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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy  (Read 3809 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2018, 07:32:54 AM »
Psycho (1960 - Alfred Hitchcock)

Well I have finally seen it. A film I knew so much about, but only a tiny part of the actual film. I had not known about the lead in to the motel, nor the psychological report at the end. The trouble is I knew too much about the key parts of the film. The original audiences to this film must have been in for quite a ride.

The Good. The film moves along a very good pace, even though there is a lot of long scenes, by today's standards. The shower scene, still works even knowing so much about it. The camera and focus on the detective on the stairs in the Bates house, loved it. It put you on edge, well hanging over the edge, but not with straight suspense, but showing that things are way off, but still anchored in the real. Janet Leigh's performance. I would almost add Anthony Perkins, however there were some weak line deliveries.

The Bad. The bit just before the end with the psychologist explaining about what we have just seen. Ham-fisted. I would much rather it be dropped and it finishes with Norman talking to himself.

A excellent film, but not quite a great film.

Rating: 80 / 100

oldkid

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2018, 02:52:24 PM »
Psycho-- When I watched this film a few years ago, I had exactly the same reaction.  Clearly a great film, but since I knew so much, it was generally disappointing.  You just want to roll back time to before you ever heard of this film and watch it again with a fresh mind.  Alas.

But I wonder if now I might be ready to watch it again.  There is a lot in this film and the details are worthy to coax out.  I might try it again, leaving behind the disappointment of not having more to see, and look deeper, thus finding the extra I wanted.  Perhaps.

The Exterminating Angel-- Junior, I agree with all of your review.  I didn't laugh at this film, nor find the point of the satire really fresh, but I placed it in my top list.  I think that one of the main reasons is because my reaction was simple enjoyment, not laughter.  There is a pleasure at this one-room game, at an allegory deftly, if unevenly, played out.  And the pleasure was different than other satire.  Bunuel always feels like a surrealist and less of a direct satirist, playing with ideas and giving us the opportunity to play with them as well.  And in my mind, this is his best work.
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Junior

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2018, 02:59:46 PM »
It definitely makes me interested to check out some of his other stuff. He's really interesting, especially when he doesn't do what is expected based on genre/filmmaking convention.
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2018, 04:37:43 PM »
Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant / The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972)

My first Fassbinder, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. It definitely made me curious to see more, but it did get a bit grating at times, especially as it grew more dramatic towards the end. Now, it is a credit to Fassbinder that a film that is structured so much like theater never feels like a filmed play: he makes full use of the restricted space and finds new ways to frame characters in a meaningful manner throughout the film, really enhancing the performance. That and the costumes, which really help fight the monotony that could come from the single set.

Back to the performances, I suppose this is where I don't entirely connect with the film, or not as much as I'd hope to. I appreciate both Carstensen and Schygulla, but I did grow somewhat tired of Carstensen towards the end. That may be the character more than the performance, because there is a sense of inevitability to the way Fassbinder writes her that makes the hysterics at the end feel rather protracted.

It's a very interesting film though, and one I'd be curious to revisit later on after having seen more of Fassbinder's work.

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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2018, 08:51:34 PM »
I am going to fail to get a review in on time this month. Still hopeful I'll get a proper try at The Human Condition next month.

oldkid

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2018, 12:33:24 AM »
The Stranger (1946)

I started the film and then suddenly turned it off.  Wait, is this a version of Camus' novel? Should I read the novel first?  Do I have homework with this film?  "Original story by Victor Trivas" Wikipedia reassures me.  Whew. So I settled down to enjoy.  (Even so, wouldn't it be great to have a noir of Camus directed by Orson Welles?  I know we have Kafka in The Trial, but Camus would be great, too).

There is so much to enjoy.  For one, the occasional cinema flourish with the camera, keeping the major scenes active and intense.  And some of the great actors giving wonderful performances-- Welles, Robinson, Loretta Young and a very young Marcus Welby, MD.  The noir look is well done.

The story, though, seemed to have a flavor of Shadow of a Doubt (1943), but without as many twists or questions.  This story is much more straightforward and without quite as much tension.  There is so much great filmmaking and acting going on that I hardly notice, but still, I wish it had that extra plot flourish.  But I can't complain, I had a great time. It just won't go on my list of great films.

4/5
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2018, 10:46:38 AM »
Will this be the month I finally watch Head-On? Probably not. The docs are standing out to me... Seventeen, Salt of the Earth, or if I'm at a loss for time, The Decisive Moment.

I'm afraid I let this slide. Probably going to have to settle for the short, which I should be able to squeeze in tomorrow.

pixote

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2018, 11:04:30 AM »


Flesh and the Devil  (Clarence Brown, 1926)

I saw a review somewhere (IMDb, I think) that summed up Flesh and the Devil as the ultimate 'bros before hoes' movie, and, well, that's a pretty hilarious take. I did like the film, though I occasionally found the story a distraction from all the pretty pictures. William Daniels' cinematography of Cedric Gibbons' sets turns the film into a celebration of the visual feasts that the Hollywood studios were capable of near the end of the sound era. Clarence Brown's direction is disappointingly ordinary at times, but with some wonderful flashes of excellence mixed in.

The film's "comedic" first act had me in despair with its flat attempts to wring every drop of humor out of how some German place names are really long — and other hot takes straight from grandpa. Once Gilbert and Garbo start to interact, the film finds its sizzle. I couldn't fully embrace the melodrama of the story, not with its over-reliance on these characters keeping secrets from each other: Gilbert's not telling his bff (Lars Hanson) the real reason for the duel; Hanson's waiting for Gilbert to come home before springing his new wife on him; Garbo's waiting in the carriage at the station like it ain't no thing (so cruel). It's all a bit too much for me.

Hanson's wild, crazy eyes had me wishing he'd played a drug-addled Sherlock Holmes at some point in his career.

edit: I'm almost forgot to comment on the amazing homoeroticism between Gilbert and Hanson. If Barbara Kent (as Annie Hall?) weren't playing Hanson's sister, I'd totally read the film as an argument in favor of pansexual polygamy, with the four of them all marrying each other.

pixote
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 02:28:35 AM by pixote »
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pixote

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2018, 01:18:27 PM »


The Great Silence  (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)

I've had the DVD sitting here for a while waiting to be watched, but I'm extremely grateful I waited to get my hands on the new Blu-Ray, which represents a tremendous upgrade in image quality. During the first scene, though, I worried that something was wrong with my copy because I kept seeing a weird lattice of light on Trintignant and his horse, but I guess that was some misguided effect that Corbucci was going for. It's there on the DVD, too.

I don't know that I'll ever watch enough spaghetti westerns (or Italian cinema of this period in general) to accept the practice of asynchronous sound. I find the use of dubbing so alienating. When I read reviews praising Kinski's performance, I'm just like, but, like, it was only half Kinski! I get the appeal of being able to pair up these various international stars, but I'm not convinced it's worth it.

But I digress. I wasn't familiar with The Great Silence's reputation for being bleak af, but, yep, well earned. Startlingly so, even. I confess, though, that's it's a movie I like more in long shots (and more on a theoretical level) than in close-ups. Even in the first scene, for example, the build-up is really strong, but when the gunfire begins, it just sort of happens. There's not necessarily a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it, no illustration of the gunslinger's skill. It's just bang bang bang, squib squib squib. Likewise, as much as I like the ending, it bothered me that Silence has no evident plan of attack. He just shows up and stands there and ... things happen. Although the net effect is bewildering and awesome, there's still the nagging sense that a page of the script flew away in the wind and nobody bothered to retrieve it.

Trintignant is an interesting presence in the film. I had the damnedest time trying to reconcile his preppy look with his character and his surroundings. Kinski has some strong moments, but it was actually Frank Wolff and Vonetta McGee that most engaged me.

If you haven't seen the two alternate endings, you really should. They're fascinating and hilarious.

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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2018, 02:13:25 PM »
The Decisive Moment - I was dimly aware of the name Henri Cartier-Bresson before this, but I probably wouldn't have identified him as a photographer until I recalled seeing his posters in dorm rooms many moons ago. His work is certainly striking, and I wouldn't mind having it displayed in my own home (the little girl on the stairs in Greece is profoundly beautiful). To go along with the slideshow of pretty pictures, HCB's discussion of his technique and philosophy is interesting, if not especially surprising. They're pretty much exactly the things you'd expect a photographer of worth to say, but he has a pleasant manner of speaking and you get the impression he's not just bullshitting. An inviting peek inside an artist (and his work) that I was not very familiar with at first, but now feel like I've been introduced to a great talent. Rating: Good (81)