What Films Are We Watching?

Started by Something Spanish, March 31, 2018, 04:59:34 PM

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Quote from: 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?

Alex Ross Perry? His films might be a bit too tempestuous and stylized, though, to cozily fit that bill.


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.


Quote from: jenkins on August 03, 2018, 03:58:23 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."
My house, my rules, my coffee


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?


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


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


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.

Something Spanish

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.

Something Spanish


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. Clich├ęd 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.


Quote from: Something Spanish on September 11, 2018, 09:58:19 AM

...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. 

Something Spanish

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.


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


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.
My house, my rules, my coffee


this is strip club music according to Exotica, 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

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


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.