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Author Topic: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame  (Read 53313 times)

sdedalus

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #80 on: June 22, 2011, 01:42:49 AM »
"Condensed elegance" is a great way of describing Pickpocket.

I really like both it and A Man Escaped.  But I like everything.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Directors of Shame: Robert Bresson Pickpocket
« Reply #81 on: June 22, 2011, 09:35:45 AM »
I've got Mouchette on deck and at some point I will watch Diary of a Country Priest, but is the best of Bresson already behind me?

There's a good chance you'll like Mouchette, it's got more of an emotional center to it.  I thought Country Priest was a snooze.

1SO

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Directors of Shame: Robert Bresson Mouchette
« Reply #82 on: June 22, 2011, 11:38:47 PM »
Marathon Update



Mouchette

My Bresson count is now up to 4: 2 minimalist thrillers from the 50s and 2 minimalist, emotionally depressing pieces from the 60s. Mouchette is a step up from Pickpocket. I was engaged throughout, following the lead girl like a Dardenne. The story is really heavy and because Bresson wastes no time on extraneous material, it's nothing but ever-increasing emotional torture. The Passion of the Mouchette.

I was being flip, though I'm sure you can read religious implications into the film. The canvas is left as blank as it can get away with so you can interpret and apply the story all sorts of ways. Even the performances are heavily internalized, though not to the point where you're bored. Large sections of Mouchette are dialogue free, and it got me wondering how Bresson might've thrived in the silent era.
RATING: ***

Having doubled my Bresson knowledge I'm ready to move ahead. I already have Killing of a Chinese Bookie, so that will probably come before Carax's Lovers on the Bridge

1SO

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Re: Directors of Shame: Leos Carax The Lovers on the Bridge
« Reply #83 on: June 26, 2011, 01:36:05 AM »
Marathon Update



The Lovers on the Bridge

Carax does over the top french romance the best.
A feature film is made up of a collection of short films which accumulate for dramatic effect. This is how I saw The Lovers on the Bridge. How well everything accumulates is going to depend on you. I really hated some of the scenes, but man I really liked some of the scenes.

I'm not a complete stranger to the perspective of filmmaker Leos Carax. I'd seen his segment from Tokyo!, the weakest of the shorts, though I understand his madness better now. I've also seen parts of Mauvais Sang, but in small doses you only see the pretentiousness and Carax can be a real turnoff. It was an uphill battle getting into Lovers on the Bridge. I quickly realized my mind was not open enough to follow a homeless junkie with a broken ankle. This isn't classy French cinema, but more challenging gutter French.

Like I said, I really didn't like parts of this movie, but then would come a scene like the fireworks sequence and the creative flow was romantically grand. This was easily my favorite part of the film, and I liked that it became increasingly illogical because it only made things more romantic and the shots were really beautiful. (The couple spinning was lovely, but the stolen boat was sublime.) This disregard for logic is what sometimes gets the film in trouble. There's a bit involving some posters and fire. A shot of the posters all flaming down a long tunnel of the Paris subway makes no sense, but it looks great and emotionally it works. This scene ends with our lead crossing a huge moral line. I felt uneasy, even though I could tell Carax wasn't going for stark realism.

Carax is really great with images that include light strobes. I noticed it later on when our couple watches a dance club and a scene on a ferris wheel. He doesn't descend to pure black, but that burst of light does wonders with the imagery. Carax experiments with filming a scene in a way I found really attractive. It's liberating to watch someone who's making it up, who isn't sure if this will work. And a lot of the time it doesn't, but his saving grace are the three lead performances. They remain rock solid throughout, anchoring Carax's invention. 

I'm very hesitant to recommend The Lovers on the Bridge because it's a mess, but ultimately I admire the attempt, the performances are wonderful, and the parts that do work are really quite special.
RATING: ***

This doesn't make me want to watch Mauvais Sang right away, but I'll be ready for Carax when one of his films pops up again. For now, it's onto my triple bill of Cassavetes.

sdedalus

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #84 on: June 26, 2011, 03:25:07 AM »
I wouldn't hold my breath, he hasn't made a film for more than a decade.

I really do hate the English title of the film.  It's so generic and boring.  Les amants du Pont-Neuf is much better.

Anyway, yeah it is messy.  But oh so glorious.
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roujin

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #85 on: June 26, 2011, 07:12:52 AM »
Actually, Carax just got financing for a new film, something called Holly Motors. It's gonna star Binoche and Lavant!

tinyholidays

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #86 on: June 26, 2011, 10:18:24 AM »
I wouldn't hold my breath, he hasn't made a film for more than a decade.

I really like his section of Tokyo!.

1SO

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Re: Directors of Shame: John Cassavetes - Shadows
« Reply #87 on: June 26, 2011, 10:31:41 AM »
Marathon Update



Shadows

I'm a child of the 90s indie film movement. I vividly remember my first viewing of 1989's Sex, Lies and Videotape but I couldn't name an indie film I saw in the theater before that. I've seen some scruffy, low-budget films in my time, from the ramshackle Putney Swope to the more stylish Who's That Knocking At My Door?, but Shadows is Patient Zero. It's the seed from which all the other films sprouted. Shadows remains important as an important piece of film history, but how does it play as a movie?

author = MartinTeller
Quote
Cassavete's first film is interesting, but too amateurish to really get into.  It would be better if the acting weren't so stagey.
There's your answer in a nutshell. This film is so scruffily indie, at times the patchy editing feel like a deliberate choice. Was this the best footage Cassavetes had to work with, or did he want shots where actors emotions would wildly vary between the edits? Clerks and The Blair With Project are more polished pieces of filmmaking. Compounding that, the story is set among the long extinct Beat Scene featuring some character behavior I just didn't understand. I decided to include this in the marathon because of its importance and the brief 80min running time. For the first 20 minutes I was having a really rough go.

Then came a story I got completely attached to: Lelia and Tony. They meet and have a sorta date and things get complicated when Tony meets Lelia's brother. Everything before this felt like a ramble, disconnected bits with actors making up stuff to say because the camera was on them. Now I see Cassavetes taking a crack at some directing. He guides the performances around and it's pretty good.

Unfortunately Leila and Tony are only about a third of the film, and the Beat hipsters come back for the ending, which is interesting so far as its influence on Scorsese is quite blatant. I guess I got what I expected out of Shadows. If you're into films for their historical significance, you should watch this. If you're looking for a good film, just be glad it's short.
RATING: **

Still have Killing of a Chinese Bookie, but I wish I could watch Faces first.
EDIT: Faces is on Hulu, so I can watch it first.  :D
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:57:17 AM by 1SO »

worm@work

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #88 on: June 26, 2011, 10:41:31 AM »
I wouldn't hold my breath, he hasn't made a film for more than a decade.

I really like his section of Tokyo!.

I do too. A lot.
Have you watched any of his other films, tiny? I really think you'd enjoy them. So intensely romantic.

tinyholidays

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #89 on: June 26, 2011, 10:53:50 AM »
I haven't, but I do like the sound of "intensely romantic"! Where would you recommend that I start?

 

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