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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278871/
Admittedly, I was initially apprehensive about the thought of a 179 min foreign language film (which is why I had put off watching this till now), but I soon found myself more than sufficiently invested in the characters that this became a total non-issue. Adèle Exarchopoulos, in what can only be described as an extremely brave (she must have been just 18 or 19 when this film was shot) yet subtle performance (arguably the best by a female in 2013), plays a young woman (Adèle) who, after discovering her sexuality from encounters with fellow school students (male and female), finds love with Emma (Léa Seydoux). The romance doesn't follow the usual boy meets... ahem, girl meets girl, girl loses girl, girl gets girl back stereotype (although it was looking that way for a while), but actually refreshingly ends at a bittersweet point (more bitter than sweet). The love story itself, that spans 4-5 years, is both touching and explicit in its portrayal. While I personally wouldn't describe the infamous(?) sex-scenes as "hard-core" (no genitals are shown (except fleetingly in a single non-sexual pose)), they definitely don't leave a lot to the imagination. The title is apt - I don't think a single scene goes by that doesn't feature something blue in it somewhere, sometimes subtly and often obviously. My only minor quibble is the use of a hand-held camera, which I just cannot see the appeal of (other than budgetary constraints) in cinema. The movie stirred memories of Blue Valentine, Rachel Getting Married and La vie rêvée des anges (The Dreamlife of Angels) - and that is definitely not a bad thing.
8.5/10.

So this one definitely counts in JamesKunz's May challenge, in not one but TWO categories.


Mon May 05, 2014 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'd rather see B-grade visual effects used well than see state-of-the-art visual effects used for everything.

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Mon May 05, 2014 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

It's a shame that this spectacular movie is rather obscure (only around 900 votes on IMDb right now). I've only heard of it since it was the last movie which Roger Ebert had ever added to his "Great Movies" section, and once I came in, I was amazed with what I had seen. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish. The cinematography is so perfect, the story is rather haunting to think about, there's just so much more for me to say about a film like this one.


Mon May 05, 2014 11:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
I'd rather see B-grade visual effects used well than see state-of-the-art visual effects used for everything.


Me too. It's not the effect itself that matters, but what it's trying to convey. I'll take Excalibur over Return of the Jedi.


FilmFanJaimeR wrote:
The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

It's a shame that this spectacular movie is rather obscure (only around 900 votes on IMDb right now). I've only heard of it since it was the last movie which Roger Ebert had ever added to his "Great Movies" section, and once I came in, I was amazed with what I had seen. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish. The cinematography is so perfect, the story is rather haunting to think about, there's just so much more for me to say about a film like this one.


I was wondering about this. I'll have to check it out.


Mon May 05, 2014 11:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
I'd rather see B-grade visual effects used well than see state-of-the-art visual effects used for everything.

Total agreement.


Tue May 06, 2014 1:38 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
FilmFanJaimeR wrote:
The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

It's a shame that this spectacular movie is rather obscure (only around 900 votes on IMDb right now). I've only heard of it since it was the last movie which Roger Ebert had ever added to his "Great Movies" section, and once I came in, I was amazed with what I had seen. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish. The cinematography is so perfect, the story is rather haunting to think about, there's just so much more for me to say about a film like this one.


I haven't seen this one, but the 1983 one is a **** masterpiece

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Tue May 06, 2014 7:24 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Kid With A Bike (2011)

On one hand, if someone slaps this kid off his bike, I can hardly blame them. But then, Thomas Doret plays him so well that we can practically see how hurt he feels all the time, even in his most exasperating tantrums. This good characterization helps lend a bit of tension to the second half, when it morphs into a slightly different kind of film. But your appreciation may mostly boil down to how well you can handle a deeply dislikeable protagonist, no matter how well-played he is. I just barely can. 6.5/10

Show Me Love (1998)

Rarely has teen angst felt this natural, romantic, and joyous on screen. A wonderful high of a film. 9/10

La Strada (1954)

God...Giulietta Masina. Her face is such an open book of childlike expressions, and she's so intensely likeable and innocent it almost gets physically painful at times to see her repeatedly abused or fallen into unsavory situations. Anthony Quinn's Zampanó is superbly realized as well; without ever softening up, we see the cracks behind his brute persona from time to time. It is hard to sympathize with him, but I still feel a pang of pity for Zampanó in the end. Fellini's beautiful direction and Niño Rota's evocative score also combine to make a fully realized world, by turn whimsical and heartbreaking. 8.5/10


Tue May 06, 2014 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

I always go into many acclaimed "art house" films mentally prepared on some level that I might be let down, but it seems I've often stumbled into most films of that type in the right phase of my movie-going (save maybe for my first watch of The Shining, which was an unfortunate slog to this 10-year-old), until now. And I really liked Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour too, which made it a surprise that this didn't work for me, at all, except for the stunning design and cinematography.

The thing is, the former has a real emotional core from a love story that is heartfelt and tangible, with the director's formal experiments only reserved to the leads' head space and their memories. Marienbad deals with similar theme as well, of how memory can be linked to and distorted by a place (at least that's what I got from it), but this time the narrative itself is folded twice, thrice, and many more times to emulate that. Some things work, like the cuts from one place to another while the characters remain in the same pose, and the visual delight of the symmetrical garden with those impossible shadows. But most of the time, the artificiality of the whole thing has an increasingly distancing and distracting effect to my involvement, the leads' interaction, and any emotional logic it attempts. By about the third or fourth time the man keeps pestering the woman to "try to remember", my interest already drifts far away and I mostly wonder why she hasn't called the security to haul his ass out already. 5/10


After rewatching the movie some time ago, I'm starting to think that it's great. Its repeating variations of the simple theme (man meets woman, who is accompanied by another man, and thinks he met her last year but she won't admit to remember) are kind of like modal jazz and related to narrative cinema as much as John Coltrane's version of "My favorite things" is related to Julie Andrew's version in 'The Sound of Music'.

The last movie I watched is:

The Osterman Weekend (1983)
I just wrote a lengthy summary of the plot of ‘The Osterman Weekend’ and, after proofreading it, decided to scrap it altogether, because it didn’t make any sense. That’s not to say that my summary was inaccurate or incomprehensible as such, it’s just that the convoluted plot doesn’t make any sense at all and is the primary reason why Sam Peckinpah’s last movie doesn’t work. If the Wikipedia entry for Robert Ludlum’s spy novel is correct, this isn’t even the fault of the screenplay but of the source material, to which the screenplay appears to be very faithful. In short: CIA agent John Hurt, with the approval of CIA director Burt Lancaster, convinces investigative TV journalist Rutger Hauer to invite three friends, including Dennis Hopper and Craig T. Nelson, to spend a weekend at Hauer’s character’s house, because his friends are suspected of running a KGB spy ring. There are a lot of double crosses and nebulous motivations, but it’s not worth making the effort to be engaged in the proceedings, because characters behave in an arbitrary manner and against their best interest for the only purpose of making the plot impenetrable. Sam Peckinpah was clearly more interested in the action scenes and in bringing out the theme of surveillance, but the latter doesn’t amount to much more than watching John Hurt watching a surveillance tape of Rutger Hauer watching surveillance tapes of his guests having sex with their wives. The few well-done scenes and the decent acting don’t manage to save this train wreck of a spy thriller. 3/10


Tue May 06, 2014 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:

Show Me Love (1998)

Rarely has teen angst felt this natural, romantic, and joyous on screen. A wonderful high of a film. 9/10


Yes! So glad people are discovering this one!

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Tue May 06, 2014 6:42 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
The Kid With A Bike (2011)
On one hand, if someone slaps this kid off his bike, I can hardly blame them. But then, Thomas Doret plays him so well that we can practically see how hurt he feels all the time, even in his most exasperating tantrums. This good characterization helps lend a bit of tension to the second half, when it morphs into a slightly different kind of film. But your appreciation may mostly boil down to how well you can handle a deeply dislikeable protagonist, no matter how well-played he is. I just barely can. 6.5/10

I rated this a 7/10 at the time. I still remember it, which is saying something. Not sure what, but something ;) .


Tue May 06, 2014 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Bunraku "Sin City" meets "West Side Story."

This is one weird, fabulous looking movie that makes zero sense. A futuristic pulp noir that looks like it was filmed on a Broadway stage. It's visually dazzling to be sure, but it's an utter mess.

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Wed May 07, 2014 3:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
moviemkr7 wrote:
Bunraku "Sin City" meets "West Side Story."

This is one weird, fabulous looking movie that makes zero sense. A futuristic pulp noir that looks like it was filmed on a Broadway stage. It's visually dazzling to be sure, but it's an utter mess.

Yeah, it was an interesting idea but ultimately not well executed, Demi Moore was pretty good though.


Wed May 07, 2014 3:18 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Yes! So glad people are discovering this one!


Forgot to mention in there, but one of the two girls looks remarkably like Scarlett Johansson.

Unke wrote:
After rewatching the movie some time ago, I'm starting to think that it's great. Its repeating variations of the simple theme (man meets woman, who is accompanied by another man, and thinks he met her last year but she won't admit to remember) are kind of like modal jazz and related to narrative cinema as much as John Coltrane's version of "My favorite things" is related to Julie Andrew's version in 'The Sound of Music'.


Only when I read about it afterwards that I just know it's a much more divisive picture than I first thought. Honestly, in concept it sounds right up my alley, with arresting visual techniques serving director's purpose, but the overall execution kind of pushes me away (maybe from the use of it all the time I think). Curious to see if a rewatch down the years will change my mind, now that I'm used to its framing technique, but at the moment it's impenetrable to the point of dull.


Wed May 07, 2014 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Watched The Awful Truth for that thing that Kunz wants us to do.

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Wed May 07, 2014 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Wizards (1977)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076929/
Imaginative animated drama set 10 million years after humanity has been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust where elves, fairies and mutants have reclaimed the planet. Two wizards (twin brothers) are born, one good (Avatar) and one evil (Blackwolf), the latter is megalomaniacal and literally gets a Hitler complex after finding old Nazi footage. Lord of the Rings scale battles ensue with the elves (using medieval weaponry) fighting against Blackwolf's armies of mutants and robots (armed with guns), tanks etc. Written and directed by Ralph Bakshi, the film has a unique visual style. Real (i.e. non-animated) footage, detailed sketches, and minimalistic drawings are interchangeably used as backgrounds, and primitive "cartoonised" footage of actual soldiers, horses, WWII warplanes and tanks are often used. The inconsistency in animation is a bit jarring, but you eventually get used to it. The music, which is mostly 70's psychedelic synth, compliments the surrealistic images on screen - it does all look and sound a bit dated however. The film is definitely not suitable for children, with frequent images of war, blood and death. Not as good as I remembered it from 25 odd years ago when I last saw it.
6/10.


Wed May 07, 2014 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Man With The Iron Fists (2012)

RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan made his writing/directorial debut with this film as well as acting in it. Eli Roth co-wrote and produced it. Supposedly Quentin Tarantino was also involved in some regard.

As far as modern day Martial Arts films go, this one lacks the humor of Kung Fu Hustle or the artistry of Crouching Tiger. In some ways, its obvious that RZA intended it as a homage to the Martial Arts films the Wu-Tang members reference frequently on their albums. In that regard, its somewhat better. But it lacks the stylized knowing that Tarantino would bring to it.

The Martial Arts action is entertaining and RZA stages the action sequences well. But the editing could be better and he also overuses the split-screen.

He also makes some good song choices, although I wonder why "Bring Da Ruckus" wasn't used as it would have fit perfectly.

Not a total success. But shows promise.

**1/2.

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Wed May 07, 2014 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Flat: When Armon Goldfinger's grandmother died around 2010, Goldfinger decided to make a documentary about cleaning out her apartment. His maternal grandparents were Zionists who managed to make it to Israel before the Holocaust. While cleaning out the apartment, he comes across an anti-Semitic newspaper about a Nazi SS officer who accompanied his grandparents to Palestine, and finds evidence that they were friends before the war, and, surprisingly, after the war. This officer, Baron von Mildenstein, was head of the Office of Jewish Affairs (his successor was Eichmann, who may have been his protege) was travelling to Palestine for the same reason as Goldfinger's parents: they both wanted the Jews out of Germany. Goldfinger insists on digging out the past, meeting and interviewing Mildenstein's daughter, who fondly remembers Goldfinger's grandparents and mother, and doesn't believe her father was involved with the darker aspects of Naziism. It's not clear to me that Mildenstein was either, although he certainly had guilty knowledge.

Interesting film. Very interesting if you're an Israeli: the film was a big hit there.

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Thu May 08, 2014 1:50 am
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Post Re: Introduced last movie watched
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The last movie I watched was That Awkward Moment
The film was highly illogical and nonsense
It is not recommended to watch
My rating: 4 of 10

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Thu May 08, 2014 8:06 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Charulata (The Lonely Wife) (1964)

This is my first Satyajit Ray, and it's a pretty great introduction. What's immediately noticeable is how rich his visual sense is. His Academy ratio gives the impression of a widescreen one, due to how much information and beautiful framing he manages to pack in each shot. One example is the almost wordless opening sequence where Charulata roams the house, in which the camera tightly trails her and captures her through many visual frames in the surroundings, indicating how caged she feels in the house. Since the theme of this film (loneliness followed by awakening) requires a patient pacing, visually dynamic direction like this helps engage our attention throughout. A simple situation is given complexity as well, as there is no true villain in this dilemma. Madhabi Mukherjee is such a sublime and powerful presence as Charulata that other subplots not involving her suffer a bit, be it her husband's newspaper business (that serves as the film's political background) or her brother's stay at the house. Overall though, it's an emotionally rich, visually sumptuous film that will ensure me to explore more of Ray's works. 9/10

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

From K-drama, romance, to rom-com, South Korea does melodrama, subtle or overblown, better than most of anyone else (even though it's revenge thrillers that bring their cinema the most fame). In the case of this film, however, that aspect veers towards the latter and clashes violently with the war realism it tries to portray, making some stretches overly manipulative. The various war sequences are technically superb and as intense and impactful as its inspiration, Saving Private Ryan. The overall trajectory of the brothers' rift is greatly played out and truly tragic as well, with the older brother's arc especially terrific in showing his nobility being clouded by bloodlust, and Jang Dong-gun doesn't miss a beat in his portrayal. If only the younger brother is written with similar nuance, instead of carried out in over-the-top angry fits, although Won Bin does the best he could with the role. Interesting to place this film as the maturing step in his acting from the fresh face of Autumn in My Heart (a series that majorly helps advance Korean pop culture in Thailand) to the hardened bad-ass in The Man From Nowhere. Overall, it's a very good war film (with the climatic meeting among the last battle especially a classic) that falls a little short of being an all-time in the genre. 8/10


Thu May 08, 2014 8:29 am
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Post Re: Introduced last movie watched
Genius in Sodom

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Pasolini believed that the sadist, through the new capitalism leads to fascism.
I did not enjoy watching Salo
but i believe Salo is the truth
And here’s point that Pasolini didn’t make Salo for us to just enjoy it; in fact he made it for us to BILIEVE that the Fascism was a filthy and dirty REGIME
My rating: 10 of 10

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Thu May 08, 2014 1:58 pm
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