Welcome to the ICM Forum.
Check out our Magazine

If you notice any issues please post in the Q&A thread. Email issue should be fixed. If you encounter this issue, contact PeacefulAnarchy
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 70 released March 15th: Stress is Underrated)
iCinema Magazine: WE ARE LIVE! (We just need more content)
ICMForum Film Festival 2022 Nov 14 - Dec 12
World Cup - Season 5: Round 1 Schedule, Match 1D (Mar 19th), Match 1E (Apr 9th)
Polls: Sequels (Results), 2001 (Mar 23rd), Poland (Mar 31st), 1001 Favorite Movies (Apr 2nd)
Challenges: Sight & Sound, Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay/Uruguay, Directed by Women
About: Welcome All New Members, Terms of Use, Q&A

Which Films Did You See Last Week? [Week 04, 2023]

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 9316
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am

Which Films Did You See Last Week? [Week 04, 2023]


Post by Onderhond »

"Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be awesome if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings. Please also note that this is intended as a movie discussion thread, not a large image posting thread. Having too many large images makes this thread difficult to navigate through. If you wish to include more than five images in a reply, please use spoiler tags - [ spoiler ][/ spoiler ] - to hide extra images." - sol


01. 4.0* - Tales from Earthsea [Gedo Senki] by Gorô Miyazaki (2006)
A film that has been fighting an uphill battle since the day it was announced. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, expectations for this were completely unrealistic from the get-go. And yet, I've always liked the film, in part because of the way it set itself apart from his father's work, and other Ghibli films. Goro did find his own voice, rather than trying to mimic what people have come to expect under the Miyazaki name. The result is a darker, more mysterious fantasy film set in a world that is left for the viewer to be explored and is supported by Ghibli's quality animation, a lovely score, and tremendous voice work. This holds up very well on rewatch.

02. 3.5* - Kisaragi Station [Kisaragi Eki] by Jirô Nagae (2022)
A fun take on Japanese horror. While the setup feels quite familiar, the execution is decidedly more modern. It's a film that seems to deliberately distance itself from the style of horror that people have come to expect from Japan. If it hadn't been for some slight structural issues, this might've been a bona fide contemporary horror classic. A young woman is investigating paranormal stories. When she hears a tale about a train that takes you to an abandoned station, she seeks out a survivor who is willing to tell her the entire story. The train supposedly takes you to an alternate world, where six people come together and only one can escape from the clutches of an evil spirit governing this world. The setting is moody and the cinematography is surprisingly polished, the only thing that bugged me was the cyclical structure of the plot, where the entire second half is basically just a variation of the first part. Sure enough, it comes with a good twist, but it still left me a bit wanting. I am looking forward to Nagae's next film as Kisaragi Station shows a lot of promise.

03. 3.5* - Sad Tea [Saddo Tî] by Rikiya Imaizumi (2013)
A quirky Japanese indie drama. It took me a little while to warm up to Sad Tea, but that's because it plays with a subtle balance that needs a bit of time to surface. About halfway through I had a handle on the peculiar mix of drama, romance, and comedy. From there on out it's a fun build-up to a worthwhile finale. Several friends are struggling to commit to their romantic relationships. A former idol wants to visit a lifelong fan, even though she's about the marry. A writer has two girlfriends but loves neither of them, and a young boy dumps his girlfriend when he falls in love with the girl that sold him her birthday present. The film is quite slow and leans heavily on familiar drama elements, but there are a couple of coincidences and little twists that betray a darker sense of humor. The finale is really on point in that regard. Solid performances, fun characters, and simple but pleasant styling make this a nice discovery. It's not the most remarkable film, but it does have its own signature.

04. 3.5* - Legend of the Ancient Sword: Sorrowsong Conspiracy by He Jianan (2021)
A cute little whodunit that mostly scores points with its lush production design. The film offers a mix of fantasy, action and comedy wrapped up in a mystery plot and served in a 70-minute bite-sized package. These Chinese straight-to-streaming films have their formats down, the only thing missing are directors able to elevate these films to be slightly more than prime genre filler. Two demon hunters are called to investigate some eerie murders. One is a bit of a clumsy fighter but is excellent at finding and reading clues, the other is a little dim but handles herself extremely well when things get hairy. When they arrive in the village it quickly dawns that there is no demon, but someone lured them there. The sets are amazing, the cinematography is lovely, the fantasy and martial arts elements are well-executed and even though the whodunit aspect of the plot wasn't all that exciting, the film is so short it simply couldn't be dragged out unnecessarily. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the word, but more than solid entertainment.

05. 3.5* - Hell Target by Keito Nakamura (1987)
A nifty little surprise. Hell Target is a pretty generic-sounding title that failed to impress when it was originally released on VHS. The remaining copies are not of the best quality, but it's not difficult to see that this could be a major hit if someone would clean it up and re-release it. Fans of horror and sci-fi would do good to seek this one out. A space crew is on their way to a forbidden planet, in search of a lost vessel. When they arrive on the hostile planet, it quickly dawns on them that monsters are lurking in the shadows. The crew isn't prepared to fight off these intergalactic foes and only one of them survives. Knowing that a new ship will be sent if nothing is heard from them, he'll have to figure out a way to prevent the next ship from falling into the same trap. The animation is really good, the art style is detailed and the horror elements are pretty effective. The plot is simple, then again the film is only 50 minutes long, so it's not a big surprise this film chose genre execution over an elaborate plot or well-developed characters. This is exactly the kind of film I hoped to find when I started my quest to catch up with some of the older/shorter anime films I've missed.

06. 3.5* - Blues Harp by Takashi Miike (1998)
A fine mix of crime and drama, where Miike is allowed to showcase his versatility. It's a film that would've felt at home in the Young Thugs trilogy, but it stands well enough on its own. It did feel slightly less special watching it again 15 years later, having seen more films along the same vein. Chuji is a capable bartender who does a little dealing on the side. One day he rescues Kenji from the Yakuza gang he works for. Kenji appreciates the gesture and they become close friends. As Kenji rises through the ranks of a competing Yakuza gang, their friendship becomes a liability. The performances are solid, Miike's direction is playful and the pacing is slick. Blues Harp shows that Miike doesn't need all the weirdness and quirk to make a good film, on the other hand, he has a tougher time distinguishing himself from other directors working in the same space. Not one of Miike's all-time classics, but a pretty lovely film regardless.

07. 3.5* - Play Dead by Patrick Lussier (2022)
A surprisingly capable film from Patrick Lussier. His track record isn't the greatest, with some pretty poor horror remakes messing up his oeuvre, but Play Dead is a nice change of pace for him. Not that it is a very original or remarkable film, but as a horror/thriller mix it does just about everything right. When a robbery goes wrong, one of the perps ends up in the morgue. The other one escapes and seeks help from his sister. When they run through the events, they quickly realize that his mate's iPhone can be used to implicate him, so their only option is to sneak into the morgue and retrieve the phone. The first half is built on tension, with some fun (but somewhat predictable) reveals to keep things interesting. The finale adds a touch of horror to the mix. The performances are solid, the build-up of the tension is on point and while a tad long, the film never drags or gets dull. Prime horror filler.

08. 3.5* - Phoenix: Space Chapter [Hi no Tori: Uchû-hen] by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (1987)
Kawajiri takes on Tezuka's Hi no Tori manga with Rintaro acting as a producer. It's a pretty impressive array of names, and they were able to deliver. I'm a bit surprised this short anime isn't better known among anime fans, as Kawajiri does a stellar job building up the story within the short amount of time that was given to him. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy won't be disappointed. Four astronauts find themselves stranded on a ruined spaceship. Their pilot, Makimura, is found dead in his chair, an apparent suicide. The only option for the four is to board the escape pods and hope for the best. When it transpires that Makimura was killed, everyone needs to worry for their own safety. The plot is a best-of of sci-fi/space cliches, but Kawajiri packages them well, and the addition of fantasy elements makes it a little less predictable. The animation is fine, the art style classic Tezuka and the pacing is just perfect. Short and sweet, then again, why doubt Kawajiri?

09. 3.5* - My Broken Mariko [Mai Burôkun Mariko] by Yuki Tanada (2022)
A nice but expected Japanese drama bound to fade in a sea of similar films. Tanada has been consistently releasing good films, but something is missing to push her work to the next level. While the drama is solid and the performances are on point, the emotional outbursts scattered throughout take away from the solemn experience. Shiino and Mariko were best friends growing up, but they slowly drifted apart. One day Shiino is eating lunch when she hears a news report about Mariko's suicide. She visits Mariko's parents to pay tribute to her childhood friend, but once there she remembers how Mariko's father abused her. She takes Mariko's remains with her and goes on a little trip to reconnect with her old friend. The best scenes are when Shiino and Mariko are together, not speaking but just being there for one another. Japanese drama is at its best when it's subtle and subdued, which is why the loud emotional outbursts of Shiino feel a little out of line with the rest of the film. I guess Tanada should look for some ways to set her films apart if she wants to stand out from the crowd, but fans of Japanese dramas will find a good film here.

10. 3.0* - Apartment 1303 by Ataru Oikawa (2007)
Basic J-Horror, with an above-average finale. I watched the remake years ago, but never really managed to get a hold of Oikawa's original. He's certainly not the most gifted director of his generation, but he can turn out a proper horror film, and that's exactly what you should expect from this film. A young girl is finally ready to live by herself. On her first night in her new apartment, she has some friends over. Halfway through the evening, she starts acting weird and commits suicide. Her sister can't believe she wanted to end her life and she wants to know what really went down. With the help of an interested detective, she uncovers the dark past of the apartment. The setup and backstory are very basic, the scares in the first hour are pretty generic and the performances are rather weak. It's not terrible, just very expected. But then the finale kicks in and the quality really ramps up. Not that it is a Japanese horror classic, but if you're looking for some fun horror filler, Oikawa delivers.

11. 3.0* - Valerie and Her Week of Wonders [Valerie a Týden Divu] by Jaromil Jires (1970)
A pleasant surprise. Sure enough, my expectations were quite low going in, but sometimes that can be a blessing. Valerie and her Week of Wonders offers a playful and creative mix of fantasy and horror elements, no doubt wrapped in several layers of symbolism. How much of it you want to unpack is up to you. Valerie is a young girl who lives with her grandmother. She falls in love with a boy who gives her earrings, but she won't have much time to explore her feelings. A traveling carnival is in town and Valerie's dreams begin to mingle with reality. She worries that her grandmother may be a vampire and that she's the daughter of the bishop. The cinematography, costumes, and sets are pretty cool, the music isn't the greatest but doesn't detract either, and the fantastical elements keep things interesting. The short runtime certainly helped too, as my attention did start to wane a little right before the finale kicked off. This was a lot better than expected.

12. 3.0* - When the Rain Falls [Yuri no Amaoto] by Shûsuke Kaneko (2022)
Nikkatsu's Roman Porno revival has been relatively successful, so it's no surprise they're doing their best to keep the momentum going. They've done a good job attracting famous directors, with Shûsuke Kaneko they hooked another interesting name. When the Rain Falls didn't disappoint. Hazuki has a tough time coming out of the closet. An early romantic experience hurt her deeply, which makes her hesitant to approach people. She is in love with her supervisor, and when their paths cross one evening they begin a secret affair. But her supervisor also sleeps around with the CEO of the company, trying to land a promotion. The performances are solid, the drama and romance work well and the cinematography is pleasantly refined. It's still a pinku film of course, so there are quotas that have to be met. But even the nudity is pretty graceful, though, in the end, it does take up too much time compared to the dramatic scenes. Quite a bit better than I had expected.

13. 3.0* - The Offering by Oliver Park (2022)
A decent but simple horror film. What sets this film apart is the Jewish/American setting, drawing from their cultural/religious lore to serve a slightly more original haunting. The creature isn't quite as scary as it was supposed to be though, and once you take the cultural elements away, what remains is a template horror flick with decent production values. Art returns home to reconcile with his father, who runs a Jewish funeral parlor. Things are looking up, but then a new body is brought in. A mysterious knife and pendant are hidden on the body. When Art accidentally destroys the pendant he sets a dangerous demon free that was sealed away inside the body. The build-up is pretty decent and Park's direction is fine, but the demon is a little underwhelming and the film lacks real tension or dread. It's a perfectly fine horror film, but with a tad more care and focus on the horror elements this could've been a minor genre classic, now it's just pleasant filler.

14. 3.0* - My Back Page [Mai Bakku Pêji] by Nobuhiro Yamashita (2011)
A decent enough drama, but My Back Page is a bit long in the tooth, and feels a bit safe for a film about the student protests. If you've seen a couple of Wakamatsu's films, you know stories like these deserve a slightly cruder edge. It's not a bad film, it's just that it doesn't quite line up with its subject matter. Sawada is a spirited journalist who starts working for a small, left-leaning publication. When Sawada interviews Umeyama, a leader of the student uprising, he somehow doubts the claims of the man before him, but he is attracted to his personality. The two start hanging out together on a regular basis. The performances are solid and the presentation is clean, though both are also a little on the safe side. The political situation of '69 has been covered many times before, My Back Page doesn't really add anything substantial, which is a little disappointing for a film that crosses the 2-hour mark. Still, there's enough quality there to keep things interesting.

15. 2.5* - Corsage by Marie Kreutzer (2022)
A costume drama with (slightly) more contemporary elements. It's a film that offers a more down-to-earth and sobering take on a famous historical figure, not unlike Larraín's Spencer. While Kreutzer's intentions were good, I don't think the result is quite as strong or outspoken as it could've been. Empress Elisabeth of Austria turns 40. She is beloved by everyone, but at 40 she is considered an old woman and she struggles to maintain her public presence. She is very fickle and feels that the respect and love she once received from the people around her are starting to fade. The more contemporary score was a lovely surprise and the cinematography is solid. Vicky Krieps did a pretty good job too, but somehow the drama and Elisabeth's plight didn't quite hit me the way it was supposed to. It's certainly a step up from most costume drama, but I'd hoped for something a little extra.

16. 2.5* - The Firemen's Ball [Horí, Má Panenko] by Milos Forman (1967)
Forman's final Czechoslovakian film before he moved his career to Hollywood. It's a somewhat loud and messy comedy, quite hit-and-miss and often stretched to its limits, but thanks to the short runtime and a handful of amusing setups scattered throughout the film, it was a pretty easy watch. A small town thinks big when organizing its yearly firemen's ball. They want to hold a beauty contest while having the ball, but that is easier said than done, and soon enough things start going haywire. The party becomes quite unruly and the outcome is pleasantly ironic. There's a lot of hustle and bustle, which at times is quite funny, but it can get a little annoying and grating. The performances aren't great and the score is somewhat annoying, the film does get better in the second half when the party spirals out of control. A decent enough Forman, but nothing too spectacular.

17. 2.5* - The Crying Game by Neil Jordan (1992)
A peculiar film that takes a while to show its true face. It's not a film that stood out to me for any other reason than being unsure where it would go next, but somehow that was enough to keep me entertained. I'm sure a better director could've done more with the material at hand though. Jody is a British soldier who is apprehended by the IRA. Fergus has to stand guard and keep an eye on him, but he is only an IRA volunteer and the two men develop a bond. Jody makes Fergus promise that should anything happen to him, Fergus is to seek out Jody's wife to tell her about his fate. The performances are decent but nothing too special and the presentation is pretty bland. It's a shame, as there are some fun twists and turns that kept me guessing what else the film would have in store. The result is an easy watch, but it could've been a lot better in the hands of someone with a more distinct vision.

18. 2.0* - To Our Loves [À Nos Amours] by Maurice Pialat (1983)
A French drama that starts off pretty nicely, but loses itself in endless dialogue. That's not an enormous surprise, France has a tendency to produce chatty dramas, and To Our Loves fits that tradition perfectly. I wish Pialat had cared just a bit more about the presentation, as the first half shows the potential for a better film was definitely present. Suzanne is a young girl exploring her femininity and sexuality. She sleeps with various men, but she cares for none of them. The only boy she refuses is Luc, who has deeper feelings for her. When her father leaves the family, Suzanne can't really cope with the drama that suddenly surrounds her. Bonnaire does a decent job and the slightly more slice-of-life approach of the first half is solid, but the tilt to straight-up drama feels off and the conversations in the second half are pretty dry. I slowly lost interest in the characters and their ordeals, which isn't what you'd expect from a good drama. This could and should've been better.

19. 2.0* - Bandit Queen by Shekhar Kapur (1994)
There's life outside of Bollywood. Bandit Queen is a film with a pretty hefty reputation, though it appears that's mostly because of political reasons. Not that it's a very happy or pleasant film, but people who are used to watching darker and/or more shocking cinema will have little trouble coping. The film tells the story of Phoolan Devi (though its accuracy has been questioned by Devi herself. Devi comes from the lowest caste, when she is just 11 years old she is married off to an adult man. Tired of the injustices and the cross she has to bear, she flees and joins a group of bandits. The performances are pretty weak, and the cinematography isn't great. The fact the main character has criticized her depiction doesn't really work in the film's favor either, but there are some gripping moments and it's nice to see something that's not a three-hour barrage of kitsch coming out of India.

20. 1.5* - Tabu: A Story of the South Seas by F.W. Murnau (1931)
Murnau's final film. What separates Tabu from films of its time is the exotic setting (filmed on location too). It's a nice little perk, but it's also a bit cheesy and it feels a little exploitative. It's certainly not the worst film though, thanks to proper pacing and a pleasant romance that forms the heart of the film. Matahi is a pearl diver on Bora Bora. He falls in love with Reri, the two are clearly made for each other. But then someone from a neighboring island arrives and brands Reri a holy virgin, meaning no man is allowed to touch or be with her. Reri and Matahi flee the island to save their love. I was happy to see Tabu wasn't filmed on a set, but the early filming equipment doesn't do justice to its exotic environment. The plot is relatively simple and the romance is very expected, but the short runtime makes it bearable. Not the best Murnau, but I'd expected worse going in.

21. 1.0* - Torture Chronicles: 100 Years [Gômon Hyakunen-shi] by Koji Wakamatsu (1975)
70s Wakamatsu is an entirely different beast from 60s Wakamatsu. He became fascinated with torture throughout the ages and directed some films vaguely relating to this concept. Torture Chronicles is one of them, a disjointed series of torture and rape scenes with little or no connection. This is basically a mini-anthology, of four different torture scenes set in different eras (over a span of 100 years). The first story tells of the persecution of Christians in the 18th century, the second is about a man punishing his cheating wife, the third story handles war atrocities, and the final one deals with three female traitors. The presentation is poor, there's little to no connection between the segment and while the torture scenes are pretty vile and unpleasant, they're never quite as uncomfortable to watch as you'd expect them to be. A pretty forgettable Wakamatsu film, I'm not surprised his career took a nosedive during the 70s.

22. 1.0* - The Fallen Idol by Carol Reed (1948)
Another Reed noir. These old British films can feel a bit crusty, The Fallen Idol is no exception. For a film that tries to have a darker edge, it's all a bit too prim and proper, which makes for a somewhat awkward vibe. It's a shame, as Reed is capable of a little visual refinement, which goes to waste that way. Philippe is a young boy in awe of his Butler, Baines. The Butler becomes a suspect when his wife accidentally falls to her death, Philippe wants to help him but only arises more suspicion when he tries to fool the police. But then Philippe too begins to doubt the good intentions of his lifelong pal. The performances are dire, the plot is a pretty big drag and even though the film only lasts 90 minutes, it felt almost twice as long. The cinematography is the only perk here, but the rich detail and fine framing don't do much to elevate the whole. Not Reed's best film, but not the worst noir I've seen either.
User avatar
Posts: 3841
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm


Post by kongs_speech »

Hey Ondie and crew. Busy week of Sundance for me. You know what premiered at Sundance three years ago?



All These Sleepless Nights (2016, Michal Marczak) - 4.5/5
Cassandro (2023, Roger Ross Williams) - 3.5/5
Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) (2022, Anton Corbijn) - 4/5
Cry of the City (1948, Robert Siodmak) - 4/5
The Road (2009, John Hillcoat) - 3.5/5

Keane (2004, Lodge Kerrigan) - 4.5/5
The Breaking Point (1950, Michael Curtiz) - 4.5/5
Run Rabbit Run (2023, Daina Reid) - 3.5/5
Shortcomings (2023, Randall Park) - 4/5
A Little Prayer (2023, Angus MacLachlan) - 4/5

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2023, Rachel Lambert) - 2/5
L’Immensita (2022, Emanuele Crialese) - 4/5
The Starling Girl (2023, Laurel Parmet) - 5/5
The Accidental Getaway Driver (2023, Sing J. Lee) - 3/5
Kokomo City (2023, D. Smith) - 3.5/5

Scrapper (2023, Charlotte Regan) - 3.5/5
Mamacruz (2023, Patricia Ortega) - 3/5
Theater Camp (2023, Molly Gordon & Nick Lieberman) - 2/5
Fancy Dance (2023, Erica Tremblay) - 4/5
Heroic (2023, David Zonana) - 4.5/5

Other People’s Children (2022, Rebecca Zlotowski) - 4/5
Mutt (2023, Vuk Lungulov-Klotz) - 4/5
Bad Behaviour (2023, Alice Englert) - 1.5/5
When It Melts (2023, Veerle Baetens) - 4/5
A Thousand and One (2023, A.V. Rockwell) - 4/5

Fair Play (2023, Chloe Domont) - 4.5/5
La Pecera (The Fishbowl) - (2023, Glorimar Marrero Sanchez) - 3/5
Kim’s Video (2023, David Redmon & Ashley Sabin) - 4.5/5
Magazine Dreams (2023, Elijah Bynum) - 3.5/5
Fremont (2023, Babak Jalali) - 2.5/5

Sorcery (2023, Christopher Murray) - 4/5
Divinity (2023, Eddie Alcazar) - 4/5
Cat Person (2023, Susanna Fogel) - 1.5/5


A Folded Ocean (2023, Benjamin Brewer) - 4/5
In the Flesh (2022, Daphne Gardner) - 3.5/5
Pipes (2022, Jessica Meier, Kilian Feusi & Sujanth Ravichandran) - 4/5
Unborn Biru (2023, Inga Elin Marakatt) - 3.5/5
Power Signal (2023, Oscar Boyson) - 3/5

Claudio’s Song (2023, Andreas Nilsson) - 2.5/5


Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter (2022) - 5/5 (repeat listen)
Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007) - 5/5 (repeat listen)


Never let David Lynch forget an idea
Dog needs emotional support RAT during grooming | Australian Shepherd

Hond -- fully agreed on that Wakamatsu. I watched it a couple weeks ago and was really disappointed at how much it sucked in all regards. I really love Tabu, though, and I was also much more impressed by Corsage. The Fallen Idol is great overall, but that little kid is really obnoxious.
Based and estrogen pilled (she/her)
JLG wrote: Photography is truth ... and cinema is truth 24 times a second.
First to check CODA (2021)
User avatar
Kublai Khan
Posts: 1850
Joined: November 9th, 2014, 7:00 am
Location: Sarasota, FL


Post by Kublai Khan »

Speed Racer (Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski-2008) 1 Official List 4,845 checks - I think the choices the Wachowskis make to capture and enhance the feel and style of the original animation work really well. However I feel like there's an uneasy clash between the youthful artistic style and the story mostly revolving around how the financials of companies is the true sport of racing. Maybe they were trying for a mass appeal? The performances are good with John Goodman standing out as really inhabiting his role and trying to do as much as possible. I wish there was more for Christina Ricci to do though.

Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez-2019) 1 Official List 3,712 checks - For some reason I had low expectations and this exceeded them. The CGI was well-done it was easy to get used to the big-eye thing. I loved the world-building. This was a story with a rich back-story and a plenty of future story left to tell. I look forward to likely sequels.

Max Manus (Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg-2008) 1 Official List 3,110 checks - A unique perspective in a WWII movie! Here we get the events seen through occupied Norway's POV with Max Manus is a leading saboteur. This movie felt very uneven as it did some things very well, like the brotherly bonds between the saboteurs, but lacking in elements that I felt were necessary, like I never felt any tension over whether Max Manus would be caught.

Les Misérables (Tom Hooper-2012) 5 Official Lists 22,828 checks - I've never been a fan of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and after watching this I'm still not a fan. It just feels like two different stories (Valjean-Javert and Revolution) just smooshed together and both suffer for it. Changing the dialogue to a sung-though style seems to help a little, but I'm not a fan of ordinary dialogue being done in a sing-song way just because they are sticking to a concept. Also, the movie is just long and exhausting by the end of it.

Gate of Flesh {Nikutai no mon} (Seijun Suzuki-1964) 2 Official Lists 510 checks - Suzuki described this as a "skin flick" that the studios wanted, but there is a lot of depth to this movie. Suzuki's anti-American sentiment and longing for a return of Japanese dignified self-identity comes though very strongly. This is one of those throw-away generic low budget movies that turns out really good against all odds. I need to watch more Suzuki movies.
Owner of eight platinum awards
User avatar
Posts: 6796
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany


Post by Torgo »

User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 4446
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: in space the stars are no nearer


Post by Perception de Ambiguity »

«Humanity is an analog signal, digitally encoded in death, when individuals become bits: IS if they go to heaven, OS if they go to hell»
– ctrlcreep

«Yeah, well, what happens when you have an honest conversation that's engrossing is that you are actually optimizing abstract death. So, maybe your head is full of stupid ideas. Why are they stupid? Go act them out and you die. (Or you suffer.) So that's why they are stupid. So what you hope happens is that you can kill off those ideas before they possess you to the point where you act them out. So what do you do? You test them in conversation.»
– Jordan Peterson (from "The Joe Rogan Experience" #1933)

Rocky IV: Rocky VS. Drago / Rocky Vs. Drago - The Ultimate Director's Cut (2021, Sylvester Stallone) 2023-01: 8-

The Fountainhead (1949, King Vidor) 2023-01: 5
Gods constrained by societal needs. At least that's Ayn Rand's thinking. - On the level of psychopaths with delusions of grandeur finding each other in matters of love it's a quality film, but when it comes to its aim of making a point about integrity and genius in a sea of conformism and stupidity it paints such an idealistic and hence simplified picture of reality that any of its intellectual pretensions fall flat.

ブルーフィルムの女 / Blue Film Woman (1969, 向井寛/Kan Mukai) 2023-01: 2

Notorious (1946, Hitch) (2nd viewing) 2023-01: 7-

Key Largo (1948, John Huston) (2nd viewing) 2023-01: 7+

¡Mátalo! / Matalo (1970, Cesare Canevari) (3rd viewing) 2023-01: 10
This Wild West ballet of Nihilism is peak cinema. I'm not at all surprised that nobody tried to duplicate this Progressive Rock Musical of Sadism after it raped the world, as it would be an attempt in futility. What shocks me, though, is that after ¡Mátalo! anyone still cared to keep this cinema endeavor going. Guys, it's over. Look at it, where do you want to go from there? It bathes the viewer in delirious light and sound - makes you experience sun and wind. You henceforth are bound to starve for anything that will make you feel so alive once more.

Pack your stuff and come up with a new artform, because it's all downhill from here. Eventually I'm glad artists didn't put their motion picture cameras away, because there have been some elating films that were made afterwards which I'm happy for, I do have to concede that, but really, what are you even doing right now, why are you holding a camera, haven't you still not heard of ¡Mátalo!? Come on, dude, after this, what's the point of keeping going and pretending to moving the art along. Invent some new Yoga poses instead, which is still developing 2,500 years into its concoction, but ¡Mátalo!, that's like a full stop to a sentence that was started 80 years before. I know you know that ¡Mátalo! put an end to film, so stop clinging onto this dead art by pretending that it doesn't exist, start living in the present, that's all I'm saying.


Lynch Empire (2011, Olivier Smolders) 2023-01: 5

music videos

Deichkind & Clueso: Auch Im Bentley Wird Geweint (2022) 2023-01: 6

other / comedy / podcasts

Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast

Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast Ep. 29 - To Catch a Prophet [May 31, 2017]
Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast Ep. 30 - Tokyo Partners [Jun. 7, 2017]
Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast Ep. 31 - Femmes and Supremmes [Jun. 14, 2017]
Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast Ep. 32 - Liza Slesh [Jun. 19, 2017]
Ep 358 - Fauci Ouchie (feat. Mike Recine & Sean McCarthy)

The Video Archives Podcast with Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary: After Show 14 - Revisiting Sonny & Jed, Etc. (2023) 2023-01: 6

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1929 Louis CK (2023) 2023-01: 6
The Joe Rogan Experience - #1930 Adam Curry (2023) 2023-01: 6
The Joe Rogan Experience - #1932 Merlin Tuttle (2023) 2023-01: 4+
The Joe Rogan Experience - #1933 Jordan Peterson (2023) 2023-01: 7
«"...who is the world's most cited neuroscientist. I asked him if perceptions were micro-narratives and he said yes. And that's quite something. That isn't how we have looked at the world for the last 3,000 years.»
– JP

partly experienced Rogans: #1931 Mike Glover (2023)

notable online media

How Many Holes Does a Human Have?
Climate Science: What Does it Say? | Dr. Richard Lindzen | EP 320
[vidz by "videogamedunkey"; e.g.: "The Typing of the Dead", "Bad Graphics"]
Björk on postmodernism
"i listen to all genres" [by Peternity]
How the NIF Did It: Fusion Ignition with NIF Laser Scientist [half]
How Hagfish Unleash a Torrent of Slime | Deep Look
After Socrates: Episode 1 - Introduction | Dr. John Vervaeke [partly]
After Socrates: Episode 2 - Socrates, The Monstrous | Dr. John Vervaeke [a little]
Body Hacks w/ Andrew Huberman | 2 Bears, 1 Cave Ep. 168 [partly]
The LGBTQAlphabet | Powered By Pride | EQUINOX

from JRE #1933:
JP: There is a definition of "real": >Real is that which orients you properly when you are suffering.< So, that is not the same claim as... *knocks on the table* ...you know, the object is real.
JR: Right, right.
JP: It's a different idea, but...
JR: It's still real.
JP: It's more real.
JR: It's very real.
JP: Yeah.
JR: Yeah.

on following the path to wisdom, wasting life on wanting and getting old while doing it











"If you honestly and truthfully confront the tragic limitations of your life you'll discover the truth of the implicit order and that will redeem you. And that's the fundamental claim of science, for example. So even science, in so far as it is a practice, is embedded in this tradition. So...well, that's a way better story. It's the greatest story ever told, man." *grin*
– Jordan Peterson (from "The Joe Rogan Experience" #1933)
We do not have to understand new things, but by dint of patience, effort and method to come to understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.Image
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.
User avatar
Posts: 664
Joined: June 16th, 2021, 10:06 pm
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania


Post by Silga »

Finally watched the last remaining and, inexplicably, long delayed Coen brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy. Now I can officially confirm that they had never made a bad film. Rightfully #1 on my favorite directors list. Also watched two great films starring Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Body of My Enemy (Henri Verneuil, 1976) 9/10
The Hudsucker Proxy (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 1994) 9/10

The Hunter Will Get You (Philippe Labro, 1976) 7/10

Knowing (Alex Proyas, 2009) 6/10 (rewatch)

The Lake House (Alejandro Agresti, 2006) 4/10

Dragonfly (Tom Shadyac, 2002) 3/10
User avatar
Posts: 6796
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany


Post by Torgo »

Silga wrote: January 29th, 2023, 11:58 pm Finally watched the last remaining and, inexplicably, long delayed Coen brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy. Now I can officially confirm that they had never made a bad film. Rightfully #1 on my favorite directors list.
:thumbsup: :cheers:
Perception de Ambiguity wrote: January 29th, 2023, 11:12 pm
on following the path to wisdom, wasting life on wanting and getting old while doing it
2023-01 :o
User avatar
Posts: 1121
Joined: January 13th, 2015, 7:00 am
Location: astarikar 4


Post by Minkin »

Was stuck at home all week, and didn't really go out at all, but still managed to have an OK time. Mostly a lot of sleeping - like 12 hours sleeping - which is 100% down to my meds... which is super annoying to be so sleepy. I watched #10, 11, 13 and 14 with my mom, which she fell asleep during all of them, except the Charlie Brown short. If not apparent - all watches were from 1992, so that I could flush out my best of 1992 for the forum poll - that said, only You'll Change was new to me, but I'd plan to eventually watch all of these films eventually anyway. So, not too bad of a week, but get to look forward to a lot more medical bullshit ahead of me, sigh.
Highlights of the Past Week in my meager existence
-Had PC Dr visit - I have "abnormal heart rhythm" (prolonged QT) which they suspect is my antidepressant's doing apparently? Seeing a cardio soon. Also been having these "myoclonic jerk movements" , which is a small seizure apparently, so now seeing neurologist, but backed up until July, sheesh. I feel like I'm finally stable on my psych med situation, but it's sadly having a bad effect on my physical health.

-Decide I wanted to play video games again, for the 1st time in ages... so I download an NES emulator and binge-play Mr Gimmick - which is a fantastic game, def recommend! I get sorta addicted to playing it.
10. Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) - San Bernardino County / Saturn - Rating: 7/10

Before planning to destroy Earth, Emperor Tod Spengo, of the planet of incompetents: Spengo, kidnaps Dick and Marge – who are on their way to a vacation, because he wishes to marry Marge – as it’s love at first spyglass. The gimmick here is that, despite having interplanetary travel, and planet destroying technology, everyone on Spengo is, well, rather narwhal-brained at best – like having a whole platoon brought down one-by-one with a weapon that zaps people upon being picked-up. The planet’s coup leader Tod (Jon Lovitz), is a queer coded, vain personality who’s always changing his hair and outfit to match his current mood. Tod has power, but struggles with mental prowess, which makes him the right level of challenger for Dick – the man who doesn’t want to be a hero, hell he doesn’t want to do much of anything. The film intends to push Dick’s boundaries, as he’s always picky of food, or activities – just wanting to be relaxed indoors, not doing anything daring, different, or fun (to Marge’s annoyance) – and we get to see Dick finally stop complaining about bodily pain, or having to listen to him refuse to engage with anything – as he’s instead pushed to try living for a change of pace. I find this immensely relatable to my parents – although they’re both more Dick than Marge – doing things like taking cruises around the world, but only eating at Hard Rock Cafes or other chain restaurants, rather than engage with anything approaching local cuisine or culture – as they’re both picky eaters and aren’t comfortable pushing boundaries. There’s a moment in this film where Dick is near defeat, stranded out in the desert of Trona Pinnacles, when he sees an image of Marge go parasailing by in the sky, and for a moment he seems ready to accept death, but he quickly changes his mind and decides he needs to keep fighting for survival, for the sake of Marge. I’ll first mention that this is more about delirium from exhaustion than an actual schizo experience – as most every human is capable of hallucinating if given the right parameters. But this is a moment where Dick recognizes that he can’t quit, and that he must finally give a damn and go outside his comfort zone and fight for his life as well as Marge’s – and this is perhaps the pivotal moment in the film – when Dick can’t remain passive and unengaged. Then to celebrate this new lease of life for Dick, he then eats some cooked giant killer mushroom – in an act that signals that, fuck it, he’ll do anything once, finally. This is the sort of neat character development that I wish would happen to my parents – so that they too could leave their small comfortable surroundings and have something approaching an adventure – just something out of the ordinary and fun – rather than just count down the days until it's time to pick up the grocery order again. Sadly, I watched this with my mom, who was unengaged and thought the film was too weird, so the film’s theme of living for a change of pace, was sadly lost behind the ambiance of humanoid fish and dog people. There’s an important message here, that I recognize in my parents, but alas – for the people who really need to hear it, too much is lost behind the film’s excesses (“weirdness” as my mom put it), but hey, it still manages to be fun, and I can at least see the positive changes in myself and pass it along to others.
11. Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992) - Japan / Indonesia - Rating: 6/10

A meteoroid crashes to Earth, which wakes up Godzilla, but at the same time, a Mothra egg is discovered, and then on top of everything else, Battra (who’s basically a dark version of Mothra) also shows up, alongside the twin fairies, the Cosmos, who act as an in-between for Mothra and humans. Battra exists as the method for the Earth to protect itself, for when humans have caused too much damage to it, thus there’s a heavy environmental theme here, between protestors angry at deforestation around Mt Fuji vs the evil Marutomo Corporation – who want the Cosmos twins as a freakshow / promotion. So, Battra is here once again to destroy everything in their path – as a way to get revenge on humans – which seems a bit self-defeating: destroy humans’ creations because people are hurting an ecosystem – as though those who survive aren’t going to cause more damage on rebuilding than would’ve been done in the first place. It makes for a situation where, to create a cure / rectification, you have inflict major damage in the process, in a sort of slash and burn approach: destroy everything, so that the humans have to restart from scratch, in such a way that they then “respect the Earth.” It does seem like they could’ve gone after the heavy industrial areas, rather than apartment blocks and infrastructure – because what are you going to do, just rebuild an already dense, well-planned urban area with access to public transit? Short of killing every single person, what is destroying everything and forcing people to rebuild going to accomplish in an environmentally minded way? As they don’t seem to go after the wealthy or the strip-mines and strip-malls that do more damage. It’s just going to require everyone use up more resources just so they could regain what they already had. Battra targeting Japan for poor environmental decisions seems misguided (compared to other countries), although Battra could’ve gone after Japan’s fishing industry, if anything. Then: if Battra is the Earth protecting itself, then what’s the point of Mothra – to protect the humans from Battra? This film was not originally a Godzilla movie, and it clearly shows, as he’s much more of a side character, who just appears to cause some additional chaos and destruction – even when the film is trying to focus on Mothra and Battra. Godzilla just even randomly shows up from Mt Fuji – and there’s some explanation that he like swam through the lava to get there? Instead of Godzilla, there’s this focus on this Indiana Jones dude – as he gains a change of heart, so that his daughter could have respect for him, rather than just being a thief – as I guess he’s the bad kind of archaeologist – he even plans to sell the Cosmos twins, just because he’s that sort of asshole. So in the end, this guy must also learn the value of life, culture, and identity – as he needs to also respect the Earth as well as himself. Anyway, despite the clarity of the film’s message of environmental justice and salvation, it still ends up being just another Godzilla film of city destruction. At least here, Mothra uses her magic glitter to make all of the enemies “friendly;” and as anyone who’s been glitter-bombed knows, it too will change your disposition.
12. You'll Change (1992) - USA - Rating: 6/10

A man on the cusp of fatherhood gets childrearing advice from his friends. There’s perhaps an emphasis on the negative elements of being a parent, with the usual suspects – lack of sleep, the PTA meetings, the single lapse of judgment leading to the mistake of leaving the kid at home alone whilst you’re at Fred Meyer. Frankly, there’s not really any net positives listed for having kids, other than that “it will change you.” Of all the advice, the dude with no kids offers the best comment: when you have a child, you mold that being however you see fit – as you can turn them into another version of yourself, with all the pluses and minuses attached to that. You are creating a new living person, and you can pass along your best and worst traits on to them – you can decide to embrace their individuality or whether to indoctrinate them with generational trauma. It is perhaps too big of a responsibility for any one person (hence the “it takes a village” trope) – as you have to rely on other’s – friends or family to assist you, lest you never get a hair’s breath to have a moment to spare. I think the core thesis here – that having children will “change you,” is true, but of course not always the case (as not everyone is fit to be a parent). I have seen it firsthand with my sister – who’s become a very different person after having a child – she might instill her personality and flaws into her offspring, but there’s a kinder person who’s sprung forward than I would’ve thought – someone who’s more caring and thoughtful towards others. I am someone who is extremely happy to say that I will never create a child. It brings me tremendous joy that at least I know my bad health and existential issues die with me – as I could never allow someone to carry forth the burden of illness that I have – that there might even be that threat – that possibility, of someone inheriting what I have – I could never cause that suffering to someone else. So, I end up agreeing with the dude with no children – better to avoid creating more torture to someone who will only grow up in a miserable world (infinitely more so if you have an inheritable illness), just adopt instead. Anyway, whilst I appreciate the notion that childrearing makes you into a better person, perhaps you could just try therapy instead of bringing forth another cog on a damned planet.
13. It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992) - USA - Rating: 5/10

A series of interconnected stories, centered around the Peanuts regulars, as they balance the difficulties of tradition, piety and involuntary religious participation. Each of the Peanuts characters are dealing with their own issues related to the season - be it purchasing an expensive gift that only ends up going to waste, or being forced into one of those dopey Christmas pageants that so many kids suffer through, just to provide quaint belittling humor at their expense. It speaks to the season - where you must confront required generosity, just because it's expected of you - as a month of purchasing. This is then conjoined with the children reading / referencing Bible quotes - which feel almost alien to the surroundings amongst the fanfare of shopping and spending. The whole Biblical element here is true to a child's perspective - more of annoyance than reverence - as they try to figure out how to understand the central religious Jesus tenet against a holiday based entirely on pagan and commercialization. To children of Christian families, the whole Jesus origin gets wrapped up with negative elements - of pageants, Sunday school, and church services, to the point that the actual religious central conceit ends up being little more than a misunderstood indifferent event. Yet, children understand and even to a degree, worship Santa - as this judge of character who watches over your every move as an omnipotent god, and yet Santa encourages you to give gifts to each other - and that's what the Peanuts characters are pursuing. We see them on the prowl of gifts to give, and festivities to make, but the whole Christian Jesus element is inserted, as a sort of intrusive reminder of what the holiday is actually about; but it's just received as a minor element that only Linus seems to get. This is all true to a child during the Christmas holiday, where there isn't really an actual understanding as to why any of these events are important / even exist - it's just a backdrop to presents. Anyway, this is an adequate Peanuts experience, that balances the forced religiosity with the childhood ecstatic love of the pagan holiday elements. I must also unfortunately point out that the music is what you get if you put Vince Guaraldi in a blender with Weather Channel muzak songs, with extra saxophone thrown in - it's hilariously terrible. Although I think this is a poor follow-up / sequel to the original Peanuts Christmas special, it still manages that quaint, childlike perspective of a holiday that's really beyond youthful understanding.
14. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - England / USA - Rating: 4/10

It’s the Charles Dickens ghost for Christmas story, only with the addition of Muppets and songs – which is to (hopefully) make it less terrifying for children (which it doesn’t really succeed at). So we build up this character of Ebenezer Scrooge, who everyone hates and for good reason: he’s miserly, miserable and seems to be mad at absolutely everything and everyone. That he’s so disliked must be news to him – as it takes until his visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future – to see that everyone is happy that the bastard is dead, with people in the street just casually commenting about how glad they were that Scrooge is finally dead. I’m not sure how any of this would be considered news to him – as its not exactly any different than the Ghost of Christmas Present – showing the results of people suffering due to him being such an unlovable asshole. I mean, he must know already that he’s one of the most dreaded and hated men in existence, I just don’t see why a Ghost showing him first hand the reactions upon his death, would do anything to change him – as nothing has changed at any point during his life other than this mystical event – and if there’s one thing the 21st century has shown us: the rich don’t care if they’re hated. It’s not like we get to see him burn in hell and get any actual just-reward for being such a terrible person his whole life, so I don’t see why any of the Ghosts of Christmas would do anything to rectify this. That he experiences these visits from the Christmas ghosts at all shows a certain taxation on his mental stability. They start soon after he lays down for bed, so there’s a strong likelihood that the visits from the Ghosts were simply down to his sleep – as only delirium or dreaming could produce this effect. This all said, the preceding moments leading up to his visits from the Ghosts shows him briefly hallucinate: where he sees the doorknob turn into a face of his former business partner – which is the one true hallucination we get, whereas the rest can be pinned down to being a dream – probably down to having Stilton blue cheese and getting weird and intense dreams as a result; or hell, maybe he was eating moldy bread and got dosed with ergot and went on a trip. For one can have life-altering dreams that make you sit up and become a different person – because they were so strong and because they affected you so deeply. For instance, I know someone who became a better friend to their sister after they had a disturbing dream – so it’s possible to have a dream change your life. Scrooge’s experience here lies somewhere between hypnogogic, paranormal, and hallucinatory – but whatever the case is, it shows that everyone is redeemable, that everyone can be saved and become a good-natured godly folk person, it just might take a little bit of the fantastical to bring about. Besides all of that, what I really want to know is: if it’s a world of sentient animals… and vegetables, everyone must be really casual about killing and eating things that can talk back to you. I guess they’re all lucky to have any food at all – but making vegetables have a consciousness seems like it would make you struggle to eat much of anything – just hope the monger killed them first. Anyway, I don’t think the songs add anything other than to kid-size the experience, so it just kinda end up being annoying and the addition of the Muppets try to tame this story into something palatable for children, but it doesn’t really succeed at that either – as it just turns into a case of “don’t be like Scrooge;” but hell – this is as good of evidence of needing to tax the wealthy as anything goes – lest they all have the same delusion of frugality that Scrooge does – as hate/shaming the wealthy into becoming better people, hasn’t had much of an impact lately.
15. A Sense of History (1992) - England - Rating: 6/10

The 23rd Earl of Leete takes us on a tour of his family’s estate, punctuated with details from his disturbing life history – all in the name of preserving and expanding his heritage and holdings. His motivation is to create a better inheritance for his children, and to increase the property as much as possible – as a way to appease / please his forefathers who have passed down the estate over 900 years. It becomes an obsession for him – as he becomes so preoccupied with the family title and holdings, that he is willing to go to extreme lengths to satisfy what he thinks is in the best interest of generational wealth. This then causes him to think of himself and the property to be above the law of man or god – and that its preservation is more important than life. The Earl lives in such a delusional state – seeing himself as the omnipotent inheritor of the estate – who is so caught up in family pride and power, that he’s willing to destroy anyone who might get in the way of his trajectory. It’s perhaps less about greed than it is about bringing pride to his ancestors – that he has tall shoes to fill, and he wants to make the family holdings last another 1,000 years. That it’s more about preservation and expansion for the sake of successive generations, than it is about only greed and power lust. That said, we do get some insights into his personality – from appreciating Hitler, to his disdain for anything that gets in the way of his own overseeing of his estate – mostly the government and the Ramblers’ Society – and you now get a portrait of the certain type of person that the Earl would associate with – especially in the US (power and money bring out the worst in people, if you can so imagine…). That this same Earl is such a judge of character, that he can eliminate people who he thinks would do a worse job than himself at maintaining the estate – to then give him power, only furthers his delusions of his capability and supremacy. Anyway, this tell-all expose about generational wealth and power is meant to be a comedy (I didn’t realize that until I saw the IMDB tag) – but I see too much of present day aristocracy / inherited money / billionaires in these experiences – that a story as absurd and money-hungry as this, just feels like another day in the life of the rich: getting away with anything, simply due to their wealth and privilege – and that is rather damning of our present-day society – that what felt like an exaggerated view of the landed gentry here, ends up no different than what we hear about each and every day in the news cycle. For the rich are more above the law now, than was thought possible back in 1992 – and it’s about time to dismantle the whole thing.
@onderhond - Valerie and Her Week of Wonders has an Alternate 2007 psych-folk soundtrack to the film by the Valerie Project - which might be worth looking into
Cinema Safari (Currently working on Inyo County, CA + Zimbabwe upgrade) Help recommend me movies to watch) Letterboxd
She has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant.
Post Reply