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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 34, 2020

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sol
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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 34, 2020

#1

Post by sol » August 23rd, 2020, 12:00 pm

Which Films Did You See Last Week?

Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be awesome if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings. Unfortunately, it has reached the point where it is no longer viable for me as host to comment on everyone else's viewings every week (especially since some people like to use the weekly thread to log their viewings and nothing else). I am always keen to promote movie discussion though, so if you comment on my own viewings, I will comment on yours at my earliest convenience.

Please also note that this is intended as a movie discussion thread, not a large image posting thread. Having too many large images makes this thread difficult to navigate through. If you wish to include more than five images in a reply, please use spoiler tags - [spoiler][/spoiler] - to hide extra images.

This is what I saw:

★★★★ = loved it /// ★★★ = liked it a lot; ~7/10 /// ★★ = has interesting elements; ~6/10 /// ★ = did very little for me; ~5/10 and lower

The Street (1923). Wandering the streets at night to escape the his boring life, the fate of a middle aged man intertwines with a blind grandfather and his toddler grandson in this silent film from Germany. While there are five or six title cards throughout (unlike Murnau's The Last Laugh, which axed title cards altogether) they are few and far between here as the filmmakers try to tell their story visually without words. It is an interesting idea and there are certainly some spectacular shots, from shadows dancing on a ceiling, to the camera spinning around in a spiral during a drinking scene, a to dissolve-over of a skull on a prostitute's face. The sparse dialogue and low lighting though makes it nigh on impossible to keep track of what exactly is happening. The toddler is kind of cute, but none of the adult characters are served well by the sporadic title cards. (first viewing, online) ★★

Guns at Batasi (1964). Stationed at a British colony in Africa to oversee a transition to independence, a stuffy commanding officer struggles to unite his subordinates during a coup d'etat in this war drama. The film is full of intriguing themes and ideas with the protagonist very much representing colonial Britain: contemptuous of local citizens and not willing to let go of power. While such a character could have been a stereotype, as played by Richard Attenborough he is a whole lot more. While loud and daunting on the outside, Attenborough gives his officer a beating human heart as he grapples with challenges to his leadership and his world views. Unfortunately, all the other characters vary from under-developed (Flora Robson) to lifeless and arguably pointless (Mia Farrow), but for Attenborough and his conflicted character, this is well worth the view. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Count Dracula (1970). Most notable nowadays as the film whose sets and outtakes appear in the dazzling Cuadecuc, Vampir, this Spanish-German co-production was actually a big deal in its day as the first film to try to faithfully follow Bram Stoker's iconic novel. Indeed, the first half of Count of Dracula is refreshingly different and even chilling with much more focus on mood and atmosphere than dialogue as we witness Harker travelling to meet the mysterious Count, constantly unsettled by all the strange things he keeps hearing about the man. The second half of the film is nevertheless a bit of a disappointment due to its faithfulness. Dracula becomes very much a background character with far too many dialogue exchanges taking centre stage. Still, a reverse-aging plot and related effects are great, and Klaus Kinski as Renfield is inspired. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Salmonberries (1991). Trying to locate her birth parents, an androgynous, antisocial woman is drawn to a librarian who fled East Germany in this Percy Adlon film. The project has acquired a mixed reputation due to its leisurely, non-urgent pacing with singer KD Lang sometimes feeling miscast in the lead role. The film bears all of the markings of Adlon's best films though and often feels very much like Bagdad Cafe with similarly enchanting music and unusual outskirts environments that the characters find themselves in. Some of the shots are simply exquisite too, with the lines of glowing red berry jars in a pantry and all of the neon turquoises and blues in the librarian's home standing out in particular. There is also a breathtaking a slow motion book thrown through the air. The story though is certainly not as compelling as the music and visuals. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

Scream of Stone (1991). Egged on by a journalist keen on a good story, two rival mountain climbers complete over a South American mountain in this little-seen drama from Werner Herzog. The film fits in well with the rest of Herzog's filmography, focused on two obsessed individuals while showcasing landscapes rarely depicted on film. As a narrative though, the movie is far less impressive. Some haunted jaundiced flashbacks aside, what exists between the mountain climbing shots is nothing short of pure melodrama with a bland love triangle and too much voice-over narration that spells everything out. More focus on the journalist's media sensationalism would have been interesting too. As it is, the film is boosted by some very daring shots of men hanging off the sides and edges of cliffs, but the story is a little too dull for these highs to come with much tension. (first viewing, DVD) ★

For Ever Mozart (1996). Travelling through Switzerland to perform in war-torn Bosnia, a Parisian theatre troupe is detained by suspicious soldiers in this late career Jean-Luc Godard movie. There is actually a lot more weirdness going on plot-wise here, resulting in this being a film that is often difficult to decipher, but the war and cinema/art themes resonate. Of particular note are the prominent Swiss flags on military vehicles while the troupe are bombed, raped and made to strip at gunpoint with Godard suggesting that neutrality is but a dream. The big issue that drives the film though is the point of making art during war (and the relevance of art in war). And then there is the idea of art lasting forever as per the title. So, does Godard look down upon art during war? It's a bit hard to tell Godard's stance on everything here, but his film certainly causes one to think. (first viewing, online) ★★

Haze (2005). Waking up inside a crawlspace with no memory of how he arrived there and unable to properly move about, a Japanese man tries to reason things out in this brief horror feature. While the premise brings the likes of Buried and Cube to mind, this is really something else altogether, largely focused on the protagonist's inability to trust his own eyes as flashbacks blur together with what little he can make out in the darkness. He also constantly wonders if he is dreaming, while there is the thought-provoking idea of having a dream about waking up. If stylish and atmospheric (great audio effects and deliberately limited sense of space), the film has some narrative weaknesses, relying far too heavily on the protagonist talking out loud to himself and repeating the same things ad nauseam. The ending is nifty though and not easy to see coming. (first viewing, online) ★★★

My first trip to the cinema since March:

Tenet (2020). Recruited to stop an arms dealer from selling weapons with deadly "inverted" bullets made using technology from the future, a secret agent soon discovers even more complexities in this Christopher Nolan thriller. As per Inception and Memento, this is a film in which Nolan toys around with our perceptions of reality, existence and what is humanly possible. It is a less character-driven project than those though with an only ever loosely developed protagonist. John David Washington and Robert Pattinson share great chemistry, however, and the film is jam-packed with thought-provoking ideas. In fact, the movie feels condensed rather than bloated at 2.5 hours long; a lot feels like it was left on the cutting room floor as the plot jumps around and the protagonists trot the globe, but it is entertaining and well-crafted with a powerful music score. (first viewing, cinema) ★★★

REVISIONS

Miss Robin Hood (1952). Well crafted right from the opening shot 'inside' a safe burned open, this comedy has a jaded writer of a children's serial finding inspiration to write again after being coaxed into a robbery by an elderly fan who believes he can crack safes like his heroine. The plot is a little messy with shied over character backgrounds and odd superfluous characters (shy son-in-law) but this is an amusing ride with Margaret Rutherford very lively as the child-at-heart fan. The film also does very well reflecting the euphoria and newfound energy that the author finds in his associations with Rutherford to the point that all of the stealing and criminal activities feel like an antidote to his otherwise listless existence. Certainly, there is a lot to like about the dynamic of a writer finally having an adventure just as exciting as those he has penned for years. (second viewing, online) ★★★

The Towering Inferno (1974). Revisited after fifteen years with lowered expectations, The Towering Inferno plays better but still feels insubstantial as an Oscar Best Picture nominee. The plot is threadbare; there are a few conversations about taking shortcuts in construction, but with the fire breaking out when two hours of the movie remain, the majority of the film is close encounters and daring escapes that grow repetitive. The film also barely fleshes out its characters and sits very much in the shadow of Airport in this regard. Fred Astaire gets a dash characterisation in the final hour, but all his awards attention is hard to fathom. None of the other performances are too great either, but between a rousing John Williams score, several impressive pyrotechnic effects and some chic shots of actors illuminated by flames, this is not altogether worthless. (second viewing, DVD) ★

OtherShow
Target for Killing (1966). While investigating a nefarious organisation that has been experimenting with rats, hypnosis and telepathy, an ageing secret agent befriends a young woman who the organisation wants to assassinate in this Central European James Bond variant. The film gets off to a solid enough start with fancy 007 style opening credits and music; the initial assassination attempt (the entire crew of a plane that the woman is travelling on parachute out midflight) is also insanely over-the-top. The overall film though is not quite as electric as it might sound. The organisation's bizarre experiments mostly linger in the background, the assassination attempts are too ridiculous to take seriously and Stewart Granger does not exactly possess Bond's swagger. He cannot convincingly lie either, becoming stuck holding a possibly deadly snake at one point. (first viewing, online) ★

Die Stewardessen (1971). Released with sexually suggestive artwork, this is actually more of a tongue-in-cheek comedy than a soft-core movie. While there is no shortage of nudity as various stewardesses engage in one night stands during their time-off, there is little physical intimacy and what exists is cheekily edited with bizarre cutaways to such randomness as cows, Swiss flags and the Swiss Alps. Some of the cutaways (certain statues) have definite connotations, but the filmmakers mostly seem keen on toying with our generic expectations with their splicing - something that the near-meta conclusion supports. The film further benefits from the casting of actresses who really seem to be having fun. There is little in the way of characterisation and plot, but this is not nearly as worthless or sleazy as it sounds with lovely travelogue footage in the mix too. (first viewing, online) ★★

Boarding School (1978). Desperate to lose their virginity, Swiss boarding school girls pose as professional prostitutes to make it with the students at a nearby boys' boarding school in this strange coming-of-age comedy. The film is not nearly as raunchy at it sounds with limited nudity (though there are many underwear shots) and much more focus on their clumsiness while pretending to be professionals than anything else. While this might make Boarding School sound nicely restrained, it actually feels lacking in zaniness and energy. There is a memorable live insect eating dare and a series of stripteases towards the end are both imaginative and well edited against the teachers dancing very differently on a night off, but this is a mostly sluggish ride with Nastassja Kinski seldom given the chance to impress as much as she would in Tess just one year later. (first viewing, DVD) ★
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 23rd, 2020, 12:01 pm

«Think of your mind as a hill covered in snow, and your thoughts are sleds going down that hill. And after a while, after a lot of thoughts have gone down that hill there will be these grooves and they are going to get deeper and deeper, and at a certain point you can't go down the hill without slipping into those grooves. That's who we are at this age. And what psychedelics do is flatten the snow. Lots of fresh powder. And you can then take the sled anywhere you wanna go.»
- Michael Pollan, TJRE #1121

The Heart of Screenland 2020 justin kelly
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because you owe it to yourself... : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5010

Suite Armoricaine 2015 pascale breton. 6

Alien Dreamtime (featuring spoken word by Terence McKenna) 2003 ken adams. 7-
«...nature is a novelty-conserving engine...»

山の讃歌 燃ゆる若者たち / Epitaph to My Love 1961 篠田正浩/masahiro shinoda. 4+
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Tesla 2020 michael almereyda. 7+
«We are what our thoughts have made us. So take care about what you think. Thoughts live, they travel far.»
«Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.»

Le Horla / Ορλά 1966 jean-daniel pollet 9-
the Horla it is him the Horla he has come the vulture has eaten the pigeon the wolf has eaten the lamb the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo man has killed the lion with an arrow with a spear with gunpowder but the Horla will make of man what man has made of the horse and the ox his chattel his slave and his food by the mere power of his will. Woe to us. A new being... Why not?

Work Is a 4-Letter Word 1968 peter hall. (/w Carmel) 4

#Horror 2015 tara subkoff. 7
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this WORLD is UNREAL like a SNAKE in a ROPE 2011 robert millis. 7
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tear down the old dogmas and create anewShow
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and then the FIREWORKS

John Frusciante Plays and Sings 2001 vincent gallo. 7
you don't throw your life away going inside

Before Midnight 2013 richard linklater. (2nd viewing) 9

Sommarlek / Summer Interlude 1951 the bergman. (2nd viewing) 8
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shorts

Z = |Z:Z•Z-1 mod 2|-1: The Old Victrola 2019 andrew norman wilson. (2 viewings) 7

Noisedive 2015 johan nordberg. 7+
even computers can only see what they know

Traum A Dream 2002 dirk de bruyn. 7

Pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse... / As Long As You Get Drunk 1958 jean-daniel pollet. 7

Goldilocks and the Three Bears 1958 harry kerwin. (with RiffTrax) 2+


other

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1525 - Tim Dillon 2020. 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1397 - S.C. Gwynne 2019. 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1527 - David Blaine 2020. 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1121 - Michael Pollan 2018. 7+
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partly experienced Joe Rogans: #1528 Nikki Glaser, #1250 Johann Hari, #950 Abby Martin, #1349 David Sinclair


didn't finish

I See You (Adam Randall, 2019) [49 min]
Dark: S01E01 (2017) [23 min]


notable online media

top:
An Alien World Within a Jar │String Algae Ecosphere - 5 Month Update
[clips of David Blaine blowing minds, teaching how to hold ones breath and promoting his "Most Ambitious Feat Yet"]
[the "TODAY'S NUMBER IS..."series on YT channel "DAVID LYNCH THEATER" with prelude episode "JAR FINAL"]
Slavic train with hardbass
rest:
[JRE Clips (David Blaine Master, Fake Martial Artists, Best of the Week)]
Der Glückswohnblock - Alt Erlaa (1/2) | Abenteuer Leben
Sam Harris's Quick Advice for Lost and Depressed People
The Secrets of El Castillo | Buried Truth of the Maya
Larry Hagman 'All Politicians Should Use LSD'
---

«A sense of banality is just from repetition, but you're put back in touch with... you know, a platitude is a truth that has been drained of all emotion. And the emotion comes back and it becomes really powerful. [...] ...but is THAT right or is THAT right, and I actually think the experience is more truthful than the ironic, cynical perspective that we bring to it in our everyday lives which is a defense against powerful emotion and being overwhelmed every day by "wow, love!", you know, whatever it is.»
- Michael Pollan, TJRE #1121 (on psychedelic drug experiences)
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on August 23rd, 2020, 12:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
We do not have to understand new things, but by dint of patience, effort and method to come to understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.Image
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

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Onderhond
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#3

Post by Onderhond » August 23rd, 2020, 12:03 pm

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Quite a bit of mediocre material this week. Nice to see the Russians aren't backing down on their genre films (though it would be nice to find out that raises the bar just a little more), Riley's first film showed a lot of potential and Coppola's Bling Ring was a suprisingly modern coming of age film, but that's about it for the positives. On the lower end a bunch of ICM-found films, I guess most people are familiar with that breakdown by now.


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01. 4.0* - Inugami by Masato Harada (2001)
A very mysterious and sensual look at a small, Japanese mountain town. Miki is a spinster whose life gets turned upside down when a young teacher is hired from outside the village. With a strong soundtrack and cinematography, some neat twists and a couple of baffling moments, Harada delivers something really special.

02. 3.5* - Sorry to Bother You by Boots Riley (2018)
Sorry to Bother You wasn't released that long ago, but it's already building up a healthy a cult reputation, deservedly so. Director Boots Riley had trouble getting his film proper distribution, luckily word-of-mouth advertising on the web made sure that this one didn't just slip through the cracks. While it starts off relatively subtle, the film becomes increasingly weirder and the final half hour is pretty damn absurd (though often by being quite literal). Saying too much would spoil the surprise, but it's safe to say that Riley's vision is completely unique, the film industry could use more people like him. Stanfield's performance is amazing, the social critique is abundantly present but doesn't bog the film down, there's some fun visual trickery and the soundtrack is on point. Even so, some small but vital part is missing to make this truly great, though I'm certain Riley will get there if he gets a second chance. While it stops just short of being a masterpiece, this is definitely worth a try if you like films that are different from the norm.

03. 3.5* - Sputnik by Egor Abramenko (2020)
A fine mix of horror and sci-fi, with a serious dash of oldskool Sovjet aesthetics. The Orbita 4 mission return home with an extra visitor, a creature that feeds on his host while growing more independent of him by the day. Renegade doctor Klimova is summoned to help out with the examination of this strange and hostile alien. Russia is doing a good job pushing genre films nowadays. The horror and sci-fi genres are thriving and Egor Abramenko was smart enough to combine the two. There's a bit of Alien and Apollo 18 in there, though the film itself is a bit slower and slightly more focused on the psychological aspects. Performances are fine (but please watch the original Russian dub), special effects are on point, the soundtrack is quite majestic and the stark, clean Sovjet architecture gives it a some extra flair. At times a bit too slow and the ending could've been slightly better, but overall a very good genre film.

04. 3.5* - The Fate of the Furious by F. Gary Gray (2017)
While I'm not the biggest fan of the series, I must give credit where due. The people behind the franchise have been pretty consistently besting themselves with each new entry in the series. That's not a given (just look at all those 80s horror franchises), especially when you're already 8 films in. I will say that "besting" is pretty much limited to making the action bigger, crazier and more explosive. If you want serious character development, a solid plot or engrossing drama you better look elsewhere. If on the other hand you're content with some of the best action scenes ever put on screen, F8 has you covered. The cast does a decent job, though mostly because their characters are tailored to their own personas. The introduction is a bit long and Theron is a disappointing villain, but once the car action begins that's all quickly forgotten. The film doesn't really slow down after that and the finale is one of the best in the series so far. Good fun.

05. 3.5* - The Bling Ring by Sofia Coppola (2013)
I'm not a big Sofia Coppola fan, so this film was a pretty pleasant surprise. The Bling Ring is based on a true story about a group of Californian youngsters who invade celebrity houses when they're away from home. When they're there, they steal just the right amount of bling, so their victims won't even notice anyone's been in their home. Call it the nihilistic version of Robin Hood. The film makes an interesting point on how the media idolizes both celebrity lifestyles and the people who rob from them for their own gain. As long as is it glitters, the media and the public will love it. It's also a coming of age story focused on the rich and the famous, the kids who are so pampered they grow up feeling they can get away with everything. Coppola's direction is on point. The social media lifestyle, a soundtrack filled with appropriate party music and performances that perfectly capture the greed, nihilism, but also the rebellion and freedom of the characters. It's a tight, compact, fun and poignant little film, which sadly is a bit too contemporary to appeal to a large audience. I wouldn't be surprised if this film is going to be looked at with different eyes a few decades from now though.

06. 3.0* - Monster Hunt 2 by Raman Hui (2018)
Considering the success of the first film, I'm not surprised the sequel didn't take too long to materialize. Raman Hui returns as director, so does the core of the primary cast. The only big surprise there is that they actually managed to convince Tony Leung Chiu-Wai to take up the lead role, that's quite an upgrade for a film of this stature. The concept of the film hasn't changed a bit. Monster Hunt 2 is a pleasant mix of comedy, fantasy, action and adventure, blending whatever is popular and draws people to the movie theater. Hui keeps a pretty decent balance though, making sure that no genre drowns out another. Sadly the biggest problem is still here. The monsters/creatures look like generic, unattractive big blobs of CG. It's definitely a stylistic choice, because technically the CG isn't all that bad, and they blend in with the real world well enough. It's just that design-wise they look like a toddler crafted them. Monster Hunt 2 is more of the same, which makes it a decent blockbuster, but nothing more.

07. 3.0* - Backcountry by Adam MacDonald (2014)
When a film starts with people driving off for a weekend of camping, a few scenarios are possible. Either we'll be dealing with degenerate hillbillies, disgruntled and reclusive hunters or wild animals. Backcountry picks the latter, which inevitable means it's more of a thriller than a straight-up horror film. I quite like the camping/animal attack niche. The better films in the genre tend to do a good job at getting that feeling or remoteness and helplessness across. In combination with some mad/dangerous animals, it usually makes for 90 minutes of simple but amusing entertainment. Adam MacDonald does a pretty good job. The introduction is a tad long (and a little misleading, which doesn't leave that much time for the actual animal attacks) and the ending is a bit too convenient, but the setting is nice, actors are decent and there's more than enough tension to get through the 90 minutes without a hitch. Add a few gruesome injuries and you can't really go wrong with this one.

08. 3.0* - American Honey by Andrea Arnold (2016)
Arnold doing her thing in America. It's a bit weird maybe to see a British director tackling American youth culture so head-on, but Arnold has a real knack for this kind of material, and she once again sculpts a pretty interesting picture with at least a handful of memorable scenes. Arnold follows Star, a young woman stuck with an abusive family and three younger siblings to take care of. One day she runs into a group of travelling kids who move around and sell magazines for a living. She decides it's time for her to pack her bags and start living her own life, so she joins the group, and they're off to Kansas. The soundtrack is pretty decent but a little on the nose, the aspect ratio is distracting (I get the reasoning, it just doesn't work for me) and the film can't really sustain its runtime. But there are also plenty of moment with beauty. The cinematography is fine, characters feel realistic and there are a couple strong performances to enjoy. A solid film, though not the masterpiece some make it out to be.

09. 3.0* - Cherry Blossoms [Kirschblüten - Hanami] by Doris Dörrie (2008)
A film with some serious ups and downs. Director Dörrie didn't make it easy on herself when she decides to mix a dramatic story on love and mourning with a Japanese travel vlog. The strict, rather dry German vibes don't gel too well with Japanese culture, which makes for a tricky blend of two worlds colliding. The first part is spent in Germany, where Trudi finds out her husband suffers from an advanced stage of cancer. Unable to tell him directly, she pushes him it's time to take some time off together. They go to visit their children in Berlin, but they are living their own lives and don't quite understand this sudden visit of their parents. The second part is set in Japan and is more focused on mourning. There are some very poignant and beautiful scenes hidden away here, but not everything works and some moments feel a bit too construed and emotionally dishonest. Nice performances, decent cinematography and a fine ending make sure the good prevails in the end though.

10. 3.0* - Con Air by Simon West (1997)
Con Air is one of the quintessential action films of the 90s. It's one of those films that most people have seen at one time or another, present company included, though that was well before I became serious about film. I didn't expect too much from this revision, turns out it's actually a pretty decent watch. At least, when you're in the mood for some simple, over-the-top action antics. Con Air isn't to be taken serious, though that's hardly a big surprise with Nicolas Cage headlining the film. I would even go as far as to say it's exactly what makes this film bearable, a more serious approach would've sucked the fun right out of it. Crazy characters, random explosions and a solid mix of action and thriller elements are the main ingredients here. The film's a bit long maybe, but West makes sure it never slows down too much. John Malkovich also deserves a bit of praise for his part as the bad guy, apart from that there's not much to say about Con Air. A decent action flick, nothing more, nothing less.

11. 3.0* - Boy A by John Crowley (2007)
A solid British drama about a young kid who has to integrate back into society after spending time in jail. The nature of his crimes aren't immediately revealed, instead Crowley focuses on the steps he goes through to start his life anew. He takes on a new identity, moves to a new city and starts a new job. Having spent a long time in prison comes with its own set of challenges. Jack lacks social skills, isn't up to speed on technological advancements and doesn't even know how to behave around girls. A woman at his job fancies him though, and she is willing to put in the extra effort. Crowley delivers a decent drama. Performances are solid, the flashbacks to the jack's crime add some welcome tension and even though the plot is a little predictable (it's no spoiler that people will find out about his old identity), it doesn't really weaken the emotional impact. Nothing too exceptional, but good filler.

12. 3.0* - Samurai Kids [Mizu no Tabibito: Samurai Kizzu] by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi (1993)
Delve a bit deeper into Ôbayashi's oeuvre and you'll soon find out that he made quite a few films aimed at younger audiences. Samurai Kids is such a film, though luckily it retains Ôbayashi's distinctive style, so if you're a fan of his weirder output you shouldn't worry too much about this being a complete dud. The film follows Satoru, a young kid who finds a miniature samurai along the river banks. The samurai isn't doing too well after being exposed to the polluted river water. Satoru decides to take care of him, but a pesky raven is tailing the samurai and keeping him hidden from his parents also proves to be quite a challenge. Don't expect technical excellence, instead Ôbayashi aims for charm, with some fun stop motion scenes, plenty of odd camera angles and hyperactive camera work. It's a bit weird to see this in a children's film, but it does a good job of setting it apart from its peers. A fun an amusing diversion, though not his best work.

13. 3.0* - Dear Ex [Shei Xian Ai Shang Ta De] by Chih-Yen Hsu, Mag Hsu (2018)
A decent drama, though a bit too by the numbers. I don't necessarily mind gay-themed dramas and I'm also aware some countries are still struggling more than others with sexual preference, but the films tackling this particular subject always end up being very similar to each other. The main selling point of Dear Ex is the cinematography, which is definitely a step up from its peers. The beautiful colors and strong camera work really stand out, then again this is a Taiwanese film, so I'm not that surprised. The soundtrack is pretty nice too, though not quite as distinguished. The story revolves around the clash between a man's ex-wife and his gay lover. When the man dies his inheritance goes to his lover, not his son, which angers his ex-wife. Through a series of flashbacks, the entire backstory is revealed, though sadly it's all quite predictable and the dramatic impact isn't as big as I'd hoped. It's not a bad film, just a little too familiar.

14. 2.5* - Burning [Beoning] by Chang-dong Lee (2018)
What could've been a decent mystery, is dragged down by its somewhat plain and unimaginative arthouse execution. The plot is interesting enough, but Lee drags out every scene to its breaking point. When it works the result is magical, more often it fails and the film becomes unbearable. Jong-su, an aspiring writer working as a delivery guy, runs into Hae-mi, an old friend. The two hit it off, and he promises her to take care of her cat while she's away on holiday. When she returns she introduces him to Ben, a well off, confident guy who seems to share a special bond with Hae-mi. When Hae-mi suddenly disappears again, Jong-su suspects Ben. There's an uneasy atmosphere that lingers from the very start. It's pretty clear that something is off, but it's hard to tell what it is exactly. The film itself is also sparse with information and the ending leaves plenty of loose ends. While that's all nice and interesting, the pacing is just too slow and neither the mystery nor the audiovisual qualities are strong enough to cover it up. A bit disappointing.

15. 2.5* - The Island Closest to Heaven [Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Shima] by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi (1984)
Not really the kind of film I'd expected from Obayashi. The Island Closest to Heaven is a rather chirpy and upbeat drama, a film that sometimes feels like a travel documentary/advertisement. Most of the film is set in New Caledonia, a group of French islands to the east of Australia which prove to be quite photogenic. Keiko, a young woman, travels to the islands all by herself. It's the first big journey she undertakes on her own, as she's looking for a little white island that is supposedly the place where God descends if you want to talk to him. Keiko is part of a travel group, but she quickly separates from them and ventures off to explore on her own. New Caledonia is a pretty pristine and idyllic place, Obayashi makes excellent use of the natural beauty to give his film some extra flair. The performances are rather weak though, the drama can get a little saccharine and Keiko's quest feels a little random. But most importantly, non of the Obayashi quirk that makes his film stand out. It's not bad, but it started to feel a little dated.

16. 2.5* - Anne of Green Gables: Road to Green Gables [Akage no An: Gurîn Gêburuzu E no Michi] by Isao Takahata (2010)
Not really a 2010 film, instead it's a compilation/rework of the first 6 episodes of the original TV series (1979), which lists Takahata as series director. Just to say that you shouldn't expect a modern Ghibli-like Takahata, but an early 80s TV anime with strong Western influences, recut to resemble a feature film. I'm not familiar with the original Montgomery novel, nor with the original anime adaptation, but I've seen plenty of similar series on Dutch TV when I was younger. The style is very typical, charming but rather basic, with a clear love for rural environments and traditional values. The animation is basic, but there are some dream-like sequences that rise well above expected TV quality. Anne is also a fun character. Quite chatty and a little exhausting, but her inquisitive outlook on life is refreshing. The film is a too slow though, with hardly anything happening within these 100 minutes. It's not bad, but it's clear the pacing is better suited for a TV series than a feature film.

17. 2.5* - Special Actors by Shin'ichirô Ueda (2019)
Ueda's One Cut of the Dead wasn't a personal favorite, but it was a spirited and original attempt to revitalize the zombie genre. It had one of the best reveals in recent years, which helped it overcome its no-budget roots. While its runaway success was definitely earned, it left Ueda with a serious challenge for his second film. Repeat the same trick and it would feel derivative, make a more straightforward film and his limited cinematic prowess would get in the way. Special Actors tries to do a bit of both, but in the end the film's a bit too transparent and ends up a decent but middle-of-the-road attempt to repeat his earlier success. Ueda can't hide the film's lack of budget and performances are mediocre across the board. The plot is pretty decent though, about a young kid who joins a company of actors who are deployed in real life in order to solve people's issues. Special Actors isn't terrible, but it's too long, too simple and it lacks distinctive qualities.

18. 2.0* - Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig (2017)
Gerwig's coming of age drama garnered a lot of critical acclaim, for the most part I found it quite dull and predictable, sporting very unpleasant and uninteresting characters who simple go through the motions that are inherent to the genre. That is to say, it was exactly what I expected it to be. The entire film hinges on Christine's character. She calls herself "Lady Bird" though, that and the fact she grows up in a rather traditional American family is probably all you need to know to fill in the remaining blanks. Some generic drama between Christine and her mom ensues, but I can't say I really cared. Ronan at least tried her best to make something of it, but she can't rise above her character. The rest of the cast is pretty basic, the film feels timeless (which is extremely odd for a coming of age drama) and the styling is bland. The decent pacing and the short runtime are pretty much the only things saving this film from complete damnation.

19. 2.0* - Johnny Mnemonic by Robert Longo (1995)
I actually liked this film when I was younger. It was one of the first times I saw Kitano (though didn't really "know" him back then), and I remembered it as a pretty interesting cyberpunk flick with some surprising anime influences. One thing is certain: Johnny Mnemonic didn't preserve very well, watching it back now, it's an extremely cheap and dated affair. It's not a big surprise that the director didn't make any more films after this one. The effects are absolutely ridiculous, the performances are beyond camp and the sets look like Longo himself made them in his backyard (or in MS Paint, for the digital ones). Add a wooden Reeves, a faltering Lundgren and Kitano who tries to mutter English dialogue and you have a recipe for disaster. The film's only saving grace is that it goes all in. Longo clearly believed in this film and introduces some pretty far out ideas, including a cybernetic dolphin and a killer monk. It's a big mess and it's really not a good film, but it's so stupendously cheesy that I still had a bit of fun watching Johnny Mnemonic unfold.

20. 2.0* - Deep Dark by Michael Medaglia (2015)
A film with potential, but writer/director Michael Medaglia doesn't make it easy for himself. The premise of the film is rather interesting, but it's one of those films where a lot hinges on the execution and Medaglia isn't skilled enough to hide Deep Dark's low-budget roots, which is its undoing. A struggling artist finally gets a break when a hole in the wall becomes his muse. It's not just a regular hole though, it has its own voice, hopes and dreams. Quite mysterious indeed, but also rather silly, so you need a solid foundation of capable actors and strong audiovisual qualities to keep the mystery going. That's where Deep Dark falls flat. Performances are rather poor and the film looks and sounds quite cheap. There are a couple of half-decent scenes and there's enough intrigue to reach the end of the film without too much trouble, but ultimately it's really not convincing enough to make it work.

21. 2.0* - Replicas by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (2018)
A Keanu Reeves vehicle that feels like it was released 20 years ago, rather than 2. It's a pretty ho-hum sci-fi flick that reiterates the moral issues around cloning and ends up being a rather basic thriller, simply because it doesn't have much interesting insights to add to the issues it brings up. Reeves is back to his wooden self, though the rest of the cast isn't any better. The setup is very transparent and introduces a plot without any surprising revelations or novel twists and turns. There's a little action, some cheesy and borderline outdated sci-fi concepts and a bit of poorly executed drama, none of it very impressive. Director Nachmanoff feels lost, Reeves was probably disappointed he didn't pick a better film and not even the holographic UI designer appeared to be out of fresh ideas. This might've been decent two decades ago, but nowadays the execution here simply doesn't cut it anymore. It's still somewhat amusing in a daft/cheesy kind of way, but it's not enough to safe this film.

22. 1.5* - Mommy by Xavier Dolan (2014)
My first Dolan is a disappointment. A lot has been said about the 1:1 ratio, personally I felt it didn't deliver on its promise (i.e. bringing the audience closer to the characters while making the film feel more claustrophobic), instead it just made it look uglier. It was a 130-minute distraction, but hardly the worst part of Mommy. This was the kind of social drama that reminded me of the Dardenne films. Everything and everyone is made to appear as drab and unattractive as possible. The characters are in a constant shouting match with each other, drama is the norm and whenever the film allows for some pleasantness, you can be sure it ends up being a daydream. The performances are extremely over-the-top, the characters are grating and annoying. The few moments Dolan forces them to shut up are by far the best scenes of the film. The soundtrack is also painfully bad, a worst off pop music that just adds insult to injury. Some consider Dolan to be the future of cinema, Mommy to me felt like a film made by some 50-year-old director.

23. 1.5* - Happy Ghost [Hoi Sam Gwai] by Clifton Ko (1984)
A typical but underperforming Clifton Ko comedy. The titular character may be an actual ghost, but don't expect any serious horror elements here. Happy Ghost (what's in a name) is a full-blown romantic comedy. It's not quite as crazy as I'd hoped, and when Ko doesn't go full in on the comedy his films tend to be a bit bland. A group of young girls run into a ghost on a camping trip. Lucky for them it's a friendly ghost, who decides to help them with their everyday trials and tribulations. That means school dances, exams, bullying and of course, boys. Not really the most inspired plot and Ko tackles it with a straight face, which wasn't the best of ideas. Performances are poor, the structure is rather fragmented and the wayward drama feels unnecessary. The film is fun for a while (the first 30 minutes or so), after that it becomes dull and repetitive. A somewhat disappointing Ko that needed to be a lot crazier to be actually funny. Quite the dud.

24. 1.5* - Stuart Little 2 by Rob Minkoff (2002)
Pretty much on par with the first film. That means it's a little better than most US CG animations of that time, but hardly worth recommending, unless you're looking for an age-appropriate film to show your toddlers. Apart from that, I think the target audience for this film is pretty narrow. Stuart and his brother George are slowly growing apart. George has made friends of his own, which leaves Stuart without anyone to play with. Until he meets a bird (an actual one, though she's also female), who literally drops into his little car. The two hit it off, but the bird is hiding a secret. The animation is cute, the designs and colorful and charming, but the rest of it is extremely safe, mushy and clean, to the point where it can get a little sickening. Characters are dull, Stuart's adventures are quite lame and the drama is way too geared at US morality. It's decent for the little ones, I like a bit more edge, even if it's just children's entertainment.

25. 1.5* - Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks (1974)
One of the main reasons I don't like westerns is because they're so damn serious, so I figured a comedy western might be more up my alley. I'm not a big Mel Brooks fan though, on the other hand there aren't that many comedy westerns to choose from, so I figured I'd just give Blazing Saddles a chance. Like most other Brooks films I've seen, the comedy just doesn't do enough for me. It's not that I don't like Brooks' style, he is after all a major influence on the likes of Naked Gun and Hot Shots, it's just that the jokes feel a bit simplistic, and they're too few and far between for this type of comedy. There are a handful of funny moments here, mostly when they're breaching the fourth wall or just being completely daft, but the scenes in between the jokes are pretty dire and when they don't land, there's really very little that kept me interested. Blazing Saddles is slightly better than an average western, but that's not saying much.

26. 1.5* - Yellow Earth [Huang Tu Di] by Kaige Chen (1984)
Kaige Chen is a director whose career got off to a rough start. Part of China's 5th Generation, his early work lacks the finesse of fellow director Yimou Zhang and is easily categorized as a bland and depressing arthouse drama. Yellow Earth is another film about the Chinese revolutionaries, full of poverty-stricken rural vistas and shrill Chinese folk songs. Yellow Earth is a widely celebrated film of course, everyone in the West loves it when China portrays itself as a nation full of country bumpkins who are trailing at least one century behind Western civilization. I've grown tired of these films and without the stylistic prowess of his contemporaries, there's just very little here for me. Performances are mediocre, the soundtrack is a struggle and the landscape photography isn't as nice as it should've been. The entire film ends up being a test of patience, with only a handful moments that break free from its depressing reigns. At least it's not too long, but I prefer Chen's more recent output.

27. 1.5* - Toss Me a Dime [Tire Dié] by Fernando Birri (1960)
It seems many of the well-regarded, classic documentaries are mostly about the same thing: people in peril, people having to deal with poverty, social injustice and overall tough living conditions. Enter Toss Me a Dime, the Argentinian entry in this category. The title of the film says it all really. After a short (somewhat pointless introduction) on Santa Fe - the city where this takes place - the documentary quickly shifts focus to the people living in the Tire Dié neighborhood (meaning 'throw me 10 cents'). It what they shout whenever a train passes in their quarters, as the people living there are all struggling with poverty. Using a mix of voice over narration and interviews, the film gives a pretty decent insight into the lives of the people surviving there. The thing is that I've seen this subject done so many times before, that there's really little value in seeing it once again. Sure enough, this doc is about Argentina, but it could've been about anywhere else really.

28. 1.5* - Tootsie by Sydney Pollack (1982)
Cross-dressing comedies really aren't my favorite niche. It's not the cross-dressing itself that bugs me, rather the tired and predictable comedy that comes with it. Mix it with a basic romance and apparently you have one of the greatest films of all time. Not sure how and where Tootsie found its critical acclaim, but it's time for a revision. Dustin Hoffman plays a talented but overly demanding actor who can't get a decent part anymore. Desperate as he is, he dresses up as a woman and lands a job in no time. He falls in love with the character he created, but when he starts making friends the situation becomes quite complicated. There's some (rather obvious) subtext on how women are often treated as second rate citizens (both on the job and privately), but in the end Tootsie is little more than a basic romantic comedy. The film looks pretty bland, performances are unremarkable and the plot is very predictable, no idea why some people got so excited over this film.

29. 1.0* - Annie by John Huston (1982)
Pretty certain I'd seen this film before, at least parts of it. Maybe I just imagined it though, the film's theme song is so ubiquitous that it's almost impossible to go in fresh. Whatever the case, I didn't recognize many of the specifics, so apart from some familiar songs and a general idea of Annie's character, it was like seeing the film for the first time. Aileen Quinn's Annie is the star of the show, at least if you can appreciate the smug, Hollywood-cheese that drips from her performance. It's not easy feeling for a character that appears fake as a cardboard and annoys from start to finish. And it's not like her singing voice is a saving grace either. The music and songs are pretty terrible, the cinematography is poor for a musical and with a runtime over 2 hours it's a real test of patience. Not that I'm a big fan of Huston's older work, but at least he was visibly comfortable directing darker, noirish films. Annie turned out to be a pretty dire and unattractive musical.

30. 1.0* - The Philadelphia Story by George Cukor (1940)
It took me a while before I realized this was the blueprint for High Society, one of the more decent classics I've seen so far. The story isn't all that unique of course (two guys fighting over a girl), but after some of the details were revealed it was obvious I was watching more or less the same film. High Society was decent because of its charming cast. Sinatra, Crosby and to a lesser extent Kelly made the constant banter amusing and fun to follow. Grant, Stewart and Hepburn on the other hand are completely unfit for the task. Wooden performances, uncomfortable dialogues and complete lack of charm sink this film. Though director Cukor also bears some of the responsibility, as the direction feels flat and lifeless. In the end I couldn't care less about these characters. The comedy doesn't shine through, the film looks way too functional and at 110 minutes it's at least half an hour too long. Not good, they made the right choice remaking this one.

31. 1.0* - Les Vampires by Louis Feuillade (1915)
Probably the oldest crime film I've seen so far. I say film, but it's really a serial as it consists of 10 episodes of various lengths. It's a welcome structure for those who want to break up this 7-hour long experience, 420 minutes really is a bit much (let's call that an understatement) for the material at hand. I've seen other lengthy classics before (like Gance's Napoléon), but at least they made a real effort to stand out. Les Vampires is just a 7-hour long crime narrative, with few ups and down, little cinematic prowess and simply a ton of plot to wade through. Oh, and don't expect any Gothic horror creatures either, Les Vampires is merely the name of the criminal gang. The runtime is simply ridiculous, then again I'm not a big fan of series either. Watching this from start to finish was quite a chore, especially because the story is way too basic (it's only epic in length) and the cinematic qualities are below par. No doubt the film has historic significance, but that's not enough considering the excessive runtime.

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#4

Post by peeptoad » August 23rd, 2020, 12:59 pm

Hi sol, only seen one of your again: Count Dracula (1970) which I rated it a 6. Of your views I haven't seen I guess Haze seems the most interesting to me.

I only say 4 films last week and one was a rewatch-

Despair (1978) 6-7
Dealer (2004) 7
Hot Fuzz (2007) 8*
Der Fluch der grünen Augen (1964) Cave of the Living Dead aka Night of the Vampires 5
*rewatch

Despair was okay. I enjoyed the lead actor's performance (and I saw several comments about this around on the web, so it must be one of the film's more revered qualities?) and the film had an interesting visual quality that I liked, plus just some decent dramatic flair. The found some of the dialogue (which bordered on incessant at times) a little tiring though in some scenes. It was my first Fassbinder film and maybe not the best choice for an initial view from him.
Dealer is (or was) FOTW. I made a comment about that one in the weekly thread, but it was pretty bleak (feeling and looking).
Cave of the Living Dead aka Night of the Vampires aka Curse of the Green Eyes aka ..... had some neat visual components involving the vampires themselves (e.g. an early shot using shadows, etc.), and Hoven was pretty good. Otherwise, not recommended.

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#5

Post by peeptoad » August 23rd, 2020, 1:14 pm

Just erased my entire post again. This time I made an error and not the board refreshing. Onderhond I had a long exchange ready for you since I have seen several of yours, but retyping all of that is a bitch and a half, so maybe I'll try again later.
In a nutshell:

Backcountry 6
Con Air 6
Burning/Beoning 6
Lady Bird 5-6
Blazing Saddles 6-7
Tootsie 9
Annie 4

Les vampires (1915) is on my watch list...

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#6

Post by sol » August 23rd, 2020, 2:42 pm

peeptoad wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 12:59 pm
Hi sol, only seen one of your again: Count Dracula (1970) which I rated it a 6. Of your views I haven't seen I guess Haze seems the most interesting to me.

I only say 4 films last week and one was a rewatch-

Despair (1978) 6-7
Dealer (2004) 7
Hot Fuzz (2007) 8*
Der Fluch der grünen Augen (1964) Cave of the Living Dead aka Night of the Vampires 5
Franco's Count Dracula is an interesting film for sure; not half as exploitative as one would expect from his name on the credits and actually pretty atmospheric as it faithfully retells the first part of Stoker's tale. I can't remember whether or not you had seen Cuadecuc, Vampir, but it is really interesting just how different the doco about the film looks to the actual product, though I guess that's what you get when you are working with outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage. I'd like to a double-feature of the films one day.

Haze is a pretty interesting single location film done a budget. Fairly nifty. From the director of Tetsuo, which I haven't seen to compare. :whistling:

Yours:

I'm sorry that you didn't like Despair more. Depending on whether you regard World on a Wire as a miniseries or film, Despair is my choice for Fassbinder's best motion picture; certainly it is far more stylish and atmospheric than the talk-heavy dramas that he is better known for (Veronika Voss is stunning to look at though). Surprised that you aren't more familiar with Bogarde; Death in Venice, The Night Porter, Victim... he is behind some of cinema's very finest performances.

Dealer was pretty interesting at the time, but yes bleak. Hot Fuzz is my least favourite of the Cornetto trilogy and the only one that I liked less upon rewatch, but of course Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are a fun team. I haven't been too impressed with what I have seen of Hoven's acting this month, so good to hear that about Cave of the Living Dead. It is on my massive watch-list for the month. Don't know if I will get around to it though with time running out. I like the idea of a black and white film about green eyes - but I also note your caution.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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#7

Post by peeptoad » August 23rd, 2020, 3:18 pm

sol wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 2:42 pm

Yours:

I'm sorry that you didn't like Despair more. Depending on whether you regard World on a Wire as a miniseries or film, Despair is my choice for Fassbinder's best motion picture; certainly it is far more stylish and atmospheric than the talk-heavy dramas that he is better known for (Veronika Voss is stunning to look at though). Surprised that you aren't more familiar with Bogarde; Death in Venice, The Night Porter, Victim... he is behind some of cinema's very finest performances.

Despair is probably closer to a 7 than 6, but definitely not higher than one of my more average 7s. This is the first film I have seen Bogarde in, though I have several on my wl that he features in: The Damned, The Servant, Darling, and, yes, Death in Venice...
I'll be checking more Fassbinder at some stage, but possibly not for awhile. I really am running short on time this month, so a lot of stuff will have to go on the back burner (those 70s Bunuel films I had intended to watch, for example, as well).

Tetsuo is pretty cool. B)

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#8

Post by prodigalgodson » August 23rd, 2020, 8:09 pm

In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, 2000) 9/10

Costa returns to Fontainhas with his Mozart-tier compositional skills. He really understood the digital medium from early on, underexposing so any light source isn’t blown out and leaning into the resulting high-contrast murkiness. Stripped more bare than Ossos, this is an exercise in empathy through the atmospheric immersion of the fixed witnessing camera, the languid flow of the editing, the oppressive mise-en-scene, the rambling dialogues and stark silences. A nice musical nod to Landscape Suicide too.

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933) 8/10

“Nonsense? Say what you like, but there’s something weird going on!”

The uneven Bride to Mabuse’s Frankenstein: quirkier, less ambitious, more entertaining. Also a genuinely nerve-racking experience, presented on eerily degraded film stock in Lang's personal absolutely bonkers realm between silent and sound techniques. Gotta love the early 30s; nutty invention abounds and it’s so quiet at times I kept thinking the cricket outside my window was part of the sound design.

Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006) 10/10

The perfect culmination of the Fontainhas trilogy: Costa knows the collapsing slum so intimately he can, for example, gauge the time of day for exacting shadowplay, but an epic sweep is introduced in the form of an equally evocatively-filmed new housing project where our familiars are being relocated. "Spectral" features in the Criterion blurb -- it's a great one-word description of Costa's style. Ventura is the perfect lead to catalyze the film's meandering, vacillating journey, and I didn't realize how invested I'd become in Vanda's character especially until her arc got a degree of resolution here. The composition and editing are at least as stunning as Vanda's Room, and the camera even pans a few times, apparently reflecting the sense of movement alluded to in its Portuguese title.

The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1960) 6/10

Could only find this on Prime, streaming lo-def with an American dub. It was a weird way to watch Lang's weird swan song, a minor but lavish neonoir Mabuse spinoff. There's something very rickety about the whole production -- the German film industry was far from its prewar peak -- but Lang's wizardry still shines through in dolly shots through soupy cigar smoke, the padded walls of a suicidal lady's bedroom, a quite shocking explosion, etc. His signature dry cynicism features in addition to his bizarre streak, most potently when a spectator, patting his stomach, remarks as the would-be suicide climbs off the window ledge: “Oh thank God — otherwise I couldn’t eat any supper at all tonight!”

Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983) (rewatch) 8/10 - absolutely intoxicating whenever the flat cliched characters aren't opening their mouths

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#9

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » August 24th, 2020, 9:59 am

Hello everybody.

Been a long time since posting in these threads, but here goes my last week which contained some very good films.

Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995) - 9
Don't understand why this doesn't have a cult following, it's basically a mixture of Blade Runner and Matrix and it covers topics such as Virtual Reality technology gone insane, Police Brutality, Insurrection and marginalization. One of the best American films I've seen all year, and my respect for Bigelow just went from 0 to 100. Sad to see she went on to become such an oscar baity director and didn't follow this way more idiosyncratic path.

Illuminated Texts (R. Bruce Elder, 1982) - 10

PTU (Johnnie To, 2003) - 7+
My first Johnnie To. I didn't expect this much humor. Looking forward to more stylized Hong Kong-Noir.

Empty Suitcases (Bette Gordon, 1980) - 6+

Herr Tartüff / Tartuffe (F.W. Murnau, 1925) - 7

Les Trois couronnes du matelot / Three Crowns of the Sailor (Raúl Ruiz, 1983) - 9 theatrical 35mm
Potentiality and infinity. Leibnizian cinema.

Tchoupitoulas (Turner Ross & Bill Ross IV, 2012) - 7
The Robert Altmans of documentary film.

Shorts:

Eclipse (Antônio Moreno, 1984) - 8

L'amour existe / Love Exists (Maurice Pialat, 1960) - 8+

Before My Eyes (Mani Kaul, 1989) - 10 rewatch
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere

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#10

Post by Onderhond » August 24th, 2020, 10:16 am

@sol:
Only seen Haze (4.5*) of yours, which I already touched upon in the 400 topic. Tsukamoto is one of my top 3 directors so it's no surprise I love the film. I remember being elated they actually played the films in theaters here, even though it was just a very small arthouse theater with horrible seating. There was also a shorter version doing the rounds back then (it was part of an anthology), so I was glad to be able to catch the full version. I've always admired Tsukamoto for his incredible craft and dynamic style, I remember being quite relieved he didn't have to compromise on that even though the setting was very claustrophobic.

Also, shame on you for never having seen Tetsuo. Way worse that Seven Samurai :P

@peeptoad:
Always prepare posts in a separate file :D Seems we're pretty level on most films, apart from Tootsie. Maybe you can cast a little light on what made that film so special? Maybe because it has lost some its relevance throughout the years, but it felt very expected to me. Nothing remarkable there, so very surprised to see it's in 19 official lists.

@prodigalgodson:
Only seen Nostalghia (2.0*) from yours. It was my first Tarkovsky, sadly I remember virtually nothing about it. I'm not a big fan of that dreary Russian/Eastern-European vibe though, which explains my rating. I am quite interested to see the Mabuse films, I find German Expressionist cinema of the 20s/30s is surprisingly decent.

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#11

Post by peeptoad » August 24th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Onderhond wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 10:16 am
@peeptoad:
Always prepare posts in a separate file :D Seems we're pretty level on most films, apart from Tootsie. Maybe you can cast a little light on what made that film so special? Maybe because it has lost some its relevance throughout the years, but it felt very expected to me. Nothing remarkable there, so very surprised to see it's in 19 official lists.

Yeah, I have used a separate file for composition on occasion, but apparently not consistently enough. <_<
Tootsie is one of the rare comedies that I have seen over the course of my life that makes me laugh right out loud at times (and not infrequently throughout). I give it mad props for that because it's far more common for me to watch a comedy film with a straight, emotionless expression, finding no humor at all. It's the reason why I don't watch many comedies; they occupy one of the lowest echelons of genre rankings I have, at least for the major genres. I think musicals and romantic comedies (ugh, even worse!) are lower.
Anyway... I am also a big fan of Some Like it Hot, which I saw after Tootsie and I give the latter some credit for making me want to watch the former (an even better film imho). I saw Tootsie at age 11 in the cinema with a friend and we both laughed almost the entire time. My favorite scenes though, are the ones that Pollack is in: all of those are tops for me: The scene in his office, the Russian Tea Room and the follow up later on over the phone when the walls start closing in.
Plus, Bill Murray in a supporting role is bang on target:
People are alive on the planet until they dry off. I wish I had a theatre that was only opened when it rained.


hee hee...


I've rewatched Tootsie about 8 or 9 times over the years, but it's a film I don't rewatch often since I don't want it to lose its edge.

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#12

Post by peeptoad » August 24th, 2020, 12:30 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 8:09 pm
In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, 2000) 9/10

Costa returns to Fontainhas with his Mozart-tier compositional skills. He really understood the digital medium from early on, underexposing so any light source isn’t blown out and leaning into the resulting high-contrast murkiness. Stripped more bare than Ossos, this is an exercise in empathy through the atmospheric immersion of the fixed witnessing camera, the languid flow of the editing, the oppressive mise-en-scene, the rambling dialogues and stark silences. A nice musical nod to Landscape Suicide too.
Love this one. 9/10 easy... my favorite of the Fontainhas trilogy. :thumbsup:

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#13

Post by Onderhond » August 24th, 2020, 12:41 pm

peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:23 pm
I give it mad props for that because it's far more common for me to watch a comedy film with a straight, emotionless expression, finding no humor at all.
Yeah, comedy is very personal, I guess it's one of the hardest genres to do well, especially for a larger crowd. Don't think I even smirked here, then again I didn't like Some Like it Hot either, cross-dressing comedy isn't something I seem to enjoy very much. Not a big Bill Murray fan either :) Nice to read your story though!

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#14

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm

peeptoad wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 3:18 pm
This is the first film I have seen Bogarde in, though I have several on my wl that he features in: The Damned, The Servant, Darling, and, yes, Death in Venice...
That's, er, surprising. :satstunned: A quick IMDb search reveals that I have seen 33 films featuring Dirk Bogarde (and I would have guessed around 25 off-hand). I suppose if you're not big into British cinema, you may have encountered him less often, but I thought we kind of gravitated towards the same sorts of borderline horror and out-there films. Huh. Our Mother's House is another good Dirk Bogarde film, and another borderline horror movie. ;)

Onderhond wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 10:16 am
@sol:
Only seen Haze (4.5*) of yours, which I already touched upon in the 400 topic. Tsukamoto is one of my top 3 directors so it's no surprise I love the film. I remember being elated they actually played the films in theaters here, even though it was just a very small arthouse theater with horrible seating. There was also a shorter version doing the rounds back then (it was part of an anthology), so I was glad to be able to catch the full version. I've always admired Tsukamoto for his incredible craft and dynamic style, I remember being quite relieved he didn't have to compromise on that even though the setting was very claustrophobic.

Also, shame on you for never having seen Tetsuo. Way worse that Seven Samurai
I saw the longer version of Haze too, though funnily enough a number of reviews that I came across suggested that the shorter version is better. Such comments though came from those who were not too warm on Haze in the first place. I liked it, but would have preferred it with less dialogue and more focus on mood and atmosphere. Just how often does the average person talk aloud to him/herself?

I have Tetsuo unwatched on DVD (the sequel Body Hammer too as part of a set). I'm sure I will get to it eventually, and yes, I am also sure that I will like it more than Seven Samurai. :D

Yours:

Yes, Sorry to Bother You was pretty cool; loved the way his phone calls literally invaded the environment of whoever he was calling. Did not like The Bling Ring much at all, but then unlike you I have liked most of Coppola's other stuff, so perhaps that makes sense. It's certainly quite different. American Honey was fine, though the extreme length of it is the number one thing that pops to mind. The performance of the actress who plays Star too. I thought Lady Bird was pretty decent but was surprised by the all the praise lumped on it at the time; I generally like coming-of-age comedies, but The Edge of Seventeen and Eighth Grade did similar things better for me. Can't remember much of Johnny Mnemonic other than disliking it. Blazing Saddles is pretty cool, though mostly for the very meta ending. Definitely stacks up better to repeat viewings. I didn't see the big deal about Tootsie either, and Jessica Lange's performance is one of the all-time weakest Oscar wins - but I rate the film higher than you of course. The Philadelphia Story disappointed me too, though again I wouldn't dream of rating it anywhere near as low as you.
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#15

Post by peeptoad » August 24th, 2020, 2:16 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
peeptoad wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 3:18 pm
This is the first film I have seen Bogarde in, though I have several on my wl that he features in: The Damned, The Servant, Darling, and, yes, Death in Venice...
That's, er, surprising. :satstunned:
:shrug:

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#16

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm

I only saw three "movies" last week:
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, Ruben Fleischer): 6.5 - Entertaining, tho pretty late, sequel to Zombieland.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend (2020, Claire Scanlon): 7.5 - If you liked the series, which I did, you will like this. The interactive part really is just a gimmick, cause every wrong choice immediately leads you back to a do-over instead of taking the plot in another direction.

Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant [The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant] (1972, Rainer Werner Fassbinder): 5.8 - Well directed and acted, but way too static with uninteresting dialogues and monologues by annoying characters. It has its moments; like the incredible ending.

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#17

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 24th, 2020, 3:02 pm

peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 2:16 pm
sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
peeptoad wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 3:18 pm
This is the first film I have seen Bogarde in, though I have several on my wl that he features in: The Damned, The Servant, Darling, and, yes, Death in Venice...
That's, er, surprising. :satstunned:
:shrug:
You know what is really surprising....

a movie buff who hasn't seen Seven Samurai while having the dvd on his shelf for age. :lol: :lol: :lol:

:P

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#18

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 3:15 pm

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:02 pm
peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 2:16 pm
sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
That's, er, surprising. :satstunned:
:shrug:
You know what is really surprising....

a movie buff who hasn't seen Seven Samurai while having the dvd on his shelf for age. :lol: :lol: :lol:

:P
There's a difference between avoiding one single film and somehow managing to unintentionally avoid every single film starring a well-known British actor who frequently dabbled in international productions from big name directors. :folded: I didn't mean to put peeps down; it's just genuinely something surprising to me. :ph43r:

And since, as you know, I have now seen Seven Samurai, you shouldn't joke about it. :hmph: I mean, given that my instincts were right about it not appealing to my filmgoing sensibilities and all. :unsure: Sometimes I know myself better than I think...
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#19

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 24th, 2020, 3:21 pm

@sol: I also saw For Ever Mozart (1996). recently... and my reaction while viewing was mostly this :huh:. It had people on it, who spoke. But how what was said related to the image and even more how different parts related to each other I had no clue. A Godard that really didn't work for me... 4.0.. why not lower, cause some of the scenes in themselves are still well-directed.

It been awhile since I seen Haze; I was more forgiving for the style making up for narrative weaknesses. I do think you will like Tetsuo, tho that has the same problem.

@onderhond: While I didn't love The Bling Ring as much as you, I agree it's underrated. The entitlement of the kids is what stood out to me (plotwise). Rest.. some arthouse and classics I loved more than you.. so same like every week ;)

@peeptoad: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse; one of my favs from the 30s

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#20

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 24th, 2020, 3:25 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:15 pm
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:02 pm
peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 2:16 pm

:shrug:
You know what is really surprising....

a movie buff who hasn't seen Seven Samurai while having the dvd on his shelf for age. :lol: :lol: :lol:

:P
There's a difference between avoiding one single film and somehow managing to unintentionally avoid every single film starring a well-known British actor who frequently dabbled in international productions from big name directors. :folded: I didn't mean to put peeps down; it's just genuinely something surprising to me. :ph43r:

And since, as you know, I have now seen Seven Samurai, you shouldn't joke about it. :hmph: I mean, given that my instincts were right about it not appealing to my filmgoing sensibilities and all. :unsure: Sometimes I know myself better than I think...
Okay from now on I will joke about not having seen The Bicycle Thieves, Wizard of Oz and The 400 Blows :P

But hey.. you did see the new movie from GODNOLAN before almost everyone else, so we should all bow down :worship: :worship: to you instead. :turned:

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#21

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 3:29 pm

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:21 pm
@sol: I also saw For Ever Mozart (1996). recently... and my reaction while viewing was mostly this :huh:. It had people on it, who spoke. But how what was said related to the image and even more how different parts related to each other I had no clue. A Godard that really didn't work for me... 4.0.. why not lower, cause some of the scenes in themselves are still well-directed.

It been awhile since I seen Haze; I was more forgiving for the style making up for narrative weaknesses. I do think you will like Tetsuo, tho that has the same problem.
My reaction to For Ever Mozart was similar. A lot of it went over my head. I absolutely dug the whole war in neutral Switzerland part though; what a great way of Godard suggesting that neutrality in politics is never really possible, or "all film is political" as he would like to say. I liked the film, but with some obvious reservations given how all-over-the-place it is.

Haze yeah, I don't know, I liked it a lot - it was just the whole way through I was like "does anybody really talk out loud in monologue to oneself?" and "does it actually add anything to have him constantly repeat the same suppositions out loud?"; great ending but.

Yours:

Only seen Zombieland: Double Tap. Thomas Middleditch is a hilarious actor and it was wonderful to see him do a Jesse Eisenberg impression. Can't remember a lot more of it off-hand (haven't seen it since October) but I did think it was pretty funny and entertaining, moreso than one would expect from the average horror sequel out there.
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#22

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 3:33 pm

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:25 pm
Okay from now on I will joke about not having seen The Bicycle Thieves, Wizard of Oz and The 400 Blows :P
Yeah, two can play that game. :rolleyes: You haven't seen Viridiana, The Gold Rush or The Piano according to iCM - though I don't know if I would really recommend the Chaplin film...
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:25 pm
But hey.. you did see the new movie from GODNOLAN before almost everyone else, so we should all bow down :worship: :worship: to you instead. :turned:
2nd check on iCM for that one! :ICM: Kind of surprising given that everybody on the east coast of Australia had a chance to watch it before me. :whistling:
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#23

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 24th, 2020, 3:37 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:29 pm
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:21 pm
@sol: I also saw For Ever Mozart (1996). recently... and my reaction while viewing was mostly this :huh:. It had people on it, who spoke. But how what was said related to the image and even more how different parts related to each other I had no clue. A Godard that really didn't work for me... 4.0.. why not lower, cause some of the scenes in themselves are still well-directed.

It been awhile since I seen Haze; I was more forgiving for the style making up for narrative weaknesses. I do think you will like Tetsuo, tho that has the same problem.
My reaction to For Ever Mozart was similar. A lot of it went over my head. I absolutely dug the whole war in neutral Switzerland part though; what a great way of Godard suggesting that neutrality in politics is never really possible, or "all film is political" as he would like to say. I liked the film, but with some obvious reservations given how all-over-the-place it is.
Honestly, I somehow didn't even notice those Swiss flags. Or most probably was behind caring to register it.

Btw, I haven't followed these topic closely lately so I might have missed it; did you see Comment ça va?? If so I will look up your take on that one.
Only seen Zombieland: Double Tap. Thomas Middleditch is a hilarious actor and it was wonderful to see him do a Jesse Eisenberg impression. Can't remember a lot more of it off-hand (haven't seen it since October) but I did think it was pretty funny and entertaining, moreso than one would expect from the average horror sequel out there.
I saw it last week, and can't remember that much about it anymore.
Do you watch Silicon Valley? Thomas Middleditch is great in that.


Seriously about Tenet; you're review made me less excited about it. Being a less character-driven movie, sounds like it gives into Nolan lesser tendencies.
Last edited by Lonewolf2003 on August 24th, 2020, 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#24

Post by peeptoad » August 24th, 2020, 3:39 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:15 pm

There's a difference between avoiding one single film and somehow managing to unintentionally avoid every single film starring a well-known British actor who frequently dabbled in international productions from big name directors. :folded:
Yeah, one was pre-meditated and deliberate, and the other was an inadvertent occurrence. :folded:
I kid. And I didn't take your comment as a "put down" on me anyway, so no worries. ;)

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#25

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 4:04 pm

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Honestly, I somehow didn't even notice those Swiss flags. Or most probably was behind caring to register it.

Btw, I haven't followed these topic closely lately so I might have missed it; did you see Comment ça va?? If so I will look up your take on that one.
The Swiss flags aren't super-prominent, perhaps a bit of subtlety on Godard's behalf, I don't know, but unless I misunderstood it, the whole film was about the theatre troupe being ambushed on their way from Paris to Bosnia, which had to take them through supposedly safe Switzerland.

I do love the fact though that such an anti-Swiss neutrality film was selected by Switzerland as their official entry to the Academy Awards that year. :D

While I caught a few Godard films (5 on MUBI, 1 on DVD) this year, I decided to skip Comment ça va? since it wasn't on any Official Lists and I was not in the mood at the time. :unsure: This is what I have seen from Godard so far in 2020:

https://letterboxd.com/solh/films/diary ... -godard-1/

Oh, and look out for our 70s Godard podcast in a few weeks. :thumbsup:
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Do you watch Silicon Valley? Thomas Middleditch is great in that.
No, I don't. Middleditch is hilarious in The Final Girls though, which I believe made the recent TSZDT update.
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Seriously about Tenet; you're review made me less excited about it. Being a less character-driven movie, sounds like it gives into Nolan lesser tendencies.
I would agree with that, however, as someone who was underwhelmed by Dunkirk, it was kind of a nice return to form - Nolan doing what he does best as opposed to overstepping while trying his hand at something diferent.

I do wonder if Tenet was more character-driven in its original draft. As mentioned, it feels VERY condensed. There's so much sci-fi theory stuff and globe-trotting thrown into the mix that characterisations do not really come into play; there certainly is not the human element that makes something like Memento or Interstellar so great.

Some of the anti-character stuff is deliberate, I think; Washington's character does not even get named (something I didn't realise until the end) and Pattinson's loose character development is also revealed to have reason behind it towards the end. Elizabeth Debicki comes the closest to a three-dimensional human being, but everything about her is defined by her relationship with her son; it's not particular complex or anything. Tenet is an enjoyable enough film, but probably second or third tier Nolan in the scheme of things. Will be interesting to see how the buzz pans out...
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#26

Post by sol » August 24th, 2020, 4:07 pm

peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:39 pm
And I didn't take your comment as a "put down" on me anyway, so no worries. ;)
Ah, cool. But you should still see Our Mother's House. ;)

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#27

Post by peeptoad » August 24th, 2020, 4:20 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 4:07 pm
peeptoad wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:39 pm
And I didn't take your comment as a "put down" on me anyway, so no worries. ;)
Ah, cool. But you should still see Our Mother's House. ;)
Alright, alright, alright... it's now on "the list".

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#28

Post by prodigalgodson » August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am

sol
For Ever Mozart 8 - really liked this, and though I didn't know quite to make of it I've come to expect that from Godard; I didn't perceive war as central to it as you (rather one aspect of the theme of representation) but the Bosnian military stuff made for some of the most memorable parts; anyhow will have to see it again at some point
Tenet - will wait to read your review til I see this
Despair - never heard anyone call this a favorite Fassbinder before, given how much I love World on a Wire I'll have to give it a go
Oh, and regarding the set design of Solaris from another thread, I can see the appeal, and I like how it distinguished itself from other sci-fi aesthetics, I just wasn't too taken with the resulting look...half sparse half cluttered or something. But I look forward to reading your thoughts when you rewatch this and Stalker.

pda
The Heart of Screenland - aww thanks for the plug! (l) (I feel like I should recognize that screenshot)
Le Horla - sounds far out
this WORLD is UNREAL like a SNAKE in a ROPE - love those goats...so many questions about the title too...

hond
Sorry to Bother You 9 - adored this, the first major release American films that felt really fresh since...I don't know, There Will Be Blood?
The Bling Ring - a surprising cross-section of my hometown friends are fans, would like to see it at some point
Burning 2 - haaated this...I don't even see how it could've been a decent mystery, entirely reliant on a mood/atmosphere it failed entirely to establish imo...vacillated between vacuous and cliche
Lady Bird 7 - thought it was pretty darn well written, but nothing to write home about either; the most recent time I watched The Devil Probably it felt like a best-possible-worlds version of a feature about Chalomet's character
Stuart Little 2 - pretty sure I saw it when I was a kid and disliked it
Yellow Earth 10 - bland my ass fool...more finesse here than Zhang has in his little toe <_<
Tootsie 6 - found it fairly enjoyable, but I can't imagine it'll go down as a classic either
The Philadelphia Story 6 - also overrated, but not that bad
Nostalghia - if any Tarkovsky film can be called dreary, this is the one

toad
Hot Fuzz 7 - fun stuff, but my least favorite of the trilogy by a hair (behind The World's End)

vv
Strange Days - thanks for the rec, sounds like a fun stoned viewed
Three Crowns of the Sailor 6 - love Ruiz, didn't like this as much as I'd hoped to
Tchoupitoulas - intriguing description
Love Exists 8 - my first Pialat, loved it but don't even remember its subject
In Vanda's Room - nice, I can see it being a favorite, it feels like the purest of the 3 for sure

wolf
Kimmy Schmidt - love the show, was not fucking with this interactive format though and gave up after like 5 mins
Petra von Kant 8 - my first Fassbinder, and held up pretty well when I saw it some years later; one of the few single-location films I've actually loved and found entertaining

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#29

Post by pitchorneirda » August 27th, 2020, 11:37 am

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm
Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant [The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant] (1972, Rainer Werner Fassbinder): 5.8 - Well directed and acted, but way too static with uninteresting dialogues and monologues by annoying characters. It has its moments; like the incredible ending.
One of the few Fassbinder I couldn't finish on first try (but I will watch them all sooner or later); it's indeed very chatty and it was in German with English subtitles (I'm a French speaker), I was probably a little tired too and it was impossible to keep interest more than two minutes in a row.

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#30

Post by sol » August 27th, 2020, 11:52 am

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am
sol
For Ever Mozart 8 - really liked this, and though I didn't know quite to make of it I've come to expect that from Godard; I didn't perceive war as central to it as you (rather one aspect of the theme of representation) but the Bosnian military stuff made for some of the most memorable parts; anyhow will have to see it again at some point
Tenet - will wait to read your review til I see this
Despair - never heard anyone call this a favorite Fassbinder before, given how much I love World on a Wire I'll have to give it a go
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Unfortunately life is way too stressful at the moment for me to even consider responding to what you've raised or you own reviews this week, but I appreciate you taking the time to read my reviews because I know that not very many people do. Thanks for being an active participant here. :)
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#31

Post by Onderhond » August 27th, 2020, 2:01 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am
Sorry to Bother You 9 - adored this, the first major release American films that felt really fresh since...I don't know, There Will Be Blood?
It was pretty cool alright. Not sure what you'd consider "major", but I think a film like Swiss Army Man would also apply (and did it better than Sorry to Bother You). In any case, wouldn't mind seeing more films like this one.
prodigalgodson wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am
Yellow Earth 10 - bland my ass fool...more finesse here than Zhang has in his little toe <_<
:D

I'm afraid I've simply had it with rural China. There's too much wallowing in poverty and cookie cutter drama. I can stand it when there's some visual polish, maybe Yellow Earth would benefit from a nice restoration, but it just didn't grip me. Have to say that the music played a big part too, Chinese songs/music often sounds a bit too shrill for my taste.

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#32

Post by Onderhond » August 27th, 2020, 2:18 pm

sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
I saw the longer version of Haze too, though funnily enough a number of reviews that I came across suggested that the shorter version is better. Such comments though came from those who were not too warm on Haze in the first place. I liked it, but would have preferred it with less dialogue and more focus on mood and atmosphere. Just how often does the average person talk aloud to him/herself?
About as much as an average person wakes up in a claustrophobic labyrinth with deadly traps? :D

I honestly can't remember Tsukamoto taking so much to himself, then again it's been a while since I saw the film. Could be because he was schooled in a rather expressive form of theater, but it sure is atypical because Japanese characters tend to be rather quiet. And it's not like Tsukamoto was aiming for a large audience with this film. It's something I will extra attention to next time I watch it.
sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
I have Tetsuo unwatched on DVD (the sequel Body Hammer too as part of a set). I'm sure I will get to it eventually, and yes, I am also sure that I will like it more than Seven Samurai. :D
I wouldn't bet any money it :D Not that I think you'll hate it, it's just that I don't have that many reference points from your taste when it comes to these types of films. It plays like an Eraserhead on speed, best to think along those lines.
sol wrote:
August 24th, 2020, 12:43 pm
I thought Lady Bird was pretty decent but was surprised by the all the praise lumped on it at the time; I generally like coming-of-age comedies, but The Edge of Seventeen and Eighth Grade did similar things better for me.
Yeah, I've seen these titles pop up too. I'm not really into the US coming of age films I guess, somehow I have a hard time making a connection with the leads in those films. As for the hype around Gerwig, could it be it's a remnant from Frances Ha? As a director, I don't think her work stands out at all, but she has a very vocal backing. Just look at the Little Women/Oscar debacle.

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#33

Post by prodigalgodson » August 30th, 2020, 4:45 am

sol wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 11:52 am
prodigalgodson wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am
sol
For Ever Mozart 8 - really liked this, and though I didn't know quite to make of it I've come to expect that from Godard; I didn't perceive war as central to it as you (rather one aspect of the theme of representation) but the Bosnian military stuff made for some of the most memorable parts; anyhow will have to see it again at some point
Tenet - will wait to read your review til I see this
Despair - never heard anyone call this a favorite Fassbinder before, given how much I love World on a Wire I'll have to give it a go
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Unfortunately life is way too stressful at the moment for me to even consider responding to what you've raised or you own reviews this week, but I appreciate you taking the time to read my reviews because I know that not very many people do. Thanks for being an active participant here. :)
Of course man, thanks for hosting! Look forward to this thread every week.

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#34

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » September 3rd, 2020, 10:50 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 4:35 am
pda
The Heart of Screenland - aww thanks for the plug! (l) (I feel like I should recognize that screenshot)
Le Horla - sounds far out
this WORLD is UNREAL like a SNAKE in a ROPE - love those goats...so many questions about the title too...
Probably not, it's just that half of cinema is women looking out of windows, the screenshot is from 'Epitaph to My Love' which I had watched that week.
this WORLD is UNREAL like a SNAKE in a ROPE - It was that film's "fast food-eating seagull" highlight. And here's the opening disclaimer that maybe you can steal for your next film, hehe:
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Yours:
Pedro Costa - Interesting filmmaker, not a fave.
Dr. Mabuse series - Yeah, not really, but the 1933 one I liked best, too.
We do not have to understand new things, but by dint of patience, effort and method to come to understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.Image
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

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