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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk => Movie Clubs => Topic started by: jdc on February 01, 2018, 11:31:10 AM

Title: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 01, 2018, 11:31:10 AM
Sorry, I didn't realize I had to start my own thread, here is my latest Top 100. I only made changes at the last minute so there was little thought about the order and I am sure I missed films I should have added but it will do for now


1   Barton Fink
2   Gummo
3   The Squid and the Whale
4   Adaptation
5   Requiem for a Dream
6   Memories of Murder
7   No Country for Old Men
8   The New World
9   A Serious Man
10   Take Shelter
11   In Bruges
12   The Big Lebowski
13   Fargo
14   Miller's Crossing
15   Magnolia
16   Happiness
17   Old Boy
18   Reservoir Dogs
19   Snatch
20   The World of Kanako
21   Birdman
22   A Clockwork Orange
23   American Pyscho
24   Antichrist
25   Blue Velvet
26   One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
27   Dead Man
28   There Will be Blood
29   Margaret
30   Moonrise Kingdom
31   Das Boot
32   Naked Lunch
33   Mother!
34   Battle Royal
35   Being John Malkovich
36   Shaolin Soccer
37   2001: A Space Odyssey
38   Dr Stranglove
39   Best in Show
40   Boogie Nights
41   Donnie Darko
42   Full Metal Jacket
43   Funny Games (1997)
44   GoodFellas
45   Freaks
46   Jaws
47   External Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
48   Ex Machina
49   Fight Club
50   Carnal Knowledge
51   Alien
52   Let the Right One In
53   Thirst
54   The Godfather
55   The Shining
56   Pulp Fiction
57   Deep Water
58   Dear Zachary
59   Glengerry Glenross
60   Apocalypse Now
61   Time
62   The Big Short
63   Wonderboys
64   Kids
65   Harold and Maude
66   Infernal Affairs
67   Chinatown
68   Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels
69   Memento
70   Drive
71   We Need to Talk about Kevin
72   Ordinary People
73   Little Children
74   Sleeping Dogs Lie
75   Audition
76   This is Spinal Tap
77   Shallow Grave
78   Rashomon
79   Rushmore
80   Children of Men
81   Before Midnight
82   The Player
83   Anomalisa
84   The Handmaiden
85   The Good, the Bad, the Weird
86   Benny's Video
87   The Witch
88   Black Swan
89   Company of Men
90   Stop Making Sense
91   The Weatherman
92   Nightcrawler
93   The Descedants
94   Paths of Glory
95   Die Hard
96   The Babadook
97   Act of Killing
98   Whiplash
99   A History of Violence
100   Samsara

Removed:

Mother (Korean)
Women in the Dunes
The Abyss
Synecdoche, New York
The White Ribbon
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Baraka
Groundhog Day

Added:
The Handmaiden
Anomalisa
Children of Men
Sleeping Dogs Lie
The Big Short
Nightcrawler
mother!
Ex Machina

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 01, 2018, 11:49:36 AM
Unseen:
20   The World of Kanako
29   Margaret
53   Thirst
57   Deep Water
61   Time
74   Sleeping Dogs Lie
77   Shallow Grave
86   Benny's Video

Undecided what I'll watch, a number look interesting though.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on February 01, 2018, 11:55:54 AM
I wonder who else has even seen World of Kanako.

Looks like I have two options.
74   Sleeping Dogs Lie
100   Samsara
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Bondo on February 01, 2018, 01:19:28 PM
I have five unseen. Will get to mother!, Sleeping Dogs Lie and World of Kanako (which is apparently free to stream with ads on Vudu).
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: MartinTeller on February 01, 2018, 01:44:55 PM
20   The World of Kanako
29   Margaret
33   Mother!
36   Shaolin Soccer
50   Carnal Knowledge
63   Wonderboys
73   Little Children
74   Sleeping Dogs Lie
83   Anomalisa
84   The Handmaiden
93   The Descedants

Need to think about it. Oddly enough I was just thinking about Kamikaze Girls out of nowhere this morning, so World of Kanako is standing out to me.

Hopefully I can watch one on time this month.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 01, 2018, 02:13:27 PM
There are 50 I have not seen:

1   Barton Fink
2   Gummo
3   The Squid and the Whale
5   Requiem for a Dream
8   The New World
9   A Serious Man
10   Take Shelter
14   Miller's Crossing
15   Magnolia
20   The World of Kanako
21   Birdman
23   American Pyscho
24   Antichrist
28   There Will be Blood
29   Margaret
31   Das Boot
33   Mother!
43   Funny Games (1997)
44   GoodFellas
45   Freaks
46   Jaws
54   The Godfather
55   The Shining
57   Deep Water
58   Dear Zachary
59   Glengerry Glenross
62   The Big Short
63   Wonderboys
70   Drive
71   We Need to Talk about Kevin
72   Ordinary People
73   Little Children
74   Sleeping Dogs Lie
75   Audition
79   Rushmore
81   Before Midnight
83   Anomalisa
84   The Handmaiden
85   The Good, the Bad, the Weird
86   Benny's Video
87   The Witch
88   Black Swan
89   Company of Men
90   Stop Making Sense
91   The Weatherman
92   Nightcrawler
93   The Descedants
96   The Babadook
97   Act of Killing
98   Whiplash

I have several of these available on different streaming sites (World of Kanako is on Hulu). Might try for

World of Kanako
The Godfather (if it is on the US Netflix site and I can get on to it).
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: chardy999 on February 05, 2018, 03:47:02 AM
Great list JDC. I shall get to The Act of Killing for starters.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: oldkid on February 06, 2018, 09:30:18 AM
Looks like it's time to finally catch up with The Squid and the Whale.  And maybe Wonder Boys.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Junior on February 06, 2018, 10:59:19 AM
I think I'm gonna try to see Margaret. I assume the extended cut?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 06, 2018, 01:15:59 PM
Looks like it's time to finally catch up with The Squid and the Whale.  And maybe Wonder Boys.

I think both are very personal, interactional movies and would be good for you. I really don't think Wonder Boys has much love so would be nice to get an opinion from somebody else
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 06, 2018, 01:29:57 PM
I think I'm gonna try to see Margaret. I assume the extended cut?

I bought the Bluray set that had the regular cut on Blu-ray and the extended cut on DVD.  Personally, I would go with the shorter version which is already 2hrs 30 mins. I have watched shorter version a 2 or 3  times and the extended cut once. I think the extended version is about 30 minutes longer but it only really clarifies one scene/conversation. But that really doesn't have an impact on the overall story.

If you go with the shorter version, I would be willing to bet you would know which question is clarified in the extended version. But either way, I am not sure it changes the film


Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on February 07, 2018, 04:05:57 AM
Sleeping Dogs Lie
There's a strong melancholy to Robert Goldthwait's screenplay that elevates this premise from the deep depths and gives it some humanity. It's a tough initial pill to swallow, especially when Amy's reasoning is so unclear. I don't want to judge, so let's just say if she'll do something like that "in the moment" it could make her more interesting if that was part of the suppression in her upbringing or something that would surface to cause moral harm more than just that one time. As is, it's more outrageous attention grabber to sell the film than something seriously considered, which you can't say for everything that follows.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 07, 2018, 04:40:42 AM
I get the sense that you do appreciate it at some level. I never focused on what she did that eventually drives what happens in the film. It is not reasonably explained but I guess it could have been anything that would be difficult for your partner to understand or except once they know about it. I do love her performance, especially once she realized that our partners really do not need to know everything about is.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on February 07, 2018, 10:36:05 AM
I did and I prefer it to World's Greatest Dad, which has Robin Williams giving his all but everything else around him was pretty poor, including a similar son character who is criminally anti-social. You can just compare those two characters and there's a more realistic foundation to the son in Dogs, with more notes to play.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on February 07, 2018, 11:33:03 AM
jdc, there are a lot of films in your top 100 I'm interested in seeing, but these are the three I'll get to this month.

American Psycho
Best in Show
This is Spinal Tap
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 07, 2018, 06:49:12 PM
jdc, there are a lot of films in your top 100 I'm interested in seeing, but these are the three I'll get to this month.

American Psycho
Best in Show
This is Spinal Tap

I see you are going for comedies

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Bondo on February 07, 2018, 08:22:16 PM
mother! (2017)

Well, I guess it was never likely I was going to slide in with a C+ review of this film, known as it is for strong, divided opinions. Looking at jdc's top 100, dark and often discombobulating cinematic vision is very common and this certainly fits that bill. That is much less my taste.

I'm not sure if this is a film that exactly disproves my sense that you know if you'll like a film after 15 minutes, because at 15 minutes I didn't like it and ultimately I didn't like it. But at the 3/4 mark of the film I at least somewhat got a grasp for what it was trying to do, even if I found the way it went about it too completely off-putting to appreciate it.*

I saw mention of it as a tortured artist-muse sort of dynamic, and there is certainly some of that, making my viewings for the week a thematic double feature with Phantom Thread. But once the biblical themes sunk in for me, it certainly felt more of a critique of religion's corruption of nature (or science...apparently Aronofsky blamed the lack of success of the film on people not getting science or something), with the God-artist in part to blame, than something with the artistic reverence of Phantom Thread. Or maybe that critique was just a front for the creator myth after all, which is less fulfilling. I don't know.

*This could be a film that grows over time when the immediate visceral disgust fades and the message lingers. Ask me again in a few months.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: MartinTeller on February 09, 2018, 04:37:33 PM
The World of Kanako - I tried. I tried to get through the messy narrative that can't stay focused on the same timeline for longer than 30 consecutive seconds. I tried to look past the muddled Seijun Suzuki-via-Quentin Tarantino 70's-exploitation-wannabe styling. I tried to stomach the protagonist's lack of any character traits besides "violently angry", and Kōji Yakusho's "shouting all my lines is interesting, right?" performance. I almost bailed half an hour in, when our (anti)hero viciously rapes his ex-wife, but I felt compelled to see it through, especially since I missed last month's Top 100 Club.

I only made it another 15-20 minutes. I was getting nothing out of it except annoyance and disgust. I just don't have the patience for this kind of rampant nihilism anymore. I suppose this film is not very different at all from I Stand Alone, a film in my top 250, but I guess I saw that one at a time when I was more open to that kind of thing.

So I watched about a third of this movie and had enough. I probably won't get to another movie this month.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 10, 2018, 05:21:26 AM
The Godfather (1972 Francis Ford Coppola)

Years ago when I first heard of The Godfather and the horse head scene I assumed this was going to be a movie with a lot of nasty organised crime violence. I was not interested in watching such a film. Later as I desensitised myself to movie violence it was a matter of just never getting around to it. Well thank to jdc and the US Netflix I have finally watched it. Not what I expected.

This is a family drama, set amongst a crime family. So while there is violence and death, there is domesticity, often with groups of men cooking and dining together. This is a long film and there was a few times where I felt that length, in particular the beginning and nearish the end. My main problem, other than the lulls, was time passed within the movie was hard to keep track of. The bruise on Pacino eye, the apparent son of Pacino, just did not fit with other parts of the stated time-flow.

Still what a film, pitch perfect performances and a tension that was just beautifully held. I am glad I did not know about the assassination attempt on Brando, it left me wondering where the film was going. One of my favourite bits was the introduction to Sterling Hayden, I knew who it was, but the shadowing of his face was masterful.

Rating: 81/100
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 10, 2018, 07:38:49 AM
Years ago when I first heard of The Godfather and the horse head scene I assumed this was going to be a movie with a lot of nasty organised crime violence. I was not interested in watching such a film. Later as I desensitised myself to movie violence it was a matter of just never getting around to it. Well thank to jdc and the US Netflix I have finally watched it. Not what I expected.

I first saw this about 5 or 6 years ago and spent the whole wedding sequence waiting for the rival gang to drive in and start blasting everyone. I had forgotten that films weren't always a wall to wall assault.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 10, 2018, 08:09:51 PM
mother! (2017)

*This could be a film that grows over time when the immediate visceral disgust fades and the message lingers. Ask me again in a few months.

Will do, I hope it sinks in a bit more. I was somewhat worried you might would find it more misogynistic has been brought up a few times around here as well in reviews. But I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions

The World of Kanako - I tried. I tried to get through the messy narrative that can't stay focused on the same timeline for longer than 30 consecutive seconds. I tried to look past the muddled Seijun Suzuki-via-Quentin Tarantino 70's-exploitation-wannabe styling. I tried to stomach the protagonist's lack of any character traits besides "violently angry", and Kōji Yakusho's "shouting all my lines is interesting, right?" performance. I almost bailed half an hour in, when our (anti)hero viciously rapes his ex-wife, but I felt compelled to see it through, especially since I missed last month's Top 100 Club.

I only made it another 15-20 minutes. I was getting nothing out of it except annoyance and disgust. I just don't have the patience for this kind of rampant nihilism anymore. I suppose this film is not very different at all from I Stand Alone, a film in my top 250, but I guess I saw that one at a time when I was more open to that kind of thing.

So I watched about a third of this movie and had enough. I probably won't get to another movie this month.

Sorry it seems to have given you such a bad experience, it is not easy or pleasent but strangly hynpnotic as it builds. Plus, I sometimes just like a truly evil character which Konoko is in a chilling way. I heard of I Stand Alone before but it was difficult for me to find and I previously gave up on it. I will scrub my sources again.

The Godfather (1972 Francis Ford Coppola)

Years ago when I first heard of The Godfather and the horse head scene I assumed this was going to be a movie with a lot of nasty organised crime violence. I was not interested in watching such a film. Later as I desensitised myself to movie violence it was a matter of just never getting around to it. Well thank to jdc and the US Netflix I have finally watched it. Not what I expected.

This is a family drama, set amongst a crime family. So while there is violence and death, there is domesticity, often with groups of men cooking and dining together. This is a long film and there was a few times where I felt that length, in particular the beginning and nearish the end. My main problem, other than the lulls, was time passed within the movie was hard to keep track of. The bruise on Pacino eye, the apparent son of Pacino, just did not fit with other parts of the stated time-flow.

Still what a film, pitch perfect performances and a tension that was just beautifully held. I am glad I did not know about the assassination attempt on Brando, it left me wondering where the film was going. One of my favourite bits was the introduction to Sterling Hayden, I knew who it was, but the shadowing of his face was masterful.

Rating: 81/100

I just recently rewatched Parts 1 and 2 with my wife as she had never seen them before. It was difficult to get her to watch them as she doesn't like gangster films in general (violence is fine though) nor understand why I would want to rewatch a film. Eventually, I wore her down and got her to watch, she had very similar comments as you but probably a bit higher love. 

I assume you hadn't watch Part 2, so please do so, many would argue that it is better. They probably are not correct but they possibly have a case.

Now.. given my wife also doesn't like war films, I am now trying to get her to watch Apocalypse Now. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 10, 2018, 10:17:22 PM
I took my wife to see Apocalypse Now at a rerun cinema a few years back, she only made it half way through before indicating that she did not want to watch the rest of the film. I hope you have better luck. Part 2 and 3 are on the US Netflix so I am going to try and get to them.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Bondo on February 11, 2018, 07:46:01 PM
Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006)

Or my preferred title, Marley and Ooh My. Though the word in the title that will get the most attention given the plot details is dog, it's really lie that is doing the heavy lifting here as this absurdist comedy probes the ethical question of how honest one should be with others, particularly romantic partners, about their sexual history. It seems to partner well with Chasing Amy which comes at the issue from a different angle, and I'd argue a more satisfying one ultimately.

I think 1SO hits on a point that could have stood to be developed more. The film, in part of its absurdity that I found a bit tough to deal with generally, paints Amy's parents as extremely strict, keeping her and her fiancee in different rooms during their visit. I suppose the implication exists that her action could have been a response to the repression, but she never broaches this when dealing with the aftershocks of the revelation to indicate it is the reason. I guess ultimately I didn't find it as funny as I might have hoped, I didn't find the thematic strands to be clearly enough woven, and the acting on the whole was a bit stilted. Unfortunately I don't really see it.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 11, 2018, 08:33:00 PM
Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006)

Or my preferred title, Marley and Ooh My. Though the word in the title that will get the most attention given the plot details is dog, it's really lie that is doing the heavy lifting here as this absurdist comedy probes the ethical question of how honest one should be with others, particularly romantic partners, about their sexual history. It seems to partner well with Chasing Amy which comes at the issue from a different angle, and I'd argue a more satisfying one ultimately.

I think 1SO hits on a point that could have stood to be developed more. The film, in part of its absurdity that I found a bit tough to deal with generally, paints Amy's parents as extremely strict, keeping her and her fiancee in different rooms during their visit. I suppose the implication exists that her action could have been a response to the repression, but she never broaches this when dealing with the aftershocks of the revelation to indicate it is the reason. I guess ultimately I didn't find it as funny as I might have hoped, I didn't find the thematic strands to be clearly enough woven, and the acting on the whole was a bit stilted. Unfortunately I don't really see it.

Chasing Amy is one I plan to rewatch (I think it is on my Netflix), having not seen it since it originally came out. I just remember that I thought it was pretty good but I remember very little of it other than the basic plot.

I never really needed a reason or to understand her act that triggers the conflict.  It is absurd and I don't think there is any kind of explanation that easily make it seem like, "well, now that you put it that way..." to most people. Likewise, I am not sure I would ever understand the story of her boyfriend that made her feel comfortable enough to reveal her dark secret. It just seems wanted to use something very absurd to drive a story around those questions of how open and honest should you be with your partner.

It has been quite a few years since I last watched this film and it usually has been sitting just below my Top 100 films in the list of potential films. I have gone back and forth every time I revise this list wondering if I should include it or not. But I am glad I did as it at least got some new attention even if not really successful. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on February 17, 2018, 12:01:48 AM
Best in Show

(https://i.imgur.com/D9j2ODw.jpg)

My how we love our dogs. The line between owners and pets lose focus, as they endear themselves to each other and take on one another's characteristics, even to the point of looking alike. And my how we love our mockumentaries! With the familiar cast of improv wonders, so goofy and also endearing, because everyone stays in character and plays the scenes as if they're legit. With this style of filming, I suspect there are loads of gems left on the editing room floor for brevity sake. I laughed a lot and thought about our filmspotters' pets and how we are richer for our furry friends and their companionship. I don't have a dog right now, but I do have a very cute mutt named Shadow, who I claim, since he is my daughter and son-in-law's. He was a rescue dog and has many talents. He might not be best in show, but he did get 2nd place at the Purina Dog Challenge this last fall. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=116&v=PwZnLoCrYPo&t=40m07s
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 17, 2018, 07:21:09 PM
Best in Show
I don't have a dog right now, but I do have a very cute mutt named Shadow, who I claim, since he is my daughter and son-in-law's. He was a rescue dog and has many talents. He might not be best in show, but he did get 2nd place at the Purina Dog Challenge this last fall. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=116&v=PwZnLoCrYPo&t=40m07s

What a great dog your children have there.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on February 21, 2018, 02:18:00 AM
Requiem for a Dream

It's been several years since I watched this last... though there was a time in my life when I watched it more frequently and had it in my own top 100. I wondered if revisiting it now might rekindle that level of fondness for it.

I can report that nothing about the film has softened over the years. The music and editing are relentless, which I love because of how it keeps your attention.

Nothing new resonating from this experience though. It's very much the film I remember it to be, no more, no less. It's a sad horrible circling of the drain sort of film. Quality sad filmmaking.

It's hard to pin down what changed inside me to make me pull back some from a film like this. When I first watched this I also liked Metallica, and speed boats and other things young guys are drawn too. These days I listen to female vocal jazz and dream of owning a sailboat. Maybe I've found better sources of thrills these days, or maybe adult life has enough intensity as it is. I hate to sum it up and say "you get older, you change", but that's probably a part of the truth.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 21, 2018, 02:32:06 AM
I was beginning to think everybody has been seeing too much misery in the world and decided to boycott my list of films.

Requiem for a Dream

It's been several years since I watched this last... though there was a time in my life when I watched it more frequently and had it in my own top 100. I wondered if revisiting it now might rekindle that level of fondness for it.

I can report that nothing about the film has softened over the years. The music and editing are relentless, which I love because of how it keeps your attention.

Nothing new resonating from this experience though. It's very much the film I remember it to be, no more, no less. It's a sad horrible circling of the drain sort of film. Quality sad filmmaking.

It's hard to pin down what changed inside me to make me pull back some from a film like this. When I first watched this I also liked Metallica, and speed boats and other things young guys are drawn too. These days I listen to female vocal jazz and dream of owning a sailboat. Maybe I've found better sources of thrills these days, or maybe adult life has enough intensity as it is. I hate to sum it up and say "you get older, you change", but that's probably a part of the truth.

Perhaps you are becoming better adjusted than I have. But then, we also have some similar changes. I was a Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden fan and also now mostly listen to a lot of jazz.  Maybe I can interest you in my favorite singer/writer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J8uHjFaZTM

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on February 21, 2018, 03:09:43 AM
I'll add her to my spotify. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: oldkid on February 25, 2018, 04:15:13 PM
The Squid and the Whale

Never have I been as irritated at Jeff Daniels and Jesse Eisenberg as I was in the first ten minutes of this film.  If I'd never seen them before, I would have left this film, hated them, and never sought them out again.  As it was, I have a history with these actors, so I could forgive them a bit.

Frankly, I sometimes have trouble with Bombach's characters.  Greenberg stands out.  Wow, do I hate that guy.  Even Greta Gerwig couldn't save that movie.  I do love Mistress America, but I've struggled with Bombach's films because these people are so terribly, desperately self-centered.  They can't see how they hurt the people around them.

As I go deeper into the Squid and the Whale, however, I realize that the situation is more complex.  Not complex enough for me to forgive Daniels' character, but complex enough to know that the biting comments and callous behavior might have cause.  I'm glad I watched it.  The Bombach universe makes a lot more sense with this film as a key.  People are complex and there are multiple causes.  Sure, there is self-interest, but there is also pain for good cause.  It helps me see that Bombach's societal universe and mine might not be as far apart as I thought.

I still like Mistress America better. :)

3.5/5
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 25, 2018, 04:56:27 PM
The Squid and the Whale

Never have I been as irritated at Jeff Daniels and Jesse Eisenberg as I was in the first ten minutes of this film. 

I felt the same about Jeff Daniels. Then about 15-20 minutes in I considered how fun it might've been to play such a despicable monster, in the way it 's probably fun to play a cartoon supervillain, and it made his character more palatable.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: chardy999 on February 27, 2018, 03:43:00 AM
The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer (2012)

(http://i66.tinypic.com/11k8876.jpg)

While fictional killers can be brushed aside, real killers, in documentaries, are often unsettling and disturbing. What they are often not is fascinating. Anwar, once a perfunctory murderer in the Indonesian genocide of the 60’s, shines brightly in his later years, deft on his feet, and warm with his words as he delights in being the centre of attention and, indeed, bringing attention to the work of his life that claimed a million communist lives, a thousand of which he was personally responsible for.

There is a joy and remorselessness that is quite astounding in Anwar and his fellow criminals as they agree to re-enact scenes of their various murders, detailing the process where anybody who stood up to them was labelled a communist and then trialled, found guilty, tortured and killed. I’m not sure how much of this was Oppenheimer’s idea because who the hell would think of asking that? Perhaps their wilful ignorance of how humans should behave gave him some idea, perhaps it was how Indonesia has still done nothing to address these war crimes 50 years later, perhaps it’s because the political party continues on today, spouting hate (and without a clear policy of their own), or perhaps it’s because they place pride in the title of ‘gangster’ which, of course, means free man. It is still truly distressing and astonishing that these monsters can proudly proclaim they are free men and believe that absolves them from all accountability for their actions.

The movie pivots on the development of these re-enactments as various characters begin to consider the events. The children of today are confused and scared but in the monsters of the past we see some realisation which means the whole exercise isn’t pointless beyond a horrific historical lesson. This is a little clumsily done narratively but the ridiculousness of the content allows for some occasional messy delivery. The tone is measured and patient and allows the drama to evolve naturally and with a story so rich it deserves to speak for itself.

7/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Junior on February 27, 2018, 11:23:04 AM
Gonna try to get to Benny's Video tonight.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 27, 2018, 01:30:30 PM
This month has been a mess for me, but I did get around to The World of Kanako last night. Although I wasn't as put off as Martin by the first third, his description is pretty accurate, it's a nihilistic narrative mess that mistakes obfuscation for cleverness and while it has some interesting scenes they're overwhelmed by the constant timeline switching and rather unlikeable lead. I'm not sure Martin would have liked where the movie goes much more than what he saw, the style remains in your face and indulgent and the content only gets more violent and despicable, and the film doesn't stop the timeline switching. It does, however, become a lot more coherent and there are little specks of humanity that make all the violence not just empty indulgence but a somewhat effective, if over the top, example of downward spirals and negative influence. The contrast that makes it a heavy downer in content but a fun stylish romp in tone is a bit weird and I prefer when films lean a bit more heavily one way or the other, but I enjoyed it overall.

I'll see if I can get to Thirst tonight and maybe Benny's Video tomorrow.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 27, 2018, 07:10:43 PM
This month has been a mess for me, but I did get around to The World of Kanako last night. Although I wasn't as put off as Martin by the first third, his description is pretty accurate, it's a nihilistic narrative mess that mistakes obfuscation for cleverness and while it has some interesting scenes they're overwhelmed by the constant timeline switching and rather unlikeable lead. I'm not sure Martin would have liked where the movie goes much more than what he saw, the style remains in your face and indulgent and the content only gets more violent and despicable, and the film doesn't stop the timeline switching. It does, however, become a lot more coherent and there are little specks of humanity that make all the violence not just empty indulgence but a somewhat effective, if over the top, example of downward spirals and negative influence. The contrast that makes it a heavy downer in content but a fun stylish romp in tone is a bit weird and I prefer when films lean a bit more heavily one way or the other, but I enjoyed it overall.

I'll see if I can get to Thirst tonight and maybe Benny's Video tomorrow.

Benny's Video certainly won't be more enjoyable but certainly isn't stylistic. Thirst is probably a better balance but still a lot to go through in a short time.

Thanks for getting through it and even enjoying it to an extent
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 27, 2018, 07:14:39 PM
The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer (2012)

(http://i66.tinypic.com/11k8876.jpg)

While fictional killers can be brushed aside, real killers, in documentaries, are often unsettling and disturbing. What they are often not is fascinating. Anwar, once a perfunctory murderer in the Indonesian genocide of the 60’s, shines brightly in his later years, deft on his feet, and warm with his words as he delights in being the centre of attention and, indeed, bringing attention to the work of his life that claimed a million communist lives, a thousand of which he was personally responsible for.

There is a joy and remorselessness that is quite astounding in Anwar and his fellow criminals as they agree to re-enact scenes of their various murders, detailing the process where anybody who stood up to them was labelled a communist and then trialled, found guilty, tortured and killed. I’m not sure how much of this was Oppenheimer’s idea because who the hell would think of asking that? Perhaps their wilful ignorance of how humans should behave gave him some idea, perhaps it was how Indonesia has still done nothing to address these war crimes 50 years later, perhaps it’s because the political party continues on today, spouting hate (and without a clear policy of their own), or perhaps it’s because they place pride in the title of ‘gangster’ which, of course, means free man. It is still truly distressing and astonishing that these monsters can proudly proclaim they are free men and believe that absolves them from all accountability for their actions.

The movie pivots on the development of these re-enactments as various characters begin to consider the events. The children of today are confused and scared but in the monsters of the past we see some realisation which means the whole exercise isn’t pointless beyond a horrific historical lesson. This is a little clumsily done narratively but the ridiculousness of the content allows for some occasional messy delivery. The tone is measured and patient and allows the drama to evolve naturally and with a story so rich it deserves to speak for itself.

7/10

I probably should cheat and make this entry and The Look of Silence as one, it sort of depended on which one I watched more recently that I prefer. There is an extended cut of The Act of Killing but I am not sure I will revisit it. You should also watch the follow up if you get a chance. I think it is more condensed as well
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on February 27, 2018, 10:47:19 PM
jdc, I had to go out of town, but will watch This is Spinal Tap when I get home. Also, KOL and I are talking about American Psycho and I’ll post something about that when I get back to my computer.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 28, 2018, 05:13:28 AM
Whiplash (2014 - Damien Chazelle)

Oh what a poisonous couple Fletcher (J K Simmons) and Neiman (Miles Teller) make, in many ways they are perfect together, but boy is it a toxic relationship. Fletcher believes in himself and his path completely. Neiman is focused and a cold. These are 2 characters that have some sterling traits (Fletcher less so) and a darkness to them and they make great music together.

Neiman's focus and coldness comes through in the scene when he dumps his girlfriend. He has plotted what he sees as the path of the relationship, which he sees ending badly because of his focus on drumming. Then gives her no chance to rebut that view and ends it. He is open and honest about his reasons. It is a brutal and truthful ending of the relationship, truthful in that he does not sugarcoat his reasons. It also seems that her pain is not touching him, he looks like a person who has done what needs to be done.

Fletcher is passionate, driven and vile. He cries about the death of a former student, but from what we learn later about the death, is he crying because a person has died, or that his chance to have helped build a Charlie Parker has died.

The final performance was fantastic, I love the music of this film, even though I could not tell if he was rushing or dragging.

I could see the greatness in The Godfather, but this film makes me feel its greatness.

Rating: 90 / 100
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Junior on February 28, 2018, 12:47:42 PM
Benny's Video

Benny's Video is a movie about a young boy in the early 90s who kills a young girl because he doesn't seem to understand that there is a difference between the real world and the one(s) he sees in his videotapes. If that were all this movie was, I'd be ready to write it off as outdated at best and wrongheaded at worst. We've seen enough studies to know that violence depicted on screen (or in books, or in videogames) doesn't turn people into killers. Luckily there is more to the movie than that. Indeed, it is the second act, wherein we see Benny walk around the city as if nothing has happened and then tell his parents about the girl (whose body is in his closet) and what he did to her, that the movie gets really good. We see the parents reason with each other about what to do with the girl's body, and what to do with their son. And then we see their decision play out.

It's that attention to the wider situation that the parents' involvement brings that really makes the movie interesting and still relevant. It becomes not a critique of media that you might see in a lesser episode of Black Mirror but rather an indictement of the upper-middle class lifestyle that Benny's family leads. They're surrounded by replications of art, the dinner table is crowded by posters and photos from museums around the world. The older daughter is engaged in what she calls a game but is really a pyramid scheme where she and her friends frivolously spread their money amongst each other. There's a sense that the parents have almost no comprehension of who Benny is, or how he got that way (though it seems the answer to the latter lies within the former). Benny's room is a shrine to the videocassette, and we see him rewinding and replaying first the slaughter of a pig that he filmed at the beginning of the movie and then the slaughter of the girl that he captured as it was happening. As the parents try to deal with their murderous kid's actions, it becomes clearer and clearer that he doesn't comprehend what he has done, and his parents don't try to force a reckoning. If we are to blame anybody for this, we should start with Benny, then his parents, then a society that lets a family like this live as if they were doing nothing wrong. In a world where parents are disconnected from their kids, how can we expect the kids to value the lives of others?

The movie is very well made, Michael Haneke knows how to film this kind of detachment (see also The White Ribbon and Funny Games, which could concievably be a sequel to this as one of the torturers in that film is played by the boy who plays Benny in this one) and he does so by not having too many close-ups. We almost always see a good deal of the surrounding environment that the characters are situated within, and he uses Benny's camera and video setup really well in the murder scene (and later). It's an impressive movie, even if its also quite offputting (I almost quit in the first 2 minutes). I think it could have been 90 minutes which might have made it into a masterpiece. It has some of that foreign movie slowness that sometimes gets in the way of brilliance. But it's still worth a watch, if you can.

B+.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on February 28, 2018, 05:43:52 PM
The final performance was fantastic, I love the music of this film, even though I could not tell if he was rushing or dragging.

Do you think it's possible that he wasn't doing either?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 28, 2018, 06:41:49 PM
Given the way Fletcher is, it is just as possible
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Teproc on February 28, 2018, 07:00:42 PM
Just watched Rushmore, will get a review in sometime tomorrow.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 28, 2018, 07:21:52 PM
Thirst 9/10
A plot summary of this would not yield many surprises or feel particularly original, but seeing it unfold makes everything pop; I was surprised by turns that shouldn't have been surprising, appropriately shocked when the movie wanted me to be, and in general, as far fetched as so much of it is, there's an honest grounding in the lead performance that makes everything feel real in a way I wouldn't have expected. As I've come to expect from Park, the execution is top notch, building small crescendos that take the characters from the mundane to the extreme in organic ways. There are some very interesting takes on ethical dilemmas, nothing hugely surprising for a movie about a vampire, but the context brings out the complexity nicely and rarely feels trite. It's gorgeous to look at, even during those moments when the content isn't, and the atmosphere is enveloping. It did feel a bit lethargic, maybe that's my fault for watching the directors cut, but it's great work otherwise.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on February 28, 2018, 07:27:52 PM
thanks to all that have responded on films in the last couple of days. I think there will be a couple more and I will get back with replies.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Teproc on March 01, 2018, 08:42:50 AM
Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)

The more I see of Wes Anderson's filmography (this being my fourth), the more I sympathize with the people who hate his style. It really is precious to the point of self-parody, and it really does always look the same... even the music in this made me think "wait, Desplat wasn't around then, was he ?", which I find pretty impressive: it's a rare filmmaker that even manages to shape the score to his movies with different composers.

This kept teetering on the edge of insuferable for the first half-hour or so, and I wasn't immediately sold on Schwartzman particularly... but as it goes along, there is something irresistible about it. Part of it is the cast: Murray of course (is this the beginning of his lovable and jaded phase ?) and especially Olivia Williams who is incredibly charming: I can definitely sympathize with Murray and Schwartzmann's infuation for her. It's also as clever and funny as I suppose I should have expected : "I saved latin. What did you ever do?" would have to be a front-runner for Best Line if we ever do 1998 Retro-Filmspots.

I guess I don't have much more to say about it: it's fun and lovely, and I'm more enthusiastic about it than this review might make it seem.

8/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on March 03, 2018, 09:42:50 PM
Review from Wednesday that I forgot to click post on:
At the last minute I changed my mind and instead of watching Benny's video I chose Shallow Grave. This may have been a mistake, or maybe watching anything at all in the mood I was in was a mistake.

Shallow Grave
This is not a bad film, but it's not a film for me, and it especially wasn't a film for me last night when I was feeling kind of sour. There are three main strikes against this,
1. The characters are hugely unsympathetic, and not in any interesting or flamboyant way. I don't need to identify with people in a film, though it helps, but I need some reason to be interested in what they're doing. All three leads come off as people I wouldn't like to spend any time with and the film seems to go out of its way to establish them this way from the opening scene. Are they meant to be intentionally offputting? I don't know, but they're mundane that I'm not particularly interested in seeing them learn a lesson or get their comeuppance or getting to know their complexities.
2. Plots of this kind where idiots stumble into crime and do idiot things are something I almost never enjoy. It's the crime film equivalent of the horror cliche where the group splits up and goes off exploring creepy room on their own. I'm just watching a slow moving avalanche of bad decisions that don't make sense and depending on my sympathy for the characters I either feel indifference or frustration.
3. I really don't like Danny Boyle's style. I'm not even sure I know what his style is, but when the music gets in your face or the film attempts comedy in a half assed way that falls completely off the mark or when the script tries for a clever turn that isn't clever it just makes me roll my eyes. None of it is a dealbreaker, but it pushes me away from the movie rather than towards it, and this movie was already pushing me away on its own.
I do feel like my mood wasn't helping, its scenes aren't overdone and in general seems paced well enough and the performances are good, but it was never going to be the film for me.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on March 13, 2018, 12:28:26 AM
American Psycho

(https://i.imgur.com/ECvNSJH.jpg)

*Spoilery*

Knocked Out Loaded: Have you any previous experience with Bret Easton Ellis?
Sandy: I haven’t. Have you read anything of his? Or seen Less Than Zero?
Knocked Out Loaded: None whatsoever?
Sandy: I'm afraid not.
Knocked Out Loaded: Myself, I have started to read a couple of his books, but have always been severely put off by the people they are about. I never have read a full book of his. It is fun that you mentioned Less Than Zero, because I think the title actually is borrowed from the Elvis Costello song, which I love. So I wanted to like that book, but did not, so I never saw the movie.
Sandy: How about Rules of Attraction?
Knocked Out Loaded: I saw that last year and it ended up on my surprise list of the year! :)
Sandy: :)
Knocked Out Loaded: It formally is a great movie. The nihilism of the story finally reeled me in, and I ended up feeling sorry for them in an encompassing way. I never for my life would like to see them at our kitchen table though.
Sandy: It's like other movies you’ve enjoyed, like watching a fishbowl. People you wouldn’t want to interact with, but who are interesting to observe.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, but often when you look at them that way, you feel nothing. After Rules I felt, or at least I think i did. So, in that way the film worked impressively. It won me over.
Sandy: What do you think made the difference with those characters?
Knocked Out Loaded: They lead empty lives, but when i finally realized how lonely they were in their emptiness my heart weakened. They became models for us all. A side note on the kitchen table thing: I'd gladly have Bret Easton Ellis there, even if I don't like his novels.
Sandy: :)  If a movie can convey such complex ideas, it’s doing something right!
Knocked Out Loaded: He has a really entertaining podcast (on hold at the moment, i think).
Sandy: I didn’t know that. Is it about writing?
Knocked Out Loaded: It is on contemporary culture, music and movies for the most part and he also twitters eloquently.
Sandy: You're right. He would be a fascinating dinner guest.
Knocked Out Loaded: The Rules of Attraction did plenty things right. What about American Psycho?
Sandy: He subverts the me generation.
Knocked Out Loaded: The me generation is from when? the 80s?
Sandy: Yes, and the late 70's. Baby boomers and their self involvement.
Knocked Out Loaded: At least they are not as curled (or hovered over) as the 90s kids?!
Sandy: True, but the pursuits, as parodied in American Psycho, are so vacuous. That's hard to beat... Ellis doesn’t just subvert the culture, he obliterates it.
Knocked Out Loaded: Obliterates! he shows them no mercy whatsoever.
Sandy: No, nor us.
Knocked Out Loaded: I wonder if he sees them from an ivory tower, or if he feels involved himself?
Sandy: He's a product of the eighties, so I bet he has gotten lost down the rabbit hole a time or two. Maybe there is some self loathing seeping into the characters, since he goes so dark.
Knocked Out Loaded: I think so too, and he is an intelligent person, so I guess that he is aware of all that.
Sandy: It's hard to imagine him doing that from an ivory tower perspective. After seeing the movie, you mentioned that this might be a one time viewing for you. In what way?
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, it feels like been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Not that I have been in Bateman’s chair, mind you!
Sandy: Have you seen other movies like this?
Knocked Out Loaded: It is a special film, I do not think that I have seen a similar one. Maybe something like Wall Street plays in the same league, or the Wolf of Wall Street, people leading detached lives. But Bateman's spiral I felt was allegorical. Things like these are hard to see unfolding in real life. What goes on during the second half of the movie feels over the top. I read somewhere that this is supposed to have at least some autobiographical angle of the life BEE lead when he lived in NYC.
Sandy: He tapped into a lifestyle that is all too real. But the Psycho part, it's hard to tell what is really happening.
Knocked Out Loaded: It is.
Sandy: You mentioned that the end gave you some insight.
Knocked Out Loaded: Some feels empty and unreal, but everything was built up to the final scene where we see Bateman's gaze and he says,

There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this, there is no catharsis. My punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.

I felt like this was the gospel of the book and/or the movie. I do not understand what is being said totally, but I in a way got angry with the author, who takes so much time and space to build up to this and then we are left with a paragraph that not is possible to understand. It felt like a con.
Sandy: The director said she wished she had done a better job with the ending. She felt like she added to the confusion.
Knocked Out Loaded: ah!

... Knocked Out Loaded: I watched that last scene again earlier today. It really is effective.
Sandy: Did it clarify anything more the second time around?
Knocked Out Loaded: I can see how the book is written to have that statement made, not clearer as in coherent, but it kind of sweeps the rug away from under your feet. BEE sure did take his time to say what he said. Probably that time is needed, but I nevertheless feel a little foolish to have been a subject for his whims.
Sandy: It was not an enjoyable experience for me. Enjoyable isn’t the right term, though.
Knocked Out Loaded: No, there is nothing to enjoy here, but it works as a counterpoint.
Sandy: Bateman reminds me of a child who is given no boundaries, so flails about and has no concept of consequence, and creates an empty, vast void.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, and I guess some people can afford to be like this. For us it becomes like a cleansing process to watch them.
Sandy: A cautionary tale?
Knocked Out Loaded: No, more cathartic, almost like a Jesus figure he has to carry out his sins, so that we can go clean.
Sandy: Do you almost feel sorry for him?
Knocked Out Loaded: No not really, but it would not be hard to do so. he carries a heavy weight. It is easy to sympathize on a general, humanistic level?
Sandy: If it wasn’t such a horrific psychosis, I could find sympathy. I find sympathy for those who are lost and are caught up in different avenues of self destruction. The concept of mental illness holds sympathy, but if someone is that far gone, it’s a matter of stopping the evil.
Knocked Out Loaded: As we are in the filmspot period of the year there are a few that could be awarded to this movie, I think.
Sandy: Which ones would you vote for?
Knocked Out Loaded: Best line: "I have to return some video tapes." Best comic scene: the business cards one.
Sandy: The business card scene was great! So stupid in it's self important minutiae.

(https://i.imgur.com/J61sjvy.gif)

Sandy: You had asked me about Bateman's description of the different artists' music. For me, it was rather nauseating in its pretentiousness. What are your thoughts on what he was saying?
Knocked Out Loaded: For the rants Bateman has over Huey Lewis, Phil Collins and Whitney Houston, I think they are short, but to the point, deconstructions of contemporary culture and consumerism. He totally disclosed how hollow these barrels rattles!
Sandy: :D ouch! That's pointed and on point!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on March 13, 2018, 03:42:16 AM
Nothing to enjoy!!! But the video tapes, the business cards, do you like Huey Lewis and the News?  No, I like music. Just they're... Huey's too black sounding for me.

The funny thing about the business cards is that it reminds me of when I was in University looking for a job and all the care we put into selecting the correct paper for our resumes. It couldn't be white but not too off-white and had to have a bit of weight and texture to it. As I worked at a Kinko's, I had to deal a lot with resumes.

Now it seems silly as you do it all online though I do notice most of the time the person interviewing has printed the resume. But often when you load it into the application system, their HR software has dissected it and loaded it into their system without all the nice formatting. Makes me wonder why I professionally paid to have it done. At least I no longer have to agonize over my paper selection anymore.

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on March 14, 2018, 02:59:17 PM
Plenty to "enjoy"! But again, I wouldn't use that word here either. Thought provoking, confronting, obliterating... those are words more suited for this slaughter fest. Like you, most people can probably find some way this movie hits memory and hits too close to the mark, making us reevaluate our values and priorities. I too used to work with copy machines a whole lot when I worked at a law library. Those were the days. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on March 14, 2018, 06:57:05 PM
Like you, most people can probably find some way this movie hits memory and hits too close to the mark, making us reevaluate our values and priorities.

At the very least,  gain a deeper appreciation of Phil Collins.

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on March 14, 2018, 07:04:01 PM
 :D

I kept thinking of this as Bateman pontificated,

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/c22ac363-9514-4f16-87ef-a317615e080f
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on March 14, 2018, 07:21:04 PM
I think that is a fair statement.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on March 15, 2018, 08:23:21 PM
This is Spinal Tap

(https://i.imgur.com/kaBL8Dr.jpg)

In ancient times,
Tens of years before the dawn of Auto-Tune
Lived a skiffle/rhythm and blues band , the (New) Originals

No one remembers who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Filmed into the historical document, This is Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap! Where drummers are a dime a dozen
On account of spontaneous human combustion
Spinal Tap! Where a man's a man
Until he's busted with an airport scan

Hey!
Spinal Tap! 'Tis a magic place
Where they will rise above disgrace
Just when the band begins to think they are done
Sex Farm becomes a hit in the Land of the Rising Sun
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Junior on March 15, 2018, 08:47:21 PM
Love it.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: oldkid on March 15, 2018, 10:27:43 PM
Who can top that?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on March 17, 2018, 11:17:54 PM
Thanks, Junior and oldkid.  :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: pixote on June 30, 2018, 05:16:25 PM
(https://s3.amazonaws.com/cinepix/screenshots/StopMakingSense.jpg)

Stop Making Sense  (Jonathan Demme, 1984)

I thought this was the month I was finally going to watch Shaolin Soccer (spurred on by World Cup fever), but it continues to bother me that I don't have easy access to a definitive version of the movie. And I refuse to watch the Miramax cut. It's been seventeen years. Shouldn't there be a US Blu-Ray of the original cut by now? Sheesh.

It's possible that having to settle for Jonathan Demme's Talking Heads concert film put me in a hypercritical mood while watching it, but I was surprised that it wasn't quite as polished as I always imagined to be. This was particularly true of the editing, which seemed overly restless early on and injudicious after that. There were a few instances where there was nothing going on in the frame at the end of a shot, and I was just baffled that, with however many cameras running, the editor had nothing better to cut to. It's the kind of thing you occasionally see if a live telecast, but not a feature film.

Being less nit-picky, I found it odd that the film barely acknowledges the presence of the concert audience until the very end. It added to my own detachment as a viewer, turning the show into a series of minimalist music videos that could just as easily have been shot on a sound stage. There was a bit of sameness to the first few performances as well, in terms of the lighting and staging. I liked the conceit of the full band forming piece by piece, but I was admittedly restless nonetheless.

The music is good, however, and David Byrne is a very lifelike robot, operating with inhuman precision but still contributing heavily to all the sweat that threatened to puddle up on stage. The very distinctive 80s vibe had me wondering just how coke-infused all that perspiration was.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on June 30, 2018, 10:52:05 PM
The music is good, however, and David Byrne is a very lifelike robot, operating with inhuman precision but still contributing heavily to all the sweat that threatened to puddle up on stage. The very distinctive 80s vibe had me wondering just how coke-infused all that perspiration was.

pixote

Having listen to the story on The Tobolosky Files that outlines how Steven met David Byrnes and bacme the screen writer for Strange Stories (and in an odd way, is responsible for the band Radiohead getting their name), Byrne's is a very clean guy. Steven Tobolosky was doing coke in those days but Byrnes would touch anything like that.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: colonel_mexico on November 03, 2019, 08:50:25 PM
For this month, I'd like to give ANOMALISA a shot and revisit THE BIG SHORT
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on November 03, 2019, 10:13:47 PM
JDC's list is full of films I know are good, but the characters are so off-putting that I struggle to enjoy the experience. I'vr seen many of them and it makes me afraid of what's left.

Happiness is the highest film on the list I haven't seen, followed by The World of Kanako and Antichrist. But I think maybe I'll check out The Descendants. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 03, 2019, 10:48:05 PM
JDC's list is full of films I know are good, but the characters are so off-putting that I struggle to enjoy the experience. I'vr seen many of them and it makes me afraid of what's left.

Happiness is the highest film on the list I haven't seen, followed by The World of Kanako and Antichrist. But I think maybe I'll check out The Descendants. :)

For sure, The Descendants is the best choice then.  The others are a struggle for sure though Happiness is funny.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: BlueVoid on November 03, 2019, 11:26:43 PM
Happiness is the highest film on the list I haven't seen, followed by The World of Kanako and Antichrist. But I think maybe I'll check out The Descendants. :)

I just watched Happiness a couple weeks ago. It's uncomfortable as hell, but I highly recommend it!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on November 04, 2019, 01:23:46 AM
It sounds like it could be tough, but not hopeless. I could handle that if that's the case.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Bondo on November 10, 2019, 07:08:16 AM
Looks like my two options are The World of Kanako and Naked Lunch.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on November 10, 2019, 11:45:26 AM
I have Samsara?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: oldkid on November 10, 2019, 08:23:24 PM
I’d like to rewatch Stop Making Sense because I don’t remember it all all, and that  doesn’t seem right.

The only two on your list I haven’t see is Deep Water, about which I have little interest and  Carnal Knowledge, which I think I should see.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 10, 2019, 09:30:46 PM
I’d like to rewatch Stop Making Sense because I don’t remember it all all, and that  doesn’t seem right.

The only two on your list I haven’t see is Deep Water, about which I have little interest and  Carnal Knowledge, which I think I should see.

Not sure how anybody could forget Stop Making Sense;)  though I know others have shunned or have little interest in concert films so it failed for a few. I was not really a Talking Heads fan and this one showed me the errors in my ways.  But even now, I revisit this more often than just listen to their music

My love for Deep Water was probably tied more to having loved the book, A Voyage For Madmen.  Not sure if I would keep the doc up there now having not revisited it in so long. But certainly better than the movie based on the same, The Mercy.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3319730/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

Carnal Knowledge also needs a re-watch for me. I've watched it a number of times when I was younger and was a favorite but not likely seen it in 25 years. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: MartinTeller on November 10, 2019, 10:26:02 PM
I watched Deep Water for a previous Top 100 Club and found it fascinating.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on November 10, 2019, 10:26:42 PM
ooh! I recently watched Anomalisa, so I'll write something about that one too. The other ones I'd like to see this time around are Ex Machina and Shaolin Soccer.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on November 15, 2019, 10:51:38 PM
There are two films called Samsara. Is yours 2001 or 2011?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 16, 2019, 12:08:51 AM
2011
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on November 17, 2019, 12:14:19 AM
The Descendants

Payne sends this one right down the middle. Safe and solid. It's the most Payneful of Payne's films. All his trademark flavours are in play and in balance. It was an easy viewing that generated mild chuckles and mild amusement and mild emotions... without ever becoming a bore. There's not really anything to complain about here. I like it when Clooney describes his family as "Haole as shit" during a climactic rant. His narration surrounding the island and island-life was well delivered and endeared me to the character.

The film would be so different with a different lead. Clooney's ability to look dumbstruck is better than most. It suites the part. There is an underlying lightness or goofiness to the film because of Clooney. Not a bad thing. It would be an interesting film to cast the humourless Daniel Day Lewis in the role and see the results. Or king-of-angry-acting Tom Cruise. I can see either actor improving certain scenes and weakening others.

Second best Payne. I don't know that it's going to stick with me, but I enjoyed myself. I don't know how something so soft and charming found it's way into your top 100 JDC but I'm grateful. :))
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Bondo on November 17, 2019, 11:43:38 AM
Naked Lunch

*insert obligatory Simpsons reference*

While I did praise Spring Breakers for its plot arc, and general mood, that paralleled the high and withdrawal of alcohol/drugs, I think I tend to be averse to films that put you in the drug-compromised perspective. Lost in the incoherent haze is narrative structure and thematic resonance. It becomes merely experiential and not intellectual. Unsurprisingly with Cronenberg, that experience is dominated by the grotesque. I suppose points for design in the variety of insectoid aspects, building on The Fly five years prior.

Of course, I also ponder whether any work inspired by Burroughs should be contemplated since he is a wife-killer. Ditto the terrible Normal Mailer and his own history of violence against women (notably Mailer testified on behalf of Borroughs when this work was banned as obscene). The great literary circle jerk that is metaphorically incorporated in this film is something I can do without.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 17, 2019, 07:19:28 PM
The Descendants
 

Second best Payne. I don't know that it's going to stick with me, but I enjoyed myself. I don't know how something so soft and charming found it's way into your top 100 JDC but I'm grateful. :))

There was something about all the interactions between the characters that that felt true given the tragic situation they were dealing with. Given that, the emotional aspect of the film pulled me in more than most films which may cause me to roll my eyes. At the same time, there are many humorist moments that stay with me
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on November 18, 2019, 10:55:03 PM
(https://imgur.com/dXUJrHK.jpg)

Samsara
My history with this type of film begins with a theatrical screening during college of Koyaanisqatsi (1982). I've seen similar films, like Baraka and other travelogue films from the early days of cinema. It dawned on me that cinema was meant to show people places they would otherwise never see. That was part of the appeal of James Bond and other international pictures like Around the World in 80 Days, bouncing all around the globe. Ron Fricke does it with a more cultural gaze. Films like this that love to smash cut cultures still living like it's the dawn of man with the soullessness of modern cities. Fricke goes for harmony instead of a clash, finding both ends - and therefore everything in between - to be beautiful in its own way.

What makes this different is the presentation of certain behavior as performance art. The scene of the worker covering his face with mud before adding violent accents was shocking because it's a performance in a doc that's about capturing moments, but it focused this film in a new way. It opened the door for images of sex dolls waiting to be boxed and shipped, a machine that quickly collects dozens of free range chickens, the sad truth of very different cultures united by an unexplainable love of weaponry.

On Letterboxd someone asks:
"Am I supposed to feel a part of the world, or more isolated?" A tough question here. Usually I feel separate from less-developed cultures. I admire their art, clothes, dance and other culture but I would never consider giving up my internet and iPhone for it. Samsara doesn't advocate that, but instead shows how I'm as strange a creature to people living in a monastery in India as they are to me, yet we are all connected. I know because the Van Nuys Costco shown in the film, that's my Costco.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 19, 2019, 02:40:51 AM
(https://imgur.com/dXUJrHK.jpg)

Samsara
My history with this type of film begins with a theatrical screening during college of Koyaanisqatsi (1982). I've seen similar films, like Baraka and other travelogue films from the early days of cinema. It dawned on me that cinema was meant to show people places they would otherwise never see. That was part of the appeal of James Bond and other international pictures like Around the World in 80 Days, bouncing all around the globe. Ron Fricke does it with a more cultural gaze. Films like this that love to smash cut cultures still living like it's the dawn of man with the soullessness of modern cities. Fricke goes for harmony instead of a clash, finding both ends - and therefore everything in between - to be beautiful in its own way.

What makes this different is the presentation of certain behavior as performance art. The scene of the worker covering his face with mud before adding violent accents was shocking because it's a performance in a doc that's about capturing moments, but it focused this film in a new way. It opened the door for images of sex dolls waiting to be boxed and shipped, a machine that quickly collects dozens of free range chickens, the sad truth of very different cultures united by an unexplainable love of weaponry.

On Letterboxd someone asks:
"Am I supposed to feel a part of the world, or more isolated?" A tough question here. Usually I feel separate from less-developed cultures. I admire their art, clothes, dance and other culture but I would never consider giving up my internet and iPhone for it. Samsara doesn't advocate that, but instead shows how I'm as strange a creature to people living in a monastery in India as they are to me, yet we are all connected. I know because the Van Nuys Costco shown in the film, that's my Costco.

If I remember, I think I put this and Baraka together, they are close in format and flow and leave me with a very similar feeling, though have a difference in focus.

A better explanation of the differences than I could come up with...


https://www.dailycal.org/2012/09/05/baraka-makers-awe-with-new-film-samsara/

Baraka” is about humans and our environs. In 1992, with the Cold War over and the environmental movement entering a new phase, it allowed us to step back to measure the Earth’s collective pulse.

After five years of shooting across several continents, Fricke and Magidson have returned with “Samsara,” a sequel of sorts to “Baraka.” If “Baraka” was about the intersection of humanity and nature, then “Samsara” has its lens set squarely on humanity



One thing about all these films, including Koyaanisqatsi, is that they can be "enjoyed" in just chapters as oppose to needing to watch the the entire film (sometimes I feel the same for Tarantino).  I suppose if they got released in a 4k version, I would go back to watch from start to finish but now I am more likely to watch in part and pieces, similar to Stop Making Sense. I've gotten a few to go buy the Blu-ray by using them as Eye Candy demos....

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: 1SO on November 20, 2019, 12:16:59 AM
I wondered if Baraka was once on your list. I preferred this, by like a lot, because of the humanity. Baraka leaned too hard into the pretty landscape imagery for me and pretty as it is, I quickly grew tired of it.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: BlueVoid on November 26, 2019, 02:52:27 PM
mother!

I wasn't entirely looking forward to this knowing that it relies heavily on symbolism and abstraction. Aronofsky is so deft at weaving lofty and grand symbolism into this that it completely works. It isn't exactly subtle about its themes, but it doesn't make them aggressively burdensome either. The magic is that this movie and its meaning can be interpreted many different ways and it work just as well. I think I took it to mean several different things simultaneously as I was watching it. I think its a testament to good art that a film can evoke so many different valid interpretations and so many wildly different reactions -- from hatred and revulsion to awe and amazement. It mostly works for me. It's gripping and intense. It's visually spectacular and the acting phenomenal. It's not a movie that is easy to love, but it leaves its impact.

8.5/10

I really enjoyed this and I thought I would hate it. Thanks for spurring me to watch it!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on November 28, 2019, 12:30:49 AM
I wonder what he's going to do next. I wonder if he feels he's gone far enough down this abstract religious rabbit hole yet. I am bracing myself for some Dogville-esque story of creation. Juaquin Pheonix acts out the first seven days of the universe. It's just him naked, suspended in front of a black background. 300 frames per second but shot with a daguerreotype-style camera. The "soundtrack" is done by Clint Mansell, but it's just the sound of his heartbeat while he reads Genesis. It's four hours long... the title is _

Genius.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on November 30, 2019, 06:43:09 PM
It doesn’t look like he has anything in IMDB in the works as Director. He seems to always make bold moves but more times than not, does well.  The exceptions being Noah and The Fountain for me but I think Josh loves The Fountain so I sometimes consider trying it again.

Thanks playing along, will try to get back into everybody else’s month and update mine next time
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Teproc on November 30, 2019, 08:18:28 PM
Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)

Going into this, my knowledge of Talking Heads was limited to Psycho Killer and Once in a Lifetime (and its amazing music video), both of which I like quite a bit but still never enticed me enough to venture further with the band. Watching this, I will say that I am quite impressed by the talent on display, but more on the performance side of things than in the purely musical aspect. This works quite well for Demme though, because the first 25 minutes or so of this concert are simply inherently captivating: esscalating from Byrne's lonely and anguished interpretation of Psycho Killer to the triumphant, boisterous energy of the whole troupe performing Burning Down the House. Demme does more than simply document a great show though. The choice he makes to stay on a fixed frontal shot of Byrne singing Once in a Lifetime is particularly striking after having gone for a much more conventional editing style (though I suppose I don't know how codified concert films really were at this point) he uses early on, framing Byrne as a prophet figure, some sort of a televangelist or guru trying to put you in some kind of a trance. When Demme finally cuts to another shot - a side view of the scene - its to show you the backup dancers in a position that evokes exactly that.

I don't know that I'm as enthusiastic about the film as a whole than most people seem to be though. Outside of that opening crescendo and Once in a Lifetime, there are definite lulls in the performance that Demme doesn't manage to make that interesting, aside from a more quiet song (I forget which, I believe it comes just before Once in a Lifetime) in which his camera really emphasizes the makeshift family that the troupe is acting as. And the show as a whole certainly has a narrative quality of it, one that is very evocative of Reagan's America. It just feels like a more edited-down version - while less true to its subject on a prosaic level - might have been more powerful ? I'm not sure, but it does in some ways feel like you had to be there for it to really be the transcendental experience that both Talking Heads and Demme are trying to achieve.

7/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on December 01, 2019, 12:23:34 AM
Anomalisa

(https://i.imgur.com/LZwUhL3.jpg)

LIZA. ...When you feel lonely without me, you can turn the machine on. It's got no feelings to hurt.
HIGGINS. I can't turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you. ― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

A construct imagined, sought after and obtained, only to disintegrate; nearly as quickly as the structure is built. Seals and Crofts had it right, "It's only the castles in the sand" and Michael Stone can't help but knock them down. His own self loathing must be directed outward, for it's too much to look at what's behind his own mask. The self-help expert won't like what he finds there. So, he can keep running to stay ahead of the faceless throngs, but until he finds his own humanity, the empty chase will continue.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on December 02, 2019, 09:51:00 PM
Anomalisa might rank as a film I put in my TOP 100 but possibly would not watch again.  It stirred up a lot when I originally watched it with my wife and had thought I would go back to it again but as you say, I might not like what I find there.

As for Stop Making Sense - Like Samsara, I Guess it is a bit of a cheat as I will watch parts of it far more than watch it as a film. Though I likely will still watch the entire concert every now and then.

But the track that always stood out for me what this one. 

https://youtu.be/_ZhmsrUOezI
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: colonel_mexico on December 04, 2019, 02:03:50 AM
ANOMALISA - I have not seen many Kauffman films, though I hear he is really good.  This is very much like our main character, messy and selfish.  The dialogue is simple, but quirky-the empty space and pacing of silence craft the hollow depth of Mr. Stone. There is a lot of damage left in his wake as the wreckage of those who try to participate in his world are quickly discarded.  It is single serving relationships, single serving sex, facsimiles of friends who he doesn't recognize.  This one does touch home in a frightening kind of way.  I got married this past summer and I hope to never grow bored, especially when the newness fades or the exciting parts of young love matures.  I am not sure how I feel after this, but it is clever and leaves a lot to think about even if it isn't saying much.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: colonel_mexico on December 05, 2019, 09:38:09 PM
THE BIG SHORT - After this rewatch I am left wondering if there were any good guys in the film?  While I did like the unlikeable Mike Baum (Carrell's performance is incredible), but it was hard to like anyone portrayed.  I love the editing and flow of this film the jump cuts to various celebrities (the Tony Bourdain one was great) explaining complicated economic and stock/bond structured securities (I'm looking forward to learning a bit more in Business Associations and Secured Transactions next semester).  It is a bit depressing, however, with the backdrop of one of the worst economic catastrophes ever.   While I found zero of the characters likeable the all-star cast were really good in their respective roles.  It feels like there should be more ire or some kind of legislative revolt against the banking and investment community, though this issue is much more complicated than simply punishing or increasing regulation.  Maybe Ben (Brad Pitt) is actually not a doomsdayer, but an optimist hoping that it will eventually collapse.  Insightful and a depressing but worthwhile watch.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: smirnoff on December 05, 2019, 11:47:50 PM
That's something I find so much more enjoyable about the book. Michael Lewis captures the personalities of the subjects, and they're very much like what you see in the film, but in having to see that personality brought to life its very hard to like them. Reading that Michael Berry listened to heavy metal full blast in his office is one thing, but having to actually experience it via the movie is simply unpleasant. Reading that Baum interrupted a meeting, versus seeming him do it is a vastly different thing. The scene I pictured in my head when reading Lewis's description is exciting, and funny... because I like these guys and want them to be right. The movie is a bitter pill. The book is mouthwatering. Highly recommend the audiobook.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: jdc on December 06, 2019, 02:11:05 AM
That's something I find so much more enjoyable about the book. Michael Lewis captures the personalities of the subjects, and they're very much like what you see in the film, but in having to see that personality brought to life its very hard to like them. Reading that Michael Berry listened to heavy metal full blast in his office is one thing, but having to actually experience it via the movie is simply unpleasant. Reading that Baum interrupted a meeting, versus seeming him do it is a vastly different thing. The scene I pictured in my head when reading Lewis's description is exciting, and funny... because I like these guys and want them to be right. The movie is a bitter pill. The book is mouthwatering. Highly recommend the audiobook.

I think it is this exactly. I read the book over 1 day while traveling, I didn't want to put it down. I think you are more aligned with the characters knowing them from the book then from what you get from the film itself. The book is better than the film but it is a case where I think the book helps me enjoy the film more than I would otherwise.

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on December 30, 2019, 11:30:26 PM
Shaolin Soccer

(https://i.imgur.com/75hLxOB.jpg)

While I watch this, others in the house come in the room one by one, stop in their tracks and ask, "What is this?" and either stay for a while, or shake their heads and walk away. I can't explain or defend it; I'm just laughing. They can laugh with me, or they can scoff. It's their choice and their loss if they don't get it. After all, if there's one thing I learned from the Filmspotting boards, it's "humor is subjective." :)

The movie is "just a bit of silliness really," but becomes a perfect escape during this hectic month.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
Post by: Sandy on December 31, 2019, 11:29:18 PM
Ex Machina

(https://i.imgur.com/MLUgvnJ.jpg)

“As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off.” ― Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Too much of the world is ignoring this concept. When the ends justify any means, there is no true accomplishment. The actual test, the only test that really matters, the one about ascertaining our own humanity, well then they fail it. As this year closes and another one begins, it seems fitting to be contemplating the ideas of intent and actions and how I'll score on them moving forward. What I do know is that the shadows are real and I will do what I can to not contribute to them.