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1000<400 Challenge (Official, January 2023)

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blocho
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1000<400 Challenge (Official, January 2023)

#1

Post by blocho »

1000<400 Challenge

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Above: Fanny Lye Deliver'd. Below: Brothers' Nest

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Welcome to the 1000<400 Challenge.

Goal
Watch anything that finished in the top 1,000 in the 2022 edition of ICM Forum's 500<400 poll. Discuss what you watched.

Rules
- Challenge runs from January 1, 2023 to January 31, 2023.
- A feature film (at least 40 minutes) counts as one point.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one point.
- Films/episodes must be watched one at a time, at single speed (not sped up), and in their entirety.
- Only items on this list are eligible: ICM Forum list.
- Not a rule but a request: When you post what you have watched, please include your reaction or at least a rating so that other people can learn about movies they might not know about. Also, the challenge is more fun and interesting when discussion is ample.

Stats & Formatting
- Title (Year) is the preferred format.
- Don't edit posts to include new movies you've watched. Always make new posts.

Previous Editions
2020 - Led by 72aicm with 100 points
2021 - Led by tourdesb with 111 points
2022 - Led by tourdesb with 76 points

Scoreboard
RankParticipantNumber of Points
172aicm62
2nimimerkillinen59
3sol44
4Traveller35
4Tasselfoot35
6ororama30
7klaus7827
8beavis23
9DudeLanez17
10gunnar16
11AB53715
12maxwelldeux12
12mightysparks12
14St. Gloede10
15blocho9
16Ebbywebby5
16VincentPrice5
16flavo50005
19peeptoad4
20toromash2
20Tngy2
20jdidaco2
23whizwilly1
Last edited by blocho on February 2nd, 2023, 7:44 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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#2

Post by Traveller »

01. Himizu (2011) - 7/10
ICM
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
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#3

Post by 72aicm »

I’m in. Thanks for hosting Blocho. Starting with 848/1000. Gold should be doable this month.
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#4

Post by VincentPrice »

1. Trans-Europ-Express-1966: 8/10
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#5

Post by 72aicm »

001. #987 Surviving Desire (1992)
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#6

Post by ororama »

1. Murder on a Sunday Morning/Un coupable idéal (2001) * 111 min. #206
An excellent documentary about a criminal trial, my only quibble is that the cross-examination of one police detective is presented out of sequence, presumably for dramatic purposes although it wasn't on its face devastating to the prosecution (although a brief segment of the testimony of another detective failing to corroborate his testimony that is intercut with this testimony does significant damage to the prosecution's case). It's nice to see the system work more or less as it should, although you can't discount the damage to the lives of the defendant and his family and that at least two detectives seem to have committed perjury and at least one other presumably knew this but seemingly looked the other way, resulting in demotions that were apparently not publicly connected to the case but not prosecution. On the plus side, a police officer was disturbed enough by an unlikely identification of the defendant that he went to the defense to reveal the details, and the public defender's team did an outstanding job of presenting their case. This is a movie that should be watched. Although I think it highly unlikely that Brenton was guilty, I've read of cases where the evidence seemed even weaker that resulted in convictions (e.g. Margaret Kelly Michaels, Michelle Lodzinski, both convictions reversed by the New Jersey Supreme Court after the women spent years in prison).

*First time viewing
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#7

Post by sol »

Starting at 476/1000. Getting the imaginary bronze should be easy; I'll see if I can try to stay ahead of 72a on the leaderboard. That's a better goal. :)

1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229

Image

The first 25 minutes are easily best and the most nightmarish here as the protagonist enters a seemingly abandoned building where he constant falls through floorboards to hidden levels, and as he envisions multiple doors to darkness opening (see above). Things become a little less atmospheric after this point, but that is when the stinging bureaucratic satire begins as he is put on trial and accused of being a hare himself in scenes that evoke the then yet-unmade The Wicker Man. Add in an eerily cyclic ending, an impossible crash that he survives early on, and crazy 'thinking machine' and this really rocks.
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#8

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578

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As a narrative, this is a bit shaky, from the weird coincidence of a killed cat with magical eyesight re-emerging to how everyone in the world is placed into four distinct, non-overlapping categories, to how no one minds when turned red (yes, that happens). The special effects are damn impressive though as actors tinted in various shades of red, yellow, purple and grey start prancing around the place. There is also an amazing dark background magic show.
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#9

Post by Traveller »

02. The Flying Luna Clipper (1987) - 6/10
ICM
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
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#10

Post by nimimerkillinen »

1. Carriage to Vienna (1966) fave
2. Iluminacja (1973) light fave
3. Himiko (1974) light fave
4. Love & Anarchy (1973) like
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#11

Post by 72aicm »

002. #979 David Golder (1931)
003. #998 Okasareta hakui (1967)
Spoiler
001. #979 David Golder (1931)
002. #987 Surviving Desire (1992)
003. #998 Okasareta hakui (1967)
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#12

Post by maxwelldeux »

1. Carriage to Vienna (1966) #1

This was a nice start to the challenge. Coming out of the Cult challenge, I'll be honest - I expected a brutal revenge film, but it went in a different direction I quite liked. Really liked the shot construction and how you felt like you were actually in that titular carriage.
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#13

Post by mightysparks »

1. Obsession (1949) 6/10 #296

A psychiatrist plots revenge on his wife by committing the perfect murder of her lover. A fun noir that gets things rolling pretty quickly and keeps the pace up for the most part. The chemistry and scenes between the would-be murderer and his captive are quite nice. But the female character is done dirty with no real development and never feels particularly convincing. Her attitude towards her husband after she thinks he's murdered her lover seems like mild indifference and she could've played a bigger part to create more tension. The inspector character was also not that convincing and the scenes with him and Riordan are not as fun as they could be. One problem is that the villain is the most likable character in the film (aside from the dog) and the relationships and other characters are just not quite on par with development.
1<400
1. Obsession (1949) 6/10 #296
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#14

Post by AB537 »

Starting at 88/500 and 142/1000

1. The Young Philadelphians (Vincent Sherman, 1959) 7/10 ... #741
2. Anchiporuno - Antiporno (Sion Sono, 2016) 5/10 ... #574
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#15

Post by AdamH »

ororama wrote: January 2nd, 2023, 7:54 am 1. Murder on a Sunday Morning/Un coupable idéal (2001) * 111 min. #206
An excellent documentary about a criminal trial, my only quibble is that the cross-examination of one police detective is presented out of sequence, presumably for dramatic purposes although it wasn't on its face devastating to the prosecution (although a brief segment of the testimony of another detective failing to corroborate his testimony that is intercut with this testimony does significant damage to the prosecution's case). It's nice to see the system work more or less as it should, although you can't discount the damage to the lives of the defendant and his family and that at least two detectives seem to have committed perjury and at least one other presumably knew this but seemingly looked the other way, resulting in demotions that were apparently not publicly connected to the case but not prosecution. On the plus side, a police officer was disturbed enough by an unlikely identification of the defendant that he went to the defense to reveal the details, and the public defender's team did an outstanding job of presenting their case. This is a movie that should be watched. Although I think it highly unlikely that Brenton was guilty, I've read of cases where the evidence seemed even weaker that resulted in convictions (e.g. Margaret Kelly Michaels, Michelle Lodzinski, both convictions reversed by the New Jersey Supreme Court after the women spent years in prison).

*First time viewing
Great doc! Glad it's getting some more attention. Surprised it's still on <400.
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#16

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625

Image

There are some interesting bits and pieces here beyond the expected tales of torture and horror, including the survivors mulling over why their families decided not to leave Hungary as things worsened, believing Nazi Germany to be a completely different country and so on. All of the interviewees are very passionate too and recall some amazing small details. As a documentary production though, the film mostly consists of talking heads, and the project feels a little all-over-the-place with the interviewees sometimes talking to the camera, at other times to an interviewee, and at other times still to kids.
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#17

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170

Image

A man is appointed to a series of jobs that repeatedly result in jail terms in this satire. The politically slanted ghost train that he is placed in charge of (as one job) is hilarious; same goes for his attempts to pass off lemons as oranges when he fails at managing an orange grove. These shenanigans are far removed though from his discomfort at being made a state witness (which crops up in the second half), then there are some weird storybook style title-cards. Everything concludes well though with a potent final few minutes that swipe at the crazy politics back then, but this felt more than a little uneven.
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#18

Post by ororama »

2. Birthplace/Miejsce urodzenia (1992) * 47 min. #102
A documentary in which a Polish American Holocaust survivor returns to his home village to ask people what happened to his murdered father and younger brother. It's fascinating to watch him probe and try to figure out who is telling the truth.
Spoiler
1. Murder on a Sunday Morning/Un coupable idéal (2001) * 111 min.  #206
*First time viewing
Last edited by ororama on January 3rd, 2023, 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#19

Post by gunnar »

ororama wrote: January 3rd, 2023, 4:26 am 2. Birthplace/Miejsce urodzenia (1992) * 47 min. #102
A documentary in which a Polish American Holocaust survivor returns to his home village to ask people what happened to his murdered father and younger brother. It's fascinating to watch him probe and try to figure out who is telling the truth.

*First time viewing
This one made my list for the 1992 poll.
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#20

Post by maxwelldeux »

gunnar wrote: January 3rd, 2023, 4:33 am
ororama wrote: January 3rd, 2023, 4:26 am 2. Birthplace/Miejsce urodzenia (1992) * 47 min. #102
A documentary in which a Polish American Holocaust survivor returns to his home village to ask people what happened to his murdered father and younger brother. It's fascinating to watch him probe and try to figure out who is telling the truth.

*First time viewing
This one made my list for the 1992 poll.
Currently sitting at #8 on mine as well.
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#21

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849

Image

Assorted teenagers make their way to a formal dance at a local delicatessen in this unusual coming-of-age drama. What the dance is meant to be is unclear, but the film sharply captures how important and nerve-wrecking the event is for those making their way there. And the ball itself when it rolls around is appropriately magical and enchanting - with a large dialogue-free stretch in which music and close-ups conveys all amid ethereal lighting. The film feels less alive in is post-ball scenes, though perhaps aptly so if taken as a movie about the disillusionment felt at the end of a big event that doesn't go to plan.

(added to my 500<400 list)
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#22

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849
6. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) #995

Image

While never quite as lurid as the title suggests, this is a still a fairly amusing comedy. The movie derives surprising comedic mileage from wordplay gags, such as the protagonist saying "cut it out" to a prostitute with a knife at his chest, followed by "let me rephrase that". The strongest aspect here though is the splatter on a budget and there is sadly not much of it. We only get two scenes of hookers offing a victim - but they are great. With the way the women gyrate and thrust while pushing their chainsaw in and out, the whole thing is deliriously sexual. Unfortunately there's too much narration/cult stuff instead.
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#23

Post by nimimerkillinen »

Spoiler
1. Carriage to Vienna (1966) fave
2. Iluminacja (1973) light fave
3. Himiko (1974) light fave
4. Love & Anarchy (1973) like
5. Distant Thunder (1973) - watchable++
6. La rose de fer - The Iron Rose (1973) - watchable-~ maybe a rewatch at some point
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#24

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849
6. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) #995
7. ...And the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965) #801

Image

This is cleverly fashioned as a paranoia thriller to emphasis the danger of the protagonist's undertaking and the opening scenes are amazing, full of voyeuristic camerawork and visions that inexplicably appear and disappear. Even more arresting is the cinematography inside in his apartment building with the eyes of all his nosy neighbours eerily looking down a spiral stairwell at him whenever he enters or exits. Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia is scary as hell.
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#25

Post by nimimerkillinen »

Spoiler
1. Carriage to Vienna (1966) fave
2. Iluminacja (1973) light fave
3. Himiko (1974) light fave
4. Love & Anarchy (1973) like
5. Distant Thunder (1973) - watchable++
6. La rose de fer - The Iron Rose (1973) - watchable-~ maybe a rewatch at some point
7. Poklosie (2012) meh-
8. Wrony (1994) favourite-
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#26

Post by Traveller »

03. Happy Hour (2015) - 8/10
ICM
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
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#27

Post by klaus78 »

1. #101 Mandabi (1968) 7/10
2. #111 Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995) 7/10
3. #126 Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary (1997) 6/10

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#28

Post by 72aicm »

004. #619 S He (2018) (added to my list)
005. #939 Island of Death (1976)
Spoiler
001. #619 S He (2018) (added to my list)
002. #939 Island of Death (1976)
003. #979 David Golder (1931)
004. #987 Surviving Desire (1992)
005. #998 Okasareta hakui (1967)
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#29

Post by beavis »

1. Blues in the Night (1941) - 7.5
2. the Suspect (1944) - 7.5

Both interesting films with their weaker and more interesting points. Blues in the Night has got Kazan in an acting role and Rossen writing and they paint an enticing world about a group of Jazz players who want to form a small unit to focus on their own composition style instead of big band entertainment work (this is before bebop was developed, I guess?, the featured music seems not that kind of jazz anyway). The femme fatale that gets introduced is a false note however, in every possible literal and figurative way. The Suspect has got a riduculous story with outrageous behaviour by a police inspector and very irrational thinking all-round, but the acting is understated and fun (in most cases), everyone seems to know that this is not to be taken seriously, and Laughton's charisma just pulls everything along very nicely indeed.
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#30

Post by nimimerkillinen »

Spoiler
1. Carriage to Vienna (1966) fave
2. Iluminacja (1973) light fave
3. Himiko (1974) light fave
4. Love & Anarchy (1973) like
5. Distant Thunder (1973) - watchable++
6. La rose de fer - The Iron Rose (1973) - watchable-~ maybe a rewatch at some point
7. Poklosie (2012) meh-
8. Wrony (1994) favourite-
9. Drak sa vracia - Dragon's Return (1968) (Bluray) - like--
10. Menzel: Rozmarné léto - Capricious Summer (1968) (HDTV) - meh+
11. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014) (Bluray Web) - like++
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#31

Post by DudeLanez »

1. Night Tide (1961, Curtis Harrington) 6/10 - #352
2. The Castle of Purity (1973, Arturo Ripstein) 6,5/10 - #355
3.-8. Watchmen (2019, 527‘) 7/10 - #570
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#32

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849
6. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) #995
7. ...And the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965) #801
8. The Fifth Seal (1976) #3

Image

This is not an especially easy film to get into with almost the entire first half-hour dedicated to four men discussing food and food preparation techniques. Things get more interesting once a philosophical conundrum is finally proposed, but even then it is only in the final half-hour that the film truly soars as the men are grilled by members of the far-right Arrow Cross Party, and are forced to confront just where they stand on the ethical and moral principles that the philosophical question made them consider. The final scene is especially memorable and haunting. It takes the film quite a while to get there though.
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#33

Post by mightysparks »

2. Vtáckovia, siroty a blázni (1969) 3/10 #518
Disillusioned by their bleak reality a group of people opt to live a childish and playful existence. Central and Eastern European comedies are my idea of hell and this film is no exception to the rule. It's ugly, annoying and not funny. There is a sense of playfulness and chaos in every element but it's not enjoyable. It feels repetitive, the characters are annoying and it doesn't really do a lot with the potential of the plot--I don't really understand anything that happened. Also why does the IMDb plot summary say these people are teenagers? The actress could pass but the men look 40.
2<400
1. Obsession (1949) 6/10 #296
2. Vtáckovia, siroty a blázni (1969) 3/10 #518
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#34

Post by AB537 »

3. Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967) 8/10 ... #87
4. Play for Today: Nuts in May (Mike Leigh, 1976) 7.5/10 ... #81
ICM Forum Challenge winner: 2020 Crime, 2021 UK/Ireland
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#35

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849
6. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) #995
7. ...And the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965) #801
8. The Fifth Seal (1976) #3
9. Decasia (2002) #95

Image

Decaying archive footage is spliced together in this experimental movie. The film has been described as a documentary, but without titles or narration, it is really more a collection of moving images. On one hand, the lack of explanation is irksome with so many questions coming to mind regarding how the film was made and what causes different sorts of decay. There are some amazing bits and pieces though, most notably, a merry-go-ground ride in which riders seem to disappear into a void creating by mid-strip fuzziness, plus a boxer seemingly punching the decay. And the creepy accompanying music rocks.
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#36

Post by blocho »

Hey Folks -- I have made the perhaps unwise decision to track titles as well as points and years, so from now on, please use the English language title of your movie when posting (if there is one), or at least include the English title alongside the original. No need to go back and edit any previous entries.

Thanks!
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#37

Post by mightysparks »

3-7. The Vietnam War (2017) 7/10 #209 (431 mins watched--31 mins leftover)
-The Vietnam War: Episode 7 (2017) 107 min
-The Vietnam War: Episode 8 (2017) 108 min
-The Vietnam War: Episode 9 (2017) 109 min
-The Vietnam War: Episode 10 (2017) 107 min

I've been chipping away at this for a while. When I started this still had less than 400 checks. As a non-American whose only knowledge of The Vietnam War was jokes and references in films and TV this was informative and enlightening. I felt it gave a lot of context to events before, after and during and how these things played into it--I thought the war had taken place in the 80s before watching this so I really had no clue. It is a very American-centric documentary and at times I would've liked more Vietnamese context but that's not this documentary's focus. I was surprised at how negatively America was portrayed and I also liked how blunt and open all the participants were. Some really graphic and effective images and scenes. I also had seen many of the 'famous' photos before and did not know/remember most of them were from this war.
7<400
1. Obsession (1949) 6/10 #296
2. Vtáckovia, siroty a blázni (1969) 3/10 #518
3-7. The Vietnam War (2017) 7/10 #209 (431 mins watched--31 mins leftover)
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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sol
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#38

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1. Case for a Rookie Hangman (1970) #229
2. When the Cat Comes (1963) #578
3. The Last Days (1998) #625
4. The Witness (1969) #170
5. Ham on Rye (2019) #849
6. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988) #995
7. ...And the Fifth Horseman Is Fear (1965) #801
8. The Fifth Seal (1976) #3
9. Decasia (2002) #95
10. The Third Part of the Night (1971) #376

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For those familiar with Zulawski, his usual trademarks are present is this debut: contorted facial expressions, weird camera angles and atmospheric music in spades. The film looks pretty great in general either way with the occasional 360 degree rotating shot and choice low camera angles in between the jarring handheld shots and exaggerated performances. As a narrative though, the film is a bit hard to get a grip on. There is some doppelganger stuff (perhaps), an actual childbirth with expected levels of blood, and the real-life practice of lice-feeding, which becomes the film's most fascinating element.
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Long live the new flesh!
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St. Gloede
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#39

Post by St. Gloede »

(1 viewing)

I'm in and I intend to see approx 10 films (possibly more, time permitting).

My first viewing was Dying at Grace which was my highest unseen film on the list and one I had been eyeing for some time due to Allan King and the kind of unusual intimacy he brought to great films like Come On Children and A Married Couple, both probably amongst my favourite documentaries, and I appreciate this more intimate nature to the style of Wiseman (who I know made a very similar film, Near Death, about 15 years prior).

Anyhow, for me the film's core power has to be in showing people genuinely near death, as well as their decay, 4 of them from the state of being quite functional, one person in particular being quite vibrant, and it is a startling and honest portrait of the end of life in it's less pleasant details. The scenes showing family members holding their loved ones' hands and telling them goodbye in their final minutes as they struggle for air are very emotional, almost a little too intrusive/emotional, but striking and effective.

Where the film falls a little short for me has to be that the film is missing some of the intimacy that I referenced earlier, though the images themselves are powerful, that sense of person and space is not there (at least not to me) in the same way. It reminded me more of Warrendale, which I know many love, but it becomes a little more about the institution. This part of the film is very interesting as well, as it couples death with the systematic activity around it - but the contrast was not as stark as I might have preferred it to be. I'd love to hear people's views of these elements, and how people reacted to and think we are meant to react to the staff, the calls to loved ones informing them about situations worsening/death, staff meetings talking about passing away peacefully (when we see that their faces are not peaceful). Is this an intended contrast or not? Is there a critique of the institution, or just "this is what it is in all its details" and a contextualization of death?

I'm not sure if I will see Near Death soon, but I will say that I loved Mrs. Fang, though there it is broadly the rather morbid behavior of the people around her sick bed. To me, Near Death missed something to push it to greatness. Maybe added intimacy/understanding of their inner lives - or maybe something in the opposite direction where it is more detached and brutal to our senses. I think it is a very good film and one I would recommend, but not one I would label as great. 7/10


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Oh and if anyone has recommendations that think will speak to me.

At the moment I am eyeing the two Eugene Green films.
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beavis
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#40

Post by beavis »

St. Gloede wrote: January 4th, 2023, 2:13 pm (1 viewing)
Oh and if anyone has recommendations that think will speak to me.

At the moment I am eyeing the two Eugene Green films.
You should definitely do Green!

When asked for recs... I would love to recommend you a double-bill of experimental horror and read what you've got to say on them!
one for the challenge: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/rubbers+lover/
and with your interests in eastern-european cinema, you should contrast it with https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/serebryanye+golovy/
one that is still to obscure to be in contention for anything... but that is a crime against cinema that should be corrected :)
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