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Unsung Great Films 
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Irony

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
NotHughGrant wrote:
Irony


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Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
PeachyPete wrote:
I'm going to go to bat for Michael Mann's Collateral. It isn't exactly an unsung film, but I don't think many people consider it legitimately great like I do. OP JackBurns has probably already seen it and won't be adding it to his running list, but that's fine by me. To me, it's Mann's best, most subtle movie. It's full of visual metaphor and ends up being an existential study of a man (or Mann, ha!) who's moved from inertia and apathy into action. Foxx's Max has to literally wreck his taxi cab to break free from his current mental state. Of course, it also works as a straight thriller, which makes it a fine mesh of arthouse intentions with mainstram sensibilities.

It's a fantastic movie, not merely a good one.


Yes I agree: it's a great movie. I hope I don't wreck the experience for anyone when I come with my tech talk: but what distracted me a lot (and ultimately destroyed the movie for me) was the (then) still poor looking digital video in which the entire film has been shot. The colors are off, highlights burned out, full of artifacts and that video-ey motion smear is unbearable for my eyes. Mann had chosen digital video to capture L.A. at night, "because traditional 35mm is incapable". That is B.S. because Kubrick already shot in extremely low light decades ago. There were lenses and film stock around when Mann made this which would have made this movie so much better looking. Look at some of the action scenes. It looks like fuckin' tv in the 90s. I almost walked out of the movie theater when I watched this. I am not the only one saying that. I am not trashing Mann here. But digital HD video still wasn't ready back then to replace 35mm. Now it is.


Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:43 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Threeperf35 wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
I'm going to go to bat for Michael Mann's Collateral. It isn't exactly an unsung film, but I don't think many people consider it legitimately great like I do. OP JackBurns has probably already seen it and won't be adding it to his running list, but that's fine by me. To me, it's Mann's best, most subtle movie. It's full of visual metaphor and ends up being an existential study of a man (or Mann, ha!) who's moved from inertia and apathy into action. Foxx's Max has to literally wreck his taxi cab to break free from his current mental state. Of course, it also works as a straight thriller, which makes it a fine mesh of arthouse intentions with mainstram sensibilities.

It's a fantastic movie, not merely a good one.


Yes I agree: it's a great movie. I hope I don't wreck the experience for anyone when I come with my tech talk: but what distracted me a lot (and ultimately destroyed the movie for me) was the (then) still poor looking digital video in which the entire film has been shot. The colors are off, highlights burned out, full of artifacts and that video-ey motion smear is unbearable for my eyes. Mann had chosen digital video to capture L.A. at night, "because traditional 35mm is incapable". That is B.S. because Kubrick already shot in extremely low light decades ago. There were lenses and film stock around when Mann made this which would have made this movie so much better looking. Look at some of the action scenes. It looks like fuckin' tv in the 90s. I almost walked out of the movie theater when I watched this. I am not the only one saying that. I am not trashing Mann here. But digital HD video still wasn't ready back then to replace 35mm. Now it is.
Well I thought Collateral pulled off the digital look quite well, so well that when I firt saw it I honestly had no clue it was shot digitally until I looked it up.

Public Enemies looks MUCH worse, digital video for a movie set in the 1930s just looks incredibly akward and articifial and was totally distracting, not that the story was worth paying attention to in the first place.


Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
There is an article in "American Cinematographer" online describing the entire process how and why it had ben decided to use digital video to shoot "Collateral". But this mag never really judges, it goes deep into the tech stuff (how it's done). It's like one huge advertising for cinema related equipment. I read articles from time to time. (Google it if you like - interesting reading since this is a piece of cinema innovation and history).

Anyway:

Check the second paragraph of this:

http://www.dailyfilmdose.com/2010/03/collateral.html

here it is copied/pasted:

I’ve expounded on this at great length before, but Michael Mann’s switch over to high definition has not been kind to him. While filmmakers like David Fincher can retain the same look as his 35mm films and taking advantage of the freedom the digital medium allows, Mann’s newer films lose more than it gains. To start, Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron’s colour scheme is superb. The Los Angeles exteriors are lit up with an eye-pleasing hazy glow, like a permanent magic hour or a giant fluorescent lighting up everything. As a result, under the high definition format, it’s as crisp a film as Mann’s ever made. Unfortunately he also loses texture, specifically in the action scenes. Fast motion across of film has a smearing effect which our eyes are used to, under the crisp high definition image, much of the swoosh is gone resulting in what’s known as the ‘video look’. ‘Public Enemies’ and ‘Miami Vice’ suffered badly from this, mainly because well, there just more action in those films than ‘Collateral’.


Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
High and Low? Spirited Away? Unsung by whom?!

Hey, there's this little unsung masterpiece called Citizen Kane that some of you guys may like. Quaint, unsung little film.

My Winnipeg is an unsung, GREAT film. One of my 'best films' of those years 2000-2009, a wonderful meditation on truth, art and truth in art. Among other things. Not only is some of the imagery some of the greatest you're likely to find in a recent film, the movie is sweet and hilarious and thought-provoking and amazing.

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Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
I'll just copy what I wrote in another thread...

Quote:
Kind Hearts and Coronets- This is Ealing Studios best effort, and one of the best (if not the best) black comedies ever made. Alec Guinness plays 8 different roles, all brilliantly, and he isn't even the best thing about the movie. The writing is fantastic and the delivery perfect. It also has one of my favorite endings of any film.

Glengarry Glen Ross You would be hard pressed to find another film that has as talented a cast as this one-- Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Jonathan Pryce, a brilliant cameo by Alec Baldwin, and all of them in top form. Match them with a perfect Mamet screenplay and you get cinematic perfection. This is Jack Lemmon's greatest performance, IMO. The scene with Shelly (Lemmon) in the house of the young couple, when he knows they aren't going to buy and they know he knows, but he keeps trying to sell anyway... Lemmon's eyes, just wow.

Touching the Void- Not a "true" documentary, but certainly close enough for my tastes. This is a powerful film, and certainly puts to rest the "no atheists in foxholes" theory. The cinematography is stunning, but the true story, as incredible and unbelievable as it is, is the real star of this film. When watching this one has to wonder just how much they think they would be capable of in similar circumstances.

Bound- I just watched this again recently and was again blown away. A perfect modern noir. The performances are all pitch perfect and the story is seamless, with every twist and turn -many completely unexpected- perfectly logical and true to each character. Another strong performance from Joe Pantolino, some fantastic cinematography (following the "ring" through the telephone line, blood dissolving in the toilet, blood dripping in the white paint... great!), and let us not forget the hot lesbian sex.

Babette's Feast- One of my favorite films in any genre, this is simply a delight. I love food movies, and this is the best of the bunch. There is so much going on in this movie, but the final dinner scene, when the villagers all are transformed by the incredible food and drink, is brilliant. I just love this film.


...and I'll add a few more--

Forbidden Games- I just love this movie. From the powerful beginning when Paulette's parents (and dog, which is key) are killed in the strafing run, to the heartbreaking ending (and one of the classic shots in film history, IMHO), it is one of the most powerful commentaries on the nature of death and loss and how we deal with it in different ways. Funny, poignant, thought-provoking... a masterpiece.

Once were Warriors- powerful, disturbing movie about the horrors of domestic violence and what it does to families, especially when it is taken for granted in the society in which it takes place. Moving performances, which all ring true. not an easy film to watch, but totally worth it.

Dancer in the Dark- Another very difficult film to watch. The musical numbers shouldn't work with such a dark-themed film, but they do. Björk is stunning in this film, as she must be, and von Trier coaxes a perfect performance from her (which wasn't easy, apparently). Powerful, powerful movie.

Perhaps they're not "unsung" but I do think they fall into the "too little seen" category. Anyway, I hope you've had the pleasure of seeing these, and, if not, then I highly recommend you do so.


Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:14 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Mark III wrote:
High and Low? Spirited Away? Unsung by whom?!

Hey, there's this little unsung masterpiece called Citizen Kane that some of you guys may like. Quaint, unsung little film.


I've heard Vertigo might be pretty good too.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:02 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Glengarry Glen Ross is unsung?


Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:29 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
mrguinness wrote:
Glengarry Glen Ross is unsung?


Quote:
Perhaps they're not "unsung" but I do think they fall into the "too little seen" category.


Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:11 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
A lot of responses since I've last posted; thanks again for all the suggestions

The first batch of films that were recommended will be watched this weekend.

I saw that Collateral was mentioned, and I have to admit I am not a fan of this film. Its very problematic in places for me personally.

Mark III, MunichMan---My Wininpeg and Forbidden Games will be added!

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
JackBurns wrote:
A lot of responses since I've last posted; thanks again for all the suggestions

The first batch of films that were recommended will be watched this weekend.

I saw that Collateral was mentioned, and I have to admit I am not a fan of this film. Its very problematic in places for me personally.

Mark III, MunichMan---My Wininpeg and Forbidden Games will be added!


I'm with you on Collateral. Didn't do it for me at all

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
JamesKunz wrote:
JackBurns wrote:
A lot of responses since I've last posted; thanks again for all the suggestions

The first batch of films that were recommended will be watched this weekend.

I saw that Collateral was mentioned, and I have to admit I am not a fan of this film. Its very problematic in places for me personally.

Mark III, MunichMan---My Wininpeg and Forbidden Games will be added!


I'm with you on Collateral. Didn't do it for me at all

I thought you of all people would've liked that film.


Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Just finished A Simple Plan, recommended by JamesKunz.

I have to be completely honest, and say that I was a bit "iffy" on this film for the first 25 minutes. With that said, A Simple Plan quickly turns into a stark thriller, that is a pleasure to watch. The narrative is full of twists, most of which are acted out by choices that characters make on a whim. This story is full of moral choices, and at times it leaves you asking yourself: What would I do? The themes in A Simple Plan often focus on the sole element of morality. Although, it seems that once a bag of money is introduced, these morals that people may hold are quickly tossed out, and replaced with an sense of greed. Some of the film's characters are searching for a better life, while others just want to find a way to step out of their ordinary lives. This is a film that follows it's characters and their choices, conveying to the viewer that with each choice their will be equal consequence. This is where A Simple Plan works its wonders-- it never falls shy of upping the ante, introducing complex situation after complex situation.

Overall, A Simple Plan is a very good film. I wasn't overly fond of Bill Paxton's performance, and found it wooden at times. However, Billy Bob Thornton does a solid job, counter acting Paxton's sometimes weak performance. This film accomplishes a great deal, and turns out to be one of the best thrillers that I've seen in quite sometime. 3.5/4

Update: I don't think I'll be able to get ahold of "Z" or "Once Were Warriors" by the weekend. So looks like I'll have to put those two on hold for next week. However, I will now add Ace In the Hole, and Kind Hearts and Coronets to my first recommendation viewing.

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Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:23 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
I still can't recommend Head Office enough.

Not as snarky as Office Space, but funnier and more biting.


Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:06 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
MunichMan wrote:
Babette's Feast- One of my favorite films in any genre, this is simply a delight. I love food movies, and this is the best of the bunch. There is so much going on in this movie, but the final dinner scene, when the villagers all are transformed by the incredible food and drink, is brilliant. I just love this film.


Definitely one of my all time favorites. Another food movie that came out about the same time that I think is notable is Tampopo. A funny, engaging, and sometimes racy movie.


Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), recommended by many of you.

This day and age a good comedy is hard to come by. Most are overly formulaic, and tend to stick to Blake Snyder's Save The Cat: a 90 page script formula where everything is meant to happen on specific pages for an overall easy writing style(ie couple gets together or friends are presented, they fight, and zaam back together before the final act is over). However,this is a film made long before books were written to closely guide comedians and poor writers to make "comedy art" of their own. Kind Hearts and Coronets is a film that feels truly ahead of its time-- its dark, humorous, and tells an exceptional story of comic revenge. I have nothing but praise for this film. No complaints or nitpicks, or issues to argue over. 4/4

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Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:59 pm
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
CasualDad wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
Babette's Feast- One of my favorite films in any genre, this is simply a delight. I love food movies, and this is the best of the bunch. There is so much going on in this movie, but the final dinner scene, when the villagers all are transformed by the incredible food and drink, is brilliant. I just love this film.


Definitely one of my all time favorites. Another food movie that came out about the same time that I think is notable is Tampopo. A funny, engaging, and sometimes racy movie.


Oh, yes! Tampopo almost made my list as well, but didn't make the cut. I put it in the "excellent" category, rather than great. So much fun, that movie. Well worth a watch.


Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:09 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
JackBurns wrote:
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), recommended by many of you.

This day and age a good comedy is hard to come by. Most are overly formulaic, and tend to stick to Blake Snyder's Save The Cat: a 90 page script formula where everything is meant to happen on specific pages for an overall easy writing style(ie couple gets together or friends are presented, they fight, and zaam back together before the final act is over). However,this is a film made long before books were written to closely guide comedians and poor writers to make "comedy art" of their own. Kind Hearts and Coronets is a film that feels truly ahead of its time-- its dark, humorous, and tells an exceptional story of comic revenge. I have nothing but praise for this film. No complaints or nitpicks, or issues to argue over. 4/4


Glad you enjoyed it. It's one of the movies I try to get everybody to watch. As I wrote in my short description, one of the best, if not the best, black comedies ever. I just love the ending.


Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:12 am
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Post Re: Unsung Great Films
Mark III wrote:
My Winnipeg is an unsung, GREAT film. One of my 'best films' of those years 2000-2009, a wonderful meditation on truth, art and truth in art. Among other things. Not only is some of the imagery some of the greatest you're likely to find in a recent film, the movie is sweet and hilarious and thought-provoking and amazing.

Guy Maddin is an unsung great filmmaker in general. He's like if David Lynch made movies during the silent/early talkie era. I don't think "My Winnipeg" ranks among his best, though. I prefer "The Saddest Music in the World," "Brand Upon the Brain!," ""Careful," "Archangel," and "Tales from Gimli Hospital." Maybe even "Cowards Bend the Knee" as well.


Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:41 am
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