XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => News and Theory => Topic started by: WorldForgot on March 20, 2020, 11:00:21 AM

Title: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: WorldForgot on March 20, 2020, 11:00:21 AM
Movies for our current COVID-19 atmosphere ~
Tight spaces / about being hunkered down. The Mist and probably many siege movies being obvious examples.

Although not specifically as secluded as a typical quarantine film, Xixax's top mention has been:

To get the thread rollin' I'll offer up:
Spoiler: ShowHide

its sequel iz essentially ALIENS within an apartment complex, really fun

Master Compilation of the Thread: ShowHide
The Hole (2001) (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242527/)

Honeymoon (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3177316/)

After the Dark (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1928340/)

The Night Eats the World (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4266076/)

Evil Dead II (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092991/)

 Safe  (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114323/)

The Lighthouse (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7984734/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

Woman in the Dunes (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058625/)

The Hole (1998) (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156610/)

Planet of the Apes Prequel Trilogy (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318514/)

The Aviator (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338751/)

Can we include games here? I'm playing Death Stranding which is has an eerie, isolated vibe, and I'm thinking of re-playing The Last of Us.

Epidemic (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092972/)

Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: polkablues on March 20, 2020, 12:00:23 PM
Some suggestions:

The Hole (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242527/)

Honeymoon (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3177316/)

After the Dark (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1928340/)

The Night Eats the World (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4266076/)
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: WorldForgot on March 20, 2020, 12:15:15 PM
Evil Dead II (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092991/)

The Lighthouse (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7984734/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: jenkins on March 20, 2020, 12:34:40 PM
Woman in the Dunes (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058625/)

i thought polka had posted this maybe

The Hole (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156610/)
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: WorldForgot on March 20, 2020, 12:39:47 PM
i thought polka had posted this maybe

The Hole (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156610/)

Oh dang I actually own this one but never got to it, I'll put that on tn after Evil Dead II
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: polkablues on March 20, 2020, 12:43:26 PM
Basically just watch every movie called The Hole.
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: Robyn on March 20, 2020, 12:51:21 PM
Everything I've watched by Tsai Ming-liang is super good. You should watch The Wayward Cloud if you like The Hole, it did to melons what Call Be by Your Name did to peaches! Really, any Ming-liang films is fitting to watch right now because all the characters are social distancing themselves minus the threat of a virus. :p

Someone mentioned Safe (Todd Haynes) in the shoutbox and that's a good shout too!
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: Robyn on March 20, 2020, 12:57:37 PM
When the quarantine is over we should all watch Being There together. 
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: Axolotl on March 20, 2020, 01:59:26 PM
Safe (1995)
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: WorldForgot on March 20, 2020, 02:02:14 PM
Beautiful film. Criterion's restoration rules. Although it only features one essay on print, I recommend that blu-ray disc with a sickly swoon.  Includes an early Haynes short that TH hadn't seen until a family friend found it and sent it over during the process of Criterion's curation iirc.

insightful interview with Haynes about Safe's legacy: ShowHide
'Safe' Director Todd Haynes Talks About Julianne Moore's Early Greatness
By Ethan Alter
via Yahoo Movies


It’s been a great year for Julianne Moore. In May, the actress picked up a Best Actress prize at Cannes for her role in David Cronenberg’s Hollywood satire, Maps to the Stars. And there’s been lots of Oscar talk surrounding her performance as an early onset Alzheimer’s patient in the new drama Still Alice. So it’s only appropriate that the Criterion Collection picked this moment to release one of Moore’s earliest — and best — movies on Blu-ray. Arriving in theaters in 1995, the Todd Haynes-directed Safe unnerved audiences at the time with its chilling depiction of a woman so allergic to the contemporary urban world that she retreats to an isolated desert community where residents live in plastic bubbles. Speaking with Yahoo Movies about the long-overdue Blu-ray release of Safe, Haynes says he’s excited that Moore seems to be the current awards season frontrunner. “If this is her year, man, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m her first fan.” The director also told us about the first time he met Moore, how Safe was inspired by the AIDS crisis and the cult surrounding his 1998 glam rock opus Velvet Goldmine.

Among the bonus features on the Criterion disc is a recent interview between you and Julianne Moore that includes footage of her first audition for Safe. What do you remember about meeting her that day?

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a more singular kind of shock of discovery in another creative person. And in this particular case, the character, Carol White, was created without all of the expected ways audiences can latch onto the protagonist of a movie. She’s someone who is so passive and just barely fits in to the codes of her world, because I wanted to see how someone with that fragile sense of self would play in the viewers’ minds. All that’s fine when you’re thinking of it abstractly, but suddenly I needed her to also be real!

And what I didn’t realize is how much an actor needed to respect that distance and mystery and not try to fill in the gaps and make Carol this sensible person right away. That was the most amazing thing about Julianne: her understanding that the actor doesn’t have to do all the work to reach out and pull the viewer into the story. That’s a way of describing what some of the movie stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood did — whether it was Greta Garbo or Marilyn Monroe, there was always something about them that was just out of reach. And Julianne somehow has maintained that in a culture where everything has become more accessible and familiar.

Safe was one of her earliest leading roles and the first that made a lot of people sit up and take notice. Have you noted any specific ways in which the experience helped shape her subsequent career?

I think it was maybe one of her first roles that sort of necessitated a certain amount of research into a particular condition and that was interesting to watch. Julianne and I spent time with people who were chemically sensitive and then there were all these tapes of interviews and testimonials we watched. We also spent some time going to clubs and restaurants in the San Fernando Valley, studying the culture and the way people spoke and dressed and moved and all of that. I grew up in L.A. and my parents lived in the Valley, so I knew the tenor of that voice, and it was something I had never really seen in a movie before. Julianne doesn’t come from L.A., but she completely tapped into it. She’s somebody who thinks a lot about the film as a whole and doesn’t like to do a lot of analyzing and talking and yapping about it on set.

She’s gotten so much acclaim and awards attention for her roles in Still Alice and Maps to the Stars this year, and it’s striking just how different those performances are.

I haven’t seen Maps to the Stars yet, but I’m dying to. Her comic abilities are so remarkable; people forget that she’s an amazing comedic actress. She was so surprised by her [Best Actress] award at Cannes. I’m very dear friends with the Still Alice directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland and I couldn’t be happier for everybody involved. And, you know, she’s playing another person in Still Alice who succumbs to a devastating and mysterious illness. That character is completely different from Carol White, but you watch the calibration of her performance and, as a starting point, it’s not dissimilar to Safe in how you observe the degeneration of a person.

In your interview with Julianne, you mention how Safe was inspired in part by the AIDS epidemic, but seen today it also seems to presage the current survivalist movement, which often espouses a profound distrust for government and modern medicine.

Absolutely. The survivalist thing may dovetail with aspects of popular conservative and libertarian instincts, which also have deep roots in the American idea of self-reliance and mistrust of government and of power. It all plays into that. At the time I made Safe, I was really intrigued by the whole culture around AIDS, which was turning to people like Louise Hay and these other West Coast New Age thinkers. They were doing their best to cope with this new era of illness and uncertainty, but I found it troubling that it was all about blaming yourself and not the society or culture around you. It was about loving yourself more and “don’t trust the government, don’t trust medicine.”

The line that really stands out to me now is when the leader of the retreat admits to no longer reading the news. That sentiment feels especially strong these days  within certain circles.

I [actually] heard about the environmental illness on tabloid television and these little news capsules on TV. There was just starting to be some journalistic awareness of it in the early ‘90s and they called it “20th Century Illness,” which immediately got my attention. What was so freaky and interesting to me was that, instead of finding some kind of natural response like using natural cleaning products, these stories described taking women into silicon-coating igloo enclosures in the middle of the desert as a recourse. It felt like their lives became more and more like science-fiction; their desire for achieving a kind of material purity is almost not possible in our modern world. I found all of that to be evocative, and it definitely registered at the time because of HIV and the panic around that. I feel like it plays out in each generation — there’s never a lack of other panics around the corner, Ebola being the most recent.

Until Criterion got their hands on it, Safe had been a hard film to track down. Why was it out of circulation for so many years?

I don’t really know exactly what happened. It was released by Sony Pictures Classics and I think they just didn’t have enough prints. It really was extremely hard to find for awhile; I’d have retrospectives of my films at festivals and it was always the one that was hardest to find a good print of. It was always a specialty item, so I think it slipped through the cracks. But SPC has been incredibly generous and worked very closely with Criterion in the release of the Blu-ray.

I’m just happy that Criterion finally released two hard-to-find ‘90s gems this year, Safe and Steven Soderbergh’s King of the Hill.

I haven’t seen King of the Hill since it came out! I really dug it at the time and it was already a different direction for Soderbergh from his other films. I’d love to see it again. I feel like in this era of diminishing 35mm projection and people watching movies on their phones, we have Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies and those are two extraordinary resources that shouldn’t stop. It’s important for us film nerd types to keep them going.

Is it more challenging to secure financing for your films today than it was in the era of Safe?

Each production is its own experience. We just completed a film I’m incredibly proud of, Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. We shot it on 16mm, but it was a tight budget for a period film set in the early ‘50s. But you figure it out — we got through it and everybody involved really cared about it. I feel lucky and fortunate. I have a whole slew of things in development now; you never know which is going to bite when. I do think what’s happening in cable television is providing a lot of energy and healthy competition for works that are tough and that take risks.

Carol takes place in the early ‘50s, chronologically in between your HBO adaptation of Mildred Pierce and Far From Heaven. Coincidence or is this part of an unofficial trilogy?

It isn’t really, it’s quite different. Carol takes place in the really early ‘50s before Eisenhower has taken office. It’s based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, her second and most autobiographical book and the only one outside of the crime milieu. What’s so interesting about it is that it turns on the idea of this unknown and unspoken love, which is ultimately the love between two women, and that was a part of [the author’s] own life. But it’ also explores the idea that falling in love turns the lover’s mind into the criminal’s mind, which is always seething and creating various scenarios and obsessing over certain details. There’s this sense of danger and criminality at the centerpiece of the novel and we’ve opened it up a little bit in the film, but it’s still ultimately the story of the young woman’s point of view.

Going back to the beginning of your career, will your banned Karen Carpenter film Superstar ever find its way into legal circulation?  [The movie — which depicts the singer’s life story using Barbie dolls — didn’t have proper licensing for the Carpenters’ songs.]

There’s been solid resistance on the part of the estate and Richard Carpenter. It’s unfortunate, because it’s a film that only ever meant to bring Karen Carpenter back into the discussion for younger generations with incredible love and respect, even if my method of telling the story was unconventional. And if I take some shots at the family dynamic that was a factor in the conflict she faced as an emerging pop artist, it was always meant to honor her and bring that voice back into peoples’ ears. I never had any other intentions than that, but I understood that it could be misconstrued. I’d love for more people to be able to see it and Criterion would be thrilled if I’m ever able to get it out, so I know where I’d go with it!

The film of yours that really seems to have found a second life is Velvet Goldmine. Have you enjoyed seeing the cult that has sprung up around that movie, particularly online?

It makes me really happy. It’s a film that was inspired by the kinds of movies I would get obsessed with when I was a teenager, those sorts of trippy movies coming out of drug and music culture from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. I felt like no one was making those kinds of head-trippy movies anymore and this was a perfect subject to celebrate in that way. It wasn’t something that maybe got the thorough theatrical distribution we hoped or the attention that we hoped; that was the year that Miramax was pretty occupied with some of their biggest heavy hitters from that era like Shakespeare in Love and Life is Beautiful. So we got a little bit lost in the shuffle, but it’s gained this whole new life since it’s been out on video and DVD that parallels with the emergence of the Internet. A lot of teenage girls click into that story even though it’s about all those pretty boys, and I find that to be so cool and surprising as well. When I screen the film somewhere, teenage girls come up to me and I always know they have a copy Velvet Goldmine they want me to sign.


Todd Haynes on the unsafe world of Safe
By Scott Tobias
via The Dissolve

Released this month on Criterion Blu-ray, Todd Haynes’ 1995 science fiction masterpiece Safe was voted the best film of the 1990s in a Village Voice poll, and it’s lost none of its relevance today. Where Haynes’ intended allegory about the AIDS epidemic—he set the film in 1987 for a reason—doesn’t register as strongly now as it did then, the vague “environmental illness” contracted by his lead character, Carol White, does well to stoke 21st-century paranoia about the damage modern life is doing to our planet and ourselves. Safe also marked the first collaboration between Haynes and lead actress Julianne Moore, who plays Carol as a wealthy, passive cipher who boldly attempts to upend her seemingly comfortable life when the world around her proves increasingly toxic. The two would reunite seven years later to equally devastating effect for Haynes’ Douglas Sirk homage/re-working Far From Heaven. Haynes recently spoke to The Dissolve about the shoestring making of Safe, its changing significance, and the similarities and contrasts between Moore’s performance here and in the new Alzheimer’s drama Still Alice.

The Dissolve: Your 1991 feature debut, Poison, won Sundance, and was a substantial arthouse hit, but it took a few years to get Safe made. Do you carry any momentum from Poison into Safe, or was it kind of like starting over?

Todd Haynes: It was still so much the beginning for me in those years. Safe was such a different kind of film than Poison. I always had fairly narrow expectations for the kind of audiences that my films might generate. If anything, I was always sort of surprised that they garnered more attention than I expected, often through circumstances that went beyond the films themselves, like the controversies surrounding “Superstar” and then the very different controversy surrounding Poison. Of course, we were hoping to get the film made more quickly than it ended up getting made in the ’90s. When I look back on Safe, it’s a miracle that it got made at all in my mind. I don’t how it could have possibly been made today in any regard.

The Dissolve: You feel like it’s more difficult now to get a film like that made than it was then?

Haynes: Yeah, for sure. Definitely. It’s an experiment, that movie. It was very much so at the time, and it remains so. It’s the kind of film that people didn’t really know what to make of initially, and it probably took a little longer…Well, all my films take a little time for some people to appreciate, and that was certainly true with Safe. Maybe that came somewhat from expectations coming out of “New Queer Cinema,” as it was called at the time, and really taking a very different course from the kind of stories and settings of films that were associated with [that movement]. But it was definitely something I conceived of fairly quickly after Poison. That it got made is really a testament to [producer] Christine Vachon’s persistence. It wouldn’t have gotten financed without her. I really was interested in doing it, and I really believed in it. It was a tough call to get the financing. All we needed was $1 million to make Safe. Even that little amount back then was tough. She just wouldn’t stop, and she was fearless, and the film owes its very existence to that tenacity.

The Dissolve: A lot of the story of Safe is told in the compositions, which are impeccable. Was it difficult to be that meticulous under the budgetary restrictions that you had?

Haynes: It was, but it just meant that like most of the films I’ve made, every single frame—and certainly every single day of shooting—had to be incredibly well-planned. We were still drawing on and exhausting all those favors that burgeoning feature filmmakers exhaust from family and friends at the beginnings of their careers. I shot some of the film in my uncle’s house in Malibu. I shot some of the film at my grandparents’ house at Laurel Canyon, and we exhausted all the possible resources that we could around us. But mostly, it just meant really careful planning and discussion with [cinematographer] Alex Nepomniaschy and myself, the designers of the film, and everybody involved. That’s really what was accomplished. I knew I really wanted that pristine, almost Kubrickian austerity to the look of the film, and the way that Carol White is set up as almost part of the mise en scene, or one of the objects that she inhabits in the film as much as the central character at the beginning of the story.

The Dissolve: Do you feel like the film reads differently in 2014 than it did in 1995?

Haynes: No doubt, it does. Certainly, everything was being interpreted around the specificity of AIDS and HIV at the time that Safe was made. That was on my mind quite specifically when I was conceiving of the film. At the same time, I wanted to bring up the behavior that we all exhibit around illness, particularly in the way we try to attach meaning and personal responsibility to illness, and how much illness and identity are mixed up with each other. Those were definitely motivating interests of mine that I felt were absolutely and totally being played out in the AIDS culture around me at the time. Since then, AIDS has faded as a No. 1 health emergency in this country, due to extraordinary developments in treatment and the great fortune of those developments for many people. I still feel like we are a culture that is continually reminded of our vulnerability to contaminants and illness. Ebola is only the latest version of that, but it’s certainly one that sparked such extraordinary and immediate panic. It was summoning up memories of the AIDS era for many people in the way it was being hysterically described at the beginning. It brought up a general sense of our fragility, even as we become more fortified by technology and knowledge, and our fragility as human beings on the planet, and the status of the planet and the lower regard the sciences are being held in nowadays. They’re all contributing factors to the sense of vulnerability and insecurity with our bodies, and that certainly hasn’t gone away. In that sense, Safe feels like this allegory about all kinds of indeterminate and imprecise notions of health, well-being, and immunity in peril.

The Dissolve: Are you comfortable with that? You set the film in 1987. As an AIDS allegory, it comes through strongly in the conception, but now as you say, it’s sort of faded.

Haynes: Oh sure. I still feel like it’s a very contemporary story. I don’t think the ways we signify or apply meaning and causality to illness, and the way it sort of undermines our sense of autonomy and freedom has gone away. I’m happy that [Safe] still triggers that, and feels like it’s maybe ahead of its moment slightly in discussing those themes in a more philosophical way, even though it also draws from very popular traditions of “disease movies of the week,” or a psychological horror film, in its structure. Those are things that hopefully make it more accessible as a film to younger audiences today. At least, the themes I think are relevant. I feel proud to have the film come out [on Blu-ray]. You know, it’s my first official Criterion release. They did a gorgeous job as they always do, and I thought Dennis Lim’s essay was spot-on and fantastic, as his writing always is. The whole thing was a great experience.

And come on, it’s funny how Julianne Moore—I’m very dear, good friends with Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, who directed Julianne in Still Alice, which is again a film about illness, early-onset Alzheimer’s, and it’s getting so much great attention, and it may be singling Julianne out in the awards shuffle, which for me is something long overdue. I just feel real excitement for all those guys in Still Alice. Safe gets mentioned from time to time in the reviews for Still Alice, and I’m just very proud of all of them. It’s a nice time to have Safe coming around.

The Dissolve: The thing that’s interesting with regard to Julianne Moore in both Safe and Still Alice is that she has illnesses in both, but her characters have such contrasting reactions. Carol is such a passive character and Alice is a character who does everything she possibly can to hold on to her memory, to the point where she’s able to cover up how rapidly she’s deteriorating.

Haynes: They’re almost mirror images of each other as characters and in narrative trajectory. In Safe, you find this women who’s almost a cipher, even though she lives the American Dream and this life of luxury. She has the lifestyle and material things that are valued in our world, but in many ways her encountering of illness is the thing that triggers her worry that maybe something is not quite right in her life. It was always true for this character, but not something that she was motivated to challenge or look at deeply until her illness. In many ways, her illness is the very thing that shakes her free from her comatose state. And obviously in Still Alice, it’s exactly the opposite. Alice is an extremely intellectually advanced and productive and professional subject at the beginning of the movie, and the horror of Alzheimer’s is the slow degeneration of all of that in somebody so vital and so intellectually engaged. Yeah, it’s completely the opposite direction. I just don’t have enough good things to say about Julianne. Of course, I’ve continued to work with her after Safe. Every experience has been extraordinary. That’s to say nothing against the other amazing women I’ve worked with throughout my lucky career, but I don’t know that there’s a better living actor than Julianne Moore. She deserves everything.

The Dissolve: How did your conception of Carol change once Moore got the part? What did she bring to it that you didn’t imagine in the writing of it?

Haynes: That’s a good question. Whether or not you write and originate your own material as a director, I think it’s always a mystical, mystified kind of process from page to screen, and how concepts on the page become embodied by real people and real actors. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of casting in films, and finding the right person for the role, but in this particular case, I don’t know if I had a bigger eureka moment than when Julianne auditioned for me for Safe. I had just been getting to know her [on screen]. I had just seen an early advance screening of Short Cuts, but I hadn’t seen her work on soap operas like some of my friends did, and didn’t really know who she was. She was starting to be discussed as someone who had a bit of buzz in the industry, and then I saw Short Cuts, and I was sufficiently blown away by her in that. It was an extraordinarily brave performance. But still, this role was so transparent. And I was impressed with how she could make somebody who is that much of a cipher into somebody who you believe is a real person, but not over imbuing it with too much editorializing or second guessing, or kind of winking to the audience.

That took a kind of bravery on her part, and an intuition that I never fully appreciated until she was there in the room doing it for me. All of a sudden, it really was a flesh-and-blood person who was speaking these lines, and that felt like a revelation. She said something similar about having read the script saying she was very excited about it, and she had never read something like it. She sensed that she had an understanding of the script that was her own, and if she didn’t jibe with the director, there’s nothing she could really do. All she knew is that she had some intuition about it. And as it turned out, she couldn’t have been more on the mark. I continue to watch that amazing ability of hers to know how to maintain restraint, and to really trust the viewer that you don’t have to do all this extra footwork to cajole the sympathies of the audience. They have tremendous powers themselves that you can respect, and you can elicit through all kinds of means. She really understands the complexity of that contract.

The Dissolve: What’s your favorite memory of making the film? Is there a moment that really stands out?

Haynes: It was a tough shoot. I’ve told this story before, but we lived through the L.A. earthquake on Safe, and it really did send shudders through the production itself. So we found ourselves shooting scenes with aftershocks still happening. in fact, this was true of all of the scenes at Wrenwood, which we shot at a Jewish day camp in Simi Valley, which was close to the epicenter of that earthquake in January of ’94. Literally, we were shooting through aftershocks, like the scene were Julianne gives that amazing, rambling speech at the end on her birthday celebration at Wrenwood. The reaction shot of Peter [Peter Friedman] and Claire [Kate McGregor-Stewart] and James Le Gros all looking at her—an aftershock actually occurred on camera, and they were just acting through it. The sense of existential uncertainty that the film does convey was only strengthened by the actual seismic conditions we were experiencing at the time. And it made everything just feel like we were really hanging from this apocalyptic edge where Christine and Lauren Zalaznick and I were all living, right off Cahuenga and Hollywood Boulevard. It’s in a really seedy part of Hollywood in a very cheap and seedy apartment house we could afford. The car wash across the street became a service center and water-resource center for people after the earthquake. Everything that was at work in that film was being played out externally around us in a trippy way. That didn’t make it easier, but it sort of resounded in what we were doing as filmmakers.
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: Fuzzy Dunlop on March 20, 2020, 03:14:19 PM
The new Apes trilogy, good pandemic cinema and I'd argue the best franchise film series of the century so far.

The Aviator. Though I wish the blu ray had more special features. I kept saying "show me all the bloopers. show me all the bloopers. show me all the bloopers."

Can we include games here? I'm playing Death Stranding which is has an eerie, isolated vibe, and I'm thinking of re-playing The Last of Us.
Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: WorldForgot on March 25, 2020, 12:06:54 PM
From Dan Ozzi's Reply Alt

Title: Re: Quarantine Filmz
Post by: eward on March 25, 2020, 12:50:56 PM
Playful Trier.