Just finished listening to the latest podcast on "favorite films," and it sounds like you guys are really getting the feel for how to do these. In terms of the production, it did feel like it tailed off at the end, and I think both the introduction (a catchy attention grabber to establish theme and mood) and conclusion (I thought there could have been more commentary from others on the last choice(s), as well as a more satisfying wrap up) can be improved upon.
Don't get me wrong, it was very enjoyable as is as a kind of roundtable film chat among friends, and my comments above only apply if you are interested in giving it a more professional feel. I listen at times to film comment's podcasts, and think that the main thing that differentiates theirs is not the commentary (yours was as interesting as enjoyable), but the practice and production, both of which I'm sure will continue to improve on Talking Images (great title, by the way).
I've seen all of the choices spoken about except for Videodrome, which I've been meaning to get to for ages. I have mixed feelings about Cronenberg, I guess, and his style and sensibility doesn't really speak to me, though I'll admit that he's created some very memorable scenes over the years. I did enjoy listening to Sol talk about his love for both the film and director, and always appreciate a passionate intelligent promotion whether it matches my own taste or not, and I have often experienced a kind of empathetic enthusiasm watching films that aren't usually my cup of tea with friends who are passionate about them
As for the other films mentioned, I think they are all standouts, and both Seven Samurai and Last Year at Marienbad have been among my own favorites at certain points in time. I wrote a term paper at university on the latter, and loved Magnificent Seven as a kid, until I saw Seven Samurai, which might be the best "Western" of all time.
As for my own favorites, I posted a bunch after the first podcast in talking about what inspired me to get into film, but I left off speaking about new inspirations towards the end of the 90's. As I consider filmmaking in the 2000's to be one of the watershed decades (perhaps second only to the 1960's in terms of the number and variety of outstanding cinema), I've decided to choose one from that decade and one from the most recent.
In consideration of the 2000's, my first inclinations were to choose In the Mood For Love, or something by Michael Haneke, who reeled off one masterpiece after another for more than a decade. I've always had a thing for tragic yet transformative romances (Hiroshima Mon Amor was my favorite film for years), and though Mood for Love relit that torch for me, it has probably suffered from overexposure, given its appraisal among 21st century cinema.
As for Haneke, it's really hard to choose my favorite of his, and none of them seized my heart the way Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Return did when I saw it theatrically without knowing much about it or the director back in 2003. Absolutely stunning to me, from the first shots until the last. This film does everything with the medium that has made it such an inspiration to me, whether we are talking about scripting, imagery, performances, sound, editing, et. all towards the exploration of its thematic content, and ability to completely sweep me up in its reality.
The Return is essentially about the fractured relationship between an absent father and his two sons who make a mysterious and life changing journey together that tragically concludes without revealing what is most important to everyone involved. A different kind of tragic yet transformative film about love, or in this case, its withholding.
For the 2010's, I'll go in a different direction and nominate Holy Motors: In one sense it is a homage to movies, Carax's own included. It works on so many levels at once that I look back on it in amazement: Every "job" is a reflection of the variety of the roles that are played in the movies, and that we also play in our lives, every skit, a brilliant, unique take on cinematic stories and visual art forms that we are familiar with. At the same time, the film is full of contemporary, surreal twists and commentaries, or juxtapositions that border on genius.
A tour de force performance piece by Denis Levant, it is also an ode to a variety of stories and characters. But more than anything, i saw the "film characters" as symbolic of the different "parts we play" (metaphorically) in the course of our own lives, even, sometimes, during the course of each and every day.
Last edited by cinewest
on May 27th, 2020, 1:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.