Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Junior  (Read 3944 times)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #90 on: February 16, 2018, 01:26:57 PM »
:) They are!

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #91 on: February 20, 2018, 10:01:33 AM »
Better late than never, right ?

El laberinto del fauno / Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)



One of those films where I can see the greatness, and I can see who one would absolutely love it, but I'm stuck at mere appreciation. The films feels too short for me, or too busy for its length anyway... by having the real world take as much room as the fantasy narrative, it kinda stops Ofelia from being a protagonist we care about as much as Alice or Chihiro: she never really gets to have a personality. She's generically adventurous, but when she stops to eat those grapes, it feels like it's because she has to because that scene would be pointless without it, not something she does because that's who she is. She's a bit frustrating as a result, too much of a blank slate for the tragic nature of the story to hit as hard as it should.

Still, the dual narratives do complement each other rather well, with the parallels being present but not underlined too much before the end... it's also a very good-looking film overall, though the effects are hit and miss. The Doug Jones characters are both great, but the CGI has not aged all that well. I guess I don't have all that much more to say about it: it's an obviously well-crafter film that I enjoyed but didn't love.

7/10
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #92 on: February 25, 2018, 12:22:12 AM »
Not too late at all, I think.

The Long Day Closes

I realize, after watching this Terrance Davies masterpiece, that my early childhood memories all revolve around music.

Watching the opening of the first episode of the Electric Company, "We're gunna turn it on..."

Listening to my father boldly (and out of tune) sing his favorites from 60's musicals, especially "Ooooklahoma where the wind blows free..."

Driving down a long stretch of road while the violins screech and then suddenly stop and Neil Diamond rocks, "I got a song that's on my mind..."

My mother taking me to a neighbor's house, she sits me in a chair, places huge cushioned headphones on my head and I am introduced to Jesus Christ Superstar.

My family sits in our living room in the dark while we listen to Black Water by the Doobie Brothers for the first time and my brother and I have to get up and dance.

Some say that smells trigger memory more than anything else, but for me, and perhaps for Terrance Davies, it is music. In his loose autobiography, music fills almost every scene, whether in the background, the foreground or just a character singing. unprofessionally, but wonderfully.  Folk songs, church music, classical music, musicals, Davies childhood is all about the joy of singing.  While I wouldn't call the movie a musical, the music so fills the air of the film it is difficult to call it anything else.

But the word I would describe is autobiography. For while music is a constant, it is his early love affair with movies and with the male form that he finds the most obvious joys in, even while bullies and abuse make up the counterpoint.  There is no central plot, no narrative arc, exactly, just a number of scenes that seem to fit, joined together.  A beautiful collage of a young life, better, in my mind, that the much more cohesive 400 Blows.

4/5


As a postscript, I did try to watch Girl Walk//All Day, but after watching a few segments, it was just dull to me.  I get the joy, I get the passion, I just didn't feel it, so I gave up.
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Junior

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #93 on: February 26, 2018, 11:18:41 AM »
Better late than never, right ?

El laberinto del fauno / Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)



One of those films where I can see the greatness, and I can see who one would absolutely love it, but I'm stuck at mere appreciation. The films feels too short for me, or too busy for its length anyway... by having the real world take as much room as the fantasy narrative, it kinda stops Ofelia from being a protagonist we care about as much as Alice or Chihiro: she never really gets to have a personality. She's generically adventurous, but when she stops to eat those grapes, it feels like it's because she has to because that scene would be pointless without it, not something she does because that's who she is. She's a bit frustrating as a result, too much of a blank slate for the tragic nature of the story to hit as hard as it should.

Still, the dual narratives do complement each other rather well, with the parallels being present but not underlined too much before the end... it's also a very good-looking film overall, though the effects are hit and miss. The Doug Jones characters are both great, but the CGI has not aged all that well. I guess I don't have all that much more to say about it: it's an obviously well-crafter film that I enjoyed but didn't love.

7/10

I agree that the CGI has gotten a little outdated. I think the bugs/faeries are still pretty ok, but the frog and the blood at the end looks a little crappy now. I do have one nit to pick with your statement about Ofelia eating the grapes because she was supposed to. In the previous scene she was sent to bed without dinner. It follows that she'd be hungry by the middle of the night, then. It works for me. Glad you appreciated it, even if you don't love it as I did.

Not too late at all, I think.

The Long Day Closes

I realize, after watching this Terrance Davies masterpiece, that my early childhood memories all revolve around music.

Watching the opening of the first episode of the Electric Company, "We're gunna turn it on..."

Listening to my father boldly (and out of tune) sing his favorites from 60's musicals, especially "Ooooklahoma where the wind blows free..."

Driving down a long stretch of road while the violins screech and then suddenly stop and Neil Diamond rocks, "I got a song that's on my mind..."

My mother taking me to a neighbor's house, she sits me in a chair, places huge cushioned headphones on my head and I am introduced to Jesus Christ Superstar.

My family sits in our living room in the dark while we listen to Black Water by the Doobie Brothers for the first time and my brother and I have to get up and dance.

Some say that smells trigger memory more than anything else, but for me, and perhaps for Terrance Davies, it is music. In his loose autobiography, music fills almost every scene, whether in the background, the foreground or just a character singing. unprofessionally, but wonderfully.  Folk songs, church music, classical music, musicals, Davies childhood is all about the joy of singing.  While I wouldn't call the movie a musical, the music so fills the air of the film it is difficult to call it anything else.

But the word I would describe is autobiography. For while music is a constant, it is his early love affair with movies and with the male form that he finds the most obvious joys in, even while bullies and abuse make up the counterpoint.  There is no central plot, no narrative arc, exactly, just a number of scenes that seem to fit, joined together.  A beautiful collage of a young life, better, in my mind, that the much more cohesive 400 Blows.

4/5


As a postscript, I did try to watch Girl Walk//All Day, but after watching a few segments, it was just dull to me.  I get the joy, I get the passion, I just didn't feel it, so I gave up.

I love this review. It's similar to something that happened with me after seeing this movie: it really cemented for me the power musical sequences have even in non-musical movies (though you rightly point out that this could very easily be called a musical). It think it was shortly after seeing this that I began watching musicals more. It's a really wonderful movie about music. It is also, as you say, a great movie about Davies' childhood. I didn't look at the male form as he did in his youth, but I do now. It was also a thing I realized shortly after seeing this movie, which is why it hasn't vacated a high spot on my list since I saw it. It took a few years to really understand what I was thinking about in these regards, but I think a large part of my burgeoning identification with the film was that I, too, was a watcher (of movies, of my family, of my peers, of the natural world (that notorious carpet shot)), and when he watched the bricklayer I too saw him. Was there really any reason why I wouldn't also appreciate that body? No. Not for me. Add that to a few other factors and we have the beginnings of things.

Anyways, I'm glad you liked it. It's a marvelous movie.
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pixote

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2018, 04:36:58 PM »


The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover  (Peter Greenaway, 1989)

If you're ever doing a cinematic jigsaw puzzle and having trouble connecting Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom to The Grand Budapest Hotel, Greenaway's 1989 film is the piece you're missing.

Salò seems like such as an obvious reference point for The Cook, the Thief... that I'm surprised none of the many reviews I browsed through mentioned the connection. By opening his film with the image of a man being forced to eat shit — a gauntlet throw reminiscent of Bunuel's famous eye-slicing — Greenaway takes the culmination of Pasolini's disturbing imagery as his starting point, a warning shot to the audience that the ante is about to be upped as we descend into a Dantean hell. Perhaps the horrors of Musolini's Italy are child's play compared to those of Thatcher's England.

There is nothing I find more hellish than parental tech support. A close second, however, is listening to the ceaseless bluster of an ignorant bully. It's the reason I don't watch Trump's press conferences (well, one reason) and a primary barrier to my engagement here. Michael Gambon gives a fine performance as Albert Spica, but five minutes in I was just begging him to stfu. That is part of the point, I suppose, but I found no enlightenment in it; just stress.

I was less impressed with Helen Mirren. She looks the part, wearing Jean-Paul Gaultier's amazing costumes well, but she struck me as an actress who was never sure what her director wanted from her — especially in her scenes with Alan Howard. Granted, she's not playing a character so much as an allegorical conceit, and hers is the murkiest of the four principals, and thus the most challenging.

I put some effort into teasing out a Biblical inversion from the film, with the red of the restaurant's seating area conjuring up hell, the kitchen (with its angelic boy soprano) acting as a purgatory, and the whiteness of the bathroom creating a haven/heaven — but one still within the devil's reach. Adam and Eve don't hide their nakedness but embrace it, and this leads them to the refuge of the book repository — where the tree of knowledge thrives in hard-cover form and acts not as a temptation but as a weapon — but one they don't take advantage of. It's not enough to read about the French Revolution; you have to learn from it and then act accordingly. Instead, there's a cowardly selfishness to their hiding there alone that ultimately proves fatal, and it's only through collective action that the devil can be ousted and heaven reclaimed.

Or something. It makes for a fun game, but the kind of game in which I find limited enjoyment. More gratifying is the visual choreography on display — those costumes, the mise-en-scene, the cinematography — and Michael Nyman's fantastic score. I admire the film for these qualities, and Greenaway's usual keen sense of construction, but I can't quite say it's a film I liked. Regardless, I'll never look at Dumbledore the same way again.

pixote
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 04:38:30 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Top 100 Club: Junior
« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2018, 01:53:23 PM »
Lol, it really does kinda ruin later Dumbledore, doesn't it?

I think I get more pleasure out of the "figure out the allegory" game than you do, so that's where the majority of my appreciation comes from. I think Mirren gives a pretty wonderful performance, but you're right about how shifty it is, and so maybe it's just good in the moment and not in the aggregate.

I'm also a sucker for those sets and costumes. You could almost do this as a silent movie and get away with it (maybe it'd be even better! no yelling buffoons, or at least none that you could hear).

I might have made that connection to Salo if I had ever seen it. Maybe knowing that there's nothing in it worse than the opening of this will give me the impetus to give it a shot. It definitely feels like Wes Anderson's gritty older brother, though. Those flat compositions are very much my thing.

Thanks for giving it a shot!
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