Author Topic: Top 100 Club: 1SO  (Read 40020 times)

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #250 on: March 20, 2020, 01:27:19 PM »
For someone who quite likes film noir, even if I haven't seen a wide variety of it (had a lecture series on Chinatown in college, which I loved), this is a good gap to fill in, although I'm not particularly enthusiastic about its overall look or acting.

I would have to think about a Film Noir that would be the smart next choice for you. It would seem something modern would be best

If you want to delve into Noir, then you have to accept the cinematography and the acting style. Classic Noir came before The Method, just accept it, and immerse yourself in one of the best genres in all of film. Here's some recommendations...

Here's some terminology I'm looking for. So before method acting, what would you call the type of acting done in Double Indemnity and the like? Also, any terminology you can give me for the cinematography would help a lot, too. I've been reading about film, watching YouTube videos on film, but integrating it all into my vocabulary is a work in progress. I'd like to get past noob status in at least a couple of years.  :D

I've liked a lot of modern film noir (neo noir?) that I've seen. Been poking around on neo noir lists, and films like Brick, Drive, Memento, Mulholland Drive, and the Blade Runner are among those that I've really liked. I know a few installments of classic noir are good for me to see, too, but do you have any other more contemporary or neo noir picks for me as well?

I see you mentioned the Noirvember, is that going to happen this year, too? Do you have a Horror marathon month in October? I'm hoping to get my genre game up while also getting in some French New Wave, chanbara, and Cassavetes. And then see 70+ new releases at the theater (if that even gets to happen this year), as going to the multiplex holds a lot of reason I love film in the first place. Great hobby, if time consuming.
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Antares

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #251 on: March 20, 2020, 02:01:36 PM »
Here's some terminology I'm looking for. So before method acting, what would you call the type of acting done in Double Indemnity and the like?

I really don't think there's a name for that style of acting. For me, it goes like this:
Silent film era = Extremely over the top & melodramatic.
Pre-code era = Not as extreme as the silent era, but still over the top, sort of a silent film acting hangover, if you will.
Classic Hollywood era = Getting better, but depending on the actor's abilities.
Method, and up to the present = True realism in performances.

Also, any terminology you can give me for the cinematography would help a lot, too.

Film Noir relies heavily on lighting and shadows. After the Hays code was enacted, Hollywood realized that they couldn't make the realistic, yet titillating kind of films which were the staple of the Pre-Code era, so they made a whole lot of feel good films. Which was the right way to go. The country was mired in the depths of the Great Depression, and Hollywood was a tonic for people who were suffering. But after WWII, and the atrocities that occurred during the war, Hollywood shifted towards darker films and while musicals soared, they also had the need to show the darker side of life, and thus Noir was born.

I know a few installments of classic noir are good for me to see, too, but do you have any other more contemporary or neo noir picks for me as well?

I'm not a big fan of neo-noir, so maybe this could be answered by either Chuck (1SO) or Martin Teller. They're both more rounded than I when it comes to this sub-genre.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #252 on: March 20, 2020, 03:04:21 PM »
"Chiaroscuro" is a good word to know when you're talking about noir cinematography. Very high contrast between whites and blacks. Think headlights cutting through a dark alley, or a single hanging bulb in a shadowy interrogation room.

I am more of a classic noir guy, but some neo-noir recommendations:

The Last Seduction
The Grifters
Mona Lisa
Blue Velvet
Thief
Nightcrawler
To Live and Die in L.A.

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #253 on: March 20, 2020, 03:18:47 PM »
Noir is a state of mind, baby, and I'm still thinking the best course of action is to avoid it for now. I didn't get into Noir until I joined the forum, and that's when I went in deep. It's a style with its own quirks and adjustments that a viewer needs to make before exploring. If and when you're ready, Noir will be there for you and we'll all have a list of Essentials, Deep Cuts and Personal Picks.

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #254 on: March 26, 2020, 10:52:54 AM »
A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan, 1957)

Had to double-check the date there a few times, because it's pretty impressive that this film predates both Beatlemania and the Kennedy v Nixon campaign. Maybe it isn't though: after all, new media always creates these phenomenons. Newspapers certainly did, so did radio, and this one is about the inescapable rise of television but many of its scenes apply just as well to social media "influencers", in fact that exact word is used in the film at one point. So does this get point for being prescient? I think prescience is overrated, but, like its 70s counterpart Network, it is sharply written and it feels applicable outside of its specific context (both forwards and backwards) which is much more impressive to me.

Andy Griffith is a name I recognize from people mentioning him as some kind of cultural touchstone, but obviously one I'm not privy to. I'm assuming he was a comedian/TV star? Whatever the case may be, he's excellent here as the man of the people who finds unexpected success in a folksy persona that is mostly but not entirely a put-on. You truly buy him as a free spirit in the beginning, but he predictably lets greed and fame take over, which lets him reach the highest of highs before his demise. It's a classic rise-and-fall story, but it doesn't feel as formulaic as those often do, perhaps because Griffith isn't the main character of this story. That would be Patricia Neal, as the plucky and smart radio producer who digs him out of obscurity and watches from the sidelines as it all goes wrong. She's infatuated with him to the point of wanting to marry him, but also clearly horrified at the turn he takes, and the way she sticks around, telling herself she's reigning him in is very smart writing supported by an excellent performance.

I don't think TV is a uniquely populist medium. The same thing was said about newspapers, the radio, cinema and now YouTube... the ancient Greeks were already bemoaning the inevitable rise of demagoguery in a democratic system. Where Kazan and Schulberg succeed is in figuring out the ways in which this particular medium can be used to gain power, be it political or cultural. There is a whiff of elitism there, but it doesn't quite sneer at its characters either, and that is ultimately what makes it so effective in the points it's making.

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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #255 on: March 29, 2020, 05:11:33 PM »
McCabe & Mrs. Miller



Starting out, I'm squinting at the screen saying, "I can't see anything." Further into the film, sitting in the rosy hue of the bordello and comparing it to the bleak bar at the beginning, I get it. Then after the film, watching the supplemental material and being taught about the "flashing" technic to create the extreme murkiness, I begin to get Altman. That little artistic provocateur, blissfully throwing aside the rules and even throwing in "producer" type characters to not-so-subtly capture what he thinks of them. There is a distinct lack of appropriateness and studio head overseeing throughout, as Altman creates scenes while the boom town set gets built and as he captures the elements as they blow in. We got snow? Great! Snow now becomes a major player. I'm sure the director is adamant about advancing his specific vision, but the fact that he wants to play with technology, tropes and weather, to make art in the moment, means his curiosity outstrips an entrenched ego. 

Haven't seen this much green in a Western since Canyon Passage. :)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 05:19:03 PM by Sandy »

1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #256 on: March 29, 2020, 09:51:42 PM »
A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan, 1957)

Had to double-check the date there a few times, because it's pretty impressive that this film predates both Beatlemania and the Kennedy v Nixon campaign.
I think you can go closer to today than that. I have not watched the film since our last Presidential election, but the campaign and the way the media covered it reminded me of this film.


Andy Griffith is a name I recognize from people mentioning him as some kind of cultural touchstone, but obviously one I'm not privy to. I'm assuming he was a comedian/TV star? Whatever the case may be, he's excellent here as the man of the people who finds unexpected success in a folksy persona that is mostly but not entirely a put-on.
I can take or leave Griffith overall, which makes his amazing work here one of the most perfect bits of casting ever. I wonder who their 2nd choice was?


1SO

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #257 on: March 29, 2020, 09:59:58 PM »
McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Haven't seen this much green in a Western since Canyon Passage. :)
Funny, when I think about the film I think about the thick brown mud that gets into all dwellings and onto the clothes and that thick snow at the end that makes the screen hard to see. I have a pet peeve at how effects-y the snow looks. I have to push past it because what's happening is so marvelous.

Altman creates the most textural western I can name, and it isn't the usual sand and sun. The film is dark and cold, and his usual overlapping conversations seem at home here, accenting the desolation. Even the intrusive folk song contributes, building the enigma of this "Joseph looking for a manger."

My long review
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 10:22:54 PM by 1SO »

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #258 on: March 30, 2020, 01:50:09 AM »
A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan, 1957)

Had to double-check the date there a few times, because it's pretty impressive that this film predates both Beatlemania and the Kennedy v Nixon campaign.
I think you can go closer to today than that. I have not watched the film since our last Presidential election, but the campaign and the way the media covered it reminded me of this film.

Oh, definitely. Griffith is too sympathetic to be truly Trump-like, but it obviously came to mind plenty watching this.
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Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: 1SO
« Reply #259 on: March 30, 2020, 07:18:30 AM »
McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Haven't seen this much green in a Western since Canyon Passage. :)
Funny, when I think about the film I think about the thick brown mud that gets into all dwellings and onto the clothes and that thick snow at the end that makes the screen hard to see. I have a pet peeve at how effects-y the snow looks. I have to push past it because what's happening is so marvelous.

Altman creates the most textural western I can name, and it isn't the usual sand and sun. The film is dark and cold, and his usual overlapping conversations seem at home here, accenting the desolation. Even the intrusive folk song contributes, building the enigma of this "Joseph looking for a manger."

My long review
Deadwood always makes me think about McCabe & Mrs. Miller for some reason.
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