Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:13 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16040 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 671, 672, 673, 674, 675, 676, 677 ... 802  Next
Last Movie You Watched 
Author Message
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 618
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Comancheros (1961)

Typical John Wayne from that period. John Wayne is his stock character (which I like very much) and fairly typical settings and acting for a western along with some bad stereotyping of Native Americans. Despite being a fan of John Wayne I somehow never managed to see this until I ran across it on TV the other night. I thought the movie has a superior plot to most westerns and found it highly entertaining. 8/10.


Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:40 am
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:17 am
Posts: 228
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
CasualDad wrote:
The Comancheros (1961)

Typical John Wayne from that period. John Wayne is his stock character (which I like very much) and fairly typical settings and acting for a western along with some bad stereotyping of Native Americans. Despite being a fan of John Wayne I somehow never managed to see this until I ran across it on TV the other night. I thought the movie has a superior plot to most westerns and found it highly entertaining. 8/10.


i think you look out for the quiet man.
It is one of Wayne's better films.,


Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:50 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Bastards (2013)

My first film of the acclaimed Claire Denis, and although I can't say she really won me over with this one, I at least am intrigued enough to maybe seek some of her other films out in the future. Normally I wouldn't like these kind of brain-teaser art house fares, where little crumbs of information are long and far in between, and delivered elliptically as to almost not make sense. However, the way the noir elements frame the story rather makes for an intriguing mood filled with a low-key sense of danger. The rich cinematography also aids and deepens the many long close-ups of each player (detective, femme fatale, villain, etc.) and their performances nicely. It may not make all story sense the whole way through for me, but I was never bored. 7.5/10


Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:53 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2068
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Black Girl: early (1966) film from Senegal about a Senegalese woman who is hired as a governess by a French family. Things are fine while they're in Dakar, but when she goes with them to France, she discovers that she is to serve as a maid as well as a governess and things deteriorate from there. The scenes in Dakar are striking but I grew impatient with the film once it got to France and she becomes more of a victim. Mbissine Thérèse Diop is striking. The film is only an hour long but seems much longer, and was made on a low budget by Western standards. Oddly, I was reminded of "Chan is Missing," a very good film that was made on a tiny budget and played a major role in putting Asian-American film on the map. This played a similar role for bringing African film to international attention. (6 of 10)

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:44 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7387
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Black Girl: early (1966) film from Senegal about a Senegalese woman who is hired as a governess by a French family. Things are fine while they're in Dakar, but when she goes with them to France, she discovers that she is to serve as a maid as well as a governess and things deteriorate from there. The scenes in Dakar are striking but I grew impatient with the film once it got to France and she becomes more of a victim. Mbissine Thérèse Diop is striking. The film is only an hour long but seems much longer, and was made on a low budget by Western standards. Oddly, I was reminded of "Chan is Missing," a very good film that was made on a tiny budget and played a major role in putting Asian-American film on the map. This played a similar role for bringing African film to international attention. (6 of 10)


Hey I just watched this too. It has some good moments, but it doesn't quite work does it? And the end of the main character's arc is so STRIKING

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:04 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:37 am
Posts: 1031
Location: Laurel, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Two more...

The Best Man Holiday-- ***

For what it's worth, I enjoyed this one. Yes, the direction the story eventually goes is predictable and manipulative, but it still treats the characters and situations with respect. If this ushers in more comedy/drama hybrids with all-Black casts, let's hope they're more like this and less like stuff with "Madea" in the title (I unfortunately saw a MADEA CHRISTMAS trailer in advance of this movie that might be two of the most irritating minutes ever spent in a movie theater)

Only God Forgives-- **

This has a lot of people split. For me, this is a film that is every bit as visually impressive as DRIVE, but with less than half the story. Lengthy, dialogue-free scenes can be used to great effect in movies like SHAME, but here it's incredibly annoying and pointless. There are some interesting performances here from Kristin Scott-Thomas (who has all the best, most profane lines) and Vithaya Pansingram (sp?), but they're largely wasted in a movie that takes forever to get going and stretches a thin story beyond the breaking point.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/ken.rossman.5


Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:35 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2068
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
Black Girl: early (1966) film from Senegal about a Senegalese woman who is hired as a governess by a French family. Things are fine while they're in Dakar, but when she goes with them to France, she discovers that she is to serve as a maid as well as a governess and things deteriorate from there. The scenes in Dakar are striking but I grew impatient with the film once it got to France and she becomes more of a victim. Mbissine Thérèse Diop is striking. The film is only an hour long but seems much longer, and was made on a low budget by Western standards. Oddly, I was reminded of "Chan is Missing," a very good film that was made on a tiny budget and played a major role in putting Asian-American film on the map. This played a similar role for bringing African film to international attention. (6 of 10)


Hey I just watched this too. It has some good moments, but it doesn't quite work does it? And the end of the main character's arc is so STRIKING


The ending scenes with the kid in the mask were effective. Striking even. :) The director' Ousmane Sembène, has made a lot of award-nominated films, including "Xala" and "Moolaadé." I recorded "Xala" off TCM, so I'll probably watch it at some point.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:59 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 907
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
And demanding a twist in a documentary? You sir, are looking at this the wrong way

I don't "demand" twists in documentaries, or any film for that matter (and I certainly don't "demand" one here). However, in the absence of being informative and interesting (at least one of which I expect from a doco), what I'm saying is a twist would have been helpful. The reason I expected a twist was because the subject matter didn't really seem to warrant documentary treatment, so I (wrongly) assumed there was a rabbit in the hat during the story (being disappointed that it wasn't more compelling).


Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:52 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7387
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
Black Girl: early (1966) film from Senegal about a Senegalese woman who is hired as a governess by a French family. Things are fine while they're in Dakar, but when she goes with them to France, she discovers that she is to serve as a maid as well as a governess and things deteriorate from there. The scenes in Dakar are striking but I grew impatient with the film once it got to France and she becomes more of a victim. Mbissine Thérèse Diop is striking. The film is only an hour long but seems much longer, and was made on a low budget by Western standards. Oddly, I was reminded of "Chan is Missing," a very good film that was made on a tiny budget and played a major role in putting Asian-American film on the map. This played a similar role for bringing African film to international attention. (6 of 10)


Hey I just watched this too. It has some good moments, but it doesn't quite work does it? And the end of the main character's arc is so STRIKING


The ending scenes with the kid in the mask were effective. Striking even. :) The director' Ousmane Sembène, has made a lot of award-nominated films, including "Xala" and "Moolaadé." I recorded "Xala" off TCM, so I'll probably watch it at some point.


I saw Xala in African history class. One of those "cool movies I never would have seen otherwise" type movies. It's not particularly good. But Moolaade is apparently great. Ebert Great Movied it

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:28 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1697
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:

I saw Xala in African history class. One of those "cool movies I never would have seen otherwise" type movies. It's not particularly good. But Moolaade is apparently great. Ebert Great Movied it


I saw Moolaade when it came out, and it is definitely worth watching if you can get your hands on a copy.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:18 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm
Posts: 414
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
La Bête Humaine (1938) aka Judas was a Woman
Steam train engineer Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin) suffers from depressive episodes and uncontrollable violent outbursts against women. He has therefore chosen to give all his affection to Lison, his locomotive. Nevertheless, he falls in love with Sévérine (Simone Simon), the wife of station master Robaud, who is very jealous and prone to aggression. Lantier witnesses Robaud and his wife murdering her uncle Grandmorin, who had abused her when she was younger, but keeps silent about it. He begins an affair with Sévérine, who asks him to kill her husband, because their marriage has become a torment after the murder of her uncle.
The plot and title make 'La Bête Humaine' appear like a proper film noir, although it really isn't. It is an adaptation of a novel by Emile Zola, and the first movie, which I have seen, by celebrated French filmmaker Jean Renoir (La Grande Illusion, La Régle du Jeu). While there is a good deal to like about the movie, Renoir isn't a very good storyteller here. The progression of the story is awkward at times and characters' attitudes seem to change from scene to scene without explanation. The high point of the movie is the initial train ride sequence, showing Lantier at work. Renoir manages to convey a great sense of speed and power of the impressive steam engines - and, as our inner three-year old boy knows - steam trains are simply cool. Overall, a good movie but not great. 7/10

White Hell of Piz Palü (1929)
Dr. Johannes Krafft (Gustav Diessl) loses his wife during mountain climbing on the treacherous ice fields of Piz Palü. A few years later, he is known as "the Ghost of the Mountain", never leaving Piz Palü and trying to be the first to climb the mountain's north face. When he hears of a group of students attempting just that, he makes for the peak, joined by the newlyweds and inexperienced mountaineers Hans Brandt (Ernst Petersen) and Maria Maioni (Leni Riefenstahl in her supposedly best performance before becoming a celebrated director of documentaries and becoming infamous for Nazi propaganda movie 'Triumph of the Will'). A change in wheather results in avalanches, which claim the lives of the students and traps the three climbers on the mountain. A rescue operation by locals is set in motion.
The silent movie 'Die Weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü' (original title) might be best known for providing a plot point in Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds', but it is also considered to be one of the best Bergfilme (mountain movies), a particular German movie genre of the 1920ies and 30ies about mountaineering. Their appeal lies primarily in the gorgeous scenery of the Alps and the difficult physical feats performed by climbers. Indeed, 'White Hell of Piz Palü' has great shots of mountain tops, ice and glacier crevices and the climbings scenes are at times spectacular, particularly because of the outdated equipment on show. Also, you have to appreciate the logistical and technical mastery of filming in high altitude on difficult terrain with relatively primitive means. That being said, at 150 minutes, the movie is simply 30 to 45 minutes too long and could have done with a lot of trimming. It didn't manage to keep me interested all the time, particularly at the very slow start, and I got a bit annoyed with repetitive shots of clouds' shadows moving over mountaintops. Above average. 6/10

Only God Forgives (2013)
Julian (Ryan Gosling) is running a Thai boxing club in Bangkok as a front for a drug-smuggling syndicate. After his brother rapes and murders a child prostitute, he is in turn killed by her father under the eyes and with the encouragement of mysterious police lieutenant Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), who also hacks off the father's hand with a machete for failing to protect his daughter. Because of this, Julian lets the father go unharmed, which causes problems once Julian's mother-from-hell (Kristin Scott-Thomas) arrives and demands revenge for the killing of her son.
All three of the movies by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, which I have seen ('Valhalla Rising', 'Drive' and this), suffer from their focus on elaborate style, a lack of story and a certain pretentiousness. All scenes in 'Only God Forgives' are filmed beautifully with particular emphasis on lighting and mise en scène, but they are also often static with the actors moving so little they might as well be showroom dummies. There are a lot of close-ups of clenched fists and other things which are probably meant to be symbolic. Visually, Refn is clearly inspired by Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void', which is a much livelier and interesting movie, though. 'Only God Forgives' moves at a glacial pace and has only rudiments of a revenge-centered plot, which means that, for long stretches, it is quite boring only to be interrupted by sickening violence. Because the style is interesting to watch, it is a slightly better than average movie, buit it isn't a good film. 6/10


Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:17 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Not long after I said that this year was a little disappointing in term of blockbuster type movies, along came Ender's Game, and now Catching Fire. It is an improvement on the already strong first installment (imo) in every way. The consequences from the last one's event can be felt throughout, from the grim politics, deadlier game, to the more nuanced performances. I feel Jennifer Lawrence is legitimately award-worthy in the role, movingly expressing how each traumatic event kept weighing her down further at every turn. Even the minor characters like Elizabeth Banks' Effie had some affecting moments. The horror of the game itself also registered more fully, and they pushed the PG-13 pretty far in showing how devastating such a game can get. The very "cliffhanger" ending, adapted closely from the book, was frustrating (I thought they narrowed the focus too much in those last few moments). But closing it on the expressions running through Lawrence's face is a great way to prime the audience for the final storyline in the next two installments, hopefully as good as this one. 9/10


Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:00 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2068
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
La Bête Humaine (1938) aka Judas was a Woman
Steam train engineer Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin) suffers from depressive episodes and uncontrollable violent outbursts against women. He has therefore chosen to give all his affection to Lison, his locomotive. Nevertheless, he falls in love with Sévérine (Simone Simon), the wife of station master Robaud, who is very jealous and prone to aggression. Lantier witnesses Robaud and his wife murdering her uncle Grandmorin, who had abused her when she was younger, but keeps silent about it. He begins an affair with Sévérine, who asks him to kill her husband, because their marriage has become a torment after the murder of her uncle.
The plot and title make 'La Bête Humaine' appear like a proper film noir, although it really isn't. It is an adaptation of a novel by Emile Zola, and the first movie, which I have seen, by celebrated French filmmaker Jean Renoir (La Grande Illusion, La Régle du Jeu). While there is a good deal to like about the movie, Renoir isn't a very good storyteller here. The progression of the story is awkward at times and characters' attitudes seem to change from scene to scene without explanation. The high point of the movie is the initial train ride sequence, showing Lantier at work. Renoir manages to convey a great sense of speed and power of the impressive steam engines - and, as our inner three-year old boy knows - steam trains are simply cool. Overall, a good movie but not great. 7/10


I may have mentioned Fritz Lang's Human Desire is based on the same novel, with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford, with some crucial changes (Ford doesn't have the homicidal mania). Crawford's an improvement as the husband, but otherwise the Renoir's better. You should definitely see La Grande Illusion and La Régle du Jeu. (I wonder why it's only one rule in French.)

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Last edited by Syd Henderson on Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:30 am
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
*Spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the first film*

All Is Lost - The one-man show has always been a deceptively tricky concept to pull off successfully on film. Despite its seemingly simple nature, if you don’t have someone in front of the camera who is able to command a viewer’s attention over an extended length of time, your one-man show isn’t going anywhere. From Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor to Tom Hanks in the majority of Cast Away, the best examples of this type of film have always had that strong anchor at its center to keep it from drifting away in the minds of audiences. Fortunately for J.C. Chandor, fresh off the wordy ensemble drama Margin Call, he was able to round up one of the best anchors you could possibly hope for. Even at age 77, Robert Redford still has a certain star charisma that few actors have ever been able to rival, a necessary trait for this tale of a solitary man who finds himself in a fight for his life at sea. Credited as simply Our Man, Redford gives a performance that is almost entirely physical. With maybe two minutes of total dialogue in the entire film, Redford instead earns interest simply through his stoic determination to fight through his predicament. Chandor gets an amazing amount of mileage out of Redford’s systematic actions; his initial recognition of his situation and subsequent reactions to new dilemmas are never anything less than completely engrossing. And for as long as Redford has a degree of control over his problems, All Is Lost is as compelling as anything seen onscreen in 2013.

But there comes a point in the film when Redford exhausts everything he can do, and his life or death boils down to pure and simple fate. This eventual lack of resourceful action turns the final quarter of the film into essentially one prolonged tease, a series of missed chances that Redford has very little, if any, control over. The final stretch of the film becomes more exasperating than anything else, and that exasperation continues all the way through the film’s ending. Without getting too specific, Chandor wants to have his conclusion both ways, and I’m not entirely sure he pulls it off. This may seem like a shallow criticism, but for me the fate of the main character has always been a key factor in films like this. It’s always been tough for me to accept spending such grueling time in the company of a character who ends up only prolonging the inevitable (I’m looking at you, Buried), and only in very rare circumstances does it come across as anything other than irritating miserablism. By choosing ambiguity over a definitive statement, I feel like Chandor robs the viewer of a satisfying release, and I couldn’t help but be annoyed by that final decision. There is so much to admire and embrace in All Is Lost that I only wish the endgame hadn’t left me as cold as it did. 7/10.

The Suitor (1962) - There’s something charmingly anachronistic about Pierre Etaix and his style of comedy. Still well-regarded for his skills as a circus performer, Etaix decided to try his hand at filmmaking in the 1960s, beginning with two critically-acclaimed short films before moving on to this feature-length debut from 1962. Etaix was a friend and associate of Jacques Tati (he served as an assistant director on Mon Oncle), and there is certainly a fair amount of Tati in the comedy stylings of the film, about a timid man, still living with his parents, who embarks on a quest to find a suitable partner for marriage. But more than Tati, The Suitor will evoke memories of the comedy masters of a few decades prior. Moments of broad slapstick distinctly recall Charlie Chaplin, and there is a City Lights quality to the interactions between the main character and a Swedish housemaid. And Etaix himself, with his sunken cheeks and near-silent screen persona, projects a similar kind of deadpan stoicism as Buster Keaton, although Etaix has no qualms with presenting his character in a much more negative light. That final point is important; while it’s tough to say if The Suitor rises to the heights of its influences, the representation of the main protagonist highlights an important subtext that awards the film some extra staying power.

Most, if not all, of the film’s humor revolves around Etaix’s bumbling attempts to find a meaningful romantic connection. It’s revealed early on however that he has a debilitating problem communicating with women, and because of this, he finds himself retreating constantly to manufactured media representations of women instead. When he finally draws the affections of someone real, he retreats from her and creates a new obsession around a Brigitte Bardot-type on television. But when that obsession leads him to the woman, he immediately recoils from the reality of her life. This becomes a common theme throughout the film, the contrast between the fantasy and reality of women. Etaix plays someone who hasn’t quite figured out how to separate the two in his mind, and even the end, when he finally recognizes the match that’s been right in front of him the whole time, is more bittersweet than joyous. He may have found someone, but it won’t be a relationship built around meaningful communication. It’s one thing to deliver a feature debut that is consistently funny, and quite another to do that while also offering a nice helping of social commentary to go along with the laughs. Neat trick. 8/10.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:27 pm
Profile WWW
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7387
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
*Spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the first film*

All Is Lost - The one-man show has always been a deceptively tricky concept to pull off successfully on film. Despite its seemingly simple nature, if you don’t have someone in front of the camera who is able to command a viewer’s attention over an extended length of time, your one-man show isn’t going anywhere. From Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor to Tom Hanks in the majority of Cast Away, the best examples of this type of film have always had that strong anchor at its center to keep it from drifting away in the minds of audiences. Fortunately for J.C. Chandor, fresh off the wordy ensemble drama Margin Call, he was able to round up one of the best anchors you could possibly hope for. Even at age 77, Robert Redford still has a certain star charisma that few actors have ever been able to rival, a necessary trait for this tale of a solitary man who finds himself in a fight for his life at sea. Credited as simply Our Man, Redford gives a performance that is almost entirely physical. With maybe two minutes of total dialogue in the entire film, Redford instead earns interest simply through his stoic determination to fight through his predicament. Chandor gets an amazing amount of mileage out of Redford’s systematic actions; his initial recognition of his situation and subsequent reactions to new dilemmas are never anything less than completely engrossing. And for as long as Redford has a degree of control over his problems, All Is Lost is as compelling as anything seen onscreen in 2013.

But there comes a point in the film when Redford exhausts everything he can do, and his life or death boils down to pure and simple fate. This eventual lack of resourceful action turns the final quarter of the film into essentially one prolonged tease, a series of missed chances that Redford has very little, if any, control over. The final stretch of the film becomes more exasperating than anything else, and that exasperation continues all the way through the film’s ending. Without getting too specific, Chandor wants to have his conclusion both ways, and I’m not entirely sure he pulls it off. This may seem like a shallow criticism, but for me the fate of the main character has always been a key factor in films like this. It’s always been tough for me to accept spending such grueling time in the company of a character who ends up only prolonging the inevitable (I’m looking at you, Buried), and only in very rare circumstances does it come across as anything other than irritating miserablism. By choosing ambiguity over a definitive statement, I feel like Chandor robs the viewer of a satisfying release, and I couldn’t help but be annoyed by that final decision. There is so much to admire and embrace in All Is Lost that I only wish the endgame hadn’t left me as cold as it did. 7/10.



Ahhhh but I don't agree that this is in any way miserablist.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
It's a happy ending either way. Either he's been taken into Heaven, or he's been rescued. It's a moment of grace either way, not the stark msiery of Buried

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:37 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Ahhhh but I don't agree that this is in any way miserablist.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
It's a happy ending either way. Either he's been taken into Heaven, or he's been rescued. It's a moment of grace either way, not the stark msiery of Buried


[Reveal] Spoiler:
...I suppose, although that introduces an overtly spiritual element that seems at least to me out of step with the rest of the film. I do agree though that it's not on the same "miserable" level as Buried.

Maybe it's just the fade to white that bothers me. That's always seemed to me to be kind of a cheap tactic. Need to throw in some late-minute ambiguity to a scene that seems otherwise clear-cut? Fade to white!

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:06 pm
Profile WWW
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Miserablist?

Any movie that drives Reelviewers to coin new words has to be worth seeing.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:43 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Catching up on just a couple more:

Violence At Noon - The second film in Criterion's Eclipse collection Oshima's Outlaw Sixties. After the subtly subversive pulp narrative of 1965's Pleasures Of The Flesh, director Nagisa Oshima returned one year later with a film that is thematically similar but stylistically quite different. Kei Sato plays the dastardly Eisuke, who as the film opens is entering an unfamiliar house, sexually assaulting the housemaid, and eventually murdering the owners. After this incident, the police begin to suspect Eisuke to be the High Noon Attacker, a serial rapist and murder terrorizing the country. It also becomes apparent that the housemaid has a history with Eisuke, and can confirm his identity. For reasons not initially clear, however, she is reluctant to make a statement, choosing instead to communicate with Eisuke’s wife, a mild-mannered schoolteacher. While this present storyline is unfolding, Oshima weaves in a series of flashbacks, which gradually reveal the sordid history between Eisuke and the two women.

No summary of the film can ignore Oshima’s confrontational stylistic choices, specifically the frantic editing style, with over 1,500 cuts over the span of 100 minutes. This, coupled with the filmmaker’s unconventional compositional tendencies, creates an overall experience that, while certainly unique, is not exactly the easiest to sit through. After awhile, I will admit to getting a headache from all the visual restlessness, and that’s not something I can ever recall happening to me. Whatever message Oshima is trying to convey in Violence At Noon seems unnecessarily obfuscated; Pleasures Of The Flesh had a pronounced style as well, but it was also a calmer film, and its style never distracted from its purpose. If you can get past the style, the details of the film reveal themselves as classic Oshima. You have the gender clashes and the focus on matters of sex and violence. You have the dark, seedy characters and angry political subtext. You have the appearance of the twisted/romantic Japanese action of double suicide, an element that also found its way into Pleasures Of The Flesh, but whose complete significance is admittedly lost on this Western viewer. Violence At Noon distinguishes itself thematically from its predecessor by shifting the perspective to two women; the central male figure, while a crucial component of the film, exists mostly as a dark presence lurking in the corner rather than as the main focus. This is all certainly material worthy of a deeper examination, and I’d be interested in reading interpretations more receptive than my own. But here comes the cop-out: while I can see Violence At Noon rewarding the patient over multiple viewings, I can’t see myself braving its stylistic excesses again to uncover extra meaning anytime soon. 5/10.

La Guerre Est Finie - The Spanish Civil War may be over, but the underground fight against the Franco regime still continues for many. A self-proclaimed “professional revolutionary” who is known by several names travels back from a mission in Spain to the safer ground of France. The trip has clearly taken a toll on the revolutionary, and he begins to express disillusionment with the grind of his underground profession. He is tired of the lack of success that has come from their tireless efforts, and he is ready to take a break, to spend more time with his loving girlfriend. But his superiors have other plans for him. So goes this 1966 film from Hiroshima Mon Amour and Last Year At Marienbad director Alain Resnais, a film that at the outset has the feel of a low-key political thriller before becoming more of a personal look into the dissatisfied mindset of a long-term political activist. And in part because the perpetually weary-looking and ever-cool Yves Montand plays that long-term political activist, Resnais has no trouble emphasizing that central dissatisfaction to the fullest. It’s like if the leftist leader from Z had lived long enough to eventually bemoan the complete lack of progress from the constant struggles.

As far as Resnais films go, this is one of the more accessible of his that I’ve seen. His films often concern themselves with memory, the past and the present and the relationship between them, and La Guerre Est Finie continues that focus. Although this story has a much more prominent narrative through-line than his other work, Resnais adds his own striking touches that emphasize that familiar theme of memory. Present action is often interrupted with brief, almost subliminal flashbacks to earlier times, as Montand contemplates to himself how many times he’s seen the same scenarios over the years and how little good it’s done. A narrator chimes in frequently to provide his own musings, although he breaks from tradition by speaking directly to Montand instead of at the viewer. The gap between past and present is made clear through the contrasting ideologies between Montand’s old-school tactics and the violent plans of a younger generation of revolutionaries. These touches give extra color to a film that takes a different and welcome approach to its political subject matter. Nothing in the film could be misconstrued for anything resembling heroic glory; instead, the focus is entirely on one solemn man being quietly worn down by his dangerous daily grind. 8/10.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:48 pm
Profile WWW
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm
Posts: 414
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Unke wrote:
La Bête Humaine (1938) aka Judas was a Woman


I may have mentioned Fritz Lang's Human Desire is based on the same novel, with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford, with some crucial changes (Ford doesn't have the homicidal mania). Crawford's an improvement as the husband, but otherwise the Renoir's better. You should definitely see La Grande Illusion and La Régle du Jeu. (I wonder why it's only one rule in French.)


Thanks for mentioning the Fritz Lang movie. It sounds interesting and I'll check it out. I hope to see the other Renoir movies at some point as well.


Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:07 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sparrows Dance (2013)

An offbeat, gentle romance about an agoraphobic who hasn't left her apartment in over a year, but then has to reluctantly let a plumber (Boardwalk Empire's Paul Sparks) into her life after the toilet overflows. A delightful small-pleasure of a movie, I haven't felt this charmed by a romance since my last rewatch of Before Sunrise. Recommended. 8/10


Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:32 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16040 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 671, 672, 673, 674, 675, 676, 677 ... 802  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr