Author Topic: A Decade of Filmspots  (Read 24540 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #140 on: April 21, 2020, 04:44:40 AM »
Yea, Hereditary has a few memorable moments but most of it is bad and it's one of the most poorly structured horror films I've seen in recent years. I cannot believe how many horror fans adore it. You liking Midsommar more makes me more eager to see it now in my decade marathon.

pixote

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #141 on: April 21, 2020, 05:10:10 AM »
Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013) — Damn. I loved this film early on, when it was more of a pure recreation (complete with early black-and-white video aesthetic) of an early 80s computer chess tournament. The retroactive look at the possibilities of artificial intelligence along with perhaps the foundations of modern online geek culture perrectly appealed to me. I didn’t mind the first few digressions to follow, but ultimately I just wasn’t on board with the film’s Dada-esque wanderings, especially whenever Papageoge (Myles Paige) was at the focus of things. I couldn’t decide what was more annoying: the character or the amateur performance. Perhaps I shouldn’t have watched this as the second half of a double feature with Primer. The aesthetic parallels were nice, but Carruth’s film got me too keyed up for some more explorations of academic/geek theory and somewhat resistant to Bujalski’s whimsy. That said, I’m not sure any other film has better captured the awkwardness of the small talk at a conference or convention. Grade: C+

pixote
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #142 on: April 21, 2020, 05:24:57 AM »
Yea, I had similar feelings of loving it initially only to find it more and more tedious as it went on. Probably one of the biggest disappointments of the last decade for me.

Bondo

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #143 on: April 21, 2020, 05:33:29 AM »
I was aprehensive going into Midsommar having hated Hereditary, but do think it was a testament to Aster's growth that while I could see connective tissue between the two, it seemed the pieces were falling into place properly with Midsommar.

1SO

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #144 on: April 22, 2020, 04:02:49 PM »
Best Scene (Dramatic)
Sing Street - "Drive It Like You Stole It" Video Shoot

I just watched the film again and while I've watched the scene many times, this is only the 2nd time I've watched it in context. It's so much better when you're in the emotional moment of what is going on in Conor's head at the time, and understand how he is using the art of music videos to escape into his own fantasy world. It doesn't feel too extreme to say on that level the scene reminded me of Brazil.

smirnoff

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #145 on: April 22, 2020, 04:14:27 PM »
Best Scene (Dramatic)
Sing Street - "Drive It Like You Stole It" Video Shoot

I just watched the film again and while I've watched the scene many times, this is only the 2nd time I've watched it in context. It's so much better when you're in the emotional moment of what is going on in Conor's head at the time, and understand how he is using the art of music videos to escape into his own fantasy world. It doesn't feel too extreme to say on that level the scene reminded me of Brazil.

Dunno about the Brazil bit, but otherwise I agree. On a second viewing that scene brought tears to my eyes.

pixote

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #146 on: May 01, 2020, 11:31:10 AM »
The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-Wai, 2013, 108-minute US version) — This was Ashes of Time Redux redux for me. Wong in these films is just too much of a tinkerer for me. He doesn't have a clear final vision for these films (the varying cuts being the most obvious evidence of that). Critics like David Bordwell can try to argue that deficit into an asset — "Since Wong makes his movies out of pieces that can be recombined in many ways, each film is like a kaleidoscope. Shake it, and the pieces reconfigure." — but I don't buy it. It starts at the shot-level for me. Wong seems to be a visual fetishist who wants each shot to be perfect, so he micro-manages them in post-production, slowing them down to just the right speed to fit the tempo of the moment (with that really hideous, stuttering slow motion of his) — but without seeing the forest through the trees in his editing. Bordwell, again, treats this visual "fragmentation" as something to be objectively celebrated, but his arguments really read like academic apologism to me. Subjectively, I hate it in this film. Chopping up Philippe Le Sourd's cinematography here is like having Michael Bay edit a Fred Astaire dance number. Some people might like it, but I'm not among them. I don't know why Wong even bothered to shoot on film here since he digitally over-processes the images in post to the point where the celluloid is unrecognizable. And I really don't know how The Grandmaster won a Filmspot for Art Direction since 85% of the film is shot in close-up, with the bulk of the art direction out of focus.

Anyway, enough ranting. It's not a horrible film, but one that's falls short of being successful for me. Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi both look their usual pretty and cool selves, but it's really only Wang Qingxiang who carries a true cinematic presence here and doesn't look like he's just in a Rolex commercial. I assume the international cuts are superior because the linearity of the US cut (aided by subpar narration and mometum-arresting intertitles) highlights the film's biopic nature in all the worst ways. Grade: C+

pixote
« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 11:42:37 AM by pixote »
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1SO

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #147 on: May 01, 2020, 05:10:58 PM »
I love WKW but did not like The Grandmaster and you hit that nail right on the head.

Bondo

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #148 on: May 01, 2020, 05:30:20 PM »
It's the only proper film I haven't seen in the 2010s Filmspots, it is on Netflix, and I almost certainly won't bother to catch up with it.

pixote

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Re: A Decade of Filmspots
« Reply #149 on: May 01, 2020, 05:59:55 PM »
I love WKW but did not like The Grandmaster and you hit that nail right on the head.

I'm a quarter of the way into Hou's The Assassin (which I take it you didn't like either), and so far it's everything I wish The Grandmaster had been; and it would've been a better candidate for an Art Direction Filmspot. Excited to keep watching. Makes me wish Hou had directed both films.

I do like Days of Being Wild, Happy Together, Fallen Angels, and even My Blueberry Nights. I suppose I should finally watch 2046 and maybe give In the Mood for Love another shot.

It's the only proper film I haven't seen in the 2010s Filmspots, it is on Netflix, and I almost certainly won't bother to catch up with it.

If you do bother to watch it, I'd recommend avoiding the US cut (which is what Netflix has).

pixote
« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 06:07:33 PM by pixote »
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