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Torgo
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#2121

Post by Torgo »

Lakigigar wrote: July 11th, 2023, 6:40 pm
Onderhond wrote: July 11th, 2023, 8:24 am Often starts with a decent premise, but then goes on to ruin it by making it overly sentimental and taking it overly serious. He started off well though!
Also don't like his ideas about cinema (the theater experience, no CGI, ...)
Sentimental?

Except maybe Interstellar, i wouldn't associate Nolan with sentimental. I think his films are rather the opposite of sentimental: cold-blooded and devoid of emotion.
This is the usual reproach against each and any Nolan film: cold, too technical, no fun, pseudo-clever as in only at their surface ..
"Sentimental"? That's just wrong.

OldAle1 wrote: July 11th, 2023, 12:32 pm
blocho wrote: July 11th, 2023, 12:56 am Nolan is above all an action director, and like all talented action directors, he understands pacing and movement. His movies are best when he deploys those elements judiciously rather than excessively. He also adores spectacle, including stunning vistas, monumental sets, and explosions. (...)
Not sure I agree with this, and I doubt that he considers himself "above all" an action director. I don't think he does action particularly well; I'm not really sure what he does well, (...)
I also agree with Ale's objection here. Weird stance above. Even films like Inception and Tenet would be called "boring" by average cineplex visitors who think of something completely else when considering an "action" movie.
Visual, spectacle, yes, maybe. But way less a pure action director than, um, Tony Scott.
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#2122

Post by Caracortada »

Peter Greenaway: Experimental director whom I should see more of.
1. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover 9/10
2. The Draughtsman's Contract 6/10
3. A Zed and Two Noughts 4/10

Nicolas Roeg: Meaningful stories with atmospheric location shooting.
1. Walkabout 9/10
2. Don't Look Now 9/10
3. Bad Timing 7/10
4. Performance 7/10
5. Castaway 6/10
6. Puffball 5/10
7. Heart of Darkness 5/10
8. Eureka 5/10
9. The Man Who Fell to Earth 4/10
10. The Witches 4/10

Christopher Nolan: Everything that's wrong with cinema today. Expensive, bombastic productions with silly content.
1. The Prestige 7/10
2. Insomnia 5/10
3. Dunkirk 4/10
4. Interstellar 2/10
5. Batman Begins 2/10
6. Memento 1/10
7. Inception 1/10
8. The Dark Knight 1/10
9. The Dark Knight Rises 1/10
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#2123

Post by AB537 »

Generally a fan, looking forward to Oppenheimer in the next few weeks.

Great

1. The Prestige (2006)

Very Good

2. Inception (2010)
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
5. Batman Begins (2005)
6. Dunkirk (2017)

Good

7. Memento (2000)
8. Interstellar (2014)

Above Average

9. Tenet (2020)
10. Insomnia (2002) ... the Norwegian original is much better
11. Following (1998)

Okay

Not Good
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#2124

Post by OldAle1 »

Torgo wrote: July 11th, 2023, 7:30 pm
Lakigigar wrote: July 11th, 2023, 6:40 pm
Onderhond wrote: July 11th, 2023, 8:24 am Often starts with a decent premise, but then goes on to ruin it by making it overly sentimental and taking it overly serious. He started off well though!
Also don't like his ideas about cinema (the theater experience, no CGI, ...)
Sentimental?

Except maybe Interstellar, i wouldn't associate Nolan with sentimental. I think his films are rather the opposite of sentimental: cold-blooded and devoid of emotion.
This is the usual reproach against each and any Nolan film: cold, too technical, no fun, pseudo-clever as in only at their surface ..
"Sentimental"? That's just wrong.
I think I've seen Onderhond use that word in what seems a strange way to me before, so I'd be curious to see him define it, or come up with other examples. When I think "sentimental" and film, I obviously go first to Capra, then Spielberg. Some other directors at various times, both ones I generally like (Zemeckis, Eastwood) and don't like (Ron Howard). But Nolan? No way. Apart from (maybe) Interstellar.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#2125

Post by Torgo »

OldAle1 wrote: July 11th, 2023, 11:46 pm I think I've seen Onderhond use that word in what seems a strange way to me before, so I'd be curious to see him define it, or come up with other examples.
Maybe he means that brooding, overserious and very masculine melancholy that could define the main protagonists of all the bigger Nolan films. That still would be a weird definition for "sentimental", something I understand as becoming "cheesy" when you take it to the extreme. At least that I would understand .. not the comparisons with, e.g., Spielberg (or Japanese sentimental 50s cinema :wub: )
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#2126

Post by Arkantos »

Nolan

5/5

Interstellar :wub:
Inception
The Dark Knight

4/5

Memento
Batman Begins
Dunkirk

3/5

Tenet
The Prestige
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#2127

Post by prodigalgodson »

Caracortada wrote: July 11th, 2023, 8:37 pm Christopher Nolan: Everything that's wrong with cinema today.
Is he tho?
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#2128

Post by Onderhond »

Torgo wrote: July 12th, 2023, 2:16 am Maybe he means that brooding, overserious and very masculine melancholy that could define the main protagonists of all the bigger Nolan films. That still would be a weird definition for "sentimental", something I understand as becoming "cheesy" when you take it to the extreme. At least that I would understand .. not the comparisons with, e.g., Spielberg (or Japanese sentimental 50s cinema :wub: )
Sentimental as in emotional kitsch? Interstellar definitely comes to mind. Dunkirk, Inception and The Batman films too from what I remember.
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#2129

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Good_Will_Harding wrote: July 10th, 2023, 11:50 pm
:worship: Saint CHRISTopher noLORD :worship:

Surely I'm not alone here, especially for those of us who migrated from the IMDB message boards, but for the past fifteen odd years, it's been almost impossible to judge the quality of his works based solely on their own merits, when every single time he premieres a new film, before most of us even have a chance to see it, there's legions upon legions of diehard fans automatically anointing it as the single greatest achievement in cinematic history, simply one unimpeachable work of genius after the next. Of course this isn't any fault of the man himself, and over the years I have gotten better at separating the films themselves from their hyperbolic first reactions. And I'll definitely be there to check out his latest opus, but the real question is how high will it debut on the IMDb top 250? :think: My first guess would be somewhere in the 20-30 region.


One thing I do find curious is that the further away we get from his Dark Knight trilogy, the less enthused the reactions to his newest works from the online crowds become. I mean, his previous two films haven't even managed to remain in the IMDB top 250 (a very low bar, for sure) and I'm not even sure Tenet was ever in there to begin with. Could it be that the near cultish behavior wasn't ever really about his ouvere as a whole, but rather the fact that his Batflicks were just seriously toned enough to where it made certain viewers feel validated in their nonstop obsessing over superhero stuff as adults - and when he stopped making them to focus on other projects, they slowly over time lost interest in his non-comic book fare? :whistling:
blocho wrote: July 11th, 2023, 12:56 am
Nolan is above all an action director, and like all talented action directors, he understands pacing and movement. His movies are best when he deploys those elements judiciously rather than excessively. He also adores spectacle, including stunning vistas, monumental sets, and explosions. And he favors densely plotted storylines, full of narrative elements that are established early on and come to fruition all at once during climactic scenes. In his early movies, those storylines contained themes and characters that felt important and encourage emotional involvement. In his recent efforts, that ability has faded greatly.
This. That Nolan newer movies have been lesser received is because those even more relied on his tendency to focus on the technical aspects of his plot, the puzzle aspect so to say, and less on the emotional development of his characters. I know Nolans movies often are called cold and emotionless, but Inception and Interstellar both work because they do have an emotional core to their story which is missing in Dunkirk and especially Tenet. (Filmcritic Hulk wrote some great essays on that which are much better written and analyzed than I ever could). That I do still like the later ones is because they do have some amazingly spectacular action set pieces I just adore.

Like beavis said it’s an achievement that Nolan is the only director who can make what he wants on this kind of budgets nowadays, maybe only Villeneuve comes close. (And isn’t part of a franchise or wasn’t already an established name before this century like Spielberg or Cameron).

I too always get very annoyed by all discussions and opinions about him are taken over by both his fans and haters, (a discussion about banning a book with a homosexual character in an American high school is even less divided than online discussions about Nolan) which leaves little room for a more nuanced take of him by people like me who don’t think he’s the messiah of cinema but do think he made some pretty damn great movies. And that’s how I will go into his new one, not expecting the best movie of the year or decade but expecting a good or at least very fine movie.


Masterpiece
1. The Dark Knight (2008): 9.5

Excellent
2. Batman Begins (2005): 9.0
3. Inception (2010): 9.0

Good
4. Memento (2001): 8.2
5. Interstellar (2014): 8.0
6. The Prestige (2006): 8.0
7. Insomnia (2002): 8.0 (Nolan’s forgotten film?)
8. The Dark Knight Rises (2012): 7.8
9. Dunkirk (2017): 7.8
10. Tenet (2020): 7.8

Fine
-

Okay
-

Mediocre
-

Poor
-

Bad

Terrible
-
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#2130

Post by Torgo »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: July 12th, 2023, 12:15 pm 7. Insomnia (2002): 8.0 (Nolan’s forgotten film?)
Yes, sadly. On the one hand since it's his most conventional film by far, from any perspective. And then it's the biggest cardinal sin of them all: aMeRiCaNs remaking foreign[-languaged] films, how dare they, hurr durr.
I think I saw the original first back then and too liked it very much, but it's no Nolan, so .. :P
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#2131

Post by pitchorneirda »

I'll be true to the caricature Torgo loves to make of me

1. Memento 5.5/10
2. Dunkirk 5/10
3. The Dark Knight 4/10
4. Inception 3/10
5. The Prestige 3/10
6. The Dark Knight Rises 2/10
7. Batman Begins 2/10
8. Interstellar 1/10
"Art is like a fire, it is born from the very thing it burns" - Jean-Luc Godard
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#2132

Post by Torgo »

You're everything that's wrong with the ICM Forum today!
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#2133

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Great

Very Good
Memento
Interstellar

Good
The Dark Knight

Fine, just fine (decent/above average at best)
Everything else of his, except…

This does nothing for me
Tenet
Inception
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

IMDB
ICM
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#2134

Post by Onderhond »

Torgo wrote: July 12th, 2023, 3:47 pm You're everything that's wrong with the ICM Forum today!
If you mean hardly anyone has seen Following, his best film ... then hell yeah.
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#2135

Post by Torgo »

Kind of shocking how few did, indeed. It's another cult film if you ask me, sleeper hit back in the day. Certainly not the Nolan we've accustomed to 2005-2023
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#2136

Post by Lakigigar »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: July 12th, 2023, 12:15 pm Like beavis said it’s an achievement that Nolan is the only director who can make what he wants on this kind of budgets nowadays, maybe only Villeneuve comes close. (And isn’t part of a franchise or wasn’t already an established name before this century like Spielberg or Cameron).
People like Robert Eggers, Alex Garland, Jordan Peele and Edgar Wright might be coming close. Perhaps the Safdie brothers too. Zack Snyder and Taika Waititi might come close as well, i guess (tho they've had issues with not having freedom). If Joon-ho Bong, Yorgos Lanthimos or Chan-Wook Park direct a film in Hollywood, they probably would also get a decent budget, but perhaps that's already optimistic. It's indeed though a rarity and no one gets as close to Nolan, except perhaps for Villeneuve.
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#2137

Post by Anyway »

The Dark Knight 8
The Prestige 8
Interstellar 8
Momento 8

Dunkirk 7.5
Inception 7.5

The Dark Knight Rises 7
Batman Begins 7
Insomnia 7

Following 6.5

Tenet 4
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#2138

Post by Onderhond »

Let's go from one of the biggest and most lauded directors, to a pretty divisive and underground figure. A man who used and abused the pinku genre to make very political films, but also loved to explore the twistedness and the perversion of the human mind. Koji Wakamatsu!

Image

01. 4.0* - Cycling Chronicles: Landscapes the Boy Saw [17-Sai no Fukei - Shonen wa Nani o Mita] (2004) (#759)
02. 4.0* - Go, Go Second Time Virgin [Yuke Yuke Nidome no Shojo] (1968) (#918)
03. 3.5* - Petrel Hotel Blue [Kaien Hoteru · Burû] (2012)
04. 3.5* - Caterpillar [Kyatapirâ] (2010)
05. 3.5* - Ecstasy of the Angels [Tenshi no Kôkotsu] (1972)
06. 3.5* - The Woman Who Wanted to Die [Segura Magura: Shinitai Onna] (1970)
07. 3.5* - Running in Madness, Dying in Love [Kyôsô Jôshi-kô] (1969)
08. 3.5* - Violent Virgin [Gewalt! Gewalt: Shojo Geba-Geba] (1969)
09. 3.0* - The Millennial Rapture [Sennen no Yuraku] (2012)
10. 3.0* - Sacred Mother Kannon [Seibo Kannon Daibosatsu] (1977)
11. 3.0* - Shinjuku Mad [Shinjuku Maddo] (1970)
12. 3.0* - Dark Story of a Sex Crime: Phantom Killer [Gendai Sei Hanzai Ankokuhen: Aru Torima no Kokuhaku] (1969)
13. 3.0* - Naked Bullet [Yawa Hada Mushuku: Otoko Goroshi Onna Goroshi] (1969)
14. 3.0* - Sexual Play [Seiyûgi] (1969)
15. 3.0* - Violence without a Cause [Gendai Sei Hanzai Zekkyô Hen: Riyû Naki Bôkô] (1969)
16. 3.0* - Dark Story of a Japanese Rapist [Zoku Nihon Bôkô Ankokushi: Bôgyakuma] (1967)
17. 3.0* - The Orgy [Ranko] (1967)
18. 3.0* - Violated Angels [Okasareta Hakui] (1967)
19. 2.5* - United Red Army [Jitsuroku Rengô Sekigun: Asama Sansô e no Michi] (2007)
20. 2.5* - Endless Waltz [Endoresu Warutsu] (1995)
21. 2.5* - Sex Family [Sei Kazoku] (1971)
22. 2.5* - Sex Jack [Seizoku] (1970)
23. 2.5* - Season of Terror [Gendai Kôshoku-den: Teroru no Kisetsu] (1969)
24. 2.5* - Vagabond of Sex [Sei no Hôrô] (1967)
25. 2.5* - Akamoru: The Dark, Wild Yearning [Chi Wa Taiyô Yori Akai] (1966)
26. 2.5* - The Embryo Hunts in Secret [Taiji ga Mitsuryosuru Toki] (1966)
27. 2.5* - Resume of Love Affairs [Jôji no Rirekisho] (1964)
28. 2.5* - Secret Flower [Hika] (1971)
29. 2.0* - 11.25: The Day He Chose His Own Fate [11·25 Jiketsu no Hi: Mishima Yukio to Wakamono-tachi] (2012)
30. 2.0* - Serial Rapist [Jûsan-nin Renzoku Bôkôma] (1978)
31. 2.0* - Shinjuku Maria [Baishunfu Maria] (1975)
32. 2.0* - Wet Dice [Nureta Sai no Me] (1974)
33. 2.0* - The Hateful Beast [Nippon Boko Ankokushi: Onju] (1970)
34. 2.0* - Vengeance Demon [Fukushûki ] (1969)
35. 2.0* - Abnormal Blood [Nihon Bôkô Ankokushi: Ijôsha no Chi] (1967)
36. 2.0* - Secrets behind the Wall [Kabe no Naka no Himegoto] (1965)
37. 1.5* - Perfect Education 6 [Kanzen Naru Shiiku: Akai Satsui] (2004)
38. 1.5* - Erotic Relations [Erotikkuna Kankei] (1992)
39. 1.5* - A Pool without Water [Mizu no nai Puuru] (1982)
40. 1.5* - Prey [Ejiki] (1979)
41. 1.5* - Sex Crimes [Seihanzai] (1967)
42. 1.0* - Singapore Sling (1993)
43. 1.0* - Torture Chronicles: 100 Years [Gômon Hyakunen-shi] (1975)
44. 0.5* - Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War [Sekigun-P.F.L.P: Sekai Sensô Sengen] (1971)
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#2139

Post by prodigalgodson »

Other than Second Time Virgin, I saw all of these in high school at a retrospective curated by a guy whose theater later shut down amid a slew of me-too accusations. Don't know how I would feel about them now, but they made quite an impression at the time.

Shinjuku maddo 10
United Red Army 9
Violent Virgin
Ecstasy of the Angels 8
Go Go Second-Time Virgin 6
Violated Angels 5
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#2140

Post by AB537 »

Haven't seen any Wakamatsu unfortunately.
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#2141

Post by gunnar »

I'm 0-92 on Wakamatsu as well.
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#2142

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Hate to disappoint Onderhond and confirm his opinion of ICMF, but I have neither.
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#2143

Post by OldAle1 »

I've just seen Go, Go Second Time Virgin (his most "popular" film, I guess?) which I liked a fair bit though I found it more than a little emotionally obtuse. Still, interesting enough that I want to check out a couple more, at least. Someday.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#2144

Post by Onderhond »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: July 14th, 2023, 1:48 pm Hate to disappoint Onderhond and confirm his opinion of ICMF, but I have neither.
Well, the weird part is that he's a typical 60s man, the most beloved era of ICM(f). Of course, he's not the most commercial director. An interesting fella, but his films can be quite tough to sit through.
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#2145

Post by Torgo »

We lost one of our most active Forum members in that regard ;(

Two interesting observations:
- Huh, he also made a Singapore Sling in the early 1990s
- My guess was that I've only seen Go Go.., but ICM tells me I got five movies checked! Conveniently, they're pretty short ..
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#2146

Post by St. Gloede »

Seen 6 by Wakamatsu, by far my least favourite director of the Japanese New Wave, and the only one I would consider subpar. In general I enjoy his cinematography but find his style dead, flat and/or off-putting/awkward. The way he tends to portray women and frequent use of rape, though frustratingly a thing in Japanese cinema is also generally annoying and tiring, though the more I watch from the period the less slack I cut the individual films.

"Good enough"

Go, Go Second Time Virgin (1969)
Ecstacy of the Angels (1972)

(both of these would likely go down on a rewatch)

Decent

Eternel eros (1977)
The Embryo Hunts in Secret (1966)

Poor

Shinjuku Mad (1970)
Story of a Sex Crime: Rape Without Reason (1969)
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#2147

Post by St. Gloede »

As for Nolan, I really admire his ambition, and especially the daring ways he plays with time, bordering on the most experimental work we have seen from big Hollywood productions for a long time. He's also rather shallow, and many of his films have issues of over exposition and endless explanations. I still find Memento to be his best, and the construction of that film is just absolutely incredible.

Favourite:

Memento

Great:

Dunkirk
The Dark Knight
Inception
The Prestige
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight Rises

Very good

Interstellar
Tenet

Good enough

Following
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#2148

Post by St. Gloede »

Continuing on to Roeg, this is just such an odd case for a director for me where he went from being one of the most creative, daring and successful directors of the 70s, to suddenly making films that do not interest me in the slightest. I really should give The Witches and Eureka at least a look and see if I, like with Coppola, end up liking his latter films than than their reputation, but I am not in a rush.

Masterpieces:

Walkabout (1971)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

Great:

Don't Look Now (1973)
Performance (1970)
Bad Timing (1980)

Very good

Insignificance (1985)
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#2149

Post by Fergenaprido »

1. 6.4 - Yuke yuke nidome no shojo [Go, Go Second Time Virgin] (1969)

Saw this last year. Didn't really care for it, but didn't dislike it so will probably end up catching some more of his less pinku-y films. I won't be actively seeking his films out, though.
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#2150

Post by beavis »

again a late reply, too busy with work and cinema I think :)
excellent choice to rank Wakamatsu, one of the most fascinating pinku producers and directors, truly independent, and very political.
His lookback on the most radical of political times, United Red Army, turned out to be his best movie, although compared to the works he made then, it is a very conventional film :)

1 - 5 - United Red Army 2007
2 - 4,5 - Serial Rapist 1978
3 - 4,5 - Violent Virgin 1969
4 - 4,5 - Violated Angels 1967
5 - 4 - Go, Go Second Time Virgin 1969
6 - 4 - Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War 1971
7 - 4 - Shinjuku Mad 1970
8 - 4 - Sex Play 1969
9 - 4 - 11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate 2012
10 - 3,5 - The Embryo Hunts in Secret 1966
11 - 3,5 - Running in Madness, Dying in Love 1969
12 - 3,5 - Petrel Hotel Blue 2012
13 - 3,5 - Sex Jack 1970
14 - 3,5 - Violence Without a Cause 1969
15 - 3 - Ecstasy of the Angels 1972
16 - 3 - Secrets Behind the Wall 1965
17 - 3 - Season of Terror 1969
18 - 3 - Cycling Chronicles: Landscapes the Boy Saw 2004
19 - 3 - Caterpillar 2010
20 - 2,5 - Abortion 1966
21 - 2,5 - Naked Bullet 1969
22 - 2,5 - The Millennial Rapture 2012

rankings out of 5-stars

EDIT:
I'm also throwing Masao Adachi unofficially in here

Very close collaborator to Wakamatsu and even more stronger on the political angle, as he joined the armed revolutionairy struggle eventually ending up with the PLO. He did some co-directing efforts and a lot of the writing for Wakamatsu productions.

1 - 4 - Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War 1971
2 - 4 - Sex Play 1969
3 - 3,5 - Student Guerrilla 1969
4 - 3,5 - A.K.A. Serial Killer 1975
5 - 3,5 - Galaxy 1967
6 - 3,5 - Artist of Fasting 2016
7 - 3 - Gushing Prayer: A 15-Year-Old Prostitute 1971
8 - 3 - Sei Chitai: Sex Zone 1968
9 - 2,5 - Abortion 1966
10 - 2 - Closed Vagina 1963

on the topic of Adachi also watch:

1. Eric Baudelaire's The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011) where he used the landscape theory that Adachi had used for his most famous film A.K.A. Serial Killer (later also used by Wakamatsu in Cycling Chronicles: Landscapes the Boy Saw) to make a film about Adachi. I gave it 4.5-stars

2. Phillipe Grandrieux's It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve - Masao Adachi (2011) with also a long title and from the same year. This should be the first one in a project by Nicole Brenez about radical filmmakers... but I haven't heard much more about this project afterwards. This one was 4-stars for me. Grandrieux's style is amazing as always but content-wise and formalistically I thought Baudelaire did the better job.
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#2151

Post by Y U M E »

WAKAMATSU Kōji

★★★★¼ | 8.8
01. Violent Virgin

★★★★ | 8.4
02. Running in Madness, Dying in Love*
03. Violence without a Cause
04. Go, Go Second Time Virgin
05. Ecstasy of the Angels*

★★★½ | 7.6
06. Pool without water
07. Shinjuku Mad
08. Season of Terror
09. Sex Jack

★★★¼ | 7.2
10. Secrets behind the Wall
11. Violated Angels

★★★ | 6.8
12. The Embryo Hunts in Sceret
13. Caterpillar*

★★¾ | 6.4
14. 11/25 The Day Mishima Chose His Own Fate
15. The Notorious Concubines

★★½ | 6.0
16. United Red Army*
17. Naked Bullet


N/B: "The Embryo Hunts in Secret" is hereby nominated for the best film title ever


ADACHI Masao

★★★½ | 7.6
01. Galaxy*

★★★¼ | 7.2
02. A.K.A. Serial Kller*
03. Gushing Prayer: A 15-Year-Old Prostitute

N/R
Bowl short
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#2152

Post by Lakigigar »

Go, Go Second Time Virgin (1969) - 8/10

I've seen one, one of the four Japanese pre-1980s films i've seen. :lol:
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#2153

Post by Lakigigar »

Well let's do the Coen brothers, i just have seen my fifth one

1. The Big Lebowski (1998) - 9/10
2. Fargo (1996) - 8/10
3. True Grit (2010) - 7/10
4. No Country for Old Men (2008) - 6/10
5. O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) - 6/10

Wasn't too much a fan of O Brother Where Art Thou? though i guess the more comedy-oriented Coens might be less my thing with The Big Lebowski being the exception of the rule (?). I still can appreciate it and see craftmanshap with it but i have little in common with the setting, actors, style etc. .

Not convinced yet whether they are filmmakers i'll enjoy, might be possible i've seen their 2 best already. Maybe the early Coens have something to offer for me (Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink). I don't know what to expect from a lot of their 2000s and 2010s work as well so it's a bit hard to know what to really watch. I guess they're alright but for me personally they're more of a gamble than to other cinephiles i think. Def need to see a bit more but it's a bit overwhelming esp. to know what to watch first.
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#2154

Post by gunnar »

The Coen Brothers

True Grit (2010) - 10/10

No Country for Old Men (2007) - 9/10
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) - 9/10

Fargo (1996) - 8.5/10
The Big Lebowski (1998) - 8.5/10

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - 8/10
Barton Fink (1991) - 8/10

Blood Simple (1984) - 7.5/10
Raising Arizona (1987) - 7.5/10
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) - 7.5/10
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) - 7.5/10

Hail, Caesar! (2016) - 6/10
A Serious Man (2009) - 6/10
The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) - 6/10

Burn After Reading (2008) - 5.5/10

Miller's Crossing (1990) - Don't remember well enough to rate, but I think it probably would have been around 7/10 at the time.

An anecdote I'll add that I just remembered - I went to see Raising Arizona with my older brother and his friend when it came out. They hated the film and wanted to walk out on it around 20 minutes into the film (maybe even less than that). I was enjoying it and wanted to stay so they ended up staying as well, hating the film all the while.
Last edited by gunnar on July 23rd, 2023, 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#2155

Post by Fergenaprido »

1. 9.4 - Fargo (1996)

2. 8.2 - Oh Brother, Where Are Thou? (2000)

3. 7.8 - Hail, Caesar! (2016)
4. 7.8 - The Big Lebowski (1998)

Fargo is in my all-time Top 10, and gets better each time I see it. Maybe if I'd seen Lebowski when it first came out I would have appreciated it more, but seeing it long after everyone had been quoting it for years, it was a bit of a let down. The other two were pleasant surprises and better than expected. I'll get around to their other films eventually.
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#2156

Post by blocho »

The Coens are among my favorite filmmakers ever. They do so much so well that I find it difficult to explain their mastery concisely or coherently. Perhaps the most salient aspect of their work is its literary quality, which offers a polished blend of hard-boiled and screwball, featuring heavy doses of regional Americana. The Coens delight in dialect and argot. As a result, their movies are almost always funny, even the ones that aren't really comedies, which feels appropriate because their consistent overarching theme is the frustration of individual desire in the face of bureaucracy, personal idiocy, and an uncaring universe. Given this thematic focus, along with the Coens' focus on circular narratives (not to mention circular visual motifs), there's something here heavily redolent of existentialism.

But they're not mere writers turned filmmakers. The visual style of their movies is also delightful. And they routinely elicit excellent performances from their actors while making perfect casting choices. To take one example, George Clooney had almost exclusively played suave, smart heroes before O Brother. Only the Coens realized he had the comedy chops to play a hilarious dope as he has done in four movies for them so far. Here's another: Paul Newman, who played so many misfits and iconoclasts as a young man, as the icy, heartless organization man in Hudsucker.

The Coens surround themselves with highly talented collaborators, and the result is consistent excellence when it comes to cinematography and scoring. And it's astonishing how well their movies hold up on rewatch. Inside Llewyn Davis, Hail Caesar, and Buster Scruggs all became better the second time I watched them. Second viewings are often when a movie's flaws are more noticeable. With the Coen Brothers, it's when a movie's qualities shine forth more brightly.

Superlative
Miller's Crossing
Barton Fink
Fargo
The Big Lebowski
No Country for Old Men
Inside Llewyn Davis

Very Good
Raising Arizona
The Hudsucker Proxy
Intolerable Cruelty
Burn After Reading
A Serious Man
True Grit
Hail, Caesar!
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Good
Blood Simple.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?

OK
The Man Who Wasn't There
The Ladykillers

Misfires
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#2157

Post by brokenface »

blocho wrote: July 23rd, 2023, 5:29 am The Coens are among my favorite filmmakers ever. They do so much so well that I find it difficult to explain their mastery concisely or coherently. Perhaps the most salient aspect of their work is its literary quality, which offers a polished blend of hard-boiled and screwball, featuring heavy doses of regional Americana. The Coens delight in dialect and argot. As a result, their movies are almost always funny, even the ones that aren't really comedies, which feels appropriate because their consistent overarching theme is the frustration of individual desire in the face of bureaucracy, personal idiocy, and an uncaring universe. Given this thematic focus, along with the Coens' focus on circular narratives (not to mention circular visual motifs), there's something here heavily redolent of existentialism.

But they're not mere writers turned filmmakers. The visual style of their movies is also delightful. And they routinely elicit excellent performances from their actors while making perfect casting choices. To take one example, George Clooney had almost exclusively played suave, smart heroes before O Brother. Only the Coens realized he had the comedy chops to play a hilarious dope as he has done in four movies for them so far. Here's another: Paul Newman, who played so many misfits and iconoclasts as a young man, as the icy, heartless organization man in Hudsucker.

The Coens surround themselves with highly talented collaborators, and the result is consistent excellence when it comes to cinematography and scoring. And it's astonishing how well their movies hold up on rewatch. Inside Llewyn Davis, Hail Caesar, and Buster Scruggs all became better the second time I watched them. Second viewings are often when a movie's flaws are more noticeable. With the Coen Brothers, it's when a movie's qualities shine forth more brightly.
Amen, and good reminder that I ought to rewatch several of their later films, including the very 3 you mention. They are like Wes Anderson in this regard, often so many small details in both the visual and the scripts/characterisations that you can't pick it all up on first watch which always gives you fresh elements on rewatch.

I guess the other thing I'd mention is that there's a huge amount of cinephilia in their films, and while you don't necessarily need to love classic Hollywood to like their films, most of their films are riffs to some degree on classic Hollywood genres, most often western, noir and screwball comedy, and there are endless direct/indirect references littered throughout.

Stealing your rating scale, I'd go:

Superlative
Miller's Crossing
Fargo
The Big Lebowski
O Brother Where Art Thou
A Serious Man

Very Good
Blood Simple
Barton Fink
Raising Arizona
The Hudsucker Proxy
The Man Who Wasn't There
Burn After Reading
No Country for Old Men
True Grit
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Good
Intolerable Cruelty
Hail, Caesar!

OK
The Ladykillers
(Macbeth)
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#2158

Post by brokenface »

gunnar wrote: July 23rd, 2023, 1:02 am The Coen Brothers

True Grit (2010) - 10/10

No Country for Old Men (2007) - 9/10

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - 8/10

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) - 7.5/10

Hail, Caesar! (2016) - 6/10
A Serious Man (2009) - 6/10

Burn After Reading (2008) - 5.5/10


Joel Coen

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) - 9/10

Fargo (1996) - 8.5/10
The Big Lebowski (1998) - 8.5/10

Barton Fink (1991) - 8/10

Blood Simple (1984) - 7.5/10
Raising Arizona (1987) - 7.5/10
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) - 7.5/10

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) - 6/10

Miller's Crossing (1990) - Don't remember well enough to rate, but I think it probably would have been around 7/10 at the time.
wouldn't really agree with splitting them into Brothers/Joel films like this. The credit split of Ethan as producer/Joel as director was only ever a DGA technicality.

The only genuinely solo Joel film is Macbeth and we're about to have Drive-Away Dolls as Ethan's first solo (if this continues, it's going starting to make ranking them in our annual director poll all the more difficult)
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#2159

Post by gunnar »

brokenface wrote: July 23rd, 2023, 1:56 pm
wouldn't really agree with splitting them into Brothers/Joel films like this. The credit split of Ethan as producer/Joel as director was only ever a DGA technicality.

The only genuinely solo Joel film is Macbeth and we're about to have Drive-Away Dolls as Ethan's first solo (if this continues, it's going starting to make ranking them in our annual director poll all the more difficult)
Makes sense to me. I originally had them all in one list, but separated them when I noticed that Ethan Coen didn't have a director credit on a lot of them. I didn't look into it too closely otherwise.
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#2160

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

10

Fargo
No Country for Old Men
True Grit
Hail, Caesar!

9

Barton Fink
A Serious Man
The Big Lebowski
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Man Who Wasn't There

8

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Burn After Reading
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Blood Simple
The Hudsucker Proxy

7

The Tragedy of Macbeth
Raising Arizona
Miller's Crossing

6

Intolerable Cruelty
The Ladykillers
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