Author Topic: Top 100 Club: JDC  (Read 7604 times)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #160 on: March 04, 2021, 04:26:59 PM »
Sandy, I’ll likely respond this weekend.. the last 2 weeks of work is killing me...

No hurries at all!

Good luck out there. Hope work slows down for you.

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #161 on: March 05, 2021, 12:29:49 PM »
I know I'm quite a bit late on this, but this past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me (may or may not be losing my job, fun times).

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)

Pretty much exactly what I expected, which means it's pretty excellent, but the hotel scene made me much more conscious of where this trilogy comes from than aything else in the series. Meaning that the director is an American man, and as such, this relationship is viewed through his viewpoint. That's not to say that Delpy's character is not complex or doesn't have agency of course: she's a great character. But there's a distinct feeling of Hawke being a Linklater stand-in in some way, reacting reasonably to an unreasonable, colorful, charismatic character who brings chaos into the romantic fairytale Linklater instinctually leans toward while understanding perfectly that reality is messier than that. This isn't a criticism as much as an observation and a realization that I really wish I could see what the Before trilogy or something like it would look like if directed/written (yes I know Delpy is a co-writer here) by a woman. Generally, I would say this film, which is really just four lengthy scenes, feels a tiny bit more constructed than the previous one, and the absence of the children in most of the film also feels... somewhat convenient structurally? But that's all minor stuff really, the relationship is as rich as ever, Delpy is giving perhaps her best performance of the trilogy as she has to find a balance to ground her character - her self-destructive behaviour feels like a culmination of what we've seen from her in the past two films, and Hawk is good too, though a little more muted here than in the previous two films, as he's feeling more comfortable as a character.

I mentioned this being essentially four scenes, and I do think that is a huge part of what makes these films tick. The long take where they cross the Seine in Sunset remains the high point of the trilogy for me, and I'll admit I don't particularly remember the takes being noticeably long in Sunrise, but Linklater uses that to create a sense of intimacy that is essential, while still allowing himself enough freedom to find shots like when the old Greek writer is sharing her wisdom while perfectly framed between Jessie and Céline.

8/10
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #162 on: March 05, 2021, 01:04:56 PM »
I should watch it again. Seen Sunrise/Sunset multiple times but not Midnight and I haven’t touched the Criterion version of the trilogy I bought.

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #163 on: March 08, 2021, 03:35:52 AM »

When I wrote about Adaptation, I made sure to mention how brave Susan Orlean was to green light the project. She hadn't even finished the book yet and then came to find out she, herself, was going to be a highly unstable character in the movie version of it. That takes an incredible amount of good humor and que sera sera.

Once again a real person takes a huge leap of faith to not only add his name to a film, but to allow it to reach into his very psyche, walk through his sub-conscience memories (whether real, or imagined), and then change who's in the driver's seat to his very soul. I cannot fathom how Mr. Malkovich must have felt being presented the concept and then reading the actual script. He knew that there would be no getting away from this for the rest of his life. It would follow him always for its success or failure. With a sigh of relief for him, I'm so gratified to know that the film is a stroke of genius and Mr. Malkovich can rest easy that his name is attached to such a creative endeavor. He, in no small way, made it thus and was also fortunate to have such talented support from the other players. They just went with it, nothing held back.

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That's the only way to go...


This is one that I need to rewatch myself, it has been too long and remains on my list as I thought it was brilliant when I first and second watched it.  I don’t normally try to follow or know many of the people behind the movies or music I like with a few exceptions. So I really have no knowledge of John Malkovich other than he occasionally appears in a few films with a performance I love. But for some reason, I just believe in the back of my mind that this guy is a bit of a nut.  I am not sure why I ever thought that, but I think the film picks up on that impression.  I hope to rewatch this sometime this year to refresh the movie
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“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

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #164 on: March 10, 2021, 07:55:50 AM »
Shallow Grave

I found that Boyle's style was the primary fuel that kept me engaged here. The story is compelling to a point, mostly in building the primary scenario, but once the dominoes start to fall it's the style that saw me through. The camera is so full of life, so playful and dynamic and willing to MOVE. It makes me imagine that other films have their cameras hooked up to IV bags of morphine that follow them around on those rolling stands. No sedatives here though.

Stories like these do have a way of driving me crazy. Like the scene at the kitchen table when they have first discovered the money and they are sitting around discussing it. That, I believe, would be a VERY long conversation. Not that they commit to doing anything at that point, in fact one of them is staunchly opposed. But later he changes his mind, and there is no discussion, they are simply going ahead with a plan which we the audience learn about on the fly. And the plan feels a bit slapped together, which is maddening since there was nothing pushing them to act in haste at that point in time, and I'm rooting for them not to blow this opportunity (but it seems like they are already making mistakes). *shakes fist in frustration at them*

As the story rolls along the mistakes begin to pill up and compound. Trust is broken. They are not careful. Ewan MacGregor's character seems to watch a lot of TV, I feel like he should know better than to do some of the things he's doing.

I don't know if I buy it or not. Is this how it would go? In a sampling of thousands of trios of roommates confronted with this situation, how often would it play out in this way. Is it just deceptive how simple it seems? Because doing a good job of it seems simple. Or at least far simpler than they make it. We never hear about the people who get away with this sort of thing of course... they're all living a luxurious life somewhere I assume. But I find that there's a spirit of inevitability weaved into the story here which I don't quite find truthful. Necessary perhaps (to fulfill the demands of the story), but not truthful.

All in all it's an interesting thriller. Frustrating as thriller can often be, but on the whole worthwhile.

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #165 on: March 11, 2021, 06:50:42 AM »
Shallow Grave

I found that Boyle's style was the primary fuel that kept me engaged here. The story is compelling to a point, mostly in building the primary scenario, but once the dominoes start to fall it's the style that saw me through. The camera is so full of life, so playful and dynamic and willing to MOVE. It makes me imagine that other films have their cameras hooked up to IV bags of morphine that follow them around on those rolling stands. No sedatives here though.

Stories like these do have a way of driving me crazy. Like the scene at the kitchen table when they have first discovered the money and they are sitting around discussing it. That, I believe, would be a VERY long conversation. Not that they commit to doing anything at that point, in fact one of them is staunchly opposed. But later he changes his mind, and there is no discussion, they are simply going ahead with a plan which we the audience learn about on the fly. And the plan feels a bit slapped together, which is maddening since there was nothing pushing them to act in haste at that point in time, and I'm rooting for them not to blow this opportunity (but it seems like they are already making mistakes). *shakes fist in frustration at them*

As the story rolls along the mistakes begin to pill up and compound. Trust is broken. They are not careful. Ewan MacGregor's character seems to watch a lot of TV, I feel like he should know better than to do some of the things he's doing.

I don't know if I buy it or not. Is this how it would go? In a sampling of thousands of trios of roommates confronted with this situation, how often would it play out in this way. Is it just deceptive how simple it seems? Because doing a good job of it seems simple. Or at least far simpler than they make it. We never hear about the people who get away with this sort of thing of course... they're all living a luxurious life somewhere I assume. But I find that there's a spirit of inevitability weaved into the story here which I don't quite find truthful. Necessary perhaps (to fulfill the demands of the story), but not truthful.

All in all it's an interesting thriller. Frustrating as thriller can often be, but on the whole worthwhile.

The hard thing for a movie like this is if you can buy it or not, not if it seems plausible for you to do, but could you imagine that somebody would make those decisions.  A Simple Plan has a very similar scenario, which I also quite like as well.  I think what I liked about this was what they decided not to explain, there is no back story to the money or really how the owners of the money end up tracking them down. I appreciated that he didn’t try to fill in the holes as it wasn’t relevant to the conflict that develops.  I also like films that may make you want to shake your fist in frustration if it is for the right reasons.
"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

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #166 on: March 11, 2021, 07:04:51 AM »
I know I'm quite a bit late on this, but this past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me (may or may not be losing my job, fun times).

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)

Pretty much exactly what I expected, which means it's pretty excellent, but the hotel scene made me much more conscious of where this trilogy comes from than aything else in the series. Meaning that the director is an American man, and as such, this relationship is viewed through his viewpoint. That's not to say that Delpy's character is not complex or doesn't have agency of course: she's a great character. But there's a distinct feeling of Hawke being a Linklater stand-in in some way, reacting reasonably to an unreasonable, colorful, charismatic character who brings chaos into the romantic fairytale Linklater instinctually leans toward while understanding perfectly that reality is messier than that. This isn't a criticism as much as an observation and a realization that I really wish I could see what the Before trilogy or something like it would look like if directed/written (yes I know Delpy is a co-writer here) by a woman. Generally, I would say this film, which is really just four lengthy scenes, feels a tiny bit more constructed than the previous one, and the absence of the children in most of the film also feels... somewhat convenient structurally? But that's all minor stuff really, the relationship is as rich as ever, Delpy is giving perhaps her best performance of the trilogy as she has to find a balance to ground her character - her self-destructive behaviour feels like a culmination of what we've seen from her in the past two films, and Hawk is good too, though a little more muted here than in the previous two films, as he's feeling more comfortable as a character.

I mentioned this being essentially four scenes, and I do think that is a huge part of what makes these films tick. The long take where they cross the Seine in Sunset remains the high point of the trilogy for me, and I'll admit I don't particularly remember the takes being noticeably long in Sunrise, but Linklater uses that to create a sense of intimacy that is essential, while still allowing himself enough freedom to find shots like when the old Greek writer is sharing her wisdom while perfectly framed between Jessie and Céline.

8/10

I ended up watching this and the whole trilogy due to the Top 100 Club, can’t remember who I should thank now. This is my favourite of the three but I probably look at it in a jaded way. I think Hawke ends up coming off as quite a pretentious phoney who was able to capitalise off having an amazing experience (twice) to write about, but without those, he likely wouldn’t have mounted to very much in life. This one came off more raw and real in what happens after the magic goes out of a relationship.  Even if it ends with some kind of resolution between them, the ending to me doesn’t give me the thought that anything is fine overall, just that everything is fine at that point of time. 
"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

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #167 on: March 11, 2021, 07:18:23 AM »
Freaks (1932 Tod Browning)

The initial scroll shows great concern for people born with deformities and the terrible shunning they receive from society. While still not castigating those who do the shunning. It talks about how those with deformities are people also with thoughts and feelings.  The scroll would not pass current must because it still talks of modern science soon being able to cure these things.

The film held good on its promise of treating these people as people with thoughts and feelings. While scenes like the one showing the man with no arms or legs lighting a cigarette has the possibility of being wrong footed, the ignoring of it by the other character in the scene lifts to one that shows the mundanity of the act in this person's life. The acting is patchy, but the story and characters are interesting. Those combined with Browning's use of rain and shadows, really lifts this film. The later scenes with the little people watching from under the wagons, with the stripy lighting on their faces, created a great mood, for the building finale. The hunting down of the strong man was scary, very scary, that scene will stick with me for a while.

This was also clearly a pre-code film as various relationships were clearly indicated to be consummate outside of marriage.

Rating: 81 / 100

There is a humanity  and respect to the characters that helps this work and nothing seems false.  It is probably rare now that an old horror film can really draw you in without making you roll your eyes or laugh but it is not trying to be funny, but this one kept me as engaged as any horror films has.  I am probably being a bit hard on older films, cause modern horror films also fail the majority of the time as well, it is trying to find the gems in the trash. 
"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

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #168 on: March 11, 2021, 06:00:51 PM »
Agreed, a lot of the old horror films do not hold up as well, but this one does.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: JDC
« Reply #169 on: March 11, 2021, 08:19:39 PM »
This is one that I need to rewatch myself, it has been too long and remains on my list as I thought it was brilliant when I first and second watched it.  I don’t normally try to follow or know many of the people behind the movies or music I like with a few exceptions. So I really have no knowledge of John Malkovich other than he occasionally appears in a few films with a performance I love. But for some reason, I just believe in the back of my mind that this guy is a bit of a nut.  I am not sure why I ever thought that, but I think the film picks up on that impression.  I hope to rewatch this sometime this year to refresh the movie

I also think Malkovich is a bit nuts, so it could be true. :) His quirkiness fits perfectly with this film.