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Run The Director Challenge (Official, February 2021)

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Lu-Chin
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#41

Post by Lu-Chin »

Arturo Ripstein
1. El castillo de la pureza (1973) 8/10
2. Profundo carmesí (1996) 8/10
3. El imperio de la fortuna (1986) 7/10

Chantal Akerman
4. Hôtel Monterey (1973) 5/10 #DDF
5. News from Home (1977) 6/10
6. D'Est (1993) (1993) 6/10

Paul Verhoeven
7. De vierde man (1983) 6/10
8. Turks fruit (1973) 8/10
9. Zwartboek (2006) 8/10
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sol
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#42

Post by sol »

Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West

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Ti West

As a horror aficionado, Ti West is was probably one of my biggest gaps. Prior to this month, I had seen The Sacrament, which I thought was okay (nothing special) and never had much interest in exploring his work further. These three films though have changed my mind. Not so much Trigger Man, but the other two are really great and I will be adding The Roost to my Directional Debuts poll ballot (shoutout to Lonewolf; your bonus challenge is working!) and I have already added it to my 500<400 ballot.

Based on these three films (and my blurry memories of The Sacrament), West seems to have an affinity for singular locations and an interest in slow burn approaches. All three of the above films do amazing things with their singular locations, none of which are particular scary on their own, but shot at night with an eerie soundscape and both The Roost and The Innkeeper become downright frightening to watch. The daylight woods of Trigger Man are also sort of effective, but then West ruins everything by relocating his protagonist towards the end.

The slow burn though is what I really liked about these films (again Trigger Man less so). All of the terror is suggested rather than overt, or at least to begin with. In fact, the biggest failing of both The Roost and The Innkeepers is that after keeping all of the horror down-to-earth and realistic, both films go for something more supernatural towards the end. Still, they are both great rides with many memorable moments. The inadvertent death plunge in The Roost will be ingrained in my mind for a while; same goes the last guest in The Innkeepers.
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Obgeoff
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#43

Post by Obgeoff »

Run #3: Abel Ferrara

Previous experience:
6 features - 1 @ 9, 2 @ 8, 2 @ 7, 1 @ 6

9. Ms .45 (1981, Ferrara) 8
10. The Addiction (1995, Ferrara) 6
11. New Rose Hotel (1998, Ferrara) 7

Melancholy, New York, dark, intellectual

Run #4: John Milius

Previous experience:
None

12. Big Wednesday (1978, Milius) 6
13. Conan the Barbarian (1982, Milius) 6
14. Red Dawn (1984, Milius) 2

Eye for a landscape, friendship, political

Spoiler
1. Oliver Twist (1948, Lean) 8
2. Summertime (1955, Lean) 8
3. Ryan's Daughter (1970, Lean) 7
4. A Passage to India (1984, Lean) 7

5. A Letter to Three Wives (1949, Mankiewicz) 8
6. Julius Caesar (1953, Mankiewicz) 8
7. Cleopatra (1963, Mankiewicz) 7
8. Sleuth (1972, Mankiewicz) 7

9. Ms .45 (1981, Ferrara) 8
10. The Addiction (1995, Ferrara) 6
11. New Rose Hotel (1998, Ferrara) 7

12. Big Wednesday (1978, Milius) 6
13. Conan the Barbarian (1982, Milius) 6
14. Red Dawn (1984, Milius) 2
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flavo5000
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#44

Post by flavo5000 »

sol wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 6:13 am
Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West

Image Image Image

Ti West

As a horror aficionado, Ti West is was probably one of my biggest gaps. Prior to this month, I had seen The Sacrament, which I thought was okay (nothing special) and never had much interest in exploring his work further. These three films though have changed my mind. Not so much Trigger Man, but the other two are really great and I will be adding The Roost to my Directional Debuts poll ballot (shoutout to Lonewolf; your bonus challenge is working!) and I have already added it to my 500<400 ballot.

Based on these three films (and my blurry memories of The Sacrament), West seems to have an affinity for singular locations and an interest in slow burn approaches. All three of the above films do amazing things with their singular locations, none of which are particular scary on their own, but shot at night with an eerie soundscape and both The Roost and The Innkeeper become downright frightening to watch. The daylight woods of Trigger Man are also sort of effective, but then West ruins everything by relocating his protagonist towards the end.

The slow burn though is what I really liked about these films (again Trigger Man less so). All of the terror is suggested rather than overt, or at least to begin with. In fact, the biggest failing of both The Roost and The Innkeepers is that after keeping all of the horror down-to-earth and realistic, both films go for something more supernatural towards the end. Still, they are both great rides with many memorable moments. The inadvertent death plunge in The Roost will be ingrained in my mind for a while; same goes the last guest in The Innkeepers.
I really liked The Innkeepers and think it's a great example of a slow-burn horror movie that's actually effective instead of boring. I notice you didn't mention House of the Devil. Have you not seen that one? It's probably his most well-known film.
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#45

Post by sol »

flavo5000 wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 2:46 pm
sol wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 6:13 am The slow burn though is what I really liked about these films (again Trigger Man less so). All of the terror is suggested rather than overt, or at least to begin with. In fact, the biggest failing of both The Roost and The Innkeepers is that after keeping all of the horror down-to-earth and realistic, both films go for something more supernatural towards the end. Still, they are both great rides with many memorable moments. The inadvertent death plunge in The Roost will be ingrained in my mind for a while; same goes the last guest in The Innkeepers.
I really liked The Innkeepers and think it's a great example of a slow-burn horror movie that's actually effective instead of boring. I notice you didn't mention House of the Devil. Have you not seen that one? It's probably his most well-known film.
Yeah, I'm aware of it, but it's not an easy film to come across down here. It has been released on R4 DVD but it has long been out-of-print with ex-rental copies being put up for ridiculous prices on eBay.
Ridiculous DVD prices
Image
The film also isn't available on any of my streaming services, so with no legal way to watch it, it has long been a lesser priority on my to-see list. But, my positive reactions to The Roost and The Innkeepers have definitely piqued my interest now.
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#46

Post by flavo5000 »

'Beat' Takeshi Kitano

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Takeshi Kitano began his career in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a comedian under the moniker ‘Beat Takeshi’, first as half of a comedy duo ‘The Two Beats’ and later on his own, becoming one of the biggest comedians in Japan. In fact, many Americans who don’t watch much foreign cinema may be most familiar with him as “Vic Romano” in Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, the English-dubbed version of his game show Takeshi’s Castle. But in the ‘80s, his desire to be taken more seriously grew which led ultimately to his taking over directing duties on his debut Violent Cop when Kinji Fukasaku wasn’t able to direct it. While Violent Cop dealt with some of the themes Kitano would return to over the years, it was his second film Boiling Point, that really brought forth the style he would return to throughout his career: long takes with little action, sparse dialogue, deadpan delivery and short but very graphic bursts of violence. Many of the films in his career dealt with yakuza, which was influenced by actual anecdotes he would hear from real gangsters who would hang out with him after his comedy shows in his early career. Kitano struggled with homeland acceptance of his more serious work for a long time though, and it wasn’t until Hana-bi won the Gold Lion award at the Venice film festival that people began to take him more seriously as a filmmaker. He has amassed quite a body of work that for the most part shows a very distinctive and uncompromised vision unconcerned with mainstream popularity and here’s hoping we continue to see more of Kitano’s unique worldview in years to come.

ImageImageImageImage

12. Kikujirô (1999)
Kikujirô, like his earlier films Sonatine and Kids Return, features a yakuza as the main character but isn’t really about gang wars at all. Instead it’s a film about an older, disgruntled gangster who crosses paths with a young boy traveling across the country to find his mother and the adventures they have together on the road. This one, more than many of Kitano’s films, shows that he has a sweet, sentimental side to him while still infusing the events with his quirky deadpan humor. It strikes an almost perfect balance of melancholy and light fun that makes it a very pleasant, memorable watch.

13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
A Scene at the Sea might be Kitano’s most quiet film, appropriate given that it’s about a downtrodden and picked on deaf man who comes across a broken surfboard one day on the boardwalk by the ocean while performing his duties as a garbage man and becomes determined to learn how to swim and surf, supported by his girlfriend who is also deaf. This is a very simple film in some ways but has some beautiful moments that elevate what could have been a dull slog and instead make it a calming and languidly lovely experience. Having said that, this is not one I would recommend for casual fans of Kitano as it typifies his style more than most of his films, at times coming across so slight that it seems like nothing is happening at all. But isn’t that when some of the most important things are happening? It’s a film of subtle glances and small gestures that mean the world.

14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
Made after A Scene at the Sea and Sonatine, Getting Any? Feels as if Kitano wanted to show people who were complaining about his films not being funny (although I think Sonatine had some very dark, funny stuff in it...just not the kind of comedy people expected from Kitano) that he could still create a loud, wacky, ridiculous movie that would get people laughing again. You could say a lot of things about this film but that it holds back on the crazy is not one of them. It follows a Walter Mitty-esque plot of a young guy who wants nothing more in life than to buy a car to have sex in which continually sends him off into daydreams where he fantasizes about doing the nasty wherever he goes. He then takes on a series of jobs that put him in increasingly crazy situations eventually culminating in becoming the guinea pig in a series of lab experiments led by two crackpot scientists (Kitano himself playing one of them). Getting Any? has some legitimately hilarious stuff in it with Kitano still using his deadpan style of humor to play off the absurdity of the situations the main character finds himself in. Still at times this gets too wacky and crazy for its own good, especially in the final act. I can definitely see why this wasn’t too warmly received by the international crowd, coming between Sonatine and Kids Return. It would be like Paul Thomas Anderson delivering a movie like Dude Where’s My Car in between The Master and The Phantom Thread. Regardless, if you are in the right headspace for it, this one can get a lot of laughs.

15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)
Outrage finds Kitano returning once again to a yakuza story, but this time, it flows like a more traditional gangster story with a veritable cavalcade of dialogue compared to Kitano’s usual film work and a much more propulsive narrative. While it does have some of his trademark long takes and sparse, static camerawork, the violence feels more front-and-center rather than as a punchline to an incredibly grim joke. The movie is also throwing betrayals and double crosses at you constantly, keeping you always off-balance and suspicious of who is really aligned with who. This may actually be an ideal film to ease people into Kitano’s work if they haven’t seen many non-mainstream films as it is possibly the most “normal” film I’ve seen from Kitano while still also including elements of his style.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)
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Cinepolis
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#47

Post by Cinepolis »

Damn, I would love to participate. One of my favorite challenges last year. Online meetings and working at home are sadly keeping me from having much free time, however.

@sol West's "In a Valley of Violence" is also a nice little throwback to spaghetti westerns, but it's modern enough to work for people not accustomed to the genre.
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flavo5000
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#48

Post by flavo5000 »

Steven Soderbergh

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Steven Soderbergh first rose into the social consciousness with his indie hit sex, lies & videotape which marked one of the early hits out of the Sundance Film Festval and showed the viability of succeeding in the mainstream through the independent film market. His career has been all about walking that tightrope between the mainstream Hollywood machine and the more intimate arthouse world. From the glitz, glamour and star power of the Ocean’s Trilogy to much smaller experimental oddities like Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh is the classic example of having your cake and eating it too. A few themes crop up regularly in his works as well. He has a fascination with crime and its consequences with films like The Limey and Out of Sight and heist films in particular like the aforementioned Ocean’s movies and Logan Lucky. He also returns again and again to “message” movies, films that bring attention to a given issue whether it’s corporate corruption as in Erin Brockovich, The Informant! And The Laundromat, drugs like in Traffic and Special Effects or shakin’ what yo’ mamma gave ya as in Magic Mike. Soderbergh is a highly diverse filmmaker who’s most consistent aspect is his ability to produce something of at least reasonable quality in nearly every genre he attempts making him the modern chameleon of the film industry who can haggle with the big wigs at the studio while also keeping in touch with his weird side.

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16. The Laundromat (2019)
The Laundromat is essentially at its core a “The Big Short”-esque quirky takedown of offshore shell companies and money laundering. Like many Soderbergh films, the casting here is dynamite with the likes of Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and a whole host of recognizable faces in even very small roles. Like Big Short, I think it does a serviceable job of showing the complexity of these kind of vast corporate entanglements but spends so much time jet-setting around that it gets tangled up in its own subplots. At one point in the middle it randoms turns into a Nigerian soap opera for instance. It’s almost overstuffed with ideas that Soderbergh wanted to cram in resulting in something more lackluster than it could have been.

17. Haywire (2011)
This hi-octane spy thriller is a bit of a surprise coming from Soderbergh who isn’t always known for being the most viscerally action-oriented director. But casting Gina Carano, a well-regarded MMA martial artist, in the lead role is definitely an asset to the film because Soderbergh can just point the camera at her and let her do her thing without having to rely on a lot of quick cuts to hide the actor’s lack of skill. I think this more than makes up for whatever deficit she may have in the acting department. At the end of the day, the plot is a pretty standard “spy mission goes south and the rogue agent gets payback” type plot and is fine to use as a foundation for Carano’s stunt work. It isn’t the kind of movie that garners awards attention, but it’s a fun flick to put on and watch the punches fly.

18. Eros (2004)
Eros is an anthology film featuring three segments at roughly around 40 minutes each from Soderbergh, Wong Kar-Wai and Michelangelo Antonioni and is a bit of a mixed bag. Wong Kar-Wai’s segment I thought was the best of the bunch about a dressmaker’s years long relationship with a high class prostitute who had come to him for measurements on a new dress and opened a world of sexual passion previously unknown to him. Like much of Kar-Wai’s work, it has a seething sexual undercurrent and a striking sense of intimacy and companionship beyond the physical shot in a very sumptuous, pleasing way. Soderbergh’s segment feels very slight in comparison and is mainly a conversation between Robert Downey Jr and his therapist played by Alan Arkin about his neuroses and that seem to center around a particular mysterious woman. Overall, it’s fine for what it is but feels very slight, like Soderbergh had an afternoon with Downey and Alda and wanted to fill the time with a little pet project. Antonioni’s is, for better or worse, very much of a piece with many of his other works and is focused on a deteriorating relationship and the possibilities that may arise from it. Like much of Antonioni’s output, the narrative is elusive at times and feels more like a series of vaguely connected scenes rather than a single cohesive story. Oddly for Antonioni at times the cinematography also feels a little flat and uninteresting, robbing it of one of his main appeals for those who aren’t a fan of his mysterious narrative tendencies.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)
Last edited by flavo5000 on February 5th, 2021, 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DudeLanez
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#49

Post by DudeLanez »

Kenji Mizoguchi (continued)
4. Saikaku ichidai onna [The Life of Oharu] (1952) 8/10
5. Yôkihi [Princess Yang Kwei-fei] (1955) 7/10
Spoiler
Kenji Mizoguchi
1. Genroku Chûshingura [The 47 Ronin] (1941) 7/10
2. Miyamoto Musashi (1944) 5/10
3. Uwasa no onna [The Woman of Rumour] (1954) 7/10
4. Saikaku ichidai onna [The Life of Oharu] (1952) 8/10
5. Yôkihi [Princess Yang Kwei-fei] (1955) 7/10
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#50

Post by jdidaco »

Thank you for hosting, Lonewolf!

(Screenshots from 'Lamentations a Monument for the Dead World' & 'Cristaux'),

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Johan van der Keuken

1. Dagboek (Diary, Johan van der Keuken, 1972) 9/10
2. De nieuwe ijstijd (The New Ice Age, Johan van der Keuken, 1974-79) 9/10
3. De tijd (Time, Johan van der Keuken, 1983) 8/10

R. Bruce Elder

4. She Is Away (R. Bruce Elder, 1976) 7.5/10 (13 min), Permutations and Combinations (R. Bruce Elder, 1976) 7/10 (7 min), Sweet Love Remembered (R. Bruce Elder, 1980) 7.5/10 (12 min), 1857 (Fool's Gold) (R. Bruce Elder, 1981) 8.5/10 (25 min), Work in Progress from Consolations (Love Is an Art of Time) (R. Bruce Elder, 1988) 7/10 (23 min) (Total: 80 min)
5. Lamentations a Monument for the Dead World (R. Bruce Elder, 1985) 9/10
6. Et Resurrectus Est (R. Bruce Elder, 1994) 8.5/10

Teo Hernandez

7. Corps Aboli (Teo Hernandez, 1978) 9/10 (16 min), Tables d'hiver (Teo Hernandez, 1979) 9/10 (29 min), Gong (Teo Hernandez, 1981) 9.5/10 (39 min) (Total: 84 min)
8. Cristaux (Teo Hernandez, 1978) 10/10
9. Lacrima Christi (Teo Hernandez, 1980) 9.5/10

Boris Lehman

10. Magnum Begynasium Bruxellense (Boris Lehman, 1978) 8.5/10
11. Couple, regards, positions (Boris Lehman & Nadine Wandel, 1983) 8/10
12. À la recherche du lieu de ma naissance (Looking for My Birthplace, Boris Lehman, 1990) 8/10

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sol
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#51

Post by sol »

Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West
10. Flodder (1986) Dick Maas
11. Quiz (2012) Dick Maas
12. Saint (2010) Dick Maas

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Dick Maas

De Lift and Amsterdamned are a couple of films that I still own on VHS. They were never released on DVD over here and I remember how excited I was when I came across them as ex-rental tapes way back in the day. Despite liking both a lot at the time, I never sought out anything more from Maas until the last Benelux Challenge when I watched the surprisingly decent Do Not Disturb. While Maas no doubt has his followers, his horror/thriller reputation seems entirely based around the two films that I have on VHS, so I decided that this was the perfect month to explore him a little further.

The good news is that his Flodder is a pretty good film. It's a zany comedy, so quite unlike everything else that I have seen from him, but with some sharp satire and snobby characters undone by their unwillingness to accept outside. There are also some very well crafted stunt scenes involving automobiles. Quiz and Saint though only confirmed my suspicions that Maas is only known for two horror films for a reason.

Both Quiz and Saint benefit from an excellent and intriguing premise, and yet in both cases it is not properly worked through. The humiliating quiz is hardly the focus of Quiz (a bunch of questions are just skipped!) while children gawking at the evil Santa and so on are only a small part of a film that turns out to be a fairly routine slasher. Both films also suffer from very weak endings that wrap things up way too nicely for the main characters. The same might be said of Flodder (regarding the ending) but in that case, it is a comedy, so the fluffiness feels more appropriate. I really wish that I had seen the other Maas films more recently (and yeah, I know there is still time to squeeze them in during a second run) because this whole not-knowing-how-to-end-a-film seems like a real Achilles heel for a director who is able to ramp up so much suspense and provide such great gore when in his element.
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#52

Post by sol »

Cinepolis wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 7:44 pm @sol West's "In a Valley of Violence" is also a nice little throwback to spaghetti westerns, but it's modern enough to work for people not accustomed to the genre.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for the upcoming Westerns Challenge. I actually own the film on ex-rental Blu-ray, but decided that the other stuff that I had lined up from him seemed more promising for a quick run.
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#53

Post by maxwelldeux »

flavo5000 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 12:00 am 16. The Laundromat (2019)
The Laundromat is essentially at its core a “The Big Short”-esque quirky takedown of offshore shell companies and money laundering. Like many Soderbergh films, the casting here is dynamite with the likes of Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and a whole host of recognizable faces in even very small roles. Like Big Short, I think it does a serviceable job of showing the complexity of these kind of vast corporate entanglements but spends so much time jet-setting around that it gets tangled up in its own subplots. At one point in the middle it randoms turns into a Nigerian soap opera for instance. It’s almost overstuffed with ideas that Soderbergh wanted to cram in resulting in something more lackluster than it could have been.
Yeah, I tend to agree. I have it as a 7/10, largely because I find the underlying subject utterly fascinating. But it's definitely a little much to deal with, especially if you're not already familiar with the underlying issue.
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#54

Post by pitchorneirda »

Satoshi Kon

1. Perfect Blue (1997, Satoshi Kon) 8/10 -> only second animation movie to enter my favourites (after Jean-François Laguionie's Le Tableau)
2. Paprika (2006, Satoshi Kon) 6.5/10
3. Tokyo Godfathers (2003, Satoshi Kon) 5.5/10

Next : Douglas Sirk
"Art is like a fire, it is born from the very thing it burns" - Jean-Luc Godard
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#55

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

sol wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 6:13 am
Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West

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Ti West

I will be adding The Roost to my Directional Debuts poll ballot (shoutout to Lonewolf; your bonus challenge is working!) and I have already added it to my 500<400 ballot.
:circle: :party: Glad to see it's working
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#56

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

sol wrote: February 4th, 2021, 4:38 am
Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West
10. Flodder (1986) Dick Maas
11. Quiz (2012) Dick Maas
12. Saint (2010) Dick Maas

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Dick Maas

De Lift and Amsterdamned are a couple of films that I still own on VHS. They were never released on DVD over here and I remember how excited I was when I came across them as ex-rental tapes way back in the day. Despite liking both a lot at the time, I never sought out anything more from Maas until the last Benelux Challenge when I watched the surprisingly decent Do Not Disturb. While Maas no doubt has his followers, his horror/thriller reputation seems entirely based around the two films that I have on VHS, so I decided that this was the perfect month to explore him a little further.

The good news is that his Flodder is a pretty good film. It's a zany comedy, so quite unlike everything else that I have seen from him, but with some sharp satire and snobby characters undone by their unwillingness to accept outside. There are also some very well crafted stunt scenes involving automobiles. Quiz and Saint though only confirmed my suspicions that Maas is only known for two horror films for a reason.

Both Quiz and Saint benefit from an excellent and intriguing premise, and yet in both cases it is not properly worked through. The humiliating quiz is hardly the focus of Quiz (a bunch of questions are just skipped!) while children gawking at the evil Santa and so on are only a small part of a film that turns out to be a fairly routine slasher. Both films also suffer from very weak endings that wrap things up way too nicely for the main characters. The same might be said of Flodder (regarding the ending) but in that case, it is a comedy, so the fluffiness feels more appropriate. I really wish that I had seen the other Maas films more recently (and yeah, I know there is still time to squeeze them in during a second run) because this whole not-knowing-how-to-end-a-film seems like a real Achilles heel for a director who is able to ramp up so much suspense and provide such great gore when in his element.
Funny/Interesting to read a non-Dutch opinion on Flodder, cause that's such a stable of Dutch popular cinema. There is also Flodder 2: Flodder in the USA, a Flodder 3 and a tv-series if you got the taste for more :D
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#57

Post by sol »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 11:03 am Funny/Interesting to read a non-Dutch opinion on Flodder, cause that's such a stable of Dutch popular cinema. There is also Flodder 2: Flodder in the USA, a Flodder 3 and a tv-series if you got the taste for more :D
Oh yeah - I'm aware of the sequels. Can't quite say that I loved the original enough to seek out the sequels in a hurry (especially with so much else on my Benelux watch-list already) but we'll see how the month goes. :shifty:
Lonewolf2003 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 10:59 am
sol wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 6:13 am I will be adding The Roost to my Directional Debuts poll ballot (shoutout to Lonewolf; your bonus challenge is working!) and I have already added it to my 500<400 ballot.
:circle: :party: Glad to see it's working
Oh yes. Will be interested to see how I am faring against everyone else in the Bonus Challenge when you get around to updating the OP. ;)
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#58

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

sol wrote: February 4th, 2021, 12:16 pm
Lonewolf2003 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 11:03 am Funny/Interesting to read a non-Dutch opinion on Flodder, cause that's such a stable of Dutch popular cinema. There is also Flodder 2: Flodder in the USA, a Flodder 3 and a tv-series if you got the taste for more :D
Oh yeah - I'm aware of the sequels. Can't quite say that I loved the original enough to seek out the sequels in a hurry (especially with so much else on my Benelux watch-list already) but we'll see how the month goes. :shifty:
Lonewolf2003 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 10:59 am
sol wrote: February 3rd, 2021, 6:13 am I will be adding The Roost to my Directional Debuts poll ballot (shoutout to Lonewolf; your bonus challenge is working!) and I have already added it to my 500<400 ballot.
:circle: :party: Glad to see it's working
Oh yes. Will be interested to see how I am faring against everyone else in the Bonus Challenge when you get around to updating the OP. ;)
Sorry been very busy with the Debuts poll too. Will do the first update this weekend. Have to figure out a good template for myself, so work after that I less intensive.
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#59

Post by sol »

Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West
10. Flodder (1986) Dick Maas
11. Quiz (2012) Dick Maas
12. Saint (2010) Dick Maas
13. Creep (2014) Patrick Brice #DDF
14. Creep 2 (2017) Patrick Brice
15. The Overnight (2015) Patrick Brice

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Patrick Brice

This is my first director that I have run this month from whom I had seen nothing before the Challenge began. Honestly, I haven't heard Brice's name mentioned much, not even in horror circles, though I was aware of Creep and have been aware of the film ever since I mixed it up with the Christopher Smith in a film discussion some years; funnily enough, myself and the other person had similar things to say about the identically titled films.

Of this trio of films, Creep 2 is easily the best and the one where Brice seems most comfortable and confident as a director. Both the first Creep film and The Overnight come with intriguing mystery-based premises, and one thing that Brice does do well is retain a mystery of mystery. And yet, it is the second Creep film where his writing and directing work shines, crafting something so much more dynamic since in this instance we are one step ahead of the protagonist who has no idea what is to come.

Thematically, Brice seems to be interesting in human friendships and the way people relate to each other. Indeed, this is a strength of Creep 2 and his Corporate Animals (which I'm yet to see) appears to be constructed along similar lines. I suppose what is interesting is how Brice uses this thematic agenda to create very different experiences with the comical The Overnight and terror-based Creep films. The Creep movies do have a bit of a comedy to them, but nothing like The Overnight, which certainly gets wacky, if nowhere near as zany as it had the potential to be.
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#60

Post by sol »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: February 4th, 2021, 1:03 pm Sorry been very busy with the Debuts poll too. Will do the first update this weekend. Have to figure out a good template for myself, so work after that I less intensive.
No problem; no pressure intended. :thumbsup:
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#61

Post by Obgeoff »

Run #5: Blake Edwards
Previous Experience:
2 features, 1 @ 8, 1 @ 4

15. Days of Wine and Roses (1962, Edwards) 8
16. The Pink Panther (1963, Edwards) 6
17. Victor Victoria (1982, Edwards) 7

When serious with moments of levity very strong, when all comedy weak.

Run #6: King Vidor
Previous Experience:
4 features, 1 @ 9, 2 @ 8, 1 @ 6

18. Hallelujah (1929, Vidor) 8
19. The Champ (1931, Vidor) 7
20. Our Daily Bread (1934, Vidor) 8
21. War and Peace (1956, Vidor) 7

Humane, sentimental, hopeful, shots of beauty
Spoiler
1. Oliver Twist (1948, Lean) 8
2. Summertime (1955, Lean) 8
3. Ryan's Daughter (1970, Lean) 7
4. A Passage to India (1984, Lean) 7

5. A Letter to Three Wives (1949, Mankiewicz) 8
6. Julius Caesar (1953, Mankiewicz) 8
7. Cleopatra (1963, Mankiewicz) 7
8. Sleuth (1972, Mankiewicz) 7

9. Ms .45 (1981, Ferrara) 8
10. The Addiction (1995, Ferrara) 6
11. New Rose Hotel (1998, Ferrara) 7

12. Big Wednesday (1978, Milius) 6
13. Conan the Barbarian (1982, Milius) 6
14. Red Dawn (1984, Milius) 2

15. Days of Wine and Roses (1962, Edwards) 8
16. The Pink Panther (1963, Edwards) 6
17. Victor Victoria (1982, Edwards) 7

18. Hallelujah (1929, Vidor) 8
19. The Champ (1931, Vidor) 7
20. Our Daily Bread (1934, Vidor) 8
21. War and Peace (1956, Vidor) 7
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#62

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

My own first post.

Justin Lin
History: 4 movie seen, avg. rating: 5.5. Also important history for this, is that I watched the two first entries in F&F series the days before. (The whole series is leaving Netflix here soon, so that was a good reason to (re)watch these)

1. Justin Lin #1: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift [The Fast and the Furious 3] (2006, Justin Lin): 7.0
2. Justin Lin #2: Fast & Furious [Fast & Furious 4] (2009, Justin Lin) rewatch: 3.5 > 6.2
3. Justin Lin #3: Fast Five [The Fast and the Furious 5] (2011, Justin Lin) rewatch: 6.5 > 7.2
4. Justin Lin #4: Fast & Furious 6 [Fast 6] (2013, Justin Lin): 7.0

Having just seen the previous two entries before I have to say Justin Lin is a perfect fit for this series and the series improved a lot with his involvement. As my increased rating for especially the 4th shows I have a much higher level of tolerance for this kind of nonsense big blockbuster action than before (or maybe I was not in the right mood than for that particular entry). The series sure has a lot of flaws inherent to big (modern) action blockbusters; the plots are as thin as the characters, almost all are too long with a running times of over 2hrs and nobody was cast for their amazing acting skills, the girls are cast to look pretty (expect Michelle Rodriguez who is cast to be Michelle Rodriguez) and the guys to look though, be the bland pretty hero or funny/cool sidekick. Still I enjoyed this movies a lot. Maybe I'm a bit better in accepting these kind of flaws and try to focus more on what they do well, or maybe Lin is able to let the good outweigh the bad… a bit of both probably. Cause luckily that what you come for in these movies, action and stunts, Lin does very well. First and most importantly for this series he shots car chases very well by keeping the adrenaline pumping full throttle due to some good editing, while still keeping it clear where every car is compared to each other with some establishing shots. The action and stunts are so enjoyable and spectacular Lin knows to completely suspense my disbelief. And in general he keeps the pace and energy up so high throughout the movies, they despite the long running time rarely really drag.

Tokyo Drift is the biggest outlier in the franchise. I think nobody expected and very few wanted a movie about a high school kid getting mixed up in the drifting scene and yakuza's after being banned to Tokyo. The protagonist is bland (he gives Paul Walker a run for his money for blandest protagonist) plus the plot is forgettable, but thanks to Lin's directing this is still a good entry in the series. While this was only his first in the series, it strangely feels like he was given the most cart blanche with this. It feels like the entry he most was able to put his personal stamp on. Especially the music choices are very inspired. Combined with some good stylized directing it manages to create some good moods, f.e. a melancholic ride through the hills.
Fast & Furious while liking it much more than last time, is still the weakest of this bunch. It sees the return of the original gang, but with that also the problems of the first two movies, especially the first. Like those this one tries to do what this series doesn't excel at; infusing some dramatic tension and character developments into it. The whole plot of Paul Walker upending his whole career and life and breaking bad for the apparent charisma of Vin Diesel is as unconvincing this time as it was in the first film. Still there is enough to enjoy and glimpses of the direction Lin would take the series in from now on, f.e. in the very enjoyable opening heist. What is noticeable is that the inspired musical choice Lin made in Tokyo Drift here made way for a very standard bombastic blockbuster score.
Fast Five I already liked and liked even more this time. It is the entry in which the series went from being about street racers into action packed heist films. Lin keeps the dramatic moments and character development to the bare needed minimum. The whole gang has fun chemistry together. But most important the action and stunts are highly enjoyable. The final car chase while dragging a vault through to the street is as ridiculous as it is enjoyable (Something that can be said from all final action set pieces from now one).
Fast & Furious 6 offers more of the same as Five. Which is also its problem, it feels a bit stale. I was kind of disappointed Lin wasn't able to be more creative with this entry instead of repeating himself. Although there are some inspired music choices in this again, that deviate from the standard blockbuster scores. The action is even more over the top spectacular. Like one characters says in the next: not only did they take out a tank, but also the biggest *bleep* plane ever. Still a very enjoyable movie. But I think it was a a good decision to pass the series to someone else after this.
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#63

Post by blocho »

David Fincher

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) rewatch
2. Mank (2020)
3. Zodiac (2007) rewatch

David Fincher might be everything I want in a current-day director. He's not afraid of long narratives when the length is warranted. He knows how to build and release tension. He knows how to use action well -- sparingly but with high impact. He trusts audiences to put together the story without too much exposition. He loves dialogue-heavy scenes so long as the dialogue is quick and smart. He can fill his movies with big stars or unknowns, but he usually gets good performances from them. His editing is always perfectly timed. One of his most consistent stylistic traits is the use of filters and lighting to develop mood. His movies offer the complete package: mise-en-scene, acting, narrative. There's only one thing missing -- a coherent artistic vision. I've seen every movie Fincher has made, but until this past week I had never seen any of them consecutively. Now that I've seen three, I think I can definitely say that he's not one for the auteur theory set. And that's just fine with me. The man has a distinctive style, but he doesn't have consistent themes. I think instead he's a person who finds stories he considers fascinating and wants to turn them into well-polished, high-quality movies. More often than not, he succeeds.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
When I first saw this in theaters, it felt a bit like a revelation. A smart crime movie with great characters and so deeply dipped in wintry Nordic dourness that it felt like something from another world. The credits scene alone (though not directed by Fincher) makes the movie worthwhile. Upon rewatch, the movie didn't have quite the same impact. I don't think it could have given that I knew the plot this time. But it's still a very effective crime/mystery thriller.

Mank
Back when I started grad school, my advisor had just published a book that contained a chapter on Louis B. Mayer, the longtime studio chief at MGM. The chapter explained Mayer's intervention against Upton Sinclair in the 1934 California gubernatorial race in detail. How surprising to find this story recounted in a major release! It was a small but momentous episode in modern history at the intersection of media and politics, but before this movie it was almost entirely forgotten. You wouldn't find mention of it in most histories of Hollywood or the era. Anyway, this is a delightful movie, especially for anyone interested in film history. I also found its many inaccuracies forgivable because it's hard not to read a personal statement by Fincher in the narrative. Small wonder that he credited Mankiewicz as the genius behind Citizen Kane -- the script for Mank was written by Fincher's father, and the movie as a whole serves both as a tribute to the art of scriptwriting and as a filial tribute.

Zodiac
A long movie that very slowly transforms from a procedural into an exploration of obsession. That's a familiar topic in movies (The Conversation, The Pledge, Spoorloos come immediately to mind). If Zodiac is not the 21st century masterpiece that some people claim, it's still a very strong crime movie.
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#64

Post by hurluberlu »

Jean-Luc Godard
1. Joy of Learning / Le Gai Savoir (Jean-Luc Godard, 1969) 5+
2. Pravda (Jean-Luc Godard/Groupe Dziga Vertov, Paul Burron, 1970) 6-
3. Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010) 7
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

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#65

Post by flavo5000 »

Gutter Trash Maestros Series Presents:

Herschell Gordon Lewis

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The Gutter Trash Maestro series will be dedicated to focusing on directors who have slummed it in the margins producing flicks often on very low budgets but delivering the goods and delighting audiences despite their limited resources and possible dubious motives.

H.G. Lewis came from a background in advertising, having produced marketing materials and commercials for various clients before partnering with producer David F. Friedman in the motion picture business (with an emphasis on “business”). That advertising background would prove to be the primary driving force in Lewis’ filmmaking career as he and Friedman would gleefully bounce from genre to genre as tastes dictated, churning out something cut-rate they could get into drive-ins quickly to make a buck and move on. After a series of early nudie cuties, Lewis and Friedman saw a desire for the red stuff in films that Hollywood wasn’t giving the average joe, so they graced the world with Blood Feast, a laughably incompetent effort that nonetheless has catapulted to cult classic status due to its unprecedented use of gore. The drive-in crowds ate it up, and Lewis sought to give them more. He would continue to deliver genre fare throughout the ‘60s and into the early ‘70s until he basically decided to retire from making movies because he just didn’t see the money in it anymore. For the rest of the ‘70s through the ‘90s, he focused his efforts on his original work in advertising, becoming a successful copywriter and author of books on marketing. In recent years before his death, he had dipped his toe back into the genre with Blood Feast 2 and the Uh Oh Show as well as embracing his role as “Godfather of Gore” at festivals and conventions. Regardless of his motivations, Lewis’ tendency to write, direct, shoot and edit his films himself certainly gave his movies a singular vision and style that cements him as a sewer auteur extraordinaire.


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For my H.G. Lewis marathon, I decided to focus my watches on his non-horror output to give an overview of how his opportunism led him to dip a toe in many different genres and show a breath of output that many may not be aware of who only think of Lewis as a gore director.

19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
The roughie had a brief moment of popularity amongst the skeevy grindhouse crowd in the mid ‘60s, particularly those who had gotten bored with regular nudie cuties and wanted to see something more extreme. And since the sex act itself on screen was still a bit taboo, many of these sexploitation films resorted to a focus on degradation and humiliation of the female characters involved. Naturally Lewis couldn’t resist contributing to the sub-genre when there’s a buck to be made. So what we have here is a depressing story of a teenage girl who gets blackmailed into participating in a nude photo sex ring where she is abused and imprisoned by the gangsters behind the racket. I’m generally not a fan of roughies anyway, and Lewis’ effort did nothing to change my mind on the matter. They’re generally unpleasant and sleazy movies lacking the sense of fun that often is associated with z-grade grindhouse flicks.

20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
Another type of film that gained some popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s is what is colloquially known as the Hick Flick, movies that focused on southern culture, often involving bootlegging. Dukes of Hazzard is probably the most well-known of these kinds of entertainment. These types of films tended to play well in the south at drive-ins where stuff like nudie cuties and roughies may have otherwise offended the more conservative sensibilities. Lewis’ hicksploitation effort is about as dull as one would expect. A large chunk of the film is taken up with hillbillies sitting around talking about nothing in particular and occasionally singing country songs. It eventually introduces a conflict between some moonshiners and the corrupt local police that the main character gets caught in the middle of, but it feels like too little, too late. Most of the audience will have already fallen asleep by that point.

21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
As standards became more lax in the late ‘60s softcore (and eventually hardcore) sexploitation films rose in prominence, all but replacing the fairly tame by comparison nudie cuties and roughies from earlier in the decade. While in the late ‘60s it still wasn’t common to see sex films with actual penetration, that didn’t mean they didn’t get away with a whole lot they previously had only dreamed of. Of course, Lewis wasn’t going to let the perverts of the world sit empty-handed waiting on a GEN-U-WINE Lewis sexploitation film they could get comfortable with. In fact, he actually produced several over about a 5-year period including The Alley Tramp, Linda & Abilene, Black Love, Miss Nyphette’s Zap-In and the one I just watched, The Ecstasies of Women (you can easily identify his sex films because they were the only ones he used a pseudonym on). Ecstasies is a pretty basic setup for a sex flick. A man is out with his buds at a strip club for his bachelor party (complete with topless go-go dancers gyrating in the background every time it cuts to them) reminiscing about his past “conquests” as he prepares for a life of domestication. Every flashback gives us a different flabby, writhing coupling to witness until the movie decides to call it a day. It’s all pretty dull and dated. Unless you are an H.G. Lewis completionist, there’s no reason to watch this (or actually most of these I just sat through).

22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
In 1972, political disillusionment was at an all-time high with the Vietnam War dragging on, civil rights issues flaring up in full force since the late ‘60s and the Watergate scandal breaking, showing the inherent fallibility of the modern president in very stark terms. As a result, audience demand for political films rose, particularly those that showed the internal machinations and base corruption involved in the political structure. Lewis decided to throw his hat in the ring as a political film contender for that sweet audience cash. Taking a cue from the far, far, far, far superior A Face in the Crowd, Lewis’ film Year of the Yahoo is about a corn-pone country singer who is recruited to run for Senate in a ploy to unseat the political rival of a sketchy governor. Like A Face in the Crowd, this singer cum political candidate eventually starts to exert his own thoughts and opinions, throwing a monkey wrench in the whole scheme. The main thing to note is that Claude King, who plays the country singer (and was apparently a country singer in real life) is no Andy Griffith at all. He has all the charisma of a piece of burnt toast and probably tastes worse. You get the sense that Lewis was just too big for his britches here, trying to capitalize off a combination of hicksploitation and political films and not really delivering much of interest to either audience.

23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
The Wild One is often considered the film that really kicked off the big bikersploitation craze in the ‘60s which culminated in the critical adulation of Easy Rider in ‘69. Unlike Easy Rider or The Wild One though, most biker films were low-brow, trashy fare that existed solely to show a rowdy bunch of hoodlums drink, punch and fuck their way through every town they rode into. These films were often fairly plotless, more a series of violent vignettes strewn together with some kind of loose narrative, usually involving a rival gang, revenge or authorities on a manhunt. Lewis’ She-Devils on Wheels goes the first route, in this case a rival gang of only men who look down on “The Maneaters”, the all-girl gang that act as our conduits into this world of hot shot races and terrorizing locals. Overall, this is actually pretty tame for a biker movie with little to no sexual content, and not even much violence. There’s a big brawl involving somebody getting beaten with a chain and a delightful decapitation in classic Lewis Blood Feast style but little else of note. Still, the sassy dialogue and fun characters make this one fairly watchable regardless, especially for an H.G. Lewis movie.

24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
The J.D. film (short for Juvenile Delinquent) arose in the 1950s as concern about teens increased in the straight-laced atomic family era. Visions of unbridled hormones rampaging through the night, drinking, drugging, smashing and sexing anything in their way ripped through the minds of parents and authority figures of the day, causing an uproar that brought forth a tide of movies that capitalized on this fear mongering. Movies like Rebel Without A Cause and The Blackboard Jungle brought these kinds of films into the mainstream, but they continued to flourish in the margins as well. Lewis’ J.D. film Just for the Hell of It comes pretty late in the teensploitation cycle. By 1968 the counterculture movement had grown so large that adults were no longer concerned about just regular teens breaking stuff and talking back and had moved on to worry about drug dealers, bikers, porno peddlers, rapists, murderers and all other manner of depravity. Lewis gives it the ol’ college try anyway though. The movie is nearly plotless, cutting between a gang of youths breaking shit, running amok, and the hapless innocent guy who gets blamed for it. It’s a pretty pointless, aimless movie only recommended if you want to see a bunch of guys smashing furniture and yelling at people for for a while for no reason.

25. How to Make a Doll (1968)
Another odd trend that popped up in the mid to late ‘60s and continued on into the ‘70s was the sexy sci-fi comedy. America was fixated on the big space race to get to the moon and what better way to relieve anxiety than by some wacky zero-G hanky panky. The Dr. Goldfoot films were early entrants that mixed comedy, sci-fi concepts and sexy ladies into a heady brew, but the film that most likely created more of a demand for the sub-genre was Barbarella, featuring the shapely Jane Fonda in a series of interstellar sexy shenanigans. Soon to follow were others like Space Thing, Flesh Gordon and Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman to titillate and fuel the imagination. Lewis’ sexy sci-fi flick How To Make A Doll offers a plot that presages the success of the John Hughes film Weird Science about a scientist unlucky with the ladies who does the only logical thing: make his own. It’s a doofy romp that is largely unfunny, mostly relying on one-liners and cheeseball reaction shots for its comedy while it seeks to offer ultimate male wish fulfillment with a parade of totally subservient women. Dumb, incredibly sexist, boring and pretty unnecessary. So basically, like most other H.G. Lewis films.

As a final word on the man, H.G. Lewis is quite possibly one of the most inept directors to achieve the level of notoriety normally reserved for cult filmmakers who actually have skill but, despite that, his films have a certain stripped down, lazy charm that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the American dream more than many much more technically competent filmmakers who claim to be in it to grace the world with their unique artist visions. What I think I’m getting at here is that I feel like Lewis is a filmmaker you can trust. All his cards are on the table, and you can either take it or leave it.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)

Run #6: Hershell Gordon Lewis
19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
25. How to Make a Doll (1968)
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#66

Post by flavo5000 »

Rintaro

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Rintaro, whose real name is Shigeyuki Hayashi, is the co-founder of the legendary anime studio Madhouse and has had a long career in the Japanese animation industry. Known for his regular forays into sci-fi as well as creating stylish, unique set pieces, Rintaro is one of the more influential anime directors in the industry despite his relative lack of fame outside Japan normally reserved for the likes of Studio Ghibli. One of his biggest influences is the godfather of manga and anime himself Osamu Tezuka who he has adapted multiple times including Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Metropolis and Phoenix. While Rintaro’s films aren’t always home runs, even lesser efforts have a certain unique visual panache that makes them worth a watch.

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26. Harmagedon: Genma Wars (1983)
Harmgageddon is about an average high school student suddenly thrust into an interstellar conflict with an alien force and told he has latent psychic powers he must harness to aid in the defeat of this approaching menace. While the world building aspects of this film have some very interesting ideas and the visuals and animation are quite good at times, it suffers from a weak and somewhat meandering script with generic dialogue and bad character decisions. At nearly 2.5 hours, it also feels far too long in places. I wasn’t the biggest admirer of this one bit big sci-fi fans may be able to overlook the weaker aspects of the story and appreciate the scope and visuals.

27. Kamui no ken a.k.a. Dagger of Kamui (1985)
Dagger of Kamui begins in the Bakumatsu period of Japan with a boy who awakens to discover his mother and sister have been killed and he has been framed for the murder. Fleeing the scene, he meets up with a monk who recruits him as an assassin-in-training by revealing who killed his family and grooming him in the ways of the ninja. This sets our protagonist off on a years-long journey that leads him to question everything he knew about his past and sends him on a globe-hopping adventure to discover Captain Kidd’s treasure and achieve vengeance against those who have wronged him. I was very impressed with this one and think it’s actually a hidden gem that should be seen more. The story is very epic and while it’s over two hours long, the length feels warranted. Beyond the solid narrative, the visuals are absolutely striking, particularly during the battle sequences. Rintaro has some very experimental styles used in places here and the animation is fluid and beautiful to behold in a way that only the best hand-drawn cel-based animation from this time period is. Additionally the soundtrack is a creative, bizarre hybrid of prog disco funk, traditional Japanese Noe chants and booming taiko drums that has no business working as well as it does. This one is deserving of much more attention than it gets.

28. Down Load: Namiamidabutsu wa ai no uta (1992)
Down Load is a shorter straight-to-video (OVA) cyberpunk action blues riff with some pervy comedy elements mixed in. The main character is fairly obnoxious and the plot is a little overly basic but the traditional blues music fused with the high-concept hacking premise coupled with a handful of visually stylish action sequences make for an entertaining watch.

29. Yona Yona Penguin (2009)
This one tells the story of a little girl who often wears a penguin costume that wanders away from home following a stray cat and finds herself in a magical realm where she has to help defeat an encroaching evil. Unfortunately, this one is mostly aimed directly at kids with its simplistic dialogue, cavalcade of cute but shallow characters and basic, predictable plot. It even stumbles in Rintaro’s usually strong visual department by making the unfortunate choice to use unimpressive and somewhat dated CG animation. Despite that, the magic goblin realm does have some creative backdrops in places, and it’s an upbeat and pleasant enough movie to watch with kids.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)

Run #6: Hershell Gordon Lewis
19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
25. How to Make a Doll (1968)

Run #7: Rintaro
26. Harmagedon: Genma Wars (1983)
27. Kamui no ken a.k.a. Dagger of Kamui (1985)
28. Down Load: Namiamidabutsu wa ai no uta (1992)
29. Yona Yona Penguin (2009)
Last edited by flavo5000 on February 5th, 2021, 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lu-Chin
Posts: 115
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#67

Post by Lu-Chin »

Spoiler
Arturo Ripstein
1. El castillo de la pureza (1973) 8/10
2. Profundo carmesí (1996) 8/10
3. El imperio de la fortuna (1986) 7/10

Chantal Akerman
4. Hôtel Monterey (1973) 5/10
5. News from Home (1977) 6/10
6. D'Est (1993) (1993) 6/10

Paul Verhoeven
7. De vierde man (1983) 6/10
8. Turks fruit (1973) 8/10
9. Zwartboek (2006) 8/10
Emilio Fernández
10. Víctimas del pecado (1951) 6/10
11. Enamorada (1946) 7/10
12. Pueblerina (1949) 5/10

Dardenne brothers
13. The Promise (1996) 8/10
14. The Kid with a Bike (2011) 8/10
15. Young Ahmed (2019) 8/10

Jean-Luc Godard
16. Numéro deux (1975) 4/10
17. Film socialisme (2010) 5/10
18. Je vous salue, Marie (1985) 6/10
19. Notre musique (2004) 7/10
20. Le livre d'image (2018) 7/10
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jeroeno
Posts: 3766
Joined: June 22nd, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Valkenswaard, The Netherlands
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#68

Post by jeroeno »

4. Straight Shooting (John Ford, 1917)
5. Hell Bent (John Ford, 1918)
6. Wee Willie Winkie (John Ford, 1937)

7. Bona (Lino Brocka, 1980)
8. Orapronobis (Lino Brocka, 1989)
9. Bayan ko: Kapit sa patalim (Lino Brocka, 1984)
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flavo5000
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Location: Arkansas, USA
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#69

Post by flavo5000 »

Steve James

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Steve James is a noted documentary filmmaker most well-known for his award-winning documentary Hoop Dreams which followed two black teens who were recruited to play basketball by a very prestigious high school. His subjects often revolve around sports in some capacity as well as socially conscious topics. He prescribes to the more cinematic and personal style of documentary that involves using film technique to get to the truth. His films are often very insightful and fascinating, and so far, I haven’t been let down by anything he’s produced, and I hope to delve more into James’ work.

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30. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010)
I was only 12 when this whole thing happened, so I was only vaguely aware of some controversy that had occurred around Iverson. Iverson was tried and convicted of violent assault and battery that allegedly occurred between him and some friends and another group of people at a bowling alley. If it were only about that and Iverson’s career, I probably would’ve lost interest as I’m not a huge sports fan. But it really blows up into a major race relations situation, one that had been percolating in the town of Hampton, Virginia for decades. The Iverson case was basically the spark that lit the match that caused the town to explode into protests and controversy. Overall, it was very engaging and worth a watch for those looking for docs tackling the black experience and its impact on culture.

31. Reel Paradise (2005)
John Pierson and his family have just spent nearly a year running a small local movie theater in the remote Fiji islands. The film is a nice view into how a culture reacts to films from across history and their joy at seeing these films is palpable. But this isn’t really a movie about that. Instead it focuses on Pierson’s family itself and how dysfunctional and obnoxious they are. Pierson himself comes across as something of an asshole and his kids spoiled brats. They spent so much time thinking whether they COULD show Jackass to Fiji islanders, they never stopped to think whether they SHOULD. This ends up being a farcical doc similar in tone to something like Queen of Versailles or The Osbournes TV series. You can probably get a sense of interest in it based on those comparisons.

32. Prefontaine (1997)
Prefontaine is the rare Steve James narrative film, a docudrama biopic on the Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine and hopeful rise and tragic fall. While this isn’t a documentary, it is filmed very much in the cinema verite style that James usually approaches his documentaries with. Leto is quite good as Prefontaine, capturing a young man who lets the weight of expectations and hopes of some many crush him. It’s a sad story but done very well. This feels like a film that is possibly deserving of more attention than it gets.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)

Run #6: Hershell Gordon Lewis
19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
25. How to Make a Doll (1968)

Run #7: Rintaro
26. Harmagedon: Genma Wars (1983)
27. Kamui no ken a.k.a. Dagger of Kamui (1985)
28. Down Load: Namiamidabutsu wa ai no uta (1992)
29. Yona Yona Penguin (2009)

Run #8: Steve James
30. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010)
31. Reel Paradise (2005)
32. Prefontaine (1997)
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pitchorneirda
Posts: 401
Joined: February 11th, 2019, 12:07 pm
Location: France
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#70

Post by pitchorneirda »

Spoiler
Satoshi Kon

1. Perfect Blue (1997, Satoshi Kon) 8/10 -> only second animation movie to enter my favourites (after Jean-François Laguionie's Le Tableau)
2. Paprika (2006, Satoshi Kon) 6.5/10
3. Tokyo Godfathers (2003, Satoshi Kon) 5.5/10
Douglas Sirk

4. All That Heaven Allows (1955, Douglas Sirk) 6/10
5. Written on the Wind (1956, Douglas Sirk) 5/10
6. Imitation of Life (1959, Douglas Sirk) 7/10

Next : Not sure, maybe Claire Denis?
Last edited by pitchorneirda on February 8th, 2021, 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Art is like a fire, it is born from the very thing it burns" - Jean-Luc Godard
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DudeLanez
Posts: 153
Joined: August 25th, 2020, 12:22 am
Location: Germany
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#71

Post by DudeLanez »

Herbert Achternbusch
(„Kunst kommt von kontern, nicht von können“)

His films are satire and grotesque in their purest form. He constantly railed against authorities, especially the church. Nevertheless, these movies are also deeply Bavarian.
"Das Gespenst" (1982) caused a considerable scandal. The Federal Minister of the Interior withdrew one funding commitment. Filmmakers protested in Munich. All in all, it subsequently led to more difficult conditions for the "Autorenfilm" (Film d'auteur), as it was now even more difficult to pre-finance movies.
You can definitely give the director a chance if you like the genre and the humor.

6. Das Andechser Gefühl (1974) 7/10 #DDF
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7. Die Atlantikschwimmer (1976) 6/10
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8. Bierkampf (1977) 6/10
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9. Das Gespenst (1982) 6/10
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10. Heilt Hitler! (1986) 6/10
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Spoiler
Kenji Mizoguchi
1. Genroku Chûshingura [The 47 Ronin] (1941) 7/10
2. Miyamoto Musashi (1944) 5/10
3. Uwasa no onna [The Woman of Rumour] (1954) 7/10
4. Saikaku ichidai onna [The Life of Oharu] (1952) 8/10
5. Yôkihi [Princess Yang Kwei-fei] (1955) 7/10

Herbert Achternbusch
6. Das Andechser Gefühl (1974) 7/10 #DDF
7. Die Atlantikschwimmer (1976) 6/10
8. Bierkampf (1977) 6/10
9. Das Gespenst (1982) 6/10
10. Heilt Hitler! (1986) 6/10
Last edited by DudeLanez on February 5th, 2021, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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flavo5000
Posts: 4124
Joined: July 10th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Arkansas, USA
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#72

Post by flavo5000 »

Sidney Lumet

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Sidney Lumet is both widely heralded and sadly underrecognized by the general populace. While he’s directed some of the most critically acclaimed American films of the last sixty years like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network, he lacks the name recognition of a Spielberg or Coppola. Perhaps this is because his style is more understated, and his personality not as brash or outspoken, letting the movies speak for themselves. His films often dwell on social justice and personal accountability with a strong questioning of moral responsibility. Lumet is a far better director than many give him credit for though. So many of his films involve people in a single location talking yet he is able through subtly fluid camera movements and precision editing to make what could be dull, ponderous material absolutely electric.

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33. Night Falls on Manhattan (1996)
And Garcia plays a newly-elected D.A. who is set to prosecute a big drug dealer who murdered two cops finds himself trapped in a moral and ethical quandary when the case opens up a lot of skeletons in the closets of people very close to him. This courtroom crime drama was quite compelling at times and is definitely suited to Lumet’s style. The pacing and acting are both top notch and the only thing keeping this one from being truly great is the predictability of the material and the inevitability of it all.

34. The Anderson Tapes (1971)
Sean Connery is an ex-con fresh out of prison and looking to execute a complex heist to rob an entire apartment building all at once. What he doesn’t realize is that several of the men he has recruited are under surveillance for various reasons that threaten to throw a wrench in his well-laid plans. I actually liked the idea behind this one, and I’m always down for a heist (and in fact, the heist itself is the best part of the movie). The problem is that much like the situation the lead finds himself in, the movie just has too many things going on to try to juggle and it ends up feeling lackluster and scattered as a result.

35. Daniel (1983)
Daniel is a flawed but fascinating fictional story based on the execution of the Rosenbergs for espionage during the McCarthy era. It follows Daniel, son of political activists Paul and Rochelle Isaacson, as he both discovers who he is as a person and what role counterculture protests play in his life as well as the history of what happened to his parents and the events leading up to their execution. The film features Daniel finding his place in society and dealing with the emotional impact the death of his parents left on his sister while flashing back to the events leading up to his parents’ capture and conviction. The acting is mostly solid (although Mandy Patankin didn’t quite work for me somehow...which is odd since I’m usually a fan of his work) but the structure seems a little unwieldy. At times it isn’t clear whether the events are in a flashback or present day until you see a recognizable character (although Lumet did try to differentiate the time periods with tinting, at times it wasn’t readily apparent due to the lighting choices in the scene). Overall, it is still an interesting film to watch with a strong passion for its subject.

36a. The Elgin Hour: Crime in the Streets (1955)
36b. The Challenge (1955)
Crime in the Streets and The Challenge are both from Lumet’s early years in the “Golden Age of Television”. Crime in the Streets was a live teleplay as most of these were starring a very raw, passionate John Cassavetes as a gang leader who just seems so full of hate and anger that he is close to a breaking point. Cassavetes is just dynamite here projecting a seething rage that is constantly on the verge of bubbling over and reflecting an inner torment that is conveyed through glances and expressions rather than endless exposition. Lumet’s direction is also very good for one of these live teleplays, much like his work on the original TV version of 12 Angry Men. He uses long pans and zooms very effectively and fluidly with his usual pitch perfect cutting to capture what could be a very claustrophobic drama very dynamically. This is made even more impressive if you are aware of the kind of camera equipment available at the time, generally very large mostly immobile and clunky cameras that typically just were left in one place to film the action in a static way, making it come across more as a filmed stage play than an actual film. The Challenge was basically a failed TV pilot that apparently would’ve led to a series of moral and ethical issues on a variety of topics. This first episode focuses on a school bus driver who is fired from his job for refusing to sign an anti-communist loyalty oath. He seems to have no real political affiliation and instead refuses based on principle, expressed in a very simple but elegant way by Jack Warden playing the bus driver. After a group of kids stage a walk-out in protest of his firing, the school board calls for a community meeting to determine whether he should be reinstated. While the arguments at times come across a little overly simplistic, it actually does a good job of showing both sides of the argument and ultimately leaving it up to the audience which direction they would go in. Another solid early example of Lumet’s interest in social justice issues.

37. Fail Safe (1964)
When a mechanical failure causes a routine fail-safe routine as a reaction to an unidentified object originating from Russian air space to escalate into possible nuclear bombing of Moscow, Henry Fonda as the President of the United States must make a series of very difficult decisions to prevent potentially even bigger, more catastrophic events from happening as the minutes tick by. Fail Safe is a prime example of Lumet’s talents of building tension expertly and keeping the audience consistently engaged despite the film essentially being just a series of conversations with no traditional music score. Instead all incidental sound is generated by the whirring and clicking of the equipment in the war room which aids in creating a sense of anxiety that slowly builds. The acting is excellent across the board with Fonda in a career best performance, and when it’s all over, you will be left drained and gutted. Highly recommended as a minimalist suspense-filled cold war thriller (and yes, it has the same loose plot based on the same source as Dr Strangelove but the movies couldn’t be more different from one another).
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)

Run #6: Hershell Gordon Lewis
19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
25. How to Make a Doll (1968)

Run #7: Rintaro
26. Harmagedon: Genma Wars (1983)
27. Kamui no ken a.k.a. Dagger of Kamui (1985)
28. Down Load: Namiamidabutsu wa ai no uta (1992)
29. Yona Yona Penguin (2009)

Run #8: Steve James
30. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010)
31. Reel Paradise (2005)
32. Prefontaine (1997)

Run #9: Sidney Lumet
33. Night Falls on Manhattan (1996)
34. The Anderson Tapes (1971)
35. Daniel (1983)
36a. The Elgin Hour: Crime in the Streets (1955)
36b. The Challenge (1955)
37. Fail Safe (1964)
Obgeoff
Posts: 592
Joined: May 29th, 2019, 9:23 am
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#73

Post by Obgeoff »

Run #7: Frank Borzage

Previous Experience:
3 features, 3 @ 8

22. A Farewell to Arms (1932, Borzage) 7
23. Man's Castle (1933, Borzage) 7
24. The Mortal Storm (1940, Borzage) 9

Idealistic, romantic, dialogue, primacy of language

Run #8: Henry King

Previous Experience:
1 feature @ 8

25. State Fair (1933, King) 6
26. Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938, King ) 7
27. The Song of Bernadette (1943, King) 7
28. Twelve O'Clock High (1949, King) 8

Character focused, nuanced, slice of life
Spoiler
1. Oliver Twist (1948, Lean) 8
2. Summertime (1955, Lean) 8
3. Ryan's Daughter (1970, Lean) 7
4. A Passage to India (1984, Lean) 7

5. A Letter to Three Wives (1949, Mankiewicz) 8
6. Julius Caesar (1953, Mankiewicz) 8
7. Cleopatra (1963, Mankiewicz) 7
8. Sleuth (1972, Mankiewicz) 7

9. Ms .45 (1981, Ferrara) 8
10. The Addiction (1995, Ferrara) 6
11. New Rose Hotel (1998, Ferrara) 7

12. Big Wednesday (1978, Milius) 6
13. Conan the Barbarian (1982, Milius) 6
14. Red Dawn (1984, Milius) 2

15. Days of Wine and Roses (1962, Edwards) 8
16. The Pink Panther (1963, Edwards) 6
17. Victor Victoria (1982, Edwards) 7

18. Hallelujah (1929, Vidor) 8
19. The Champ (1931, Vidor) 7
20. Our Daily Bread (1934, Vidor) 8
21. War and Peace (1956, Vidor) 7

22. A Farewell to Arms (1932, Borzage) 7
23. Man's Castle (1933, Borzage) 7
24. The Mortal Storm (1940, Borzage) 9

25. State Fair (1933, King) 6
26. Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938, King ) 7
27. The Song of Bernadette (1943, King) 7
28. Twelve O'Clock High (1949, King) 8
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maxwelldeux
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#74

Post by maxwelldeux »

flavo5000 wrote: February 5th, 2021, 8:12 pm Sidney Lumet is both widely heralded and sadly underrecognized by the general populace. While he’s directed some of the most critically acclaimed American films of the last sixty years like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network, he lacks the name recognition of a Spielberg or Coppola. Perhaps this is because his style is more understated, and his personality not as brash or outspoken, letting the movies speak for themselves. His films often dwell on social justice and personal accountability with a strong questioning of moral responsibility. Lumet is a far better director than many give him credit for though. So many of his films involve people in a single location talking yet he is able through subtly fluid camera movements and precision editing to make what could be dull, ponderous material absolutely electric.
I'm glad you did Lumet - he hit #1 on my Favorite Directors submission this year, and is the only filmmaker with two films I've rated 10/10. I have seen none of the ones you mentioned here, but you've piqued my interest on several! :cheers:
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sol
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Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
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#75

Post by sol »

Running on Directors
1. The House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Rob Zombie #DDF
2. The Devil's Rejects (2005) Rob Zombie
3. 3 From Hell (2019) Rob Zombie
4. Cop Land (1997) James Mangold
5. Logan (2017) James Mangold
6. Heavy (1995) James Mangold #DDF
7. The Roost (2005) Ti West #DDF
8. The Innkeepers (2011) Ti West
9. Trigger Man (2007) Ti West
10. Flodder (1986) Dick Maas
11. Quiz (2012) Dick Maas
12. Saint (2010) Dick Maas
13. Creep (2014) Patrick Brice #DDF
14. Creep 2 (2017) Patrick Brice
15. The Overnight (2015) Patrick Brice
16. Almost Human (2013) Joe Begos #DDF
17. The Mind's Eye (2015) Joe Begos
18. VFW (2019) Joe Begos
19. Bliss (2019) Joe Begos

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Joe Begos

This is the second director in a row from whom I had seen nothing before the Challenge started. Begos was not a name that I was familiar with either. I had heard of some of his films, but did not know much about them other than them playing at film festivals and getting some moderate acclaim from genre nuts. Anyway, with several of his films in the 1000-2000 section of TSZDT, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally explore the world of Begos.

Looking at this quartet films, Begos feels like a director who I should love. His films come drenched in neon with chic soundtracks and horror-themed plots. He is also big into Cronenberg, using Videodrome's Channel 83 as the name of his production company, while his first two films pay homage to early career Cronenberg: Almost Human is very influenced by Shivers while The Mind's Eye sits somewhere between being an uncredited remake and sequel to Scanners.

Alas, The Mind's Eye is the only film of this bunch that really impressed me; while less polished and more confined (limited sets) than his two 2019 films, his awesome use of practical effects to further the world of Scanners amazed me. The idea of deliberately creating scanners was pretty cool too. The other three films have great audiovisual dynamics but there seems to be less going on. Almost Human is more of a serial killer than slug/infection film; VFW is just The Purge, only with an unlikeable female thief being protected instead; Bliss really pales with The Devil's Candy fresh in mind. None of these are boring films though, and as long as Begos keeps up with the neon and Cronenberg elements, I would happily pay to see whatever he comes up with next.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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flavo5000
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#76

Post by flavo5000 »

maxwelldeux wrote: February 5th, 2021, 11:08 pm
flavo5000 wrote: February 5th, 2021, 8:12 pm Sidney Lumet is both widely heralded and sadly underrecognized by the general populace. While he’s directed some of the most critically acclaimed American films of the last sixty years like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network, he lacks the name recognition of a Spielberg or Coppola. Perhaps this is because his style is more understated, and his personality not as brash or outspoken, letting the movies speak for themselves. His films often dwell on social justice and personal accountability with a strong questioning of moral responsibility. Lumet is a far better director than many give him credit for though. So many of his films involve people in a single location talking yet he is able through subtly fluid camera movements and precision editing to make what could be dull, ponderous material absolutely electric.
I'm glad you did Lumet - he hit #1 on my Favorite Directors submission this year, and is the only filmmaker with two films I've rated 10/10. I have seen none of the ones you mentioned here, but you've piqued my interest on several! :cheers:
If you love Lumet, I definitely recommend Fail Safe as well as his TV work like the ones mentioned in my write-up as well as his original teleplay for 12 Angry Man. Really good stuff.
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flavo5000
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#77

Post by flavo5000 »

Alexander Payne

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Alexander Payne is one of the most celebrated American directors of the 21st century, having received multiple Oscar nominations and numerous accolades for his darkly satirical dramedies like Election, About Schmidt and Sideways. His films often feature middle-aged men in existential crises, struggling to find their relevance in the world (perhaps a view into the director’s psyche?). While his filmmaking technique isn’t showy, most of his films have a certain economy of words that allow them to paint their bleakly comic views with little fluff in the way to interfere. Perhaps his biggest asset though is his razor sharp and biting writing style that can both tickle the funny bone and utterly destroy you inside at the same time.

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38. The Passion of Martin (1991) #DDF
The Passion of Martin is Alexander Payne’s student thesis film and is an increasingly disturbing portrait of obsession about a young guy who meets up with a girl at a party. After a night of passion, he begins to believe he is deeply in love with her and that the feelings are mutual. That is, until he stalks her home one evening and discovers that she’s already dating another man. This sends Martin on a deeply troubling and unhealthy spiral that culminates in him getting exactly what he wants. It’s actually impressive how fully formed Payne’s voice is even here in this student film. It has a polish and skill to it that I haven’t seen very often in early films, even with directors who go on to excel at their craft. It’s definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of Payne’s later work.

39. Citizen Ruth (1996)
Citizen Ruth was Payne’s big studio debut and the film that introduced his grimly sardonic sense of humor and biting satire to the world. Laura Dern plays a really dumb drug addict who seems incapable of not fucking up her life constantly. When she accidentally gets pregnant again, she gets caught in the middle of a full-scale pro-life/pro-choice war where everyone is out for themselves and hypocrisy reigns supreme. Dern is really solid here as the hapless Ruth who is ping-ponged from one seemingly well-meaning person to another who feels they know what’s best for her since she obviously doesn’t (and I mean… she REALLY doesn’t at all). It’s a movie that doesn’t give easy answers but that’s fine. Life doesn’t have easy answers, even when they aren’t overblown, crazy scenarios like this. Like most of Payne’s other films, it is very funny in places, much of it due to Dern’s great comic timing. I recommend checking it out for those who aren’t too touchy about this very touchy subject.

40. Downsizing (2017)
Downsizing is a beautiful mess of a movie. What starts as the story of a married couple played by Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig interested in being shrunk as a means of economic prosperity mutates multiple times into totally different films. After Wiig backs out at the last minute leaving Damon tiny and by himself, it sends him on a kind of miniature journey of discovery where he meets up with free-spirited neighbor Christoph Waltz and a charmingly blunt and funny Vietnamese house maid played superbly by Hong Chau. Downsizing is almost too overstuffed with interesting ideas, not really giving each one the time and attention it needs to truly flourish and also leaving many unexplained questions about the economy of the shrunken world and how it functions. At the same time, it kept me engaged and entertained for most of its quite bloated run time despite the sometimes jarring shifts in tone. It’s something of a freewheeling fiasco, but that in and of itself is fairly unique when paired with a cast this strong making it worth a watch in my book.
The Nexus of Power Compels Thee
Run #1: Steven Spielberg
1. Hook (1991)
2. Something Evil (1972)
3. The BFG (2016)

Run #2: Lamberto Bava
4. Body Puzzle (1992)
5. A cena con il vampiro a.k.a. Dinner with a Vampire (1989)
6. La casa dell'orco a.k.a. Demons III: The Ogre (1989)
7. Blasterfighter (1984)
8. Le foto di Gioia a.k.a. Delirium (1987)

Run #3: Terence Fisher
9. Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
10. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
11. Murder By Proxy a.k.a. Blackout (1954)

Run #4: Takeshi Kitano
12. Kikujirô (1999)
13. Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi a.k.a. A Scene at the Sea (1991)
14. Minnâ-yatteruka! a.k.a. Getting Any? (1994)
15. Autoreiji a.k.a. Outrage (2010)

Run #5: Steven Soderbergh
16. The Laundromat (2019)
17. Haywire (2011)
18. Eros (2004)

Run #6: Hershell Gordon Lewis
19. Scum of the Earth (1963)
20. Moonshine Mountain (1964)
21. The Ecstasies of Women (1969)
22. The Year of the Yahoo! (1972)
23. She-Devils on Wheels (1968)
24. Just for the Hell of It (1968)
25. How to Make a Doll (1968)

Run #7: Rintaro
26. Harmagedon: Genma Wars (1983)
27. Kamui no ken a.k.a. Dagger of Kamui (1985)
28. Down Load: Namiamidabutsu wa ai no uta (1992)
29. Yona Yona Penguin (2009)

Run #8: Steve James
30. No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (2010)
31. Reel Paradise (2005)
32. Prefontaine (1997)

Run #9: Sidney Lumet
33. Night Falls on Manhattan (1996)
34. The Anderson Tapes (1971)
35. Daniel (1983)
36a. The Elgin Hour: Crime in the Streets (1955)
36b. The Challenge (1955)
37. Fail Safe (1964)

Run #10: Alexander Payne
38. The Passion of Martin (1991) #DDF
39. Citizen Ruth (1996)
40. Downsizing (2017)
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jeroeno
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#78

Post by jeroeno »

10. Cain at Abel (Lino Brocka, 1982)
11. Ang tatay kong nanay (Lino Brocka, 1978)
12. Tinimbang ka ngunit kulang (Lino Brocka, 1974)
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klaus78
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#79

Post by klaus78 »

1.-5. Stan Brakhage
The Wonder Ring (1955) 6/10
The Dead (1960) 7/10
Two: Creeley/McClure (1965) 6/10
23rd Psalm Branch: Part I (1967) 7/10
23rd Psalm Branch: Part II (1978) 7/10
Scenes from Under Childhood Section #1 (1969) 8/10
The Machine of Eden (1970) 8/10
Star Garden (1974) 6/10
Desert (1976) 8/10
The Process (1972) 7/10
Burial Path (1978) 6/10
Duplicity III (1980) 6/10
The Domain of the Moment (1977) 6/10
Murder Psalm (1980) 6/10
Arabic Numeral Series 12 (1981) 7/10
Visions in Meditation #1 (1989) 7/10
Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde (1989) 6/10
Visions in Meditation #3: Plato's Cave (1990) 7/10
Visions in Meditation #4: D.H. Lawrence (1990) 7/10
Unconscious London Strata (1981) 7/10
Boulder Blues and Pearls and... (1992) 8/10
The Mammals of Victoria (1994) 6/10
First Hymn to the Night - Novalis (1994) 7/10
I Take These Truths (1994) 7/10
The Cat of the Worm's Green Realm (1997) 7/10
Yggdrasill: Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind (1997) 7/10
...Reel Five (1999) 6/10
Persian Series #1 (1999) 6/10
Persian Series #2 (1999) 7/10
Persian Series #3 (1999) 7/10
Chinese Series (2003) 6/10
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St. Gloede
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#80

Post by St. Gloede »

Jean-Daniel Pollet

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Jean-Daniel Pollet is perhaps best remembered for his short film Méditerranée (1963), which is frequently held up as one of the greatest experimental/avant-garde films of all time. As I merely liked it, I have taken far longer to explore the rest of his filmography - and now, I have gone through each feature available with subtitles: with many still hiding in relative to complete unavailability.

What a run though! In this set of 5 films I saw everything from his first to last film, and found both a new favourite (which is rarer and rarer for me) and a new dislike (even rarer). I should perhaps have gone through his filmography chronologically, instead of spinning in a circle - but then, if I had, I would likely have stopped before I found Le Sang and Day After Day. Pollet is undoubtedly an exciting director , who while he really can't seem to master narrative, is incredible when entering the world of self-expression, avant-garde and experimental cinema.


1. Le sang (1971, Jean-Daniel Pollett)

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Avant-garde theatre is its most bizarre form - we see people walking, running, fighting, murdering along a seemingly endless path - without any direction in sight. Shouting, screeching, grunting - taking up most interaction - with the occasional lines of dialogue that usually feel more like live poetry. Brutal, frantic and "free" this almost religious gathering, filled with iconography, starts and ends with blood - and a wheel that may or may not keep turning.

In some ways, it is a hard film to watch, especially as there may be genuine animal deaths on screen. Be warned! And while this did place a (potential?) bad taste in my mouth this is simply an incredible journey to watch. 

It is not stated in the film itself, but it is a recreation of "the living theatre" which existed in the 40s and onwards - and is meant as a meditation on freedom. This is very much felt. It feels both free and confined at the same time, wrapping itself in horror, circles, lines and madness. 9/10


2. L'ordre (1973, Jean-Daniel Pollett)

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I have mixed feelings about L'ordre. The actual interview so much centres around and returns to - with the unforgettable image of a man who's face has been ravaged by leprosy - carries an incredible amount of strength. 

However, the experimental element - that is the footage of the place he - and others afflicted by leprosy used to live - feels thin. We get a line early on, where he says so many people have come and documented their experience and everyone just uses them for their own aim. It kinda feels like this is what Pollet is doing when he just takes his camera to go in and out a window (on repeat) or just runs down a hall. 

At the same time, it does feel like strong and beautiful contemplation on the illness, the history and the real experience of those afflicted with it. Centering it within the walls they lived - and asking questions of whether or not locking them away actually gave them more freedom, is powerful and interesting - I just can't decide to which degree it is self-indulgent, and to which degree this fits the actual mood/experience presented. 7.5/10


3. Jour après jour / Day After Day (2006, Jean-Paul Fargier, Jean-Daniel Pollet)

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A beautiful farewell from Pollet, Day After Day shows the pictures he took, day after day, in the last  2 years of his life. 

Hands shaking, dying from cancer, the entire film, except our opening shots of Pollet struggling with his camera, is composed of these still photographs. Pollet died only 2 days after the editing was completed, and was assisted by Fargier to complete the film.

As the images roll, and we see Pollet's surroundings, from simple shots of flowers and fruits, to shots of the outside, and what he is reading. We can see in these shots also his limited capacity, and the limitations and repetitions are given added emotional resonance. We can feel him holding on, yet fading - contemplating his last days on earth. 8.5/10

Edit: I just realized I'm the sole check for this film ...


4. Le maître du temps / The Master of Time (1971, Jean-Daniel Pollet)

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A blue being crashes into the sea - his torso and head is clearly painted blue and he is wearing blue pants. He's an alien - he can master time, and over the next 90 minutes we will follow him as he changes his hue for white skin and get caught in a timeline of colonialism and slavery.

Interestingly the film was written by the completely forgotten French New Wave director and Cahier du Cinema critic Pierre Kast - who is perhaps best remembered for being the most vocally leftist member of the staff, and for quaint satires of the bourgeoisie. I suppose there is a red line into the ideology of this work - with a time-travelling master encountering slavery and oppression throughout history - but as usual, any philosophical point is rather obscured - and muddled even further by Pollet's direction - as frankly - he really can't seem to handle "narratives" very well.

There are shimmers of quality and poetry here - especially the ending - and our leads inability to truly make a difference against oppression. There are actually decent ideas, and fun, and elements of surrealism and avant-garde elements do balance out a lot of the campiness and sloppiness. It is not a film I can recommend, and I don't understand how they thought this was a remotely good idea, but at least it is watchable. 4.5/10


5. La ligne de mire / Line of Sight (1960,  Jean-Daniel Pollet)

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Line of Sight was Pollet's first feature film and if it was up to him no one would ever see it. In fact, it was unavailable until his death - and I can completely understand why he wanted to hide this messy travesty away. What is interesting though is that in all its nonsense, it does show talent. We see fleeting images, decent compositions, movements, reactions and other elements that could at least have made for a good film.

The atmosphere feels a lot like the pre-new wave films of the new wave directors. The ones no one talk about, like Rohmer's La sonate à Kreutzer (1956) and Astruc's Le rideau cramoisi (1953). I.e. we have limited to no actual dialogue, voice-over, limited soundscapes (here corrected with music that does not quite fit and makes it look silly) and a type of poetic sensibilities that work to various degrees of success.

Here, the success is almost none existent. It feels awkward and silly throughout, including the attempted gravitas of the "chateau", likely an attempt of mystique, but like so much of the film it feels flimsy and silly - particularly with the added jazzy music, making it all feel like a montage. The tone is confused, and as with his later feature, Le maître du temps, I have to say that it really looks like Pollet can not handle narrative cinema well. 3/10
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