Author Topic: Top 100: oldkid  (Read 34069 times)


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2018, 09:35:24 AM »
Both Alamar and Blue are films thatThe Scent of Green Papaya reduces speech to a minimum.  It is better just to watch the visuals.  We wouldn't want them to be silent, for then we would miss the music or the lapping water, but dialogue is an afterthought.  Amazing how much we can understand just by observing.
Yes, quite accurate.

The Scent of Green Papaya
It's hard to describe a film like this, it's beautifully shot but what makes it stand out is that what it photographs so beautifully isn't wonderful vistas or impressive constructions but rather the beauty of the everyday. It reminds me, unsurprisingly, of Vertical Ray of the Sun but I liked this more and if I had to guess why it's because it accepts being a mood piece and while it has a narrative, and a reasonably interesting, if barebones, one at that, it never lets the narrative overwhelm or distract from the immediacy of the images and emotions. It has something to say and something to show and does both in sync, revealing things when they're relevant and bathing the screen with images that accentuate the slightly widened perspective. If I have one complaint it's the depiction of the lead character In both cases the actresses play her as hard working but not super bright, but the child actress has a spark in her eyes that makes her simplicity a consequence of life and station, you still get a sense of curiosity and ability from her, while the older actress seems to play her as slightly mentally challenged, the posture and blank childlike stare seeming regressions on the younger character. Both performances are good, but even reading the latter as a consequence of 10 years of servitude it didn't quite mesh for me Given the structure and content of the film it's not a dealbreaker at all, but an odd incongruity in an otherwise very smoothly flowing film. One other notable piece is the soundtrack, which is not really my style at all the way it interjects itself rather regularly, but contextualized in the film it actually worked surprisingly well. Really glad I finally got around to this.


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2018, 08:01:34 PM »
Elephant Man


Sandy: Did Elephant Man meet your expectations?
Knocked Out Loaded: I don't know what i expected of it, really. It was less dark and less horroresque than i thought.
Sandy: I remember wondering if I'd be scared during the movie, when I was young.
Knocked Out Loaded:Were you?
Sandy: A little at first, since the movie was careful in how John Merrick was revealed. I saw others fear, before knowing for myself what he looked like, which heightened the unease. As I watched the reveals now, I was impressed at the choices, especially in the lecture hall, with the silhouette, as if it was wanting to be respectful of the man to the doctors and to us.

Knocked Out Loaded: Or just prolonging the tension a little?!
Sandy: That too! Movie manipulation!
Knocked Out Loaded: They took their time before showing Merrick in full. To me it did not add to the suspense. In all, though, the careful build up was effective.
Sandy: There was one jump scare moment. The first time the doctor sees Merrick back for a moment when the curtain was drawn was jarring. A little horror film moment like, "what was that I just saw?!"
Knocked Out Loaded: I don’t think i have seen any stills of him prior to the film.
Sandy: It's as if the film wanted to go a different direction than the circus did. Not sensationalism, but to explore humanity instead.
Knocked Out Loaded: No, it was made in a pussy footin’ way.
Sandy: ha! That it did.
Knocked Out Loaded: The exploration was very interesting, like when the head nurse voiced her opinion the the doctor was doing the same thing as Mr. Bytes did.
Sandy: Called him out and rightly so.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, she was right.
Sandy: I kept thinking how familiar the head nurse looked, and then found out it was Wendy Hiller!
Knocked Out Loaded: Wendy Hiller says nothing to me!
Sandy: She’s is in the movie, I Know Where I’m Going! Currently in my top 100. Hiller has a distinct look and manner.
Knocked Out Loaded: I guess I need to check that movie out, then.
Sandy: I should too! Movies should be seen more than once to sit in a top 100. :)
Knocked Out Loaded: :) ...David Lynch is an able director.
Sandy: Do you have a favorite of his?
Knocked Out Loaded: This was his second feature. I think I pick Inland Empire. I have only seen it once, and did not understand much, but i like movies that make me confused.
Sandy: I haven’t Eraserhead, or many of his films really.
Knocked Out Loaded: I have not seen Eraserhead either. On some levels I think Lynch is a little overrated, but he makes interesting images. Visually the Elephant Man was a very enjoyable experience.
Sandy: I've only seen Mulholland Dr. and Straight Story. I liked aspects of straight story, but I hate to say it, I basically hated Mulholland Dr… Yikes! Can I say that on the forum?!
Knocked Out Loaded: You did?
Sandy: Yeah, it’s not my thing. I don't regret watching it though. You have a higher threshold for confusion! :)
Knocked Out Loaded: i know that you saw it one or two years back, but not that you loathed it.
Sandy: I tried to write a review about Mulholland Drive that showed what I appreciated about it, but also expressing my dislike. I’d pick Elephant Man for my favorite so far and I can’t imagine one of Lynch’s other films replacing it. Except for Straight Story, it may be his most straight forward film... I keep thinking about John Hurt’s depiction of Merrick and especially his voice, how he said, "wonderful" near the end. Such surprise and amazement in him, coming through his high, breathy exclamation.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes. Did you find that fitting?
Sandy: I did. His new life filled him with the wonder and here I am in wonderment how his spirit wasn't destroyed by his genetics, or his past. There were other great parts to Hurt’s acting too.
Knocked Out Loaded: John Hurt did a great performance beneath the mask,
very nuanced. For some reason, I have always imagined David Bowie in this role. He was very in vogue at the time the movie was released.

Sandy: What an intriguing choice of actors. It would have been much different, but worth seeing!
Knocked Out Loaded: At times i think Merrick had an air of vanity over him.
Sandy: He did.
Knocked Out Loaded: Like when he tried out his suit.
Sandy: An interesting trait to be sure, where did it come from?
Knocked Out Loaded: That i think is within the human condition, it is not a totally positive trait.
Sandy: No, it’s not. But for him, someone who scared people, to feel good about how he looked was a bit of a miracle. It was endearing, like I was happy he could get past the injustices of his life, or at least forget them for a small moment.
Knocked Out Loaded: That way, the movie reveals something about the human nature. There were other revelations, however that were much more disturbing.
Sandy: Like how we find amusement and entertainment in other's suffering?
Knocked Out Loaded: Like how he was used in a similar way by both the doctor and Mr. Bytes and the freak show aspect for sure and how easy we exploit for our own good.
Sandy: Yes, the doctor's realization, could be ours. It's a lesson to be learned, if we are willing to see ourselves in him. The actress saw him the most clearly, seeing past what everyone else saw. She didn't want to exploit him, only to meet him and try and understand him better.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, yet their relation was a bit superficial, wasn’t it?
Sandy: It was. I don't think she used him though, but just wanted to meet him.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, out of curiosity.
Sandy: I agree. She did see beauty in him though. Like Bill Cunningham said, “He who seeks beauty will find it.”
Knocked Out Loaded: There is beauty everywhere.
Sandy: She recognized beauty in him when she heard about his life. So yes curious, but not in a spectacle sort of way, more like a humane sort of way.
Knocked Out Loaded: Merrick had a delicate soul.
Sandy: Yes, well put.
Knocked Out Loaded: It was very endearing how he remembered his mother.
Sandy: An angel :')
Knocked Out Loaded: I wonder what torn them apart?
Sandy: I thought he was abandoned by his parents, but let me go check...
Knocked Out Loaded: Back then, without any social security, it is understandable I guess.
Sandy: True… I was wrong! His mother died when he was a youth, but before that he was close to her.
Knocked Out Loaded: He was.
Sandy: His father remarried and things didn't go well. He was beaten.
Knocked Out Loaded: The human nature is bestialic at times.
Sandy: It is. :( After being homeless, his uncle took him in, but couldn't care for him over a period of time so he went to a workhouse… I’m grateful the mother was good to him.
Knocked Out Loaded: :) That is why he treasured her.
Sandy: He did. :)
Knocked Out Loaded: Did you like Anthony Hopkins?
Sandy: Yes, young and less seasoned though.
Knocked Out Loaded: I did too, but he was a bit edgy. I rewatched The Remains of the Day last weekend. It was a part of the nobel prize marathon I try to run.
Sandy: That is in my top 100!
Knocked Out Loaded: It is in your top 100?! sweet.
Sandy: Yes
Knocked Out Loaded: There Anthony Hopkins is on the top of his game. It is a wonderful performance with so much nuance and layers. Here in Elephant Man, he was much more cubbish. (John Hurt on the other hand was nuanced) It is interesting to see how actors can mature, like a wine. These days Hopkins more plays himself on the screen. The worst example of that kind of progress must be Al Pacino! He peaked and became a parody of himself.
Sandy: ugh... Shadowlands is also in my top 100, because of Hopkins.
Knocked Out Loaded: Shadowlands too is a wonderful performance. And, you have The Silence of the Lambs, which I don't care for at all.
Sandy: Interesting. I've only seen a few scenes from that movie - not really something I want to see.
Knocked Out Loaded: I guess it is an okay movie, but if it ceases to exist my life will be unaffected.
Sandy: A good way to look at it... An easy theme for this movie is, Beauty is only skin deep, but there’s more to it than that. What is the takeaway from this film for you?
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes, beauty is skin deep... I am fascinated by what people can do to each other, both good and evil actions, but maybe the ultimate takeaway is that we find real freedom and escape in the art, not in the connection between persons.
Sandy: Can you help me understand this?
Knocked Out Loaded: I think I meant something along that you only are free when you dream. For the most part we are in a web of various relations, tied up so to speak. In art you can expand limitless. It is only your own persona that defines the limits, like working with an image in Photoshop :)
Sandy: :)
Knocked Out Loaded: Anyway, that’s why a movie like Enter the Void is good. It may have boundaries, but they are so off limits that they set you free, in a way. Or a Salvador Dali painting, or a surrealistic text. Usually I want to understand what is meant, but I try to embrace the enigma, or just get lost!
Sandy: I see! You spoke about the impressive visuals in the film. I too loved the crisp black and white pallet and the depth of the camera work. What else did you like visually?
Knocked Out Loaded: A sequence that stood out very much for me was the dreamy, surreal part when Merrick was at the theater. It was awesome. I would have liked it to be tinted, or maybe even in color.

Sandy: :) I kept wondering what the play was.
Knocked Out Loaded: I too had that question and thought you might know, as you seem to be versed in plays and such.
Sandy: I don’t recognize anything in it and can’t find any info online.
Knocked Out Loaded: Have you any idea why the filmed showed he perceived what was going on that way?
Sandy: Lynch did a good job of enhancing Merrick perception.
Knocked Out Loaded: Yes
Sandy: When you’re a child seeing something for the first time, it tends to take on a bigger than life hue. I remember being completely wowed going to the circus and everything was so vivid.
Knocked Out Loaded: You’re right!! That was the magic affecting Merrick. I did not think of that.
Sandy: I believe it relates to what you explained about freedom in dreams and art! :)

Look what I found!


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2018, 07:18:44 PM »
The Human Condition

Occasionally somebody manages to write up a review or thoughts of a film that gets me so interested to watch that I go out of my way to make a blind buy of that film. Oldkid managed sometime back with this film. But that was long ago and I can't quite remember now what he said. It was about a year ago when I was working in the UK that I found the box set of this on Blu-ray which I picked up. It isn't sold in the US and is region 2 for anybody looking for it.

The film is broken into 3 parts or 6 parts, depending on if you choose to watch the International or Japanese version. Either way, the content is the same, it just allows you to take more breaks.  Anybody attempting to watch, it is suggested you go the 6 part series as it is a mere 579 minutes long.

I had watched Part 1 previously a few months ago and then part 2 shortly before Oldkid's month. But now I had no reason not to make it through the last 400 or so minutes of this. Being a good procrastinator, I waited to the last day of the month.

I know, this is a lot of talking which is little to do with the film.

I think I get why Oldkid loves this so much. When I watch the lead character, Keji, I think of Oldkid. Or at least of the idea of Oldkid that I have in my head. He is a socialist, pacifist that is put into situations where he is always trying to do what he thinks is correct against a system that is inhumane and doesn't care. Occasionally, he breaks and does things that he has a hard time forgiving himself for, but under the circumstances, he really can't be blamed. He thinks too much of a perfect world.

Keji starts off responsible to Chinese POWs in a labour camp, eventually had to join the army and fight in Manchuria and eventually becomes a POW of the Soviets at the end of the WWII. In general, it is good and powerful stuff though I can't help think a lot of this could have been reduced. As much as I thought it was very good, it did start breaking my attention span from time to time and I had to break and come back to it. But the film wasn't meant to be watched in 1 sitting, it was released over a period of a few years.

Now Oldkid can tell me if my ideal of him is close to Keji or not. 

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #63 on: April 03, 2018, 07:32:35 AM »
Sorry I am a couple of days late with my feature watch.

A Page of Madness (1926 - Teinosuke Kinugasa)

Years ago I watched the first half of this film at a cinema, and I was very impressed, but I still fell asleep (it was a festival and I had been way overdoing it as was usual for me). I am glad this month's (well last month now) Top 100 club has allowed me to watch the whole film. I watched the 58min version on which included a soundtrack. The soundtrack worked very well at unsettling me.

This is a strange film and very hard to follow (I had to look up a plot synopsis on Wikipedia after watching the film). I love the visuals, very out there for any time in cinema, particular impressive for the year it was made. The surrealist images were very trippy, but I really like the slideshow effect of the film shuffle/scrolling (not sure how best to describe it) from left to right. The dancer in the film made me think of Bjork.

The difficulty following the story, and I found that the film dragged at times, dropped the rating down a bit.

Rating: 74 / 100

Recommended for: Those who like strange films.


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2018, 02:39:39 PM »

Stormy Weather  (Andrew L. Stone, 1943)

Earlier in this thread, oldkid labeled Stormy Weather "the greatest variety show ever created," and there's definitely something to that. The film packs an impressive number of performances (twenty or so) into its short running time, along with an equally impressive number of African-American musical stars. I actually wish the film had more fully embraced its variety show underpinnings and foregone its plot altogether, which is so thin as to be a distraction. The movie is at its best when it moves from performance to performance, whether in the Beale Street Cafe or at the military benefit that concludes the film. The former represents probably my favorite sequence in the film (not counting the Nicholas Brothers' dance, but they're always just on another level). Partly it's because the style of music at the cafe better suits my tastes (more bluesy, less formal) and partly because it's such a welcome cinematic rarity to see African-American characters in a natural setting, free to drink and be merry, with no obvious clowning for a white audience. Some of my favorite performances in the film come the background actors and anonymous band members, whose faces capture the natural joy of the moment in a way that's all-too-rare in films of this era, so far as black performers are concerned. It's downright liberating. That's not to say the film is free of racism — far from it — but it's at least partially offset by moments like these.

Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2018, 06:07:02 PM »
It's a shame you didn't give it a rating, but I think that your enjoyment shines through your review.  Confirms my biases appropriately.
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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2019, 03:49:15 PM »
The next round of the Top 100 Club begins right here, right now!

I have slightly updated my Top 100 Movies I Wish Everyone Would Watch and that is the list I want to use. 

Let's get watching and talking!
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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2019, 04:06:43 PM »
My movie watching is spotty these days, but these are the ones I'm looking at:

Gosford Park
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring
Kung Fu Hustle
Sorry to Bother You
Legend: All-Time Favorite | Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Poor  |  Bad



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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2019, 04:20:46 PM »
Gosford Park
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring
Kung Fu Hustle
Sorry to Bother You

That's a great medley. :)


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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #69 on: January 03, 2019, 06:07:44 PM »
Six I haven't seen.

Journey to the West
A Page of Madness
Les Miserables
The Mirror

Of that Les Mis, Hellzapoppin and Ninotchka are available to me. I think last time you were up I was set to attempt Les Mis, even had it from the library, but couldn't fit it in. We'll see this month but I am going to give the other two a go.