Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 19685 times)

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 23070
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #60 on: July 01, 2020, 07:23:29 PM »
Cairo Station

Call me crazy, but the opening sequence, with voiceover narration setting the scene of the station and the hustle and bustle, called to mind Arabian Nights opening Aladdin, though you know, less orientalist. Having recently also watched Grand Hotel (for Col.'s month, but I didn't end up writing it up), there were also connections to see there of a film named for the location and observing the chaos that ensues. Cairo Station certainly has the hallmarks of Italian neorealism, but without so much of the realism, as it uses that style toward more of a pulp fiction narrative. And it is frequently a choppy one technically. It has the dubbing like Italian cinema that can often make the voices seem bodiless (especially shots with multiple people on them where I was too busy reading subtitles to see whose mouth was moving). There are some weird effect/cuts, like one moment when a boy is about to be run over by the train and the train seems to momentarily pause while the characters continue to move.

There is definitely a lot of toxic masculinity going on, from the I suppose relatively subtle version of labor leader Abu Siri, fiancee of Hannuma who hits and berates her for disobeying his request, or the man in the market who gets irate over Qinawi allegedly staring at his wife...and subsequently cursing his wife for not covering up sufficiently. But of course the maximal toxicity is in Qinawi's pursuit of Hannuma who is playful with him but always extremely clear where she stands. The one place you can sympathize with Qinawi is it certainly is easy to fall for Hannuma, with Hind Rostom's star power. My favorite scene of the film is where she and various other workers have a bit of a rock and roll dance party on one of the idle train cars, complete with the ever present sodas. It is a moment of pure delight that speaks to Hannuma's charisma. But justifiably falling for someone does not create any entitlement, and that isn't something Qinawi can process. On one hand, this kind of entitled/jealous violence is completely believable, but in the context of the film it still feels a bit contrived as it plays out. Still, it builds to another really great scene at the end.

For a 75 minute film, getting a couple great scenes, and one captivating performance isn't a bad result. It is one of those films that could stand to go longer to build out the structure/economy of the station (the union drive aspect doesn't really have a strong foundation other than knowing lower employees don't get much protection). That plus being smoothed out stylistically would be the two things that could make it more of a top film for me. But if you are having the conversation about what could make a film truly great, it's at least done a lot of the work. Better that then leaving the film not being able to imagine any way to make it great.

Eric/E.T.

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3830
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #61 on: July 01, 2020, 07:50:02 PM »
Woohoo, MT month! Sooo, there is some overlap with the Sight & Sound films this month, therefore I'll try to go outside of that and probably do some Ray and/or Bergman from your Top 250. I'll see somewhere between 1-3, so here's my order by priority.

1. The Adversary (Ray)
2. Autumn Sonata (Bergman)
3. Aparajito (Ray)

Innocence goes on my watchlist. Not available anywhere, but sounds kind of wicked.
A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire

colonel_mexico

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2020, 10:07:55 PM »
An incredible list with many unseen titles!  I believe I watched FITZCARRALDO (and really enjoyed it) for Sam's month some time back, so AGUIRRE THE WRATH OF GOD sounds like a plan and a rewatch of ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (huge fan of Almodovar too so that should be a nice evening).

I might get to a few more, the Texas Supreme Court is having an emergency meeting tomorrow morning and then there will be announcement Friday regarding the bar exam--the rumor mill has been running, but it appears the Austin venue has pulled out of offering the bar exam (end of July) and we might be pushed until the fall, winter, or even maybe January next year :(  Not a great situation since I've given 7 weeks with only 2 days off of study and it might all have to wait. If so I will suddenly have many hours in the day not devoted to study that I would love to fill the void with some film and a little writing to keep me busy. 8 1/2 seems right at the top if I am able to add more.
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

MartinTeller

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 17852
  • martinteller.wordpress.com
    • my movie blog
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2020, 10:32:50 PM »
Cairo Station

Call me crazy, but the opening sequence, with voiceover narration setting the scene of the station and the hustle and bustle, called to mind Arabian Nights opening Aladdin, though you know, less orientalist. Having recently also watched Grand Hotel (for Col.'s month, but I didn't end up writing it up), there were also connections to see there of a film named for the location and observing the chaos that ensues. Cairo Station certainly has the hallmarks of Italian neorealism, but without so much of the realism, as it uses that style toward more of a pulp fiction narrative. And it is frequently a choppy one technically. It has the dubbing like Italian cinema that can often make the voices seem bodiless (especially shots with multiple people on them where I was too busy reading subtitles to see whose mouth was moving). There are some weird effect/cuts, like one moment when a boy is about to be run over by the train and the train seems to momentarily pause while the characters continue to move.

There is definitely a lot of toxic masculinity going on, from the I suppose relatively subtle version of labor leader Abu Siri, fiancee of Hannuma who hits and berates her for disobeying his request, or the man in the market who gets irate over Qinawi allegedly staring at his wife...and subsequently cursing his wife for not covering up sufficiently. But of course the maximal toxicity is in Qinawi's pursuit of Hannuma who is playful with him but always extremely clear where she stands. The one place you can sympathize with Qinawi is it certainly is easy to fall for Hannuma, with Hind Rostom's star power. My favorite scene of the film is where she and various other workers have a bit of a rock and roll dance party on one of the idle train cars, complete with the ever present sodas. It is a moment of pure delight that speaks to Hannuma's charisma. But justifiably falling for someone does not create any entitlement, and that isn't something Qinawi can process. On one hand, this kind of entitled/jealous violence is completely believable, but in the context of the film it still feels a bit contrived as it plays out. Still, it builds to another really great scene at the end.

For a 75 minute film, getting a couple great scenes, and one captivating performance isn't a bad result. It is one of those films that could stand to go longer to build out the structure/economy of the station (the union drive aspect doesn't really have a strong foundation other than knowing lower employees don't get much protection). That plus being smoothed out stylistically would be the two things that could make it more of a top film for me. But if you are having the conversation about what could make a film truly great, it's at least done a lot of the work. Better that then leaving the film not being able to imagine any way to make it great.

Toxic masculinity, indeed. Qinawi is textbook incel, full of sexual entitlement. And Abu-Serah, of course, classic abuser.

I don't recall any dubbing/technical issues, but it's been eight years since my last viewing. I recall a lot of great imagery, especially in the noir-ish/Hitchcockian finale. I think the political aspects are probably more meaningful for an Egyptian audience, but I found them potent nonetheless.

I had made a point to check out more Hind Rostom, but never got around to it. I think there's still a couple of films on my watchlist. She's electrifying here, definitely MVP of the film. I can recall that train scene vividly.

I definitely need to put aside some time to give this a fresh viewing. I've been holding out for a Blu-Ray release, but that might be in vain. I'm glad you found some stuff to like. Interestingly, in one of my reviews I mentioned That Obscure Object of Desire, hopefully you have access to that one day. Thanks for watching!

MartinTeller

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 17852
  • martinteller.wordpress.com
    • my movie blog
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2020, 10:37:14 PM »
Woohoo, MT month! Sooo, there is some overlap with the Sight & Sound films this month, therefore I'll try to go outside of that and probably do some Ray and/or Bergman from your Top 250. I'll see somewhere between 1-3, so here's my order by priority.

1. The Adversary (Ray)
2. Autumn Sonata (Bergman)
3. Aparajito (Ray)

Innocence goes on my watchlist. Not available anywhere, but sounds kind of wicked.

Aparajito is a must, given your appreciation of Pather Panchali. The Adversary is a much more modern style of film, I'll be very curious to read your comments (it is also part of a trilogy, along with Seemabaddha and Jana Aranya, although it's a thematic trilogy and not a character/plot one, so there is no particular order to watch them in). I have no idea where you'll fall on Autumn Sonata.

MartinTeller

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 17852
  • martinteller.wordpress.com
    • my movie blog
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2020, 10:42:22 PM »
An incredible list with many unseen titles!  I believe I watched FITZCARRALDO (and really enjoyed it) for Sam's month some time back, so AGUIRRE THE WRATH OF GOD sounds like a plan and a rewatch of ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (huge fan of Almodovar too so that should be a nice evening).

I might get to a few more, the Texas Supreme Court is having an emergency meeting tomorrow morning and then there will be announcement Friday regarding the bar exam--the rumor mill has been running, but it appears the Austin venue has pulled out of offering the bar exam (end of July) and we might be pushed until the fall, winter, or even maybe January next year :(  Not a great situation since I've given 7 weeks with only 2 days off of study and it might all have to wait. If so I will suddenly have many hours in the day not devoted to study that I would love to fill the void with some film and a little writing to keep me busy. 8 1/2 seems right at the top if I am able to add more.

I've rewatched AAMM twice in the past few years, and it holds up so beautifully. Aguirre as well, although I must admit I have some difficulty watching it now that I'm more aware of the kind of person Klaus Kinski was. I've cut Woody Allen out of my life, and the allegations against Kinski are as bad, if not worse.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 12060
  • "The life we build, we never stop creating.”
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2020, 02:01:59 AM »
Ooh! I want to see All About My Mother too!

... I see that you have two other Almodóvar films, so will watch Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and The Skin I Live In as well. Do you think there is an order I should watch them?

MartinTeller

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 17852
  • martinteller.wordpress.com
    • my movie blog
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2020, 10:19:14 AM »
Nah, any order is fine

Eric/E.T.

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3830
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #68 on: July 02, 2020, 09:11:33 PM »
Ooh! I want to see All About My Mother too!

... I see that you have two other Almodóvar films, so will watch Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and The Skin I Live In as well. Do you think there is an order I should watch them?

I know MT said any order, and it IS his day...I'd just say that I don't think The Skin I Live In is a very good starting point for Almodovar. Emotionally, it's on par with his other work, but I think the extreme medical, errrrr, happening, makes it a little more "out there" or offbeat than even his other films. I'd start with All About My Mother. Just my opinion, though.
A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire

MartinTeller

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 17852
  • martinteller.wordpress.com
    • my movie blog
Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #69 on: July 02, 2020, 10:39:51 PM »
I don't think it's her first Almodovar, but I could be wrong

 

love