Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Sandy  (Read 6007 times)

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 11393
  • You're not alone No matter what or who you've been
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2018, 09:00:20 PM »
Everything would also be solved in 10 minutes if Yentl would just fully embrace the teachings of the religion she so loves and just accepts her place in society and the restrictions her religion places on her. Not as modern or progressive a solution, but equally effective and more true to life. Also equally absurd in that the difference between these and "if everyone had a cellphone" is that the latter would not, in the vast majority of cases, change who the characters are or what they value, it solves artificial external roadblocks, not internal character driven ones. The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires, and the varied attempts at reconciling the two. Saying she should just change her beliefs (or her desires) isn't a plot solution, it's a fundamental alteration of the character.

It was reading this that made me decide to share my own story. Without the experience of being fully immersed in a region, it is tricky to understanding what it's like to have a religion be as wholly a part of a person, as is the need to breathe. It's an alien concept to so many.

What you wrote, "The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires" is the exact reason it is in my top 100. That conflict is what life was made of, for me.

Quote
One of my biggest annoyances with a lot of romantic comedies is "this would all be solved much more quickly if they communicated with one another like reasonable adults." A fair complaint in most cases where the film is about romance and the lack of communication is an artificial drama bomb used to extend the plot. It wouldn't be a fair complaint in a film that actually addresses their inability to communicate as a human issue rather than happenstance.

These make for the best romance/dramas. Real stakes. Real barriers.

PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?


Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 11393
  • You're not alone No matter what or who you've been
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2018, 09:07:52 PM »
My longish review, but I post it to show where I was and where I am. Maybe I'll watch it in another twenty years and write about where I am then. :)


Yentl



I haven't learned a thing. I might as well be sixteen years old again, seeing this for the first time. The whole of life is contained in the story and songs; all for the taking. And I thought I did take it. I listened to the album uncountable times, pondering on the lyrics, the lessons. But, here I am again, pondering the same words, wondering why I'm still such a neophyte. I had them practically memorized, so why are they hitting me so hard now, like lightning strikes of awareness? I have to figure this out...


What's right or wrong, where I belong
Within the scheme of things


As a teenager I sang along to these words, wanting to really know and here I am a grown woman, still asking the same questions. And these as well:

And why have eyes that see and arms that reach
Unless you're meant to know there's something more
If not to hunger for the meaning of it all
Then tell me what a soul is for?


I know these are big questions, but I've been on the planet for a good amount of time now. It's aggravating not knowing if I'm making any headway with them.


Hmmm, these next words give me comfort, for time has given me more moments, gifts to know that I'm not where I was, because I am acquiring experiences.

I will always remember this chair, that window
The way the light streams in
The clothes I'm wearing, the words I'm hearing
The faces I'm seeing, the feeling I'm feeling
The smell, the sound, will be written on my mind
Will be written in my heart as long as I live



I believed in these next ones tenuously, for sixteen is an uncertain age by right, and so they became a pale promise.

I've wanted the shadows, I don't anymore
No matter what happens, I won't anymore
I've run from the sunlight, afraid it saw too much
The moon had the one light

I bathed in, I walked in, I held in my feelings
And closed every door
No matter what happens
I can't anymore


But, not having conviction behind that promise, I lost them for a while and as I hear them again tonight, I mourn that loss. I'm not afraid anymore, like I was then, so when the next part comes, my promise now is much bolder:

For too many mornings, the curtains were drawn
It's time they were opened to welcome the dawn
A voice deep inside is getting stronger
I can't keep it quiet any longer
No matter what happens
It can't be the same anymore
I promise it won't be the same, anymore


Whew, there is hope for me yet!! :)


Oh, this next one hits especially hard. And, it's difficult to explain. Suffice it to say, I'm trying to learn that I too get to say, "So am I."

She's mother, she's sister,
She's lover.
She's the wonder of wonders
No man can deny.
So why would he change her?
She's loving-she's tender-
She's woman-

...So am I.



The last song, I could quote all the words, really. It's so full of wonder. I think I posted it somewhere before, but if you don't mind a little spoileriness, it's well worth a listen.



So why am I still such a beginner? The answer is in the song.

The more I live, the more I learn
The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.


Or as the Rabbi said, "It's by their questions that we choose our students, not only by their answers." I guess, I'm a life long student!

This has been a very useful exercise. If you've read along, you have a lot of patience for my need to process. Thank you. :)

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2131
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2018, 09:59:11 PM »
PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 21032
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2018, 10:05:14 PM »
To speak to PA's response, I certainly acknowledge the distinction between my variants and the cell phone thing. Those are not meant so much as critiques of the film so much as a tool for analysis. The film my guidelines would produce would be absurd and undramatic. Even in a modern, progressive setting, a story where a character abandons their religion so as not to be bound by rules they feel are unjust and solves a romantic dilemma by choosing "all of the above" would lack dramatic tension. At best it would work as a 10-15 minute short specifically made to point out how quick things end when all the traditional points of conflict are avoided.

When we speak of Yentl's beliefs being in conflict with her desires...it isn't so much that she feels shame or sinful for wanting to study. She seems to have clarity in her mind that the institution is wrong. There isn't a lot of avenues for her to fight it. Though it isn't set as the purpose, going undercover to study and both argue from this acquired privilege of the injustice of the situation, and to ultimately prove their perception of women as perhaps incapable wrong when she is revealed, would be a fairly strong option.

Sandy, I thank you for sharing your experience and it does match up with Yentl's to a fair degree. The religious institution is totalitarian in the sense it is integrated into every facet of her community. I'm not even sure what escape would mean for Yentl. I guess it is the choice she ultimately makes. Compare that to my own religious upbringing where the church community was a niche, a place and a group of people that occupied a few hours on Sunday but was essentially non-existant in the rest of my life. That makes it extremely easy to walk away, and for more innocuous reasons than we see here or in Gett.

P.S. I feel like the Before Sunrise trilogy would be prime example of non-contrived romance.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 11393
  • You're not alone No matter what or who you've been
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #84 on: September 06, 2018, 03:20:52 PM »
PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I've been looking over your top 100 list and am struck by what you say, "stories where the frustrations are the core of the film." This idea is well represented in Eternal Sunshine and Silver Linings Playbook. Both films could easily fit into my own top 100. Next time around, I'd like to ask for your suggestions on what to watch from your list. Relationships are infinitely fascinating to me and complicated, flawed people make for the best stories. I've seen each of the films you mention above, so we can go from there. :)

Quote
I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.

This feels like a really nice compliment, so I'm going to take it. :) I do like a good dose of realness to balance out the contrivances!

You also wrote, "I also prefer character driven films" and that resonates with me as well. I find that fortitude is a theme running through my favorite relationship/character driven films. I like the idea of overcoming. Can't wait to discover more of your favorites!

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 11393
  • You're not alone No matter what or who you've been
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #85 on: September 06, 2018, 03:40:01 PM »
To speak to PA's response, I certainly acknowledge the distinction between my variants and the cell phone thing. Those are not meant so much as critiques of the film so much as a tool for analysis. The film my guidelines would produce would be absurd and undramatic. Even in a modern, progressive setting, a story where a character abandons their religion so as not to be bound by rules they feel are unjust and solves a romantic dilemma by choosing "all of the above" would lack dramatic tension. At best it would work as a 10-15 minute short specifically made to point out how quick things end when all the traditional points of conflict are avoided.

:)

This reminds me of one of my kids' favorite things.



Quote
When we speak of Yentl's beliefs being in conflict with her desires...it isn't so much that she feels shame or sinful for wanting to study. She seems to have clarity in her mind that the institution is wrong. There isn't a lot of avenues for her to fight it. Though it isn't set as the purpose, going undercover to study and both argue from this acquired privilege of the injustice of the situation, and to ultimately prove their perception of women as perhaps incapable wrong when she is revealed, would be a fairly strong option.

This is where Streisand brings her modern sensibilities to play. We all wish we could rewrite our own history with the knowledge and perspective we have now. Yentl is a wish fulfillment, for women who can't rewrite their past oppression, or the oppression of their progenitors. 

Quote
Sandy, I thank you for sharing your experience and it does match up with Yentl's to a fair degree. The religious institution is totalitarian in the sense it is integrated into every facet of her community. I'm not even sure what escape would mean for Yentl. I guess it is the choice she ultimately makes.

She will still find great barriers in the new world, but they will be less immovable than where she was.

Quote
Compare that to my own religious upbringing where the church community was a niche, a place and a group of people that occupied a few hours on Sunday but was essentially non-existant in the rest of my life. That makes it extremely easy to walk away, and for more innocuous reasons than we see here or in Gett.

Oh! I forgot about Gett. I try and not dwell on the film too much. It's a difficult pill to swallow.

I appreciate a religion that allows a person to pick and choose for him/herself. Teaching good ethics and principles is a completely different thing, than expecting their congregation's complete compliance.

Quote
P.S. I feel like the Before Sunrise trilogy would be prime example of non-contrived romance.

Great example!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 03:41:54 PM by Sandy »

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 18531
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #86 on: February 01, 2019, 11:17:16 PM »
February 2019 is Sandy's turn!  Look at her list and make some selections!
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2131
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #87 on: February 01, 2019, 11:48:30 PM »
Unseen:
    Jane Eyre 2011
    Persuasion 2007
    The Wiz 1978
    Sarah, Plain and Tall 1991
    Jane Eyre 1996
    Matilda 1996
    The Joy Luck Club 1993
    Hamlet 1996
    Taps 1981
    Summer Stock 1950

I don't know what I'll watch, but I'm always excited by Sandy's month. Even if the films aren't going to be favourites the fact that they're so different from what I'd otherwise watch makes them intriguing experiences. And they always have something to hook me.

PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I've been looking over your top 100 list and am struck by what you say, "stories where the frustrations are the core of the film." This idea is well represented in Eternal Sunshine and Silver Linings Playbook. Both films could easily fit into my own top 100. Next time around, I'd like to ask for your suggestions on what to watch from your list. Relationships are infinitely fascinating to me and complicated, flawed people make for the best stories. I've seen each of the films you mention above, so we can go from there. :)

Quote
I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.

This feels like a really nice compliment, so I'm going to take it. :) I do like a good dose of realness to balance out the contrivances!

You also wrote, "I also prefer character driven films" and that resonates with me as well. I find that fortitude is a theme running through my favorite relationship/character driven films. I like the idea of overcoming. Can't wait to discover more of your favorites!
I missed this post before, but I just want to acknowledge it now. I don't recall what you haven't seen from my list but when we get there that would be a nice exploration. And yes, it was a compliment. I feel like we share an approach to the humanity of characters in film (and probably people in general), so even though our interests and lived experiences are rather far apart I always have an entry way into the films on your list.

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 31994
  • Marathon Man
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #88 on: February 02, 2019, 12:41:13 AM »
I completed Sandy's list on the last round. I filtered Sandy's films based on Rating, eliminating the titles I haven't seen and the top pick is The Desert Bride (2017). I can look for that or if there's a special request?
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 21032
Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #89 on: February 02, 2019, 05:26:56 AM »
Going off the Letterboxd list I have the following options:
Support Your Local Sheriff
The Poseidon Adventure
Ball of Fire
Shadowlands
Yours, Mine and Ours (68)
Great Expectations (46)
Summer Stock

Based on library availability I'm going with Ball of Fire and Shadowlands.