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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 4264 times)

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 08:21:49 PM »
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2018, 09:18:11 PM »
I watched Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , liked it, but haven't written about it yet, mostly because I don't have a lot to say. Should fit The Heiress in as well.

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 12:07:43 AM »
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?

This one. Having not seen mother!, I'm not sure how to address the comparison. I would say the game is much more about CINECAST!ing with each other than their guests. The guests are mere pawns.

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2018, 06:17:31 PM »
somehow I think separating the threads has maybe reduced attention to the Top 100 or maybe things are just slower than normal at the moment. I haven't looked in as much as normal for the last month myself just due to being very busy.

This is a bit of a cheat as I just recently watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf before it was actually your month but I didn't write about it here. I convinced a friend to watch mother! recently in an email exchange. He watched with his wife and both hated it. In his reply to me, he suggested that I watch this film, which is one of his favorite, he even performed one of the roles in a staged version of it.

But I didn't really see it similar to mother! in which we are dealing with uninvited guests. At first, I thought that was a bit what Woolf was going to be like, perhaps something like Carnage.  But as it went on it seemed more that they are just playing some evil game to CINECAST! with their guests.

At least if I got that right, which is what I am hoping as it is my preferred ending and way to see what was going on. Do you have a review up?

This one. Having not seen mother!, I'm not sure how to address the comparison. I would say the game is much more about CINECAST!ing with each other than their guests. The guests are mere pawns.

I thought it took even a different turn but I am likely wrong. But I am going to give it another watch likely in the next year
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2018, 12:14:37 AM »
There is a comparison between Woolfe and mother!, just in that there is a conflict between a couple and others are involved in that conflict.  I can't really see the comparison otherwise, apart from they are both on my top list.

Woolfe is an actor's showcase for the couple and Taylor and Burton make the most of it, we are feeling each and every bump and turn.

mother! is a thematic masterpiece, where three or more stories seem to be going on simultaneously, weaving from one to the other to the next, all unified, all unique.

I guess the other similarity I see is that they are both intense and tough to say that we would agree to sit down and watch them again.  Although I'm far more ready to watch mother! than Woolfe.
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2018, 01:20:09 PM »
Viridiana (Luis Bunuel, 1961)

Feels right that this is the film Bunuel won the Palme d'Or for. It looks great and feels meticulous and precise in a way most of his films don't, and it's probably his most didactic work, which is not necessarily a bad thing: there's a clarity of purpose here that is impressive in its own way, in that the whole film is dedicated to destroy Viridiana's... everything really, her faith, her innocence, her naïveté. Bunuel sets out to crush her spirit, and well, he gets to decide what happens in the story so of course he succeeds.

You might get from the way I put it that this is a film I admire more than I like. There is a limit to how much I can enjoy a work that is so thoroughly misanthropic and jaded. Maybe there is a way to read the final scene as a victory of the human spirit over the hypocrisy of religion, but that seems like a huge stretch, especially given the nature of the whole "playing cards" idea. It plays more like a final bit of provocation. I suppose those three characters at least accept to face life honestly, and that can be read as a victory, but it's more of a resignation: the world sucks, so let's just give up and care only about ourselves.

So yeah, this is impressive work, and I enjoy Bunuel's cheeky use of symbolism with Viridiana's crown of thorns and that Last Supper shot of course. Fernando Rey is doing the Fernando Rey thing, Silvia Pinel makes for a stunning martyr, and the ensemble is quite strong as well, in that they do feel like real people: not completely horrible, just the regular kind of horrible. It's all very well done, but I like Bunuel more when I can't be entirely sure of what he's saying, probably because I just don't really like what he has to say.

7/10
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2018, 11:57:03 PM »
To be honest, when I saw your review I was rather surprised, because I'd completely forgotten Viridiana was in my top 250. I remember it being very funny and individual scenes definitely stuck with me, but I hadn't recalled it as a top-tier favorite. Then I went back and re-read my most recent review. And I realized that viewing came at a particularly crappy time in my life. The cynicism would have appealed to me more back then than it would now. Were I to redo my list, I'd probably replace it with something else... although I do still think it's a very accomplished film with some great humor and memorable moments.

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2018, 05:58:07 AM »
To be honest, when I saw your review I was rather surprised, because I'd completely forgotten Viridiana was in my top 250. I remember it being very funny and individual scenes definitely stuck with me, but I hadn't recalled it as a top-tier favorite. Then I went back and re-read my most recent review. And I realized that viewing came at a particularly crappy time in my life. The cynicism would have appealed to me more back then than it would now. Were I to redo my list, I'd probably replace it with something else... although I do still think it's a very accomplished film with some great humor and memorable moments.

Ah, I might try and get to another one higher on the list then, we'll see.

I think Bunuel's humour is something that's lost on me. Maybe I find it too mean-spirited ? Or maybe I'm just instinctively on the defensive when watching his films, seeing how I grew up in a Catholic, bourgeois family. Something like Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie I couldn't get on board with at all and never found funny at all, though I do remember parts of El angel exterminador (my favorite of his) being funny, but more on the absurdist/surreal side of things. 
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2018, 06:52:38 PM »
The Heiress (1949)

SPOILER REVIEW

Truth is a perfect defense for libel, but it is not a perfect defense of rudeness (or more accurately, emotional abuse). Early in this film, Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland) seems perhaps much of what her father Austin (Ralph Richardson) believes her to be. She does seem a bit bland, rather introverted and a bit socially naive. But a father has duties that rise above honesty to virtues like compassion. The way he uses his deified memory of his wife to subtly (or perhaps unsubtly) take shots at his daughter's self-esteem is vile, and I rather expect this is how Donald Trump talks about Ivanka in front of Tiffany.

Enter Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), quickly wooing Catherine. Austin is not thrilled. Initially, there is much critique of patriarchy in the story. On the one hand Austin pressures Catherine to get out there socially to find a man, on the other when she does find one he undercuts it and questions the man's character. If Austin is evil, we want him to be wrong about Morris' intentions. In this middle portion of the film I saw it potentially heading for trouble as a result. In reality, it is perfectly possible that a father could be abusive and correct about the failings of his daughter's boyfriend, but what Austin lacks here is credibility given the abusive nature of his relationship with his daughter. So I was apprehensive that having Morris prove a fraud in his own right would in a sense legitimate Austin's bad behavior.

But this is when Catherine emerges as her own character for the first time in the film, a character that would get de Havilland an Oscar. It is the power and intelligence of her response to developments that allows the film to thread the needle of having both Austin and Morris be held accountable. And it keeps its determination solid to the end when it looked like it might compromise to a more standard rom-com ending. But this isn't a comedy and while we might cheer the ending as the best given the circumstances, there is still a somber mood, the bad actions of men around her boxing her into a lonelier life than she might have wanted all else equal. So yeah, this is surefooted, nuanced and ultimately a great discovery. Thank you Martin.

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2018, 12:10:43 AM »
It's so rare that one of my picks connects with you, glad to see this one did. I think it's a great film for feminist discussion... I keep waiting for it to come out on Blu-Ray, which would give me a good opportunity to make Carrie watch it. Been a while since I've seen it, but yes, "nuanced" is the word that comes to mind. Especially for a Hollywood film of that era.