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News and Theory / Re: Specifically: Asia
« Last post by jenkins on July 31, 2018, 02:22:32 AM »

“Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” by rising star mainland Chinese director Bi Gan (“Kaili Blues”,) has been set as the opening film of the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan. The festival runs through much of November and has its high point with the Golden Horse Film Awards, which are open to films in any variant of the Chinese language.

A slow-moving love story of sorts, “Journey” debuted in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes festival earlier this year. There it was noted for a bravura 40-minute take executed in 3D.

The festival will close with another cutting-edge film, “Your Face,” by veteran Taiwan-based auteur Tsai Ming-liang. The film comprising only close-up shots will debut first in the Venice festival. Tsai’s VR work “The Deserted” last year had a similar trajectory opening in Venice and continuing at the Golden Horse parade.


Long Day’s Journey Into Night clip

News and Theory / Re: What Films Are We Watching?
« Last post by jenkins on July 30, 2018, 10:43:56 PM »
so i went to my friend's and watched Shanghai Express, which i'd been dying to see since forever. Anna May Wong is a name i became familiar with--she's savage and elegant in this movie. the beginning train station is outrageous next level. it's beyond. when the animal stops the train on the tracks! what a moment. oh i was glad as hell i watched this movie.

with the same friend we watched Sundays and Cybèle. have you seen it? can they please just have been friends? i'm really hoping i don't hear otherwise, i'm hoping the movie thought of them as just friends too, in fact i'm hoping that was a narrative point like i think it was. it did win on Oscar too after all. it's just nutso well made. ugh. it was so good it turned me into a mouth breather.

and i watched Barton Fink on my own. oh i watched Bad Lieutenant on my own too. you know what? oh you already know. well i'll mention it anyway: now my King of New York blu-ray skips. that was quite devastating, but i checked it another player to make sure it was the disc and not the player. it's the disc. but i first brought up Barton Fink, so let me get back to that. it's interesting to me that it's the writer whom i'm obsessed with thinking about, but Charlie Meadows brings the flames. how easy it is for me to picture the entire movie happening because of Barton. i don't think the Faulkner character is essential. his secretary is essential, because of that great mosquito slap. i don't think the navy vs army dance-off is essential. but how fun these extra things are anyway, and they help set this movie's atmosphere. the Coens can stay on track and fuck around like nobody's business.

and i went to see Oyster Princess, I Don't Want To Be A Man, and Forbidden Paradise. Ossi Oswalda is a name to know! such unbelievable personality. and the first vamp, Pola Negri. Lubitsch impresses me even when i know how he'll impress me. his reality is so delightful.
The Director's Chair / Re: Jim Van Bebber
« Last post by jenkins on July 30, 2018, 09:53:21 PM »
that's cult cool
The Grapevine / The Dead Don't Die
« Last post by jenkins on July 30, 2018, 09:52:31 PM »
Previously an unrelated 1975 tv movie directed by Curtis Harington, written by Robert Bloch, with the synopsis "In the 1930s, a sailor trying to prove that his brother was wrongly executed for murder finds himself becoming drawn in the occult world."

Currently an upcoming Jim Jarmusch movie. i previously posted about available set photos.

I'm starting this topic because amid the set photos the names Daniel Craig and Rosie Perez were ignored by me.

The current announced cast is:

Adam Driver as Officer Peterson
Bill Murray as Robertson
Selena Gomez
Chloë Sevigny
Austin Butler
Daniel Craig
Rosie Perez
Steve Buscemi
Tilda Swinton
Caleb Landry Jones

It's with Focus Features, no release date yet
This Year In Film / Re: Sorry To Bother You
« Last post by WorldForgot on July 29, 2018, 06:08:54 PM »
The soundtrack dropped! Just as WAVEY as the flick ~

Wasn't sure if this needed a new thread or not.  Thought I'd leave it here.  Nice essay and some behind-the-scenes stills I've never seen before (as well as the script and some video links) at Cinephilia and Beyond:

‘Punch-Drunk Love’: The Hilarity of Anxiety and Blossoming Love in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘art house Adam Sandler film’ 


According to Paul Thomas Anderson, the self-taught San Fernando valley wiz-kid now entering the second half of his storied career, love is what happens when you’re busy buying pudding. The general audience has often missed the tender hum of humor coursing through many of Anderson’s feature films, as it seems when moviegoers are most turned-off by or non-responsive to his movies they are, in some ways, missing the joke. He has spoken about most of his movies as if they could secretly be comedies; inside jokes between him and his collaborators and friends. His singular characters give him a chance to put a spotlight on the peculiarities and randomness of personality, and while his movies jump between different eras and subject matter, the not-so-phantom thread that ties them all together is Anderson’s unflinching humanist gaze, with a wink. You can picture Paul sniggling in the corner to himself as he watches some of his favorite actors and long-time friends bring to life his eccentric, vibrant, sometimes strange characters. Kicking himself that, after fantasizing about it since he was a boy with celluloid dreams, he’s actually making movies with Daniel-Day Lewis, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Philip Baker Hall, Leslie Manville, John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson, and Adam Sandler. Just happy to be doing what he loves, hoping it lands with others. Anderson isn’t a man who takes things too seriously, a question that has been belabored while making his interview rounds for his most recent movie Phantom Thread, as he’s asked how much he identifies with the solemn, workaholic Reynolds Woodcock. He gives the impression that, sure, he has his Woodcockian moments, but since his family now uses the name “Woodcock” to describe someone being Scrooge-like or grumpy, his natural sympathies clearly lie on the other side of grumpiness, where they always have. The side that can’t get enough of The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, or Happy Gilmore. The side that, during an interview with Rolling Stone on the heels of making Magnolia, obsessively praised an actor most had discarded as being the prince of dumb, bro-y humor: “‘Are you aware of Adam Sandler?’ he’ll ask, intensely serious, his tone practically quivering with the joy of discovery. ‘I mean, are you truly fucking aware? He is headed for a level of genius in creation and acting that I just cannot wait to see keep going.’” It is this same side of Anderson that came upon a story in a newspaper of a man acquiring over 1 million flyer miles by purchasing just over $3,000 worth of pudding and felt a burning urge to meet that guy and turn his story into a movie. If you don’t find Punch-Drunk Love funny, maybe you’re being somewhat of a Woodcock yourself, failing to respond to the cheeky empathy that draws Anderson to make movies about these unusual, tormented souls. Maybe Anderson’s character studies are too subtle or bizarre to ever earn him Marvel money, or, more to the point, maybe people don’t find people as cinematic or funny as Anderson does. Nevertheless, the matchless blend of laughter and compassion and the genius casting of Sandler in his first “serious” role have made PTA’s fourth feature film a cherished favorite among both his and Sandler’s fans.

Punch-Drunk Love earned Adam Sandler his first and only Golden Globe nomination, for best actor in a musical or comedy, and won Anderson a Best Director award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the coveted Golden Palm. Producer Joanne Sellar, who has produced all seven of Anderson’s feature films since Boogie Nights, said that “After Magnolia, which was a huge, dark, challenging movie, I think Paul wanted to make something that was contained, uplifting and sweet.”

The power of Punch-Drunk Love may be in its ability to bridge two distinct worlds together. Anderson has described the movie as an “art house Adam Sandler film,” and it is this marriage of avant-garde cinema and Adam Sandler’s flair for the moronic that make it such a special moment in 21st century American cinema. Roger Ebert interviewed Anderson at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival and noted, in a piece he wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Punch-Drunk Love was the first Adam Sandler movie he liked. Upon hearing the good news, Sandler replied “I will have to tell my parents, so they can watch your show again,” as the Sandler clan was very much aware that Ebert had negatively reviewed each of his previous movies. Punch-Drunk Love surely validated Sandler as an actor capable of more, full of a deeper reservoir than his previous movies let on. Or, perhaps we just weren’t paying attention. Maybe we watched his previous comedies with somewhat of a Woodcockian mind; judgmental, constricting, and rigid. Anderson aimed to make a movie for everyone to see in Sandler what he sees: a jovial, silly, nothing-but-good-natured lug in oversized t-shirts and shorts capable of real on-screen emotion. Anderson told Ebert, in the same interview, that after “coming out of making Magnolia and living with that for a while, I went, ‘God, I would really like to take a left turn and make myself happy, get rid of all this cancer and crying.’” 


So, Paul gave himself the gear-shifting task of making a 90-minute comedy starring Adam Sandler. Sandler, as Barry Egan, doesn’t move normally and he mumbles in completely incomplete sentences, fighting through fits of emotions as people attack him in words and expectations. He works at a lowly warehouse as a plunger salesman, where he goes from one asinine phone call to the next. He has seven sisters, who delight in reminding him how they used to call him “gay boy,” and, when Barry smashes one of his sister’s windows at his own birthday party, they erupt in a hyena-like chorus of “you retard, Barry!” Barry is certainly a special berry. He is a paranoid outsider who couldn’t even tell you where the inside was if you asked him, all he knows is he isn’t in it. Barry is less looking for things as he is bombarded by things, dominated by people and a reality that he doesn’t gel with, to the point of sensory overload and over-feeling. Barry is a man swimming against the current heading nowhere, with no clear path or direction, no stability or certainty. The only thing he is sure of is he must escape, wherever he is, whoever he is, and whatever his career is, it’s not working.

Judd Apatow, who wrote and directed the 2009 “serious” Adam Sandler movie Funny People, reveres Punch-Drunk Love as one of his all-time favorite movies. As movies continue moving more toward the block-busting, movies-as-rollercoaster-rides, Anderson remains happily devoted to his particular blend of people-centric cinema. His genius lies in turning character into cinematic marvel, and with Punch-Drunk Love, Anderson created a whole new genre of Adam Sandler movies. Not bad for a $25 million movie that almost broke even making $24.6 at the box office.

Where almost all of Quentin Tarantino’s characters are blessed with the unifying gift of gab, with a notable exception of De Niro in Jackie Brown, Anderson’s characters speak more individually, with unique syntaxes, cadences, and rhythms. Barry Egan, just like Doc Sportello in Inherent Vice and Freddy Quil in The Master, isn’t a talker. Where Barry generates his laughs is in his frustrated physicality reminiscent of Jacque Tati, and his behavior, and the very fact that he has difficulties with communication. Barry doesn’t have the words to say anything funny, and he’d never be cast in a Tarantino picture because he’s a mumbler. He isn’t in control of his moods, his rhythm, or his words, He’s a kind of a lost man-child going from tantrum to tantrum, smacked back and forth like a ping-pong ball between different people and events. 


Sandler waddles more than walks, perhaps as he’s always done, this time in a sort of Charlie Chaplin way with a cup of coffee seemingly stuck to his hand. This odd man in the blue suit, the blue suit being inspired by Jean-Paul Belmondo’s character in Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, is a businessman, and businessmen drink coffee. You can sometimes see the anxiety and frustration course through his body as Barry squirms in agony trying to navigate and adapt to a world he doesn’t understand. If you were to ask a room of kids what’s “wrong” with the twitchy, restless-body-syndromed Barry, they’d yell that he has to go to the bathroom. In a 2002 interview with Variety, Anderson said of Barry “I think he’s a bit confused, he’s a bit angry, and a lot of it has to do with how he grew up. It’s about that feeling when you can’t say something, and you just start to throw punches.”

At one point during a DGA talk dedicated to the career of Francis Ford Coppola featuring Anderson, Catherine Hedwick, and David O Russell, Coppola turns the spotlight on Paul and asks if he knew what he was doing when he made Punch-Drunk Love, stating that it’s one of his favorites of Paul’s movies. Paul, in his typical nervous shuffle, erupts into laughter and squirms out his answer that no, he was just “tryin’ to get through every day.” In the same talk, Anderson muses that he thought he made a hit: “I think I made a film that every single person is gonna see and is gonna make like 500 billion dollars, you know, I finally did it. And no one saw it, and some people really like it but…” In a similar fashion, in 1964 Jean-Luc Godard described his intentions for making Bande à part as wanting to make a movie out of a “sure-fire story which will sell a lot of tickets.” Bande à part, like Punch-Drunk Love, didn’t sell many tickets.

Emily Watson, as Lena, speaks so well with her love-locked eyes. She says, in an interview at the Cannes film festival with Anderson, Sandler, and Hoffman, that Paul’s main request or direction was that she do “nothing,” which took some getting used to. Lena watches Barry as he fumbles over words and trips on emotions in ways that resemble Tati or Inspector Clouseau; the endearing fool who can’t quite get in society’s stride. Lena and Barry are locked into an entirely different orbit from other people, and seem to feel each other’s vibrations, communicating through their rocky anxiety-fueled rhythms and undeniable synergy. When they’re together the medley of dancing colors in the animations, made by the artist Jeremy Blake, seem to harmonize and calm, and the lens flares of love, by Anderson’s long-time cinematographer Robert Elswit, bless the couple with a warm, shiny kiss from the sun. Rarely are emotions, and their transformations, so explicitly shown. For Anderson, quite literally in Punch-Drunk Love, emotions are special effects.   


The definition of “punch-drunk” is, in a word, confusion. It’s a term commonly used to describe boxers rendered confused and unable to talk or move normally as a result of too many blows to the head. The title is undoubtedly also a nod to Radiohead’s song “Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong,” released in 1995. Of course, this is only the first of Anderson’s many connections to Radiohead as Jonny Greenwood, the lead guitarist and best hairdo wearer of the band from Oxford, has become somewhat of a John Williams to his Steven Spielberg. Jonny would work with PTA on his next two features after Punch-Drunk Love, the incomparable American epic There Will Be Blood and the crooked Scientology buddy-flick The Master, and most recently Phantom Thread, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Score. Anderson has also shot several dreamy music videos for Radiohead.

The harmonium in Punch-Drunk Love can be seen as Anderson’s version of Kubrick’s monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, a seemingly random object glowing in big fat vibes of mystery, making Barry somewhat of a head-scratching-monkey. When he first encounters the harmonium, after a truck drops it by the curb in front of his work, Barry stares at it in a two-shot showdown. He then picks it up and runs it inside as if it were seconds away from exploding, dropping his coffee mug as he see-saws and sways his way back to work. Is the landing of the harmonium a symbol of the love about to walk into his life, is it a symbol of the impending phone-sex scandal, is it a beacon of change, or is it nothing at all, a gift delivered to the wrong address, picked up by a paranoid, blue-suit-wearing pudding-buyer? Whatever the harmonium initially was, it definitely becomes a symbol for something for Barry. Probably something he doesn’t understand, but feels, just like everything else.

The score by Jon Brion, who previously scored Hard Eight and Magnolia for Paul, blossoms the movie into a love story with jagged edges. The music perfectly crescendos and climaxes with the rise and fall of Barry’s anxiety, overwhelming emotions, and paranoia throughout, and the score is so tightly entwined with the rhythm of Barry and Lena’s emotions and interactions, at times it feels like they can hear the music. To call Punch-Drunk Love a musical wouldn’t be too far off, it’s just that no one ever sings. One of the only songs with vocals is Shelley Duvall’s “He Needs Me” that Anderson ripped from Robert Altman’s Popeye, a nod to one of his favorite and most inspirational filmmakers. Brion’s score verges on the avant-garde, as a kaleidoscope of electronic sounds form a maddening, dizzying sonic representation of Barry’s confusion. The more unconventional pieces sound like computers trying to talk to each other, with a driving mixture of clicks and beeps and swooshes that surely echo the topsy-turvy reality that is Barry’s life. Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character is the loudest character in the movie, but even he doesn’t sing, he screams. Hoffman’s most underrated skill may have been his screaming ability, and the tirade of bleeped this-and-that he throws at Barry over the phone, waving his hands around like a lunatic because his phone-sex con isn’t going so hot, may be his most memorable scream. Hoffman goes from a desperate and humiliating Dirk Diggler fanboy in Boogie Nights, to a good-hearted caretaker in Magnolia, back to being a prick more like his role in Hard Eight as the tool who beats Sydney at a game of craps. 


Anderson relishes movies that change gears, like Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild; capable of shifting from one mood to another with the flip of a switch, and Barry’s volatility allows Punch-Drunk Love to operate on a level where anything can happen, as fear, anger, and sadness are all a mere poke away. Comedy, melodrama, romance, crime, and family issues all tip-toeing around each other, swirling into a concoction so maddening it’d make anyone want to buy bundles of pudding and fly away.

In her last book of interviews “Afterglow,” published in 2002, Pauline Kael notes that she had an “awfully good time” with Anderson’s Magnolia, enjoyed the first half of Boogie Nights, and describes his movies as being “fun to watch.” She then goes on to say, while discussing various contemporary stars and movies, that she doesn’t “get Adam Sandler at all” and doesn’t understand “what makes him funny to people.” Perhaps Punch-Drunk Love could’ve worked its magic on Kael as it did with Ebert, and converted her to see the Sandler-light, but that’s one we’ll never know. Punch-Drunk Love reaches to people on both sides of the cinematic isle, trying to soothe the nay-saying elitists into realizing that it’s O.K. to enjoy a Sandler movie. Nobody will judge you. The final shot of the movie shows Lena with her arms lovingly folded around a serene Barry as he sits playing his harmonium. Lena whispers into his ears “so here we go,” and the relationship takes off with one last blossom of blue light. 

Written by Adam Buffery. Born in 1990, Adam grew up on musicals, thanks to his Israeli mom and British dad, and wanted to be Gene Kelly after seeing Singin’ in the Rain. He would like to thank Spielberg and John Williams for giving him a lifetime fear of sharks. Adam’s favorite filmmaker is Paul Thomas Anderson, and he recently moved to Los Angeles where he’s writing his first feature film. 

Stanley Kubrick / Re: Room 237, moon landing, suppressed truth
« Last post by wilberfan on July 28, 2018, 10:10:10 PM »
Apollo 8 successfully orbited the moon. Apollo 10 successfully orbited the moon. It was even said that the astronauts on those missions had to be prevented from landing on the moon because they were close enough and might be tempted to do so.

The LEM wasn't ready (or attached) on Apollo 8, but 10 was a "dress rehearsal", so it's interesting NASA was concerned that the boys on that one might go for it...
This Year In Film / Re: Mission: Impossible - Fallout
« Last post by WorldForgot on July 28, 2018, 01:07:29 PM »
I think it definitely has some of the best stunts of all time. Depending on what tone you prefer, though, it's hard for me to reconcile this as best of the series even. The sneak preview for FIRST MAN was giving off Dunkirk lvlz of claustrophobia.

I liked this movie but Eighth Grade and Sorry to Bother You are still what I'll be urging friends to peep.
This Year In Film / Re: Mission: Impossible - Fallout
« Last post by KJ on July 28, 2018, 11:06:31 AM »
anyone seen it yet? some quotes from RT raised my expectations quite a lot. for example:

Not only is it the best movie of the summer, it's also one of the best action films of all time.

The stunts are reminiscent of "Fast and Furious" via 'Tokyo drifting' cars, has the feel of "Mad Max," while distinctly retaining its own identity with HALO jumps and more.

The sixth movie in the Mission: Impossible series is a truly maximalist work of art. The plot is stupid but the stunts are terrifying, the tension vibratory, the muscles rippling. In short, it's a masterpiece.
Stanley Kubrick / Re: Room 237, moon landing, suppressed truth
« Last post by eward on July 27, 2018, 10:41:29 PM »
Right? Being able to fucking put your thumb over it? The place where everything that has ever happened in history as we know it.....fitting behind your thumb.....
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