Author Topic: Top 100: oldkid  (Read 31994 times)

1SO

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2019, 09:43:15 AM »
Journey to the West
I donít think cinema will ever have enough Denis Lavant. I had no idea he was in this and he compliments and contrasts the Monk who is always looking down where the camera can only see him as a figure and never as an individual. Lavant and his personality-filled face opens things up with an uncomfortable close-up that goes on for a really long time. Lavant does an amazing job of not staring blankly for all this time. Thereís clearly something going on behind the eyes even though we can only guess what it is. There is both too much and not enough of him.

Same could be said for this film, which is painfully slow as a movie, but pretty fascinating as a work of art. Perhaps only one notch more exciting than Andy Warholís Empire, thereís a sustained tension to everything happening around the barely moving monk. Itís like the opening shot of Roma of that famous fish head scene in Leviathan. Usually, thereís the initial search for the monk in each new composition, but sometimes itís the exciting possibility that Lavant might return.

Like Lavant, this film goes on forever but is also too short. Thereís a deadpan joy to Ming-liangís experiment, and Iím disappointed there are so few images. (Just as fun as searching for the monk is wondering how long a shot will go for.) I feel stupid saying this, but I didnít like the last shot. Itís too clever and the monkís appearance is like a joke that falls flat.

I wonder if, this being an oldkid selection, thereís an extra spiritual component I didnít settle into? I could see this film being used to relax people and open their minds for some thoughts about not going so fast through life, but I resisted experiencing the film that way because I thought it might make me impatient and/or sleepy.

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2019, 01:08:22 PM »
There are seven segments of the Walker series and I've seen five of them.  They belong to a set of films that I consider to be primarily meditative, to allow my imagination and thought to explore areas never considered.  It is slow in order to give time for meditation, but that isn't really different from Into Great Silence, Alamar or other slow cinema on my list.  Rather than keeping our mind busy, slow cinema allows for the expansion of the mind.  Instead of spoon feeding us the thoughts we should have, slow cinema gives us time to consider and grow who we already are.  It is not exciting, and, in fact, it can seem boring.  I can see the impulse of sleepiness.  But these films also provide an opportunity for us to linger in our own thoughts, something that is missing in our smart-phone, over-media-ed world.  Slow cinema is one way of stepping out of the urban frenzy most of us live in.

Slow cinema gives space without plot.  Which is why the most recent segment of the Walker series, "No No Sleep" was disappointing to me.  It had too much plot to be truly meditative.  I found myself analyzing the film, trying to put the pieces together instead of allowing it to direct me through my own thoughts.  But perhaps, 1SO, it would be better for you.

Journey to the West has many of the same elements of the other Walker films-- the self-referential terribly slow moving monk through people living in a busy metropolis.  But the monk is simply one aspect of a larger world in Journey, not the center of attention.  As the series goes on, the Walker himself is seen from a more distant lens, and there is more going on around him.  I love the one called "Walker", which focuses on him, and this one the best, especially as a contrast.  I put Journey on my list as a representative of the whole series.

I doubt there will be another one made. Lee Kang-Sheng says that the role is too punishing on his body.  But he and Tsai have made a remarkable world and spirituality to explore in their seven films.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2019, 01:20:04 PM »
The seven films in the Walker Series are:

Sleepwalk (2012)
Diamond Sutra (2012)
No Form (2012)
Walker (2012)
Walking on Water (2013)
Journey to the West (2014)
No No Sleep (2015)


Walker, Journey to the West and No No Sleep are available on YouTube.
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1SO

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2019, 01:39:47 PM »
I remember reading about these as Martin was writing about them and I'd seen one before. I don't know which, but it has a moment where I think the camera gets on a train and zooms away.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #84 on: January 05, 2019, 03:11:49 PM »
Lucky Number Slevin

I popped this on after looking through you list. I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to watch something new that night and seeing it on your list was a good excuse to revisit something light and fun.

It's as I remember it. Or rather, the best parts of it are the parts I remembered. Primarily anything with Lucy Lu and Josh Hartnett together.

"I think I picked up a pigtail."
"A what?"
"The cops."
"Oh, pig tail. Cute."

If the film looses anything on a repeat viewing it's probably because it really draws out the reveal. I mean it spends the last quarter of the film pulling back the layers. Satisfying if you don't already know how the pieces fit together, but I was feeling a bit like "okay, wrap it up". :)

This film, for me, falls into the same sort of small niche as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Gross Pointe Blank or Get Shorty.

I'll be watching something else more in depth. This was just for fun.:)

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #85 on: January 05, 2019, 05:20:20 PM »
There are seven segments of the Walker series and I've seen five of them.

I've only seen Walker, Journey to the West, and No No Sleep. How did you see the others?

JTTW is my favorite of the ones I've seen. It could easily have a spot in my top 250 (if I wasn't so uptight about including shorts).

I remember reading about these as Martin was writing about them and I'd seen one before. I don't know which, but it has a moment where I think the camera gets on a train and zooms away.

that's No No Sleep

jdc

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #86 on: January 06, 2019, 11:19:39 PM »
Sorry to Bother You

I had heard little about this before I watched it but something about it had put it on my radar of films to check out. What I knew was that it was about a black telemarketer (Casssius Green) that is advised not to use his normal voice but to use his "white voice" when speaking to potential customers on the phone. Going into this, I thought it was really a satire around race.  But then something different started to happen.

Cassius is working for a typical stereotypical evil corporation that only really cares about the bottom line. His friends and colleagues start organizing a union to demand fair pay and treatment at the same time when Cassius' career starts to take off after his change to his "white voice".  What I really thought was going to be about race soon turned into a slap to capitalism and corporations in a heavy handed way. 

Cassius gets caught between standing and supporting his friends, coworkers and his GF or moving up the corporate ladder in which case he can buy nicer things as well as help his family keep their house. While most of the film seems like propaganda in a way, questions and struggles between the individual and groupthink present some interesting ideas. It all depends on how ethical of a choice the individual is making given the company he works for.

Just when I thought I knew where this was going, it takes a very odd turn and almost changes to a completely different film. While it may even make the messaging more heavy-handed as it removes any of the interesting questions that I was thinking about previously, the nightmarish turn likely saves the film for me. Though I don't think there really is any way to discuss what is going on by this point without moving it to spoilers.

I came out on the positive side of enjoying this by the end, maybe just due to how odd it is.

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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #87 on: January 07, 2019, 10:00:45 AM »
Haven't Seen:

Red Beard
Malcolm X
Gosford Park
Journey to the West
The Dead
The Apostle
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring
Vera Drake
Together
A Page of Madness
The Selfish Giant
Les Miserables (1934)
Stormy Weather
Hunger
Kung Fu Hustle
Wendy and Lucy
I'm Not There
For All Mankind
After the Wedding
Validation
Hellzapoppin'
3-Iron
Vagabond
Lucky Number Sleven
Wit
Stage Door
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #88 on: January 08, 2019, 06:33:45 PM »
Lucky Number Slevin

I'll be watching something else more in depth. This was just for fun.:)

And it IS fun!  Just a blast of a good time.  Perhaps it made my list because I was so shocked at just how much fun I had with this film.  I think I might watch it again tonight and get back to you about my current impressions. 
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #89 on: January 08, 2019, 06:37:09 PM »
There are seven segments of the Walker series and I've seen five of them.

I've only seen Walker, Journey to the West, and No No Sleep. How did you see the others?

JTTW is my favorite of the ones I've seen. It could easily have a spot in my top 250 (if I wasn't so uptight about including shorts).

Iíve been thinking about your question for days and I canít remember.  Perhaps I did a search for two of the films at just the right time (e.g. on YouTube before it was taken down)?  Perhaps I saw them as an extra on a Tsai feature I watched?  I just donít know.

Sure they are all shorts, but JTTW is pretty long for a short.  Take the jump.  Itís worth it if more people watch it.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky