but here's my faves for 2009:
SpoilerShow
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Celda 211 (2009)
Død snø (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Best Worst Movie (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
The Cove (2009)
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Collector (2009)
Humpday (2009)
A Single Man (2009)
Watchmen (2009)
Star Trek (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Proposal (2009)
Zombieland (2009)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Avatar (2009)
Mary and Max (2009)
Kynodontas (2009)
Exam (2009)
Enter the Void (2009)
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)
An Education (2009)
A Serious Man (2009)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Un prophète (2009)
The Revenant (2009)
Orphan (2009)
Tony (2009)
Daybreakers (2009)
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
Lo (2009)
Suck (2009)
Cargo (2009)
World's Greatest Dad (2009)
Ha phraeng (2009)
Also I really like this project, and I guess I'm kinda doing the same thing with the horror genre instead of a particular year. I'd like to focus on a particular year, but I don't even know how I'd choose that.
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#176

Post by matthewscott8 » August 18th, 2019, 1:16 pm

mightysparks wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 11:53 am
Probably seen most of these, but here's my faves for 2009:
SpoilerShow
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Celda 211 (2009)
Død snø (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Best Worst Movie (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
The Cove (2009)
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Collector (2009)
Humpday (2009)
A Single Man (2009)
Watchmen (2009)
Star Trek (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Proposal (2009)
Zombieland (2009)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Avatar (2009)
Mary and Max (2009)
Kynodontas (2009)
Exam (2009)
Enter the Void (2009)
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)
An Education (2009)
A Serious Man (2009)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Un prophète (2009)
The Revenant (2009)
Orphan (2009)
Tony (2009)
Daybreakers (2009)
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
Lo (2009)
Suck (2009)
Cargo (2009)
World's Greatest Dad (2009)
Ha phraeng (2009)
Also I really like this project, and I guess I'm kinda doing the same thing with the horror genre instead of a particular year. I'd like to focus on a particular year, but I don't even know how I'd choose that.
Horror is a large genre, also with a low minimum standard for release!! With picking a year it helps if it is relatively recent for availability reasons. I am going back to 2008 after 2009, and potentially all the years in the early naughties if I live long enough hehe. 2009 has taken a long time so far! Cabin Fever 2 looks fun, I liked the atmoshpere of the first one a lot.

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#177

Post by mightysparks » August 18th, 2019, 1:31 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 1:16 pm
mightysparks wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 11:53 am
Probably seen most of these, but here's my faves for 2009:
SpoilerShow
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Celda 211 (2009)
Død snø (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Best Worst Movie (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
The Cove (2009)
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Collector (2009)
Humpday (2009)
A Single Man (2009)
Watchmen (2009)
Star Trek (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Proposal (2009)
Zombieland (2009)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Avatar (2009)
Mary and Max (2009)
Kynodontas (2009)
Exam (2009)
Enter the Void (2009)
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)
An Education (2009)
A Serious Man (2009)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Un prophète (2009)
The Revenant (2009)
Orphan (2009)
Tony (2009)
Daybreakers (2009)
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
Lo (2009)
Suck (2009)
Cargo (2009)
World's Greatest Dad (2009)
Ha phraeng (2009)
Also I really like this project, and I guess I'm kinda doing the same thing with the horror genre instead of a particular year. I'd like to focus on a particular year, but I don't even know how I'd choose that.
Horror is a large genre, also with a low minimum standard for release!! With picking a year it helps if it is relatively recent for availability reasons. I am going back to 2008 after 2009, and potentially all the years in the early naughties if I live long enough hehe. 2009 has taken a long time so far! Cabin Fever 2 looks fun, I liked the atmoshpere of the first one a lot.
It's pretty different in tone to the first one to the point where they barely seem related, but I still found it a lot of fun.

I've seen the most amount of films from 2013, and since that was also a 'big year' for me, I'd probably choose that if I did; but the stuff I haven't seen doesn't interest me that much so idk.
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#178

Post by matthewscott8 » January 7th, 2020, 12:34 pm

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Chéri (2009 - Stephen Frears)

A delightful movie, Chéri was largely ignored on its limited release. It is based on a story by Colette, set in the Belle Epoque, an era of peace and of extravagance for the rich. It's a decadent film with no social commentary, but always tasteful. A review I read said that it is a balance between the frivolous and the tragic, which seems broadly apt.

Chéri is a young man of exceptional looks who grows up in the tiny and rarefied society of retired and wealthy courtesans. His mother has some rather strange fixed images of what his life should be like and clumsily tries to engineer it for him. In the process he falls in love with an older woman, Lea de Lonval, a courtesan on the brink of retirement. Despite being spoiled by both women he nonetheless manges to maintain a sense of taste, decorum, and warped integrity, despite his idleness and relative emptiness. It is thus possible to maintain sympathy. Sadly, a love story between a young man and an older woman must occur without the approval of society, and works only when they are secluded.

The film worked perfectly as a matinee and is festooned with flowers, fine glassware, agreeable music, scenery and interesting characters. The actors do wonderfully well, and this seemed a role hand-made for Michelle Pfeiffer who is exquisite, and for whom this is potentially a career high?

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#179

Post by matthewscott8 » January 11th, 2020, 5:20 pm

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Sin Nombre (2009 - Cary Joji Fukunaga)

A crowd pleaser of the year, about the crossing of paths of a Mexican gangster with cold feet and a Honduan migrant. Well made, interesting and occasionally moving but didn't give me any feeling that I'd shot up with cine-heroin as my favourite films do. It feels a bit like a prelude to a larger story or a pilot for a TV series.

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#180

Post by matthewscott8 » January 15th, 2020, 10:41 am

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The House of the Devil

Really enjoyed this one. It's a slow atmospheric horror movie. Set in the 1980s so no worries about mobile phones or laptops, and therefore a lot more room for horror storymaking. It's about a college sophomore who wants a space of her own beyond the shared room with her promiscuous roommate, so she arranges to rent a property but now needs more money. So she takes on a babysitting job, and the first night starts feeling creepier by the minute, not helped by the lunar eclipse that everyone seems to be obsessing over. Good turn from Jocelin Donahue as Samantha the babysitter, and great supporting roles for Greta Gerwig and Tom Noonan.

I felt a lot of nostalgia watching this one and really enjoyed the pacing. In terms of the plotting, it feels at the end like some bits of the plot doesn't make sense, but this could be because parts of plot we the audience aren't aware of,
SpoilerShow
for example why is it necessary for the Satanists to leave Sam in the house on her own, I could make up reasons why this might be and nothing is outright contradictory about it, but it's weird
; we mostly know only what Sam knows, so it's not terminally problematic. But there are less credible points
SpoilerShow
why does the lunar eclipse speed up, but then it actually turns out that Sam is alive. How is Sam able to escape from being tied down on a pentagram surrounded by three loonies. Maybe they're trancing and the "father" character is really incompetent at doing much of anything, including tying people down.
As a devotee of Mann's The Keep, you may be able to divine that I am less worried about a shaky plot than others!

It's highly voyeuristic as a film so I felt a bit dirty after, but very thrilled. Most of the movie is set in this old house, and it's actually just really cool to see around this creepy house, which is very subtly creepy.

Three official checks.

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#181

Post by matthewscott8 » February 8th, 2020, 12:00 pm

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The Botany of Desire (2009 - Michael Schwarz, Edward Gray)

I had been looking forward to this documentary as I have a couple of degrees in biology, and plant biology was what initially atracted me to the area; it's what I did both my theses on. Michael Pollan, who wrote a book of the same name, is the talking head narrator for the movie, Francis McDormand comes in as an audio narrator. It's about 4 different plants and our relationship with them. The apple, tulip, cannibis plant, and potato. However, I had a few issues with the movie. Firstly I didn't feel it was so cinematic, it didn't bring a lot for me over what a radio broadcast would have done. Secondly, there's a conceit that plants are controlling us, which is kind of silly, and Pollan does point out several times that it's a metaphor; metaphors are dangerous.

I did learn some stuff, although as someone that had studied botany, not a huge amount was new to me. They pointed out that apples and tulips came from the same part of the world. One of my tutors, had an early career in electron microscopy, but in his dotage became very interested in the apple and was one of the people who discovered via phylogenetic analysis that the apple originated in Kazakhstan. I thought the show could have pointed out that one of the reasons so many plants originate from this area, is because when ice ages come, those areas are much less affected, areas like my own in the UK become blocks of ice so to speak, which is why we have hardly any native animal and plant species. However its tricky in two hours to cover off a wealth of information.

It was interesting to hear the debate about genenitcally modified crops in the movie which was surprisingly balanced and came up in the context of potatoes. At the time when I was studying in the area, '99-'03, a lot of the objections in the area were frankly Luddite. I think the problem with this bit is that it was a segment of a segment, and in reality you could justify a whole TV series on it. Back in the day one of my tutors had been looking into novel ways of vaccinating people for polio. A big problem with vaccination is that you have to have a cold chain, that is, from the production facility to the end user, the vaccine has to stay cold, and that's pretty hard to achieve. So they were looking at getting bananas to express viral capsid protein, so that people in far flung rural areas in Africa had immunity built up to it just by eating bananas. The project was shelved "because", and that seemed pretty tragic. On the other hand the introduction of terminator genes into seed was pretty loopy/dystopian.

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#182

Post by matthewscott8 » February 16th, 2020, 5:25 pm

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Where The Wild Things Are (2009 - Spike Jonze)


This was kind of like the Wizard of Oz in inverse, as in Oz a child voyager comes to a new world, but here it's inner rather than outer, and Max leaves it unresolved, no wicked witches defeated, rather the point made that the Manichaean view of good and evil is simplistic. Rather than teaching the characters anything, the voyager is taught a series of sombre lessons, harmony is evanescent, it's easier to destroy than create, when you have fun someone's feelings always get hurt, love is not for everyone (only the idea of love), leading is complicated, you need friend time and alone time, we desire a greater power that does not exist.

The book was not part of my childhood, I didn't know it was "a thing". As this movie is to childhood, so is Mr Nobody, also of 2009, to adolescence.
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#183

Post by OldAle1 » February 16th, 2020, 5:30 pm

Some interesting recent watches there. I will be watching House of the Devil before long because I've decided I have to see every Greta Gerwig film now; the plant biology film looks interesting though given how rarely I want to watch a doc, an unlikely viewing; and I loved Where the Wild Things Are though I haven't seen it since it came out and it's dimmed a bit. Have the BD, ought to prioritize a re-watch actually as I have been increasingly nostalgic and the book, in fact, was a part of my childhood though I never really remember it distinctly, it's always just there in the background, kind of a misty vision of childhood fantasy - in much the same space that Tolkien's Smith of Wooten Major occupies.

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#184

Post by matthewscott8 » February 16th, 2020, 7:06 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 5:30 pm
Some interesting recent watches there. I will be watching House of the Devil before long because I've decided I have to see every Greta Gerwig film now; the plant biology film looks interesting though given how rarely I want to watch a doc, an unlikely viewing; and I loved Where the Wild Things Are though I haven't seen it since it came out and it's dimmed a bit. Have the BD, ought to prioritize a re-watch actually as I have been increasingly nostalgic and the book, in fact, was a part of my childhood though I never really remember it distinctly, it's always just there in the background, kind of a misty vision of childhood fantasy - in much the same space that Tolkien's Smith of Wooten Major occupies.
Greta has a good supporting role in House of the Devil, so you will get what you are looking for on that front. Botany of Desire never departs from the tried and tested yet lacking talking heads format. If you haven't seen it The Private Life of Plants as narrated by David Attenborough is pretty great, albeit a much longer alternative.

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#185

Post by GruesomeTwosome » February 16th, 2020, 10:55 pm

Gerwig provides some great comic relief in House of the Devil, I really enjoyed her supporting role in that. And it’s a good horror flick though it falters at the end I thought.
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

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#186

Post by matthewscott8 » February 17th, 2020, 1:10 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 10:55 pm
Gerwig provides some great comic relief in House of the Devil, I really enjoyed her supporting role in that. And it’s a good horror flick though it falters at the end I thought.
Yeah they couldn't really figure out how to write a plausible ending, so it's mostly just in exercise in tension and nostalgia for me. It seems very strange how horror films generally make me far more nostalgic than any other genre. Is that just me?

Have you got a top list for 2009? Would be interested in seeing it, even if a lot of the films have already been mentioned.

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#187

Post by St. Gloede » February 17th, 2020, 1:30 pm

I loved Where the Wild Things Are so much when I saw it back in '09. I struggle to think of any other film that handled childhood as well.

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#188

Post by matthewscott8 » February 17th, 2020, 2:40 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 1:30 pm
I loved Where the Wild Things Are so much when I saw it back in '09. I struggle to think of any other film that handled childhood as well.
I noted that critics didn't dig it in 2009, and neither did the viewing public in general. However it seemed to go down better with the film buff crowd, it featured in the Film Comment readers poll for 2009 (one reason why I watched it) - but nowhere near the critics' one, and the IMDb rating is low.

There were some niggles for me, it's not got a great emotional balance, it feels pretty downbeat most of the time, and the colours are a bit drab. I looked at some of the illustrations in the book and the night illustrations there look magical and Rousseau-ian. The scenes that happen on the beach at the end say animatronic to me too much and look more "making of" than disbelief suspended.

A considerable plus is the casting of James Gandolfini as Carol, and I think you could say if there's one thing to remember him for it would be this role.

The characters feel like a mix of people he knows in real life and parts of his own psyche, and I would rather they were all parts of his own psyche, or all people he knew.

They don't really use all the characters, and I wondered if it could therefore have been focussed a bit more. Or lengthened, I really felt a lot of the creatures weren't established.

All that being said I can see that for the person this works for the whole way through, it reaches places that nothing else reaches.

I was the lonely creative boy in the movie, but I wanted my parents to split up, whereas I think Max would much rather they stay together. As much as this is a movie about childhood, it is also about a specific childhood.

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#189

Post by GruesomeTwosome » February 17th, 2020, 3:41 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 1:10 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 10:55 pm
Gerwig provides some great comic relief in House of the Devil, I really enjoyed her supporting role in that. And it’s a good horror flick though it falters at the end I thought.
Have you got a top list for 2009? Would be interested in seeing it, even if a lot of the films have already been mentioned.
Yeah I don't think I'd be bringing anything new to this thread, or to your attention, with my favorites from '09. But it would be something like this:

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)
A Serious Man (Coens)
Plastic Bag (Ramin Bahrani, short)
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog)
Triangle (Christopher Smith)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
White Material (Claire Denis)
Splice (Vincenzo Natali)
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

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#190

Post by brokenface » February 17th, 2020, 7:19 pm

You'd better join in this month!

viewtopic.php?p=624677#p624677

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#191

Post by matthewscott8 » February 17th, 2020, 8:16 pm

brokenface wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 7:19 pm
You'd better join in this month!

viewtopic.php?p=624677#p624677
haha, I did note this vote. Where I'm coming from I that I hate the Oscars, and I don't think they can be fixed. I'd rather not start from that base. Also I'm not highly focussed on rating the music and performances. So I don't ever participate in these, but yeah it is a bit random if I'm doing this multi-year project on 2009 and don't participate, so I will have a go.

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#192

Post by OldAle1 » February 17th, 2020, 9:09 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 8:16 pm
brokenface wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 7:19 pm
You'd better join in this month!

viewtopic.php?p=624677#p624677
haha, I did note this vote. Where I'm coming from I that I hate the Oscars, and I don't think they can be fixed. I'd rather not start from that base. Also I'm not highly focussed on rating the music and performances. So I don't ever participate in these, but yeah it is a bit random if I'm doing this multi-year project on 2009 and don't participate, so I will have a go.
I think you should just forget about the "Oscar" word and just think of it as another one of our polls - after all the rules aren't the same as the Oscars, we can all vote for films, performances, music etc that would never have been eligible for the Oscars, or that got totally ignored by them. I have trouble remembering performances, music, etc, myself and so I've only voted in a few of these because I'm rather obsessed with being able to put together a full or mostly-full ballot (I got no docs at all on the 2009 for example) but it's fun to look at the films and think about those categories to me, and sometimes the results can be interesting or surprising. Pretty sure About Elly is going to be a top contender in this one, and that certainly didn't show up in the Oscars although it was Iran's official submission in the Foreign Film category.

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#193

Post by matthewscott8 » March 22nd, 2020, 9:39 am

Image

Amintiri din epoca de aur / Tales from the Golden Age (2009 - Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu, Ioana Uricaru)

Unlike many portmanteau films this was very coherent (all the stories were written by Mungiu). The five stories are of people living under the Ceaucescu version of communism, this period was officially known as the "Golden Age". Politics here injects a mixture of absurdity and banality into what are often very familiar experiences. For example we have the smart kid at school who is paid to do homework for others, but then pays his winnings away to the prettiest girl in the class in exchange for smiles (except due to shortages the currency here is food). Somewhat of a theme that weaves through all the stories is unrequited desire/love, which adds to the overall sense of meaninglessness.

This did not deserve relegation to the Un Certain Regard Section at Cannes.

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#194

Post by matthewscott8 » April 4th, 2020, 10:38 am

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Crank: High Voltage (2009 - Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor)

More of the same following on from the high adrenaline original. It's unapologetically juvenile, with overtly baity racism and stereotyping coupled with bad taste stunts. Tongue-in-cheek, and very self-aware I imagine some cult following for this exists. I don't regret watching it but it didn't exactly rock my world. Despite occasionally unhinged inventiveness (Ishiro Honda homage and day time tv talkshow flashback spring to mind), my heart was mainly throbbing for Amy Smart.

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#195

Post by matthewscott8 » May 7th, 2020, 7:20 pm

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An Education (2009 - Lone Scherfig)

A story about a schoolgirl from the suburbs of London in the 1950s who has an experience with an older man that nearly throws her off her tracks. It painstakingly recreates a 50s British feel, my mum who was a schoolgirl in the 50s has testified to it being like going back in a time machine.

It feels somewhat trite/bowdlerised/self-centred (based on a real life memoir), and wraps up too neatly. Suffers from a lack of likeable characters, whislt the parents have an abrupt unexplained transition in personality halfway through the movie.

Although it was certainly a chore to watch it did stir up many emotions in me, because, despite being born much later, my parents were archetypal 50s bourgeoisie. I still cook recipes from the 1950s that my mum made. I also went to a school that was stuck in time, and like the girl in the movie, had to translate Virgil and read Jane Eyre, and also aimed, and got into Oxford. I also at the time was into the pre-Raphaelites, and couldn't forgive her for the comment that Holman Hunt was garish. I even collected auction catalogues, and so the Christie's auction scene stirred the coals. The book she's reading in the movie, Albert Camus' The Stranger, I read in the first week at Oxford uni (unusual for a biologist!).

It is a bit of a lemon that whenever I meet girls who are like this, like me, they don't want to know me. They want to be swept of their feet by someone famous.

I watch so many movies that bear no relation whatsoever to experiences I've had, that it was special to see this one. However I think it only flirted with the truth and was much less audacious and more pat than it imagined.

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#196

Post by prodigalgodson » May 7th, 2020, 9:48 pm

Nice review Matt. I wasn't particularly a fan but I didn't have that personal connection at all either.

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#197

Post by matthewscott8 » May 7th, 2020, 11:05 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 9:48 pm
Nice review Matt. I wasn't particularly a fan but I didn't have that personal connection at all either.
It gets the feel of the country at the time, dour, racist, joyless, emotionally constipated. No point to life and success under the system just being another form of failure. The emotional constipation thing is still here. So much of life here is completely fake, and noone talks about it, noone talks about their emotions, their needs and the needs of others. It's been getting better, but slowly.

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#198

Post by cinewest » May 8th, 2020, 12:35 am

I liked An Education better than Mathew and Prodigal, especially the breakout performance from Carey Mulligan, who I have found to be one of the better actresses to come out in the last 10-15 years.

Though I agree that there was nothing groundbreaking (aside from Mulligan's and Rosamund' Pike's performances), and that this kind of biographical story has been done before, plenty of times, I think that this production had a lot going for it in terms of capturing place and period, and the central story, involving a coming into adulthood and fall from grace, was very well done in my OP.

Funny, but while I more or less agree with Mathew's review of the film, I think it is decidedly better than he does, and most of the women I know who have seen it all liked it as well, in fact, I have made use of various aspects in my English classes.

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#199

Post by prodigalgodson » May 8th, 2020, 12:44 am

matthewscott8 wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 11:05 pm
prodigalgodson wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 9:48 pm
Nice review Matt. I wasn't particularly a fan but I didn't have that personal connection at all either.
It gets the feel of the country at the time, dour, racist, joyless, emotionally constipated. No point to life and success under the system just being another form of failure. The emotional constipation thing is still here. So much of life here is completely fake, and noone talks about it, noone talks about their emotions, their needs and the needs of others. It's been getting better, but slowly.
Interesting, here in Cali I feel like it's the opposite problem, emotional diarrhea and many people using their personal feelings as the yardstick for everything, complicates empathy and communication.

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#200

Post by matthewscott8 » May 8th, 2020, 8:47 am

cinewest wrote:
May 8th, 2020, 12:35 am
I liked An Education better than Mathew and Prodigal, especially the breakout performance from Carey Mulligan, who I have found to be one of the better actresses to come out in the last 10-15 years.

Though I agree that there was nothing groundbreaking (aside from Mulligan's and Rosamund' Pike's performances), and that this kind of biographical story has been done before, plenty of times, I think that this production had a lot going for it in terms of capturing place and period, and the central story, involving a coming into adulthood and fall from grace, was very well done in my OP.

Funny, but while I more or less agree with Mathew's review of the film, I think it is decidedly better than he does, and most of the women I know who have seen it all liked it as well, in fact, I have made use of various aspects in my English classes.
I accept that it's a great performance from Carey Mulligan and it captures place and time very well. I just think Jenny's a narcissist and a snob and gets a rather uncritical treatment by the filmmakers. The why is this story worth telling test is not really met on the grounds of the characters being likeable, it's met by the need to testify about how horrible living in 50s Britain was. Somewhere down deep someone involved knows some of the issues but it's all very lowballed and skated over. One of the biggest scams in the UK at the moment is online dating scams,of women from that generation. They meet someone online who looks incredibly handsome/happy and was an ex astronaut/architect/ship's captain and is full of compliments. For many of these women it rings no alarm bell whatsoever that a guy that together/accomplished is interested in them. The same trick doesn't work the other way round, hell a guy would probably not be contacted by ANYONE, he has to do the legwork. We have got a sprawl of fucked up gender issues in this country.

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