Author Topic: Write about the last movie you watched (2006-2010)  (Read 3961643 times)

flieger

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19980 on: September 20, 2009, 09:39:12 PM »
Here's a new perspective.

I just finished Elephant. By all accounts I should have loved this movie, but I am practically seething with anger. Only Van Sant could have turned such powerful subject matter into something so completely ineffective. He has absolutely nothing to say, he just builds his characters out of cliches and then revels in his own masturbatory filmmaking for the duration of the movie. Paranoid Park was an annoyance, but this movie is a disgrace.

As I said in the other topic those cliches are done on purpose. He does that to point the finger at the audience and say, "There isn't a reason for why they kill, you want for there to be a concrete reason so you have something to blame, but there isn't one." GVS has plenty to say, from the first frame he pushes the ambiguity of the entire event, and he never lets up. Elephant is a very powerful film with a lot to say about humanity and our need to label people and events, to put them in neat little boxes where they make sense to us.
True, and the narrative structure - the gliding, the stereotypes, the off-screen action - makes it more of a meditation on filmmaking and capturing "truth".

ˇKeith!

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19981 on: September 20, 2009, 10:30:06 PM »
As I said in the other topic those cliches are done on purpose. He does that to point the finger at the audience and say, "There isn't a reason for why they kill, you want for there to be a concrete reason so you have something to blame, but there isn't one." GVS has plenty to say, from the first frame he pushes the ambiguity of the entire event, and he never lets up. Elephant is a very powerful film with a lot to say about humanity and our need to label people and events, to put them in neat little boxes where they make sense to us.

"There is no explainable reason" is something that can be done effectively, this isn't it. If that's what he was going for, why include scenes of every stereotype imaginable for the killers? The other characters were just as badly portrayed, Van Sant putting together a collection of every high-school personality stereotype in the book. Of course they were only fodder for his little staged tragedy anyways, so there's not much to say about them.

wow, i really wanna smack you right now ;D

Its not about him saying something, and to always expect that is kinda lazy.  The intent of this and last days and gerry ect is a kind of semiotic investigation - its up to YOU to say something.  Unlike say Pixar, this is actually art as film (not to knock it - i love entertainment as much as the next person).  You have these ideas and judgments in your head and he give you visuals that provoke those associations.  Meditate on your own reactions - not on what you think Van Sant's might be because you don;t know what they are because he's actually not interested in telling you.  This is why something like Theo Angelopoulos' Ulysses' Gaze (which tries to do the same thing) doesn't work for me is that I really have no cultural knowledge base from which to draw on to interact with what I'm seeing.  But to disregard this side of the film is to lose so much of what makes the film great. 

Clovis8

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19982 on: September 20, 2009, 10:34:43 PM »
As I said in the other topic those cliches are done on purpose. He does that to point the finger at the audience and say, "There isn't a reason for why they kill, you want for there to be a concrete reason so you have something to blame, but there isn't one." GVS has plenty to say, from the first frame he pushes the ambiguity of the entire event, and he never lets up. Elephant is a very powerful film with a lot to say about humanity and our need to label people and events, to put them in neat little boxes where they make sense to us.

"There is no explainable reason" is something that can be done effectively, this isn't it. If that's what he was going for, why include scenes of every stereotype imaginable for the killers? The other characters were just as badly portrayed, Van Sant putting together a collection of every high-school personality stereotype in the book. Of course they were only fodder for his little staged tragedy anyways, so there's not much to say about them.

wow, i really wanna smack you right now ;D

Its not about him saying something, and to always expect that is kinda lazy.  The intent of this and last days and gerry ect is a kind of semiotic investigation - its up to YOU to say something.  Unlike say Pixar, this is actually art as film (not to knock it - i love entertainment as much as the next person).  You have these ideas and judgments in your head and he give you visuals that provoke those associations.  Meditate on your own reactions - not on what you think Van Sant's might be because you don;t know what they are because he's actually not interested in telling you.  This is why something like Theo Angelopoulos' Ulysses' Gaze (which tries to do the same thing) doesn't work for me is that I really have no cultural knowledge base from which to draw on to interact with what I'm seeing.  But to disregard this side of the film is to lose so much of what makes the film great. 

Absolutely perfectly said Keith. This is exactly what his experiential films are intended to elicit. Like modern art, they are not about the object but about what the object elicits in the subject.

roujin

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19983 on: September 20, 2009, 10:56:29 PM »

The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)

Ford revisits the townsfolk of Judge Priest 20 years later. Things happen. I suppose it's kind of the same exact movie except this time it's much more pessimistic about the entire thing. It's too bad Will Rogers died back in '35 cuz he's amazing, but Winninger eventually won me over (probably around the time he finds himself in front of the jailhouse). Anyway, yeah, it's a whole lot sadder. In Judge Priest, the judge was much more laidback about the election, but in here the danger of losing is palpable. He goes out and campaigns and shakes hands and all that stuff. But, soon enough, things happen that are beyond his control and he's basically in an impossible situation that will pretty much guarantee his loss in the election. Anyway, that's not really the point. It never is. It's all about these small town events: the attempted lynching, "dixie," the dance, the funeral, the election, that reveal the true heart of the community. The funeral procession is probably the best thing I've seen so far in a Ford film. It's almost completely wordless and it's so goddamn beautiful. And, by the end, damn if I don't love this small town.


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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19984 on: September 20, 2009, 11:00:28 PM »
#212.

Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) -

I have been anticipating this film for a while now. When I saw a preview last year I wanted to see it. Then it started getting good reviews and I wanted to see it more. Then people here started talking about it some. Then to cap everything off I saw an interview with Meryl Streep at the SAG awards and the guy asked what her favorite film of the year was and she said Waltz With Bashir. I don't know what took so long, but I finally got around to it and my expectations were met. Folman uses the animation so well. The layered texture of it is moving and beautiful. He is able to tell his story much more effective as a documentary in this style than I feel he could have otherwise. The events are suspenseful and moving. Suspenseful like Man on Wire was too. I liked the music and editing too. It really seemed to fit everything and I feel like they edited it just right. As for the ending, I thought it was a stroke of genius to break away from the animation for the last of it. It really made it real, because that's what it was, to Folman and a lot of other people. It was a real massacre during a real war. Bravo.

Rating: 3.5/4
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flieger

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19985 on: September 20, 2009, 11:02:11 PM »

The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)

Ford revisits the townsfolk of Judge Priest 20 years later. Things happen. I suppose it's kind of the same exact movie except this time it's much more pessimistic about the entire thing. It's too bad Will Rogers died back in '35 cuz he's amazing, but Winninger eventually won me over (probably around the time he finds himself in front of the jailhouse). Anyway, yeah, it's a whole lot sadder. In Judge Priest, the judge was much more laidback about the election, but in here the danger of losing is palpable. He goes out and campaigns and shakes hands and all that stuff. But, soon enough, things happen that are beyond his control and he's basically in an impossible situation that will pretty much guarantee his loss in the election. Anyway, that's not really the point. It never is. It's all about these small town events: the attempted lynching, "dixie," the dance, the funeral, the election, that reveal the true heart of the community. The funeral procession is probably the best thing I've seen so far in a Ford film. It's almost completely wordless and it's so goddamn beautiful. And, by the end, damn if I don't love this small town.


You've been doing a fantastic job, roujin!

Junior

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19986 on: September 20, 2009, 11:06:06 PM »

The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)

Ford revisits the townsfolk of Judge Priest 20 years later. Things happen. I suppose it's kind of the same exact movie except this time it's much more pessimistic about the entire thing. It's too bad Will Rogers died back in '35 cuz he's amazing, but Winninger eventually won me over (probably around the time he finds himself in front of the jailhouse). Anyway, yeah, it's a whole lot sadder. In Judge Priest, the judge was much more laidback about the election, but in here the danger of losing is palpable. He goes out and campaigns and shakes hands and all that stuff. But, soon enough, things happen that are beyond his control and he's basically in an impossible situation that will pretty much guarantee his loss in the election. Anyway, that's not really the point. It never is. It's all about these small town events: the attempted lynching, "dixie," the dance, the funeral, the election, that reveal the true heart of the community. The funeral procession is probably the best thing I've seen so far in a Ford film. It's almost completely wordless and it's so goddamn beautiful. And, by the end, damn if I don't love this small town.


You've been doing a fantastic job, roujin!


You know he's following me, right?

And yes, the funeral scene is freaking amazing.
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Clovis8

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19987 on: September 20, 2009, 11:08:39 PM »
Aliens

***/****



It started off slow but ended up being a pretty kick ass action movie. Cameron has some skills. This actually makes me think Avatar might not suck.

LOL to Paul Rieser being the bad guy.  ;D
 
I wish Weaver made more action movies. She is so good.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 11:12:29 PM by pixote »

flieger

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19988 on: September 20, 2009, 11:09:42 PM »
You're both doing great. Seriously!

roujin

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19989 on: September 20, 2009, 11:09:56 PM »
And yes, the funeral scene is freaking amazing.

Not sure things get better than small town Ford americana.

 

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