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The President of what?

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The President of what?

#1

Post by brokenface » April 19th, 2012, 5:22 pm

A while back, people were talking about starting threads for personal logs, so I thought I'd go ahead and do it.

Mainly for myself, to make me think & write a little bit about what I watch and also because it's easier to group things together on one thread than have bits and pieces in various challenge threads.

Plan being, on those threads I can just post the film and rating, while I'll put a review (of sorts) here, should people be interested.

First film coming up.....

(bonus point to the first person who can name the film quoted, sans google ;) )

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Index of films reviewed:
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
Heaven's Gate (Cimino, 1980) 7/10
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Ceylan, 2011) 5/10
Quills (Kaufman, 2000) 7/10
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, 2010) 4/10
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Greenaway, 1989) 8/10
Among Those Present (Newmeyer/Harold Lloyd, 1921) 6/10
The Assassination of Richard Nixon (Mueller, 2004) 7/10
Match Factory Girl (Kaurismaki, 1990) 9/10
Chopper (Dominik, 2000) 5/10
The Happiness of the Katakuris (Miike, 2001) 8/10
Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955) 7/10
L'amour existe (Pialat, 1962) 8/10
Kapurush/The Bad Man/The Coward (Satyajit Ray, 1965) 7/10
Topaz (Hitchcock, 1969) 6/10
The Silence (Bergman, 1962) 6/10
Lord of the Flies (Brook, 1963) 6/10
Mahapurush/The Holy Man (Satyajit Ray, 1965) 7/10
El Mariachi (Rodriguez, 1992) 7/10
Joi Baba Felunath/The Elephant God (Satyajit Ray, 1978) 8/10
My Name is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis, 1945) 7/10
I bambini ci guardano/The Children are Watching Us (De Sica, 1944) 7/10
The Furies (Anthony Mann, 1950) 7/10
Hodejegerne/Headhunters (Tyldum, 2011) 8/10
Szindbád (Huszárik, 1971) 8/10
Vodka Lemon (Saleem, 2003) 7/10
Dogville (von Trier, 2003) 5/10
In This Our Life (Huston, 1942) 6/10
Call Northside 777 (Hathaway, 1947) 7/10
I Wake Up Screaming (Humberstone, 1941) 7/10
The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers (Milestone, 1946) 7/10
Kokoro (Ichikawa, 1955) 7/10
Love Happy (Miller, 1949) 5/10
Irma la Douce (Wilder, 1963) 5/10
The Blue Gardenia (Lang, 1953) 6/10
Les valseuses/Going Places (Blier, 1974) 8/10
Mon oncle (Tati, 1958) 6/10
The Decline of the American Empire (Arcand, 1986) 4/10
Le Havre (Kaurismaki, 2011) 9/10
La route de Corinthe (Chabrol, 1967) 5/10
Gozu (Miike, 2003) 6/10
Tom Jones (Richardson, 1963) 5/10
Before the Revolution (Bertolucci, 1964) 8/10
Sorry Wrong Number (Litvak, 1948) 8/10
Moontide (Mayo, 1942) 7/10
The Star (Heisler, 1952) 7/10
Indochine (Wargnier, 1992) 5/10
Turksib (Turin, 1929) 8/10
Il Tetto (De Sica, 1956) 8/10
The Girl Cut in Two (Chabrol, 2007) 5/10
Under the Bridges (Kautner, 1945) 9/10
Prometheus (R. Scott, 2012) 7/10
Source Code (D.Jones, 2011) 5/10
Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (Besson, 2010) 7/10
En le ciudad de Sylvia (Guerin, 2007) 2/10
The Headless Woman (Martel, 2008) 1/10
Cosmopolis (Cronenberg, 2012) 10/10
Himizu (Shion Sono, 2011) 7/10
Old Joy (Reichardt, 2006) 6/10
Zhantai/Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000) 2/10
The Turin Horse (Tarr, 2011) 5/10
L'heure d'été/Summer Hours (Assayas, 2008) 3/10
The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012) 6/10
Save the Tiger (Avildsen, 1973) 8/10
Somewhere (Coppola, 2010) 3/10

Juha (Kaurismäki, 1999) 8/10
Cluny Brown (Lubitsch, 1946) 8/10
Holy Motors (Carax, 2012) 8/10
Monte Carlo (Lubitsch, 1930) 6/10
Samsara (Fricke, 2011) 9/10
Tabu (Gomes, 2012) 8/10
The Fortune (Nichols, 1975) 7/10
Prix de beauté/Miss Europe (Genina, 1930) 8/10
Taking Off (Forman, 1971) 9/10
Last edited by brokenface on October 18th, 2012, 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#2

Post by brokenface » April 19th, 2012, 5:23 pm

Heaven's Gate (Cimino, 1980) 7/10

Image

This is the nasty sibling of Once Upon a Time in the West. It is as beautiful as the Leone film, in its own way, but here everything is dirt and mud rather than golden sand and blue skies. And it is as epic, in fact the version I watched clocked in at 3hrs 40 mins, 45 mins longer than Leone. But it is harder to love.

It is Hollywood Western at its most brutal (Blood Meridian takes the nightmare vision a whole lot further in book form, if that's your thing). Death and corruption is everywhere. We get rape, suicide and more murders than you would care to count.

Ultimately, the film is nowhere near as bad as it's studio-wrecking, flop reputation has it, nor is it quite as good as the revised viewpoint of it as a cruelly-overlooked classic. The first half, as with The Deer Hunter, drags rather badly. Opening a film with boring graduation speeches is not a good move, however good it is to see Joseph Cotten. But it has a lot to offer in visuals, a mostly great cast and a proper bullet-laden finale. I also give particular kudos to the roller-hoedown scene - usually I roll my eyes a bit at dance scenes in period films, but this was really nice.

Worth 4 hours? I think a very good 2.5 hr cut could have been made, but I don't know what they took out & left in for the notorious theatrical cut. The weird thing is that despite the great length, the characters all seem under-developed. Would've worked better if more focused on some, and left out others. I think it is a great shame that it all-but destroyed Cimino's career, as while he may be completely over-indulgent, he clearly had a lot to offer as a film-maker.
Last edited by brokenface on April 19th, 2012, 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#3

Post by Rich » April 19th, 2012, 6:04 pm

Love these threads. Glad to see them start on this forum.

And I love that Cimino...warts and all.

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#4

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » April 19th, 2012, 6:18 pm

brokenface on Apr 19 2012, 11:23:22 AM wrote:Heaven's Gate (Cimino, 1980) 7/10

Image

This is the nasty sibling of Once Upon a Time in the West. It is as beautiful as the Leone film, in its own way, but here everything is dirt and mud rather than golden sand and blue skies. And it is as epic, in fact the version I watched clocked in at 3hrs 40 mins, 45 mins longer than Leone. But it is harder to love.

It is Hollywood Western at its most brutal (Blood Meridian takes the nightmare vision a whole lot further in book form, if that's your thing). Death and corruption is everywhere. We get rape, suicide and more murders than you would care to count.

Ultimately, the film is nowhere near as bad as it's studio-wrecking, flop reputation has it, nor is it quite as good as the revised viewpoint of it as a cruelly-overlooked classic. The first half, as with The Deer Hunter, drags rather badly. Opening a film with boring graduation speeches is not a good move, however good it is to see Joseph Cotten. But it has a lot to offer in visuals, a mostly great cast and a proper bullet-laden finale. I also give particular kudos to the roller-hoedown scene - usually I roll my eyes a bit at dance scenes in period films, but this was really nice.

Worth 4 hours? I think a very good 2.5 hr cut could have been made, but I don't know what they took out & left in for the notorious theatrical cut. The weird thing is that despite the great length, the characters all seem under-developed. Would've worked better if more focused on some, and left out others. I think it is a great shame that it all-but destroyed Cimino's career, as while he may be completely over-indulgent, he clearly had a lot to offer as a film-maker.
I think I agree with every part of your assessment. :thumbsup:

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#5

Post by Kowry » April 19th, 2012, 6:53 pm

Yay for film logs. Should maybe start one myself.

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#6

Post by burneyfan » April 19th, 2012, 7:25 pm

Awesome review (and I agree with all of it, though that part is not required for it to be awesome)... More please!! :)
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#7

Post by bal3x » April 19th, 2012, 7:43 pm

Kowry on Apr 19 2012, 12:53:42 PM wrote:Yay for film logs.
+1
Always glad to see people writing about their favorite films, I'm not that good at writing reviews, I like reading them more :lol:
Good job, brokenface!
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#8

Post by brokenface » April 19th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Thanks for positivity, folks :)

By the way, this isn't going to be a list of favourites, I'm just going to write about what I watch..

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#9

Post by George Bailey » April 19th, 2012, 11:06 pm

I'm thinking about getting a flog myself!

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#10

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 1:02 am

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Ceylan, 2011) 5/10

Image

Background: a few months back I saw - and hated - Uzak, one of Ceylan's previous films. While containing some nice shots, I saw no reason for it to be a narrative film. It would linger for 5 minutes on a man watching TV for no apparent cause. But okay, maybe I caught it in a bad mood. This new one was playing at my local cinema, I decide to give him another go, reasoning that perhaps his stuff needs to be seen on big screen to be appreciated.

Let's start positive. There are beautiful shots in this film. The guy knows how to frame an image. I don't mind several minutes of watching cars driving slowly through Turkish countryside at night when they look good doing it. Further, this film also has two things Uzak did not: engaging characters and evidence of a sense of humour. The former most particularly fits the Prosecutor, who has probably the most complete characterisation. While the latter is especially welcome in a film which is content to exist in one pace only, that being languid. Hell, I think (hope!) at one point he was actually making a self-aware joke with the audience about the prospect of being bored :D

So I guess I'm already getting to the bitching. There are slow films I like, but I tend to need some contrast, particularly when they are 2 and a half hours long.This one most frustrated when it reaches the last act and the investigation has returned to town.
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
We have a central character who I call Mopey Doctor and here he comes to the fore. When you might expect something to come from previous hints at plot points, instead of notching pace up a little (just a little, I'm not asking for Brian De Palma here :P ), he actually slows it down, gives us a few more little hints and er, that's it.

Before we have slowness but a whole group of characters to learn about through their conversations and mannerisms. Now the group steadily moves on as their role is completed and we get several long shots of Mopey Doctor staring into middle distance. Is this meaningful? Are we to infer something from the way he looks at photos and stares intently at the wife & son of the victim? Was she involved? Perhaps. But as you'll know if you've watched films of this type, there ain't gonna be any real resolution.

I spend most of the last half hour trying to anticipate at which random point Ceylan will plant his ambiguous ending. I got it near enough on my third guess (at one horrible point I thought he was turning on his laptop to start writing 'Once upon a time in Anatolia...'/cut to credits. Thankfully it wasn't that bad.) But needless to say, it was utterly anticlimactic.

To Ceylan, please find an editor who is willing to say 'you know, perhaps we don't need this random surgeon character to have several minutes monotone rant about his lack of new surgical tools when the audience has already sat through over 2 hours and maybe just wants to know a little bit about the whole investigation they've been following'
Well, I can't be bothered to rant more. Some will love this film (file with Bela Tarr and the other Tarkovsky wannabes). I did not, though I liked it much more than Uzak. My rating is harsh in one sense - certainly the cinematography deserves a lot more - but I can't pretend I liked it more than I did.

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#11

Post by monty » April 20th, 2012, 1:30 am

brokenface on Apr 19 2012, 07:02:10 PM wrote:Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Ceylan, 2011) 5/10
I watched this myself today and I must say I agree with your assessment. What stood out for me about this film was the cinematography, and yes, the night shoots were indeed nice. I also enjoyed the falling apple scene and the gaslamp-lit scene featuring the tea serving mayor's daughter.
My biggest problem with the film, apart from its interminably slow pace, was not caring for any of the characters; in my view, none of them were particularly engaging. Granted, the murderer and the prosecutor do a fair job but that's about it. Ceylan definitely needs to invest more time on a compelling story and characters next time around.
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#12

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 1:35 am

monty on Apr 19 2012, 07:30:24 PM wrote:What stood out for me about this film was the cinematography, in particular the falling apple scene and the scene featuring the tea serving mayor's daughter.
If I was going to pick anything that stood out, it was the apple scene. It was like a lovely little short film within the film.

The daughter with the lamp was nice too. One of only 2 women we really see in the whole film, and they spoke about 6 words between them. He doesn't seem to do female characters..

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#13

Post by monty » April 20th, 2012, 1:48 am

brokenface on Apr 19 2012, 07:35:05 PM wrote: He doesn't seem to do female characters..
It'd be nice to see a Turkish film with a strong female lead character. Instead what you get is these mustachioed macho men. :lol:
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#14

Post by insomnia » April 20th, 2012, 11:40 am

I'm not sure why you'd want to check out more Ceylan if you know that you're not into slow cinema, which is something I seem to get from that last bit you wrote.

I'm quite looking forward to Anatolia, I wish a theatre near me played it. I liked Three Monkeys and Distant.

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#15

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 12:02 pm

It's what I said in the first bit - I'd only seen one of his films, maybe wasn't in the right mood, and I thought I'd give him another go, particularly as it was at cinema.

I'm not completely against slow cinema, I like some Tarkovsky very much, e.g. Stalker. I like Antonioni. I like what I've seen of Zvyagintsev. Slow can work for me, but when it doesn't I'm probably more harsh.

So admittedly, I'm no fan of Bela Tarr - I count The Man From London as my most miserable cinema experience - and now I've seen a couple of Ceylan, I can say I'm no fan of Ceylan either. But you've got to watch them to know..

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#16

Post by insomnia » April 20th, 2012, 12:10 pm

brokenface on Apr 20 2012, 06:02:20 AM wrote:But you've got to watch them to know..
Definitely!

From some of your comments I'd gotten the idea that you just didn't like this kind of cinema but apparently I was wrong then. In that regard it's pretty cool that you keep trying :)

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#17

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 2:30 pm

Quills (Kaufman, 2000) 7/10

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This is a showcase for Geoffrey Rush who seems to have a lot of fun playing the flamboyant and relentlessly perverse Marquis de Sade. The central conflict concerns the battle of wills between Sade and both Joaquin Phoenix, the repressed Abbe who runs the asylum in which he luxuriously lives, and Michael Caine, a witchfinder-general-lite type of doctor who is appointed by Napoleon to cure Sade from his habit of writing blasphemous and obscene books. Moving between them is Kate Winslet, a laundress who helps Sade smuggle his writing out, and who the Abbe loves.

Now apparently it is all complete bunkum in historical terms, extreme liberties taken with the story, but such things do not concern me greatly. It makes for an entertaining film, though it does have a tendency to go overboard - sometimes hard to take seriously. I've mentioned elsewhere I'm not a big fan of Michael Caine and I can not quite see him as sinister as he is supposed to be here, but that's probably my own problem. I'm sure he's good enough..
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#18

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 3:35 pm

Certified Copy (Kiarostami, 2010) 4/10

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Watched this yesterday and can't really write about it without spoilers but to be honest, there's not a whole lot to spoil in plot terms, in that it's all going to be down to your own interpretation anyway.

There's two characters (well, besides a brief appearance from the son of one of them). Neither of them are very likeable. This wouldn't be a problem if they were interesting, but alas they are just slightly unpleasant and rather boring.

Unfortunately this leaves the mystery at the heart of the film - what is their precise relationship? - feeling rather empty.

For what it's worth, I think someone on IMDB has it right when they suggest that the couple are neither strangers nor married, but instead she is his long-term mistress and they role-play the 'we're married' thing. Kinda fits, but it doesn't quite explain why they feign to act as strangers at the start.

There's lots of talk about the nature of art and reality - is all art a copy of life? And so forth. These parts are akin to Rohmer, but with my general hostility to the leads, I found their conversations mostly dull.

Ultimately the film just gave me a massive sense of apathy, hence the rating.
Last edited by brokenface on April 20th, 2012, 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#19

Post by Timec » April 20th, 2012, 5:47 pm

About Certified Copy:
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
I think someone on IMDB has it right when they suggest that the couple are neither strangers nor married, but instead she is his long-term mistress and they role-play the 'we're married' thing. Kinda fits, but it doesn't quite explain why they feign to act as strangers at the start.
For what it's worth, here's my interpretation of the film:

I personally never thought to come up with a literal explanation for the film's narrative switch - I kind of accepted it at face value, and assumed that there wasn't really supposed to be a coherent explanation, other than a metacinematic one, for why the shift occurs. In my mind, they aren't "pretending" in the first half or the second half - the film simply jumps tracks and becomes part of a different narrative at the point at which they leave the diner. It may not seem to be "continuous," but it would tie in nicely with one of Kiarostami's pet themes - the artificial and largely arbitrary nature of a lot of art and narrative.

As such, I think those conversations about "art vs. reality" and the "genuineness of reproductions" are pretty integral to the film - they highlight the artificial nature of all art, and kind of point to an interpretation to what is going on in the film. Just as a reproduction of a work of art is actually just as "real" as the original, both halves of the film are equally valid - are equally "real," or genuine - even if one seems to be a distortion of the other. In other words, the "precise nature of their relationship" isn't really a mystery - their relationship in the first half isn't any more or less real than their relationship in the second half, as they're both just different versions of similar materials. The differences in the "copy" are just as revealing and real as the similarities.

I think it ties in nicely with the rest of Kiarostami's oeuvre, as he he seems to have become increasingly interested in questions like "what is cinema" and "what is recreation (and in recreating are we not, in fact, also creating something entirely new?") Many of his films very clearly draw attention to the fact that we are watching a film (see: Close-up, the ending of Taste of Cherry, most of the films he has made in the last decade) - this one doesn't show us the cameras like many of his other films, but that narrative switch expresses his authorial control and the artificial nature of what we are watching just as clearly.
That was my interpretation, at least - hopefully it made sense. Obviously a film like this is open to a lot of different interpretations.
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#20

Post by Timec » April 20th, 2012, 5:57 pm

On an unrelated note, I pretty much completely agree with your review of Heaven's Gate, down to the line about it being neither a disaster nor an overlooked masterpiece.

I wish I could start a similar film diary, but most of the time when I try to write about a film I can only come up with a few sentences (though, as evidenced by my last post, there are occasions where I can ramble on about something.)

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#21

Post by mightysparks » April 20th, 2012, 6:01 pm

Timec on Apr 20 2012, 11:57:46 AM wrote:I wish I could start a similar film diary, but most of the time when I try to write about a film I can only come up with a few sentences (though, as evidenced by my last post, there are occasions where I can ramble on about something.)
Same reason I haven't started one :( Happy to just read everyone else's though :P
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#22

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 6:11 pm

Cheers Timec, interesting to read another view and yep it makes sense, it's probably more likely these were his intentions.

There were a couple of elements of 'you are watching a film' - most especially all the direct staring at camera (camera as mirror, etc.). I don't have a lot of patience with this sort of thing - seems a bit of an unnecessary dead end to keep pointing out to people watching his films that they are watching a film, but it probably gives film students lots of material :)

I feel F for Fake did the whole 'originality in art' thing a whole lot better and a whole lot more fun. Or another comparison - there's a great story by Borges 'Pierre Manard; Author of Don Quixote', about a fellow who re-writes Don Quixote in the original Spanish, word-for-word, the 'story' being a literary review which compares the two :D
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#23

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 6:17 pm

mightysparks on Apr 20 2012, 12:01:13 PM wrote:
Timec on Apr 20 2012, 11:57:46 AM wrote:I wish I could start a similar film diary, but most of the time when I try to write about a film I can only come up with a few sentences (though, as evidenced by my last post, there are occasions where I can ramble on about something.)
Same reason I haven't started one :( Happy to just read everyone else's though :P
You guys should just start one - if nothing else it will give you somewhere to write things on the occasions when you do feel like writing :thumbsup:

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#24

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 9:45 pm

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Greenaway, 1989) 8/10

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Sensory overload! Some more welcome than others. This is stunning to look at and listen to, but uses this beautiful backdrop for an utterly grotesque tale of decadence taken to extremes.

Fortunately I have a strong stomach. If you don't, you're best to just stay well away. This rivals Salo for vision of nightmare feast.

Am I evil if I want to make Harry Potter fans watch this and say: Behold, this is what Dumbledore did before Hogwarts!
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#25

Post by bal3x » April 20th, 2012, 10:29 pm

brokenface on Apr 20 2012, 03:45:25 PM wrote:This rivals Salo for vision of nightmare feast.
I'm afraid you're right there! I rated this 2/10, which is still a bit higher than Salo, hehe.
I'm not a fan of Greenaway, but at least his other stuff appears watchable, this one, unfortunately, is not.

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#26

Post by brokenface » April 20th, 2012, 10:44 pm

Salo I hated, but this one I could tolerate the grisliness and enjoy the rest. It was a much a black comedy as anything - found Gambon's character hilarious with his over-the-top neverending cockney patter.

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#27

Post by bal3x » April 20th, 2012, 10:56 pm

brokenface on Apr 20 2012, 04:44:32 PM wrote:Salo I hated, but this one I could tolerate the grisliness and enjoy the rest. It was a much a black comedy as anything - found Gambon's character hilarious with his over-the-top neverending cockney patter.
Sure, but this was really too much over the top for my taste! :)

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#28

Post by brokenface » April 21st, 2012, 8:09 pm

Among Those Present (Newmeyer/Harold Lloyd, 1921) 6/10

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Pretty average Harold Lloyd short (well, mid length - this is 35 mins, a three-reeler). Harold is a coat-checker who breaks into high-society impersonating an English gentleman. He regales this posh family with stories of taming lions & bears - this part is somewhat reminiscent of Marx Brothers Animal Crackers opening section, but with the gags kept to title screens, it's not quite got the delivery Groucho has.

The second part sees him trying to ride an unrideable horse and getting into various scrapes before winning the girl. None of it is particularly impressive or inventive, by Lloyd's standards.

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#29

Post by brokenface » April 21st, 2012, 9:36 pm

The Assassination of Richard Nixon (Mueller, 2004) 7/10

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Let's start out with the Taxi Driver comparison, it's unavoidable. This is quite reminiscent of Taxi Driver. Our lead character here is Samuel Bicke (based on the real story of Samuel Byck) - and it's quite possible Travis Bickle was somewhat based on Byck too, at least the name. At times it seemed like the film was reaching for its own 'You talkin to me' moment. So Assassination... is a film that clearly likes and models itself on the 70s anti-hero aesthetic, somewhat successfully.

Bicke, played by Sean Penn, is a loser. His principles prevent him from succeeding in any job (he is a salesman who can't bear to lie and his business schemes are just doomed to failure), his wife has dumped him, estranging him from his kids and he just reeks of social awkwardness. Nearly every encounter he has with anyone makes me cringe (not least 'cause I'm pretty socially awkward myself ;) ). Like all good paranoids, he decides his failings in life have a source: Richard Nixon and the Washington system. So begins his plans for revenge.

Sean Penn is more reminiscent of De Niro than I've ever seen him, ref back to Taxi Driver. Sometimes he bugs me, but he's good here and carries the film. There would have been a temptation to make this more of a black comedy - Bicke is such a fuck-up at everything he does - but I think they were wise not to go that route (though there were good moments on this line, such as his encounter with the Black Panthers :lol: ). Where the film fails for me is the soundtrack. The plinky piano begging for sympathy and then dramatic violins just felt wrong throughout. I'm still undecided what would work better, but it distracted me.

This would probably fit on bal3x's list of paranoid/conspiracy films, though it's far more drama than thriller. I respected it, though it can't live up to its inspirations.
Last edited by brokenface on April 21st, 2012, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#30

Post by bal3x » April 21st, 2012, 9:51 pm

Great review of The Assassination of Richard Nixon, saw in in a theater, really loved it, got a DVD too, I believe it's one of the better films from Penn and certainly somewhat undeservingly forgotten (not a single list, huh?). I'll add it to the list of paranoid/conspiracy films!
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#31

Post by brokenface » April 21st, 2012, 10:02 pm

I thought you'd probably have seen it :) Yeah it does seem to be overlooked. I had DVD from some boxset and it's been sitting round for years unwatched 'cause I had the impression that it wasn't much good, but I was surprisingly impressed. Was teetering on an 8 for my rating (if I did halves it'd be a 7.5!)

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#32

Post by bal3x » April 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm

brokenface on Apr 21 2012, 04:02:08 PM wrote:I thought you'd probably have seen it :) Yeah it does seem to be overlooked. I had DVD from some boxset and it's been sitting round for years unwatched 'cause I had the impression that it wasn't much good, but I was surprisingly impressed. Was teetering on an 8 for my rating (if I did halves it'd be a 7.5!)
I actually did give it 8/10 :)
Last edited by bal3x on April 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#33

Post by brokenface » April 22nd, 2012, 12:35 am

Match Factory Girl (Kaurismaki, 1990) 9/10

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Ah, poor Match Factory Girl. She lives in Kaurismaki world where everybody smokes and nobody smiles. She resides in the bleakest of houses and she works in the blowiest of jobs (well, not quite). She watches the Marx Brothers and cries. And all she wants is to find someone who'll notice she exists and perhaps be nice to her.

Well, she goes for the first man who hits the first criteria and sure enough he fails on the second.

With the film halfway through, we finally learn her name and of course it is utterly inappropriate.

Should depressives make films? Sometimes I wonder, but Kaurismaki works for me. The music is great (when it appears), the sets and framing are perfect, and the whole thing is done in 65 minutes because it need not be longer.

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#34

Post by brokenface » April 22nd, 2012, 6:14 pm

Chopper (Dominik, 2000) 5/10

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Not a lot to write on this one. Chopper is an entertaining, cartoon-character of a bipolar violent criminal. The film doesn't really have much in the way of plot, depth or structure, it just says 'here is Chopper, isn't he crazy?' And you marvel at the character, but there's not much else in the film.
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#35

Post by brokenface » April 22nd, 2012, 8:57 pm

The Happiness of the Katakuris (Miike, 2001) 8/10

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How does one rate a film that is so batshit crazy? Tone is all over the place. Black comedy, musical, family drama, twisted horror, surreal animation. There's a bit of everything thrown in.

The music ranges from annoying-funny to annoying-bad to plain annoying. The acting is, well, acting is not a major part of this - the Katakuris are a family that exist en masse rather than individually. Some of it made me laugh out loud, some made me shake my head and wish it would finish already. Contains some cool Svankmajer-style clay-work (particularly the finale). Er, I liked the dog.

I give it 8 but it could be 3. I really don't know :lol:

It's not on any ICM lists, but belongs on any cult film list ever made.
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#36

Post by bal3x » April 22nd, 2012, 9:18 pm

Miike is really a fucked up director, judging from what I've seen, but this looks even more crazy :lol:
Comedy, musical, horror, surreal animation?! I think I'll give it a pass, from this comment and the trailer it looks like I would give it 1/10...
Last edited by bal3x on April 22nd, 2012, 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#37

Post by brokenface » April 22nd, 2012, 9:24 pm

Yeah it could definitely be a love-hate film. I've given it a high rating though I'm not sure if I loved it!

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#38

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » April 22nd, 2012, 9:26 pm

brokenface on Apr 21 2012, 02:09:07 PM wrote:Among Those Present (Newmeyer/Harold Lloyd, 1921) 6/10

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Pretty average Harold Lloyd short (well, mid length - this is 35 mins, a three-reeler). Harold is a coat-checker who breaks into high-society impersonating an English gentleman. He regales this posh family with stories of taming lions & bears - this part is somewhat reminiscent of Marx Brothers Animal Crackers opening section, but with the gags kept to title screens, it's not quite got the delivery Groucho has.

The second part sees him trying to ride an unrideable horse and getting into various scrapes before winning the girl. None of it is particularly impressive or inventive, by Lloyd's standards.
The opening coat check gag is worth the price of admission alone, as it's handled with classic Lloyd style and panache. I'd give this one a 7 out of ten.

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#39

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » April 22nd, 2012, 9:27 pm

brokenface on Apr 22 2012, 12:14:05 PM wrote:Chopper (Dominik, 2000) 5/10

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Not a lot to write on this one. Chopper is an entertaining, cartoon-character of a bipolar violent criminal. The film doesn't really have much in the way of plot, depth or structure, it just 'says here is Chopper, isn't he crazy?' And you marvel at the character, but there's not much else in the film.
My feelings exactly.

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#40

Post by Kowry » April 22nd, 2012, 9:27 pm

Good observations on Chopper, although I would rate it higher than 5. It was good, and Bana's performance was excellent (I heard/read that he really delved into his character, spent time with the real Chopper, fattened himself, and many people who knew the real Chopper mistook Bana for him), but as you said, it lacks structure. Understandable, though, as it's based on Chopper's autobiography, and they probably would have fictionalised it quite a bit to make it a more coherent story.

And now I'm really eager to watch The Happiness of the Katakuris (was already on my all-too-lengthy watchlist, but rose a few ranks).

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