Author Topic: First Man  (Read 623 times)

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Kal

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First Man
« on: July 19, 2018, 12:17:23 AM »
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Damien Chazelle's new film "First Man" about the moon landing. I didn't love the pacing of the trailer, but visually it looks incredible and I actually enjoyed La La Land and Whiplash a lot, so I'm looking forward to this. Kyle Chandler can do no wrong in my book. Film will open the Venice International Film Festival.



A Universal Pictures release, “First Man” stars Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission of 1969. Claire Foy (Netflix’s “The Crown”) also stars as Armstrong’s wife, Janet Shearon. Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, and Patrick Fugit fill out the rest of the cast.

pete

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Re: First Man
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 03:44:31 PM »
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after this film we can all agree that he's this generation's Ron Howard right
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wilberfan

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Re: First Man
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 05:42:26 PM »
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I have serious Space Nerd credentials, so I'll definitely see this--despite my deep dislike of Whiplash and tepid reaction to "La La Land".
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putneyswipe

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Re: First Man
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 11:07:42 PM »
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after this film we can all agree that he's this generation's Ron Howard right

I really don't see that at all, Howard is known for one of the most generic, least authorial big directors out there. There's a clear line running through Whiplash, La La Land and this with the portraits of obsessive perfectionists and the conflicts that creates in their personal life, whether artistic or otherwise.

polkablues

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Re: First Man
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 12:05:22 AM »
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Grand Piano (which he wrote but didn’t direct) is also explicitly about this theme, but externalized into the framework of a goofy suspense thriller. I’m a big fan of it.
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BB

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Re: First Man
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 10:55:39 AM »
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after this film we can all agree that he's this generation's Ron Howard right

I really don't see that at all, Howard is known for one of the most generic, least authorial big directors out there. There's a clear line running through Whiplash, La La Land and this with the portraits of obsessive perfectionists and the conflicts that creates in their personal life, whether artistic or otherwise.

I'd say so far (he's only made four features after all) homie is a crowd-pleasing journeyman much like Howard and that's rare among millennial directors. The thematic line you've ascribed to the films isn't true of his debut, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, and is only kinda present in La La Land. It's in Grand Piano, yeah, but not 10 Cloverfield Lane or The Last Exorcism II. The movies all vary in tone and style too. An auteur in the classic sense, this guy is not. But a) he's still young, and b) could end up a famous journeyman pseudo-auteur like Preminger or Zinnemann or somebody.

He's also like Howard in that his films aren't the least bit cool, which I don't mean as an insult. Ron Howard is a good director. He just tends to make movies for my aunt, you know what I mean? And they're pretty good movies! So far, I feel like Chazelle is the same. This isn't a problem to me. My aunt and I need movies to see.

eward

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Re: First Man
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 04:10:36 PM »
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Really enjoyed this. Hits some standard notes along the way, but nothing too offensive. Where it needs to fly, it reeeeeeeally flies.

I like Chazelle enough, but view him more as an exceptional (and goddamn lucky) craftsman than artist. There isn’t much poetry to his images, just relentless craft.

See in IMAX if possible!
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BigSock

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Re: First Man
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 06:24:07 PM »
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Really enjoyed this. Hits some standard notes along the way, but nothing too offensive. Where it needs to fly, it reeeeeeeally flies.

I like Chazelle enough, but view him more as an exceptional (and goddamn lucky) craftsman than artist. There isn’t much poetry to his images, just relentless craft.

See in IMAX if possible!

Pretty much this! Chazelle is a mechanical technician, not much of a storyteller. But it's ok with a journey like this, as he just latches onto Armstrong's limited and submerged mindset. But yes, this had a homemade quality that usually lacks from these films

putneyswipe

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Re: First Man
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 07:24:10 PM »
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after this film we can all agree that he's this generation's Ron Howard right

I really don't see that at all, Howard is known for one of the most generic, least authorial big directors out there. There's a clear line running through Whiplash, La La Land and this with the portraits of obsessive perfectionists and the conflicts that creates in their personal life, whether artistic or otherwise.

I'd say so far (he's only made four features after all) homie is a crowd-pleasing journeyman much like Howard and that's rare among millennial directors. The thematic line you've ascribed to the films isn't true of his debut, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, and is only kinda present in La La Land. It's in Grand Piano, yeah, but not 10 Cloverfield Lane or The Last Exorcism II. The movies all vary in tone and style too. An auteur in the classic sense, this guy is not. But a) he's still young, and b) could end up a famous journeyman pseudo-auteur like Preminger or Zinnemann or somebody.

He's also like Howard in that his films aren't the least bit cool, which I don't mean as an insult. Ron Howard is a good director. He just tends to make movies for my aunt, you know what I mean? And they're pretty good movies! So far, I feel like Chazelle is the same. This isn't a problem to me. My aunt and I need movies to see.

I didn't say he was a "classic" auteur like Bergman or something, just that there were some authorial flourishes that were distinct from the archetypical director-for-hire, which Howard literally is. Is there anyone working in the studio system today that fits that classic definition anyway? PTA would have to cancel his membership to the Auteur club by that definition as his influences seem to vary wildly from film to film. I know it was meant to be tongue in cheek but the comparison seems disingenuous just so far to say that Howard has never even directed a film from a screenplay he wrote by himself, while every film Chazelle has made before this one had been solely written by him (I don't think writer-for-hire gigs are really relevant to the body of work). But who knows, maybe this is a departure and he never writes an original screenplay again.

As for the movie itself, I thought it worked best when it was building of those themes that were present in the previous films, but you felt a tension throughout between the directorial flourishes that Chazelle seemed to be trying to create and the more formulaic biopic beats of the script. By the end, I think I was wondering if the film had really given itself a reason to exist as we see images we have seen countless times that aren't distinct enough to resonate. Seeing the process of NASA leading up to the climatic mission was enjoyable but it dragged on about a half hour too long given the substance of the material.

 

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