Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
NOTE: Board emails should be working again. Information on forum upgrade and style issues.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 22 released November 17th * EXCLUSIVE * We Are Mentioned in a Book!!! Interview with Mary Guillermin on Rapture, JG & More)
Polls: 1933 (Results), 1970s (May 29th), Essential Cinema (Jun 30th)
Challenges: Japan, Mystery/Thriller, Western
Film of the Week: Man Without a Star, June nominations (May 28th)

Best Films of 2019 [TALKING IMAGES]

User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2274
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#41

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: September 29th, 2020, 9:50 am I was not on the same wavelegth as A Souvenir unfortunately. I read the feature in Sight and Sound, and got extra excited when they were selected as the best film of 2019, but I just do not understand it. Stylistically I did not see anything of note, and it runs like a fairly ordinary mid-range British drama, with slightly loftier ambitions. To be far, the slightly more distanced/muted/stylized acting could be a point of interest, but it was not taking to a degree of stylistic purity that hooks me, it was just a softer element. I did thoroughly enjoy it. It was a pleasant film, with a solid central performance, and some nice scenes - but all I saw was a good film - and I don't see/understand what made it stand out for others. Is it the coming of age, characters and dialog? That did have something extra, and people do push how personal it can feel, but nothing that spellbound me. Would definitely love to hear more from those who loved it.

(Will push A Sun upwards in my current watchlist - it was quite far down the list)

Let me say again that I have seen precious little from 2019 (24 films to be exact), and only 5 of those discussed in the podcast, of which only 2, maybe 3, struck me as list worthy.

Referencing what I have already seen, A Souvenir and A Sun both stood out to me as two films that would probably be in my own current top 5, though I am quite sure that neither will end up close to that when I have seen more from last year (the 5 on your list, for example, are all very attractive to me). I have a total (including your 5 and a few others from the podcast) of 38 films from 2019 on my growing list to see, and expect to have a completely different top 5 by the time i finish those.

Having said that, I think what appealed to me about the Souvenir is how well it was structured. I didn't know much about it (and had seen nothing before from Hogg) before I saw it, and so I didn't expect much (it was the same with A Sun), just thought I would check it out one night on Prime, and found myself drawn in, little by little to what turned to be the anatomy of a failed relationship (not unlike the more publicized Marriage Story, which I had seen not too long before).
Whereas Marriage story went after "the whole story," by highlighting the dramatic elements, while trying to paint a complete picture, A Souvenir felt like a reflection made up of memories that one by one led to an understanding and acceptance of a past life experience. Not sure I'm explaining what I mean very clearly, but there was something very natural and true about the way Hogg told her story that finally impressed me.
I thought Marriage Story was pretty good, as well (especially Adam Driver), but not as special as critics made it out to be, and when I saw A Souvenir it fulfilled me in ways that Marriage Story hadn't, first and foremost by feeling like an artful truth, though the artfulness is understated. So, I found it to be more than "a fairly ordinary mid-range British drama, with slightly loftier ambitions," and what made it stand out to me was the unassuming way that it revealed itself in fragments.
It was by no means a film that swept me off my feet, but one that grew on me, bit by bit until i realized that it had really done its job. I have seen another film by Hogg since that takes place in the course of a Summer holiday, where the time period and place are more confining, yet Hogg evidences the same careful, step by step build up to revelations about relationships which seem to be what she likes to examine.

As for A Sun, it was also something I stumbled upon, without having heard anything about previously. As I am living in China at the moment, I have been trying to see some Chinese films, and I think it was the look of this one that attracted me. Though it is nothing like A Souvenir, similarly, it was a film that grew on me over time. In the case of this one, its length worked to its advantage because it allowed me to bond with the main character and his family. In that sense, I might compare it to Hou's A Time to Live, A Time to Die, though it hedges more towards melodrama.
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 12386
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#42

Post by St. Gloede »

That's a very nice explanation, Cinewest. Those are among the elements I liked the most in A Souvernir as well, and a very nice contrast with A Marriage Story. This was my first film from Hogg as well, and it is certainly possible I will see more in it, or appreciate what I liked the first time more once/if I explore her further. (I know she is already working on the sequel).
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2274
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#43

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: September 29th, 2020, 10:14 pm That's a very nice explanation, Cinewest. Those are among the elements I liked the most in A Souvernir as well, and a very nice contrast with A Marriage Story. This was my first film from Hogg as well, and it is certainly possible I will see more in it, or appreciate what I liked the first time more once/if I explore her further. (I know she is already working on the sequel).
She may or may not speak to you, but I’ve found that sometimes I don’t appreciate a Filmmaker right away, often because they are communicating something, or in a way that I don’t fully recognize or connect with.

Often when I become more familiar something clicks... or not. I know you have a very open mind when it comes to film, and are passionate about it in a way I once was, inclusive of rediscovery.

Cheers, and happy viewing. So sorry to see that your Dive into Russian cinema wasn’t fruitful. Some of my all time favorite films are Russian, from just about every era (delve into Zvyagintsev’s filmography, for example), but I know they also make some terrible stuff that is quite popular there.
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2274
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#44

Post by cinewest »

It might be interesting to do a segment on under appreciated filmmakers (i.e.. those with 5 or more films with under 400 checks who also have multiple, very good films to their credit). I would focus on filmmakers who are still making films, myself, as well as those who haven"t already been given attention for multiple films on the 500>400 list, so as to cast the spotlight on filmmakers who are still pretty much ignored, here.

I made a comment in the current results thread for 500>400, where I cited Julio Medem, Ahn Hung Tran, and Milcho Manchevski as 3 contemporary filmmakers with international hits in the past whose output of the past 15-20 years has pretty much been ignored despite the fact that all three tackle provocative themes, play with narrative structure, and create visually captivating films. In fact, what they have in common might associate them to Ki-duk Kim, who has gained a bit more notoriety, and quasi cult status.

Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
User avatar
tourdesb
Moderator
Posts: 2176
Joined: May 7th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Puteaux, France
Contact:

#45

Post by tourdesb »

cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:11 am Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
I know documentary is less successful than fiction, but Frederick Wiseman has only 2 movies with more than 400 checks out of 44. That makes me very sad.
Image Image Image
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 6906
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#46

Post by Onderhond »

Mamoru Oshii. His funding has completely fallen through and the films he still makes have no proper distribution. Painful, because he's still my fav director.
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 12386
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#47

Post by St. Gloede »

cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:11 am It might be interesting to do a segment on under appreciated filmmakers (i.e.. those with 5 or more films with under 400 checks who also have multiple, very good films to their credit). I would focus on filmmakers who are still making films, myself, as well as those who haven"t already been given attention for multiple films on the 500>400 list, so as to cast the spotlight on filmmakers who are still pretty much ignored, here.

I made a comment in the current results thread for 500>400, where I cited Julio Medem, Ahn Hung Tran, and Milcho Manchevski as 3 contemporary filmmakers with international hits in the past whose output of the past 15-20 years has pretty much been ignored despite the fact that all three tackle provocative themes, play with narrative structure, and create visually captivating films. In fact, what they have in common might associate them to Ki-duk Kim, who has gained a bit more notoriety, and quasi cult status.

Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
Haha, the Ki-duk Kim award. This is one of the oddest for me as Kim was one of the hottest international directors when I got into cinema. Some were even shown on Norwegian TV ... It does make sense though. He had a breakdown, disappeared, got attention for his early comeback films but then started to "disappoint" (coupled with sexual harrashment charges). Interesting how quickly he was dropped though. You can't even get your hands on some of his recent films.

I think one of the biggest shocks for me is that not a single Radu Jude film has more than 400 checks. The closest is his breakout Aferim!, with 354 checks, followed by his 2018 film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (which I thought had gotten a lot of attention ...). Sacred Hearts from 2016, one of the best of the decade are down at 73. It is really bizarre.

Anyways, I do really like the idea. I'll pitch it.
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2274
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#48

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: October 8th, 2020, 8:43 am
cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:11 am It might be interesting to do a segment on under appreciated filmmakers (i.e.. those with 5 or more films with under 400 checks who also have multiple, very good films to their credit). I would focus on filmmakers who are still making films, myself, as well as those who haven"t already been given attention for multiple films on the 500>400 list, so as to cast the spotlight on filmmakers who are still pretty much ignored, here.

I made a comment in the current results thread for 500>400, where I cited Julio Medem, Ahn Hung Tran, and Milcho Manchevski as 3 contemporary filmmakers with international hits in the past whose output of the past 15-20 years has pretty much been ignored despite the fact that all three tackle provocative themes, play with narrative structure, and create visually captivating films. In fact, what they have in common might associate them to Ki-duk Kim, who has gained a bit more notoriety, and quasi cult status.

Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
Haha, the Ki-duk Kim award. This is one of the oddest for me as Kim was one of the hottest international directors when I got into cinema. Some were even shown on Norwegian TV ... It does make sense though. He had a breakdown, disappeared, got attention for his early comeback films but then started to "disappoint" (coupled with sexual harrashment charges). Interesting how quickly he was dropped though. You can't even get your hands on some of his recent films.

I think one of the biggest shocks for me is that not a single Radu Jude film has more than 400 checks. The closest is his breakout Aferim!, with 354 checks, followed by his 2018 film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (which I thought had gotten a lot of attention ...). Sacred Hearts from 2016, one of the best of the decade are down at 73. It is really bizarre.

Anyways, I do really like the idea. I'll pitch it.
Interesting that you should mention Radu Jude, as I have been dying to see all three of the films you brought up, and seemed to have missed my chance on Amazon prime where they are no longer available. I think I can probably get Aferim!, which is very high on my list of films I want see from the past few years.

Of course, there are quite a few overlooked filmmakers, even if we just stick to contemporary cinema. The filmmakers I mentioned all have certain things in common that I tried to describe that would seem to give them cult like status, along the lines of Noe, Refn, maybe Cronenberg for the way that they blend arthouse sensibilities with certain mainstream qualities, and yet for some reason some have achieved a following while others haven't.
Absolutely nothing by Medem has reached 400 checks since Sex & Lucia, and with the other two, you have to go back into the 90's to find the only films by them that have. And yet I have seen films by all 3 since their "hits" that continue to showcase their unique cinematic and narrative sensibilities, though most their films post 2000 are not easy to find.
User avatar
cinewest
Posts: 2274
Joined: February 15th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#49

Post by cinewest »

tourdesb wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:29 am
cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:11 am Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
I know documentary is less successful than fiction, but Frederick Wiseman has only 2 movies with more than 400 checks out of 44. That makes me very sad.
Yes, Wiseman is definitely under appreciated, though if you take a look at the 500>400 poll he might be one of the most popular filmmakers on there this time around.
User avatar
St. Gloede
Moderator
Posts: 12386
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#50

Post by St. Gloede »

cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 2:58 pm
St. Gloede wrote: October 8th, 2020, 8:43 am
cinewest wrote: October 8th, 2020, 7:11 am It might be interesting to do a segment on under appreciated filmmakers (i.e.. those with 5 or more films with under 400 checks who also have multiple, very good films to their credit). I would focus on filmmakers who are still making films, myself, as well as those who haven"t already been given attention for multiple films on the 500>400 list, so as to cast the spotlight on filmmakers who are still pretty much ignored, here.

I made a comment in the current results thread for 500>400, where I cited Julio Medem, Ahn Hung Tran, and Milcho Manchevski as 3 contemporary filmmakers with international hits in the past whose output of the past 15-20 years has pretty much been ignored despite the fact that all three tackle provocative themes, play with narrative structure, and create visually captivating films. In fact, what they have in common might associate them to Ki-duk Kim, who has gained a bit more notoriety, and quasi cult status.

Can you think of any other filmmakers who might qualify for the "Ki-duk Kim" award?
Haha, the Ki-duk Kim award. This is one of the oddest for me as Kim was one of the hottest international directors when I got into cinema. Some were even shown on Norwegian TV ... It does make sense though. He had a breakdown, disappeared, got attention for his early comeback films but then started to "disappoint" (coupled with sexual harrashment charges). Interesting how quickly he was dropped though. You can't even get your hands on some of his recent films.

I think one of the biggest shocks for me is that not a single Radu Jude film has more than 400 checks. The closest is his breakout Aferim!, with 354 checks, followed by his 2018 film I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (which I thought had gotten a lot of attention ...). Sacred Hearts from 2016, one of the best of the decade are down at 73. It is really bizarre.

Anyways, I do really like the idea. I'll pitch it.
Interesting that you should mention Radu Jude, as I have been dying to see all three of the films you brought up, and seemed to have missed my chance on Amazon prime where they are no longer available. I think I can probably get Aferim!, which is very high on my list of films I want see from the past few years.

Of course, there are quite a few overlooked filmmakers, even if we just stick to contemporary cinema. The filmmakers I mentioned all have certain things in common that I tried to describe that would seem to give them cult like status, along the lines of Noe, Refn, maybe Cronenberg for the way that they blend arthouse sensibilities with certain mainstream qualities, and yet for some reason some have achieved a following while others haven't.
Absolutely nothing by Medem has reached 400 checks since Sex & Lucia, and with the other two, you have to go back into the 90's to find the only films by them that have. And yet I have seen films by all 3 since their "hits" that continue to showcase their unique cinematic and narrative sensibilities, though most their films post 2000 are not easy to find.
I am partially to blame for the decrease of checks for recent Julio Medem, Ahn Hung Tran, and Milcho Manchevski as well, though I have only seen the obvious film by the latter, and two from each of the former two. I should seek out more from each, especially Tran.

I'd be interested to hear what you think of Radu Jude. One of the things that is so interesting with his work (besides the really interesting shifts in style) is that his last 3 films have all been in conversation with history - this is felt especially strongly in his last film - which plot revolves around the actual staging of the Romanian participation in the Holocoast, in front of a live audience - working in meta commentary on both the creation and presentation, but also Romanian cinema: But it is also seen with Aferim and Scarred Hearts - which have a backdrop in Romani persecution and the rise of Fascism.

In terms of structure and style his films feel connected, but they are widely different, from the Feudal story of Aferim!, almost shot like a Samurai film, or a middle ages film by say Vlacil, and in black and white, vs. the more minimalistic and slowbrooding Scarred Hearts vs. the high intensity meta commentary of Barbarians: He is undoubtedly one of the greatest directors working today.

Still not seen his pre-Aferim! work, which I also need to rectify.
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 1471
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#51

Post by outdoorcats »

Somehow I missed this thread last month?

1. Watchmen [miniseries] (Steph Green, Nicole Kassell, Andrij Parekh, David Semel, Frederick E.O. Toye and Stephen Williams)
2. The Wild Goose Lake (Yi'nan Diao)
3. Waves (Trey Edward Shultz)
4. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
5. Bacurau (Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho)
6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma)
7. Parasite (Bong Joon Ho)
8. The Lodge (Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz)
9. Les misérables (Ladj Ly)
10. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
11. Atlantics (Mati Diop)
12. The Plastic House (Allison Chhorn)
13. Midsommar (Ari Aster)
14. Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
15. The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu)
16. Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)
17. Get Duked! (Ninian Doff)
18. Ouvertures (The Living and the Dead Ensemble)
19. It Must Be Heaven (Elia Suleiman)
20. Us (Jordan Peele)

HMs:
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
The Vast of Night (Andrew Patterson)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts)

Great shorts:
Zombies (Baloji)
GUO4 (Peter Strickland)
Imbued Life (Ivana Bosnjak and Thomas Johnson)

Planning to see:

A Hidden Life
First Cow
I Lost My Body
So Long, My Son
This is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection
Motherless Brooklyn
Beanpole
Fire Will Come
Young Ahmed
Synonyms
[all the relevant ICMFF titles]

I saw. I wasn't that impressed:

The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers)
Uncut Gems (The Safdie Brothers)
Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonnello)

...no comment:

Joker (Todd Philipps)
Wounds (Babak Anvari)
Ema (Pablo Larrain)

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
Post Reply