Author Topic: Top 100 Club: 1SO  (Read 11328 times)

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2018, 08:30:50 AM »
Just chiming i to say that Almost Famous provided me with one of the best review screenshots I ever did.

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2018, 09:30:05 AM »
I did not see this coming. I'm glad you watched the longer cut. The added material is equal amounts moments of greatness and what you call "repetitive self-indulgence." Crowe put everything he had into this film, which is why he's been running on empty ever since. The shorter version has plenty of self-indulgence as well, but takes even less time for moments between Penny and Russell, making her attracted to him simply because he's a rock star and she loves that lifestyle.

Martin's review is a favorite of mine because until then I don't believe I encountered anyone who didn't like the film, and he knows how to make his point even if I don't agree with it.
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2018, 10:29:46 AM »
The shorter version has plenty of self-indulgence as well, but takes even less time for moments between Penny and Russell, making her attracted to him simply because he's a rock star and she loves that lifestyle.

Is there really more to it in the longer cut though ? She mentions that he "could be great" at some point, and I guess I can buy that, but it's still not a relationship I can really get into, and I'm unsure how much the film wants me to really.
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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2018, 02:18:35 PM »

I remember a key scene in an ice room. In the shorter version we just see Will being shut out of the conversation, but in Untitled the film goes inside where Penny and Russell let their insecurities out.
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2018, 07:42:31 PM »

I remember a key scene in an ice room. In the shorter version we just see Will being shut out of the conversation, but in Untitled the film goes inside where Penny and Russell let their insecurities out.

Right, that is a pretty good scene.
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2018, 03:25:10 AM »
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra, 1939)

The first half of this film tested the idea of James Stewart as an actor who could do no wrong for me. And it's not his fault really, it's just that Capra is not after any kind of subtlety here, and he wants him to play the most bumbling version of the character he can, but what results for me is more cringe than amusement. Combined with the clumsy exposition and annoying child actors, I was pretty worried, though the harshness with which the US political system was being represented was a pleasant surprise. Capra is - to me - associated with "heartfelt", but here he seems to be much better at handling the cynical, jaded characters than his impossibly naive protagonist. Jean Arthur is excellent in that role (as is the whole supporting cast really, with faces familiar even to someone with as superficial a knowledge of the studio-era as I have, like Claude Rains and Thomas Mitchell), and even sells her inevitable infatuation with the protagonist from an early point, marking one of the smoothest transitions from annoyed to enamored, which is saying quite a bit given how much Hollywood loves this trope.

It gets much better when Stewart is allowed to play the character as described by Rains ("honest, not stupid"), and the film moves on to the iconic stuff. Very few do righteous indignation better than Stewart, because you can feel the hurt in the way he plays it: it's not only that his faith in his country is being betrayed, it's his whole self-image, his own identity. Stewart realizing, horrified, that he's been a fool in some way or another, is a component of almost every performance of him I've seen, and yeah, he's great at it. Here again, I was pretty impressed by how hopeless the situation is, to the point that the happy ending feels like a Last Laugh-esque fantasy more than an actual hopeful message: as if Capra is saying that trying to stand up to cynicism is admirable and righteous, but don't you expect it to actually work, unless you believe a boy scout paper can save you against the whole of the media industry.

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« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:20:37 AM by Teproc »
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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2018, 10:12:50 AM »
Yeah. I can't defend the faults of the film you mention, and I haven't watched it recently now that our government seems to be a hopeless swamp on all fronts, which is the opposite of what this film is saying. (Does his tour of the monuments even mean anything today?) While it's my 2nd favorite Capra film, of the 7 titles in my Essentials it's the most clumsily directed, and that's only in a few places, like the boy scouts and Mr. Smith's initial press conference.
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Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2018, 09:10:39 PM »
The Human Condition: Part I

I wanted to suggest that this film is simply too pessimistic for the current times. Reality is bleak enough without getting it from my cinema. There's maybe a reason I've watched so few films and am rather happy to catch up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Difficult People on Hulu. But the reality is I just watched Children of Men again last week and was again blown away by it's elegance in telling what now feels less like dystopia and more like a somehow saner version of reality. So if it isn't the pessimism that keeps me away from The Human Condition, what is it? I suppose the simple answer is just my general, though by no means absolute, issue with historic asian film. To a more specific level, there is here a lot of what ultimately turned me against Kurosawa...a level of theatric verbosity that wore me down (especially when conveyed via subtitle). In this slice of the full story that covers over 200 minutes, it just doesn't feel like we see much. We constantly see people talking about doing things but we rarely see them actually do the thing. All the action, all the potential visual storytelling is kept off-screen. I want to connect with Kaji's plight of wanting to be good but finding no way forward there, stuck between domineering superiors and distrustful subordinates (in the form of Chinese prisoners/laborers). It isn't an experience of cinema in the vein of my top films like Jurassic Park or Children of Men, nor does it have the linguistic pizazz of the specifically theatric 12 Angry Men to work on those terms. Instead it good-naturedly falls into a kind of no-man's-land that was hard to take for 200 minutes, much less 550 minutes.

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2018, 10:55:09 PM »
The Human Condition: Part I

I wanted to suggest that this film is simply too pessimistic for the current times. Reality is bleak enough without getting it from my cinema.
In terms of what happens, the final section of the entire film is some of the bleakest cinema I've ever seen. However, unlike Lars Von Trier, who just wants to tell you that everyone and everything is horrible, there's a warm feeling to the full display of humanity spread over the 9 hours. Hard to explain, but The Human Condition makes me glad for the life I have while Von Trier just crushes that into dust.


So if it isn't the pessimism that keeps me away from The Human Condition, what is it? I suppose the simple answer is just my general, though by no means absolute, issue with historic asian film. To a more specific level, there is here a lot of what ultimately turned me against Kurosawa...a level of theatric verbosity that wore me down (especially when conveyed via subtitle). In this slice of the full story that covers over 200 minutes, it just doesn't feel like we see much.
I knew this was going to be a losing battle with you, but I'm glad you made the effort. Onibaba this ain't, but you already watched that one. That said, I find The Human Condition to be very visual, while also knowing there's a lot of talking about things. The moment when the train pulls up and the laborers pour out is when the film grabbed me for good. I'm never going to forget that.
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oldkid

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2018, 12:58:54 AM »
I have to agree with Bondo as far as THC Part I's pessimism.  The might of the evil system just seems overwhelming.  While the protagonist is naive, which assists in him pulling the rug out from under his own feet sometimes. yet his ongoing fight is both inspiring and depressing. Probably it is the last film I want to watch right at the moment.
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