Author Topic: Top 100 Club: JDC  (Read 3446 times)

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #80 on: November 30, 2019, 08:18:28 PM »
Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)

Going into this, my knowledge of Talking Heads was limited to Psycho Killer and Once in a Lifetime (and its amazing music video), both of which I like quite a bit but still never enticed me enough to venture further with the band. Watching this, I will say that I am quite impressed by the talent on display, but more on the performance side of things than in the purely musical aspect. This works quite well for Demme though, because the first 25 minutes or so of this concert are simply inherently captivating: esscalating from Byrne's lonely and anguished interpretation of Psycho Killer to the triumphant, boisterous energy of the whole troupe performing Burning Down the House. Demme does more than simply document a great show though. The choice he makes to stay on a fixed frontal shot of Byrne singing Once in a Lifetime is particularly striking after having gone for a much more conventional editing style (though I suppose I don't know how codified concert films really were at this point) he uses early on, framing Byrne as a prophet figure, some sort of a televangelist or guru trying to put you in some kind of a trance. When Demme finally cuts to another shot - a side view of the scene - its to show you the backup dancers in a position that evokes exactly that.

I don't know that I'm as enthusiastic about the film as a whole than most people seem to be though. Outside of that opening crescendo and Once in a Lifetime, there are definite lulls in the performance that Demme doesn't manage to make that interesting, aside from a more quiet song (I forget which, I believe it comes just before Once in a Lifetime) in which his camera really emphasizes the makeshift family that the troupe is acting as. And the show as a whole certainly has a narrative quality of it, one that is very evocative of Reagan's America. It just feels like a more edited-down version - while less true to its subject on a prosaic level - might have been more powerful ? I'm not sure, but it does in some ways feel like you had to be there for it to really be the transcendental experience that both Talking Heads and Demme are trying to achieve.

7/10
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #81 on: December 01, 2019, 12:23:34 AM »
Anomalisa



LIZA. ...When you feel lonely without me, you can turn the machine on. It's got no feelings to hurt.
HIGGINS. I can't turn your soul on. Leave me those feelings; and you can take away the voice and the face. They are not you. ― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

A construct imagined, sought after and obtained, only to disintegrate; nearly as quickly as the structure is built. Seals and Crofts had it right, "It's only the castles in the sand" and Michael Stone can't help but knock them down. His own self loathing must be directed outward, for it's too much to look at what's behind his own mask. The self-help expert won't like what he finds there. So, he can keep running to stay ahead of the faceless throngs, but until he finds his own humanity, the empty chase will continue.
"I'm a new day rising."

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #82 on: December 02, 2019, 09:51:00 PM »
Anomalisa might rank as a film I put in my TOP 100 but possibly would not watch again.  It stirred up a lot when I originally watched it with my wife and had thought I would go back to it again but as you say, I might not like what I find there.

As for Stop Making Sense - Like Samsara, I Guess it is a bit of a cheat as I will watch parts of it far more than watch it as a film. Though I likely will still watch the entire concert every now and then.

But the track that always stood out for me what this one. 

"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

colonel_mexico

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #83 on: December 04, 2019, 02:03:50 AM »
ANOMALISA - I have not seen many Kauffman films, though I hear he is really good.  This is very much like our main character, messy and selfish.  The dialogue is simple, but quirky-the empty space and pacing of silence craft the hollow depth of Mr. Stone. There is a lot of damage left in his wake as the wreckage of those who try to participate in his world are quickly discarded.  It is single serving relationships, single serving sex, facsimiles of friends who he doesn't recognize.  This one does touch home in a frightening kind of way.  I got married this past summer and I hope to never grow bored, especially when the newness fades or the exciting parts of young love matures.  I am not sure how I feel after this, but it is clever and leaves a lot to think about even if it isn't saying much.
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

colonel_mexico

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2019, 09:38:09 PM »
THE BIG SHORT - After this rewatch I am left wondering if there were any good guys in the film?  While I did like the unlikeable Mike Baum (Carrell's performance is incredible), but it was hard to like anyone portrayed.  I love the editing and flow of this film the jump cuts to various celebrities (the Tony Bourdain one was great) explaining complicated economic and stock/bond structured securities (I'm looking forward to learning a bit more in Business Associations and Secured Transactions next semester).  It is a bit depressing, however, with the backdrop of one of the worst economic catastrophes ever.   While I found zero of the characters likeable the all-star cast were really good in their respective roles.  It feels like there should be more ire or some kind of legislative revolt against the banking and investment community, though this issue is much more complicated than simply punishing or increasing regulation.  Maybe Ben (Brad Pitt) is actually not a doomsdayer, but an optimist hoping that it will eventually collapse.  Insightful and a depressing but worthwhile watch.
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2019, 11:47:50 PM »
That's something I find so much more enjoyable about the book. Michael Lewis captures the personalities of the subjects, and they're very much like what you see in the film, but in having to see that personality brought to life its very hard to like them. Reading that Michael Berry listened to heavy metal full blast in his office is one thing, but having to actually experience it via the movie is simply unpleasant. Reading that Baum interrupted a meeting, versus seeming him do it is a vastly different thing. The scene I pictured in my head when reading Lewis's description is exciting, and funny... because I like these guys and want them to be right. The movie is a bitter pill. The book is mouthwatering. Highly recommend the audiobook.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 11:49:44 PM by smirnoff »

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2019, 02:11:05 AM »
That's something I find so much more enjoyable about the book. Michael Lewis captures the personalities of the subjects, and they're very much like what you see in the film, but in having to see that personality brought to life its very hard to like them. Reading that Michael Berry listened to heavy metal full blast in his office is one thing, but having to actually experience it via the movie is simply unpleasant. Reading that Baum interrupted a meeting, versus seeming him do it is a vastly different thing. The scene I pictured in my head when reading Lewis's description is exciting, and funny... because I like these guys and want them to be right. The movie is a bitter pill. The book is mouthwatering. Highly recommend the audiobook.

I think it is this exactly. I read the book over 1 day while traveling, I didn't want to put it down. I think you are more aligned with the characters knowing them from the book then from what you get from the film itself. The book is better than the film but it is a case where I think the book helps me enjoy the film more than I would otherwise.

"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

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #87 on: December 30, 2019, 11:30:26 PM »
Shaolin Soccer



While I watch this, others in the house come in the room one by one, stop in their tracks and ask, "What is this?" and either stay for a while, or shake their heads and walk away. I can't explain or defend it; I'm just laughing. They can laugh with me, or they can scoff. It's their choice and their loss if they don't get it. After all, if there's one thing I learned from the Filmspotting boards, it's "humor is subjective." :)

The movie is "just a bit of silliness really," but becomes a perfect escape during this hectic month.
"I'm a new day rising."

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #88 on: December 31, 2019, 11:29:18 PM »
Ex Machina



“As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off.” ― Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Too much of the world is ignoring this concept. When the ends justify any means, there is no true accomplishment. The actual test, the only test that really matters, the one about ascertaining our own humanity, well then they fail it. As this year closes and another one begins, it seems fitting to be contemplating the ideas of intent and actions and how I'll score on them moving forward. What I do know is that the shadows are real and I will do what I can to not contribute to them.
"I'm a new day rising."