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SHAFTR

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« Reply #105 on: October 14, 2003, 11:09:28 PM »
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Lets talk Jean Renoir...

which do you prefer Grand Illusion or Rules of the Game? and why?
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Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #106 on: October 15, 2003, 12:14:22 AM »
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Quote from: NEON MERCURY
GT you 've become quite popular....

don't let it go to your head tho.. :wink:


Don't worry.....I was in about three good debates today and took minority view point in every one of them. My known existence continues.....

Shaftr: Grand Illusion simply because it coneys everything that is admired about Renoir. Also, more importantly, it has everything that distinguishes Renoir from others: his unique ability to feel for his characters. His personal identification for the characters in his films and the humanity he can show is legendary. Though Grand Illusion has conveyed messages and meanings, its story is so focused for its characters and their situation that all known meanings can be seen as ideas we hold in our own life. Innocence is the first and associated with the old guard in the film, the two who see not only see honor in death during war, but who see an enemy as a man of respect as well. The idea of honor and being a gentleman at all costs and sticking up for your fellow man can be seen as virtues more for childhood and in stories shared to us of the past. Added upon this the foot soldiers under capture trying to find any way to bring to life their own home outside the war: the mock play in which men dress as women and significance in that women are hardly seen anymore. After escaping, the feeling of nostaglia with the woman and child the two escapees meet and one falls in love with but know they must end up leaving. All these things coney things we believe in. The story and focus of the soldiers going through all this makes it only more true. Rules of the Game, though excellent in its own way, has Renoir at comedy and performing along more traditional methods. His compassion of closeness to characters is drastically reduced. Social classes is in observance so of course, generalizations between the classes are made. Its a grandly well made film, but it has its place and no doubt beneath Grand Illusion. The chase scene at the end, the time given to that extensive chase made me realize the full distance between the films. Its such an extensive and entertaining scene. Thing is, it could be achieved by other filmmakers. Grand Illusion can't. And for the times, Rules of the Games proves to be an exciting and fun comedy.

And I will get to dufresne. Just those kind of questions require a lil more time.

~rougerum

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« Reply #107 on: October 15, 2003, 05:58:23 PM »
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1)You mentioned favorite films. Do you have any favorite directors?
2)What do you think about The Wild Bunch?
3)What do you do?

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #108 on: October 15, 2003, 08:06:36 PM »
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Neon, Only seen 3 of the movies you mentioned. I'll get back to you shortly on Arnofsky and The Exorcist. For now, make due with Amores Perros and Boyz N the Hood:

1.0 - Stanley Kauffmann actually hit the perfect reason why Amores Perros works so well with the first paragraph of his review to “The Dreamlife of Angels”: “How did he do it? The question persists after “The Dreamlife of Angels”. Not one story element is fresh, the theme is familiar in any purview of modern society, yet this French film is completely absorbing, almost rudely poignant. How did the director, Erick Zonca, do it? The answer is both simple and deep. He paid no attention to predecessors or echoes: he just wanted, overwhelmingly, to make this film. If he worried about familiarity at all, he clearly felt that his conviction would overwhelm reminders of other films. He was right.”

With Amores Perros, stories are told in very cliche, very known story elements of grabbing attention: young man wants make girl happy when being mistreated by cruel husband. Outcasted man wants his family back when he was taken away from them years ago because he went to prison. His daughter doesn’t even know his existence. Model loses leg in accident and in an ode to Edgar Allan Poe, obcesses about her dog being trapped under the floorboards. We want the good guy to get the girl, we want the outcasted man to meet his grown daughter and fuck, we want the model to get her dog back. All simple devices made powerful and effective because the story is unflinching in believing everything about this story though it is run of the mill. The difference between this and Dreamlife of Angels is the velocity of violence preevelant in the movie. The movie doesn’t obcess over the editing possibilities of showing a car crash. Like its unflinching study of the characters, it doesn’t hide around the violence. It attacks it. And given the story, the experience is that more powerful.

Boyz N the Hood tells a very modern story in a very classical way. The performances, locale, dialogue are believable as realism to this world. Yet, the story rides on elements of classical tradegy. Laurence Fishburne’s character can rest in Greek tradegy and using Oedipus the King as grounds for example, he moves between the character of the old wise man and the chorus. The purpose of these two characters is that they examined and identified the story and placed it into a perspective of understanding, even as the story was still unfolding. You know what happens in Greek Tradegy, its all about getting there. Though you don’t know exactly what will happen in Boyz N the Hood, Fishburne’s character puts it all into black and white terms and in terms of realism and “anything possible happening”, he nearly destroys. His character is so frequently on screen and so frequently putting it all into a bigger picture for Cuba Gooding Jr that his fate, by the end, does rest on whether Cuba Gooding Jr. will choose the path he has laid out for him with the end drive to find the men who killed Ricky. Finally, his commentary in front of the billboard in laying out a bigger picture problem and given an opinion runs exactly in the style of a chorus commentary for the overall story happening. Then another tradegy, Shakespearan tradegy, pops up at the end. It all becomes fatalist with Ice Cubes lifestyle and position of his brother Ricky. With hindsight bias, we learn for dramatic effect, it makes more sense for the tradegy to happen with Ricky because he did have the future. Not Ice Cube. What really dresses the Shakespearan tradegy is all the conveniances at the end right before the death: Ricky and Ice Cube’s character have their biggest fight and Ricky gets his SAT test scores back, showing he passed and could have gotten a life out of that violent world. All to make the ending more dramatic and monumental to these characters. Choosing this position of telling the story is a decision, though. The film is very good still and effect of the end death very powerful. The performances are rich, especially with Laurence Fisburne and the movie is very entertaining to watch. On choices, though, I’d have told this very modern story with a modern approach to equate the times in which the problem is happening. Just my preference.

~rougerum

SHAFTR

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« Reply #109 on: October 15, 2003, 08:10:44 PM »
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i'll play...I'm thinking of starting my own Ask Thread or maybe SHAFTR Says...
but I feel the interest would be low.

1.  ...and God Created Woman
2.  Elevator to the Gallows
3.  Do you think Valim / Malle should be included as New Wave directors?

and the following...
1.  In the Mood for Love
2.  Flowers of Shanghai
3.  The Wind Will Carry Us
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Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #110 on: October 15, 2003, 08:18:28 PM »
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Teen Wolf:
1.) Well, I think Michelangelo Antoinoni prolly achieved the most of any film director. I very much emulate the style achieved by Kurosawa. Hayao Miyazaki is a proven master at almost every type of film he touches. Fellini is realiable for his great touch, even if making some bad films with it. Paul Thomas Anderson has some of the best handling of dialogue. David Gordon Green is excellent, but needs to be more daring in the future. I'm not sure, thats all off hand I got.

2.) Its been a while since I've seen this movie. I need to watch it again.

3.) Just college student and stock clerk at a Produce Market.

~rougerum

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #111 on: October 15, 2003, 08:31:22 PM »
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Sadly Shaftr, I've only seen one of the films you mentioned.

And God Created Woman was really created just for a reason to put Bridgitte Bardot in a film. It was her first and the director, Roger Vadim, of course was having an affair with her or about to. Not sure which. The movie is a very dry exploration of sexual obcession. The film is so conventially filmed that nothing personal really is achieved. It seems like it has the widescreen/color use to just showcase the locale and of course, Bardot. The story offers no air of believability and everyone is riding through this affair based on looks. Bardot, in all interesting for her here, shows only a minor scene of not very revealing nudity. The shot lasts a second at best and has her naked, but showing nothing major. From what I heard of later Bardot films, this scene is easily discredited of any worth.

I'd put Vadim and Malle in there. Malle's The Lovers was released in '59 and in my readings, sparked US success due to its controversy mainly. I've not seen the film, but all critical readings and a biography of Jeanne Moreau, did bring interest to France due to controversy. I want to see the film just to follow Moreau. But the point is, that along with Breathless and others, films by these men were impactful during these times. It may be true they were not necessarily born out of the movement, but did make impactful French films during the movement to keep it going.

~rougerum

SHAFTR

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« Reply #112 on: October 15, 2003, 08:40:30 PM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Sadly Shaftr, I've only seen one of the films you mentioned.

And God Created Woman was really created just for a reason to put Bridgitte Bardot in a film. It was her first and the director, Roger Vadim, of course was having an affair with her or about to. Not sure which. The movie is a very dry exploration of sexual obcession. The film is so conventially filmed that nothing personal really is achieved. It seems like it has the widescreen/color use to just showcase the locale and of course, Bardot. The story offers no air of believability and everyone is riding through this affair based on looks. Bardot, in all interesting for her here, shows only a minor scene of not very revealing nudity. The shot lasts a second at best and has her naked, but showing nothing major. From what I heard of later Bardot films, this scene is easily discredited of any worth.

I'd put Vadim and Malle in there. Malle's The Lovers was released in '59 and in my readings, sparked US success due to its controversy mainly. I've not seen the film, but all critical readings and a biography of Jeanne Moreau, did bring interest to France due to controversy. I want to see the film just to follow Moreau. But the point is, that along with Breathless and others, films by these men were impactful during these times. It may be true they were not necessarily born out of the movement, but did make impactful French films during the movement to keep it going.

~rougerum


Bardot married Vadim when she turned 18, after AGCW they divorced.  Some say it should be included b/c not so much stylistically but the importance of Bardot's impact on viewers and her frank sexuality.  Also the on location shooting.  Bardot is nude quite a bit but always the viewer is blocked from seeing anything.  I did read that there is a scene where you see her bare breasts but it was edited for the US version, so I"m not sure which version I saw.  

I saw Contempt first so the opening Bardot scene in that film now has even more significance after watching AGCW.

I have also read about The Lovers but have not seen it.  although a vhs dub of a print, I did enjoy Elevator to the Gallows, the score is by Miles Davis.
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Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #113 on: October 15, 2003, 08:49:22 PM »
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Quote from: SHAFTR
Bardot married Vadim when she turned 18, after AGCW they divorced.


He married her that young? Reason enough to wanna be a director.

~rougerum

godardian

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« Reply #114 on: October 15, 2003, 08:53:41 PM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
Bardot married Vadim when she turned 18, after AGCW they divorced.


He married her that young? Reason enough to wanna be a director.

~rougerum


He then married Jane Fonda... did he direct Barbarella?
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SHAFTR

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« Reply #115 on: October 15, 2003, 09:00:05 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: SHAFTR
Bardot married Vadim when she turned 18, after AGCW they divorced.


He married her that young? Reason enough to wanna be a director.

~rougerum


He then married Jane Fonda... did he direct Barbarella?


yes, and ...And God Created Woman in 1987...a remake of his own film.
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Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #116 on: October 16, 2003, 04:41:32 PM »
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To finish with Neon,

I think with the The Exorcist, a lot of good basis for a scary movie is covered. The plot begins slowly (kinda usual) and ends in a very a minor tone - with the priest just giving up his own life. His death happens in a very earthly way. This kind of end preserves the tone and atmosphere of the film, the best parts. There is a sense of memory and very specific detailings in remembering the bedroom to where it all happens. The movie is finely lit and brings so much of the drama to this one room that it creates its own world within it. Some of the horror is hoakey now, but a good deal of it lasts in creepiness. I really don't take the movie serious beyond that at all. The manages to explore a supernatural idea within some bounds of realism and is able to create a lasting memory.

To talk about Darren Arnofsky, one must always talk about his style. There are a lot of problems with it that show both films he has made with it already being dated. I suspect they will both only continue to get dated. The main problem is that his style isn't so dominant, but that it is so dominant in trying to tell linear stories - very straight forward stories. He doesn't use the style as its own platform.

A lot of older films that were experimental in style are outdated because in their attempts to tell general stories, the filmmaking landscape changed and another popular style introduced. Its just in this wave after wave, Arnosfky's first two works will look as high points of a style and considering they will be a style outdated, will look even more outdated as general films. The idea Arnofsky should have went for in using his style would be to base stories off it, not style driven by general stories. Easiest example is Stone's Natural Born Killers. The story is cliche and it seems as intended to be, but the films speaks as an expression of a certain style; a flood of imagery reminscient of absract art that may have blended surrealism with expressionism. Stone starts from the style and delves. Arnofsky starts from the story and delves into style to lift the story.

To comment on both films, Pi holds up best. Everything about the film, in comparance to Requiem, suggests it is more unique. Black and white, reliable as ever to hold up in this department, is in play. The film is shot cheaply and the guerilla style complements that more. Also, the cast is unkown. Everyone in Requiem can be referenced to something else. The characters are Pi are more seen as characters. But, both films to me are still effective. Requiem is intensely scary for drug abuse and Pi is absorbing for the world shown. Both films will date big time though as time goes by. The Ellen Burstyn story in Requiem is already goofy: The nightmare of bland tv taking over this woman's life in "nightmarish" proportions and how to convey her struggle, the film continually uses odd extreme close up shots of her face twitching or snapping to see something. Its just all so goofy and obvious and its original idea is just bland itself.

Arnofsky says he is going to abandon this style for his next film. Let's hope so.

~rougerum

SHAFTR

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« Reply #117 on: October 16, 2003, 09:35:28 PM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
To finish with Neon,

The Ellen Burstyn story in Requiem is already goofy: The nightmare of bland tv taking over this woman's life in "nightmarish" proportions and how to convey her struggle, the film continually uses odd extreme close up shots of her face twitching or snapping to see something. Its just all so goofy and obvious and its original idea is just bland itself.

~rougerum


I always thought that, that was the low point of the film for me.
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Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #118 on: October 16, 2003, 09:42:39 PM »
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Dufresne,
From what I remember of Falling Down, the general body of the film was rolling out of scene after scene of Douglas' character taking out all his frustations. This is the body of the work to the film. To give credit to other scenes, there are ones that attempt to go into explanation of what caused him to snap in that traffic jam. Those scenes are attempts at validity only. The movie is for the endless scenes of physical frustation showed by Douglas when it should have been a study of what brought him to that point.

Bringing Out The Dead is similiar. One after the other, with frenzy speed, the madness of a paramedic's job is shown. The madness is shown with scene after scene of dismal life in NYC and his frustations in dealing with it. Another movie of obvious comparison is Taxi Driver. Both movies show loneliness and frustations in NYC and have extremes in scenes; where Bringing Out The Dead keeps the frenzy to the duty of a paramedic, Taxi Driver is everywhere, from a first date at a porn, an attempted assination, rescue of prostitute and shoot out with pimps and crew. The main difference between films is in the approch to the storyline. Where Taxi Driver is slower and trying to catch an atmosphere for Bickle, Bringing Out The Dead attacks in hope to capture the madness of its life. It does so in the wrong way. One problem is that it just feels like a piling upon of random scenes. All the scenes are interesting just in their own measure. Besides it being of paramedics, they really have little strand of linkage in tone and atmosphere. They derive from themselves instead of from the character. To analyze the scenes of the paramedic racing down the streets at swirling speed is to witness, technically, a brilliant scene worthy of a music video. R.E.M.'s "What's The Frequency, Kenneth" is perfect for it. The movie will move immediately from that amazing pace to purposely, a slowed pace as the Cage's character reminisciences about the girl he lost who still haunts him. Out of the pace changes and tones just getting mixed up, a scene like this where dramatic weight is suppose to be given to justify the madness around him. Its a poor attempt. Its just feels like a punctual note of the director telling the audience to feel something. The scenes where the story is able to slow down and find room to breathe in something organic are too short and far in between to really discredit all the mess in the film.

To compare the book against its novel (which I read), not much really is all different. The craziness of duties and jobs all in this paramedic's life there and the movie closely follows the novel. I was knit picking scenes to find differences. The major change though is loss of tone in narration. In the novel, with all the variation of stories he tells, he feels to be still telling it from the same voice. The writing is consistent and develops a tone that lasts through the novel. The novel isn't great, but where was adaptation on this part? Scorsese replaces tone with modern day filmmaking trickery.

How can The Shawshank Redemption really be criticized? Its understood to be excellent entertainment and it is. When you may think parts travel too long in dialogue overly preachy of something nostalgic, you are warmed by it still. Everything is so inviting in this movie. I will say, the part that does bring it to the class of "classic" it has achieved likely came with the idea of adding the surprise ending of Robbins breaking out. Its a ploy used that sorta reverses the rest of the movie and makes you see something of trickery going through with it. Its just with this last sentence, I still say it positively. I was charmed the entire way through.

I missed The Mack, though.

~rougerum

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #119 on: October 18, 2003, 07:34:46 PM »
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These two were asked of me before and I can finally comment:

The obvious movie to compare Legends of the Fall to is A River Runs Through It. Both star Brad Pitt and both utilize Montana beauty and tradition. A River Runs Through It is an accomplishment. It evokes the spirit of nature along with the family tradition. The story is nostalgic and not the best accomplishment of nostalgia, but the pace and focus do it well. Legends of the Fall is no such matter. From the beginning, a love story is in effect. A love story of all the usual trappings: betrayal, lust, desire and fate. The problem is that the movie sends this story so deep into the absurdities of bad romance fiction that it has no sense of placement for this world. The movie is slower to begin, but starts running through all the cliches of romance and go so deep that it chronicles Pitt's entire life in romance novel absurdity. The normal ending would be to have ended with one of the very early betrayals: Pitt gaining the girl or just losing the girl. And to explain the idea of romance novel in effect here, everything is mirrored by loss, betrayal and lust. And of course, social aspects of the time are observed in very amatuer ways. The only use is just to tie it in with the general love story only. It must be said that Anthony Hopkins is excellent while Brad Pitt is only adequate.

The best part of The Thin Red Line is superficial. In the band of soldiers trying to capture an enemy ridge, they face a long day of massive explosions and suicidal missions to get past it. All that press forward die. At the end of the day, a group is still surviving and when given direct orders to procceed, they refuse because of all the blood loss. At best, this and the excellent direction of movement into this fog of explosians and gun fire give the ridge a level of fear. The next day when things have calmed, a very small group tries to sneak its way in there to take the ridge. The pacing and details of this expendition are great. The build up makes it better.

All the rest really is quite bad. All through out the movie, from the laughable situation of the main character living with natives to the travels of war, the movie makes a point to identify the shortcomings of war and the immense powerlessness of the common soldier. Its not evoked through action or drama at all, but molded through over voices identifying differences and lines of dialogue specifically questioning it all. And this never stops nor lets up. From the line of dialogue with the main character and native person: (if memory serves correctly: "War not important. Babies are important." Then to Sean Penn acting as guiding voice of question all through it: "You really think one man can really make a difference in this mess?" Sean Penn, genius he is, has really no character here at all. Not many do. The idea is to see all the soldiers, all the voice overs, as the doubts of one man. The doubts of humanity struggling through war. The movie never really accomplishes it. It just airs itself out with dumb symbolism: Interaction with natives at beginning means the peace humanity should be have. Common man is defenseless and marched to death in war. War makes one lose himself and the things at home, the example in the movie being the wife of the main character and flashback scenes of her showing happiness in his life. Before the movie has any chance to build on anything, its just gives up with repeated "deep" scenes of characters we only saw moments ago. Drama to evoke anything is non existent.

~rougerum

 

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