Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:02 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge! 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
One black and white movie? Boom. Roasted.
One foreign-language movie? Boom. Roasted.
One movie made before 1970? Boom. Roasted.

In other words, Ken finally got around to watching Persona.

Bergman has a penchant for visual metaphors, and he uses them here, but Persona is never more effective than when he puts those devices away and leaves it to his actors to suggest feelings and ideas. There's nothing here as memorable or functional as, say, the Chess game or the line of dancing silhouettes from The Seventh Seal--but then, there's nothing in The Seventh Seal as strong as the quiet, one-on-one scenes between Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Bergman's craft in these scenes is deceptively strong; the blocking of the actors and the chairoscuro compositions move the narrative just as much as Andersson's monologue and Ullmann's wordless reactions. When it gets down to business, Persona is a smart movie that said a lot of smart movie stuff before our modern smart movies ever got around to saying them.

_________________
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.


Wed May 07, 2014 5:57 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7371
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Ken wrote:

Bergman has a penchant for visual metaphors, and he uses them here, but Persona is never more effective than when he puts those devices away and leaves it to his actors to suggest feelings and ideas. .


Agree completely, though I'm more down on the movie than most. I feel parts of it are more film school experiment than successful film.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed May 07, 2014 6:18 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm
Posts: 1262
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Due to my film-watching habits having significantly slowed down over the past few years, I usually don't participate in these challenges... but I may already be close on this one:
JamesKunz wrote:
I challenge us all to watch (at least)...
    -Three movies by the same director. Pick someone you like or perhaps want to learn more about and explore a little

Not sure about this one yet.
Quote:
-One 150+ minute movie

Just watched "Breaking the Waves" last night, so, check.
Quote:
-One foreign-language movie

I just bought "Tristana" last week, so that'll be my representative for this one.
Quote:
-One black and white movie
-One movie made before 1970

Killed 2 birds with one stone last week with "The Pawnbroker" (at least I'm pretty sure it was May 1st and not April 30th that I watched it :| ).
Quote:
-One Best Picture nominee (winner if possible)

Will knock this one out when "Her" comes out next week (though I already saw it in theaters; does it not count then? :? ).

My biggest priority this month, though, as I mentioned in the 'Richard Donner' thread, is to finally watch "The Black Hole" -- pretty much the one major movie from my childhood I've not yet seen.


Thu May 08, 2014 7:19 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1403
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
The Raid 2 (2014)
One 150+ minute movie

It has the opposite positives and negatives from the first one, but since the positives are pretty goddamn high and the negatives are pushed to the film's first half, that makes me like it better than Redemption. This lacks the first one's sheer desperation of being trapped and having to fight tooth-and-nail to stay alive, and the mafia plot is only serviceable with a set-up that is just too long for some pretty derivative conflicts.

On the other hand, opening up the film also means there is more variety to the fights and locations, and director Gareth Evans ups the ante in every aspect. The first film feels slightly monotonous towards the end, but this one actually ramps up the tension in the second half and never let go until the last scene. More colorful villains (wish there's more screentime for the Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Boy duo), more creative choreography/carnage, and a touch of filmic beauty amidst the blood and guts. The story leaves a little to be desired, but the fights are as good as it gets. 8.5/10


Wed May 14, 2014 10:13 am
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
JamesKunz wrote:
-One 150+ minute movie
-One Best Picture nominee (winner if possible)[/list]

Boom. Roasted. Boom. Roasted.

Thoughts in the Gladiator thread.

_________________
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.


Fri May 16, 2014 7:11 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 870
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
So that's it, I'm done. With a week to spare! Am I the first to complete the challenge? Wouldn't be surprised if Peng achieved it two weeks ago without even trying :lol: .

-Three movies by the same director.
Persona
Cries and Whispers
Wild Strawberries
(Ingmar Bergman)

-One black and white movie
Persona
Wild Strawberries

-One 150+ minute movie
Blue is the Warmest Color
Lincoln

-One foreign-language movie
Blue is the Warmest Color
Persona
Cries and Whispers
Wild Strawberries

-One movie made before 1970
Persona (1966)
Wild Strawberries (1957)

-One Best Picture nominee (winner if possible)
Lincoln

Thoughts on all these films can be found in the Last Movie You Watched thread, starting here.


Sat May 24, 2014 3:37 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1403
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
nitrium wrote:
So that's it, I'm done. With a week to spare! Am I the first to complete the challenge? Wouldn't be surprised if Peng achieved it two weeks ago without even trying :lol: .


You're the first ;) . I got busy on another forum's multi-country challenge, which I tried to dovetail with this one (hence all my foreign submissions of Knife in the Water and The Raid 2). Now time to finish this with a string of Hitchcocks.


Sun May 25, 2014 12:00 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1403
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Andddd done.

One Best Picture nominee (winner if possible)/Three movies by the same director (Hitchcock)

Secret Agent (1936)

Loosely plotted Hitchcock about three British spies on an assassination assignment, with two of them growing some consciences along the way. The story is messy and unevenly paced, but it has some enjoyable moments courtesy of witty banters and character dynamics. A funny and oh-so-deliciously overacting Peter Lorre steals the show. Hitchcock also manages to get in some great directing touches, like the surprising ending and a murder scene that intercuts between three places to increase suspense. 6/10

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

I've started watching his whole works since the beginning, and I would say this is the first great Hitchcock. Very classic Agatha Christie in structure, with the first act introducing its many delightful characters and carefully setting up the situations. It deftly turns the mode from fun frivolity to tense mystery and finally to suspenseful unraveling. And throughout all this it never loses the snappy comedy and great chemistry between the two leads. That three-people fight in the last train bogie encapsulates all that is great about this film really well, managing to be both hilarious and nail-biting at the same time. 9/10

Rebecca (1940)

A rewatch is in need of this one, because I might have been influenced a bit by believing a fake spoiler for some 5+ years:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
That actually Rebecca was still alive and Maxim held her prisoner somewhere in the estate.

I don't know where I heard it from, but I subconsciously waited for this moment and was thrown off a bit when it didn't come. The film might go up on rewatch when I will be able to view it as a whole better. But even then, this is still a supremely satisfying picture, where Hitchcock deftly mixes his trademark psychological suspense and Gothic romance. The film has a deliberate but fantastic pacing, where we, like the nameless heroine, take in the surrounding and myth of Rebecca bit by bit, to the point that the place's atmosphere feels so suffocating to us. That makes the proceedings in the third act seem rushed a bit, when it has to speed up to go through many characters and plot points. Everyone turns in excellent performances; Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers has a placid appearance that reveals unseemly thoughts only through some subtle facial tics, at first. The best is Joan Fontaine; she plays awkward and shy with the dawning claustrophobia splendidly. 8.5/10


Tue May 27, 2014 8:58 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 185
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Unless it's cool I post May late I'm down for a June challenge. Saturday is my last day at my current shit ass job and I want a (even brief) return to form while I'm in between jobs.

_________________
Never take a forum signature too seriously, even this one.


Fri May 30, 2014 1:51 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7371
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
I failed. I FAILED. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to see movies with travel planned for 4/5 May weekends. Oh well, June's a new month

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:21 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
I failed too. I was going to make Peckinpah my "three movies" guy, but then I had to go be a big lonely crybaby for the rest of the month, so I stopped giving a fuck.

I have been chatting up a very nice girl on OkCupid though, so the wind is slowly being driven back into my sails.

_________________
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.


Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:43 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7371
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Ken wrote:
I failed too. I was going to make Peckinpah my "three movies" guy, but then I had to go be a big lonely crybaby for the rest of the month, so I stopped giving a fuck.

I have been chatting up a very nice girl on OkCupid though, so the wind is slowly being driven back into my sails.


Right on, Ken. Back on the horse and all that!

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:45 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 648
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
I ended up completing this challenge, although not posting anything about the films I watched defeats the purpose of it. So for what it's worth:

One foreign-language movie: The Decameron

Pasolini, man.....I can't muster up any kind of enthusiasm for this guy's work. I mean, I enjoyed that one where Terrence Stamp plays God and he brings divine inspiration to people by fucking everyone (that was what going on in Teorema, right?), but I don't find any value in Salo, and didn't find much more to appreciate with The Decameron. Maybe if I was familiar with the original source material I would find this more rewarding, but to my unenlightened brain this was just an agonizingly tedious collection of groan-worthy sex farces thinly disguised as a serious takedown of traditional religious and sexual mores. I had originally planned to watch all three films in Pasolini's Trilogy of Life (The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights are the other two), but this one was so unappealing to me I decided to look elsewhere.

Three movies by the same director: I Shot Jesse James, The Baron Of Arizona, The Steel Helmet

Looking around at my unwatched collection of movies, I found an early Eclipse set from Criterion with the first three films from American iconoclast Samuel Fuller. It takes until the third film in the set though before you get to see anything "Fulleresque." I Shot Jesse James focuses in on the life and times of the coward Robert Ford, and might have been interesting to me if I hadn't already seen and loved Andrew Dominik's 2007 film, which covers similar material with much more depth and poetry. The Baron Of Arizona fares a little better, if only because Vincent Price plays the title character and he's always watchable. There's a little bit of Kind Hearts and Coronets to this story of con artist who embarks on a lengthy scheme to claim a large territory of land for himself, but it doesn't have the edge of that Ealing Studios classic and it makes the mistake of softening the lead character in the closing stretch. The Steel Helmet helps balance out the set, and seems to prove to me at least that Fuller was at his best telling stories of men at war. The film has a much different feel from the two before it, abandoning their more homogenous vibe in favor of something more distinctive and alive. You can see in this film the first signs of the craziness and wild abandon that has won the director so many fans.

One Best Picture nominee (winner if possible): The Best Years Of Our Lives

I watched this one over Memorial Day weekend, appropriately enough. I had never seen it before, but it's one of those worthy Best Picture winners, a film that tackles a lot of big issues related to veterans returning from war and finding little to no solace in their home country. It certainly takes a good deal of time tackling those issues too (172 minutes, to be exact), and if I were to raise a slight quarrel with the film, it's that some of the more compelling material gets pushed to the side at times for less dynamic fare. The heart and soul of the film is with the handless Homer Parrish, but he's given the least screentime, replaced with a not-very-convincing romance between two other characters. That's a fairly small quibble to make though, because truthfully I found the film overall quite deserving of its high reputation.

One 150+ minute movie: Kagemusha

There's something off-putting to me about watching a Kurosawa film in color. Especially when compared to his large handful of black-and-white masterpieces, this colorful epic comes across as flat and distant (I have similar feelings towards Ran, although it's been several years since I've seen that one). It could be more a case of a formerly-great director trying to recapture some of his old brilliance, but it feels like Kurosawa is using the color here as a crutch, to prop up the fact that there's very little else that distinguishes the film. Even Tatsuya Nakadai, one of my favorite actors, doesn't leave much of an impression (the role was apparently supposed to go to Zatoichi himself Shintaro Katsu, but creative differences kept that from happening). There's still just enough of interest to keep it watchable, but the fact that I've spent more time after watching the film pondering its weaknesses than its strengths says to me I didn't find it as captivating as I wanted it to be.

One black-and-white movie: Frances Ha

I held off on watching this one for awhile, mostly because Noah Baumbach hasn't done much of anything for me in the past. I'm glad I did take the time for this one though, as his latest showcases a much warmer touch. I liked the film's visual approach too, something of a cross between Manhattan Woody Allen (obviously) and Faces John Cassavetes. Coming in at under 90 minutes, it's the kind of film that flies by quick yet sticks around for a good deal longer.

One movie made before 1970: Samaritan Zatoichi

I don't have a lot to say about Samaritan Zatoichi. It's another workmanlike Zatoichi film, opening with the blind swordsman being tricked by a local boss into striking someone down for what turns out to be a meager sum. Guilty for his actions, Zatoichi helps the dead person's sister to take revenge and set things right. I wish 1970's Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo would have counted; that one is much more interesting, if only to see Shintaro Katsu and Toshiro Mifune share the screen together. Mifune seems to be having some fun in the role, even if the character seems like a different beast than the ones he played in Yojimbo and Sanjuro. It's a significantly longer film than all the others in the series, and its style of storytelling is quite a bit different too, darker and much more deliberate, which made for a refreshing entry overall.

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


Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:04 pm
Profile WWW
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm
Posts: 406
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
I didn't think I would make it, but it seems I have ticked off all the right boxes. Let's see

Three movies by the same director (Martin Scorsese):
Boxcar Bertha
New York, New York
The Wolf of Wall Street

Black and White movie:
The Lost Weekend

150+ minutes movie:
The Physician (150 minutes)
The Wolf of Wall Street (180 minutes)

Foreign language movie:
Full Metal Village - a German-Korean documentary from 2006 about the small village of Wacken in Northern Germany, which annually hosts the (supposedly) world's largest Heavy Metal festival (attendance 85,000 last year).

Movie made before 1970:
The Lost Weekend (1945)

Best Picture Academy Award winners/nominees:
The Lost Weekend (5 wins, including best picture, 7 nominations)
The Wolf of Wall Street (5 nominations, including best picture)


Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:27 am
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7371
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
Blonde Almond wrote:
I just an agonizingly tedious collection of groan-worthy sex farces thinly disguised as a serious takedown of traditional religious and sexual mores.


Sounds like what I thought about Salo

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:08 am
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 870
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
So did JamesKunz complete his own challenge?


Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:31 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:29 am
Posts: 307
Location: Watertown, SD
Post Re: Let's watch some more movies: the May challenge!
nitrium wrote:
So did JamesKunz complete his own challenge?


JamesKunz wrote:
I failed. I FAILED. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to see movies with travel planned for 4/5 May weekends. Oh well, June's a new month

_________________
https://twitter.com/Steven_Renner23


Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:39 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 10 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