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Film of the Week: L'innocente

Which films Did You See Last Week? 16/12/18 - 22/12/18

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Carmel1379
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Re: Which films Did You See Last Week? 16/12/18 - 22/12/18

#41

Post by Carmel1379 » December 27th, 2018, 11:06 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 5:47 pm
La Région centrale is one of two Snow films I've seen in the cinema - the other was Wavelength - and it was certainly a memorable experience. Saw it at the University of Chicago''s film society ("DOC Films") one of the best venues in the city, where they could show *anything* at any time and get at least 20 people in the audience. Went with my brother who was in town for a visit and my two best cine-friends at the time, and yes there were 20 people, maybe more like 30. By the end it was just my 2 friends and I - one of them hated it, the other liked it a lot ("relaxing"), I was somewhere in the middle. My brother went to a bar after the first 20 minutes or so. One of the three films I've seen with the most walkouts, the others being Jeanne Dielman (also at DOC) and a screening of Greenaway's The Falls in a poorly ventilated space in the middle of summer when the interior temp was over 100 degrees F.

Totally agree on the tiredness comment - the most memorable viewing I had of Dead Man, the 9th and final time I saw it first run, probably qualifies. Midnight, in a barely-heated theater in February, with plenty of alcohol in me, hypnotic and disconcerting.
I remember you writing the story either here or on FG/CFB, since when I mentioned wanting to see Snow's work theatrically I did think of you(r viewing of 'La Région Centrale' -- lucky you!). I hope the walkouts weren't too obstructive, though I guess they might add to the anti-human feel of the movie.


From yours I've seen Nothing, which I'm a fan of, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which was a bit on the disappointing side for me with regards to time travel & adolescence, and Lady in the Lake sometime earlier this year (as a double feature with Dark Passage) because of my interest for POV-shot cinema. Pretty great early experimentation with the technique (mirrors, cigarettes, blurring of the screen after getting punched).
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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!
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#42

Post by OldAle1 » December 28th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 11:06 pm
OldAle1 wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 5:47 pm
La Région centrale is one of two Snow films I've seen in the cinema - the other was Wavelength - and it was certainly a memorable experience. Saw it at the University of Chicago''s film society ("DOC Films") one of the best venues in the city, where they could show *anything* at any time and get at least 20 people in the audience. Went with my brother who was in town for a visit and my two best cine-friends at the time, and yes there were 20 people, maybe more like 30. By the end it was just my 2 friends and I - one of them hated it, the other liked it a lot ("relaxing"), I was somewhere in the middle. My brother went to a bar after the first 20 minutes or so. One of the three films I've seen with the most walkouts, the others being Jeanne Dielman (also at DOC) and a screening of Greenaway's The Falls in a poorly ventilated space in the middle of summer when the interior temp was over 100 degrees F.

Totally agree on the tiredness comment - the most memorable viewing I had of Dead Man, the 9th and final time I saw it first run, probably qualifies. Midnight, in a barely-heated theater in February, with plenty of alcohol in me, hypnotic and disconcerting.
I remember you writing the story either here or on FG/CFB, since when I mentioned wanting to see Snow's work theatrically I did think of you(r viewing of 'La Région Centrale' -- lucky you!). I hope the walkouts weren't too obstructive, though I guess they might add to the anti-human feel of the movie.


From yours I've seen Nothing, which I'm a fan of, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which was a bit on the disappointing side for me with regards to time travel & adolescence, and Lady in the Lake sometime earlier this year (as a double feature with Dark Passage) because of my interest for POV-shot cinema. Pretty great early experimentation with the technique (mirrors, cigarettes, blurring of the screen after getting punched).
I don't get distracted by walkouts typically - I certainly experienced plenty of them at festivals and alternative venues and I'm sure a lot of the folks here who regularly go to big fests and see more challenging works can attest to the phenomenon. I don't get it personally, I don't believe I've ever walked out of a film and likely wouldn't unless I got sick or something, but clearly many people have to be getting something specific out of a film and if they don't get it, they bail. Hou's Hai shang hua had lots of walkouts too as I remember, at the Chicago International Film Fest. You get a lot of these folks at that festival anyway, and I'd imagine some other big-city but not ultra prestigious fests who just come in from the suburbs a couple of times a year to prove that they're still cultured and cool, and they end up at some movie that is boring and inaccessible to them. On the other hand I don't remember any walkouts at all during Sátantángó. likely because people knew what they were getting into with it, you don't just casually decide to sit in a room for 8 hours for one film.

I'll have to look back at your POV thread; you are certainly right that there are some cool visual bits in Lady, and I certainly do like it, but I guess I don't feel overall like the experiment was all that exciting in the end - it distracts as much as it compels. On the other hand Dark Passage just rocked me when I saw it for a second time earlier this year, because it's just a more compelling bit of storytelling, and because it really works on my growing location obsession.

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#43

Post by OldAle1 » December 28th, 2018, 3:16 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Green Book - yeah, pretty much nailed it. This is incredibly straightforward and unchallenging stuff; certainly don't look to this movie for any kind of nuanced commentary on black/white relations in the US. But the team of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali do enough to make this comedy-tinged road-movie drama very watchable, in a goes-down-easy crowd pleasing way. But yeah, nothing special at all.
I kept thinking through the film that I'd really like to see those two in any other film together, hell even a buddy-cop movie if it had the right people behind it. They make too good a pair for this to be their only outing together.

The Mule - I was harder on this one than you it seems, but I know you're more of an Eastwood fan than I am. Here's what I wrote a couple weeks back:

Yikes, this was...not good. In what may turn out to very well be Eastwood's last acting role, he plays a 90-year-old Korean War vet who is persona non grata with his family and in dire financial straits, and turns to transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel in order to make money and in turn try to "make good" with his family and his community. Clint is mostly in his Gran Torino-mode here, if perhaps a bit softer at times and more "bumbling old man", but to no surprise he plays to his usual, limited strengths as an actor. But unfortunately, he's also directing a lame script and also not faring well at directing his co-stars here. This is not a thriller (as the film's trailer with ominous, pounding music might lead you to believe), but you would think that the multiple drug runs with increasing stakes - the cocaine loads are bigger/more valuable; his trips get more closely surveilled by cartel members; the DEA slowly begins to close in on him and those he is working for - would ratchet up some tension or raise the stakes to some degree, but this is never effectively conveyed or felt at all. All of the scenes shifting away from Eastwood and to the DEA office, where Bradley Cooper and his boss Laurence Fishburne plan their scheme to take down this operation, are so perfunctory and boringly matter-of-fact. Eastwood's famously workmanlike, quick pace of shooting his films meant that Cooper and Fishburne likely did all their work in a few short days, and it shows. And there's just some weird shit in here, like Eastwood's character being involved in not one, but TWO threesomes...whaaa? :lol: I guess this really must be Eastwood's last time on screen and he wanted to have a lot of fun with that aspect. And on a similar note, if we're to go by director Eastwood's roving camera, he likes big asses a lot. Anyways...it was nice to see Clint again in one of his now-rare screen appearances, but if this is his swan song as an actor, it's a pretty weak note to go out on. And I haven't seen all of his recent outings as a director, but from what I've seen this is his weakest since Invictus.
I can't really disagree with any of that, which is why I said I couldn't really recommend it, it just worked overall for me in spite of the major issues. Maybe I just let my love for Clint's best work infuse this experience a little bit - I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I end up harder on it with a re-watch down the road, not that that's too likely.
The Favourite - probably in my 2018 top three for the time being. Really dug this. Lanthimos makes an early 18th century English period piece/costume drama but outfits it with his trademark idiosyncratic worldview and dark, bawdy sense of humor. All three female leads were great though Emma Stone (your girl, OldAle :D ) stood out for me. Also, this is a contender for having the best final shot for a 2018 film (that I've seen so far, at least).
Yeah, great last shot. I couldn't pick between the three performances really though. It's in my top 5 of the year so for certainly, though it wouldn't make my top 10 of most earlier years - I just haven't seen enough from 2018 yet and likely won't for a while.

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#44

Post by joachimt » December 28th, 2018, 3:48 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 3:03 pm
I don't believe I've ever walked out of a film and likely wouldn't unless I got sick or something
I walked out of the cinema once, during The Dark Knight, because my wife got sick of the camera movements.
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#45

Post by Carmel1379 » December 28th, 2018, 3:52 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 3:03 pm
I don't get distracted by walkouts typically - I certainly experienced plenty of them at festivals and alternative venues and I'm sure a lot of the folks here who regularly go to big fests and see more challenging works can attest to the phenomenon. I don't get it personally, I don't believe I've ever walked out of a film and likely wouldn't unless I got sick or something, but clearly many people have to be getting something specific out of a film and if they don't get it, they bail. Hou's Hai shang hua had lots of walkouts too as I remember, at the Chicago International Film Fest. You get a lot of these folks at that festival anyway, and I'd imagine some other big-city but not ultra prestigious fests who just come in from the suburbs a couple of times a year to prove that they're still cultured and cool, and they end up at some movie that is boring and inaccessible to them. On the other hand I don't remember any walkouts at all during Sátantángó. likely because people knew what they were getting into with it, you don't just casually decide to sit in a room for 8 hours for one film.

I'll have to look back at your POV thread; you are certainly right that there are some cool visual bits in Lady, and I certainly do like it, but I guess I don't feel overall like the experiment was all that exciting in the end - it distracts as much as it compels. On the other hand Dark Passage just rocked me when I saw it for a second time earlier this year, because it's just a more compelling bit of storytelling, and because it really works on my growing location obsession.
I never understood walkouts either, especially from prestigious venues and festivals, where I'd expect less walkouts to occur, given the uniqueness of the screenings. Like I'm always just completely baffled by seeing a headline "There were hundreds of walkouts during 'The House That Jack Built' at Cannes" - OK obviously von Trier's cinema isn't the lightest, but come on, sitting in such a renowned big theatre, during a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and quitting mid-way? Do those posh wankers just come to the festival to make a statement by walking out?

But yeah, otherwise I imagine you're right, in that a film is too boring and inaccessible to people who didn't realise what they signed up for. I never walked out of a film before -- unless you count the 24 hour long 'The Clock' after having seen the 2:19am to 11:11am section [next Saturday I should finally be able to see some more hours!] -- and I don't think I would either.
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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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#46

Post by mightysparks » December 28th, 2018, 3:57 pm

The only time I’ve ever walked out of a film was The Machine, which I saw at Grimmfest in Manchester. The film was goddamn awful and combined with the extremely uncomfortable seats I just couldn’t take it anymore.
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#47

Post by OldAle1 » December 28th, 2018, 4:09 pm

Physical discomfort is certainly something that could do it - I never had any real problems with that when I was younger, but I could at least imagine now that I seem to have a bit of arthritis in my right knee that flares up occasionally - in a really cramped seat it could be an issue I suppose. But of course now I don't really see anything in those kinds of venues that have really terrible seating, except very occasionally the Cinematheque in Madison which has steep classroom seating and is always 100% full. I think a 2 1/2 hour+ film in that environment would be pretty difficult for me now.

There are actually pro critics who walk out of films regularly - Mike D'Angelo is notorious for this, one reason I don't take him even remotely seriously. There are definitely plenty of films I've seen in my life that I started out disliking or even hating or just not getting in the first 20 minutes but ended up loving, and this is actually much more likely in a film festival environment where you might know nothing about the film/director/etc before you get into it. Somebody who's being paid to write about such things should goddamn well be able to sit through almost anything, but I guess for some there's value in the "nothing happened in the first 6 minutes and 20 seconds so I walked out and smoked a blunt and tried to make it with the hot chick at the popcorn concession until her boyfriend came up and punched me out" kind of "review".

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#48

Post by GruesomeTwosome » December 28th, 2018, 11:34 pm

I'm a proud "never walked out on a film at the theater"-er. I don't get it either, barring illness or other emergency.
OldAle1 wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 4:09 pm
I guess for some there's value in the "nothing happened in the first 6 minutes and 20 seconds so I walked out and smoked a blunt and tried to make it with the hot chick at the popcorn concession until her boyfriend came up and punched me out" kind of "review".
Heh, that sounds like the type of "review" you'd commonly find on Letterboxd. While you can sift through people's reviews on there and find some insightful comments, a lot of the "most liked" reviews that get bumped up to the top are try-hard shit like that. Kinda annoying when trying to find some interesting takes on a film and the first reviews you see look like snarky tweets.
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#49

Post by OldAle1 » December 28th, 2018, 11:47 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 11:34 pm
I'm a proud "never walked out on a film at the theater"-er. I don't get it either, barring illness or other emergency.
OldAle1 wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 4:09 pm
I guess for some there's value in the "nothing happened in the first 6 minutes and 20 seconds so I walked out and smoked a blunt and tried to make it with the hot chick at the popcorn concession until her boyfriend came up and punched me out" kind of "review".
Heh, that sounds like the type of "review" you'd commonly find on Letterboxd. While you can sift through people's reviews on there and find some insightful comments, a lot of the "most liked" reviews that get bumped up to the top are try-hard shit like that.
It's actually pretty much something a friend of mine said to me once about 20 years ago, don't remember the context/film though. And also not sure he was being serious, it was hard to tell with this guy.

I like comic reviews or comments myself, but mostly for really terrible movies. When you see shit like that for a Rivette or Godard or Brakhage film it really doesn't read as all that clever. Oh yeah, so you're making a joke about an arthouse movie, I get it, ha ha. Then again it's better than the hordes of 1-star reviews for Black Panther on IMDb that are all heavily upvoted that just reek of racism.

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#50

Post by tobias » December 29th, 2018, 4:08 am

@joachimt & conte d'ete - The literal humor is fantastic, I think it's probably Rohmer's funniest film. I like the characters specifically because the portrayal is rather mundane and subdued. I find it much more relatable than what Hollywood usually describes as a "character ark".

@peeptoad (& all) - yeah, Atanaruat is really cool, loved the physicality of it and how it reminded me of old norse sagas.

@OldAle - coincidentally I have seen Shoah too this year, though in February already. I would really not want to watch it this shortly before christmas (though I did watch it the last day before a short holiday trip). I actually wrote a short review in December though: https://letterboxd.com/tobi196/film/shoah/

I'm somewhat skeptical of Lanzmann himself, also it's status but I find the film itself really does a lot.

Your account of La Region Centrale really makes me want to put watching this with my brother on my bucket list. He actually has a rather good taste (then again is Micheal Snow "good taste"?) but I think this would for sure make him turn mad against me.

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My extended week from when I got home:

Zvenigora (1928) - I'm both confused and delighted. 8

Limite (1931) - beautiful (https://letterboxd.com/tobi196/film/limite/) 9

The Unknown (1927) - very positively surprised at how ghastly and scary this actually was, probably my favorite Browning film. (https://letterboxd.com/tobi196/film/the-unknown/) 9

Millennium Actress (2001) - My last Kon yet unseen, what can I say but that it's very good? (https://letterboxd.com/tobi196/film/millennium-actress/) 9

Three Wishes for Cinderella (1973) - rewatch - yeah, still a great fairy tale 9

Red Meadows (1946) - The dialouge is a real highlight and overall it was surprisingly well made actually. Aside from a couple french films I don't think there are many better WW II resistane films. 8

Norôit (un venegance) (1976) - Very intruiging, I would like to thinker a little bit more about this and Rivette's unfinished tetralogy. Perhaps even attempt a video essay, I just find the movements so fascinating and the space, this is all so unreal, so much more fantastical than what it immitates. 9

The Barefoot Contessa (1954) - Another positive surprise, I tend to be skeptical of Mankiewicz but when he makes good films like this, what can you do? 8

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