Author Topic: Top 100: oldkid  (Read 10136 times)

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #200 on: April 22, 2020, 05:01:39 PM »
SANJURO (1962) - I have only seen Kurosawa's RASHOMON, but he again hits all the right notes with a very different, but insanely great samurai film.  Toshiro Mifune, also from RASHOMON, plays what appears to be a no-good ronin, who is trying to extort some food and a bit of money out of a "noble" group of buffoons.  The buffoons are caught in a Machiavellian sort of political chess game that I am not sure is ever really clearly articulated, except that there are some corrupt samurai out looking to take down the good samurai.  Mifune is an incredible actor, his appearance is deceptive and he's almost comical in the way he speaks, but as the story unfolds you can tell he's highly intelligent and is wise enough to know when he needs to be taught.  The relationship he has with the Chamberlain's wife is extremely interesting, as if she opens up a doorway he never really understood until the end.  A sheathed sword is sort of his fate, even though nothing about his past or present are anything close to being sheathed.  My history is not good on feudal Japan, but I do know that post-WWII films often spoke about Japan's past in ways that discussed the loss of an old way of life and the birth of a new way of thinking.  The honorable samurai code was long gone, but often used to justify modern battle at the expense of such good and important life.  This is almost an anti-war/anti-violence film.  And I hoped for a battle between the main bad guy and Mifune, which is over in an instant (sort of like the battles between Tarantino's Bride and Vernita Green or the Bride and Bill that were briefly mentioned, but never occurred), much to my dismay.  But there are plenty of sword fights to be had, though Mifune does do his best to minimize the carnage.  The buffoons likely did not learn much, but the final scene was very touching.  Loved every minute of this.

I really enjoy Mifune in this action/comic mode, which Clint Eastwood successfully emulated later on.  Of the five "Man with no name" series (the three Leone films and this pair by Kurosawa), this is my favorite.  It is complex, deals with political corruption and gets the humor just right.  I like the others quite well, but this just strikes the right tone for me.  With Antares, I highly recommend Yojimbo as well.  Of course Seven Samurai, which is on a different scale, but it is interesting to see a similar character and set up, but done in a different way.

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #201 on: April 22, 2020, 11:47:06 PM »
Burn in Hell because the only Kevin Smith I still enjoy is when he's telling stories.

I think you'll really enjoy I am Love.  The Kevin Smith?   It's a good talk.
I couldn't find Burn in Hell, except for clips online, but I want to see more so I've put together a double feature from this decade I think we might both enjoy.
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etdoesgood

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #202 on: April 23, 2020, 03:48:07 AM »
Alamar

What a gem! I was a little shaky at the outset of the film, the camera video in Italy was cool, but the initial rundown of Jorge and Roberta's love and separation, albeit short, left quite a bit to be desired. Then, we say Natan as a boy, and Jorge whisks him away, and I'm not going to lie, a little road sign, something, would've been helpful to know what specifically is happening. BUT! Once we get to our destination, Banco Chinchorro, this becomes such a fantastic, nourishing cinematic experience I can hardly remember anything before the father and son arrived. Gonzalez-Rubio's camera captures this thing from so many perspectives and dimensions, on the water, in the water, lovely wide angle shots, and plenty of shots where you feel like you're sitting on the floor with Jorge and Natan, intimately witnessing the transmission of a particular set of cultural norms and values from father to son. Not to get all teacher nerdy on you, but I felt like I was witnessing a form of pure pedagogy. And that is not to idealize Jorge's path through life; on the contrary, I'm like Roberta, I couldn't imagine it. Yet, as Gonzalez-Rubio captures and carefully lays out the elements of this rather amphibious lifestyle, you come to appreciate its beauty, in the complexity of how Jorge and his father use their bodies to navigate water and land, even in how Jorge uses his body to do something as simple as keep balance on a fallen tree trunk and passes that on to Natan. The father-son wrestling montage goes beyond father-son bonding, and again you feel like the expert is teaching the novice to unlock his body in a new way, and is easily one of the finest sequences of the film. I also appreciated this depiction and positioning of man and wild as mutually coexisting, whether it's in seeing but keeping at a safe distance from the crocodiles or teaching a wild bird to climb onto your arm, and, of course, the fishing. If every man got his meat through either catching it as Jorge and his father, or having to trade to get it from people who dove for it or caught it sustainably, you'd hear no complaint from me, even with my veganism. Cruelty and environmental degradation are my issues; in Alamar, outside of some use of plastics, you get a look at a highly sustainable and peaceful way of life. Overall, even with budgetary constraints/camera quality issues, this is an immersive and lovely experience. You know it has affected you if you found the transition back to Italy at the end half as jarring as I did. Feeding the birds in the city just won't ever feel the same again.

As to the oldkid month, I got in two, would have liked to do Amadeus, but it's probably not on the menu as I have seen just too many long films from The Canon to fit in another right now. Alamar was actually a wonderful tonic in light of some of the more difficult (from the point of attention span) films that I've tasked myself to watch recently. Pluuuuusssss, it might not count, but should, but I did see Once Upon a Time in the West, Fanny and Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia this month, too. So, that's like, five. It's been a pleasure, any month where you can boast The Mirror and Alamar as new finds is a good one, indeed.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 03:51:49 AM by etdoesgood »
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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #203 on: April 24, 2020, 01:28:38 AM »
On Letterboxd, there are two Horror films, both from this Decade, that you rate very highly and I haven't seen. They made for a nice double feature.




The Silenced (2015)

South Korean cinema has an entire sub-genre of Horror located at a private school for girls. This one has more of a sadness to the mystery, reminding me of Never Let Me Go. The story does a nice job of dotting that mystery with disturbing imagery, creating a school as unwelcoming as the one in Suspiria, but without the splashy colors. The answer is more satisfying than I expected considering it's a rather pat solution, and once you know it, it's pretty easy to predict the revenge that will follow.

The friend who is the first one nice to our lead girl is played by So-dam Park (Parasite).



Antiviral (2012)
"Celebrity is not an accomplishment. Not at all.
It's more like a collaboration that we choose to take part in.
Celebrities are not people, they're group hallucinations."

The title should've tipped me off, but since I didn't know what I was in for it's worth mentioning a film where people choose to catch a famous person's illness in order to feel closer to them plays differently in our current pandemic world. The sickness imagery is similar to Contagion, only because this is from Brandon Cronenberg (the son of David) there's more body horror. It isn't too gross for awhile, but the imagery of blood, sweat and thermometers in these bright, white environments gave me a psychosomatic sore throat.

I didn't enjoy this one as much as The Silenced, though this one has more interesting ideas. The pacing is off and the performance by Caleb Landry Jones isn't exciting. I think he was cast because his skin is so pale and freckled it adds to the body horror feeling.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 01:41:09 AM by 1SO »
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #204 on: April 27, 2020, 09:22:06 PM »
Alamar

What a gem! I was a little shaky at the outset of the film, the camera video in Italy was cool, but the initial rundown of Jorge and Roberta's love and separation, albeit short, left quite a bit to be desired. Then, we say Natan as a boy, and Jorge whisks him away, and I'm not going to lie, a little road sign, something, would've been helpful to know what specifically is happening. BUT! Once we get to our destination, Banco Chinchorro, this becomes such a fantastic, nourishing cinematic experience I can hardly remember anything before the father and son arrived. Gonzalez-Rubio's camera captures this thing from so many perspectives and dimensions, on the water, in the water, lovely wide angle shots, and plenty of shots where you feel like you're sitting on the floor with Jorge and Natan, intimately witnessing the transmission of a particular set of cultural norms and values from father to son. Not to get all teacher nerdy on you, but I felt like I was witnessing a form of pure pedagogy. And that is not to idealize Jorge's path through life; on the contrary, I'm like Roberta, I couldn't imagine it. Yet, as Gonzalez-Rubio captures and carefully lays out the elements of this rather amphibious lifestyle, you come to appreciate its beauty, in the complexity of how Jorge and his father use their bodies to navigate water and land, even in how Jorge uses his body to do something as simple as keep balance on a fallen tree trunk and passes that on to Natan. The father-son wrestling montage goes beyond father-son bonding, and again you feel like the expert is teaching the novice to unlock his body in a new way, and is easily one of the finest sequences of the film. I also appreciated this depiction and positioning of man and wild as mutually coexisting, whether it's in seeing but keeping at a safe distance from the crocodiles or teaching a wild bird to climb onto your arm, and, of course, the fishing. If every man got his meat through either catching it as Jorge and his father, or having to trade to get it from people who dove for it or caught it sustainably, you'd hear no complaint from me, even with my veganism. Cruelty and environmental degradation are my issues; in Alamar, outside of some use of plastics, you get a look at a highly sustainable and peaceful way of life. Overall, even with budgetary constraints/camera quality issues, this is an immersive and lovely experience. You know it has affected you if you found the transition back to Italy at the end half as jarring as I did. Feeding the birds in the city just won't ever feel the same again.

As to the oldkid month, I got in two, would have liked to do Amadeus, but it's probably not on the menu as I have seen just too many long films from The Canon to fit in another right now. Alamar was actually a wonderful tonic in light of some of the more difficult (from the point of attention span) films that I've tasked myself to watch recently. Pluuuuusssss, it might not count, but should, but I did see Once Upon a Time in the West, Fanny and Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia this month, too. So, that's like, five. It's been a pleasure, any month where you can boast The Mirror and Alamar as new finds is a good one, indeed.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure anyone would watch Alamar, and if they did I wasn't sure they'd like it.  You proved noble on two counts!

It's a tough film because there is so little dialogue and we have to watch carefully as to what is important and what is happening.  But it is worth it.  Not only is it beautiful, and immersive, but it is rich, as simple lives really are.  It is meditative, poetic and deep.  That is a style of film I love.

You don't need to watch anything else: FandA, LofA and OUaTitW are all on my top list of films, and you have reviewed them all.  Amazing!
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #205 on: April 27, 2020, 09:24:03 PM »
On Letterboxd, there are two Horror films, both from this Decade, that you rate very highly and I haven't seen. They made for a nice double feature.




The Silenced (2015)

South Korean cinema has an entire sub-genre of Horror located at a private school for girls. This one has more of a sadness to the mystery, reminding me of Never Let Me Go. The story does a nice job of dotting that mystery with disturbing imagery, creating a school as unwelcoming as the one in Suspiria, but without the splashy colors. The answer is more satisfying than I expected considering it's a rather pat solution, and once you know it, it's pretty easy to predict the revenge that will follow.

The friend who is the first one nice to our lead girl is played by So-dam Park (Parasite).



Antiviral (2012)
"Celebrity is not an accomplishment. Not at all.
It's more like a collaboration that we choose to take part in.
Celebrities are not people, they're group hallucinations."

The title should've tipped me off, but since I didn't know what I was in for it's worth mentioning a film where people choose to catch a famous person's illness in order to feel closer to them plays differently in our current pandemic world. The sickness imagery is similar to Contagion, only because this is from Brandon Cronenberg (the son of David) there's more body horror. It isn't too gross for awhile, but the imagery of blood, sweat and thermometers in these bright, white environments gave me a psychosomatic sore throat.

I didn't enjoy this one as much as The Silenced, though this one has more interesting ideas. The pacing is off and the performance by Caleb Landry Jones isn't exciting. I think he was cast because his skin is so pale and freckled it adds to the body horror feeling.

Your reviews would be very close to mine, should I have done them.  The Silenced drew me in more, but Antiviral had cool ideas and cool grotesqueness.   I honestly don't remember them well, but the Silenced I certainly need to rewatch.
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etdoesgood

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #206 on: April 28, 2020, 02:21:10 AM »
Alamar

What a gem! I was a little shaky at the outset of the film, the camera video in Italy was cool, but the initial rundown of Jorge and Roberta's love and separation, albeit short, left quite a bit to be desired. Then, we see Natan as a boy, and Jorge whisks him away, and I'm not going to lie, a little road sign, something, would've been helpful to know what specifically is happening. BUT! Once we get to our destination, Banco Chinchorro, this becomes such a fantastic, nourishing cinematic experience I can hardly remember anything before the father and son arrived. Gonzalez-Rubio's camera captures this thing from so many perspectives and dimensions, on the water, in the water, lovely wide angle shots, and plenty of shots where you feel like you're sitting on the floor with Jorge and Natan, intimately witnessing the transmission of a particular set of cultural norms and values from father to son. Not to get all teacher nerdy on you, but I felt like I was witnessing a form of pure pedagogy. And that is not to idealize Jorge's path through life; on the contrary, I'm like Roberta, I couldn't imagine it. Yet, as Gonzalez-Rubio captures and carefully lays out the elements of this rather amphibious lifestyle, you come to appreciate its beauty, in the complexity of how Jorge and his father use their bodies to navigate water and land, even in how Jorge uses his body to do something as simple as keep balance on a fallen tree trunk and passes that on to Natan. The father-son wrestling montage goes beyond father-son bonding, and again you feel like the expert is teaching the novice to unlock his body in a new way, and is easily one of the finest sequences of the film. I also appreciated this depiction and positioning of man and wild as mutually coexisting, whether it's in seeing but keeping at a safe distance from the crocodiles or teaching a wild bird to climb onto your arm, and, of course, the fishing. If every man got his meat through either catching it as Jorge and his father, or having to trade to get it from people who dove for it or caught it sustainably, you'd hear no complaint from me, even with my veganism. Cruelty and environmental degradation are my issues; in Alamar, outside of some use of plastics, you get a look at a highly sustainable and peaceful way of life. Overall, even with budgetary constraints/camera quality issues, this is an immersive and lovely experience. You know it has affected you if you found the transition back to Italy at the end half as jarring as I did. Feeding the birds in the city just won't ever feel the same again.

As to the oldkid month, I got in two, would have liked to do Amadeus, but it's probably not on the menu as I have seen just too many long films from The Canon to fit in another right now. Alamar was actually a wonderful tonic in light of some of the more difficult (from the point of attention span) films that I've tasked myself to watch recently. Pluuuuusssss, it might not count, but should, but I did see Once Upon a Time in the West, Fanny and Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia this month, too. So, that's like, five. It's been a pleasure, any month where you can boast The Mirror and Alamar as new finds is a good one, indeed.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure anyone would watch Alamar, and if they did I wasn't sure they'd like it.  You proved noble on two counts!

It's a tough film because there is so little dialogue and we have to watch carefully as to what is important and what is happening.  But it is worth it.  Not only is it beautiful, and immersive, but it is rich, as simple lives really are.  It is meditative, poetic and deep.  That is a style of film I love.

You don't need to watch anything else: FandA, LofA and OUaTitW are all on my top list of films, and you have reviewed them all.  Amazing!
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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #207 on: April 30, 2020, 05:26:06 AM »
Ningen no j˘ken / The Human Condition (Part II) (Masaki Kobayashi, 1959)

I had watched the first part a few months ago, but I don't think I wrote about it anywhere.

There is a clear point to Kaji's journey, which is the question of how an individual can preserve his own sense of morality in times of war. The first part featured him trying to apply more humane principles to a prisoner camp in Manchuria, and in this second part he is facing similar issues as a foot soldier in the army itself. At one point, he says "our true enemy is the army", which is very explicitely what this whole film was about. This is a very bold stance for Kobayashi to take in 60s Japan, and I was especially struck by how he depicts the deaths of Japanese soldiers towards the end of the second part: they are often cowardly and terrified, not at all the image of dignified honor that would have been the general idea in the Japanese mainstream. The relationship Japan has to its imperialistic period is a fascinating subject in and of itself, and this film and its reception at the time are quite the striking example of it, but that's not necessarily what interests Kobayashi the most. His aim is more along the likes of a Dosto´evski or a Tolsto´, trying to use this grand narrative to explore morality and ethics.

Kaji, as played by Tatsuya Nakadai, starts off as an almost impossibly naive person and evolves, over the course of these six hours into a martyr for humanism. Not a saint exactly, because he does do things that are clearly against his own ethos at times and his resolve does weaken enough that he is recognizibly human, but definitely a martyr. And I don't think Nakadai and Kobayashi really manage to make him more than an embodiment of ideas theoretically thrown against this terrible situation. I know this is based on a series of autobiographical books, so clearly there is a real person under there... or rather, the idealization of a real person, and I don't think the film really manages to get back down to earth there. I just have a hard time believing in Kaji as a real human being, and some of the stylistic choices (especially the music) add to this problem by giving the film a sense of grandstanding and self-righteousness that can get a bit grating.

Now, there is denying Kobayashi's talent as a director, and the ending of part 2 is quite remarkable. He generally uses widescreen photography to great effect, and creates these images of people lost in huge landscapes, unable to know what choices they should be making in an indifferent, impossibly vast and unfathomable world filled with cruelty. These are long films, but he keeps things moving with a dynamic camera that is never too showy, always in service of the story. It's easy to see why Kubrick gravitated towards this (the first part of the second film was quite clearly an inspiration for his own Full Metal Jacket) becaue there is that same clinical simplicity in Kobayashi's style, but perhaps I find Kobayashi's utter seriousness to be the issue here. A slight issue, to be clear, but one that keeps coming up in this trilogy for me.

Another issue is one that specifically plagued the first part but is almost inexistent in this one, and that's the use of Japanese actors for Chinese and Korean characters. I don't speak any of these languages, but it is extremely obvious that the actors learned their lines phonetically, and this is a pretty big problem when so much of the first part is all about the interaction between Japanese soldiers and Chinese workers. The second part thankfully avoids this issue for most of its running time, and it's probably part of why I liked it quite a bit more. I'll be curious to check out the third part in any case, and I'll try to remember to report here whenever I do.

7/10 (6/10 was my rating for the first part)
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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #208 on: April 30, 2020, 10:42:34 PM »
L'Atalante



Well, this was a fun little research project. I thought I had a version of the film where I could view it with closed captioning, but it turned out to not be capturing anything going on, on screen, so I commenced to read up on the synopsis and themes through different articles and videos and then, feeling ready to continue, I watched it, listening in French, while "reading" the Italian subtitles. I think I got most of it. Luckily, Romanic and Germanic languages share some vocabulary and luckily again, it's a visual film, with occasional small semi-decipherable verbal exchanges. And lastly luckily, it's in the visuals where I found the value, historically and poetically, or I should say poetically, realistically historically.

IMDb says this is a comedy, but I'm not laughing. It's rather somber, with its exploration of loneliness, regret and resignation, but with a sweet uplift in the end. I do see some physical comedy, which lightens the mood a little, but as for funny? Perhaps it got lost in translation.

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2020, 01:44:29 AM »
One of my favorite films about the subject of marriage. It is an extremely visual film so it's interesting that you got that part of the film inadvertently enhanced for you.
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