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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 19692 times)

colonel_mexico

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #120 on: July 31, 2020, 11:10:23 PM »
AGUIRRE THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) - I've only seen 2 Herzog films, the other being FITZCARRALDO and while I enjoyed FITZCARRALDO more as a movie to watch and laugh at, this is a more visceral take on the madman's existential quest for El Dorado.  There were some scenes with the animals that were tough to watch and you wonder if the cast hates Herzog for the situations he puts them in. Still he is able to capture some incredible shots, especially the opening sequence where it appears the group is walking straight down the face of a mountain. The terrain while gorgeous is also incredibly tough and altitude I would imagine make it hard to breathe properly. Klaus Kinski, also from FITZCARRALDO, is again our crazed madman Aguirre trying to find this lost city of gold and create his own little kingdom.  Herzog doesn't organize his work in the way other filmmakers do, the characters are just themselves without much dialogue, but some fantastic shots of the diverse crew. This exposition makes for some long stretches of silence, as if you are on that boat ride and aren't quite sure anything is real--the scene where Okello ponders the arrow in his leg as being real or not.  While I would likely not revisit this, I can see its importance because this is the kind of film that you could make an educational career out of deconstructing the symbols. The evils of the Spanish conquerors (though the German here made for interesting pronunciation of the Spanish surnames).  The most moving and very sad almost terrifying scene was when the twisted priest gives the native the bible and said this is the word of God and the native promptly puts it to his ear. That part should almost be funny if it were not so horribly true of what was to come and sadly continues.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #121 on: July 31, 2020, 11:15:16 PM »
The Skin I Live In




“I feel like the word shatter.” ― The Handmaid's Tale

There's an abundance of quotes, from an abundance of stories I could put here, for they all address survivors' state when all is stripped from them - Upstream Color, The Handmaid's Tale, Eyes without a Face, Speak, 12 Years a Slave, Cast Away etc... So many stories. Plato said, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” But isn't it also the measure of a (wo)man when he/she is powerless? It has to be a slow motion measurement, as the inner being reels from what is lost and slowly emerges and adapts to the limitations and loss. Holding onto a sliver of self becomes the greatest feat of all. The measurement is mostly imperceptible to the outer eye, since survival itself requires it to be hidden well. It's only through the lens of us, the audience, where it is witnessed and honored.

Once again you've provided an enigmatic review that I'm not sure how to respond to, especially since this is one of the single-viewing films on my list. Perhaps I will have more to say when I get to it in my marathon, and the film is fresher in my mind.

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #122 on: July 31, 2020, 11:20:37 PM »
AGUIRRE THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) - I've only seen 2 Herzog films, the other being FITZCARRALDO and while I enjoyed FITZCARRALDO more as a movie to watch and laugh at, this is a more visceral take on the madman's existential quest for El Dorado.  There were some scenes with the animals that were tough to watch and you wonder if the cast hates Herzog for the situations he puts them in. Still he is able to capture some incredible shots, especially the opening sequence where it appears the group is walking straight down the face of a mountain. The terrain while gorgeous is also incredibly tough and altitude I would imagine make it hard to breathe properly. Klaus Kinski, also from FITZCARRALDO, is again our crazed madman Aguirre trying to find this lost city of gold and create his own little kingdom.  Herzog doesn't organize his work in the way other filmmakers do, the characters are just themselves without much dialogue, but some fantastic shots of the diverse crew. This exposition makes for some long stretches of silence, as if you are on that boat ride and aren't quite sure anything is real--the scene where Okello ponders the arrow in his leg as being real or not.  While I would likely not revisit this, I can see its importance because this is the kind of film that you could make an educational career out of deconstructing the symbols. The evils of the Spanish conquerors (though the German here made for interesting pronunciation of the Spanish surnames).  The most moving and very sad almost terrifying scene was when the twisted priest gives the native the bible and said this is the word of God and the native promptly puts it to his ear. That part should almost be funny if it were not so horribly true of what was to come and sadly continues.

Kinski most definitely hated Herzog, but I rather think Kinski probably hated everyone.

To me the appeal is how otherworldly the film is, and yet peaceful in its own unsettling way. While I would never accuse it of being "weird for weird's sake" (a critique I usually loathe anyway) some of it is definitely just strange. I love what the movie does a whole, but when I reflect it, it's individual moments that stand out for me, like the ones you mention. And yes, the humor as well, despite the grim circumstances.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #123 on: August 01, 2020, 01:48:38 AM »
Once again you've provided an enigmatic review that I'm not sure how to respond to, especially since this is one of the single-viewing films on my list. Perhaps I will have more to say when I get to it in my marathon, and the film is fresher in my mind.

Ah, sorry about that, Martin. My processing sometimes comes out as opaque.

Looking forward to your remarks during your marathon.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #124 on: August 01, 2020, 03:19:27 AM »
The World of Apu is not on your list, but considering Pather Panchali and Aparajito are, I figured I'd chime in since you included the other two films of the Apu Trilogy, which I've written about. This is definitely the least of the three of The Apu Trilogy, if only because I found the pacing to be a little off, kind of strange. You spend so much time developing the Aparna and Pulu relationships that the solitary figure of the adult Apu needed a little further exploration. Ultimately, it caps off a trilogy of loss in the primary female figures in Apu's life, which understandably nearly drives him to the edge. I'd have fallen apart, especially with how rich these people are. The ending redeems much of this and makes it feel essential, even if it's not shot-by-shot, minute-by-minute as interesting and striking as Pather Panchali or Aparajito.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 06:20:52 AM by etdoesgood »
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #125 on: August 01, 2020, 09:46:57 AM »
It was once on my list, but fell off after my most recent viewing. While I still think it's a great film, there are two big problems with it. One, it just feels like dramatic overkill to pile more loss on Apu's head. But the bigger problem is that Apu abandoning his child and going on walkabout makes him rather unsympathetic. This may be cultural differences or just changing times, but viewed through the lens of a father living in the present, it's simply unacceptable.

my review from that viewing

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #126 on: August 02, 2020, 07:51:55 AM »
A Page Of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926)

Neither sound nor title cards made this a somewhat forbearing experience, but by no means one that I regret, mind you. The movie has a refreshing rawness to it and some sequences match the editing of contemporary music videos. Definitely one of the better silent movies I have watched; on the other hand that selection is pretty slim.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #127 on: August 02, 2020, 10:40:58 AM »
Did you watch the version with the re-release score from the 70's? Now I can't find it anywhere (legal), or even a snippet of the music, but it was how I first saw the film and really was a big part of the experience. Whatever music you watch it with, though, it's a bizarre and even confusing experience. But that's part of what I like about it. It has a nightmare logic to it. Thanks for watching!

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #128 on: August 02, 2020, 02:18:25 PM »
I watched a silent-silent version on YouTube that most likely was a TCM-rip. Anyhow, it is an eerie movie that easily breezes on a Top 5 Asylum Movies list.
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Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #129 on: August 02, 2020, 03:53:19 PM »
The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson, 1943)

Film critic Michael Koresky published a column called Here & Now & Then on the IFC blog a couple of years ago, where he each week wrote about three films from a specific year. One of these columns put Val Lewton on my radar. Lewton produced 11 movies for RKO between 1942 and 1946. They all were low budget-productions (B-movies) which clocked in under 80 minutes. Most of them were horror movies of some sort or another. Not monster movies which were big in the 30s, but horror of a psychological kind where the light, or rather the lack of it created a mysterious ambience. Jacques Tourneur directed Lewton's first three productions before he moved on to A-level movies. Mark Robson or Robert Wise directed most of the remaining movies Lewton produced for RKO.

The Seventh Victim was Lewton's fourth production for the company. In the movie a woman goes to New York to try and find her missing sister, who seemingly has got involved with an occult group. At 71 minutes it is a nearly perfect little movie with great dialogue and acting and, first and foremost, a beatifula and stunning photography.

Nine of Lewton's  movies were collected in a box in 2005. Had I lived in region 1 I'd put it on the mantelpiece without any hesitation.
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