Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 104137 times)

etdoesgood

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 246
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4100 on: January 23, 2020, 11:29:09 PM »
So the excuse of taking a 10 min break may not hold up, did the same here but loved the film.  Had to go back to catch back up on what I missed.. best of the year so far or maybe near TOP of 2019. Though I still have lots to catch up on

Yes! Another one with me on this!   :D
A desert person

Letterboxd: phxphilmphan

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 20866
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4101 on: January 24, 2020, 10:33:58 PM »
The Art of Self-Defense

Well, I was not expecting that. The title and the poster for this did not draw me in at all. I didn't particularly like Faults (though I only know that because I looked up my score as I have no memory of it). And yet here it is, in my top-5 of the year, a film that I only watched because there were murmurings about it here and it happened to be on hulu.

My most dominant thought here is that Chuck Palahniuk probably deserves a writing credit. This tale of fighting as metaphor for masculinity owes a lot to Fight Club. Now, I never read Fight Club so I don't know how well Palahniuk actually handles it, but I maintain that Fincher completely fails to capture the tale as the satire it allegedly is. A failure that left me put off and left the poster on the dorm room walls of all the most terrible men on the cusp of Gen-X and Millennials. The Art of Self-Defense answers the question, what would Fight Club be like if it was actually the movie it thought it was.

A key to the success here is that it starts with a few moments of absurdity, namely one particular scene in a gun shop that skewers pro-gun elements. Thus when it introduces us to Sensei, our guru of masculinity and strength, we are ready to recognize his speeches about the state of masculinity as satire, and as these characters not as ones to inhabit, but those that we are to remain outside, mocking. In its dry, non-naturalist style, it takes us through fascinating layers and cycles of toxic masculinity, before nailing the landing. Maybe I'll hang that dumb-looking poster on my wall, because compared to that other one, this is a film worth celebrating.

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 27357
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4102 on: January 24, 2020, 11:01:26 PM »
Yeah, that sucker is great. Finishing my Top 10 still, but it makes a case. Saw this as PFF SpringFest opening night after Wild Rose's opening night showing instead of going to the opening night party since I really liked Faults when I saw it years back at PFF proper (with the director doing a Q&A after! Though it got cut short by the last question coming from a person really going after him), and even though it kind of divided the audience I really loved a good deal about this film. Think The Farewell ended up being the best thing I saw at SpringFest, but this was super close. Eisenberg is great, the dogs are great, this film is great.

etdoesgood

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 246
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4103 on: January 24, 2020, 11:05:00 PM »
The Art of Self-Defense

Well, I was not expecting that. The title and the poster for this did not draw me in at all. I didn't particularly like Faults (though I only know that because I looked up my score as I have no memory of it). And yet here it is, in my top-5 of the year, a film that I only watched because there were murmurings about it here and it happened to be on hulu.

My most dominant thought here is that Chuck Palahniuk probably deserves a writing credit. This tale of fighting as metaphor for masculinity owes a lot to Fight Club. Now, I never read Fight Club so I don't know how well Palahniuk actually handles it, but I maintain that Fincher completely fails to capture the tale as the satire it allegedly is. A failure that left me put off and left the poster on the dorm room walls of all the most terrible men on the cusp of Gen-X and Millennials. The Art of Self-Defense answers the question, what would Fight Club be like if it was actually the movie it thought it was.

A key to the success here is that it starts with a few moments of absurdity, namely one particular scene in a gun shop that skewers pro-gun elements. Thus when it introduces us to Sensei, our guru of masculinity and strength, we are ready to recognize his speeches about the state of masculinity as satire, and as these characters not as ones to inhabit, but those that we are to remain outside, mocking. In its dry, non-naturalist style, it takes us through fascinating layers and cycles of toxic masculinity, before nailing the landing. Maybe I'll hang that dumb-looking poster on my wall, because compared to that other one, this is a film worth celebrating.

I'm just fist-pumping.

And I'm a huge fan of Fight Club, but I agree that this takes the toxicity that was generated by, I think, misunderstandings of that picture, and KOs them.
A desert person

Letterboxd: phxphilmphan

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 31743
  • Marathon Man
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4104 on: January 25, 2020, 12:17:12 AM »
Came here to talk about Downsizing and I'm trying to not churn the waters of debate with an argument for why Fight Club is a better, sharper film than The Art of Self-Defense. Especially when the main point seems to be that Fincher didn't announce his grasp of satire loud enough and some people took it seriously.


Downsizing
★ ★

I went into this knowing it was generally not liked, but it's collected a small base of supporters. So I was looking to see what people were positive about and where it all goes wrong. There isn't really a tipping point, the two coexist right from the start. Alexander Payne is too literal for the high concept to succeed comedically, with an unusual amount of time on the mundane parts of the process, but he also dots the visuals with occasional extra large props and a score that sounds like Defending Your Life. There's great potential in the various alternate reasons why people opt for this process, but none get developed with any satisfaction and ultimately Payne makes it all about another broken white male who needs to learn how to live. It's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty all over again.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad

Teproc

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3002
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4105 on: January 25, 2020, 05:20:03 AM »
Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)

I went into this with some trepidation, having not cared much for A Brighter Summer Day, finding it to be a needlessly elongated series of very well-composed shots that struggled to tell a story meant to be both sprawling and intimate. And for about an hour, I was feeling very similarly about this. Again, there was no denying Yang's talent for framing a shot, but it took me a long while to get invested in the story of this family, with the film constantly cutting between a variety of characters while never pointedly introducing them. I kept thing about Ozu, which seems an obvious influence on Yang but had much tighter narratives to go along with his intimate but impersonal style.

What finally brought me in was Issei Ogata's first appearence. Part of it may have been that the characters were suddenly speaking a language I understand (literally), but I think it's more than that. There is an instant chemistry between him and Wu Nien-Jen that suddenly brought the film was it sorely lacked for me until then: focus, a sense of purpose. And from there the structure of the film made more sense to me: without the wide cast of characters, this would be yet another tale of middle age crisis, but Yang is going for much more here, a universality that is hard to achieve... and I don't know that he fully succeds in that either, but he comes much closer for me than, say, PTA in Magnolia, a film that came to mind repeatedly as I watched this.

Yang doesn't go wild at any point here, and the result is a melancholy exploration of perception and time, which are ideas generally too lofty to be captured on film, but Yang manages it - at least in part - through ultimately simple human stories. I was worried that Yang's style was getting in the way of my connecting with the characters, but it seems to me that the shots get progressively closer to them as the film goes on, though that may just be me being more engaged... I'd have to rewatch this at some point.

8/10
Legend: All-Time Favorite | Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Poor  |  Bad

Letterbox'd

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 20866
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4106 on: January 25, 2020, 08:29:31 AM »
I consider Fight Club on a par with Big Lebowski...culturally important, especially among bros, based on great scenes/moments but doesn’t hold together well as a complete experience. Though in the case of FC soured additionally by the toxic interpretations.

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 24648
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4107 on: January 25, 2020, 09:25:41 AM »
Well, that's just like your opinion, man!

jdc

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 6479
  • Accept the mystery
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4108 on: January 25, 2020, 10:03:27 AM »
Well, that's just like your opinion, man!

Thanks, actually.. both hold together well as complete experiences.  if we are talking QT, then I would say many of his films are great scenes and moments but not always great experiences of late.  but I can’t say that for BL or FC.  Also, I am not sure what to think about trying to just put the label of Toxic on so many things as if that is an argument.  But I wont argue against Bondo’s take of Art of Self Defense, it may be a TOP 100 when I get around to it
"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: 20866
Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #4109 on: January 25, 2020, 11:51:05 AM »
Also, I am not sure what to think about trying to just put the label of Toxic on so many things as if that is an argument.

Well, considering both The Art of Self-Defense and Fight Club make toxicity their topic, I don't think it is that random an argument to have.