Author Topic: how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages  (Read 6322 times)

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Gold Trumpet

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2005, 01:26:32 AM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
i guess i'm going to have to jump in the minority here and say i agree with soixante, and his bob dylan analogy.  (although i can see the 'mainstream' part is subjective and arguable, i still get what he's trying to say.)


Good reply. I sympathize with his position without being able to agree. When it comes to arguing Scorsese, I'm more negative about his films than most people. The only films of his I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated were Casino, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Aviator. I like others to certain degrees, but not totally. The reasons are too varied to list off in order.

classical gas

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2005, 01:47:22 AM »
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i know of all those words, but bunched together in that particular order, they don't seem to make any sense at all...

Myxo

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2005, 01:48:33 AM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: themodernage02
i guess i'm going to have to jump in the minority here and say i agree with soixante, and his bob dylan analogy.  (although i can see the 'mainstream' part is subjective and arguable, i still get what he's trying to say.)


Good reply. I sympathize with his position without being able to agree. When it comes to arguing Scorsese, I'm more negative about his films than most people. The only films of his I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated were Casino, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Aviator. I like others to certain degrees, but not totally. The reasons are too varied to list off in order.


Taxi Driver? Goodfellas? Raging Bull? Mean Streets?

These are all brilliant films. You don't include them on your list of Scorsese films you enjoyed?

Gold Trumpet

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2005, 01:55:40 AM »
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Quote from: Myxomatosis
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Quote from: themodernage02
i guess i'm going to have to jump in the minority here and say i agree with soixante, and his bob dylan analogy.  (although i can see the 'mainstream' part is subjective and arguable, i still get what he's trying to say.)


Good reply. I sympathize with his position without being able to agree. When it comes to arguing Scorsese, I'm more negative about his films than most people. The only films of his I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated were Casino, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Aviator. I like others to certain degrees, but not totally. The reasons are too varied to list off in order.


Taxi Driver? Goodfellas? Raging Bull? Mean Streets?

These are all brilliant films. You don't include them on your list of Scorsese films you enjoyed?


'Enjoyed' is too simple of a word. Appreciation along with enjoyed is better. And honestly, a resounding "no" for all those. I'd love to argue any of them, but still, this is general Scorsese talk. My attempt to adaquately argue each film there would make me skip points and just want to get done. I'll say Raging Bull comes the closest. That film's main problem is the existence of an amazingly better film made years earlier and almost completely alike in subject: This Sporting Life.

Gold Trumpet

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2005, 01:58:40 AM »
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Quote from: classical gas
i know of all those words, but bunched together in that particular order, they don't seem to make any sense at all...


These replies bug me the most. Say "why"! I just ask for a fair shake. Myxomatosis replied to my post fine.

classical gas

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2005, 02:03:05 AM »
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i apologize....i was basically requesting the same thing, about taxi driver and raging bull, etc....you answered his reply, which was an answer to mine, so, no harm done...two birds, one stone and a little pebble at my self-esteem....

SiliasRuby

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2005, 02:15:17 AM »
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I really love him and his films. But I still haven't seen the following films: boxcar bertha, the age of innocence, the color of money, the last waltz, Kundun, and the last temptation of christ. Any of those on that list should I see first?
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Gold Trumpet

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2005, 02:42:46 AM »
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Quote from: classical gas
i apologize....i was basically requesting the same thing, about taxi driver and raging bull, etc....you answered his reply, which was an answer to mine, so, no harm done...two birds, one stone and a little pebble at my self-esteem....


OK....I'll keep it brief because I feel I do owe it:

Taxi Driver: The best part of this film is the filmmaking achievement to show Bickel's inner paranoia and the violence in his mind. Scorsese in interviews paints the film as a Vietnam War veteran lost after coming home. I don't see any part of that. Not only do I not see that, but I don't see the larger and more interesting question of "how" he became who he even is. A few years ago, The Believer painted the unbelievable scenario of a Jew becoming a Neo Nazi. Startling to see such a character wave his hand in the air to salute Hitler, but also easy. The entire focus of that film should have been how he became that. Also a flaw is that much of Taxi Driver film rests on the supposed dream sequence of whether he survived the gun shoot out and almost got the girl. To me, it hardly matches the character portrait of the rest of the film. Taxi Driver never was about whether he charmed the girl or not, but his continuing downward spiral to make any connection with anyone. To end it on the idea he maybe or maybe not got his dream girl's attention seems like an easy out.

Mean Streets: Scorsese called Cassavetes his mentor and this feels like his apprentice film to him. Scorsese simplifies the story as much as he can and keeps it as personal as he can, but it seemed like he was trying to recreate the hallmark of Cassavetes cinema without getting there. For me, the very best of Cassavetes is his ability to not just keep a story simple, but carry it with a tone of filmmaking and presence that you feel immersed in one person's life and as you follow the character, you feel their traits carried along and it really bleeds through the screen. I think about A Woman Under the Influence and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie when I think of this. Scorsese only goes half way. The story is simple, but he relies on old tricks to tell their story. He doesn't just introduce the character, but he also introduces a problem. Cassavetes is all character til halfway. Then as Scorsese progresses with the story, he focuses on the smaller points of their life and instead of feeling like great detail, it feels like lazy storytelling. I cared more for the problem  De Niro's character was and so was impatient for a resolution that was slow coming. I never felt connected really to Keital's character for himself. Scorsese didn't have to be totally Cassavetes to succeed here, but I didn't think he was interesting in general with the choices he made.

Raging Bull: Like I said before, there's a wonderful superior film to this that could easily be compared any day. This Sporting Life is a British film made in the 1960s about a rugby player who deals with anger problems on and off the field and even though he succeeds tremendously at his sport, it becomes clear he is taking his home issues out on the field more than anything else. The film isn't chronological. It jumps back and forth from the beginning to end and sometimes even in the middle. It wasn't trying to influence Pulp Fiction, but paint a portait of this man that starts from his psyche and shows different scenes of his life that as the film progresses, begins to paint a clear image of what truly drives him at his work. The film tells the story according to its theme and the effectiveness of the film was that much more for me than Raging Bull.

Goodfellas: Someone said this film is the lightweight version of Mean Streets. Thats a really good idea. I never believed Ebert's emphasis that this film was that personal for Scorsese. It's told too simply and with too much nostalgia. The story is as enjoyable as any film, but where's the accomplishment? The filmmaking is as crisp as he got at that point, but he succeeded himself immensely for this type of film in Casino. Casino is a spetacle of his command of the camera to tell a story. Goodfellas is enjoyable, but doesn't have enough of the dramatic or personal touch to compete with earlier works and not enough technical majesty to compete with later works. Its a film stuck in the middle for me.

I hope that answers something.

soixante

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2005, 02:57:10 AM »
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Bringing Out The Dead is a mainstream film.  It was financed by Touchstone and Paramount, and has an upbeat ending, and a very traditional Hollywood plot.  After Hours is mainstream -- Warner Brothers, big stars in the cast.  Age of Innocence -- mainstream, Columbia, big budget.

Ok, non-mainstream -- Jon Jost.  Never had studio backing.  His films don't play at multiplexes.  His storylines are non-linear.  He never had Mike Ovitz as his agent, like Scorsese did.

Robert Altman in the 80's -- non-mainstream.  Fool for Love, based on a Sam Shepard play, non-linear, abstract, played in about 3 theaters.  Whereas After Hours had a somewhat weird edge on the surface, it was still a traditional Hollywood comedy in which Scorsese hoped the audience would laugh in all the right places, while Fool for Love or O.C. and Stiggs were the work of a maverick artist who didn't give a fuck if anyone liked his work (much like when Charlie Parker would play a solo with his back to the audience).

In my opinion, once you work for the major studios, you're a mainstream filmmaker.  Guys like Jon Jost, Jean-Luc Godard and Robert Altman seldom, if ever, have anything to do with major studios.

For the record, I haven't lost interest in Scorsese.  I still see all his films, and he is still one of my favorite filmmakers.  However, I think Scorsese has gotten a little soft with time, like many artists (unlike Altman or Godard, who are both still on the vanguard and pushing the limits of the medium).

I guess I'm splitting hairs to say that I don't like GoodFellas as much as Mean Streets, or Raging Bull as much as Taxi Driver.  I thought GoodFellas was the best film of 1990, but still, it's not as great as Mean Streets.  Few films really explore the ethical and moral and religious dilemmas explored in Mean Streets.  Compared to Mean Streets, GoodFellas just glosses over the surface of mafia life, without really exploring every single layer of someone's soul, like Mean Streets does.
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Myxo

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2005, 03:21:09 AM »
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So, what the fuck?

Your film has to be totally obscure and be available to an audience of 23 to be cool? That a movie has the backing of a major studio and a huge budget should not automatically put it in some sort of "uncool" status. How lame is that? I've never understood the whole "run once something is popular" crap. If the film is great, who gives a shit if the budget was $100,00 or $100,000,000. People do the same thing with music.

"Man! XYZ band used to be my favorite, but now they're all over the radio! I hate em!"

Quote from: soixante
Robert Altman in the 80's -- non-mainstream.  Fool for Love, based on a Sam Shepard play, non-linear, abstract, played in about 3 theaters.


It grossed $468,106.

I'm guessing it played in a few more than three theaters. Also, it was released by "Cannon Group" who put together a run of some pretty aweful campy movies in the 1980s including,

American Ninja 1, 2, 3, 4
Bloodsport
Cyborg
Death Wish 3, 4

I'm guessing that Altman didn't have people beating down his door for the wonderous "Fool for Love". I'd also bet that he shopped it around quite a bit before Cannon Group agreed.

soixante

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2005, 11:59:00 AM »
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Quote from: Myxomatosis
So, what the fuck?

Your film has to be totally obscure and be available to an audience of 23 to be cool? That a movie has the backing of a major studio and a huge budget should not automatically put it in some sort of "uncool" status. How lame is that? I've never understood the whole "run once something is popular" crap. If the film is great, who gives a shit if the budget was $100,00 or $100,000,000. People do the same thing with music.

"Man! XYZ band used to be my favorite, but now they're all over the radio! I hate em!"


I never said mainstream was automatically bad or uncool.  There are plenty of big-budget studio films I like.  However, there is a great deal of danger when a filmmaker with a unique vision crosses over into mainstream Hollywood, and I feel that Scorsese has sometimes done films for commercial, not personal, reasons.
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Gold Trumpet

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2005, 01:20:34 PM »
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Quote from: soixante
Bringing Out The Dead is a mainstream film.  It was financed by Touchstone and Paramount, and has an upbeat ending, and a very traditional Hollywood plot.


Traditional plot? One, the protaganist is not a hero, but just someone looking to make good with his sordid past. He acts almost out of fear and anxiety than courage. Two, the love sub plot never materializes to the usual Hollywood affair type. Its basically about two people who want to find some peace in their life. No great love scene or as far as I remember, a romantic kiss. Their major accomplishment is they find comfort in sleeping next to each other.

The ending I wouldn't characterize as upbeat. I'd say hopeful. An upbeat ending would have promised a great life later on when they are just trying to make it through the day.

Read the novel it was based on. It follows that novel very much to its core and Scorsese made the film based just on his appreciation of the novel and with getting Schrader to adapt the screenplay, didn't allow for Hollywood opinion to inflict itself on the film.

I'm finding it odd I'm defending a film I don't think is even good, but it deserves some respect.

soixante

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2005, 02:30:56 PM »
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Bringing Out the Dead is a good film, and it has some inspired moments.  But I think it's still pretty mainstream -- the protagonist meets the love interest in the first 10 minutes, the protagonist has to overcome the demons of his past in order to have a decent future (similar plot to Good Will Hunting).

Compare this story structure to the non-linear works of Godard and Jon Jost.  Scorsese works within the confines of big-budget, mainstream Hollywood conventions, and does better work than most directors in this situation.  However, I can't imagine Scorsese making a film like Gummo, Elephant or Buffalo 66.

As for Cannon Films, they made a lot of bad B-movies in the 80's, but they also subsidized some art films, such as Barfly, Street Smart and Godard's King Lear.  They also gave directors like Altman the creative leeway that major studios wouldn't provide.
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Stefen

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2005, 02:37:32 PM »
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Quote from: soixante
Quote from: Myxomatosis
So, what the fuck?

Your film has to be totally obscure and be available to an audience of 23 to be cool? That a movie has the backing of a major studio and a huge budget should not automatically put it in some sort of "uncool" status. How lame is that? I've never understood the whole "run once something is popular" crap. If the film is great, who gives a shit if the budget was $100,00 or $100,000,000. People do the same thing with music.

"Man! XYZ band used to be my favorite, but now they're all over the radio! I hate em!"


I never said mainstream was automatically bad or uncool.  There are plenty of big-budget studio films I like.  However, there is a great deal of danger when a filmmaker with a unique vision crosses over into mainstream Hollywood, and I feel that Scorsese has sometimes done films for commercial, not personal, reasons.


Mainstream isn't bad, but in my opinion what happens is people change. Like musicians, they had that hunger before, that obscurity and they put it all out on a record, then when they get bigger (which is a good thing) they lose a sense of what it was that got them there. It all happens in the sub conscious. It's the same way with Scorsese, I feel he made his best films at a very young age and has kind of been trodding along lightly. He hasen't made bad films, he's just tried to make good films. Alot of the filmmakers of that era have gone through the same thing, Coppola, De Palma, even Spielberg to an extent. People change, and they get older and they get more money and they get surrounded by different people who change them for better or worse, none of those guys are trying to make a bad movie, they just don't have that same THING they had when they were starting out, cause when you got money, and yes men and acceptance, it's hard to hold onto that THING.
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eward

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how soixante lost interest in him and regained it in 3 pages
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2005, 03:25:08 PM »
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this argument is retarded.

 

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