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A cinematic journey 
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Post Re: A cinematic journey
calvero wrote:
Robert, glad you liked To Be Or Not To Be. Though I'm pretty surprised that it ranks higher on the list than Trouble In Paradise, which most film historians, biographers, etc seem to rank as Lubitsch's best film(& to me it exemplifies the 'Lubitsch touch' better than To Be Or Not To Be. Its far more subtle in its humor, while To Be Or Not To Be is more in the vein of a screwball comedy. Billy Wilder says he learned everything about comedy from Lubitsch)

I also saw a Bunuel film this weekend(my first) #68 Viridiana. This film caused quite an uproar at the time, being banned by the Vatican. In today's light much of what made this film 'shocking' is rather tame & obvious. The whole point of the film is to mock religion, Catholicism, etc. A bit too one noted for me. Still it was extremely well directed & acted & I was engaged throughout(only after it was over did disappointment kick in) so I give it 6/10. I have a few other Bunuel films at home, hope they have a bit more to them than this did.

Also saw FW Murnau's The Last Laugh(#173) Strangely, the film didn't have any intertitles at all(a true 'silent' film) which made it a bit hard to get into it. Still there was some great imagery(& the first dolly shot, used with a baby carriage), but its no Sunrise. odd ending. 6/10.


Hi Calvero

I should have noted in my original Lubitsch comments that last year I saw Heaven Can Wait and also gave it a 9. I had not realized who directed it, shame on me. Anyway, next up from the director will indeed be Trouble in Paradise in about 2-3 months.

It's funny how the Bunuel movie was not really appreciated but it has definitely put a hook into my mind. I'll be seeing Viridiana over the next month. I'll get back to you on that.

On Murnau, it's going to be a couple of months till i can get round to Last laugh. i can't wait! I hope I'll like it more than 6/10 though.

talk soon!
Rob


Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:19 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Off in the weeds, in oh so many ways

My girlfriend and I went on a long hike yesterday. As we walked through brush, weeds and took photographs of the gorgeous views along the Pacific coastline, ate our sandwiches, conserved out water (we'd seen Greed!) the topic of conversation, as it always does, got round to movies.

We are watching the Martin Scorsese's epic documentary on how Italian film has influenced him as a film maker. What is so cool about his approach is that he takes the time to place these movies within their historical moment and explain why they came about. Scorsese believes (and who am I to argue) that the advent of neo realism in the mid forties from Italy was the single most important moment in the history of cinema and changed everything. he shows what people were watching at the time and how these new films were os different. he takes the time to explain why they came about

The Scorsese Documentary is named after the recent Rossellini film I saw. it's called "Il mio viaggio in Italia" (My Journey in Italy)

Image

Anyway, this got us thinking on our hike. One of the coolest things about this cinematic journey and a sudden deep immersion in classic cinema, is the placement of film within it's historical and political context. Already in the space of a few weeks we have been back to 1916 and stayed within a thirty year time frame from that date despite watching over twenty movies. It's been a wild education covering expressionism from Germany, Surrealism from France, neo Realism from Italy. The French new wave is coming up and I'm sure there will be others.

I'd heard all these terms but never really thought about them, why they occurred, how they were important and how they influenced future film makers.

Watching Scorsese bring all this to life and having the opportunity to chew over it for a few hours on a hike made me realize just how exciting this really is. it's not just about individual films. I realize that others may be going - duh? However, when you watch the occasional classic every few months you see just a movie. On this trip I'm seeing more.

I'd really encourage anyone with either a love of Scorsese of cinema itself to rent this documentary. It is pure gold. I wish I'd seen it before I set out!
Rob


Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:40 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
The Searchers

Well, here I go on this one. I really appreciate the film for it's influence, it's cinematography and it's part in film history. I can just simply say it's not my cup of tea. I grew up in a house where John Wayne was up on a pedestal. My father only watched the following: War films, Westerns, and home improvement shows(this in the time before a million of them on cable, I'm talking more about This Old House on PBS). If John Wayne could've been filmed building a house during a war in the west, that would've been more than my father's heart could've taken. Due to this, I have not seen a Wayne film since I was a child. It just didn't interest me. However, after years of film watching and well, growing up, I thought that I would be able to revisit good old John and have an experience independent of my youth. WRONG! It all came back to me how much Wayne himself got on my nerves. The film itself is fantastic and probably the greatest western of all time. However, some things such as Ethan's such blatant racism just make it hard to swallow sometimes. Ford's vision and stamp on this film is unmistakable and allows me to look past my own issues with the film throughout. We don't know how Ethan is going to ultimately react once he finds Debbie and Ford does a great job of leaving that tension go right down to the end. Throughout he gives us beautiful scenery and a typical roundup of western characters. Overall, I was able to overcome my hangups and immerse myself into the film and that credit lies in the hand of the direction and cinematography. 8/10


Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:33 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Robert Holloway wrote:
This may amuse you.

Mick LaSalle the film critic from the SF Chronicle has a weekly podcast. His passion is classic and specifically silent movies.

Last week he announced that he was having the head of the SF Silent Film Festival on the show this week, so I phoned in a question for them about the cinematic journey.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mla ... y_id=39030

The question was played and they excitedly discussed the project for the next ten minutes recommending a pile of films for us to see. The question is at about 15:30 on the podcast. their chatting and response is at times very funny!

Thought it might make you laugh.
Rob


That was 10 minutes well spent, Mr. Halfway-Sane, thanks for sharing that. In their excitement they seemed to forget the second part of your question though. I don't really concur with the Grand Hotel recommendation. The movie wasn't bad, but I don't consider it even close to being great.


Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:14 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
bob harris wrote:
The Searchers

Well, here I go on this one. I really appreciate the film for it's influence, it's cinematography and it's part in film history. I can just simply say it's not my cup of tea. I grew up in a house where John Wayne was up on a pedestal. My father only watched the following: War films, Westerns, and home improvement shows(this in the time before a million of them on cable, I'm talking more about This Old House on PBS). If John Wayne could've been filmed building a house during a war in the west, that would've been more than my father's heart could've taken. Due to this, I have not seen a Wayne film since I was a child. It just didn't interest me. However, after years of film watching and well, growing up, I thought that I would be able to revisit good old John and have an experience independent of my youth. WRONG! It all came back to me how much Wayne himself got on my nerves. The film itself is fantastic and probably the greatest western of all time. However, some things such as Ethan's such blatant racism just make it hard to swallow sometimes. Ford's vision and stamp on this film is unmistakable and allows me to look past my own issues with the film throughout. We don't know how Ethan is going to ultimately react once he finds Debbie and Ford does a great job of leaving that tension go right down to the end. Throughout he gives us beautiful scenery and a typical roundup of western characters. Overall, I was able to overcome my hangups and immerse myself into the film and that credit lies in the hand of the direction and cinematography. 8/10


John Wayne building a house during a war in the west? That sounds like the greatest filmed thing ever!


Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:18 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
ed_metal_head wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
This may amuse you.

Mick LaSalle the film critic from the SF Chronicle has a weekly podcast. His passion is classic and specifically silent movies.

Last week he announced that he was having the head of the SF Silent Film Festival on the show this week, so I phoned in a question for them about the cinematic journey.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mla ... y_id=39030

The question was played and they excitedly discussed the project for the next ten minutes recommending a pile of films for us to see. The question is at about 15:30 on the podcast. their chatting and response is at times very funny!

Thought it might make you laugh.
Rob


That was 10 minutes well spent, Mr. Halfway-Sane, thanks for sharing that. In their excitement they seemed to forget the second part of your question though. I don't really concur with the Grand Hotel recommendation. The movie wasn't bad, but I don't consider it even close to being great.



Yeah, I emailed Mick and he said he'd get back to me on the second part.
I had another question on there about silent movies about 4 months ago
i don't know Grand Hotel

Scariest of all - I went to see Paul Blart :-)
Rob


Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:58 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Patrick wrote:
bob harris wrote:
The Searchers

Well, here I go on this one. I really appreciate the film for it's influence, it's cinematography and it's part in film history. I can just simply say it's not my cup of tea. I grew up in a house where John Wayne was up on a pedestal. My father only watched the following: War films, Westerns, and home improvement shows(this in the time before a million of them on cable, I'm talking more about This Old House on PBS). If John Wayne could've been filmed building a house during a war in the west, that would've been more than my father's heart could've taken. Due to this, I have not seen a Wayne film since I was a child. It just didn't interest me. However, after years of film watching and well, growing up, I thought that I would be able to revisit good old John and have an experience independent of my youth. WRONG! It all came back to me how much Wayne himself got on my nerves. The film itself is fantastic and probably the greatest western of all time. However, some things such as Ethan's such blatant racism just make it hard to swallow sometimes. Ford's vision and stamp on this film is unmistakable and allows me to look past my own issues with the film throughout. We don't know how Ethan is going to ultimately react once he finds Debbie and Ford does a great job of leaving that tension go right down to the end. Throughout he gives us beautiful scenery and a typical roundup of western characters. Overall, I was able to overcome my hangups and immerse myself into the film and that credit lies in the hand of the direction and cinematography. 8/10


John Wayne building a house during a war in the west? That sounds like the greatest filmed thing ever!


Bob and you need to watch Unforgiven for gratuitous scenes of house building in the wild west :-)

Rob


Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:00 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Robert Holloway wrote:
Patrick wrote:
bob harris wrote:
The Searchers

Well, here I go on this one. I really appreciate the film for it's influence, it's cinematography and it's part in film history. I can just simply say it's not my cup of tea. I grew up in a house where John Wayne was up on a pedestal. My father only watched the following: War films, Westerns, and home improvement shows(this in the time before a million of them on cable, I'm talking more about This Old House on PBS). If John Wayne could've been filmed building a house during a war in the west, that would've been more than my father's heart could've taken. Due to this, I have not seen a Wayne film since I was a child. It just didn't interest me. However, after years of film watching and well, growing up, I thought that I would be able to revisit good old John and have an experience independent of my youth. WRONG! It all came back to me how much Wayne himself got on my nerves. The film itself is fantastic and probably the greatest western of all time. However, some things such as Ethan's such blatant racism just make it hard to swallow sometimes. Ford's vision and stamp on this film is unmistakable and allows me to look past my own issues with the film throughout. We don't know how Ethan is going to ultimately react once he finds Debbie and Ford does a great job of leaving that tension go right down to the end. Throughout he gives us beautiful scenery and a typical roundup of western characters. Overall, I was able to overcome my hangups and immerse myself into the film and that credit lies in the hand of the direction and cinematography. 8/10


John Wayne building a house during a war in the west? That sounds like the greatest filmed thing ever!


Bob and you need to watch Unforgiven for gratuitous scenes of house building in the wild west :-)

Rob


Clint Eastwood isn't John Wayne and there's no war. But the movie is a classic though...a damn fine classic.


Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:07 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
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Post Re: A cinematic journey
Well, I know that there is a John Wayne movie in which he builds a house, and I know that there is a John Wayne movie where he rebuilds a house in the West, and I know there is a John Wayne movie where he is in the war. It's easy to get 2 of those criterion, but I don't think you can do all 3.


Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:57 pm
Profile
Post Re: A cinematic journey
bob harris wrote:
The Searchers

Well, here I go on this one. I really appreciate the film for it's influence, it's cinematography and it's part in film history. I can just simply say it's not my cup of tea. I grew up in a house where John Wayne was up on a pedestal. My father only watched the following: War films, Westerns, and home improvement shows(this in the time before a million of them on cable, I'm talking more about This Old House on PBS). If John Wayne could've been filmed building a house during a war in the west, that would've been more than my father's heart could've taken. Due to this, I have not seen a Wayne film since I was a child. It just didn't interest me. However, after years of film watching and well, growing up, I thought that I would be able to revisit good old John and have an experience independent of my youth. WRONG! It all came back to me how much Wayne himself got on my nerves. The film itself is fantastic and probably the greatest western of all time. However, some things such as Ethan's such blatant racism just make it hard to swallow sometimes. Ford's vision and stamp on this film is unmistakable and allows me to look past my own issues with the film throughout. We don't know how Ethan is going to ultimately react once he finds Debbie and Ford does a great job of leaving that tension go right down to the end. Throughout he gives us beautiful scenery and a typical roundup of western characters. Overall, I was able to overcome my hangups and immerse myself into the film and that credit lies in the hand of the direction and cinematography. 8/10


I don't have a problem with Ethan's racism. He embodies the prevalent American attitude toward minorities of the time. The time being both within the film and as a comment on American society at the time the movie was made in 1956. The overt racism may be diffcult to watch in 2009, but I don't see it detracting from the movie in any way.

My favorite thing about the movie is how Ford plays convention. Ford represents the home as a place of sanctuary from the wilderness and the savagery of the wild. This idea is compromised by the intrusion of the Comanche in the beginning of the film and the deaths of most of Ethan’s family. The invasion of the home is rare in the Ford film, and it causes a reversal in the meaning of the home, stripping it of its safety. This reversal is not normal for a Ford western, and to show this, Ethan spends the majority of the film trying to rescue Debbie and restore the safety of the home. In other words, his goal is to set the standard back to normal. It is unacceptable for the sanctity of the home to be invaded, and Ethan must return it to a state of normalcy, no matter the cost. In many other ways throughout the film, settlements are shown as places of rest and safety, especially when Laurie is around. There is a contrast set up between the harsh life out in the wilderness when searching, and the safety of the home. Mose is constantly asking for a rocking chair, a clear symbol of home and the one thing that will make him feel safe and comfortable, especially after being captured by the Comanche and therefore being a part of the wilderness.

The ending scene of 'The Searchers' is very telling, and it reinforces the idea that the frontier is outside of the home and settlement and safety is within. When Ethan returns Lucy, he makes the home a place of safety once more, and it is a safety that, as a man outside of the civilized world, he cannot enter. He has done things during the film (scalping, killing) that are completely uncivilized and wild, and by becoming part of the wild, he cannot reenter the restored civilized world.


Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:12 am
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Enchanted on the water

I'm back in France on an old barge in the early 1930's.

To be more accurate, I've just seen the second of only two films from a director who was tragically dead at 29. Jean Vigo was killed by tuberculosis, but not until he had directed what is considered to be the 16th best film ever made. "L'Atalante" was released in 1934 and it's a gorgeous romantic movie that has parallels with Sunrise.

The film starts with the weeding, in a small rural town, of Jules and Juliette. After the wedding the couple walk down to the river where his barge, L'Atalante is about to start a journey to Paris. The barge is full of cats and is a bit of a dump. She is not amused! However, she wants to go to Paris. The story is this simple, the impact is not.

Image

What makes the film so enchanting is the way we view the couple, their life on the boat and the serene world outside , which is the river Seine. As a photographer, the use of depth of field, composition and variable speed to create this almost out of this world appearance, of the Seine, is wonderful. Having recently experienced Luis Bunuel's "L'Age D'Or", I am sensitive to French surrealism and this movie often ventures into those waters.

I have the feeling that this is one of those movies that will stay with me and grow upon further viewings. It is not about technical genius but how it makes you think and feel about these newlyweds on a barge in 1930's Paris. It is ultimately a small ode to love that moved me at its conclusion. It's a soft film and one that is easy to dismiss. That would be sad.

A day later and a few more thoughts - I keep watching these movies and they keep haunting me. There's a repeating experience where the film hangs around in my mind and images and sequences keep popping back. I'm not completely sure why this is the case, but it's happening alot and it does not occur with many recent films. it's almost like I keep stepping into other worlds. L'Atalante is like this. The beauty of the people, their romance and the little world in which they exist are all very intoxicating.

As I keep watching these old movies the purity of the film making keeps being reinforced. It creates a rich viewing experience that sticks with me far longer than modern movies. I took a few days off from my trip to watch a few new releases. It was depressing. I guess that it is unfair to compare todays movies with the top 100 movies of all time. However, these old films do a brutal job at exposing mediocrity.

8/10
Rob

The film is not available on DVD, so once again I was watching it in ten minute chunks on You Tube. I'm surprised how well this works on these old classics. As a piece of trivia it's Helen Mirren's favorite film of all time.


Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:55 am
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Quote:
The film is not available on DVD


its available...its just out of print. Its available for rental at my library. odd that netflix doesn't have it.


Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:51 pm
Profile
Post Re: A cinematic journey
calvero wrote:
Quote:
The film is not available on DVD


its available...its just out of print. Its available for rental at my library. odd that netflix doesn't have it.


....then rush to your library :-)
Thanks for the clarification.
Rob


Fri May 01, 2009 11:24 am
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Hey everyone! I don't know if anyone noticed, but I haven't posted here (or really anywhere else) since last Saturday. I was busy writing an essay for school and helping care for my mom who just went through surgery. But, I still managed to sneak 2 movies into my schedule, both of them Cinematic-Journey related. Also, on a side-note, I will be getting my own Netflix account soon, so you can bet my foreign and silent film viewing will increase exponentially once that happens.

First off we have arguably the most famous American film ever made, Casablanca. At this point, saying you loved Casablanca is almost as cliche as saying you loved The Godfather, which I guess makes me cliche. Honestly though, I don't really have anything new to add to the consensus here. I could talk about how the dialogue still cackles today, how Bergman and Bogart make a fantastic couple, how touching and bittersweet the ending is, or even how every time Bogart said "Here's looking at you kid" my heart jumped a little bit. I don't think I will though, instead I'll just say that Casablanca is a fantastic movie and that if you haven't seen it find a way to immediately, because it's just as good as it's cracked up to be. 9/10.

Last night, I decided to take a break from the top 100 and visit the most influential director on my movie tastes, Stanley Kubrick. I watched one of the few Kubrick films I hadn't seen, No. 195 Paths of Glory.

When most people think of a disturbing Kubrick movie, they think A Clockwork Orange. Now, I'm not going to try to argue that ACO isn't disturbing, just that after watching Paths of Glory I was much more shaken than I was after watching ACO. ACO aims to disturb the brain and the soul. Paths of Glory, on the other hand, aims to disturb the heart. No one in paths dies getting beaten by a giant penis statue. Instead, they die at the hands of a corrupt war trial, a hypocritic, selfish general, and his superior, one of the only villains to ever win under the Hays Code. Paths of Glory is an intensely unsettling film. Watching what happens to these men and the way they're treated by Generals Broulard and Mireau is one of the most tragic things I've ever seen. And of course I have to mention the song at the film's end, which is drove the film's point, that we're all human and none of us should treat human lives as a tool to be used to decide property gains, home in the most brilliant and sad ways possible.

If Paths has a flaw, and it's a minor one, it's that all the French men in the movie are played completely accent free. I'm sure the argument Kubrick would make would be that the atrocities of war remain the same no matter where you go, and I agree, but I'm not gonna lie when I say that every now and then a little part of me would yell out: "But Kirk Douglas is an American!" Still, Paths of Glory remains an incredibly powerful and jarring movie, and is the first anti-war movie to truly disgust me about what was going on on-screen. While Saving Private Ryan might have a better movie, Paths made it's point better. Calling Paths of Glory enjoyable is a total lie, but it is one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen. 10/10, although I'm not sure I ever want to see it again.

Anyway, I'm gonna get back on track and watch a classic Italian film, The Bicycle Thief, or possibly Journey to Italy. Whatever I don't watch tonight I'll watch Sunday.


Fri May 01, 2009 5:51 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Quote:
If Paths has a flaw, and it's a minor one, it's that all the French men in the movie are played completely accent free.


You should probably get used to this. many american movies of the 30s, 40s, 50s, have americans playing brits, french, hungarian, polish, etc. or brits playing french, etc. with no attempts at an accent. of course it seems to not be as noticible in comedies, light adventures etc. you kinda just go with it. when I see kevin costner or tom cruise butcher an accent, I wonder if it would just be best to not try one at all like the way it used to be. I don't think 'realism' as far as accents go became that common in hollywood until the 60s.

Do you have TCM? they show so many of the movies on the list, you can save some $ if you keep an eye on their schedule. also many libraries have a great selection of classic films.


Fri May 01, 2009 8:17 pm
Profile
Post Re: A cinematic journey
calvero wrote:
Quote:
If Paths has a flaw, and it's a minor one, it's that all the French men in the movie are played completely accent free.


You should probably get used to this. many american movies of the 30s, 40s, 50s, have americans playing brits, french, hungarian, polish, etc. or brits playing french, etc. with no attempts at an accent. of course it seems to not be as noticible in comedies, light adventures etc. you kinda just go with it. when I see kevin costner or tom cruise butcher an accent, I wonder if it would just be best to not try one at all like the way it used to be. I don't think 'realism' as far as accents go became that common in hollywood until the 60s.

Do you have TCM? they show so many of the movies on the list, you can save some $ if you keep an eye on their schedule. also many libraries have a great selection of classic films.


Actors lacking accents very rarely bothers me, but for some reason it kind of bugged me in Paths of Glory. Maybe I just expected Kubrick to be super ahead of his time, or considering how exceptional the rest of the film was the lack of accents stood out. Most of the time I'm completely fine with no accents though. I agree that it's better to have no accent than a bad accent.

I don't have TCM, and I don't get a library card free where I live.


Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Rear Window
Well, I enjoyed my last visit with Hitchcock and Stewart(Vertigo), I decided to follow up with this one rather soon after. Something tells me that I am about to go on a kick with both of them. Throw in the simply sublime Grace Kelly and I had high expectations for this one going in. I was not disappointed. Stewart is great proving that just cause you are paranoid, it doesn't mean you're not right about something being wrong. There are so many good things about this movie, is Stewart just paranoid and finding something to do with his confinement or did something really happen across the courtyard? Hitchcock's expertly uses Jeff's apartment to take all the shots so the only world we know is his. We can only see what he can, we are not let in to the apartment across the way. This was brilliant by Hitchcock as it allows him to keep the viewer guessing along with Jeff. We have no further insight. Another one of my favorite pieces is Stella. She adds some humor and breaks the tension a little throughout. Both her and Lisa mock Jeff a little only to get sucked in to his theory as well. Stella runs with it talking about all the little pieces Thorwald chopped his wife up into. I had never heard of Ritter but after seeing this I'm looking forward to her roles in some other films. Overall, I enjoyed this one nearly as much as Vertigo. 9.5/10


Fri May 01, 2009 8:43 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Zeppelin wrote:
Hey everyone! I don't know if anyone noticed, but I haven't posted here (or really anywhere else) since last Saturday. I was busy writing an essay for school and helping care for my mom who just went through surgery. But, I still managed to sneak 2 movies into my schedule, both of them Cinematic-Journey related. Also, on a side-note, I will be getting my own Netflix account soon, so you can bet my foreign and silent film viewing will increase exponentially once that happens.

First off we have arguably the most famous American film ever made, Casablanca. At this point, saying you loved Casablanca is almost as cliche as saying you loved The Godfather, which I guess makes me cliche. Honestly though, I don't really have anything new to add to the consensus here. I could talk about how the dialogue still cackles today, how Bergman and Bogart make a fantastic couple, how touching and bittersweet the ending is, or even how every time Bogart said "Here's looking at you kid" my heart jumped a little bit. I don't think I will though, instead I'll just say that Casablanca is a fantastic movie and that if you haven't seen it find a way to immediately, because it's just as good as it's cracked up to be. 9/10.


Hi Zeppelin, I missed you :-(

Welcome back. I hope the essay went well.

Casablanca sometimes gets short shrift because it is so popular. I love it and it sits at 10/10 for me. Did you listen to any of the commentaries on the DVD?

Rob


Fri May 01, 2009 10:39 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Zeppelin wrote:
Last night, I decided to take a break from the top 100 and visit the most influential director on my movie tastes, Stanley Kubrick. I watched one of the few Kubrick films I hadn't seen, No. 195 Paths of Glory.

When most people think of a disturbing Kubrick movie, they think A Clockwork Orange. Now, I'm not going to try to argue that ACO isn't disturbing, just that after watching Paths of Glory I was much more shaken than I was after watching ACO. ACO aims to disturb the brain and the soul. Paths of Glory, on the other hand, aims to disturb the heart. No one in paths dies getting beaten by a giant penis statue. Instead, they die at the hands of a corrupt war trial, a hypocritic, selfish general, and his superior, one of the only villains to ever win under the Hays Code. Paths of Glory is an intensely unsettling film. Watching what happens to these men and the way they're treated by Generals Broulard and Mireau is one of the most tragic things I've ever seen. And of course I have to mention the song at the film's end, which is drove the film's point, that we're all human and none of us should treat human lives as a tool to be used to decide property gains, home in the most brilliant and sad ways possible.

If Paths has a flaw, and it's a minor one, it's that all the French men in the movie are played completely accent free. I'm sure the argument Kubrick would make would be that the atrocities of war remain the same no matter where you go, and I agree, but I'm not gonna lie when I say that every now and then a little part of me would yell out: "But Kirk Douglas is an American!" Still, Paths of Glory remains an incredibly powerful and jarring movie, and is the first anti-war movie to truly disgust me about what was going on on-screen. While Saving Private Ryan might have a better movie, Paths made it's point better. Calling Paths of Glory enjoyable is a total lie, but it is one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen. 10/10, although I'm not sure I ever want to see it again.

Anyway, I'm gonna get back on track and watch a classic Italian film, The Bicycle Thief, or possibly Journey to Italy. Whatever I don't watch tonight I'll watch Sunday.


Hi Zeppelin

Really like your write up.

I go back and forth of this movie between a 9 and 10. I'm at 9 this month :-)

Have you seen Battleship Potemkin? I am convinced that Kubrick was seriously influenced by the Steps of Odessa scenes when he filmed the battle scenes on POG. I love Kirk Douglas in this film.

Rob


Fri May 01, 2009 10:48 pm
Post Re: A cinematic journey
Zeppelin wrote:
Anyway, I'm gonna get back on track and watch a classic Italian film, The Bicycle Thief, or possibly Journey to Italy. Whatever I don't watch tonight I'll watch Sunday.


I just cannot wait to get your thoughts on these two. i have fallen in love with Journey to Italy.....

Rob


Fri May 01, 2009 10:50 pm
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