Author Topic: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons  (Read 15101 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #490 on: August 22, 2017, 11:26:42 AM »
trying to have an open marriage is a phenomenally stupid idea, one that is bound to end in some kind of disaster.

I am just going to sit here and wait for Bondo to say something.
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Teproc

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #491 on: August 24, 2017, 09:08:28 AM »
Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)



Adam & Matty's takes (starts at 43:12)

This is one of the times where I'm not sure I watched the same film Adam & Matty did. They talk about this film as a counter-cultural phenomenon that broke the studio system, and I understand it has this place in the culture... but it doesn't really transpire in the film, for me. The violence is the only thing that feels radical, and even then this is the year of The Wild Bunch, so... it seems to me that the film cristallized a movement that was happening all over Hollywood, but isn't necessarily that... special. And I don't see that much of the French New Wave in it either, aside from the editing at certain points.

What I mainly see it as is a deconstruction of the gangster mythos: as glamourous as Beatty and especially Dunaway are, the overwhelming feeling I got towards them was one of pity. They are literally pathetic, people who are desperate to matter in some way, any way. They're essentially a hillbilly and a waitress with a sense of style. And that's what Penn also zeroes in on: it's the power of imagery that makes Bonnie & Clyde legends. The robberies we see are all small-time, the deaths are not spectacular, there's no romanticism to the actual crime component of it, that aspect only comes from the theatricality brought by both the actors (Dunaway is big) and the characters: stuff like the Walker Texas Ranger photo-op ends up being much more important than any killing.

Except Bonnie and Clyde's that it. I feel like that ending is what gives the film its countercultural cachet, because it is quite striking and, even more than the killing itself, the way the camera lingers for a while on the faces of the policemen (and the aforementioned ranger): you see the realization on their faces that the people they killed really weren't quite what they imagined they would be. While it is memorable, there's again no romanticism there: even Bonnie's "The Trail's End" (which gave us that great Gainsbourg/Bardot song) has her painting them as tragic figures, and while they are that here to an extent, there's quickly this feeling that they're just in over their heads, people shaped by their circumstances more than by what they actually were, much like Budd's wife ends up being part of the gang for no other reason than happening to be there at the wrong time.

I don't love the film as a whole, as it drags a bit in the second hour, and Estelle Parsons turns in quite the insuferable performance as Blanche, but it is interesting enough, and that ending is deserving of its reputation.

7/10

Teproc

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #492 on: August 24, 2017, 01:26:25 PM »
If anyone has any idea how to watch Castro (2009), given that Mubi is not an option for me... I'd be interested. Right now it looks like I'll have to skip it, and the completionist in me really, really hates that.

Teproc

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #493 on: September 14, 2017, 08:22:42 AM »
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)



Adam & Matty's takes (starts at 39:11)

One of the few films in the whole project I've already seen, and actually reviewed (and there were some interesting responses from people here too). This time, I went in assuming that the film knew fully that Benjamin Braddock was a self-involved prick, which I think does bear out in the choices Nichols made and makes the whole thing less confounding... but I still don't care for it.

Mike Nichols was in his mid-30s when he made this, and this time it seemed to me like a film about a clash of generations where Nichols wants to show that both generations are awful. Benjamin and Elaine are self-involved to the point of parody, and the older generation is hypocritical, envious of their children's youth but nonetheless trying to control it as much as possible. In a sense, it's about the almost institutional cycle of false rebellion against elders that inevitably leads to the same results, and you can see how Ben and Elaine would likely become mirrors of the Robinsons. Well, in reality they'd probably get a divorce because, you know, the world actually does change, but this is a nihilistic film so it probably didn't in that world.

Nihilistic is perhaps the wrong word: the one I keep coming back to is misanthropic. I dislike everyone in this film. Everyone. And I think I see now how it serves the film's greater purpose, but, well, that makes it somewhat painful to watch. Adam & Matty mention the more overt comedy bits as being the film's weakest point, and I don't know that I fully agree, but I will say that Dustin Hoffman's clumsy routine is hit-and-miss.

Now, I do think the film is excellent from a formal standpoint. The way Nichols portrays Ben's aimless drifting is rather unsubtle (I mean, he literally says it) but nonetheless very effective, as is the editing during the Ben/Mrs. Robinson romance, which underlines the mechanical, pointless nature of it. And then there's Simon and Garfunkel. It's a great score, perhaps slightly too... enthusiastic for the subject matter as I perceive it, but there's plenty of melancholy there as well, and any time the film devotes itself to it, I'm in. Partly because I don't have to listen to the characters in those moments, but still.

5/10
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:49:32 AM by Teproc »

DarkeningHumour

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #494 on: September 14, 2017, 08:37:36 AM »
So now you are also watching movies you've already watched? And didn't like, to boot? You like punishment as much as 1SO does.

I still don't like the movie but I do like Mrs. Robinson. There's your one good character.
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Teproc

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #495 on: September 14, 2017, 08:39:50 AM »
So now you are also watching movies you've already watched? And didn't like, to boot? You like punishment as much as 1SO does.

I still don't like the movie but I do like Mrs. Robinson. There's your one good character.

Well, I did like it a little better this time around. Also, it was on the big screen, so there was that.

I liked Mrs. Robinson the first time, but she really is a hypocrit in the end. She's the most sympathetic character in the film, but I wouldn't say I like her.

Corndog

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #496 on: September 14, 2017, 09:04:59 AM »
I haven't watched it since this. But I don't think my position has changed. Would be an interesting revisit for me.
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #497 on: September 14, 2017, 09:24:21 AM »
About your hopes, Corndog: They 100% have a miserable relationship that was doomed from the start and probably part ways at some point.

BY the way, between you and Teproc, we almost have a full Hoffman (or perhaps Hoffboy, graduates are young, aren't they?).
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Corndog

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #498 on: September 14, 2017, 09:31:29 AM »
Yea, I was young and naive back then.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

DarkeningHumour

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Re: A Filmspotter's Marathon of Filmspotting Marathons
« Reply #499 on: September 14, 2017, 09:49:50 AM »
Was your handle Cornpuppy?
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