love

Author Topic: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy  (Read 3843 times)

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33921
  • Marathon Man
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #80 on: May 03, 2019, 12:36:38 AM »
I thought there would be a clear winner among the four, but they all have strong qualities. Calle Mayor is my highest rated, Timbuktu feels like the one that will stick with me longest, Salt of the Earth was the most entertaining and Seventeen has raised the bar for me on achieving vérité in documentaries, passing Children Underground and making it tougher when I finally get to Frederick Wiseman.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 02:06:02 PM by 1SO »
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 18710
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #81 on: May 03, 2019, 11:57:28 AM »
Judgment at Nuremberg

HUGE topic! HUGE stars! LONG movie! Sounds like an epic! Well, not really.  It's a really long trial with the occasional scene outside the courtroom to provide context. So there is no grandure, but there are big themes and a lot of intensity.

It is a strange context.  It is based on the Judges Trial in Nuremberg, in which it was determined whether a handful of judges were guilty of breaking international law in their judgements under Nazi Germany.  However, in this fictional representation of the trial, none of the names are the same, and few of the facts are the same, even down to the idea that they had to pull a retired judge from Maine to run it, rather than important American judges.  So much has changed that it makes me wonder why they bothered to use a real-life trial at all.  They should have used a fictional town in Germany or something.  And the final card at the end has nothing to do with the real trial, although it gives that impression.  I get it: it's a story, it's fiction and a touch of reality feels good, but it just seems misleading. Especially the idea that the real-life sentences of the guilty parties were felt to be too lenient by the German people, instead of the fictional idea that the people felt that they were too harsh.

The film itself is fine.  It's a good courtroom drama, although a bit shouty, focused on the idea of international v. national law.  But the real point of the film, mentioned multiple times, is American judgement of the German people for agreeing to these crimes. I really liked Spenser Tracy as the "aw shucks" judge, but tough-as-nails in the courtroom. Burt Lancaster is too silent until the end of the film.  Apart from these two, it seems that the big names just distracted from the fiction they were presenting, especially Judy Garland.  I get it, you want her to represent the "innocent girl" trope, and she is great for that, but she just exudes Judy Garland in every movement and it is hard to imagine her as a German maid, traumatized by past experience.

Honestly, I think I would have preferred a shorter, more direct approach, like 12 Angry Men.  Keep most of the cast, but edit it down and make it more punchy.  It is a good film that I guess I would have done differently, and I couldn't not try to "fix it" even while I'm watching it.

3.5/5

"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2019, 01:20:11 AM »
I want to write about Fight Club but I'm still gathering some thoughts. In the meantime I'll respond to the others.

Il grande silenzio / The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)
Certainly delivers as the OG snowy western* in terms of scenery and mood

Klaus Kinski is amazing. Terrible human being, but what a presence.

Trintignant does not fare as well however. He just never really registers beyond that excellent first scene, and I think his relative lack of charisma plays into some of the issues I have with the film.

The other thing is the ending. It's quite bold, memorable, and striking. I admire it, but it just didn't make me feel anything, and I think that's because I simply didn't care about Trintignant.
more bleak than affecting, which doesn't work as well for me (see also: Peckinpah).

6/10
I'm disappointed this didn't work for you, but it seems to come down to a taste difference and you did get some good things out of it seems. There's not much where I disagree with you, except that Trintignant did work for me. He's not a great guy, I think the plot with the widow is a kind of signal that this world is a place where even the "good" guys are only relatively good, there's a rot at its core that is uncleansable. But still, he's a bit of hope and Trintignant sells it for me as a symbolic archetype.

The ending is probably what pushed this up that extra level to where it's on my list, the bleakness of the entire film leading up to it culminating in that was really effective in that you really do see it coming, but still don't expect it. I do really like that kind of thing, including Peckinpah, though.

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2019, 01:42:08 AM »
Seventeen
You read about the impossibility of a true documentary because people alter their behavior when they're aware a camera is recording them. Filmmakers looking for the purist possible Cinéma vérité will try their best with cameras shooting from far away. The most fascinating aspect of this doc to me is whatever technique was used to get these teens to behave so openly. There seems to be no hint that they thought their captured actions would ever be seen by the general public, let alone friends and family who might have something to say about the horrible way they treat teachers and other adults, along with the casual racism between friends.


I don't care much about depictions of cultures per se, I care about depictions of people. It's not about the cultural influences themselves but rather the way normal things get transformed by different cultures and perspectives. I don't know that it's a conscious thing (most of the time) but it probably is among the things that triggers my interests.

Here it is again with a very specific time and place that seems like ancient history now that teenagers are living with social media and a need to create some sort of public persona. Even the 2008 documentary American Teen frames the subjects as a real life Breakfast Club. This film is closer to Richard Linklater with a scoop of Harmony Korine, and still those two filmmakers hangout pseudo-docs are slick Hollywood product by comparison. There's an identifiable realism that seems impossible because of the camera's presence. A culture that existed only a few years ahead of me, never to be repeated again.
That all sounds about right.
The openness of the film is the most striking things about it. I find the subject itself interesting, and it's an amazing time capsule of the place and time, but the way it does it adds an incredible intimacy that very little vérité is able to achieve. I really like Wiseman's High School, but where it is a film about people relating to an institution, where this one is about the people full stop. People so unguarded that they're willing to just be themselves (or are they? I think there are a few moments where they do seem like they're holding back a little bit). The Linklater+Korine perspective is an interesting, one I could certainly see them doing something kind of like this but I think the big difference isn't so much the slickness as that they would both be saying something (even if it's something as simple as "wasn't that fun") through the editing rather than letting the kids be what they are, rough and inconsistent as they may be. There's no lesson to learn here, but there's a lot to observe and consider about what coming of age really means. And yeah, technological change means this would be impossible to recreate. You might get a self filmed approximation, which would be interestingly revealing in its own way, but still a different perspective.

I thought there would be a clear winner among the four, but they all have strong qualities. Calle Mayor is my highest rated, Timbuktu feels like the one that will stick with me longest, Salt of the Earth was the most entertaining and Seventeen has raised the bar for me on achieving vérité in documentaries, passing Children Underground and making it tougher when I finally get to Frederick Wiseman.
It was an interesting batch. They're all films that represent some of what I love about cinema, but none of the four are films I sought out for myself. They all came as surprises and are relatively recent additions so they also represent my desire to keep discovering new gems.

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2019, 01:50:50 AM »
Judgment at Nuremberg

HUGE topic! HUGE stars! LONG movie! Sounds like an epic! Well, not really.  It's a really long trial with the occasional scene outside the courtroom to provide context. So there is no grandure, but there are big themes and a lot of intensity.

It is a good film that I guess I would have done differently, and I couldn't not try to "fix it" even while I'm watching it.

3.5/5
I think my reception of the film was helped by when I saw it. My knowledge of the reality was "Nuremberg trials happened, some Nazis were convicted, sentences were probably too lenient and a lot of people got off too easy." The internet was a lot more sparse than know, so while I knew the film wasn't quite reality I didn't have much to compare it to while watching or afterwards. It left an impact with its scale and the performances. I also didn't know who any of the actors were, so the big names meant nothing to me (I think my dad mentioned something about Garland but I just nodded and ignored it since I had no context).

I totally understand the urge to "fix it," maybe not with this film since I haven't seen it in a long time, but it happens quite a bit when I see a film on the right general track but not quite the way I think is best. "Oh it's so close to being great, if only ..."

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 11693
  • As every colour illuminates, we are shining...
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #85 on: May 16, 2019, 01:06:31 AM »
I found an interesting article that gives an overview of Fincher's presentation of gender and feminism in his films. https://www.thedailybeast.com/david-finchers-backseat-feminism

I think that the view of the film is that everything that happens is the work of a madman, and should be viewed in that light. As innocent as our protagonist seems, he is actually an evil genius.  But when it is presented, much of the mad premise is quite entertaining, from making soap out of human fat to the acts of Project Mayhem.  It is difficult not to be attracted by the freedom Tyler espouses, even though he already had that freedom and it was making him insane.  So Fight Club is interpreted widely, because ultimately people see what they want to see in the film, either their pet ideology brought to life or their hated enemy.  I don't know that, in the end, the movie is espousing anything other than "these are not the paths to freedom." 

Wikipedia Page: Interpretations of Fight Club

My favorite sentence from the article you linked is, "...much of the film’s humor comes from its subversion of its characters' grotesque ideals—a fact the film’s legions of frat boy fans never fail to misapprehend." It goes hand in hand with your last line, "these are not the paths to freedom." With all the interpretations and themes, this is where I land as well. It's a cautionary tale. It is subversion subverting subversive ideals. Rabbit Hole material, to be sure.

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 25674
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #86 on: May 24, 2019, 10:11:42 PM »
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
It's a genre I greatly enjoy even if it's not particularly well represented on my list (this and Star Wars and The Princess Bride is it, I think. I like Raiders quite a bit but there's something that just keeps me from embracing it on the same level) and I'm sad there are so few adventure films out there. Most lean heavily on the spectacle of action (which is an issue for the last few Pirates films) and forget the the things that make them work for me: fun characters, fun banter, and a winding set of adventures that allow the character interactions to take centre stage. For me Pirates strikes the best balance of these. Princess Bride is its equal (maybe slightly superior at times) in banter but lacks a character quite on the level of Sparrow. Star Wars surpasses both in world building and has the most effective narrative of the three but the dialogue and acting are not on the level of the other two.
I like the way you define an adventure film. Guardian's of the Galaxy is what came to mind for me, but I enjoyed reading your assessment of the genre and where the different films on your list land within it. And why.

PeacefulAnarchy

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2132
    • Criticker reviews
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #87 on: May 24, 2019, 11:53:35 PM »
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
It's a genre I greatly enjoy even if it's not particularly well represented on my list (this and Star Wars and The Princess Bride is it, I think. I like Raiders quite a bit but there's something that just keeps me from embracing it on the same level) and I'm sad there are so few adventure films out there. Most lean heavily on the spectacle of action (which is an issue for the last few Pirates films) and forget the the things that make them work for me: fun characters, fun banter, and a winding set of adventures that allow the character interactions to take centre stage. For me Pirates strikes the best balance of these. Princess Bride is its equal (maybe slightly superior at times) in banter but lacks a character quite on the level of Sparrow. Star Wars surpasses both in world building and has the most effective narrative of the three but the dialogue and acting are not on the level of the other two.
I like the way you define an adventure film. Guardian's of the Galaxy is what came to mind for me, but I enjoyed reading your assessment of the genre and where the different films on your list land within it. And why.
Yeah the Guardians films are high up there too, along with Indy in the not quite Top250 but still hit all the things I like about adventure films. The first Guardians may jump whenever I get around to rewatching it though, I can't think of anything it really falters at.

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 18710
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Top 100 Club: PeacefulAnarchy
« Reply #88 on: May 29, 2019, 12:49:17 PM »
A Raisin in the Sun

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?
-Langston Hughes

It is said that Sidney Potier and his co-star Claudia McNeil, both of whom starred in the stage production of this script, argued about the perspective of the film.  Should it be from the frustrated Walter's perspective or from his mother Lena's perspective?  And perhaps that strong, years-long anger, is in this film.  Because I am not sure who is the protagonist, or who, if anyone is right.  In a world of economic hardship, of dreams deffered, of hopes dashed, of false expectations, there are no winners, only losers.  And what the movie seems to have failed to see is that the true loser is Ruth, Walter's wife. She is the one who will have to care for a child with insufficient income.  She will have to bear the load of the work that needs to be done to maintain their new living situation.  The movie wants to triumph its minor victory, but the fact is, everyone is a child there, except for Ruth and she will have to parent them all.

But this dose of realism is sugar-coated with some marvelous B&W cinematography, and amazing performances.  I just don't know if I can bear the silver-lining conclusion.

4/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

 

love