Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 35244 times)

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1860 on: January 12, 2018, 05:11:25 AM »
Bienvenido Mister Marshall (Luis Garcia Berlanga, 1953)

I was wondering how a film made under Franco would look like, and I suppose this is basically what I expected. I've seen some refer to this as satirical... I don't really see it. It pokes fun at small town dynamics yes, but mostly, it's all about how you should not worry about Spain not getting the Marshall Plan because taht's not what matters in life anyway, what matters is the spirit of the town coming together in anticipation. Which is fine, but not exactly subversive. Fernando Rey is fun as the narrator, and this altogether a pleasant watch, but not a particularly memorable one.

6/10
Uhhh, it's been a while but I don't think that's what the film is saying. Or rather, it's saying that but clearly sarcastically, like "ha ha the rest of the Europe gets to rebuild while we slowly drift into a third world country, but it's totally ok because we have our petty village problems to keep us company, and also all these new expenses we spent to get aid we're not going to get" The film certainly gets its swipes in at the US and its international meddling and all the attendant diplomatic bureaucracy, and part of the implication is that the Spanish are going to have to fend for themselves because no one's coming to the rescue (including, implicitly, the Franco government), but that's a condemnation of international policy not a celebration of the small town's strength. At most it's a call to what the Spanish should do, but certainly not celebration of what the Spanish were doing, which was ignoring the outside world and getting mired in their petty local problems and selfish desires.

Placido and El Verdugo are a bit more overtly vicious, maybe those will work better for you.

I'm with PA. Bienvenido Mister Marshall is pretty blatantly satirical IMO. I second his recommendation of Placido, my favorite Berlanga.

Hm. Thinking back on it, I think my problem is that I took the film litterally, when I guess the village is supposed to be an allegory for Spain as a whole. The mayor didn't seem to me to be very Franco-ish, but I suppose being hard-of-hearing is a nice touch in that direction, and probably all one can get away with in the circumstances.

I suppose my issue is that the film portrays the hopes brought up by the perspective of the Americans coming to be rather trivial: there's not a great feeling of loss at the end there. And I really don't see how it makes fun of America in any way... Americans are barely in the film. The villagers are the one that are being excessive in their readiness to flatter and put everything on hold: again it seemed to me like the film was mocking those expecting the Marshall Plan to be a great thing more than anything else. You mention the notion that Spain is drifting into a third world country, but again I don't think that's what's portrayed: it seems like a small village with, yes, petty issues, but they actually did have a good harvest and they never seem to be close to misery in any way. The thing is: they don't seem to need help, which is why I thought the film was arguing that all this Marshall Plan thing was a distraction and not worth compromising yourself by going out of your way to flatter foreigners.

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1861 on: January 12, 2018, 05:13:20 AM »
I will say that Lady Bird is a really, really good film...but I honestly think The Edge of Seventeen did the modern coming of age so, so much better.

I don't see the need to compare the two. More than one can exist, and they speak to extremely different thematic points.

Bondo! Didn't you know?!?!?! WE CAN ONLY HAVE ONE COMING OF AGE COMEDY ABOUT A TEENAGE GIRL WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY A WOMAN PER DECADE!!!!! Get with it bruh.
I hope this is being looked at as a joke response. Sometimes, it's hard to tell with all the capitalization.

Edge of Seventeen honestly isn't a film that occupies too much real estate in my brain, but as I was watching Lady Bird there was a sense of having watched a film that tackles similar issues recently. With the generous participation of Saoirse Ronan I expected better and from Greta Gerwig I hoped for better. Instead I got something closer to equal, but with a east coast sensibility. It's Easy A for people that liked Frances Ha.

Oof.

While different thematically and having a much closer storyline to my own life that I thought I might sympathise with better, it bounced off of me. Even though I'm male, my relationship with my parents is much more similar to Lady Bird, my education path was similar, and even the social echoes, but it never rang true of the teenage experience. Edge of Seventeen didn't have any parables that I could relate to, but I feel it captured the teenage frustration in a much better way; Lady Bird feels like it has very little repercussions for those characters' futures while having them stay very placid, while Edge had a growth for characters that mirrored the situation.

As far as comparing two contemporary films directed by women, about women coming of age with tumultuous family and social issues, it's hardly an attempt to minimalise women's roles within film. I think I maybe watched the first ten minutes of Dazed and Confused this year and that might be the only other "coming of age" film that I watched in the last twelve months since Edge of Seventeen, so I'm not sure what else I should use as my reference point? I don't see how comparing it to, say, The Shape of Water because they have a tenuous thematic link via feminine sexuality because they're both in theatres and were directed by opposite genders helps, because they're two entirely different films.

But hey, that's just my opinion, and because this is the internet, saying that I preferred something over the other means that Lady Bird is totally and utterly invalidated and obviously a gigantic piece of shit.

(For what it's worth, on Letterboxd I have both Lady Bird and Edge of Seventeen at 4 stars and think Lady Bird is a fine film; certainly Gerwig's better example of writing considering how much I disliked Frances Ha, the understated direction is really, really assured, and the performances are great. It didn't resonate with me personally, though, but apparently that's enough to paint me as sexist and invalidate my opinion?)

Having seen neither film I don't have a horse in this race, but I don't think anyone was exactly accusing you of anything, let alone suggest your opinion was invalid.

aewade90

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1862 on: January 12, 2018, 01:49:32 PM »
I will say that Lady Bird is a really, really good film...but I honestly think The Edge of Seventeen did the modern coming of age so, so much better.

I don't see the need to compare the two. More than one can exist, and they speak to extremely different thematic points.

Bondo! Didn't you know?!?!?! WE CAN ONLY HAVE ONE COMING OF AGE COMEDY ABOUT A TEENAGE GIRL WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY A WOMAN PER DECADE!!!!! Get with it bruh.
I hope this is being looked at as a joke response. Sometimes, it's hard to tell with all the capitalization.

Edge of Seventeen honestly isn't a film that occupies too much real estate in my brain, but as I was watching Lady Bird there was a sense of having watched a film that tackles similar issues recently. With the generous participation of Saoirse Ronan I expected better and from Greta Gerwig I hoped for better. Instead I got something closer to equal, but with a east coast sensibility. It's Easy A for people that liked Frances Ha.

Oof.

While different thematically and having a much closer storyline to my own life that I thought I might sympathise with better, it bounced off of me. Even though I'm male, my relationship with my parents is much more similar to Lady Bird, my education path was similar, and even the social echoes, but it never rang true of the teenage experience. Edge of Seventeen didn't have any parables that I could relate to, but I feel it captured the teenage frustration in a much better way; Lady Bird feels like it has very little repercussions for those characters' futures while having them stay very placid, while Edge had a growth for characters that mirrored the situation.

As far as comparing two contemporary films directed by women, about women coming of age with tumultuous family and social issues, it's hardly an attempt to minimalise women's roles within film. I think I maybe watched the first ten minutes of Dazed and Confused this year and that might be the only other "coming of age" film that I watched in the last twelve months since Edge of Seventeen, so I'm not sure what else I should use as my reference point? I don't see how comparing it to, say, The Shape of Water because they have a tenuous thematic link via feminine sexuality because they're both in theatres and were directed by opposite genders helps, because they're two entirely different films.

But hey, that's just my opinion, and because this is the internet, saying that I preferred something over the other means that Lady Bird is totally and utterly invalidated and obviously a gigantic piece of shit.

(For what it's worth, on Letterboxd I have both Lady Bird and Edge of Seventeen at 4 stars and think Lady Bird is a fine film; certainly Gerwig's better example of writing considering how much I disliked Frances Ha, the understated direction is really, really assured, and the performances are great. It didn't resonate with me personally, though, but apparently that's enough to paint me as sexist and invalidate my opinion?)

Having seen neither film I don't have a horse in this race, but I don't think anyone was exactly accusing you of anything, let alone suggest your opinion was invalid.

We're at a point in the zeitgeist where sexism is (rightfully) being held under a microscope then magnified using internet outrage, it's hard not to read AGBs post as an insinuation. That's me overreacting, I guess, but declaring that because both films have similarities that they can't be compared against each other on grounds of the gender of the director (ie the implication that one is only comparing them due to that point) is a tactic of delegitimising argument and response.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1863 on: January 12, 2018, 02:52:53 PM »
As the one who kinda started this I want to assert that I saw no malicious intention in your phasing. TBH I don’t see them as being very similar films at all, but I guess I was
triggered because I’m sensitive to cultural habit of setting women (or their stories) against each other in a way male stories aren’t. You get 100 male raunch comedies but once a second female one is released they’re like “but is it better than Bridesmaids?”

/cue Pixote quoting my review of something better than Bridesmaids

aewade90

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1864 on: January 12, 2018, 03:21:58 PM »
As the one who kinda started this I want to assert that I saw no malicious intention in your phasing. TBH I don’t see them as being very similar films at all, but I guess I was
triggered because I’m sensitive to cultural habit of setting women (or their stories) against each other in a way male stories aren’t. You get 100 male raunch comedies but once a second female one is released they’re like “but is it better than Bridesmaids?”

/cue Pixote quoting my review of something better than Bridesmaids

I definitely get where you're coming from, having seen Bridesmaids pop up as a reference point in Bad Moms 2 reviews recently, but Edge and LB share more in common than "chuck ensemble cast saying naughty words" than that example, particularly in regards to gender representation off-camera and how that informs the film. I'd also consider them peers being award winners and critical darlings, the only other recent contemporary that I can think I saw being Boyhood (which was more of a technical exercise than an interesting or engrossing film).

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1865 on: January 12, 2018, 06:13:06 PM »
People like to compare similar things, it happens all the time. The sexism isn't in the comparison, it's that fact that these woman driven movies are so rare that everyone makes the same comparisons. It's not "there can only be one" so much as "there are only two or three."

smirnoff

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1866 on: January 13, 2018, 01:40:53 PM »
It Comes At Night (2017, Trey Edward Shults)   -   0/10

When I finished this I actually felt like I should have kept watching Ridiculous 6 or Men in Tights. It was that unsatisfying. And in a way it's worse than those other films because it took 90 minutes of my life to be unsatisfying. At first it draws you in with this mystery of "what's out there", and we watch our characters as they take precautions against what might be in the air, what might come crashing through a window, what might come at night. As the film progresses there are vague hints about "it". A disease? A monster? You can't say for sure. You see some symptoms of it in the people it affects, or the animals, but it feels to be a small glimpse of a bigger thing. It's clear that the film is not about what "it" is, it could be any number of apocalyptic scenarios, it's about this particular group of characters reacting. Now for the record let me say I absolutely hate that. If the film is making that point, the point that "the thing" is irrelevant, I hate that point. Why is that a good point to make? What is the value in deliberately subtracting "the thing" as an ingredient here? How is that a betterment to the experience? We are forced to only focus on the characters and their reactions? There is no satisfactory answer to this for me. I could have the director beside me to answer this question, and it could be the best answer I've ever heard, but the experience was what it was. Half a film. The worst part is that it's deliberately half a film. It's not an ambitious film that was only half successful, it's a film that's successful at only because half a film. It's so stupid to me because it's very well made half a film. "Look how ugly people are when push comes to shove". So what. That may be true, but it is not revelatory and it is not exciting. It's just a fact of human nature. The film is like a game of horror charades, and you never can guess the answer, and when it's over nobody can tell you. It was just characters acting "something" out.

Tension, tension, tension, tension, film ends.

I might be out to lunch... a dumb conventional viewer who likes dumb conventional things. But honestly this feels like a film which dares a critic to dislike it. "The film lacks a villain" "You're missing the point you uncultured dolt!" The only dolt I found who when against this film was Mick LaSalle of SF Gate.

Awful. Perhaps the most awful thing I've seen from 2017. The more I think about it and write about it the more I hate it. It's not the worst film. It's the worst kind of film.

valmz

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1867 on: January 13, 2018, 02:13:42 PM »
Comparisons between Bachelorette and Bridesmaids are fully warranted, though, because the former was released within 7 months of the latter in the good ol' fashioned Deep Impact / Armageddon mode and Hollywood's lack of originality is often more hilarious than its comedies.

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1868 on: January 14, 2018, 11:46:05 AM »
Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)

The second half of this might be the best 20 minutes of anything Keaton's ever done: thrilling, inventive, clever and of course funny, playing with the conventions of cinema and the way the audience projects (ha) itself into it. All the action is great of course, but my favorite bit might be Keaton kissing the girl, watching the film to see how it's done while himself being in a frame: a perfect concept excellently executed with a funny ending, too.

It's unfortunate that it's saddled with the first 20 minutes, which are... boring ? I didn't think I'd ever say that about anything done by Keaton, but there's really very little there that's fun or interesting. As a result, Sherlock Jr. as a whole doesn't quite measure up to the other two features I've seen.

7/10

Teproc

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #1869 on: January 14, 2018, 12:36:11 PM »
It's Such a Beautiful Day (Don Hertzfeldt, 2012)

Didn't know going in this would be three shorts put together, and really I don't think I would have even realized it without the titles dropping and the chapter being explicitely broken down into three: though the second part features a long (well, long in the context of a 60-minutes-and-some-change film) digression, it all feels very much of a piece. At first, I was worried it would consist of a glib and smug satire of the life of people who dare to have "boring" lives, and that the content wouldn't be as interesting as the form... but nope, it's much more adventurous than that. The experimental turn it takes is stunning, and it ends up being a very affecting experience. It's also funny here and there, though looking at other reactions, I guess I didn't find it as funny as others did: I guess I can see how it's considered a comedy, but it played more like an experiment in existential dread with some absurdist humour sprinkled in, to me. Very good regardless of how one might want to classify it, though.

8/10