Author Topic: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller  (Read 14668 times)

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #110 on: July 28, 2020, 10:34:45 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.

Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #111 on: July 29, 2020, 04:58:14 AM »
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.

I don't know, I think I could hold my own on this, especially if we add silent films or westerns.  ;)

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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #112 on: July 29, 2020, 08:29:56 AM »
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.

Once again, I'm afraid I don't remember this one well enough to comment on it. I recall the setting and the mood, but that's it. But I see it's now available on DVD, adding it to my wishlist.

Haven't looked at my top 100 noir list in a while. It could use a little fine-tuning (especially in the rankings... I ought to just make it alphabetical anyway) but it's still a list chock full of movies I adore.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #113 on: July 29, 2020, 11:07:34 AM »
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.

I don't know, I think I could hold my own on this, especially if we add silent films or westerns.  ;)

I knew when I wrote that there was a good chance you'd object, and you should.
Do you have a place where you make lists? I'd love to see your favorite Noirs, and your top pre-codes.

Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #114 on: July 29, 2020, 11:17:17 AM »
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.

I don't know, I think I could hold my own on this, especially if we add silent films or westerns.  ;)

I knew when I wrote that there was a good chance you'd object, and you should.
Do you have a place where you make lists? I'd love to see your favorite Noirs, and your top pre-codes.

I don't really compile lists, I use my rankings on Criticker.
https://www.criticker.com/ratings/Antares/

I've actually been trying to find my top 100 list somewhere on this forum, but I've had no luck locating it.
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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #115 on: July 29, 2020, 11:58:19 AM »
Criticker (and Letterboxd) don't have a filter for Noir or pre-code.

Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #116 on: July 29, 2020, 02:53:15 PM »
Criticker (and Letterboxd) don't have a filter for Noir or pre-code.

If you're looking for someone who knows their pre-code, then this is the guy and the site to check out. I trust his reviews explicitly. It's also the site that gives me films to search for. If Danny likes it, odds are, you'll like it too.

http://pre-code.com/

Here's his list of pre-code essentials...
http://pre-code.com/my-list-of-essential-pre-code-hollywood-films/
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 02:55:33 PM by Antares »
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1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #117 on: July 29, 2020, 03:37:09 PM »
That's my go-to site and you're right about the accuracy of his recommendations.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #118 on: July 31, 2020, 05:52:40 PM »
I think Denzel is perfect as Malcolm X, I couldn't imagine Samuel L. Jackson in that role. I can't say I know a whole lot about the man myself beyond what's in the movie, but I would think that making him angrier would be an unwise choice. It was his rhetoric, his intelligence, his dignity, his passion and commitment to uplifting black lives that made him great, not his "attitude".

I also don't mind all the backstory, as it gives a more complete picture of the man (I also just love that dance scene). But I can see how one might be wanting to get to the meat of his story quicker.

I suppose his influence largely lives on in the Nation of Islam, even though they assassinated him? I must confess I don't know much about it. Louis Farrakhan actually lives in the neighborhood I grew up in (I went to high school with his daughter). A divisive and controversial figure for sure. I'm not sure how prominent they are these days, to be honest, but when I was a kid you would often see them in the black suits and bow ties, selling copies of "The Final Call". According to Wikipedia they're all mixed up with the Church of Scientology now, which is weird.

Yes, weird, but not surprising. Farrakhan also aligned himself with Trump (and Hitler, for the matter). Thinking you have God on your side, allows for much delusion. It's a scary thing when corruption is aided by "religion."

Quote
One day I should read his autobiography.

As a film, I think it's masterfully engaging and with some brilliant cinematography... and of course, a great performance by Denzel Washington. For a deeper Spike Lee cut, I recommend Crooklyn, which almost made my list.

Thank you for watching and sharing your chat!

Thanks for the Crooklyn recommendation! I'll for sure watch it.

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Re: Top 100 Club: MartinTeller
« Reply #119 on: July 31, 2020, 06:45:00 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.

 

love