Author Topic: Essentially - A movie orgy  (Read 8071 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2015, 11:51:47 AM »
Now I feel like a filthy casual. I don't think I have done better than 250 or possibly even 200 since I've started cinephiling (it's a word, look it up).
Society is dumb. Art is everything. - Junior

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Jared

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2015, 11:53:44 AM »
Sounds a lot more healthy.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2015, 12:36:52 PM »
2009: 298
2010: 378
2011: 388
2012: 322
2013: 201 [Year I got a job]
2014: 131
2015: 108 (so far)

Not as much as some our our more dedicated movie-buffs, but I also balance that with a strong interest in comics and video games.

1SO

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2015, 01:06:35 PM »
I used to be a steady 2-a-day habit. I find myself ebbing and flowing depending on outside responsibilities. Sometimes now it takes me 3 days to watch a film.

Bondo

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2015, 02:07:09 PM »
These numbers do not count rewatches or shorts, but does include films I give up on. So I figure it balances out in the end.

2010: 461
2011: 480
2012: 429
2013: 271
2014: 208
2015 (so far): 147

Basically the story that tells is un(der)employment from 2010-mid2012, screening films for a film festival 2011-2012. Apparently my resolution to watch fewer films failed after two years of success, though we'll see what going back to school, in addition to full time work, will do to my numbers the next couple years.

Corndog

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2015, 03:20:38 PM »
2009: 326
2010: 337
2011: 369
2012: 164
2013: 285
2014: 110 (through Sept, apparently stopped keeping track)
2015: 87 (so far)

I knew I had some 300+ years, but surprised I had that many and surpassed the number by as much as I did looking back on it now.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2015, 06:11:54 AM »
And so it begins, not with a whimper, but with a nitroglycerin fueled bang.

Le Salaire de la Peur
Henri-Georges Clouzot (1953)



Le Salaire de la Peur asks many important questions. How tough are you ? How would you deal with the constant impending risk of death ? What important is friendship to you ? How far would you be willing to go for the mission ? What would it take for you to risk your life and that of your friend ? How much nitro-glycerine do you need to blow up a 40 ton boulder to smithereens ? If the truck 800 meters in front of you is going at 10 miles an hour and you at 50 miles an hour, how long until both of you experience first-hand the consequences of Newton's third law ?

The movie takes its sweet time to commence and our protagonists don't get into the nitro-glycerine-loaded trucks they must drive for two days until the end of the first hour. When most films would expedite the beginning to get at the heart of the matter, Salaire understands that the thrills and suspense of the ride are only half of its recipe if it wants to work. The second half of the recipe is the character study. Salaire patiently sets up its setting and characters, being careful to give us enough information for us to fully appreciate how our four drivers will develop during their fateful rides.

In the course of their journey, we get to see how each of them deals with the constant exposure to the exploding peril. Most maintain their composure but one let's his fear get to him, to varying degrees throughout the course of the movie. He is not necessarily the one you would have expected. At one point he tries to rationalize his fear ; by this point he has been rendered almost paralyzed by it. It's his superior imagination and experience, he explains, that make him more susceptible to terror. The implication is that the other drivers are not intellectually capable of realizing what they really got themselves into. The point is somewhat fair, but by this time we have gotten to know everyone well enough to know this explanation is insufficient. One of the drivers almost became insensible to fear because of past events ; and to render unto Caesar that which is his, courage and cowardice do have their role to play.

Clouzot buys the time to construct a proper character study by entertaining us with a series of obstacles. The journey the two trucks have to make functions like a Dora the explorer episode. We move from an obstacle to another, some of them being more akin to puzzles that must be solved than anything else, and between the obstacles are swathes of hours the movie is not interested in. It's a reasonably basic and linear construction but it works. The movies remains entertaining for the hour and half this keeps up and somehow manages to keep the viewer at the edge of his seat for the duration. 

Le Salaire de la Peur only reaches brilliance at its very end, but the resulting effect is well worth all that preceded it. Of the last twenty minutes, I'll only say that some death is involved. The decisions made by the characters and how they live with them afterwards feel entirely believable after all we witnessed, an maybe the ending had always been inevitable. It is in any case one of the best instances of irony in a movie that come to mind and a hopeless commentary on our collective destinies. It is splendid.

8.5/10 - Excellent
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verbALs

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2015, 06:49:14 AM »
Very nice review!

A bit of hindsight leads me to think that first hour is a really dreadful way to expose the character of the men. I don't think Clouzot does much better in Diabolique and he stuffs up the works again by having his wife stink up the joint with her cardboard character. What he is superb at is building suspense...which completely makes up for fumbling around to little purpose at the beginning. Frankly if they played statues and then got in the trucks it wouldn't change much and it wouldn't hurt the A- I still give the film 4 years later.

Actually, it reveals how quiet, slow paced films struggle to show character, and how danger and action, which makes the guys react poorly and heroically, in turns, is a superb way to show human drama. It ain't all about blowing crap up for kicks; like the arthouse crowd would have you believe.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 06:51:25 AM by verbALs »
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2015, 06:51:31 AM »
I liked the beginning. Everything is not completely necessary and it can drag along at times but I wasn't bored at found it mostly enjoyable.
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verbALs

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2015, 06:54:44 AM »
It's just poorly done. One example that I think you might get to is Mizoguchi's Ugetsu. He plays with some very broad characterisation, so he can get to the real point of his story. There should be an internal rhythm to a story, and shifting gears; literally, is a dangerous game to play. If the tempo of the movie is a steady 50mph then there are ways to make the character building sequence at the start move at that pace as well.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy