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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk => Movie Clubs => Topic started by: MartinTeller on May 03, 2018, 12:29:50 AM

Title: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 03, 2018, 12:29:50 AM
Hi folks! I've got a newborn baby in the house, which takes up a lot of time... but I do have occasional chunks of free time, so I hope to be able to fully engage with everyone's reviews.

My top 100: https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/top-100-2/
My 101-250: https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/my-top-101-250/
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/martinteller/list/martin-tellers-top-250/
iCheckMovies: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/martin+tellers+top+250/fitfortdanga/



Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Junior on May 03, 2018, 07:40:06 AM
Heck of a lot of good choices there. The highest one that I open but haven't seen is A Woman Under the Influence, so that's a definite possibility. Might also go with a musical. I love all of the movies on here that I've seen, so I've got high hopes for whatever I end up watching.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on May 03, 2018, 08:25:27 AM
Any other month I probably would've watched my top Shame, which is also on your list, Funeral Parade of Roses. However, this is a month for Music and I have Carmen (1983) on my Watchlist.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on May 03, 2018, 10:24:44 AM
I haven't decided on the third one, but I'll definitely be watching,

Hairspray
Imitation of Life
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on May 04, 2018, 07:52:44 AM
Going through your ICM list. Possibilities (i.e. I have access to them) for this month are:

Double Indemnity

The Apartment
Psycho
The Young Girls of Rochefort
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Bondo on May 05, 2018, 06:26:53 AM
I think I'll be targeting Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and The Heiress. Not sure where to find Funeral Parade of Roses or I'd watch that.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: oldkid on May 06, 2018, 12:51:34 PM
Hairspray

I avoided John Waters movies.  I heard about the story of Divine eating dog feces in Pink Flamingos and decided that he had gross comedy, which I don't care for.  But Martin has a couple music-oriented films on his list and so I thought I'd focus on those movies I hadn't seen.  Okay, I'll give Hairspray a chance.

O
M
G

How did I not see this film before?  Why did I not watch it in the 80s when it came out?

It's been a while since I had such a good time watching a new film.  It is so lighthearted and fresh and uplifting.  I laughed.  I tapped my foot at the music.  And I had a silly grin throughout the length of the film.  I am not sure how he did it, but he took a film about racism and fat-shaming and turned it into a guilt-free romp.

In a sense, it is Grease turned upside down.  The opening song is about what you put in your hair for fashion, and there is a dance competition at the center of the plot.  But while the end of Grease is the victory of sexy fashion, Hairspray rebels against mainstream fashion, encouraging young people to fight against the common sensibilities of fashion and morality.  And it is much funnier than Grease.

The script is full of silly statements and though the readings are stilted and shallow, it is perfect for the tone of the film. We are supposed to laugh at everyone, and with everyone.  Everyone is projecting their performance, inviting us into the fun of it all.  We aren't supposed to delve into the depth of these characters, but to enjoy the fun with the actors.  Even so, I am ready to watch Rikki Lake and Divine in whatever they do.  I want to have more of this.

4.5/5
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on May 06, 2018, 11:53:44 PM
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

Martin put filmmaker Carlos Saura on my radar and it's been a long-standing want that I would Marathon his work someday. (One of the biggest reasons for my current Directors Marathon, though sadly Saura is in the 400s.) The dancing here is at a level of precision so high, I can't really tell the great dancing from the superb dancing. When fresh-faced Laura del Sol is cast in the lead role and there's some friction with the experienced dance teacher, the on-screen director tells the teacher, "You're the best dancer, but you're not Carmen." I can't tell much difference between the two, but that's okay. I appreciate that the dancing isn't dumbed down so that it's obvious that del Sol is being unemotional with her movement.

The dancing is all great, but there are three standout sequences. The “tobacco factory” is the musical highlight because of the percussive beats which raise the pulse up to the sudden climax. There's a footwork rehearsal that demonstrates Saura's camera technique, filmed mostly with just the legs all hitting the floorboards in perfect union. (As amazing a shot as a well-executed Jackie Chan stunt.) My other favorite is a fight between two men that uses shadows and distances from the camera so that it isn't just about the movement, but the drama of seeing who dominates the frame as they move about each other.

And if that's not enough, there's the behind-the-scenes drama, which blends the story of Carmen into the lives of the people performing. This isn't done in an obvious or 4th wall breaking way, but my one complaint about the film may be that I liked watching how Saura poured the two narratives - the musical Carmen and the real life events - into one bottle than the drama itself, which is as old as Greek Tragedy. Of course, we're talking about a story that's over 100 years old, but the predictability of the beats was only undercut by the way Saura fused things together.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 07, 2018, 02:18:55 AM
Hairspray

I avoided John Waters movies.  I heard about the story of Divine eating dog feces in Pink Flamingos and decided that he had gross comedy, which I don't care for.  But Martin has a couple music-oriented films on his list and so I thought I'd focus on those movies I hadn't seen.  Okay, I'll give Hairspray a chance.

O
M
G

How did I not see this film before?  Why did I not watch it in the 80s when it came out?

It's been a while since I had such a good time watching a new film.  It is so lighthearted and fresh and uplifting.  I laughed.  I tapped my foot at the music.  And I had a silly grin throughout the length of the film.  I am not sure how he did it, but he took a film about racism and fat-shaming and turned it into a guilt-free romp.

In a sense, it is Grease turned upside down.  The opening song is about what you put in your hair for fashion, and there is a dance competition at the center of the plot.  But while the end of Grease is the victory of sexy fashion, Hairspray rebels against mainstream fashion, encouraging young people to fight against the common sensibilities of fashion and morality.  And it is much funnier than Grease.

The script is full of silly statements and though the readings are stilted and shallow, it is perfect for the tone of the film. We are supposed to laugh at everyone, and with everyone.  Everyone is projecting their performance, inviting us into the fun of it all.  We aren't supposed to delve into the depth of these characters, but to enjoy the fun with the actors.  Even so, I am ready to watch Rikki Lake and Divine in whatever they do.  I want to have more of this.

4.5/5

Just rewatched this one recently, actually... we showed it to our teenage houseguest. She loved it. It's such a joyous and spirited film, all heart and laughs. So many laugh-out-loud lines (my personal favorite: "She's just a child!", which doesn't look like anything when you type it out, but Divine's delivery is amazing). It's Waters at his warmest.

I don't have much Ricki Lake to recommend. She has a minor role in Serial Mom which you may also enjoy. I don't much care for Cry-Baby, and Mrs. Winterbourne is pretty bad. As for Divine, as much as I love her, I'm afraid the only other one I would back is Female Trouble, which is a much trashier film (don't watch with the kids), but is peak Divine.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 07, 2018, 02:23:25 AM
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

Martin put filmmaker Carlos Saura on my radar and it's been a long-standing want that I would Marathon his work someday. (One of the biggest reasons for my current Directors Marathon, though sadly Saura is in the 400s.) The dancing here is at a level of precision so high, I can't really tell the great dancing from the superb dancing. When fresh-faced Laura del Sol is cast in the lead role and there's some friction with the experienced dance teacher, the on-screen director tells the teacher, "You're the best dancer, but you're not Carmen." I can't tell much difference between the two, but that's okay. I appreciate that the dancing isn't dumbed down so that it's obvious that del Sol is being unemotional with her movement.

The dancing is all great, but there are three standout sequences. The “tobacco factory” is the musical highlight because of the percussive beats which raise the pulse up to the sudden climax. There's a footwork rehearsal that demonstrates Saura's camera technique, filmed mostly with just the legs all hitting the floorboards in perfect union. (As amazing a shot as a well-executed Jackie Chan stunt.) My other favorite is a fight between two men that uses shadows and distances from the camera so that it isn't just about the movement, but the drama of seeing who dominates the frame as they move about each other.

And if that's not enough, there's the behind-the-scenes drama, which blends the story of Carmen into the lives of the people performing. This isn't done in an obvious or 4th wall breaking way, but my one complaint about the film may be that I liked watching how Saura poured the two narratives - the musical Carmen and the real life events - into one bottle than the drama itself, which is as old as Greek Tragedy. Of course, we're talking about a story that's over 100 years old, but the predictability of the beats was only undercut by the way Saura fused things together.

I'm afraid I've only seen this one time, and it was seven years ago. I must have loved it enough to put it in my top 250, but I sure don't remember much. In my mini review, I also held up the tobacco factory scene as a highlight. Unfortunately I just don't remember enough to comment much on your review. I'm glad you liked it, though! I'll have to prioritize a rewatch soon.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: jdc on May 19, 2018, 08:21:49 PM
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Bondo on May 19, 2018, 09:18:11 PM
I watched Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , liked it, but haven't written about it yet, mostly because I don't have a lot to say. Should fit The Heiress in as well.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 20, 2018, 12:07:43 AM
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?

This one (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/whos-afraid-of-virginia-woolf-rewatch-2). Having not seen mother!, I'm not sure how to address the comparison. I would say the game is much more about CINECAST!ing with each other than their guests. The guests are mere pawns.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: jdc on May 20, 2018, 06:17:31 PM
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?

This one (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/whos-afraid-of-virginia-woolf-rewatch-2). Having not seen mother!, I'm not sure how to address the comparison. I would say the game is much more about CINECAST!ing with each other than their guests. The guests are mere pawns.

I thought it took even a different turn but I am likely wrong. But I am going to give it another watch likely in the next year
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: oldkid on May 21, 2018, 12:14:37 AM
There is a comparison between Woolfe and mother!, just in that there is a conflict between a couple and others are involved in that conflict.  I can't really see the comparison otherwise, apart from they are both on my top list.

Woolfe is an actor's showcase for the couple and Taylor and Burton make the most of it, we are feeling each and every bump and turn.

mother! is a thematic masterpiece, where three or more stories seem to be going on simultaneously, weaving from one to the other to the next, all unified, all unique.

I guess the other similarity I see is that they are both intense and tough to say that we would agree to sit down and watch them again.  Although I'm far more ready to watch mother! than Woolfe.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Teproc on May 23, 2018, 01:20:09 PM
Viridiana (Luis Bunuel, 1961)

Feels right that this is the film Bunuel won the Palme d'Or for. It looks great and feels meticulous and precise in a way most of his films don't, and it's probably his most didactic work, which is not necessarily a bad thing: there's a clarity of purpose here that is impressive in its own way, in that the whole film is dedicated to destroy Viridiana's... everything really, her faith, her innocence, her naïveté. Bunuel sets out to crush her spirit, and well, he gets to decide what happens in the story so of course he succeeds.

You might get from the way I put it that this is a film I admire more than I like. There is a limit to how much I can enjoy a work that is so thoroughly misanthropic and jaded. Maybe there is a way to read the final scene as a victory of the human spirit over the hypocrisy of religion, but that seems like a huge stretch, especially given the nature of the whole "playing cards" idea. It plays more like a final bit of provocation. I suppose those three characters at least accept to face life honestly, and that can be read as a victory, but it's more of a resignation: the world sucks, so let's just give up and care only about ourselves.

So yeah, this is impressive work, and I enjoy Bunuel's cheeky use of symbolism with Viridiana's crown of thorns and that Last Supper shot of course. Fernando Rey is doing the Fernando Rey thing, Silvia Pinel makes for a stunning martyr, and the ensemble is quite strong as well, in that they do feel like real people: not completely horrible, just the regular kind of horrible. It's all very well done, but I like Bunuel more when I can't be entirely sure of what he's saying, probably because I just don't really like what he has to say.

7/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 23, 2018, 11:57:03 PM
To be honest, when I saw your review I was rather surprised, because I'd completely forgotten Viridiana was in my top 250. I remember it being very funny and individual scenes definitely stuck with me, but I hadn't recalled it as a top-tier favorite. Then I went back and re-read my most recent review (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/viridiana-rewatch-3/). And I realized that viewing came at a particularly crappy time in my life. The cynicism would have appealed to me more back then than it would now. Were I to redo my list, I'd probably replace it with something else... although I do still think it's a very accomplished film with some great humor and memorable moments.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Teproc on May 24, 2018, 05:58:07 AM
To be honest, when I saw your review I was rather surprised, because I'd completely forgotten Viridiana was in my top 250. I remember it being very funny and individual scenes definitely stuck with me, but I hadn't recalled it as a top-tier favorite. Then I went back and re-read my most recent review (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/viridiana-rewatch-3/). And I realized that viewing came at a particularly crappy time in my life. The cynicism would have appealed to me more back then than it would now. Were I to redo my list, I'd probably replace it with something else... although I do still think it's a very accomplished film with some great humor and memorable moments.

Ah, I might try and get to another one higher on the list then, we'll see.

I think Bunuel's humour is something that's lost on me. Maybe I find it too mean-spirited ? Or maybe I'm just instinctively on the defensive when watching his films, seeing how I grew up in a Catholic, bourgeois family. Something like Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie I couldn't get on board with at all and never found funny at all, though I do remember parts of El angel exterminador (my favorite of his) being funny, but more on the absurdist/surreal side of things. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Bondo on May 27, 2018, 06:52:38 PM
The Heiress (1949)

SPOILER REVIEW

Truth is a perfect defense for libel, but it is not a perfect defense of rudeness (or more accurately, emotional abuse). Early in this film, Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland) seems perhaps much of what her father Austin (Ralph Richardson) believes her to be. She does seem a bit bland, rather introverted and a bit socially naive. But a father has duties that rise above honesty to virtues like compassion. The way he uses his deified memory of his wife to subtly (or perhaps unsubtly) take shots at his daughter's self-esteem is vile, and I rather expect this is how Donald Trump talks about Ivanka in front of Tiffany.

Enter Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), quickly wooing Catherine. Austin is not thrilled. Initially, there is much critique of patriarchy in the story. On the one hand Austin pressures Catherine to get out there socially to find a man, on the other when she does find one he undercuts it and questions the man's character. If Austin is evil, we want him to be wrong about Morris' intentions. In this middle portion of the film I saw it potentially heading for trouble as a result. In reality, it is perfectly possible that a father could be abusive and correct about the failings of his daughter's boyfriend, but what Austin lacks here is credibility given the abusive nature of his relationship with his daughter. So I was apprehensive that having Morris prove a fraud in his own right would in a sense legitimate Austin's bad behavior.

But this is when Catherine emerges as her own character for the first time in the film, a character that would get de Havilland an Oscar. It is the power and intelligence of her response to developments that allows the film to thread the needle of having both Austin and Morris be held accountable. And it keeps its determination solid to the end when it looked like it might compromise to a more standard rom-com ending. But this isn't a comedy and while we might cheer the ending as the best given the circumstances, there is still a somber mood, the bad actions of men around her boxing her into a lonelier life than she might have wanted all else equal. So yeah, this is surefooted, nuanced and ultimately a great discovery. Thank you Martin.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 28, 2018, 12:10:43 AM
It's so rare that one of my picks connects with you, glad to see this one did. I think it's a great film for feminist discussion... I keep waiting for it to come out on Blu-Ray, which would give me a good opportunity to make Carrie watch it. Been a while since I've seen it, but yes, "nuanced" is the word that comes to mind. Especially for a Hollywood film of that era.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on May 28, 2018, 11:19:25 PM
Funeral Parade of Roses
I was looking at your ICM list and was ashamed that I haven't watched all of your films out of respect. However, getting down to the final 12 and watching this, I was reminded of why I abandoned my marathon of Ebert's favorites after he passed away. It was also out of respect. I'm happy to watch the film and there's always some insight into what YOU love about them, but sometimes that's all I get. There's nothing here for me. I recently wrote about the greatness of Something Wild, which bent the rules in a way that changed me. Same with Takeshi Kitano and Bela Tarr, who you introduced me to.

Roses certainly isn't lacking ideas, and it's no so reckless that you can accuse Toshio Matsumoto of having too much imagination. I like the way unexplained shots would be given meaning by the end. You just have to hang through all the experimentation and occasionally endless scenes. (It's energy is blunted by the repetition in scenes like the marijuana-fueled bacchanalia.) I wish I was emotionally invested, especially because the finale made me want to know how much emotions were heating up beneath the splashy surface.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 29, 2018, 12:01:35 AM
I rewatched that one last month, it had just come out on Blu-Ray. First I watched the bonus disc of Matsumoto's shorts, most of which I found unbearably tedious. It made me nervous about Funeral Parade, wondering if Matsumoto's experimentation was no longer appealing to me. Fortunately it held up for me... yes, there's a lot of ideas going around, but I find almost all of them work. Even the bacchanalia you mention. I didn't find any of them outstayed their welcome... but having watched the shorts recently may have been a factor there, since the shorts typically hammer an idea way beyond the amount of time it remains interesting.

I knew FPoR wouldn't be your cup of tea, but at least you've finally got that checkmark? Don't feel like you have to hold back on your rating, I'd like to know.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on May 29, 2018, 07:48:23 AM
2 Stars. For this type of film I was disappointed that the ideas didn't come together because the style took away from any emotional impact.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: roujin on May 29, 2018, 11:11:23 AM
I remember also disliking Funeral Parade of Roses way back when, but I've read some interesting criticism of it recently, particularly as a queer film that makes me want to watch it again.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on May 29, 2018, 03:17:10 PM
Hairspray

(https://i.imgur.com/rw4sIb4.jpg)

Half expecting a song to burst out of the characters during key points of the film, isn't a reflection in anyway on my desire for it to be like the remake. In fact, it's more a testament to the merit of the original source. I wouldn't have all these songs queuing and running through my head were it not for the progenitor.

This earlier, quieter rendition offers me more, for it deconstructs a slick decedent, showing the purer, more unpolished prototype. And I like it!

It's a bold mixture of serious and silly, combined with the added oomph of being a musical. Not a book musical, but a capturing of dancing and music of the day, in a type of docudrama/comedy way. Is that a genre? :) I'm not told in song what to feel, like in the lyrics, "There's a dream in the future, there's a struggle that we have yet to win..." No, it's just storytelling, or better yet, story showing. Both styles have their appeal. Getting to see them side by side, comparing and contrasting also has its appeal!


Now I finally get to read oldkid's review. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 30, 2018, 05:08:59 PM
I haven't seen the remake... partly because I love the original so much I saw no need for it to be redone, and partly because I couldn't stomach the idea of John Travolta replacing Divine. Having seen them both, how do they compare? Is Travolta a pale echo of Divine, or does he bring his own special something to the role?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Antares on May 30, 2018, 05:33:03 PM
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

You should now check out El Amor Brujo, which I liked even more.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on May 30, 2018, 09:48:39 PM
I haven't seen the remake... partly because I love the original so much I saw no need for it to be redone, and partly because I couldn't stomach the idea of John Travolta replacing Divine. Having seen them both, how do they compare? Is Travolta a pale echo of Divine, or does he bring his own special something to the role?

I haven't seen Divine in anything else, so don't have a history with actor. Except for a few stilted lines, I think he is fantastic and even the lines made me laugh, because I don't think he is well known for his great thespian skills. If it's believable to say, he makes a much more realistic character. He plays it seriously. Travolta plays it like a caricature, but since the musical feels plasticine, he's able to pulled off all the heavy prosthetics and fit into the style. What I like about Travolta is he pokes fun of his dancing past and comes across as sweet and endearing.

If Divine is your quintessential Edna Turnblad, then you're probably right not to mess with it. But, as musicals go, the 2007 version is a lot of fun. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: oldkid on May 30, 2018, 10:29:25 PM
Sandy, do you recommend the 2007 version to me?  Now that you've read my review, I mean :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on May 30, 2018, 10:36:04 PM
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

You should now check out El Amor Brujo, which I liked even more.
I'm using Martin as a guide when I Marathon his work.

1. Carmen
2. Peppermint Frappé
3. Flamenco, Flamenco
4. Flamenco
5. Deprisa, deprisa
6. El amor brujo
7. La prima Angelica
8. Cria cuervos
9. Elisa, vida mia
10. Ana y los lobos
11. Tango
12. Sevillanas

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on May 31, 2018, 12:12:26 AM
Sandy, do you recommend the 2007 version to me?  Now that you've read my review, I mean :)

I think so! Read my review in the musical may thread and you'll see what the differences are. If those are okay, then you'll enjoy the 2007 version. :) I'm really happy you had such a great experience with the 1988 version. We both discovered a great film this month!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on May 31, 2018, 06:52:19 AM
I am half way through Linda Linda Linda, should have a review up in the next couple of days. Sorry I am running a little late.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on May 31, 2018, 06:41:02 PM
I need to stop waiting until the last minute. I do hope to watch a second one today, though.

Offside 8 or 9/10 (I've forgotten how to rate)
Even though the politics of Iranian gender relations are ever-present in the film, and undeniably it's thematic core,  Panahi makes them peripheral in a story that is anchored to its characters and held together by the nearly real time pacing which, despite a few draggy moments, mostly moves the film along faster than you'd expect. As clearly scripted as the film is there's a sense of 'anything can happen' that kept me engaged and interested in both the little dramas and the overarching question of what will happen to these girls. It's ironic that this was banned in Iran because the patriotism and emotional investment in the match probably works better for a viewer who can more directly identify with the subject rather than a general "yeah, I guess I know what it's like to be a fan of a team." On the whole, though, it has a nice mix of characters who are relatable and sympathetic so that you don't view it as one group vs another but a bunch of people each trying to navigate a situation that is enough of their own doing that that they take responsibility but unfair enough that you don't feel a need to cast blame.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Junior on May 31, 2018, 07:57:10 PM
Watching Stop Making Sense right now.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on May 31, 2018, 11:10:32 PM
Hi, Martin. I watched El Norte and Knocked Out Loaded and I were going to talk about it, but I couldn't schedule a good time. If we get a chance to talk about it down the road, I'll put our discussion here... The film was futile, yet hopeful? Strange mixture of feelings.

Also, I have Imitation of Life, but am going out of town, so can write something next week.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on May 31, 2018, 11:19:13 PM
I need to stop waiting until the last minute. I do hope to watch a second one today, though.

Offside 8 or 9/10 (I've forgotten how to rate)
Even though the politics of Iranian gender relations are ever-present in the film, and undeniably it's thematic core,  Panahi makes them peripheral in a story that is anchored to its characters and held together by the nearly real time pacing which, despite a few draggy moments, mostly moves the film along faster than you'd expect. As clearly scripted as the film is there's a sense of 'anything can happen' that kept me engaged and interested in both the little dramas and the overarching question of what will happen to these girls. It's ironic that this was banned in Iran because the patriotism and emotional investment in the match probably works better for a viewer who can more directly identify with the subject rather than a general "yeah, I guess I know what it's like to be a fan of a team." On the whole, though, it has a nice mix of characters who are relatable and sympathetic so that you don't view it as one group vs another but a bunch of people each trying to navigate a situation that is enough of their own doing that that they take responsibility but unfair enough that you don't feel a need to cast blame.

I really enjoyed this one the first time I saw it, but it was rewatching it with Carrie that convinced me it belonged in my top 250. Such a great cast of characters, so much wonderful comedy/drama/humanism extracted from a simple premise, and such a fascinating production background. You really feel with/for the characters by the end. I love your last sentence here... Panahi has a marvelous breadth of sympathy.

Watching Stop Making Sense right now.

Hi, Martin. I watched El Norte and Knocked Out Loaded and I were going to talk about it, but I couldn't schedule a good time. If we get a chance to talk about it down the road, I'll put our discussion here... The film was futile, yet hopeful? Strange mixture of feelings.

Also, I have Imitation of Life, but am going out of town, so can write something next week.

Looking forward to hearing about these! Thanks everyone for participating!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: jdc on June 01, 2018, 12:44:35 AM
Watching Stop Making Sense right now.

Just make it clear how wrong DH is about this one
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on June 01, 2018, 01:23:18 AM
Cruel Gun Story 9/10
This is noir and I like noir. It's grim, it's dark both visually and thematically, it's well plotted and well paced, it's right up my alley. There's not a whole lot here that's original, but the execution is spot on and that helps it rise above the fray.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on June 01, 2018, 02:03:36 PM
Another one I forgot was in my top 250, but totally deserving. Lots of fun. I'm due for a rewatch of it.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: pixote on June 01, 2018, 03:04:59 PM
I was planning to watch An Actor's Revenge this weekend, but Cruel Gun Story might be more what I need right now, if I don't save it for Noirvember.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Junior on June 04, 2018, 11:46:01 AM
Stop Making Sense

I don't have a whole ton to say about this one. I'm not a huge Talking Heads fan so some of the songs just kind of washed over me to the point where I only really appreciated the visuals. I guess that's fine, though, because Jonathan Demme does a great job filming this show. This might be the defining motion picture, because everything except the ground the performers are standing on is constantly moving. The camera moves, the singers move, the instrumentalists (lol) move. There's a certain energy here that's hard to deny. Highlights for me include the opening performance of "Psycho Killer", the strobes during whatever song that was, and all of "Take Me To the River". Byrne is mesmerizing to watch, and if I had some greater attachment to the music this would probably be on my Top 100 list too.

B+
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: 1SO on June 04, 2018, 12:27:52 PM
I'm not a fan either, but the filmmaking... I'll probably watch SMS 3 times in my lifetime, mostly for the filmmaking which gets me to like the songs more than I ever had before.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on June 04, 2018, 12:35:46 PM
Stop Making Sense

I don't have a whole ton to say about this one. I'm not a huge Talking Heads fan so some of the songs just kind of washed over me to the point where I only really appreciated the visuals. I guess that's fine, though, because Jonathan Demme does a great job filming this show. This might be the defining motion picture, because everything except the ground the performers are standing on is constantly moving. The camera moves, the singers move, the instrumentalists (lol) move. There's a certain energy here that's hard to deny. Highlights for me include the opening performance of "Psycho Killer", the strobes during whatever song that was, and all of "Take Me To the River". Byrne is mesmerizing to watch, and if I had some greater attachment to the music this would probably be on my Top 100 list too.

B+

If the music just doesn't do it for you, then yeah, there's only so far this movie can take you. I'm glad you appreciated its energy.

At least you didn't say something insane like there's no point to watching musical performances or whatever nonsense that was.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on June 11, 2018, 08:55:46 PM
Imitation of Life

(https://i.imgur.com/z7Xr4FV.jpg)


You got me. I thought I had made it through, prepared for how the story was going to play out and planned on letting it unfold while I sat with an air of detachment, but when Mahalia Jackson wails “Trouble of the World,” the tears start to flow. By the time Sarah Jane buries her head in the white roses, I lose my composure completely and give myself up to the moment.
 
I know this is a Lana Turner vehicle and she looks like she’s playing herself in many ways, which would normally be engaging, but my attention is elsewhere. I like her. I appreciate her presence, but I’m not all that interested in her character’s story. It’s Sarah Jane and her mother Annie who I hone in on. They’re intersecting in impossible ways, with no good resolutions available and only love to connect daughter to mother, which at times feels as flimsy as floss. Annie’s love on the other hand is as roots to a tree. There is no mistaking her depth of feeling.

Youth may as well be a synonym for regret. What is learned during this time is beyond difficult and “make or break,” shapes us and becomes the building blocks we carry the rest of our lives. Annie’s daughter can now construct herself with the hard-earned lesson, “Without love you're only living an imitation of life.”
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: ferris on June 11, 2018, 10:02:53 PM
Shoot I forget how this Movie Club thing works.  Do I pick a (few) movie(s) from your top 100 that I haven't seen and review it (them)?

Do I not pick something someone else has already picked? 


(I've not seen Tree of Life or Scenes from a Marriage yet. Both been on my todo list for a while)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on June 11, 2018, 10:42:33 PM
You pick anything you haven't seen and then review it, doesn't matter if others have reviewed it or not.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on June 11, 2018, 11:21:16 PM
You pick anything you haven't seen and then review it, doesn't matter if others have reviewed it or not.

Also! I was late getting my review in for Martin, so it's really PeacefulAnarchy's month now. We've decided to make a thread for each participant. Here's PA's thread and lists.

http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14798.msg889272#msg889272
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on June 11, 2018, 11:30:54 PM
Imitation of Life

(https://i.imgur.com/z7Xr4FV.jpg)


You got me. I thought I had made it through, prepared for how the story was going to play out and planned on letting it unfold while I sat with an air of detachment, but when Mahalia Jackson wails “Trouble of the World,” the tears start to flow. By the time Sarah Jane buries her head in the white roses, I lose my composure completely and give myself up to the moment.
 
I know this is a Lana Turner vehicle and she looks like she’s playing herself in many ways, which would normally be engaging, but my attention is elsewhere. I like her. I appreciate her presence, but I’m not all that interested in her character’s story. It’s Sarah Jane and her mother Annie who I hone in on. They’re intersecting in impossible ways, with no good resolutions available and only love to connect daughter to mother, which at times feels as flimsy as floss. Annie’s love on the other hand is as roots to a tree. There is no mistaking her depth of feeling.

Youth may as well be a synonym for regret. What is learned during this time is beyond difficult and “make or break,” shapes us and becomes the building blocks we carry the rest of our lives. Annie’s daughter can now construct herself with the hard-earned lesson, “Without love you're only living an imitation of life.”

Spot on! Yes, the Lana Turner story has some fine bits to it (if it was a complete loss I don't know if I could include the film in my top 100) but it's Sarah Jane and Annie who provide the movie's true brilliance. Juanita Moore's performance remains one of my all-time favorites, but I can't overlook Susan Kohner either. It's her guilt and grief at the end that really turn on the waterworks. One of the best films for getting a good cry on.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Sandy on June 11, 2018, 11:42:48 PM
Spot on! Yes, the Lana Turner story has some fine bits to it (if it was a complete loss I don't know if I could include the film in my top 100) but it's Sarah Jane and Annie who provide the movie's true brilliance. Juanita Moore's performance remains one of my all-time favorites, but I can't overlook Susan Kohner either. It's her guilt and grief at the end that really turn on the waterworks. One of the best films for getting a good cry on.

:) Love when this happens. We had a very similar experience with the film.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 16, 2018, 06:34:00 AM
b]Linda, Linda, Linda[/b] (2005 - Nobuhiro Yamashita)

A reflection on the drifting with some idea of a direction, but not really sure. The 4 leads in this film are high school students that do not seem to study, they drift quietly between places. However their drifting has a direction, playing in the school festival.

On paper this would seem to be a boring movie, but it is not, these characters draw you into their world and you are pulled along with the slow moving current.

The soaking wet ending is lovely. This was not the style of film I was expecting (I was expecting a more raucous film), but I am very pleased to have experienced it.

Rating: 75 / 100

P.S. Sorry it has taken me so long to write this review up.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on June 16, 2018, 08:38:28 AM
b]Linda, Linda, Linda[/b] (2005 - Nobuhiro Yamashita)

A reflection on the drifting with some idea of a direction, but not really sure. The 4 leads in this film are high school students that do not seem to study, they drift quietly between places. However their drifting has a direction, playing in the school festival.

On paper this would seem to be a boring movie, but it is not, these characters draw you into their world and you are pulled along with the slow moving current.

The soaking wet ending is lovely. This was not the style of film I was expecting (I was expecting a more raucous film), but I am very pleased to have experienced it.

Rating: 75 / 100

P.S. Sorry it has taken me so long to write this review up.

Very little of my high school experience centered around study, so I can relate!

Glad you enjoyed it. It's really the characters that make the film so lovable to me. They don't have big personalities but they're very authentic and endearing.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: pixote on July 03, 2018, 02:02:22 AM
(https://s3.amazonaws.com/cinepix/screenshots/AnActorsRevenge.jpg)

An Actor's Revenge  (Ichikawa Kon, 1963)

I've let a few days pass since watching this, thinking a good review would crystallize in my head, but that hasn't really happened. A screenshot-based review would be more appropriate, really, but even that would fail to capture the film at its best, which is when the light shifts theatrically within the shots. I really loved the use of shadows and darkness here. Even though only a small part of the film is set on stage, the kabuki visuals permeate the entire film. It's like street theater, with the moon as the spotlight, always just managing to catch the action in its silvery glow. I like this description from Martin's original review (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2003/11/20/revenge-of-a-kabuki-actor/): "Ichikawa demonstrates a masterful use of empty space, particularly black space. He exploits the widescreen scope in dazzling and unusual ways." (See here (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/revenge-of-a-kabuki-actor-rewatch/) for his rewatch review.) I didn't have the same experience with the music, however; the jazzy elements felt all wrong to me. As for the story, I really wish it had been pure noir — or, at least, purely dark and gothic, like Hangover Square, for example. The light comedy of the thieves felt very 16th century to me, like they'd stepped out of Orlando Furioso. That's not what I wanted from this film. Plus, as a thief, Hasegawa looked distractingly like Tony Curtis (as if his dual role wasn't distracting enough already). I imagine Kinugasa's 1935 film of this story (also starring Hasegawa) is so different as to make any comparison pointless, but I'm still sort of curious to check it out.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: MartinTeller on July 03, 2018, 07:41:25 AM
I never checked out the original myself.

When I joined this forum, I believe this movie was my #1... on a list that was hastily cobbled together from my ratings on Criticker, where I'd impulsively given Revenge a score of 100. Later I dropped the film down to the more accurate ranking of #21. Last month I rewatched the film on Criterion's new Blu-Ray and gave it a 94. Which is still a great score, but would probably not be enough to keep it in the top 100 at all (if I ever bothered to redo my list again).

All this talk about numbers is just to say that I don't love the film the way I used to, though I don't share your complaints. I still love the music, and the comedy works for me (to an extent, anyway... I certainly wouldn't call it laugh-out-loud funny, but I enjoy the lighter tones). I find the stylistic mashup to be one of the movie's strengths. But for all the style, it doesn't really connect with me on a gut level. Burmese Harp notwithstanding, emotional resonance isn't really Ichikawa's bag, and that's a quality that's important to me.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
Post by: pixote on July 20, 2018, 02:54:42 PM
But for all the style, it doesn't really connect with me on a gut level. Burmese Harp notwithstanding, emotional resonance isn't really Ichikawa's bag, and that's a quality that's important to me.

Enjo was my introduction to Ichikawa, and that lack of emotional resonance scared me off him for a while. I really should catch up on more of his filmography, though.

pixote