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Five of a Kind challenge

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Five of a Kind challenge

#1

Post by brokenface » June 13th, 2015, 12:07 pm

Image

Goal
Watch films on related theme(s) of your choice. The aim is to explore niches and subgenres of cinema that wouldn't be big enough for whole challenges. Challenge is called Five of a Kind as you need to watch at least five films for each theme you choose.

Rules
-pick your own theme to work on and watch at least five films that fit the theme
-work on one theme at a time
-rewatches allowed & usual rules for TV episodes & shorts

Examples of Themes

Subgenres (e.g. revisionist westerns; buddy cop films; gothic horror)

Movements of Film (e.g. Soviet montage; Japanese new wave; neo-realism)

Subject matter (e.g. great depression; Buddhism; cold war)

People (e.g. Stephen King adaptations; Morricone scores; Boris Karloff monster movies)

Location (e.g. Venice; Venezuela; Venus)


Themes to avoid

Directors (filmography challenge is for that)

Countries/genres big enough to have a challenge of their own - but these can easily be made more specific, e.g. rather than 'German films' go for German Expressionism or Berlin school. Instead of 'horror' go for werewolf films or splatter. You get the idea..


--

Players
brokenface
edkrak
3eyes
Carmel98
mightysparks
lilarcor
HVM
te18
Kowry

Themes
Giallo beyond Argento
Ozploitation
Nuclear warning
80s Fantasy
WWII, Third Reich, Nazi and Hitler
Biopics of famous writers
World war I (21st-century films)
Pre-revolutionary Iran
Blaxploitation
Gay
American New Wave & 70s Women
Conscientious objectors
Circus
Hollywood musicals from WWII
French Impressionist films
Spaghetti Beyond Leone
George Sand
Professional female companions in Japan (as seen through the lenses of Mizoguchi and Naruse)
Combat sports (boxing, amateur wrestling)
Alien Contact/Abduction Movies
Pre-Code
Beyond
Chase Thrillers
Early/Proto Giallo
Last edited by brokenface on August 23rd, 2015, 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2

Post by te18 » June 13th, 2015, 12:14 pm

In.

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#3

Post by Carmel1379 » June 13th, 2015, 1:19 pm

Nice idea, I'm joining :)
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#4

Post by 3eyes » June 13th, 2015, 4:09 pm

Oh goody. I'll start with fiction films about famous poets/writers. I was thinking of narrowing it either to poets or to women, but will settle for the broader scope. I may go beyond five, too, especially since rewatches are allowed.
Last edited by 3eyes on June 13th, 2015, 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#5

Post by brokenface » June 15th, 2015, 12:17 am

Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento

Image

I'd only seen a handful of giallo films and nearly all them were by Argento, with a couple of Bava and Fulci thrown in. Hence decided to dig a bit deeper and had a little binge this weekend.

1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Short Night of Glass Dolls was my favourite discovery here, a nice slow-burner with a Polanski feel. Morricone soundtrack was a bonus. Second best was The House with Laughing Windows which really hit the spot in the finale and wore its Don't Look Now influence well.

The Sergio Martino was probably the most 'classic' giallo of this batch and the most straight up entertaining. Footprints was a real curio incorporating science-fiction into the main character's paranoid delusion. Unfortunately didn't get the pacing quite right & couldn't quite build on its premise but still worth a look. The Designated Victim was on the fringes of giallo - loosely based on Strangers on a Train, it started out promising mysterious atmosphere but kinda fizzled out and ultimately neither thrilling or weird enough. Pierre Clementi's very foppish count was quite fun though.
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10
Last edited by brokenface on June 15th, 2015, 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#6

Post by 3eyes » June 21st, 2015, 4:19 pm

brokenface, are we supposed to present a completed list all at once or may we report piecemeal? (I'm waiting for a chance to scout out some better choices - more about creative process and less about writers' love lives.)
Last edited by 3eyes on June 21st, 2015, 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#7

Post by brokenface » June 21st, 2015, 4:31 pm

however you like - I'm personally going to post as a group (currently working on nuclear disaster films, which is cheery :lol: ) but either way is fine.

also welcome to discuss ideas for themes, scout for suggestions, etc.

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#8

Post by Lilarcor » June 21st, 2015, 5:10 pm

Good idea for a challenge. Working on French Impressionist films and after that it'll be German Expressionism perhaps. Last year was a year where I focused on 1910s cinema, this year it's 1920s all the way.

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#9

Post by edkrak » June 21st, 2015, 8:25 pm

In!

Part 1: Ozploitation - one of my most neglected cult/exploitation movements
1. Mad Max (1979) 6/10
2.
3.
4.
5.

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#10

Post by brokenface » June 21st, 2015, 8:58 pm

Welcome! nice choice - I'm planning Aussie new wave as one future theme, probably overlaps a little with Ozploitation so I'm interested to see if you find any gems.

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#11

Post by brokenface » June 23rd, 2015, 12:00 am

Theme#2: Nuclear warning

Image

1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

There seemed to be two waves of these type of films coming out - first in the late 50s-mid 60s with On the Beach probably the first big success - I finally watched this one and I was lukewarm on it overall - culminating in the 1964 double whammy of Failsafe and Dr Strangelove both looking at the possibility of cold war escalation.

And then...nothing. Fear of the atom bomb seemed to be off the menu for the 70s as there were other things to be afraid of (capsizing cruise ships! sharks! rollercoasters! bees!). Then suddenly in the early 80s there was a mass of films competing to be the most harrowing portrayal of what would happen if mutually assured destruction really kicked into play.

Four of the five films I watched come from this 80s wave. The Day After, I've learned, was the big one in terms of mass impact and it is the most graphic and explosive of these films with its wham-bam bombing sequence in the middle packing a real punch even with fairly limited effects and made-for-TV feel.

Testament takes a smaller view, looking at one family in one town and avoiding showing anything graphic. Some of it is really effective, but it suffers from an overly schmaltzy soundtrack which make it seem more forced in its attempts to draw emotion from the harrowing situation. When the Wind Blows goes even smaller, focusing on an elderly couple and while it's nicely done, it did feel like it overmilked the idea of cosy-tea-drinking-couple showing good old-fashioned wartime resolve in dire scenario.

Finally there's Miracle Mile - an offbeat flick in the realm of After Hours and Joe vs the Volcano. Much like the latter of those two, the tonal shift that doesn't wholly work but I enjoyed this one for its oddness. Not enough to call it a favourite but enough to say it's worth a go and deserves a bit more attention than its <250 check count.

Overall, for harrowing effectiveness I still think the documentary-style The War Game and Threads are more powerful, along with Imamura's Black Rain. Still I was plenty harrowed by these and I'll be choosing some lighter fare for my next theme. But first I need to start building up my stock of tinned food and bottle water. Just in case, y'know.
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

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#12

Post by 3eyes » June 23rd, 2015, 1:12 am

Special Bulletin (MTV 1983) is kind of a documentary style as I recall - worth a watch.

I guess you're not considering films about Hiroshima-Nagasaki, of which I've seen a number? Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August deals with the oblivion of which you speak.
Last edited by 3eyes on June 23rd, 2015, 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#13

Post by brokenface » June 23rd, 2015, 1:34 am

3eyes on Jun 22 2015, 07:12:09 PM wrote:Special Bulletin (MTV 1983) is kind of a documentary style as I recall - worth a watch.

I guess you're not considering films about Hiroshima-Nagasaki, of which I've seen a number?
Special Bulletin is not one I really was aware of. I did see the name when reading about The Day After but I'd already picked out my films for the challenge and I'm rather burnt out on nuclear strikes now ;) I will put it on watchlist for future viewing..

I wasn't avoiding Hiroshima/Nagasaki films per se, but I guess I was more focused on fictionalised what-if type films. Have to say, none of these films has had the same effect on me as reading John Hersey's book/article on Hiroshima. Black Rain was probably the closest though.

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#14

Post by brokenface » June 28th, 2015, 12:46 pm

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy

Image

1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)

Needed something lighter after all the nuclear apocalypses. These are all films I wasn't sure if I'd seen as a kid, and both The Dark Crystal and Legend had some familiarity which makes me think I watched them in distant past - otherwise I've somehow managed never to have watched any of them. The Jim Henson films were unsurprisingly the best here. Labyrinth in particular - I have a friend who raves about it as her favourite ever film and I assumed that was just nostalgia talking but even without having nostalgic memories of it, I enjoyed it plenty. Bowie, puppets, imagination: what's not to like.

Conan wasn't as bad as I expected. Legend had a good baddie, but lame heroes. NeverEnding Story probably aimed a bit younger in its audience so was less interesting & probably would need nostalgia to enjoy it as adult.
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy
1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)
Last edited by brokenface on June 28th, 2015, 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#15

Post by 3eyes » June 28th, 2015, 1:26 pm

Good to see the range of things you have in mind. I'll be joining you soon.
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#16

Post by Carmel1379 » June 29th, 2015, 2:35 am

Theme: WWII, Third Reich, Nazi and Hitler

Film 1:
Image
HITLER, Ein Film aus Deutschland (1977, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg)
A dense inflow of information (be it from the long monologues of characters with distinct costumes and expressions, slow movement of the camera, recorded speeches, many allusions to other artists, works and events, constant objects on the set, visually changing elements, projected reels on a behind screen, musical soundtracks, radio broadcasts, backward noise and so on) about difficult topics and personalities, coming from a source which wants to be pioneering. This film is not, however, intellectually stimulating (provoking thoughts, ideas, imagination) (and the questions which it poses itself have predisposed no answers) - it is a "locked film", which makes it difficult to think about and judge (necessary due to the essence of its topics) and which means chunks of it can be pretentious, nonsensical and pseudo-intellectual, though this might come from the fact that my understanding of German isn't the best. It has lots of quite interesting stories, commentaries, provocations and visual worth, but I wasn't blown away by this, like some other people were. Having said that, I will rewatch this one in the future. It is also nice to read reviews and discourses between apologetics and detractors, for this is a strongly polarizing film which has no veritable base and is not easy to view, follow or regard. 7+/10
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#17

Post by 3eyes » June 30th, 2015, 3:42 am

Theme 1: Biopics of famous writers.
I found it impossible to divide this neatly into two sets of five, so might as well list them in order watched. The first five:

1. Wilde (UK 97) - REWATCH
Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde and Jude Law as Bosie.

2. Christopher and his kind (UK 11)
Christopher Isherwood's experiences leading to his Berlin Stories.

3. The great McGonagall (UK 74) - William Topaz McGonagall
A slapstick farce about "the world's worst poet," with Spike Mulligan as McGonagall and Peter Sellars as Queen Victoria. Very 70s. It did follow his life, sort of, and the poetry, though unintelligible, was real. http://www.mcgonagall-online.org.uk/

4. Flores raras / Reaching for the moon (Brazil 13) - Elizabeth Bishop and her relationship with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

5. Byron (UK 03) Bad, mad, and dangerous to know.

Second installment in a few days.
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#18

Post by brokenface » June 30th, 2015, 7:29 am

My friend was always threatening to - but never did - host an anti-Burns night, which was going to take place 6 months later and celebrate McGonagall as Scotland's true national poet. He was a big fan of that film. I once watched it after a very boozy evening and it didn't make a whole lot of sense
Last edited by brokenface on June 30th, 2015, 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#19

Post by funkybusiness » June 30th, 2015, 8:11 am

haa I was just reading about McGonagall the other night (because I watched those Harry Potter movies...) there is some truly staggering writing from that guy.

didn't know about the movie thanks 3eyes!



Ye sons of Great Britain, I think no shame
To write in praise of brave General Graham!
Whose name will be handed down to posterity without any stigma,
Because, at the battle of El-Teb, he defeated Osman Digna.

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#20

Post by 3eyes » June 30th, 2015, 12:54 pm

Wonder if he inspired EC Bentley to invent the clerihew? It's a perfect form for WTM, anyhow:

William Topaz McGonagall
penned many a tragic chronicle.
We still remember him more than a century after
for his genius at moving his audience to laughter.
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#21

Post by 3eyes » July 2nd, 2015, 2:54 am

Theme 1: Biopics of famous writers, part 2

6. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (34) - Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning
7. Violette (Fr 13) - Violette Leduc, Simone de Beauvoir
8. Mein Herz - Niemandem! / My heart is mine alone (Ger 97) - Else Lasker-Schüler and Gottfried Benn
9. The invisible woman (UK 13) - Dickens
10. Les soeurs Brontë / The Brontë Sisters (Fr 79)

Violette was my favorite of the ten, because it dares to put the creative process ahead of the characters' love lives. Although there is plenty of eroticism, it centers on a (chaste) mentor-protege relationship between two bisexual women. Simone de Beauvoir champions Violette Leduc's writing while keeping her distance, and urges her to write about her experiences rather than acting out.

My next theme will be World War One - in two or three installments, I think (probably with other themes in between) - beginning with films made in the last 25 years.
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#22

Post by 3eyes » July 8th, 2015, 3:12 am

Theme 2: World war I (21st-century films)
1. Testament of youth (UK 2015)
2. Great War Diaries (Internat’l, 2014, 411m)
3. La France (Fr 2007)
4. The Wipers Times (UK 2013)
5. Ararat (Canada 02)

Great War Diaries is an 8-episode overview of the war using excerpts from diaries and civilians from many countries on both sides, linked by narration and archival footage.

I have chosen to include Ararat, Atom Egoyan's multilayered film about the start of the Armenian genocide at the city of Van, Turkey in 1915, although the film takes the view that linking it with World War I is a copout.
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#23

Post by Kasparius » July 8th, 2015, 3:24 am

Good idea for a challenge, I'll ponder and join soon.

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#24

Post by 3eyes » July 12th, 2015, 3:08 am

Theme 3: Pre-revolutionary Iran
1. Shab-neshini dar jahannam/A party in hell (Iran 58)
Dickens' Christmas carol meets Dante's Inferno by Melies in Bollywood.

2. Mossafer/The traveler (Iran 74)
3. Saz Dahani / Harmonica (Iran 74)
Two very different films in which boys exploit their peers.

4. Tangsir/Tight spot (Iran 74)
Revenge flick in which the corrupt rich get their comeuppance.

5. Mogholha / The Mongols (Iran 73) [Rewatch]
Surreal meditation on meeting of modern and ancient cultures.
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#25

Post by 3eyes » July 12th, 2015, 3:10 am

oops, double post
Last edited by 3eyes on July 13th, 2015, 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#26

Post by brokenface » July 13th, 2015, 7:44 pm

Theme#4: Blaxploitation

Image

1. Super Fly (Parks Jr, 1972)
2. Across 110th Street (Shear, 1972)
3. The Mack (Campus, 1973)
4. Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973)
5. Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974)

Another area of cult cinema I've scarcely scratched surface of and previously knew more from homages & spoofs, hence the Captain Obvious choices here. Mostly quite fun stuff, even if often little more than a cool main character & killer soundtrack (but then, that's not a bad basis for a film).

Across 110th Street is my favourite here, but also not really blaxploitation - rather, a very bleak n scuzzy 70s New York thriller (which I'm shocked to see Sebby and Kasparius haven't checked).
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy
1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)

Theme#4: Blaxploitation
1. Super Fly (Parks Jr, 1972)
2. Across 110th Street (Shear, 1972)
3. The Mack (Campus, 1973)
4. Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973)
5. Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974)
Last edited by brokenface on July 13th, 2015, 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#27

Post by mightysparks » July 14th, 2015, 12:31 am

I dunno if 'gay' as a genre is small enough to count since it just had its own challenge (I don't really have the time or motivation to join in with the monthly challenges anymore), but I wanna join in and it's pretty much all I've watched recently so I'm gonna chuck it in anyway, I'll get more specific later:

1. The Celluloid Closet (1995) 6/10

A decent documentary about the history of gay characters and 'gayness' in films from the beginning of cinema to 1995. It feels a little preachy at times though and doesn't really discuss anything in depth. I did learn a few bits and pieces from it and it was interesting to hear about how the gay community felt about how they were being portrayed in cinema.

2. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) 4/10

Although this always pops up in gay lists, I put it off for a long time because I thought it was going to be lame, but it was even worse than I expected. Nothing of any value whatsoever, Daniel Day Lewis is an awful actor in everything (except Gangs of New York) and I have no idea why he's so popular with everyone; every time I see in something else, I dislike him even more. Boring characters, boring plot, cringy dialogue. All I cared about it was it being over.

3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 5/10

Just found it really boring. I couldn't get into it at all.

4. Victor Victoria (1982) 5/10

See above.

5. Big Eden (2000) 6/10

Another one I've put off for years. Arye Gross is in a lot of TV, and I wasn't really sure about him being the lead of a film but he was really good. It felt too much like a TV movie at times and I didn't like the feel of it. I also didn't like the love interest for Gross' character because they had zero chemistry and he came across as a bit of a creeper. Their scenes together were just bad-awkward. I did, however, love the subplot about him and his old best friend from highschool who he has always been in love with. They had really great chemistry and scenes together and I wanted more of that than the faffing about in between. Another thing I liked about the film was that it wasn't just a gay movie to be gay, I don't even know if they even said the word gay. Although there was a slight mention that he never came out to his grandfather, the rest of the film is just a romantic drama.


--

I wanna join in on this more, but I'm struggling to think of ideas for it. I want to make up a big list of stuff and then pull something out of a hat, but I just dunno.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#28

Post by 3eyes » July 14th, 2015, 3:36 am

mightysparks on Jul 13 2015, 06:31:42 PM wrote:I dunno if 'gay' as a genre is small enough to count since it just had its own challenge (I don't really have the time or motivation to join in with the monthly challenges anymore), but I wanna join in and it's pretty much all I've watched recently so I'm gonna chuck it in anyway, I'll get more specific later:

1. The Celluloid Closet (1995) 6/10

A decent documentary about the history of gay characters and 'gayness' in films from the beginning of cinema to 1995. It feels a little preachy at times though and doesn't really discuss anything in depth. I did learn a few bits and pieces from it and it was interesting to hear about how the gay community felt about how they were being portrayed in cinema.

2. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) 4/10

Although this always pops up in gay lists, I put it off for a long time because I thought it was going to be lame, but it was even worse than I expected. Nothing of any value whatsoever, Daniel Day Lewis is an awful actor in everything (except Gangs of New York) and I have no idea why he's so popular with everyone; every time I see in something else, I dislike him even more. Boring characters, boring plot, cringy dialogue. All I cared about it was it being over.

3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 5/10

Just found it really boring. I couldn't get into it at all.

4. Victor Victoria (1982) 5/10

See above.

5. Big Eden (2000) 6/10

Another one I've put off for years. Arye Gross is in a lot of TV, and I wasn't really sure about him being the lead of a film but he was really good. It felt too much like a TV movie at times and I didn't like the feel of it. I also didn't like the love interest for Gross' character because they had zero chemistry and he came across as a bit of a creeper. Their scenes together were just bad-awkward. I did, however, love the subplot about him and his old best friend from highschool who he has always been in love with. They had really great chemistry and scenes together and I wanted more of that than the faffing about in between. Another thing I liked about the film was that it wasn't just a gay movie to be gay, I don't even know if they even said the word gay. Although there was a slight mention that he never came out to his grandfather, the rest of the film is just a romantic drama.


--

I wanna join in on this more, but I'm struggling to think of ideas for it. I want to make up a big list of stuff and then pull something out of a hat, but I just dunno.
I tried Hedwig for the gay challenge and gave up - couldn't stand it.
It's awhile since I saw Victor/Victoria, but I remember it left me cold - the 1933 German original (Viktor und Viktoria) is a lot more fun, but not in the gay ballpark.

The themes I gravitate to center around history or literature -- Re the latter, one could look for filmed versions of different literary works by an author or literary country/period, or different versions of and riffs on a Shakespeare play or some other much-filmed literary work KG's MOMs are a good source of ideas, too.
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#29

Post by brokenface » July 14th, 2015, 7:46 pm

mightysparks on Jul 13 2015, 06:31:42 PM wrote:I wanna join in on this more, but I'm struggling to think of ideas for it. I want to make up a big list of stuff and then pull something out of a hat, but I just dunno.
I have tonnes of ideas planned out. most of them came from scrolling through my watchlist and being inspired by either one film or a couple of films which had something in common and then building from there (e.g. On the Beach and The Day After were starter for the nuclear theme; The Dark Crystal & Labyrinth for the 80s fantasy).

Another route would be the more random approach - one way to make your big list would be to pick a handful of broad categories and make a list of things that interest you for each - so, for me things like:

Historical settings (French revolution, ancient Egypt, fall of Berlin wall, Spanish civil war)
Specific geographic location (New Orleans, Venice, the Sahara)
Types of location (prison, train, jungle, hotel)
Subject matter (investigative journalism, jazz music, space exploration)

or like 3eyes said, KG MOM themes is a good source of ideas - or for subgenres scroll through the big list in the Film Genre challenge

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#30

Post by Kowry » July 15th, 2015, 11:55 am

Not a big fan of blaxploitation, think Superfly is my favourite of those few I've seen (need to rewatch Coffy). The Mack had a great dialogue scene about giraffes and elephants, though.

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#31

Post by brokenface » July 19th, 2015, 10:58 am

Theme#5: American New Wave & 70s Women

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1. Girlfriends (Weill, 1978)
2. Norma Rae (Ritt, 1979)
3. An Unmarried Woman (Mazursky, 1978)
4. Diary of a Mad Housewife (Perry, 1970)
5. Looking for Mr Goodbar (Brooks, 1978)

The American New Wave of the 1970s is sometimes criticised for overlooking women with the dominance of actors like De Niro, Pacino, Hoffman, Hackman and the lack of female directors involved. I picked out five films which could be considered part of American New Wave and focus on female characters, and indeed only one of the five here was directed by a woman, though four of them had women writers.

With one exception, they were all at the very least interesting. The dud of the group was An Unmarried Woman, which came across overly insistent on how we should feel so terribly sorry for this incredibly privileged woman and is saddled with an utterly awful soundtrack. I'm also holding this film responsible for Sex & the City. The winner is Girlfriends which is a real nice low-key slice-of-life film with characters who feel real. Perhaps it's notable that the pick of the group is the only one which is written and directed by women, while the dud is the only one both written and directed by a man.

Of the others, Diary of a Mad Housewife prefigures Jeanne Dielman somewhat, suffers a little for some clunky dialogue but benefits from a great performance by Carrie Snodgress and a suitably awful husband. Norma Rae is a bit more of a formulaic Oscar-friendly flick, but is likeable and refreshing for focusing on a working class character as opposed to the wealthy New Yorkers dominating several of the other films. Looking for Mr Goodbar is the hardest one to get the measure on, in terms of intentions. There's a bit on exploitation feel & you could read it as being a scare film against promiscuity. That said Diane Keaton is great and the ending is a really effective piece of film.

All of these films are real 70s time capsules, showing the fashions and fads of the time, as well as attitudes (unfortunately several of them could be seen as quite homophobic, with angry men who turn out to be repressed homosexuals featuring in several!).
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy
1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)

Theme#4: Blaxploitation
1. Super Fly (Parks Jr, 1972)
2. Across 110th Street (Shear, 1972)
3. The Mack (Campus, 1973)
4. Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973)
5. Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974)

Theme#5: American New Wave & 70s Women
1. Girlfriends (Weill, 1978)
2. Norma Rae (Ritt, 1979)
3. An Unmarried Woman (Mazursky, 1978)
4. Diary of a Mad Housewife (Perry, 1970)
5. Looking for Mr Goodbar (Brooks, 1978)

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#32

Post by edkrak » July 19th, 2015, 11:18 pm

Part 1: Ozploitation
1. Mad Max (1979) 6/10
2. Wolf Creek (2005) 5/10 - Technically competently made, but in the end it's just an another unimaginative TCM clone.
3.
4.
5.
Last edited by edkrak on July 19th, 2015, 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#33

Post by 3eyes » July 22nd, 2015, 3:24 am

Theme 4: Conscientious objectors
1. Age of Innocence / Ragtime Summer (Canada 77) - drama
On the eve of WW II, the denizens of a Canadian private school discover that their new (British) science teacher was CO during WW I.

2. Tu ne tueras point/Thou shalt not kill (Fr / It /Yugo 61) - drama, Algerian War
The main action takes place in 1949, but the Algerian War is clearly meant, and the film was banned in France. The available version is in Italian with some German.

3. The Conscientious Objector (04) - documentary, WW II
Concerns a Seventh-Day Adventist who, calling himself a "conscientious cooperator," eagerly volunteered for the army as a medic but refused to carry a weapon. My favorite of the lot because of the simplicity and humility of the protagonist, interviewed 60 years later. And it's an extraordinary story.

4. Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (13) - docudrama, Vietnam War
How the US Supreme Court ended up granting Ali CO status in spite of itself. Interspersed archival footage about Ali and his times.

5. Jehovah's Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault (96) - documentary, WW II JW-produced doc about a little-known aspect of the Holocaust.
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#34

Post by brokenface » July 26th, 2015, 7:35 pm

Theme#6: Circus

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1. The Greatest Show on Earth (DeMille, 1952)
2. Man on a Tightrope (Kazan, 1953)
3. Laugh Clown Laugh (Brenon, 1928)
4. Trapeze (Reed, 1956)
5. Invincible (Herzog, 2001)

50s is clearly the peak era of the circus film. The Greatest Show on Earth is indeed the bloated mess I'd heard it was - overload of spectacle with little thought for character or script. Trapeze is far superior, with the kind of fine camerawork you'd expect from a Carol Reed film, and a much better crafted story. Also Gina Lollobrigida :pinch: Man on a Tightrope doesn't quite take off as I'd hoped but is quite good and seems a little overlooked, considering it's directed by Elia Kazan.

The others are more tangentially related. Laugh Clown Laugh - while I'm not a huge Lon Chaney fan, he does this kind of melodrama well. Invincible follows the story of a strongman but only really features the circus in one scene. The hypnotist Hanussen is the more interesting character (which makes me want to watch the Istvan Szabo film which about him). Shame this was made in English not German - doesn't quite feel right. Still has a bit of a Herzog feel.
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy
1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)

Theme#4: Blaxploitation
1. Super Fly (Parks Jr, 1972)
2. Across 110th Street (Shear, 1972)
3. The Mack (Campus, 1973)
4. Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973)
5. Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974)

Theme#5: American New Wave & 70s Women
1. Girlfriends (Weill, 1978)
2. Norma Rae (Ritt, 1979)
3. An Unmarried Woman (Mazursky, 1978)
4. Diary of a Mad Housewife (Perry, 1970)
5. Looking for Mr Goodbar (Brooks, 1978)

Theme#6: Circus
1. The Greatest Show on Earth (DeMille, 1952)
2. Man on a Tightrope (Kazan, 1953)
3. Laugh Clown Laugh (Brenon, 1928)
4. Trapeze (Reed, 1956)
5. Invincible (Herzog, 2001)
Last edited by brokenface on July 26th, 2015, 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#35

Post by 3eyes » July 30th, 2015, 3:44 am

Theme 5: Hollywood musicals from WWII
1. Up in arms (44)
2. Cairo (42)
3. Road to Morocco (42)
4. Stage Door Canteen (43) - rewatch
5. Yankee Doodle Dandy (42)

I was in primary school during WW II and musicals were one of the few genres other than Disney that were considered suitable for children. I saw a lot of them but they were pretty interchangeable, so I don't know which of these I actually saw; the only one I'm sure of is Stage Door Canteen, a favorite which I saw twice. I saw some Hope/Crosby "Road to" movies but don't remember which. I think I was taken to see Yankee Doodle Dandy but nothing rang any bells now.

Anyway, 70 years later, my favorite of this lot is Cairo -- a fun spy spoof which didn't come across all that propagandistic. Road to Morocco was obviously made before the US got into the war and seems to have been retrofitted by tacking on some topical stuff at the beginning. The propaganda in Up in Arms I found hardest to take. In the other two it seems, well, quaint.
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#36

Post by Lilarcor » July 30th, 2015, 4:59 pm

Theme 1: French Impressionist films

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1. Coeur fidèle (Epstein, 1923) 7/10
2. Napoléon (Gance, 1927) 8/10
3. La glace à trois faces (Epstein, 1927) 8/10
4. La chute de la maison Usher (Epstein, 1928) 7/10
5. Finis terrae (Epstein, 1929) 6/10

Lots of Epstein here but before the challenge started I watched the other two huge works by Abel Gance (La roue and J'accuse!), L'homme du large (L'Herbier) and La souriante Madame Beudet (Dulac). During the challenge I watched a few short films (La petite marchande d'allumettes (Renoir, 1928) is a noteworthy one). Before I started on this I hadn't seen anything from this "movement" which has quite a few gems I find. It's not easy to find similarities in the films from different directors in this "movement" but as the years went by they got more and more inspired by each other and thus you get some a clear list of things that connect them all.

If I were to rank the directors I've seen from most to least "impressionistic", which is stupid (especially since the "movement" changed over the years) but still, I would rate them as follows:

Gance > L'Herbier > Kirsanoff > Epstein > Dulac > Renoir

Both Gance and L'Herbier are going over-the top crazy with the camera (especially in Napoléon) and title cards (L'homme du large) and the movies feel more like from a different time to me. They are however the most interesting to me even though they really lay it thick on the experimentation. The short films by Kirsanoff I've seen are more moody and even more internal which modern directors like Claire Denis seem inspired by. Epstein made a lot in the 1920s and for me La glace à trois faces is the highlight of his work that I've seen so far, which I found to be bridging the internal style of Kirsanoff with the more apparent and obvious visual storytelling of someone like Abel Gance. Finis terrae is very different from Epstein's earlier work in that it is grounded and not fantastic at all. Finis terrae could easily be seen as a pseudo-documentary with its long shots of methods of seaweed drying. It is much too long sadly and was a low to end on as I move on to German Expressionism.

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#37

Post by brokenface » July 30th, 2015, 9:59 pm

Glad to have you on board, Lilacor. funnily enough i've got Finis terrae lined up to watch very soon for another challenge. You've dampened my expectations a little but that's no bad thing. I'm a big fan of Epstein's Coeur fidele (which I'd recommend whenever you next venture to French impressionism).

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#38

Post by Lilarcor » July 30th, 2015, 11:11 pm

brokenface on Jul 30 2015, 03:59:02 PM wrote:Glad to have you on board, Lilacor. funnily enough i've got Finis terrae lined up to watch very soon for another challenge. You've dampened my expectations a little but that's no bad thing. I'm a big fan of Epstein's Coeur fidele (which I'd recommend whenever you next venture to French impressionism).
I saw that one as well. :P Had high expectations going in but it "only" ended up as a 7/10 for me.

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#39

Post by brokenface » July 30th, 2015, 11:21 pm

Lilarcor on Jul 30 2015, 05:11:09 PM wrote:
brokenface on Jul 30 2015, 03:59:02 PM wrote:Glad to have you on board, Lilacor. funnily enough i've got Finis terrae lined up to watch very soon for another challenge. You've dampened my expectations a little but that's no bad thing. I'm a big fan of Epstein's Coeur fidele (which I'd recommend whenever you next venture to French impressionism).
I saw that one as well. :P Had high expectations going in but it "only" ended up as a 7/10 for me.
jesus I am going blind, it was even the first one on your list :lol:

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#40

Post by brokenface » August 3rd, 2015, 11:07 pm

Theme#7: Spaghetti Beyond Leone

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1. The Big Gundown (Sollima, 1966)
2. Day of Anger (Valerii, 1967)
3. Il mercenario (Corbucci, 1968)
4. Une corde, un Colt.../Cemetery Without Crosses (Hossein, 1968)
5. Face to Face (Sollima, 1967)

Much like giallo, I'd barely scratched surface of spaghetti westerns and mainly seen films by the big name of the genre. Out of these I most enjoyed my Lee Van Cleef double bill of Big Gundown and Day of Anger. The others were all okay but I think I felt spaghettied out and none of them grabbed me especially.
WatchedShow
Theme#1: Giallo beyond Argento
1. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro / Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) 8/10
2. La vittima designata / The Designated Victim (Maurizio Lucidi, 1971) 6/10
3. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh / The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1972) 7/10
4. Le orme / Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni & Mario Fanelli, 1975) 7/10
5. La casa dalle finestre che ridono / The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976) 8/10

Theme#2: Nuclear warning
1. On the Beach (Kramer, 1959)
2. When the Wind Blows (Murakami, 1986)
3. Miracle Mile (De Jarnatt, 1988)
4. The Day After (Meyer, 1983)
5. Testament (Littman, 1983)

Theme#3: 80s Fantasy
1. The Dark Crystal (Henson, 1982)
2. Conan the Barbarian (Milius, 1982)
3. The NeverEnding Story (Petersen, 1984)
4. Legend (Scott, 1985)
5. Labyrinth (Henson, 1986)

Theme#4: Blaxploitation
1. Super Fly (Parks Jr, 1972)
2. Across 110th Street (Shear, 1972)
3. The Mack (Campus, 1973)
4. Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973)
5. Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974)

Theme#5: American New Wave & 70s Women
1. Girlfriends (Weill, 1978)
2. Norma Rae (Ritt, 1979)
3. An Unmarried Woman (Mazursky, 1978)
4. Diary of a Mad Housewife (Perry, 1970)
5. Looking for Mr Goodbar (Brooks, 1978)

Theme#6: Circus
1. The Greatest Show on Earth (DeMille, 1952)
2. Man on a Tightrope (Kazan, 1953)
3. Laugh Clown Laugh (Brenon, 1928)
4. Trapeze (Reed, 1956)
5. Invincible (Herzog, 2001)

Theme#7: Spaghetti Beyond Leone
1. The Big Gundown (Sollima, 1966)
2. Day of Anger (Valerii, 1967)
3. Il mercenario (Corbucci, 1968)
4. Une corde, un Colt.../Cemetery Without Crosses (Hossein, 1968)
5. Face to Face (Sollima, 1967)

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