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Marathons / Re: 1SO vs. All the Directors
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 10:57:03 PM »
I'm keeping a Letterboxd Diary, but since each Director is being handled differently most of these viewings are watching titles outside the canon hoping for Discoveries.

So far I've watched 271 films.
106 features and 1 Short (Scorsese's The Audition) I recommend. 13 of these are Rewatches.
The best Discoveries of this Marathon - in the order that I watched them - are:
The Search (1948, Fred Zinnemann)
Passing Strange (2009, Spike Lee)
The Chase (1966, Arthur Penn)
T2:Trainspotting (2017, Danny Boyle)
Taking Off (1971, Milos Forman)
Park Row (1952, Samuel Fuller)

These are 6 directors I have different levels of admiration, and all of them I look more fondly on because of these films.
Directors / Re: Preminger, Otto
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 10:29:23 PM »
Being a National Treasure, Coburn always deserves consideration. However, this isn't much different from his other work, be it the sly fox or this. He would make my Top 10, but wouldn't crack my Top 5 and I don't expect enough people will watch the film even though it's on YouTube.

Anyone interested in Charles Coburn's best performance, watch In This Our Life.
Marathons / Re: 1SO vs. All the Directors
« Last post by pixote on Yesterday at 10:13:52 PM »
Are you tracking your director ratings as you move through this project? I imagine most of the directors so far have been known quantities, but have any seen significant upticks in your rating of them?

Directors / Re: Preminger, Otto
« Last post by pixote on Yesterday at 10:10:33 PM »
Does Coburn deserve consideration in that crowded Retrospot field?

Directors / Re: Lubitsch, Ernst
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 10:00:21 PM »
A Royal Scandal, which is credited to Otto Preminger but Lubitsch did a lot of the work and his style is all over it.
Directors / Re: Preminger, Otto
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 09:59:11 PM »
A Royal Scandal (1945)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Screwball comedy about Catherine the Great (Tallula Bankhead), occasionally goes for equating speaking loud with funny, but there are a number of strong supporting players. Best of the bunch is Charles Coburn as Catherine's advisor, the person who best knows how to navigate the slippery corridors of the palace. He's the smartest man in any room who knows the smart thing is to not appear to be so smart. Some of the best scenes are when he and Sig Ruman (as a treasonous General) are together, but there's also Anne Baxter, Mischa Auer and Vincent Price.

The script contains large doses of sly, sharp and silly, but there's something that holds it back from true greatness. It could be that Bankhead is the queen of the stage, but on screen she doesn't have the luster of her contemporaries. Most of her scenes are with Tyrone Power stand-in William Eythe. Against the cast and intrigue that surround them, their comedic love scenes are the film's weakness.

There's also a debate about Preminger's credit. The film was developed and storyboarded by Ernst Lubitsch, who rehearsed the cast and started production but was replaced when he became ill. Preminger completed the film, which bears the title Ernst Lubitsch's A Royal Scandal. It walks and talks like Lubitsch, though a bit louder and cruder.
Directors / Re: Lang, Fritz
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 09:42:33 PM »
I don't know how far into the Saw franchise you went, but there's one that takes place just after Jigsaw's death where he's set up a mind puzzle on the ensemble from beyond the grave. It's completely ridiculous that he would be planning not one final execution, but an elaborate mousetrap to be sprung after he's gone. That's where the connection to Mabuse comes in. This isn't just F&F dumb fun, it requires you to ask no serious questions because they break down the Rube Goldberg scheme. You could make an equal list of the insanity of events in that Saw film, but that doesn't make them fun or clever. It's the direction, which is really good in Mabuse, that pull entertainment from something that should be more frustrating.

The traffic-light assassination is my favorite scene in any Mabuse film. I love "the silent film character finally finding his voice in death". Something I didn't think about until you wrote it.

I also watched the 121-minute version.
Directors / Re: Dolan, Xavier
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 09:26:20 PM »
I would be down for a Vincent Cassel marathon. He's incredible and his body of work is vast.
Marathons / Re: 1SO vs. All the Directors
« Last post by 1SO on Yesterday at 09:25:01 PM »
Actually, someone randomly gave me the Blu-Ray of Deathtrap not too long ago; maybe I'll use this as a nudge to finally watch it.

Deathtrap is one of the biggest disagreements between Junior and me, and we rarely disagree on anything. That alone makes it something to watch. #Team1SO
Movie Talk / Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Last post by pixote on Yesterday at 07:37:08 PM »

Joachim Trier, 2017

The two halves of the the narrative the lesbian awakening, the superhero origin story both felt kind of half-baked to me. Trier's movie is perhaps too restrained to take full advantage of that combination, which sounds more amazing on paper.

Grade: B-

James Mangold, 2017

What a waste of a pretty good concept. Ugly cinematogaraphy and generally lackluster filmmaking contribute to the issue, but the main problem is with the screenplay, which takes the reluctant hero trope to new levels of annoyance. The fact that one character waits two-thirds of the movie before starting to communicate is emblematic of the film's resistance to tell its own story.

Grade: C

Stephen Chbosky, 2017

The perfect kind of movie to watch on a plane, which is exactly how I watched it.

Grade: B-

That just about concludes the Filmspot portion of my review catch-up. I failed to write down any meaningful notes for Split (C+), Loveless (B-), Mother! (B-), I, Tonya (B), Brigsby Bear (C), or Personal Shopper (C+), so I'm content to just let those grades speak for themselves.

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