Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 2326 times)

MartinTeller

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Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« on: May 03, 2018, 12:29:50 AM »
Hi folks! I've got a newborn baby in the house, which takes up a lot of time... but I do have occasional chunks of free time, so I hope to be able to fully engage with everyone's reviews.

My top 100: https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/top-100-2/
My 101-250: https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/my-top-101-250/
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/martinteller/list/martin-tellers-top-250/
iCheckMovies: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/martin+tellers+top+250/fitfortdanga/



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Junior

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 07:40:06 AM »
Heck of a lot of good choices there. The highest one that I open but haven't seen is A Woman Under the Influence, so that's a definite possibility. Might also go with a musical. I love all of the movies on here that I've seen, so I've got high hopes for whatever I end up watching.
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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 08:25:27 AM »
Any other month I probably would've watched my top Shame, which is also on your list, Funeral Parade of Roses. However, this is a month for Music and I have Carmen (1983) on my Watchlist.
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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 10:24:44 AM »
I haven't decided on the third one, but I'll definitely be watching,

Hairspray
Imitation of Life

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 07:52:44 AM »
Going through your ICM list. Possibilities (i.e. I have access to them) for this month are:

Double Indemnity

The Apartment
Psycho
The Young Girls of Rochefort

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 06:26:53 AM »
I think I'll be targeting Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and The Heiress. Not sure where to find Funeral Parade of Roses or I'd watch that.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 12:51:34 PM »
Hairspray

I avoided John Waters movies.  I heard about the story of Divine eating dog feces in Pink Flamingos and decided that he had gross comedy, which I don't care for.  But Martin has a couple music-oriented films on his list and so I thought I'd focus on those movies I hadn't seen.  Okay, I'll give Hairspray a chance.

O
M
G

How did I not see this film before?  Why did I not watch it in the 80s when it came out?

It's been a while since I had such a good time watching a new film.  It is so lighthearted and fresh and uplifting.  I laughed.  I tapped my foot at the music.  And I had a silly grin throughout the length of the film.  I am not sure how he did it, but he took a film about racism and fat-shaming and turned it into a guilt-free romp.

In a sense, it is Grease turned upside down.  The opening song is about what you put in your hair for fashion, and there is a dance competition at the center of the plot.  But while the end of Grease is the victory of sexy fashion, Hairspray rebels against mainstream fashion, encouraging young people to fight against the common sensibilities of fashion and morality.  And it is much funnier than Grease.

The script is full of silly statements and though the readings are stilted and shallow, it is perfect for the tone of the film. We are supposed to laugh at everyone, and with everyone.  Everyone is projecting their performance, inviting us into the fun of it all.  We aren't supposed to delve into the depth of these characters, but to enjoy the fun with the actors.  Even so, I am ready to watch Rikki Lake and Divine in whatever they do.  I want to have more of this.

4.5/5
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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2018, 11:53:44 PM »
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

Martin put filmmaker Carlos Saura on my radar and it's been a long-standing want that I would Marathon his work someday. (One of the biggest reasons for my current Directors Marathon, though sadly Saura is in the 400s.) The dancing here is at a level of precision so high, I can't really tell the great dancing from the superb dancing. When fresh-faced Laura del Sol is cast in the lead role and there's some friction with the experienced dance teacher, the on-screen director tells the teacher, "You're the best dancer, but you're not Carmen." I can't tell much difference between the two, but that's okay. I appreciate that the dancing isn't dumbed down so that it's obvious that del Sol is being unemotional with her movement.

The dancing is all great, but there are three standout sequences. The “tobacco factory” is the musical highlight because of the percussive beats which raise the pulse up to the sudden climax. There's a footwork rehearsal that demonstrates Saura's camera technique, filmed mostly with just the legs all hitting the floorboards in perfect union. (As amazing a shot as a well-executed Jackie Chan stunt.) My other favorite is a fight between two men that uses shadows and distances from the camera so that it isn't just about the movement, but the drama of seeing who dominates the frame as they move about each other.

And if that's not enough, there's the behind-the-scenes drama, which blends the story of Carmen into the lives of the people performing. This isn't done in an obvious or 4th wall breaking way, but my one complaint about the film may be that I liked watching how Saura poured the two narratives - the musical Carmen and the real life events - into one bottle than the drama itself, which is as old as Greek Tragedy. Of course, we're talking about a story that's over 100 years old, but the predictability of the beats was only undercut by the way Saura fused things together.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 02:18:55 AM »
Hairspray

I avoided John Waters movies.  I heard about the story of Divine eating dog feces in Pink Flamingos and decided that he had gross comedy, which I don't care for.  But Martin has a couple music-oriented films on his list and so I thought I'd focus on those movies I hadn't seen.  Okay, I'll give Hairspray a chance.

O
M
G

How did I not see this film before?  Why did I not watch it in the 80s when it came out?

It's been a while since I had such a good time watching a new film.  It is so lighthearted and fresh and uplifting.  I laughed.  I tapped my foot at the music.  And I had a silly grin throughout the length of the film.  I am not sure how he did it, but he took a film about racism and fat-shaming and turned it into a guilt-free romp.

In a sense, it is Grease turned upside down.  The opening song is about what you put in your hair for fashion, and there is a dance competition at the center of the plot.  But while the end of Grease is the victory of sexy fashion, Hairspray rebels against mainstream fashion, encouraging young people to fight against the common sensibilities of fashion and morality.  And it is much funnier than Grease.

The script is full of silly statements and though the readings are stilted and shallow, it is perfect for the tone of the film. We are supposed to laugh at everyone, and with everyone.  Everyone is projecting their performance, inviting us into the fun of it all.  We aren't supposed to delve into the depth of these characters, but to enjoy the fun with the actors.  Even so, I am ready to watch Rikki Lake and Divine in whatever they do.  I want to have more of this.

4.5/5

Just rewatched this one recently, actually... we showed it to our teenage houseguest. She loved it. It's such a joyous and spirited film, all heart and laughs. So many laugh-out-loud lines (my personal favorite: "She's just a child!", which doesn't look like anything when you type it out, but Divine's delivery is amazing). It's Waters at his warmest.

I don't have much Ricki Lake to recommend. She has a minor role in Serial Mom which you may also enjoy. I don't much care for Cry-Baby, and Mrs. Winterbourne is pretty bad. As for Divine, as much as I love her, I'm afraid the only other one I would back is Female Trouble, which is a much trashier film (don't watch with the kids), but is peak Divine.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 02:23:25 AM »
Carmen (1983)
★ ★ ★ – Good

Martin put filmmaker Carlos Saura on my radar and it's been a long-standing want that I would Marathon his work someday. (One of the biggest reasons for my current Directors Marathon, though sadly Saura is in the 400s.) The dancing here is at a level of precision so high, I can't really tell the great dancing from the superb dancing. When fresh-faced Laura del Sol is cast in the lead role and there's some friction with the experienced dance teacher, the on-screen director tells the teacher, "You're the best dancer, but you're not Carmen." I can't tell much difference between the two, but that's okay. I appreciate that the dancing isn't dumbed down so that it's obvious that del Sol is being unemotional with her movement.

The dancing is all great, but there are three standout sequences. The “tobacco factory” is the musical highlight because of the percussive beats which raise the pulse up to the sudden climax. There's a footwork rehearsal that demonstrates Saura's camera technique, filmed mostly with just the legs all hitting the floorboards in perfect union. (As amazing a shot as a well-executed Jackie Chan stunt.) My other favorite is a fight between two men that uses shadows and distances from the camera so that it isn't just about the movement, but the drama of seeing who dominates the frame as they move about each other.

And if that's not enough, there's the behind-the-scenes drama, which blends the story of Carmen into the lives of the people performing. This isn't done in an obvious or 4th wall breaking way, but my one complaint about the film may be that I liked watching how Saura poured the two narratives - the musical Carmen and the real life events - into one bottle than the drama itself, which is as old as Greek Tragedy. Of course, we're talking about a story that's over 100 years old, but the predictability of the beats was only undercut by the way Saura fused things together.

I'm afraid I've only seen this one time, and it was seven years ago. I must have loved it enough to put it in my top 250, but I sure don't remember much. In my mini review, I also held up the tobacco factory scene as a highlight. Unfortunately I just don't remember enough to comment much on your review. I'm glad you liked it, though! I'll have to prioritize a rewatch soon.
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