Author Topic: The Top 100 Club (Sept 2015 - May 2017)  (Read 115692 times)

ses

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 14968
    • Sarah's Kitchen Adventures
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3300 on: April 29, 2017, 11:12:43 PM »
It Follows

I'm never really sure how to write about horror films, do they usually scare me? No. Do I find them silly most of the time? Yeah, probably.  But I don't want to be dismissive whenever I watch one, I want to view it like any other film I would watch, why wouldn't I do that?  What I do know is that It Follows effectively conveys a sense of dread for most of the film.  It's not gory or gratuitous, it doesn't go for shock. It is methodical, deliberate, and measured, much like the "it" that is following our main character.  Everything in this film felt purposeful.  We see old TVs sitting on burnt out older TVs, phone calls are being made from corded landlines.  The only piece of technology is a little clamshell e-reader that one of the secondary characters uses to read The Idiot. There are no cell phones, everything looks dated, the decor in the houses, the cars, the buildings.  It's a way to throw the viewer off a bit, to distract them.  Jay, our main character wears dated underwear, and her hair is reminiscent of Catherine Deneuve's in Repulsion.  Through all of this, the film looks amazing, the cinematography is beautiful.  The night scenes are lit in a way that is foreboding and secretive.  The metaphors abound in this film, but I really don't think that's the important part of the film.  It's the ambiguity that makes it stand out.  This is definitely one of the better horror films I've seen in a long time.   Thanks, Bondo!
"It's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart"

http://sarahskitchenadventures.blogspot.com/

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 21848
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3301 on: April 29, 2017, 11:42:38 PM »
Re: It Follows
You talk about the craft of the film, and that as well as just the atmosphere of the packed theatre I saw it in certainly primed me for the film. It was the way the imagery and the metaphors lingered and made me puzzle things out that really cemented it in my top-100. Glad you enjoyed the vibe.

Re: Skallamann
I guess what I see with Skallamann is they are acting as if baldness was homosexuality in terms of taboo, in a world where the homosexuality is irrelevant to the concern. So they are basically saying hating love between two men would be as absurd as hating someone for loving a bald man. So I think the pettiness of baldness is an asset, not a bug. Of course I reckon my crush on the lead is going to be an aspect that doesn't transfer across viewers; the fact that it is a musical or this type of musical...well, that's less personal but still just a matter of preferences.

Re: Clouds of Sils Maria
On the one hand I'm totally in the tank for Kristen Stewart generally and her performance here in particular, I've also generally been a big fan of Moretz and do reckon she's underappreciated here given all the attention for the two more prominent stars. As much as the rehearsal scenes are central in their blurring the lines of reality, I still think my favorite scene was the discussion of Binoche and Stewart about Moretz' film, and even though she's not in the scene, I think her presence helps carry off that scene.

Re: Shortbus
The comparison to Lars and the Real Girl is a key one. I just love the ideal of non-judgmental spaces where people allow others to work through issues. I think it's perfectly reasonable to see this film as a fantasy, the club a bit too accepting and free of strife. I actually picked it out of all the locations in cinema history as the one I wish I could visit for an article at the defunct site I moonlighted at. As someone who has dabbled in the unconventional, the film feels like a safe space.

Re: Hunchback
This story has held a particular place to me since I was a teenager, drawing a parallel between the isolation he experiences due to physical disfigurement and my social isolation based on autism (though it was undiagnosed at the time). So I guess I probably had a stronger bond to Quasimodo. I can definitely buy hesitations about the gargoyles...I happen to like A Guy Like Me enough as a song to not regret them completely but it is the aspect of Disney films that does generally push me off. I'm surprised you didn't comment on Hellfire since that is broadly considered the highlight of the film (though I'm more about Quasi's songs, naturally).

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3302 on: April 30, 2017, 12:05:52 AM »
I guess what I see with Skallamann is they are acting as if baldness was homosexuality in terms of taboo, in a world where the homosexuality is irrelevant to the concern. So they are basically saying hating love between two men would be as absurd as hating someone for loving a bald man. So I think the pettiness of baldness is an asset, not a bug.
Yeah that's how I read it too. My complaint is how it's treated as if the baldness itself is the attraction, almost fetishizing the tabooness which I find dehumanizing. The film gets so caught up on the parent's reactions that it turns the lead's singing into primarily a protest against them rather than a celebration in spite of them. I think in the end it really goes back to the demands of the musical style, though, because there are some moments where it tries to get beyond that and I don't get the feeling that it's the intention of those involved, but the abstraction demands of the style strip away just enough humanity to leave a lot of things underdeveloped and awkwardly presented. If I liked this kind of musical I probably wouldn't even be reading the film from this perspective, but it is and I can't help it.

Re: Clouds of Sils Maria
On the one hand I'm totally in the tank for Kristen Stewart generally and her performance here in particular, I've also generally been a big fan of Moretz and do reckon she's underappreciated here given all the attention for the two more prominent stars. As much as the rehearsal scenes are central in their blurring the lines of reality, I still think my favorite scene was the discussion of Binoche and Stewart about Moretz' film, and even though she's not in the scene, I think her presence helps carry off that scene.
Yeah, I liked that scene. Actually I liked all the discussions between the two.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 12:10:24 AM by PeacefulAnarchy »

chardy999

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3550
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3303 on: April 30, 2017, 05:36:44 AM »
Sorry, been slammed. I'm getting to Clouds of Sils Maria tonight.
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
- Groucho Marx

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 25572
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3304 on: April 30, 2017, 01:19:10 PM »
Re: Shortbus
The comparison to Lars and the Real Girl is a key one. I just love the ideal of non-judgmental spaces where people allow others to work through issues. I think it's perfectly reasonable to see this film as a fantasy, the club a bit too accepting and free of strife. I actually picked it out of all the locations in cinema history as the one I wish I could visit for an article at the defunct site I moonlighted at. As someone who has dabbled in the unconventional, the film feels like a safe space.

Eh, kind of like this forum. :~)

Quote
Re: Hunchback
This story has held a particular place to me since I was a teenager, drawing a parallel between the isolation he experiences due to physical disfigurement and my social isolation based on autism (though it was undiagnosed at the time). So I guess I probably had a stronger bond to Quasimodo. I can definitely buy hesitations about the gargoyles...I happen to like A Guy Like Me enough as a song to not regret them completely but it is the aspect of Disney films that does generally push me off. I'm surprised you didn't comment on Hellfire since that is broadly considered the highlight of the film (though I'm more about Quasi's songs, naturally).

Hellfire was certainly the best example of a song that pulled me back in. I loved it as a theme... distinct enough to be catchy, and malleable enough to be used throughout the film without feeling like a broken record. I like that in the final cresendo of the film we hear an uplifting variation of it for the first time. It made me want to go down a rabbit hole of Alan Menken on YouTube.

jdc

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 6846
  • Accept the mystery
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3305 on: April 30, 2017, 03:47:10 PM »
It has been harder and harder to find things to watch and keep up with the Top 100 lately.  I was almost ready to throw in the towel for the next 3 months and then return when I think things will return to normal. But I can occasionally find things on Youtube to download and with a little search also find some subtitles. Having Antichrist in my top 100 as well having at least "enjoyed" the 3 other Lars Von Trier films I have watched, it seemed an obvious choice that I should watch:

The Idiots (1998)

I actually started it twice in the last week but my mood stopped me going for more than 15 minutes.  Today the last day of the month so either I was going to throw in the towel or just force myself to get through this.  Now I feel like Bondo has CINECAST!ing punched me in the gut.  Like many things that cause discomfort, I often feel better for having gotten through it. It could very well be Top 100 material and I may decide to write about this some other time. But I just am not sure quite how to process it at the moment. 

"Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."  Homer S.
“The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations” - David Friedman

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 21848
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3306 on: April 30, 2017, 05:49:36 PM »
The Idiots is a film for strong opinions. It notably caused Mark Kermode (who I generally hold in reasonable regard) to react verbally to the showing at Cannes and generally he hasn't been back since (which I suppose could later be said about von Trier himself). I could see why someone would absolutely hate it, but like von Trier more broadly, when the provocative nature strikes things right for you, it can be a rather special place indeed.

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33677
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3307 on: April 30, 2017, 07:43:48 PM »
Sorry to be late. I'll have a review up by Wednesday. Cruelest month, etc.

pixote
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 11621
  • You're not alone No matter what or who you've been
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3308 on: May 01, 2017, 02:16:33 AM »
Sing Street



Summer of 82. My oldest sister let me come and stay overnight in her college apartment and because she had cable, we were glued to the fledgling MTV channel, but after the the fourth rotation of "I Ran (So Far Away)," I was saturated and went out to play. I thought at the time, it can't be that hard to make more videos! Let's get some more content, people! All Flock of Seagulls had were some mirrors, tinfoil, garbage bag shirts, makeup, hair gel and voilà!

I'm having a great time with Sing Street. My favorite parts are when Conor arrives at school à la different bands he's being influenced by at the moment. The homemade videos beat much of what I saw those early days, so I could totally see them making a splash, if they could just get across the Irish Sea over to Liverpool, well that and a whole lot of luck. And I do wish them luck, for they're tenacious and pretty talented for such a rag tag bunch. Come on, Sing Street, make Brendan proud!

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3309 on: May 01, 2017, 02:19:27 AM »
One more to wrap up the month.

You know, even after half a decade on this forum I still have a hard time figuring out what makes a Bondo film, and now more than ever I'm stuck feeling like I have only half of the puzzle. All four films I've seen this month have a clear Bondo angle, the film directed by a woman with a strong message, the short film dealing with sexuality issues, the one dealing with gender issues from women's perspectives, and this one about a lead who is part of, yet apart from, a community within a community working through his issues. Yet stylistically and thematically these films could not be any more different, and the one thing they all have in common, a surreal atmosphere without a concrete answer (even Hypocrites with its heavy moralizing and bluntness mostly presents a premise with few answers), and in three of them a fair amount of allusions and subtext, would have been the one thing I'd have said would make something a non-Bondo film. I don't really have a point to this, just a rambling observation as I was trying to surmise why this was in Bondo's list.

Kontroll (2003) 9/10
I really enjoyed this. Seeing that this was on the 366 Weird Movies list on ICM prepped me for an enigmatic experience, and if you go in without that context it's certainly on the surreal side with a number of odd unexplained occurrences and motivations. Going in with expectations of something weird, though, this was actually surprisingly grounded and straightforward, nowhere near the insanity of many films on that list. It's really a pretty clear allegory for self imposed purgatory that uses its somewhat strange setting to setup a character study. As intriguing as the setting is, and there are quite a few funny and enjoyable moments of various kinds that come from its unique atmosphere, it's the slow methodical unraveling of the lead character's circumstances and emotional state that really make this shine. I love that, as much as motivations remain a mystery, a lot of things become clear as the scope and depth of his situation gets revealed, but the film never overemphasizes these moments and trusts the viewer to put the pieces together. What we get is a glimpse at a past, present and future, connected by hidden threads that let us know that they're connected but can still ponder each on its own terms. Is the present of the film an escape or a punishment? The lead's rejection of life is clearly framed as a negative, yet the film is surprisingly non-judgemental about it, so that rather than saying "this is a stupid way of living" it's saying, "this is one way of living, but is it really the best this character can do?" It certainly frames a lot of the questions it asks in leading ways, but still manages to leave the answers open ended, which gives the themes room to breathe and empowers the lead, and the viewer, more than it might otherwise. I'm not ready to leave the subway system, but I appreciate the perspective. It's a cool movie, and one that could grow on me with time.

 

love