Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 4298 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #130 on: August 02, 2020, 10:27:47 PM »
Unfortunately, The 7th Victim is one of the Val Lewton films that has yet to be released on Blu-Ray, but it's far and away my favorite. I also liked I Walked With a Zombie and The Ghost Ship quite a bit, other than that it's been a mixed bag for me. However the only one I didn't like much at all was Isle of the Dead (I've not seen Youth Runs Wild or Mademoiselle Fifi). All of them have a mysterious, dreamlike air to them that makes for a very distinctive feel. Although I'm not a huge fan of most of the individual movies, I am a fan of the Val Lewton vibe, and would a Blu-Ray box set in a heartbeat.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #131 on: August 02, 2020, 10:58:57 PM »
Hum, I'd have figured you as also a Cat People lover given its noir vibes but I guess The 7th Victim does it better. The only two Val Lewton films I've seen. I need to watch the rest.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #132 on: August 02, 2020, 11:12:03 PM »
I saw it before I became a big noir fan. I probably would like it more now.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #133 on: August 03, 2020, 10:08:11 AM »

[....] Although I'm not a huge fan of most of the individual movies, I am a fan of the Val Lewton vibe, and would a Blu-Ray box set in a heartbeat.
Yes, Lewton was on a roll at RKO. I too agree that the sum most likely is greater than the parts themselves!
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #134 on: August 28, 2020, 10:47:34 PM »
The Gangster (1947)

I know this isn't in your Top 100, but I was on Letterboxd looking to make another selection from your list before the month is done and I saw your Top 100 Noir list. I had seen every film except this one, so I thought why not complete the recommendations. The good news is, now I'm inspired to make my own list of 100. According to IMDB, I like 245 Noir. I'm pretty strict about not including proto-noir, or else there will be too many Warner Bros. gangster films from the 1930s. I always thought of The Maltese Falcon (1941) as the starting point, but the year before there was The Letter, Stranger on the Third Floor and They Drive By Night and that last one would have to make my list. As for Neo-Noir, I can't imagine not allowing L.A. Confidential onto my list so I will just use my own judgment.

As for The Gangster, it's a more unusual film than I expected. Sometimes it was like a play and I didn't like the way some characters would have conversations with people off camera, not just the finale but Akim Tamiroff walking through his soda shop or how it seemed like the entire beach scene was going to be done with Elisha Cook Jr.'s back to the camera. Every now and then would be a shot or a moment of such deep cynicism it would remind me why I like the genre so much. My favorite moment came when Shubunka (Barry Sullivan) is betrayed and spiritually broken. He stands frozen in shock while everyone leaves the room. The last person turns off the light and Shubunka immediately springs to life as if he needed the darkness to comfort him.

The film is over-cast. Not just Elisha Cook Jr. (whose appearance in Noir is like Ward Bond in a Western), but a roster of names only you and I would know. Your review talks about Shelley Winters, but what about the night Harry Morgan has off, Murray Alper is covering for him, or the wide shot oner in the garage with Jeff Corey as one of three Brothers-in-Law.

Most people don't remember but back in 2011 Film-Noir was a major blindspot for me, so I did a Marathon and MartinTeller was my patient guide. For me, The Gangster is the long overdue completion of a journey.

Now to build that list.

Just rewatched this, my opinion stays the same. I didn't get the "like a play" vibe except maybe when Morgan talked. He has a quality to him that always feels like he's playing to an audience.

It's such an atmospheric film, heavy with dread and bitter cynicism. Definitely worth of a spot in my top 100 noirs.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #135 on: November 13, 2020, 04:50:44 PM »
The Organizer (1963)
aka. The Comrades
aka. The Strikers
★ ★ ★ Ė Good
I didnít feel I should post in your Marathon and the main Respond thread doesnít work because my thoughts are addressed more directly to you.

As you stated, I do like the film, though I wouldnít have made such a bold claim myself for something that isnít what you would call a crowd pleaser. In broad strokes it follows the basic pattern of a strike story (or the American Revolution), which you know will end in ultimate victory or grand tragedy for the oppressed rebels. (Iím sure there has to be a strike movie where the company is the hero, but I canít think of one.) Iíve seen it play out both ways in Barbara Kopple docs, thereís silent Russian cinema and Matewan, which I love and this probably best resembles.

You could say the difference between me and you is that Iím more into the heavier approach of Matewan, where the bad people wear hats that literally cast a shadow over their eyes. It takes a tricky subject and boils it down to good and bad people. That said, what works best here is Monicelliís much wider canvas. It allows for moments of unexpected humor (Salvatoreís knife that wonít open) along with the tragedy. Personal distractions donít need to be directly connected to the main story, allowing one to affect the other in an interesting way. Best of all, it allows the film to surprise us with what we learn about some of the characters.

For Monicelli, I definitely liked this more than The Great War. At the time, I thought I preferred Big Deal on Madonna Street, but after reading other reviews and articles on this, I donít know. I wasnít AS gripped by the period detail as you. Itís fine, but not something that stood out to me. The cut to the lush house of the owners reminded me of the Christmas mansion that opens Fanny & Alexander and thereís an image that evokes The Gleaners that leads to a really interesting bit of geography when a girl goes over the wall.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #136 on: November 13, 2020, 10:35:08 PM »
As you stated, I do like the film, though I wouldnít have made such a bold claim myself for something that isnít what you would call a crowd pleaser.

Sometimes you gotta put yourself out there.

thereís an image that evokes The Gleaners that leads to a really interesting bit of geography when a girl goes over the wall.

I meant to go back and rewatch that shot because I don't remember a cut. Ah well, I already put the disc away.

I'm really starting to hate giving scores. I really was feeling 97 on this movie and then I started second-guessing myself when I saw that I gave Fargo (the previous film in my rewatch marathon) a 94. Do I love it more than Fargo? If I give it some thought, probably not. I've broken a lot of my old obsessive movie habits, but I can't seem to shake this 100-point scale thing (or ratings/rankings in general).

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #137 on: November 13, 2020, 10:50:54 PM »
There is an edit once she at the top of the wall. The other side is one shot from when she climbs down until they toss over that giant piece of wood. It's on the very edge of the frame, but I think somebody off camera on the other side had to catch the wood or it would've come back down.

I have the same  problem with Ratings and Rankings. I'm sure I rate so few films higher than Very Good because that makes it one of my Essentials. A few times a rewatch has put the film among that group (like The Visit), but more often a film is downgraded because of it (like Big Hero 6). Because I've oversaturated myself, I don't think people here understand what an achievement it is for me to find a film that's Very Good. It's come up three times in the past week - Jigsaw, The Snow Woman, April Story - which made me question if I was going soft.
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #138 on: November 14, 2020, 03:35:05 AM »
You are not going soft with Jigsaw, just watched it and it is very good