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Author Topic: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame  (Read 53321 times)

worm@work

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #90 on: June 26, 2011, 10:58:37 AM »
I haven't, but I do like the sound of "intensely romantic"! Where would you recommend that I start?

I started with The Lovers on the Bridge and I think you should too :)!

tinyholidays

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #91 on: June 26, 2011, 11:03:34 AM »
Ok! Thanks, w@w! I've seen the cover of that on Netflix so many times, but the cover was boring, so I never clicked in. I don't think I even realized it was a Carax! I'll check it out.

worm@work

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #92 on: June 26, 2011, 11:25:28 AM »
Ok! Thanks, w@w! I've seen the cover of that on Netflix so many times, but the cover was boring, so I never clicked in. I don't think I even realized it was a Carax! I'll check it out.

Yeah, that's a terrible cover and as sdedalus mentioned, the English title is so boring. The movie though is the opposite of all that.

Also, this might make you want to watch Mauvais Sang :O! The things Lavant has to do to stay in frame. So good.

Mauvais Sang

« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 12:59:53 PM by worm@work »

goodguy

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #93 on: June 26, 2011, 08:17:23 PM »
I started with The Lovers on the Bridge and I think you should too :)!

Curiously enough, this is the one I still haven't seen. Both Mauvais sang and Pola X have glorious moments, but are pretty uneven overall and I liked them less on repeat viewing. His debut feature Boy Meets Girl is almost perfect; so simple and so stunningly vibrant and beautiful.

tinyholidays

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #94 on: June 26, 2011, 08:26:10 PM »
Sounds like I need to watch all of them! I do not have a problem with this. Caraxathon!

worm@work

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #95 on: June 26, 2011, 08:59:12 PM »
Curiously enough, this is the one I still haven't seen. Both Mauvais sang and Pola X have glorious moments, but are pretty uneven overall and I liked them less on repeat viewing. His debut feature Boy Meets Girl is almost perfect; so simple and so stunningly vibrant and beautiful.

Am with you on Boy Meets Girl. It's such a perfect debut film. Plus, it features another equally great scene set to Bowie.

But something about the intensity of Mauvais Sang and The Lovers on the Bridge just resonates with me. I agree that they are perhaps uneven and flawed in parts but I love them warts and all.

Caraxathon!
It'll be my third time around but I might still have to join in!

1SO

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #96 on: June 26, 2011, 09:31:44 PM »
I'd be surprised to hear there's a film by him that isn't uneven and flawed. It doesn't seem like he's going for crowd-pleasing cohesion.

While watching Lovers on the Bridge I thought my post would go largely ignored, especially with me diving into Cassavetes next. Shows how wrong I was. Carax is a popular dude.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 09:36:39 PM by 1SO »

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Re: Directors of Shame: John Cassavetes - Faces
« Reply #97 on: June 27, 2011, 12:23:25 AM »
Marathon Update



Faces

Quote from: Roger Ebert
John Cassavetes' "Faces" is the sort of film that makes you want to grab people by the neck and drag them into the theater and shout: "Here!" It would be a triumphant shout.
There's a reason why people enter the world of Cassavetes with great hesitation. There's an enormous self-indulgence built into his process. While striving to create an absolute realism never seen on the screen, Cassavetes gives his actors a lot of rope, and risks hanging his film. Husbands is a notorious example of this, but I found it on full display and strutting like a peacock in Faces.

A big step up from the scruffiness of Shadows, Faces uses professional actors and they all give extremely professional performances. Often the camera feels like a documentary, capturing real life dinner parties and emotional breakdowns. This is what Cassavetes is famous for. But a lot of it is about as interesting as being at a real life party with none of your friends and where you're not allowed to participate. You just sit there watching everyone else amuse themselves or snap at others. In capturing reality, Cassavetes also pinpoints the reason why we go to the movies... to escape the sometimes obnoxiousness and tedium of reality.

The big sin here truly is the running time. This is the kind of thing that can be exciting in small doses, but Faces runs on for over two hours. Nearly all of the scenes feel three times longer than they need to be. Cassavetes has his performances down, but he hasn't yet attached them to a story that justifies the length. Let it be known I've already seen A Woman Under the Influence (***1/2), which is even longer but has enough drama to make for a worthwhile experience. This has a hook, revealed about 30 minutes in, and then the endless, pointless yammering continues. To a point.

Here's where it gets interesting. I was waiting for Oscar Nominated Seymour Cassel to come in and hopefully save this picture. Initially his dancing fool jibber-jabber was just as annoying as everyone else, but then the film pairs him off with Lynn Carlin, and it gets pretty darn good. Here, near the end of the picture, it finally got interesting for me. So much so that I even loved the final scene, which was between two people I didn't care for towards the beginning. I started to think there is something here, beyond the pursuit of pure realism. It's possible to still create high drama. Tell me there's an 80 minute cut of Faces and I'll gladly give this another chance, but as is I cannot recommend it.
RATING: *1/2

The title 'Killing of a Chinese Bookie' already has more story than Faces. At this point I'm not expecting too much.

sdedalus

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #98 on: June 27, 2011, 12:49:19 AM »
I'd be surprised to hear there's a film by him that isn't uneven and flawed. It doesn't seem like he's going for crowd-pleasing cohesion.

He's one of those crazy French critic-directors (next generation, with Olivier Assayas among others).  Those guys are always bursting with ideas.
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1SO

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Re: Directors of Shame: Vera Chytilová - Daisies
« Reply #99 on: June 27, 2011, 02:11:00 AM »
Marathon Update



Daisies (Sedmikrásky)
Expecting a lot of "haven't seen any" for this one... even on IMDb, most of her films have fewer than 200 votes.  But I find her work (what little I've seen) very intriguing.  Daisies reminds me a lot of Celine and Julie Go Boating, but better and funnier.
Putting Cassavetes on pause for the day because nobody should follow up Faces with another Cassavetes. This was a personal pick from MartinTeller who writes...

Quote
A real gem from the Czech New Wave.  Embodies the anarchic spirit of Makavejev without the retarded button-pushing, and the playfulness of Godard without the intellectual pretense.  It's a freewheeling, wickedly fun movie... flawed, but highly entertaining.  Marie and Marie raise from a puppet-like existence and decide that if the rest of the world has gone bad, then so will they.  What ensues is a dada-esque series of non-sequiturs as the two girls go on a hedonistic spree.  What makes the film so exciting is the way Chytilová employs a wild palette of photographic and editing techniques (including some I don't think I've ever seen before) to contribute to the anything-goes tone.  Also very inventive use of music and sound.  It's loose and unpredictable and just plain FUN.  The movie is so unconventional that it leaves itself wide open to interpretation... I would say there's a strong feminist vibe to it, but the characters are not very sympathetic, so that may be off-base.  In fact, this is the film's biggest drawback -- Marie and Marie are charming at times, but they also can be highly obnoxious, as are their baby-doll coquettish voices.  The other major problem (besides the lack of a plot, which will of course alienate most viewers) is that the symbolism is occasionally far too blunt.  I don't think castration imagery gets any blunter than cutting up sausages and bananas with scissors.  Although the movie can be challenging, if you let yourself go along with it, it's a dazzling, wild ride.  Rating: 8
I agree with most of his writeup, while adding that I had a much bigger issue with all of the drawbacks. The film is so unconventional and the characters are so unsympathetic and obnoxious, the whole enterprise felt like a slapdash piece of performance art. (This comes from a guy who likes Alejandro Jodorowsky.) Chytilová is definitely a filmmaker of ideas, but is so completely lacking in focus or drive that the two girls just spun their wheels for an hour and change before the overlong feast finale and its aftermath, which was my favorite part of the film. The decision on how to end it was the one experiment I thought really paid off. A lot of the others, especially the random color filters, smacked of someone who didn't have a complete vision and was throwing anything at the wall hoping enough of it would stick. Hardly any of it did. Having careened as far away from the uber-realism of Cassavetes as you can get, I'm now happy to return to him once again. ...tomorrow.
RATING: *1/2