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Author Topic: Top 100: oldkid  (Read 7719 times)

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2018, 07:56:42 PM »
I like having the ability to choose what I want from my shelf.  I have a large collection of DVDs and I'm not interested in replacing them with Blu Rays because that is more than I will ever choose to afford.  But I find that I often neglect my DVDs and look to see what I haven't yet seen online.  What I'd like to do is to go over my top films again plus some others that I've already seen in a large marathon.  Once I've made my transition, I'll probably do that and so watch many of my DVDs.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Bondo

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2018, 08:57:34 PM »
The Apostle

Coming to this from an atheist perspective I'm not sure how much is lost in transition. Most of the scenes with preaching, as a cultural Lutheran, make me uncomfortable with their energy and I find them tedious and repetitive as narrative. Like, compared to the sermons I'm used to they seem distinctly inefficient...repetitive and lacking in a clear thesis. Of course my other thought at points early in the film was that it can be hard to tell the difference between religious fervor and insanity. He eventually settles in his new city, but certainly in getting there he shows rather erratic behavior.

That isn't to say this film is unpleasant from a secular perspective, but I guess I didn't get it.

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2018, 12:36:04 AM »
It is not just about religion, but about the South, about a particular form of anti-intellectual pentecostalism, and about a particular character.

I can't separate my fascination with this character study from my religious experiences, both with pentecostalism and with preachers who match this level of intensity, insanity and inconsistency.  It draws one in as much as it repels one. 

I can't speak to an atheistic point of view of the film, but I can say that the preaching is hypnotic and supposed to be like a lyric,  and if one approaches it from an intellectual, non-emotional standpoint then it couldn't make any sense.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2018, 09:53:38 PM »
Les Misérables (1934)
★ ★ ★ - Very Good

Harry Baur is a mountain of a man, physically unlike any Jean Valjean I'd ever seen before. I initially wondered if he could pull off the change into Champmathieu. Well, of course he can. A performance doesn't become this famous for nothing. While most adaptations focus in on Jean Valjean and Inspecteur Javert, Baur is working on an Emil Jannings scale, which makes Javert a supporting player at best, no more important than Thénardier. Instead Baur wisely only gives some room to Cosette (at all her ages), which works better for the story. Plus, from what I know of oldkid, the redemption of Valjean and the relationship with his daughter seem like they would hit close. (By redemption, I'm referring to the early scene where Valjean is given shelter and a priest (or Bishop) lights the spark that leads to Valjean becoming a great man.)

This version has made me realize that the further the story moves from the central characters, the less invested I am. As a writer, I like how the narrative slowly expands to encompass more characters while pulling them into our core conflicts, and I understand the need for a story this big to eventually go epic with the revolution, but I started wishing we could go back to the simple drama of Valjean out-thinking the scheming Thénardier and doing great things while staying out of the clutches of Javert.
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2018, 10:49:00 PM »
The reason this is my favorite version of one of my favorite stories is because it alone takes the time to capture the broad scope of the multi-generational story.  Every character is important and dramatic.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2018, 06:19:13 PM »
Validation - Weird that this is from the same guy who did Dear Zachary, although in hindsight there is a similar penchant for narrative detours. At first I feared this would be one joke for 16 minutes, but it keeps morphing into something new. For the most part this keeps it fresh and easy to watch... and yet at the same time, there are parts where it feels like it's dragging a bit. Perhaps the sudden shifts in story or style make it feel slower when it stays in one groove for more than a minute or two. I could keep picking that apart, but the fact is it's pretty enjoyable, and shows a flair for editing and a decent sense of humor. I give it the same score I gave Zachary. Rating: Good (77)
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2018, 08:15:11 AM »
Stormy Weather (1943)

I find it curious that this DVD had an anti-piracy PSA on it. No trailers, just the PSA. I mean, it's a film from 1943 that, but for movie studio greed, would be in the public domain by now. Anyway, I could critique this film as having a flimsy plot and even at 90 minutes long feeling padded out with the obligatory 10 minute dream ballet, but this is a critique of so many musicals of the era. What's remarkable is that this ode to African-American talent was released in 1943. The shell story specifically calls attention to this as much of the film is flashback based on a magazine story being read by one of those involved to the neighborhood children. It is a work of cultural pride and the desire to pass that legacy on.

The music I could kind of give or take, even the title song, home to the aforementioned ballet, doesn't quite have the punch. But then there is the dance. Oh the dance. Here is where there is some splendor that assuredly pays off the investment of time.

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2018, 09:41:24 PM »
Validation - Weird that this is from the same guy who did Dear Zachary, although in hindsight there is a similar penchant for narrative detours. At first I feared this would be one joke for 16 minutes, but it keeps morphing into something new. For the most part this keeps it fresh and easy to watch... and yet at the same time, there are parts where it feels like it's dragging a bit. Perhaps the sudden shifts in story or style make it feel slower when it stays in one groove for more than a minute or two. I could keep picking that apart, but the fact is it's pretty enjoyable, and shows a flair for editing and a decent sense of humor. I give it the same score I gave Zachary. Rating: Good (77)

The movie I would place under the thread "I just need to smile".  It makes me happy.  I laugh and when I'm not laughing I'm grinning.  And it's short enough that I can watch it any day that I really need it.  I should remember it when I'm feeling particularly down, because it always perks me up.  And there is an arc, it isn't all sentimental tripe and it is really funny.  I'm glad you enjoyed it.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2018, 09:46:00 PM »
Stormy Weather (1943)

I find it curious that this DVD had an anti-piracy PSA on it. No trailers, just the PSA. I mean, it's a film from 1943 that, but for movie studio greed, would be in the public domain by now. Anyway, I could critique this film as having a flimsy plot and even at 90 minutes long feeling padded out with the obligatory 10 minute dream ballet, but this is a critique of so many musicals of the era. What's remarkable is that this ode to African-American talent was released in 1943. The shell story specifically calls attention to this as much of the film is flashback based on a magazine story being read by one of those involved to the neighborhood children. It is a work of cultural pride and the desire to pass that legacy on.

The music I could kind of give or take, even the title song, home to the aforementioned ballet, doesn't quite have the punch. But then there is the dance. Oh the dance. Here is where there is some splendor that assuredly pays off the investment of time.

For me, this is the greatest variety show ever created.  Every song is spot on, every dance number builds on the last, to an amazing crescendo with the Nicholas Brothers.   I don't know how many times I've watched that final scene with Cab Calloway and their gymnastics.  There are some dance scenes that might be physically more impressive, but few with as much excitement and joy.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2018, 02:10:56 AM »
Pina















There are situations, of course, that leave you utterly speechless. All you can do is hint at things. Words, too, can't do more than just evoke things. That's where dance comes in...

George Balanchine's ballet style is open, with an accent on speed and lines and Bob Fosse's jazz style is turned in, with an accent on sexy and shuffling. Both choreographers' work are distinct and easily recognizable. So, how do I describe Pina Bausch's modern style? The more I watch, the more I recognize and identify with what she is doing with her dancers and the words that I come up with are - elemental with an accent on struggle and psyche. But in dance, that which cannot be uttered is shown, so to try and pen the unutterable gets to be a bit of an impossibility and becomes a desire to ask, what do you see? How do you relate to this piece?

I wish to collaborate in the viewing experience to help me find the meaning, much like Pina's choice to bring her dancers into the creative process. Their participation deepens the individual tone as well as the communal, nay, the universal. We all hurt. We all love. We all get stuck. We all persevere. Watching the dance pieces is like looking into our own selves, for even if the message is opaque, the emotions are our own and we are able to access parts of us that without the prompting of the dance, may miss being explored. And isn't that what art is all about?

 

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