XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => News and Theory => Topic started by: Something Spanish on March 31, 2018, 04:59:34 PM

Title: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on March 31, 2018, 04:59:34 PM
Not sure is there is already a thread for this, but wanted to put it up mainly for older flicks that don't require a page of their own. Sort of like a Letterboxd thing to see what everyone has seen lately and maybe share some thoughts on recently viewed flicks...

Today I went with Kill Me Again (1989), which I wanted to catch before it expired on Amazon Prime, followed by Death Sentence (2007) because that leaves Netflix tomorrow. Kill Me Again was pretty bad, even with a playfully sadistic Michael Madsen who actually has a scene where he tortures a guy tied to a chair a la "Stuck In The Middle with You", tried to play like early noir, especially in its dialogue,  only to be bogged down by uninspired twists. One of the biggest problems for me aside for the cheesy writing was the dearth of chemistry between Kilmer and the female lead. Has a real late-80's early 90's crime vibe to it.

Death Sentence was equally silly and unbelievable in story but so very damn fun, a pulpy B-movie like I had not seen in a while. Really enjoyed how serious everyone took the schlocky material, and Bacon is fucking killer. Also Garret Hedland came through as a heavy, heavy badass, relishing every cigarette and shoot out like any over the top psycho villain would. The Violence and action was really nicely done.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on April 01, 2018, 02:46:27 PM
[nerd facts] Kill Me Again is and feels like John Dahl's first. my personal favorite is his next, Red Rock West, with Nic Cage and Dennis Hopper. at the time he was considered a prominent figure within neo-noir, and his third movie, The Last Seduction, was considered the best example. Unforgettable i've never seen and Rounders i always thought of as okay, but Joy Ride is another solid entry. Steve Zahn and Paul Walker. screenwriter JJ Abrams at a pivotal point. Joy Ride i own on blu-ray.

this is a good topic imo. i finished rewatching Napoleon Dynamite today. i felt emotional at the end, after Dynamite's dance, after the clapping, when hope comes to Pedro's face. then when Dynamite and Deb played tetherball at the end. i felt emotional.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 02, 2018, 09:58:05 AM
One of the theatre's down here is having a Wes retrospective in conjunction with the release of his new flick, with Rushmore being the only one playing on 35mm, so naturally I went with that over the weekend. Pretty good print for being almost 20-years old. For most of the running time I had this irremovable grin that bordered on embarrassment, in disbelief how strongly the film holds up and how much affection I have for it after all this time. Took me back in memory to seeing it for the first time as a teen.  I can't remember the last time I popped on my Criterion, at least 5-6 years, but I had forgotten just how much I love this flick, so sweet and quirky and full of emotion. Wes has since gotten more sophisticated in his storytelling and subjects, here he's brimming with youth. Had a really good time watching that one.

 

Also peeped White Ribbon yesterday on FilmStruck. I had seen it at a press screening tail-end of 2009 but nodded out a few times towards the end, having since wanted to revisit it in full. That time was yesterday. The movie is mesmerizing, a masterpiece in my eyes. Such understated evil, all so masterfully done, always shocking you with quiet cruelties. I need to see more Haneke.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on April 02, 2018, 03:26:57 PM
edit: sorry, I misread that as White Robbin, as if you were talking about jessica robbin. the porn actress. my bad.

edit 2: sometimes I wish that I could ban myself from xixax, or that I had a more sophisticated film taste, so I had anything to add about Haneke.

At least your taste in porn seems to be pretty good.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 12, 2018, 09:04:21 AM
Amour is the first movie I've seen in full since the last post. Saw bits and pieces of other movies since (most of Ace in the Hole and half of Downsizing), passing out without fail 20 minutes in; an understandable side effect of being up and at'em for 18/19 hours. Between work and family duties, movie watching tends to suffer. Went with Amour because I guess I'm high on Haneke recently. It's a movie this side of devastation without going over the top and wringing out tears, a direction I could easily see other directors going for. There are many scenes that have stuck with me since last night, such as the husband's nightmare, his firing of a nurse, the final few minutes, and of course the wife's entire disintegration. It's a somber reminder of life's fragility and how temporary these frail bodies of ours really are. If I have one complaint is Isabelle Huppert being underused, could have used more of her onscreen but that's just nitpicking.

Also saw the documentary A Fuller Life, thought it condensed his film career too much but was overall a decent love letter from his daughter. Having read Fuller's autobiography last year, 80 minutes is too little time to devote to this man's monumental life.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 17, 2018, 10:45:21 AM
Saturday night saw Kids on 35mm, really good print. By the time the movie started at 12:30am I had been awake 22 hours, ready to nod out through most of it, but went anyway because who knows when, if  ever, I'll have another opportunity to see this one  on film. Kids really is one of a kind, almost like a documentary with no narrator. Now it's a filmed time-capsule of a generation that faded away over two decades ago, still bearing relevance and hitting as hard as any timeless classic does. The authenticity is jaw dropping. Most of the roles were tailored to the person cast in it, so it's no wonder how the conversations and actions feel so natural, the performances so effortless. Having not seen the flick in full for at least 10-years, I forgot just how good it was. First time I heard of this one was waiting for the school bus about 2 months after its release and overhearing a bunch of kids waiting with me go on about how it's easily the best movie ever made. Growing up around skaters at the time, this movie was hard to avoid, everyone I know saw it, spoke about it, reenacted scenes, but I actually did not get around to Kids until probably '02/'03. I have a distinct memory of reading the screenplay in the fall of '97 on my dad's computer and being amazed by the dialogue, how real if felt, like someone was transcribing taped conversations of kids I knew. As big an impact as Kids had on the indie scene, I can't think of many movies that imitated it successfully and were able to stand on their own. I know there were a few cheap knock-offs, although I can't rattle off any titles off the top of my head. Really glad with my decision to man up, fight the fatigue and make the screening, if only for Harmony Korine's fishbowl-lenses glasses cameo. This retro movie theatre down here is playing movies programmed  by Korine all month (titles include Easy Money, OC and Stiggs, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, BMX Bandits, Gleaming the Cube, Any Which Way You Can, Belly,Beat Street)  in addition to all his work. They played Trash Humpers on 35mm last week, which I missed thanks to a cold. Will try to catch julien donkey-boy and Gummo next week, think the only Korine I've ever seen was Spring Breakers, which didn't do much for me mostly due to Franco's sorry excuse for a Riff Raff imitation.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Sleepless on April 17, 2018, 01:15:05 PM
I really enjoyed Spring Breakers the one time I saw it. It's the only HK I've seen. Tried to watch Mister Lonely a couple of days ago and turned it off less than half-way through, I just couldn't get into it at all.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Robyn on April 17, 2018, 01:24:19 PM
I really enjoyed Spring Breakers the one time I saw it. It's the only HK I've seen. Tried to watch Mister Lonely a couple of days ago and turned it off less than half-way through, I just couldn't get into it at all.

you should at least try gummo. not my favorite, I actually like mister lonely more, but it's the one people seem to enjoy the most. it's completely different to mister lonely, too.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Reelist on April 17, 2018, 02:24:14 PM
Gummo has been at the top of my list for DVD's I need to own going on something like 2 years now, but I just can't get past the idea of spending $20 for a DVD with no special features... I really need it in my life, though. Harmony Korine's realism and sense of humor is hard to come by in any other filmmaker..

First time I heard of this one was waiting for the school bus about 2 months after its release and overhearing a bunch of kids waiting with me go on about how it's easily the best movie ever made.

First time I heard about KIDS was at a pool party, I must've been about 7. All I heard was that "the first scene is two 12 year olds screwing" lol.

I found the DVD cheap at a thrift store last year and got rid of it soon after rewatching. Just kind of disgusted by Larry Clark's leering gaze throughout.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Robyn on April 17, 2018, 04:20:15 PM
I read somewhere that herzog realized what a genius korine is the moment he saw that piece of bacon taped on the wall in the bathtub scene. I always thought that was hilarious, says a lot about both of them I think.

(https://thehumornation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/gummo-bathtub-scene-1108x0-c-default.jpg)

Quote
In some of the scenes there's strips of bacon, if you look closely, because like, bacon was my aesthetic.

Quote
Seriously, all I want to see is pieces of fried bacon taped on walls, because most films just don't do that.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Robyn on April 17, 2018, 04:45:12 PM
just imagine for a second korine pitching this scene to herzog, and how much he must have liked it, " flying nuns you tell me? shit, that is good" (in thick german accent)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt-oK0jCrMM
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: csage97 on April 17, 2018, 08:17:04 PM
I've only been catching the standard new stuff in the cinemas, partly because of being busy, but then also because I'm in sort of a rut for older films being able to grab my attention. Last time I consistently watched things that weren't brand new was last summer or so when I went through Kubrick's films from 2001 on, and went through some of Olivier Assayas' films. I really enjoyed Something in the Air.

Other than that, I tried to get through Killing of a Sacred Deer on Netflix, but shut it off halfway through in only mild interest. I did enjoy The Lobster, but I don't enjoy Lanthimos' style enough to sit through a story that had the mood of The Lobster but a worse story IMO. I also did watch Darjeeling Limited again somewhat recently, which was fun.

I'm trying to look through the Criterion catalogue and see if anything catches my eye, but I haven't been totally successful. My friends and I watched some bad movies a little while ago too. I Know Who Killed Me was a highlight.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on April 17, 2018, 10:45:08 PM
Gummo has 20 scenes great for party conversation. this is a minor example, that's how good Gummo is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPXh07OGgwE

creatively speaking he was born beautiful

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uZgJapYmEI
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 18, 2018, 04:23:51 AM
yes
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: csage97 on April 18, 2018, 09:55:05 PM
Actually, I forgot about some Demme films I caught recently. One not very good starring Meryl Streep, and one very good starring Jodie Foster. Other than that, I've watched TWBB, Punch-Drunk Love, and IV more than three times each in the last year.

I've seen Spring Breakers, but I don't know if I have the stomach to see any other HK movies. His new one sounds really cool, though.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 24, 2018, 09:55:26 AM
Saw Julien Donkey-Boy over the weekend on 35mm, not sure what to make of that one. It's a ballsy  experiment, giving you the feeling you're watching a disturbed family's home movies, all the more so since it was shot on mini-DV, ultimately not adding up to any traditional satisfaction, though I can't say I regret the experience. Korrine's intentions of putting you in the shoes of a young schizophrenic ultimately pays off, achieving his intended desire, especially since it all fees so authentic, making you forget at times you're watching a movie. Not much happens throughout, except Korrine's depiction of life with mental illness. We basically join Julien in his daily routines. Herzog is funny in the father role, berating his family with off-beat insults, and Ewen Bremner leaves little doubt that he is heavily deranged. Would like to revisit down the road, but way down; the last 5-10 minutes aren't easy to watch.

 

Realizing that I haven't seen a new Adam Sandler movie since That's My Boy (probably a good thing), I wound up watching Sandy Wexler, and to my surprise enjoyed it for the most part. Sandler is great in an otherwise mediocre to shitty movie and elevates the schlock to a watchable level. The romantic inclinations were beyond corny and unbelievable, like that 90's Woody Allen playing a love interest, the rest was pretty fun and watching Sandler inhabit this character was impressive. Felt like it had the spirit of his earlier flicks like Big Daddy and Deeds, with plenty of moronic cameos from pals like Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson, both generally always good for a few laughs. Would give it a C+. My next move would prove unwise, thinking one good Sandler turn deserves another, I hit play on The Do-Over. That one was bad. Very much so.

Saw most of Tropic Thunder, too. Didn't hold up as well and I was surprisingly turned off the way Stiller spoofs graphic intestine spilling war battles. 
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on April 30, 2018, 09:22:29 AM
Pulp Fiction on 35mm this weekend. This is the movie that opened my eyes to the possibilities of filmmaking, that raised me, that took me from PG-13 to R, that intensified my movie obsession like nothing else. Before Pulp it was Gremlins 2, Roger Rabbit, Jurassic Park and Jim Carrey, after it was Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Untouchables. I can remember seeing the TV/print ads at 11 and reading the script, my first ever, at 12. I remember renting the VHS dozens of times and the joy of buying a copy on cassette for my 13th birthday once the price wasn't over $100 (ownership was a struggle on its own since my mom's boyfriend had a bug up his ass about me watching R movies, but that's another story). The screenplay put me in a permanent trance, the dialogue opening portals in my brain though which Scorsese/Coppola/Depalma would soon  stampede through. Those who remember the impact Pulp had at the time know what I'm talking about; it birthed a generation of filmmakers. I've seen it on the big screen once before, an experience that can never get old and that I'll always take advantage of given the opportunity. Not going to get into why this film earns its reputation as one of the GOAT's, but seeing it in my 30's the part that always stands out is the last few minutes, when Jules flips the tables on Pumpkin, holding him at gunpoint. That last speech, where he gives personal meaning to Ezekiel 25:17 is a TKO, saying more about the gangster genre that any flick since.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on May 04, 2018, 11:27:05 AM
Smack in the middle of reading Cassavetes on Cassavetes, decided to watch Husbands for the first time last night. The only other Cassavetes I've seen are Shadows and Love Streams (edit: actually saw Minnie and Moskowitz) , both very interesting. I'm on the Husbands chapter and kept falling asleep trying to watch Faces 2/3 times earlier in the week, most likely induced by the B&W, so wanted to switch it up a bit. Husbands was alright, not as impressive as Shadows, feeling too indulgent for the most part, but at least it was not boring. When you have Cassavetes, Falk, and Gazzarra starring boring is far from problematic. Reading the Cassavetes book, the main takeaway is that the man's sole focus while he's making a movie is his actors' performance and doing everything in his power to bring out the most truthful performance possible. Everything is in service of the performance. I can't say I learned anything about human nature or behavior, as is somewhat intended according to the book, but the trio's chemistry was enough to hold interest. I always assumed the three were tight buds before they got together for Husbands, apparently not the case, although you'd be convinced otherwise when watching it. Their camaraderie makes the flick what it is, and Cassavetes is always so fun when onscreen, in all his roles, not just Husbands. 
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Robyn on May 09, 2018, 03:57:32 PM
(https://img.myvideo.net.tw/images/IFI010/0000/0201/201802061503242630_420x600.jpg)

just watched this, and thought it had that movie magic that I can't put my finger on or try to explain without spoiling it - but I recommend it to everyone!
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Drenk on May 09, 2018, 04:40:44 PM
It's a very imaginative movie. I got scared by the frenetic japanese rhythm of the first twenty minutes, but that movie just transports you.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on May 22, 2018, 05:28:55 PM
Just caught up with Atomic Blonde because it's on HBO Now.

Pros: Some of the best continuous-shot fight scenes I've ever seen. Not unlike that Daredevil scene that went viral. Worth watching just for that. And Charlize sells everything so hard.

Cons: The rest of the movie is either (A) a character smoking a cigarette or (B) the most boring/obvious 80s pop hit one could possibly choose. Sometimes both.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on May 23, 2018, 12:19:12 AM
I spent the whole time feeling bad for Charlize for committing so hard to a movie that was so intent on not living up to her.

I wasn’t even as impressed with the fight scenes as I thought I was going to be. For all that the John Wick dudes are amazing at choreography, they’ve never figured out where to put the camera so it looks like the people are actually hitting each other.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on June 25, 2018, 07:08:24 PM
Finally got a chance to watch Sebastián Silva's "Magic Magic," the better half of his 2013 "Let's fly Michael Cera down to Chile and shoot some movies" duology. I do not suffer from paranoid schizophrenia myself, nor do I have direct experience with it, but I'm pretty sure nonetheless that this is one of the better cinematic portrayals of it. Certainly better than the cartoonish approach of "A Beautiful Mind," and much more restrained and convincing than Lodge Kerrigan's massively overrated "Clean, Shaven" and "Keane." There are some really savvy cinematic storytelling techniques at play, though it never once feels showy or ostentatious.

This is to date the only movie I've seen that fully utilizes Michael Cera as an actual actor more than a screen presence (while also taking full advantage of the somewhat off-putting nature of said screen presence). And the fact that we're not constantly talking about Juno Temple as one of the great actors of her generation is some serious bullshit. She's fearless and she's honest, beyond anyone else I can think to compare her to, and that's everything I ask for out of an actor.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on June 28, 2018, 02:04:03 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/UW5LRUw.jpg)

Just Withnail and i were walking by CBS Television City, and i told him, you know, "this is where they shoot Price is Right, and James Corden's show." and then Just Withnail mentioned that James Corden was in Mike Leigh's All or Nothing, and i hadn't realized that so i about flipped out. Just Withnail said something like, "you got a movie to watch tonight!" and i'm actually not one prone to accepting suggestions from others, but because of the environment and just the right timing and everything, because All or Nothing is 1 of 2 Mike Leigh movies i own on dvd (others on blu-ray), it did so happen that i watched All or Nothing soon after and, now, true story, i'm making this post about it.

i think James Corden did a fine job acting. and--oh--the beginning of Sally Hawkins! well i'll be. it's been over ten years since i last watched All or Nothing. Lesley Manville is in it too. and Timothy Spall's gaping mouth plays a major role. maybe the first hour of this movie is flawless? it starts off so strong. i can't remember what i thought about it a decade ago, but i probably haven't watched it since that long ago because the ending doesn't quite impress me. it emphasizes narrative themes that to me were latent and unexpressed but completely present since the beginning. so to me it's like the second hour explains the first hour, and plus it's a two hour long movie. oh, now i'm being hard on it, no i didn't begin this post to be hard on All or Nothing. who portrays real normal and flawed people better than Mike Leigh? Ken Loach is perhaps his equal and they're both better than America, because of their commitment, because they don't use these types of movies as stepping stones toward a Hollywood career.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on July 07, 2018, 03:26:57 AM
i went to see Lubitsch's So This Is Paris (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017409/) on the opening night of its series coinciding with the release of Joseph McBride's How Did Lubitsch Do It?, which btw isn't titled The Lubitsch Touch because a book is already titled that and in fact The Lubitsch Touch was a popular expression during his career while he was alive and Billy Wilder worshipped him. i saw the movie in the Billy Wilder Theater, and everyone was mentioning how Lubitsch was better than Wilder. like for example the fact is How Did Lubitsch Do It? was written on a sign owned by Wilder. that's funny enough. so, Lubitsch was the name known as a director before Hitchcock*.  i sat in Peter Bogdanovich's row Peter sat at the end by the aisle i think i correctly remember that he was wearing sunglasses when speaking as offered during a post-movie q&a with for example Lubitsch's daughter who was a naturally awesome person obviously by the way. Peter mentioned that Renoir mentioned that Lubitsch invented Hollywood, then Peter explained he meant that before Lubitsch Hollywood was DW Griffith and Lubitsch made Hollywood cosmopolitan (*it does seem clear that Griffith was the first director known by name). then Peter made a dig at contemporary comedies, mentioning how they aren't as good, and a theater full of mostly old people absolutely agreed with him. Peter didn't mention him but from background conversations btw i think Apatow is perceived as like leader of church of satan-type comedian in terms of middlebrow comedy which they hate the same as lowbrow comedy but middlebrow gives them the chills because it's the closest enemy i think. it's also tough not to notice how intricately woven Lubitsch is. he's his own breed and his movies literally taken place in his own world. oh and he invented romantic comedies and the musical. everyone in the theater fucking died with laughter when Peter said other people were confused about what to do when sound film began and Lubitsch said "gonna make a musical duh" (obvs exact quote). the movie itself was a real kick and utter delight i had to see it because of course i did. i didn't see a young person who looked like a young me i saw a few young people who looked like the kind of people who weren't like me when i was young too. of course again as always i observed the elderly cinephiles and thought about life etc you know.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on July 30, 2018, 10:43:56 PM
so i went to my friend's and watched Shanghai Express (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023458/), 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 Cybčle (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055910/). 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 (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101410/) on my own. oh i watched Bad Lieutenant (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103759/) on my own too. you know what? oh you already know. well i'll mention it anyway: now my King of New York (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099939/) 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 (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0009893/), I Don't Want To Be A Man (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0010281/), and Forbidden Paradise (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0014925). 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.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on August 01, 2018, 08:04:13 PM
lol i keep almost writing this post, this page open

i watched my Shampoo (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073692/) dvd to think ahead re upcoming criterion release.

it's written by Beatty and Robert Towne, directed by Hal Ashby, first Hollywood role for Carrie Fisher, with Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, Lee Grant and Jack Warden (actors Oscar nominated for this movie), László Kovács dp, Richard Sylbert production designer, music by Paul Simon

so that's insanely impressive and absolutely perfect for the time period.

the election night party is cutting edge good. fully interwoven characters, every actor fully engaged. just nailing it left and right. the bulk of this movie is spectacular. i accredit all the sprinkled in perfect lines to Robert Towne based on guessing.

though i submit that the overall narrative is conservative. it benefits Beatty because we come to feel sorry for him, but the audience cares about him to the extent that Jack Warden plays the more challenging character who wins the audience brightens the theme won the Oscar and he was a Republican even. now, it is a smart and progressive movie in that context actually, in that favoring the left is the Hollywood thing to do. Warden stays a Republican but turns out to be the better man. that's healthy thinking, that's fine. good men are republicans. but what i'm saying is the movie tidies itself up too cleanly by the ending. and perhaps you think--hmm you are always against that, what do you see as the benefit to your fight? and i can tell you clearly: life is not simple, that is a lie. that is politics. life is not easy. and as i grow and age etc what i learn more and more is that the complex is not simple. so i don't appreciate when a movie turns the complex into simple. this production method limits its dynamics to me.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on August 02, 2018, 07:54:31 PM
Man, wish more young cats would start ripping off Ashby. With the possible exception of Harold and Maude, his style has never quite been aped so readily as all the other 70s stalwarts, and yet, I find it so vital and relevant. Re-watched The Landlord recently and just damn, what a picture. Maybe even ahead of our times.

And Shampoo, yeah. Imagine somebody made Shampoo today. We'd all love them. Cool, humanist movies, actually funny comedies and sincerely tragic dramas, kinda equally shaggy and sharp, stylistically interesting but subtle and humble. With the exception of Bound For Glory, you could make these movies cheap too.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on August 02, 2018, 10:19:41 PM
that's a really beautiful post
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on August 03, 2018, 12:21:17 AM
This raises a good question; are there any current filmmakers who might be considered the standard-bearer for the continuation of the Ashby aesthetic? Baumbach and Gerwig come to mind... anyone else?
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: eward on August 03, 2018, 03:30:25 PM
This raises a good question; are there any current filmmakers who might be considered the standard-bearer for the continuation of the Ashby aesthetic? Baumbach and Gerwig come to mind... anyone else?

Alex Ross Perry? His films might be a bit too tempestuous and stylized, though, to cozily fit that bill.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on August 03, 2018, 03:58:23 PM
it is not to argue with you people, who surely must by now embrace being internet friends, that i ask the question of how well these people being mentioned have depicted the working class. as to say, not those both comfortable and troubled, but those troubled and troubled. i believe that is missing in art, and i believe art suffers for it. the people are the same.

yes i would say that for example The Lowery Touch is thinking from the human outward, as a variety of humans, creating different movies around different humans, embracing what's human, loving what's human through art, this a vital aspect of The Lowery Touch i am suggesting. The Old Man & the Gun might/could gracefully stroll into positive feelings from outside the usual, and be appreciated by both critics and emotions, which is the kicker, the one for the team imo.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on August 03, 2018, 10:06:31 PM
i ask the question of how well these people being mentioned have depicted the working class. as to say, not those both comfortable and troubled, but those troubled and troubled.

I would propose that in the case of Greta Gerwig, the answer is "very well," which is to say I believe Lady Bird is the modern quintessence of what you've described. In the case of Baumbach and/or Perry, that particular story doesn't seem to be a primary artistic concern in either's body of work, so my answer would be "N/A."
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on August 03, 2018, 10:23:34 PM
While I wouldn't say she's an Ashby disciple, Kelly Reichardt consistently and humanely depicts the working class. It's really the thing I enjoy most about her movies: the characters seem like people I know but not necessarily people I think about. Which is so wonderful and true to life. Interesting things happen to everybody. Just caught up with Certain Women recently and boy oh boy, it knocked me out.

As for the question of who's sporting an Ashby influence among younger filmmakers, I also thought of Alex Ross Perry but also found the same reasons to exclude him. Lowery too, yeah, though I'm not sure if I'd go so far as to say his films are like Ashby's. I'd bet all of the "mumblecore" crew dig him, but none seem to be really going for that particular feel. Lady Bird would probably be closest out of all the recent releases I've seen and even there the one I'd compare it to most is Harold and Maude. Has anything remotely like Shampoo or Coming Home been made lately? Let alone both by the same filmmaker?
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on August 03, 2018, 10:52:57 PM
oh idk, we're just making it up on the spot you know. i think the conversation is going along fine. i'd want to say the Safdies or Sean Baker of course. but who makes those big narratives these days, the ones that stretch out across different types of people? no one and i'm hungry for it too.

all i really care about is the people. i recently discovered Nothing But A Man and it's better than the trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSjgshFzHJE
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on August 18, 2018, 05:55:27 PM
currently still watching Shadows, John Cassavetes

it's somehow his less famous? it's been over a decade since i watched it. i'm in the middle? the literary party was great. nothing too shocking or unheard of, but i like to hear it. Cassavetes was plugged into the times it's fair to say. though he questions them, and later moves away from any theory and all the way into being human.

this lady at the literary party, she makes a description i enjoyed. they're discussing Sartre. one person doesn't see what Sartre is saying. the lady says it's easy to see what he's saying, and what he's saying is that humans are the only animals conscious of their own existence, and therefore they are also conscious of non-existence, and that is called anxiety.

i've said that before in terms of humans being the only animals conscious of their existence, but i liked her closer
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on August 19, 2018, 12:18:03 AM
I just watched Disclosure, the Michael Douglas-Demi Moore movie from 1994. It's quite bad and in many ways ludicrous, but also eerily prescient and incredibly interesting in the context of our times. Issues surrounding tech, white maleness, #metoo, corporatism, some weird parallels with the Clintons. All jumbled up and presented as an early-90s sex thriller. There is also a sequence where Michael Douglas's character enters a virtual reality world that resembles the game on the Encarta CD-ROM. Profoundly funny.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on September 10, 2018, 08:58:02 AM
saw Beyond the Black Rainbow on the big screen, mainly because I'm very much looking forward to Mandy this month. heard all about its general oddness and ambiguity, a real understatement, but didn't think it'd be as out there as it was. experiencing it on a large screen with booming sound made it easier to get sucked into the experience, I just have didn't get it, which doesn't equate it with bad movies just self interpretive ones. it had its own style, that's for sure, even if that style could be comparable to a high budged film school thesis. this is a hand crafted unique vision that maybe could have benefitted from some audience inclusion. as a sensory experience, it did its thing. wouldn't mind sitting through it again someday.

after that saw this cheesy, strangely fun early-0techno-rave movie from 1996, Vibrations, starring the lovable Kelly Bundy and James from Twin Peaks, playing an aspiring musician who loses both hands in a violent attack and is nurtured by Bundy and her neighbors into becoming a keyboard techno maestro known as Cyperstorm, due to his new  mechanically implanted robot arms. it's inarguably bad, yet somehow found myself into it in the way a bad movie can spray its charm on you. enjoyably ridiculous. haven't intentionally watched a bad good movie in a long time. it's funny, I remember going for shitty movies on purpose back in the day to get inspired. you kind of imagine how you would handle the bad scenes and dialogue if you were in charge.

 

went to a midnight showing of Blues Brothers on 35mm, too, passing the fuck out halfway in. never saw the whole thing before, but from what I sat through completely understand its cemented legacy.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on September 11, 2018, 09:58:19 AM
 

Mulholland Drive (35mm) last night, awesome trip down memory lane. When you revisit a favorite movie after not having seen it in over a decade, it really is like being  reacquainting with an old friend, being reminded why you loved them to begin with. Had the same experience two weeks prior with Dazed and Confused, seeing on film for the first time, but it had only been about 4-5 years since seeing that one last. Anyway, Mulholland feels like Lynch's version of Pulp Fiction. It's his epic. I know sitting through it the first time in 2001 I had no idea what the fuck I had just experienced, chalking it up to the insane wonderings of a schizophrenic,  those feelings supplanted by a mysterious inclinations to revisit the movie, totaling about 4 viewing by the time it left theatres. It's one of the few movies I felt the need to see over and over without the certainty of a final judgment, having no idea whether I ultimately liked it or not. Now I can say without reservation  Mulholland is a favorite, one of the best out there. The broken narrative, the oddities Lynch infuses it with while connecting those idiosyncrasies with a showbiz parable. All those weird characters weaving in and out like a traveling freakshow. The mood this movie produces is impossible to replicate unless you're its creator. Clichéd as it sounds, there really is only one David Lynch. The Silencio club sequence gets me every single time, those unexplainable emotions welling up as the transformations commence. What a great side by side comparison showing Naomi Watts as this naive newcomer is this dream state only to be smacked into the reality of the morose darkness when success is never achieved and dreams breakdown. Already itching to pop in the blu tonight.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: wilberfan on September 11, 2018, 12:26:45 PM


...awesome trip down memory lane. When you revisit a favorite movie after not having seen it in over a decade, it really is like being  reacquainting with an old friend, being reminded why you loved them to begin with.


My exact experience Sunday evening seeing Barry Lyndon again on the big screen (DCP).  I don't think I'd seen it in at least a couple of decades, and it held up beautifully.  In fact, I think I caught more nuances of plot and performance than I ever had on any previous viewing.  I was surprised at how much of the film I had forgotten. In many ways it was almost like seeing it for the first time.  An excellent audience, too.  No fidgeting, rapt attention, no texting, hearty laughter in all the appropriate places.  Leon Vitali (Lord Bullingdon) was present, and had a short Q&A before the screening.  The moderator asked for a show of hands from those who had never seen the film, and there must have been 50 or so in that category--which surprised me a little in the moment, but probably shouldn't have as the film is over 40 years old now. 
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on September 14, 2018, 11:55:04 AM
Streamed the Arthur Penn movie Night Moves last night, a prime example of why Gene Hackman was one of the best to ever do it. He gets into character in a way that feels effortless, taking on mannerisms that add subtle layers not really seen these days. He plays Harry Moseby (great name), an ex football player turned PI, and at one point as he's casually walking away you see Moseby imitate quarterbacking pigskin. The movie is really interesting in how so little happens until it comes together in the last 20 minutes, up until then you're simply basking in the character interactions with minimal plot progression. This is not the Hackman of Hoosiers, Unforgiven, or Uncommon Valor, but a much more vulnerable role than I'm used to seeing him in. Didn't realize Melanie Griffith plays the missing child until some chunks of dialogue later recognizing the pipsqueak sound to be the same as the one from Milk Money, a childhood classic. I don't think her voice changed a drop from age 17 on. 

This is good LA noir with a touch of East Coast swamp soaked in a bleak 70's vibe. Glad to have finally seen it, one of many unseen classics I need to catch up with.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 15, 2018, 02:03:17 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJwDEE09RHo

i'm able to mention not only Michael Nyman but also a favorite song because of how many times i've listened to the soundtrack since i watched this movie a couple days ago. you guys: Wonderland a true contemporary classic. is it known as such? i wonder the same about Goodbye Solo.

Michael Nyman made music for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, A Zed and Two Naughts and others. check out this fact: Wonderland brought Sean Bobbitt into cinema. he'd been doing docs and Michael Winterbottom brought him into movies. who influenced Winterbottom? i can't wait to tell you! it was WKW and Chunking Express--i'm not making that up, it's been quoted. and this/that was shot on Super 16. the production designer's name is Mark Tildesley, a Brit who's worked with Winterbottom, Leigh, Boyle, Wheatley, and DGG for Your Highness, PTA for Phantom Thread.

for like a direct comparison, i think it's better than All or Nothing
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on September 15, 2018, 03:51:37 AM
Oh wow, I forgot all about Wonderland. One of a long line of deeply underrated classics by Winterbottom, who rarely gets the recognition he deserves.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 16, 2018, 07:54:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lin-a2lTelg

this is strip club music according to Exotica (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109759/), which really does say a lot about the movie. it's not a song in Jarmusch's Down by Law, btw, referring to the youtube image grab.

Exotica is mainly about feeling depressed, or almost depressed--Exotica thinks about reasons one might feel depressed, and the weird things we do to not feel that way (those things usually being quite depressing)

i'd say it's definitely better than The Adjuster. did i write about The Adjuster here? i watched it after Cronenberg's Crash, and i think Exotica is better. why? because it's like a lot clearer that everyone is hella bummed out in Exotica, while in The Adjuster it felt like a damn mystery why and how anyone was feeling anything.

like for example Exotica references this true point: that no one chooses to become alive. but Exotica builds on that darkness to ask this: why does anyone choose to stay alive?

Elias Koteas, who btw let's look at him

(https://i.imgur.com/zQb58CM.png?1)

walking along having a conversation while getting to know someone, Koteas mentions pushing everything away from him in life, especially when and if it comes his way.

and in terms of like sociopolitical dimensions, the movie is ahead of 2018

it's a real a+ movie that i'm glad i revisited

now that i'm older i can say that i don't watch movies like this to be different or watch different types of movies than most people do. everyone just follows their own heart and gravitates toward what makes sense to them. this movie makes total sense to me, and it's hella dark, but it says that life is hella dark, and you just keep going if you can
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: wilder on September 16, 2018, 08:08:43 PM
I remember seeing that and never wanting to go back, not because it wasn't well done, but because it occupies such a sad state of mind it can turn your whole day or week a different color. It’s indeed one of the most depressive and hopeless feeling movies I’ve ever encountered (Abel Ferrara’s Fear City is up there, too). Exotica deserves a special place on a list of films taking place in something like cinematic purgatory, where no hope is offered, no resolution is sought, and not even a violent escalation takes place that might serve as catharsis in lieu of narrative progression. A pure wallow. I get a sick shiver just thinking about it.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 16, 2018, 08:22:53 PM
vibing. cinematic purgatory is a great description. there is this scene that touches upon what this movie might offer though. it's true that it doesn't offer hope, resolution, or catharsis. it's true that this movie says life doesn't offer that. but here's the scene i mean, it's Bruce Greenwood talking to Sarah Polley in a car at night

Quote
Sarah: Do you consider my dad a friend?
Bruce: Why?
Sarah:  J-Just asking.
Bruce: Does he consider me a friend?
Sarah: I don't know.
Bruce: Why not?
'Sarah: Cause he always seems different when you're around.
Bruce: Different in what way?
Sarah: J- Tense.
Bruce: Is that bad?
Sarah: Well, I don't really like to feel tense around my friends.
Bruce: Well, sure, yeah. I didn't like to feel tense around my friends when I was your age either.
Sarah: But you do now?
Bruce: No, it's not a question of liking it or not. It's just something that happens.
Sarah: Why?
Bruce: Um...well... as you get older…you become aware that the people you meet and the person you are... um, as carrying a certain amount of baggage. And, and that baggage creates tension. So what do you do about it? Well, you can pretend it's not there... or you can choose not to have friends... or you can acknowledge that it's there and have friends anyway.
Sarah: Like my dad?
Bruce: Right.
Sarah: I don't think that I like my dad when he's around you.
Bruce: Hmm. Well, that's...because your dad doesn't like himself when he's around me. But that's okay. That's... part of what friends do to each other.
Sarah: Good night.
Bruce: Good night.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: wilder on September 16, 2018, 08:44:26 PM
That’s a quality exchange. Actually makes me want to go back and watch it, again.

Exotica makes me think about what movies should be about, if a movie like Exotica, for all its depressive tendencies, has worth (it does, but for argument’s sake…) and that movies, or scenes, are fundamentally about people connecting or not connecting. Not if they do or do not, from one scene to the next, but how they do or how they don't.

When movies like Exotica, or Amour, or Solondz’s comedy-tempered works err towards the more disappointing answers to those questions when pursuing the brighter answers in so much earnest, they become hard pills to take. In those films specifically, effort expended to connect is not necessarily matched in favor, and coping mechanisms that might help alter the character's behaviors seem to be beyond their grasps. It’s the fearless gaze on the answers found to how they don't connect that give these types of films “worth”, I think. They don't. We know they don't. But these movies see the moment-to-moment how, and that’s what I want movies to be.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 18, 2018, 12:55:32 PM
outside The Silence of the Lambs (special category), Melvin and Howard remains my favorite Jonathan Demme movie. and Paul Le Mat remains an actor i treasure, from this, Aloha Bobby and Rose, and Citizens Band.

so i was sitting around wondering whatever happened to Paul Le Mat. and it turns out he's a writer now (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Paul+Le+Mat), with a YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn046OVYu4-xlZIPjnFKadQ)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZCeC_s41gI

i was going to say more about Melvin and Howard, which i just finished rewatching, but i became distracted by Paul Le Mat as a writer. i wouldn't call it a bad distraction btw, as in i'm not like "look how far he's fallen," if anyone is thinking that, rather i'm thinking "look how human he is"
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on September 24, 2018, 10:13:03 AM
been wanting to see Exotica long time now, Felicia's Journey too. only significant Egoyan I've seen is The Sweet Hereafter.

over the weekend I saw Miami Blues, a film that got on my radar nearly four years ago when BAM was having a film noir series ahead of Inherent Vice's release. not certain if this falls into film noir, it's way too batshit and off the rails to be categorized there. if not for baldwin and jason leigh and fred ward i don't think i would have made it all the way. it's awesome to see baldwin so untamed , his eyes glint animal primacy the entire time. he's a great actor, but no role he's had in the past 25 years compares to the lunacy of career criminal Junior. the movie is fucking out there, in the cheesiest of bad good movie ways. at one point baldwin attempts to stop a convenient store stick-up using a large jar of pasta sauce to fend off the gun toting robber. also, he somehow has the preternatural  abilities to place himself smack in the middle of criminal activity, be it a drug deal or robbery. if you're looking for something kitsch, completely unbelievable yet fun, you could do much worse.

also saw The Ballad of Jack and Rose last week for the first time, knew i was in for a good one the second 'i put a spell on you' plays at the start. a few good Dylan tunes come later. it's a very good, slightly disturbing, portrait of a father-daughter relationship.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: eward on September 24, 2018, 12:08:22 PM
I saw Miami Blues on 35 at The Roxy a few months back and found it similarly enjoyable. Jennifer Jaaon Leigh stole it for me.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on September 24, 2018, 02:24:06 PM
Yeah, she’s very sweet in it. A bit naive for a prostitute, but we’ve seen those type before (in movies, that is). Never been to the Roxy before, any theater that plays 35 is a blessing.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 24, 2018, 03:55:52 PM
it's beach noir, in this case Florida noir, stemming from Floridian writer Charles Willeford, the first in his Hoke Moseley series.

Willeford also known for Cockfighter, which he adapted for Monte Hellman, and this memoir of his youth

(https://i.imgur.com/IqptUFr.jpg?1)
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on September 24, 2018, 04:23:10 PM
been wanting to see Exotica long time now, Felicia's Journey too. only significant Egoyan I've seen is The Sweet Hereafter.

All three of those are so good. Ararat is another one I'd recommend seeking out.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on September 29, 2018, 03:13:40 PM
Down Terrace (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1489167/) took me seven days to watch (the longest i've spent watching a single movie?) and i almost gave up on it at least twice, but eventually i finished it and was glad i did. was that my second or third time watching it, i'm not sure, but i'm sure it's been seven years since i last watched it. i think Ben Wheatley has a fascinating career. the co-writer for Down Terrace is one of its lead actors, Robin Hill. the writers for Sightseers are listed as its two main actors, along with additional material by Amy Jump, who wrote the High-Rise script, and co-wrote Free Fire with Wheatley.

Down Terrace has an overall rubbish logic, i believe. as in i don't think its logic aligns with realworld possibilities. but its self-contained nature, its logic within itself, its logic as a movie, works fine. all you have to do is listen to the characters, and feel what they feel. now i'm realizing that i don't have much to say about this movie. why am i glad i watched it? i like how it keeps its narrative near the hearts of its characters. it reminds me that when you do that you can do anything.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Robyn on September 29, 2018, 03:24:14 PM
I watched Win It All last night. it wasn't as enjoyable as Drinking Buddies, and I am not exactly sure what the point of it all was, but it was entertaining enough. joe swanberg and jack johnson is a good match. 
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on October 22, 2018, 02:07:22 AM
a conversation about Scorsese's worst movie would be just as interesting as a conversation about his best movie, maybe. it's almost kind of obviously Boxcar Bertha innit, but then isn't it maybe Who's That Knocking at My Door actually, and after that is when it gets interesting. for example, i almost want to rewatch The Aviator and Gangs of New York now, to compare them to each other, and compare them to what i watched tonight, The King of Comedy. Scorsese himself is imdb trivia quoted as saying "I thought the movie was just a one-line gag: You won't let me go on the show, so I'll kidnap you and you'll put me on the show." as in, it's not a very dimensionally complex movie. there isn't really a lot of character material, and that's almost kind of silly coming from Scorsese.

at the same time i think De Niro plays it to a perfect pitch. his mania reminds me of life choices i don't want to make. he pushes me back from the ledge because i see how crazy the ledge is. although he almost explains his entire outrageousness with a great line, "Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime." that's a pretty good point. it's also a pretty crazy point and i think it's what all the crazy people say. the movie doesn't tell me much more than Don't Be Crazy.

the fashion and interior design are atrocious, but 1982 owes some blame for that. Sandra Bernhard does fine enough but her character is rather startlingly flat, well below Scorsese's scope--what can i tell you about her? nothing. i'm not even sure why she's crazy. what can i tell you about Jerry? nothing.

it's the Rupert Pupkin show. yet somehow still i'm glad i rewatched it, for the reason i stated, about being reminded to step away from the ledge, which i do sometimes walk toward, to be frank. perhaps in fact i should watch this movie whenever i feel myself headed toward the ledge. i'm not sure why i'm calling it the ledge but i think you all know what i mean.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on October 23, 2018, 12:30:24 AM
a conversation about Scorsese's worst movie would be just as interesting as a conversation about his best movie, maybe. it's almost kind of obviously Boxcar Bertha innit, but then isn't it maybe Who's That Knocking at My Door actually, and after that is when it gets interesting. for example, i almost want to rewatch The Aviator and Gangs of New York now, to compare them to each other, and compare them to what i watched tonight, The King of Comedy. Scorsese himself is imdb trivia quoted as saying "I thought the movie was just a one-line gag: You won't let me go on the show, so I'll kidnap you and you'll put me on the show." as in, it's not a very dimensionally complex movie. there isn't really a lot of character material, and that's almost kind of silly coming from Scorsese.

at the same time i think De Niro plays it to a perfect pitch. his mania reminds me of life choices i don't want to make. he pushes me back from the ledge because i see how crazy the ledge is. although he almost explains his entire outrageousness with a great line, "Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime." that's a pretty good point. it's also a pretty crazy point and i think it's what all the crazy people say. the movie doesn't tell me much more than Don't Be Crazy.

the fashion and interior design are atrocious, but 1982 owes some blame for that. Sandra Bernhard does fine enough but her character is rather startlingly flat, well below Scorsese's scope--what can i tell you about her? nothing. i'm not even sure why she's crazy. what can i tell you about Jerry? nothing.

it's the Rupert Pupkin show. yet somehow still i'm glad i rewatched it, for the reason i stated, about being reminded to step away from the ledge, which i do sometimes walk toward, to be frank. perhaps in fact i should watch this movie whenever i feel myself headed toward the ledge. i'm not sure why i'm calling it the ledge but i think you all know what i mean.

No way, man, it's not King of Comedy, man. And it's not The Aviator or Gangs of New York neither. I'd rewatch any of those right now and so would you. But would you rewatch New York, New York right now? Would you rewatch Hugo? Even Bringing Out The Dead or Shutter Island, granted I still think they're pretty good, but would you rewatch them over The Aviator or Gangs? No way, man.

But none of em are bad movies. I don't think Scorsese could make a bad movie.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on October 23, 2018, 12:51:39 AM
it's cool because this is that interesting conversation i suspected.

Hugo is flames, as far as i remember. i was a big Hugo fan, saw it twice. only kind of because of the order in which i first saw them did i actually in fact watch Bringing out the Dead recently enough. my most recent with Scorsese goes Bringing out the Dead -> Mean Streets -> King of Comedy, all following falling back in love with him via Silence. King of Comedy expresses being crazy, but Bringing out the Dead expresses feeling just way fucking bummed, so i actually experience closer emotional identification with Bringing out the Dead. plus it's just insane when that one guy is stuck on that spike at the top of the roof and they're using that whatever-it's-called to free him, and sparks are flying, and you can see the same famous NYC building skyline you see in Mean Streets. that's a nice touch.

ultimately we overall fully agree on top of New York New York and Shutter Island being definite contenders. the funny thing about Shutter Island is i've only seen it once, in theater when it came out, and i didn't like it, and i still don't want to see it again, because i want to preserve my memory of it. i want to preserve my memory of not liking it?? hm, well i was positive one time someone pointed at a graph and it was hilarious, so i guess i mean that.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on October 24, 2018, 10:01:46 PM
I saw Hugo twice too. It's a good movie. But Scorsese has never made a bad movie. Except for maybe New York, New York and Boxcar Bertha, you're right. I haven't seen either of those in ages. Silence I've watched a few times and will revisit soon. Up there with his absolute best.

Tonight, I watched Requiem for a Vampire. Seen a few Jean Rollin movies in the past couple years. Him and Jesus Franco. They're very strange films but really nice and psychedelic. Like, that super deep cut psychedelia that almost isn't even good but still manages to be great.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on October 27, 2018, 04:23:27 PM
a course of events unrelated to the main point of this post led me into reading The Melancholy of Resistance (https://www.amazon.com/Melancholy-Resistance-New-Directions-Paperbook/dp/0811215040/).

now that i have finally read that, after i was all the way finished, i went back to its cinematic adaptation, Werckmeister Harmonies (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0249241/).

Werckmeister Harmonies now makes total sense to me. and you know what, i'm not sure it can make total sense without the book. i do have an example, yes. when the movie's protagonist, János Valuska, is reading a journal. it is of course a long shot, it begins on the other side of a room, pans across the ceiling, and lands on János while he sits on the floor reading. in the movie no other person is in the room with him, while in the book he's where people are being interrogated, he's around other people, and it's quite clear where he gets the journal from, whose journal it is, and what it's talking about. in fact the journal has gorgeous lines ["a moment's victim in an infinitely vast arena"] relating to philosophical concepts being developed by the book. in the movie it's contextualizing the previous scene's violence, that's all it's doing, and i only know it's doing that because i read the book. how could someone just watching the movie know that?

the title switch makes sense because you see, The Melancholy of Resistance is in fact a literal title. to rephrase it, the book is about Life's Fight Being Sad. it sees this concept through to the end, in that acceptance is reached by both central characters at one point, and acceptance is how movies often end, but actually there are about 100 pages left after acceptance is reached in the book, i admit i had been wondering what would happen, and it's almost as if the movie ends republican, funny enough. it's kind of calling everyone a snowflake and saying the best possible course of action is to look at things from a practical perspective. i shall side mention that all characters, including the "republican," find love impossible, and it is a cynical book, in that the "republican" is in some ways not the ideal character, for even with an ideal perspective the absence of spirituality in their life is apparent.

this philosophical perspective is not represented by the movie. rather, the formal idea of Werckmeister Harmonies is indeed worked upon, in terms of the movie's tonal structure, and it is mentioned in the book too. Tarr's long shots parallel Krasznahorkai's long sentences, it's funny how much more sense his long takes make now. frankly as i said, i don't think the movie's logic works independently, but the movie is not trying to convey logic. the movie is conveying a feeling. and, oh: the feelings of the movie find foundation within the filmmaker's logic, that is how that is possible.

in terms of cinematic grammar, it's absurd how impressive Tarr is. that's just really impressive. i read that some shots took a month to put together and i thought, wow, only a month. again, the shots parallel Krasznahorkai, but i believe Tarr had to invent the parallel. i read Tarr described as Tarkovsky without the spirituality.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on November 05, 2018, 02:54:04 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/38nzjxT.jpg?1)

it took me two tries to watch this movie because the premise is extraordinarily stupid. there's an alien probe traveling space and destroying ships, about to destroy all of Earth, and Spock (back from the dead, learning how to be alive again) is somehow the only person who recognizes the probe's distress signal as the singing of a humpback whale, so they time travel to bring two humpback whales into the future, which does indeed satisfy the probe and end the movie.

my viewing was initiated by having recently rewatched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and having enjoyed that so much i thought that maybe i've been a Trekkie my whole life without realizing it. the Star Trek movie theory is the evens are good and the odds are worse, and i read about #4 as like a buddy comedy, so i went into it next. the first time i went to watch it i saw the beginning and wasn't having it, fell asleep, woke up at the end and thought fuck this shit. but today i successfully completed the entire movie, and i still think of the premise and execution as rather inept and unimpressive (every scene in the movie is a great example) but now i'm somehow a big fan of it after all, for reasons i can't explain. because it wasn't so hard to watch after all? because everyone seems to be enjoying the making of it? i have no idea, it just happened. it is indeed a rather positive movie.

from here i'll head to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, followed by Star Trek: First Contact, that's my current plan, i'm not sure how long that'll take me.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: BB on November 05, 2018, 09:06:04 PM
Ah, Voyage Home is my fav of all the Star Trek movies. The ludicrous fun of it. Wrath of Khan is probably the better movie, but I'd rewatch Voyage Home first. I'm decidedly not a Trekkie. Have seen all the movies though. Would like to try to watch one a year, that seems about right.

Gonna watch The Fog (1980) and In The Mouth of Madness tonight. A rare double feature. Feeling good about it. Haven't seen The Fog since high school and never did get around to Mouth of Madness. Probably gonna watch the whole Carpenter filmography before the end of the year. Seems strange to say cause he's so obviously a great filmmaker, but this guy's a great filmmaker.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on November 05, 2018, 09:12:44 PM
In the Mouth of Madness will be a positive experience that will confirm, potentially increase, your esteem
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on November 07, 2018, 10:04:56 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/5Phdjnl.jpg?1)

i own 8 Paul Schrader movies, and not even the criterion one. and i own The Yakuza and Taxi Driver and Bringing out the Dead. oh and Last Temptation and Raging Bull and Rolling Thunder. and once i owned The Mosquito Coast i'm positive, i bought it from a discount Wal-Mart bin, but i don't currently own that i must admit.

that tripped me out last night, when i decided i wanted to watch Touch, which movie i couldn't remember.

y'all, Touch is cray. okay, it's the only theatrical composition done by Dave Grohl. it's the only one. that's cray. and that's the beginning. so, Schrader liked Edward Lachman (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005767/) before he was popular, Ed was the dp for Touch. it's an Elmore Leonard adaptation. and now let's get into the actors. Bridget Fonda doubles this with Jackie Brown for Leonard adaptations. and it's insane how good she is, it really is, if what i mean by insane is impressive, which i do. she kills it. she's better than Christopher Walken, who is only good for being himself. she's better than Skeet Ulrich, and it tripped me out that Skeet Ulrich stars in this movie. he's the one with the Touch. but here's a surprising part: Bridget ties with Tom Arnold. Tom Arnold does a good job in this movie, he really does.

so on top of all that there's the movie, which tbh i'm not in the mood to talk about. it's okay.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 08, 2018, 11:08:00 AM
I saw Touch in theaters early '97 because knew Tarantino was adapting Leonard's Rum Punch and would see anything QT related, no matter how distantly related it was. That one's one of Schrader's lesser known flicks. Don't remember much except blood coming out of Ulrich's palm and how goofy the whole thing seemed.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Reelist on November 08, 2018, 12:12:48 PM
I love 'The Mosquito Coast'! Just watched it a few weeks ago. Like 'Taxi Driver' it's such an interesting character study of a guy who you're rooting for because he seems to have his heart in the right place as they slowly decline into insanity. It's my favorite 'jungle' movie.

I can't believe how much of Schrader's stuff I haven't seen, Taxi Driver being my #1. Maybe it's because I have found them to be kind of hit or miss for me. I still think I owe it to him to have more familiarity with his body of work there are so few screenwriters I've encountered with as singular a voice as his.

I went to a Paul Schrader speaking engagement last November. Forgot to bring any stuff to sign. He was very open to chatting and taking pictures afterwards but I just wasn't confident I'd be able to have the conversation I wanted to with him, which would ultimately be about me wanting to write the 'taxi driver' of the new millenium. No, not 'uber driver' but an urban vigilante movie with that visceral grit of life on the streets. I believe he said somewhere in his speech that Taxi Driver would be impossible to be made today and I took that as my answer.

Since I felt too awkward about standing in line to meet him, I resolved that I need to have some kind of interaction with him. So, when he asked for any final questions, I blurted out ( instead of raising my hand ) "Do you think your movies have the potential to change what's going on in society?" or something to that effect. Not a well thought out question, but I had to get something out there to veer away from the stupid college-kid questions he was being asked ("What's your favorite movie that you've ever made?")

I can't remember his answer verbatim, I had some of it written down in my phone that I lost. It was something like this:

Q: Do you think your movies have the potential to change what's going on in society?

A: Well that would be assuming that movies still have an effect on the culture, which they don't. 'First Reformed' goes into climate change, but do you think that's going to change a Trump supporters mind? There are too many venues for people to get their information for one movie to have the impact they did in the 70's. Back then, everyone was just getting their news from Walter Kronkite, so when a movie came out like 'Coming Home' it would make people want to go out and protest the Vietnam war.

This is the part that really stuck with me, that was along the lines of the conversation I wanted to have with him. (keep in mind I was wearing my work uniform when I asked this)

"When I was your age, I was already radicalized. And if I were your age right now, I would be radicalized. If you want to make a change, get a gun"

So yeah, I'll be kicking myself the rest of my life for not having him sign my Taxi Driver poster: "If you want to make a change, get a gun"



Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: eward on November 08, 2018, 01:17:17 PM
That's like the perfect tagline for that movie, too.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Reelist on November 08, 2018, 09:40:53 PM
Yeah, I've kind of puzzled over exactly what he meant by that. What is he implying in becoming radicalized? The origins for Taxi Driver were when he was living out of his car and had to buy a gun to protect himself. Was that his moment of radicalization and he's literally suggesting I buy a gun, to feel that rush of power it gives you? Or is he saying that the only way to have an effect on the culture these days is to shoot a place up?
I've never wanted to own a gun, if I ever do feel the need to and it's not for hunting purposes then I'm going to need to seriously re-evaluate my life situation. Nothing against shooting targets, but I don't want something like that in my house, and I've been burglarized.

Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: jenkins on November 09, 2018, 01:26:35 AM
I believe he was being metaphorical. What can you do that will make people raise their hands and listen to you? It bothers older people a lot, how transgressive art is basically dead. Basically after the 50s subculture art flowered and by the 90s grunge occurred, and there kind of hasn’t been a change since then, in terms of art culture. In terms of ideology. How can you make people listen to you? Point a gun at them. What is your gun, use it, that’s what he’s saying.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Something Spanish on November 12, 2018, 09:14:31 AM
Always a good experience when you start a movie with the intention of only watching a few minutes, are mesmerized by those ensuing minutes, and wind up watching the whole damn thing. Happened twice recently with two movies I hadn't seen before, while fucking around on Filmstruck. Last week it was The Soft Skin, swindling me out of a sunny afternoon with its transfixing story of seduction, bearing Truffaut's stamp in every sense. After about 10 minutes, not finishing it was out of the question. It's a movie where the mood is enough to captivate you, eager to experience the tumultuous emotions, the beautiful B&W, the graceful camerawork, especially those long lonely tracking shots following Jean Desailly down long hotel corridors. Not one of Truffaut's best, but an original little ditty anyways that deserves to be on his resume.

Same thing happened with The Marriage of Maria Braun, that war-torn matrimonial opening was plenty of incentive to lock ass in seat. Haven't seen much Fassbinder, damn shame considering the tizzy this beauty got me into. There's a strong authenticity in the way peacetime Germany is depicted, the uninhabitable ruined buildings, rubble in piles on every street corner, hunger and pain in everyone's eyes. Maria is a great character, her rise to power a viewing to remember. Added to these two flicks I had to see Secret & Lies finally, and fucking loved it. No matter how hard you fight the melodrama, those tears start welling one way or another. Those long takes between Brenda Blethyn and the daughter she gave up for adoption are performance showcases to a T. Everything about this movie is just so good.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: eward on November 12, 2018, 12:09:39 PM
Always a good experience when you start a movie with the intention of only watching a few minutes, are mesmerized by those ensuing minutes, and wind up watching the whole damn thing.

This is one of my favorite things in life. Cherished examples: Birth, Margaret, recently Private Life, It Happened One Night, ...

Quote
Same thing happened with The Marriage of Maria Braun, that war-torn matrimonial opening was plenty of incentive to lock ass in seat.

One of my favorite openings of any film. It's so funny and terrifying and (literally) explosive! And those gorgeous titles....

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Added to these two flicks I had to see Secret & Lies finally, and fucking loved it. No matter how hard you fight the melodrama, those tears start welling one way or another. Those long takes between Brenda Blethyn and the daughter she gave up for adoption are performance showcases to a T. Everything about this movie is just so good.

Top-shelf Leigh, for sure. I haven't watched it, or any of his films for that matter, in a few years, and it's high time I revisit them. Naked, Life Is Sweet, All or Nothing, Topsy Turvy, Meantime, High Hopes, Vera Drake - I even liked Career Girls! Of his more recent stuff, I found Mr. Turner quite captivating.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: Sleepless on November 12, 2018, 02:47:16 PM
The Three Musketeers by Richard Lester because it's on Mubi. Thought it'd be an easy, old-fashioned romp, but it was actually much better than I even anticipated. Really enjoyed it. Some great bits of humor throughout, too, which I wasn't expecting. It was weird watching numerous fight scenes that didn't really "up" the action. In fact, quite often those fighting aren't really great at it. As the film ends pimping the sequel, I immediately went to Amazon to buy the boxset of all three Lester-Musketeer films, but alas, it does not exist.
Title: Re: What Films Are We Watching?
Post by: polkablues on November 12, 2018, 03:48:42 PM
I actually recommend checking out the Paul WS Anderson Three Musketeers flick. It's surprisingly fun, has a ridiculously good cast (give or take your feelings on Logan Lerman), and is 100% batshit insane.