Author Topic: Top 100 Club: smirnoff  (Read 6107 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2019, 09:19:54 AM »
It is funny how you mention a hinted at backstory for The Equalizer. The original TV series with Edward Woodward had a sort of pre-coded backstory for the character because Woodward had played a British spy called David Callan for 4 seasons, I imagine most of the US audience would not have known about that.

Whoa nice. I definitely was not aware of it. Edward Woodward has a cool look.



I'll trust in the almighty smirnoff algorithm and watch Perfect Sense as well. No idea what it is !  ;D

Powerful choice. You're in good company. And a blind viewing to boot! I feel this can only go well. :)

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2019, 09:18:41 PM »
Dark Horse

I think there's something of a microcosm in this film and my reaction to it. Here you have this white, working class community riven by the loss of economic opportunities who find a source of joy by coming together to support a race horse, and here comes this snobby professional class elite to tell them their joy is problematic because horse racing is cruel and exploitative (as is dog racing). Now, it doesn't quite work in that horse racing is otherwise such a upper crust past-time, but it does fit into the narrative used to explain Trump voters (or more appropriate in this doc, Brexit voters. The Welsh after all did vote Leave (if by a fairly narrow margin). This lot is in a spot economically, and even though the left would be better for them on that respect, more attention is paid to the insult added to injury in the form of social nagging (however much it is deserved because they are doing bad things).

I digress, but the point is my view of horse racing slightly clouds my ability to see this as a heartwarming story. Class discrimination in horse racing wouldn't rate as a particularly top social justice concern, so my usual vulnerability to that sort of story isn't activated. I appreciate that they are, in relative terms, less exploitative of their horse than the more corporate-minded top-end breeders, but it's still kind of a story of a group socially climbing on the literal back of something even less fortunate. I think that the documentary is so quaint and gentle in the face of the harsh realities of the sport (which are acknowledged) is maybe what unsettles me the most.

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2019, 01:59:47 AM »
I think I watched the first three Police Stories for smirnoff, so why not the fourth. I'll also watch Perfect Sense. Some other interesting choices after those.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2019, 02:14:17 AM »
Dark Horse

I think there's something of a microcosm in this film and my reaction to it. Here you have this white, working class community riven by the loss of economic opportunities who find a source of joy by coming together to support a race horse, and here comes this snobby professional class elite to tell them their joy is problematic because horse racing is cruel and exploitative (as is dog racing). Now, it doesn't quite work in that horse racing is otherwise such a upper crust past-time, but it does fit into the narrative used to explain Trump voters (or more appropriate in this doc, Brexit voters. The Welsh after all did vote Leave (if by a fairly narrow margin). This lot is in a spot economically, and even though the left would be better for them on that respect, more attention is paid to the insult added to injury in the form of social nagging (however much it is deserved because they are doing bad things).

I digress, but the point is my view of horse racing slightly clouds my ability to see this as a heartwarming story. Class discrimination in horse racing wouldn't rate as a particularly top social justice concern, so my usual vulnerability to that sort of story isn't activated. I appreciate that they are, in relative terms, less exploitative of their horse than the more corporate-minded top-end breeders, but it's still kind of a story of a group socially climbing on the literal back of something even less fortunate. I think that the documentary is so quaint and gentle in the face of the harsh realities of the sport (which are acknowledged) is maybe what unsettles me the most.

Yeah fair reaction. It's like watching a doc on unpaid college athletes and then trying to enjoy a romantic NCAA football story. Tough to fully embrace it. I'm not quite where you are on horse racing though I think. You seem to find object to it fundamentally. I object to certain practices within the sport/industry but not the sport at it's most basic level. So yeah, there's definitely a gap there between us and how we're going to receive this story. But your reaction makes sense to me, given where you're coming from.

A part of me wants to pursue the ethical arguments here since I think they're interesting, but on the other hand I'm not at all a staunch defender of horse racing and don't really want to take on that role. I've never given the whole thing much thought to be honest. I have a starting position, which is that I don't object to it fundamentally, but I'm hardly entrenched in that position and could be swayed either way with good arguments. I can think of compelling arguments myself from both camps. I do believe a day at the races is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon yet invented. :)



Were you concerned going into this one, given your feelings about the industry?

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2019, 02:31:08 AM »
I think I watched the first three Police Stories for smirnoff, so why not the fourth.

You've climbed the mountain. Now you get to sit back and enjoy the view. :)

It's such a lighter, more fun film than Supercop (which I revisited recently). It does away with the heavy military vibe which had too many tanks and guns for a Jackie Chan film imo. The action set pieces are more varied, more creative and way more entertaining. I think you'll enjoy yourself. :)

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I'll also watch Perfect Sense. Some other interesting choices after those.

I'm stoked and completely unable to predict how you might feel about it... you or anyone else really. :)

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2019, 03:41:18 PM »
Were you concerned going into this one, given your feelings about the industry?

I didn't really put a lot of thought into it before hand (it being apprehension about the film, not the broader ethical point) so the film kind of activated it.

A Late Quartet

With no horses in sight, this one worked a lot better. If I'm grasping the metaphor, you have these phenomenally talented musicians, who could make a living as soloists, receiving glory. But instead they form a string quartet that demands they subsume personal desires or ambitions to form a cohesive whole where each supports and enriches the other. But alas, they are humans and those things linger and this is an effective drama in playing out how a single crack sends all of it flooding out. And of course the stellar cast, largely of people who have tended to play supporting rather than lead parts, is honed to equally add up to a greater whole. Really lovely.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2019, 05:49:48 PM »
A Late Quartet

With no horses in sight, this one worked a lot better.

Why there's a horse right here, and their tails are used in many scenes.

Did you have your blinders on? :))

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If I'm grasping the metaphor, you have these phenomenally talented musicians, who could make a living as soloists, receiving glory. But instead they form a string quartet that demands they subsume personal desires or ambitions to form a cohesive whole where each supports and enriches the other. But alas, they are humans and those things linger and this is an effective drama in playing out how a single crack sends all of it flooding out. And of course the stellar cast, largely of people who have tended to play supporting rather than lead parts, is honed to equally add up to a greater whole. Really lovely.



I'm so glad you think so. That's such a nice reaction to hear about a film I also found really lovely. I thought the subject matter was interesting and the storytelling heartfelt.

That's a nice observation about the casting that hadn't occured to me. I was so focused on their general pedigree as actors, I hadn't considered that they were probably cast precisely because of their proven quality in a supporting roles. Which of course is so appropriate for this film. Could this film work as well with Julia Roberts, Al Pacino, Michael Fassbiner and Russell Crowe?

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2019, 01:34:15 AM »
Perfect Sense

My favorite thing about this movie is the first symptom, an overwhelming sense of sadness. I would like to see a version of the film that ditches the loss of senses and focuses solely on emotional extremes that precede . Like the "moment of hunger", which is a bizarre, brief scene. I like the way it passes over the world like an eclipse and how people don't really care what they're putting into their mouths. But it's those first images of people inconsolable, mostly off by themselves or unaware of their support network trying to stop the grief. I loved it and I loved the way it would occasionally lead to violent outbursts of anger. It's unclear if that's the illness or people's angry reaction to what's happening to them, but Ewan McGregor‎ driving out Eva Green and destroying his own house is a very effective scene. I want to see more of this. Are there mass suicides during this phase, because we don't see any and it would be interesting to learn that in the most extreme sadness people wrestle with the question in a unique way.

Losing the senses, not as interesting and compared to the more emotional symptoms kind of gimmicky. Also, it seems a more clear plan by the writer would have helped. Sometimes we see different people in different stages and sometimes it's like the entire world is hit with a symptom at the same time. It goes sadness/smell, hunger/taste, anger/hearing and joy/sight, but what about touch? For a film anchored by a love story, touch would be the most important sense for me to get into. Imagine if the sadness lingered, compounded by an inability to feel the warmth of a hug or hands on your face.

While I recognize the imagery and montage is working at something like Wings of Desire or Amelie, conveying emotions through imagery - this is pretty much the entire last section - it appears the film's path woke up the writer in me first and I found it all to be a handful of interesting ideas that aren't tied into one multi-layered film experience. I think the love story is meant to tie everything together, but I found it rather bland and often upstaged by the global pandemic.
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smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2019, 11:23:47 PM »
Perfect Sense

My favorite thing about this movie is the first symptom, an overwhelming sense of sadness. I would like to see a version of the film that ditches the loss of senses and focuses solely on emotional extremes that precede . Like the "moment of hunger", which is a bizarre, brief scene. I like the way it passes over the world like an eclipse and how people don't really care what they're putting into their mouths. But it's those first images of people inconsolable, mostly off by themselves or unaware of their support network trying to stop the grief. I loved it and I loved the way it would occasionally lead to violent outbursts of anger. It's unclear if that's the illness or people's angry reaction to what's happening to them, but Ewan McGregor‎ driving out Eva Green and destroying his own house is a very effective scene. I want to see more of this. Are there mass suicides during this phase, because we don't see any and it would be interesting to learn that in the most extreme sadness people wrestle with the question in a unique way.

Mmm, yes. This is a concept I could watch play out again and again with different people in different places. Wonderful description comparing it to an eclipse... as sudden as it is fleeting.

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Losing the senses, not as interesting and compared to the more emotional symptoms kind of gimmicky. Also, it seems a more clear plan by the writer would have helped. Sometimes we see different people in different stages and sometimes it's like the entire world is hit with a symptom at the same time.

For me that messiness helped break up the gimmick, or think about it differently. It was just unstructured enough to pass as an organic event, and not a strict rats-in-a-maze social experiment (a la Cube). Those slight differences in each iteration help interrupt would-be patterns... patterns that lead you to try understanding the events from a position of hope. As if there's something there to be recognized and understood, and possibly even solved. That is a style of film I also appreciate, but I found the bleak inevitability here drove the story to be about coping, not hoping. It made me reflect/appreciate what was lost, not focus on how they might get it back. The imagery/montages support those reflections in a way I found effective. And it's very lovely in those bittersweet in-between moments, when society has adjusted to the new norm. It was inspiring and hopeful, but also desperate and sad. If life flashes before your eyes when you die, this film is the death of civilization and the relatively brief glimpse of its memories.  :'(

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It goes sadness/smell, hunger/taste, anger/hearing and joy/sight, but what about touch? For a film anchored by a love story, touch would be the most important sense for me to get into. Imagine if the sadness lingered, compounded by an inability to feel the warmth of a hug or hands on your face.

While I recognize the imagery and montage is working at something like Wings of Desire or Amelie, conveying emotions through imagery - this is pretty much the entire last section - it appears the film's path woke up the writer in me first and I found it all to be a handful of interesting ideas that aren't tied into one multi-layered film experience. I think the love story is meant to tie everything together, but I found it rather bland and often upstaged by the global pandemic.

I agree to a degree. Although as love stories in films go, I appreciate that it wasn't ever played up as a magical, perfect soulmate, once in a lifetime type thing. They never make the sadness of their deteriorating relationship greater than the global tragedy, if you know what I mean. So in that way I felt comfortable with the films priorities. It didn't try to make me invest too deeply into something which very clearly isn't the most important thing happening in the world... even if the focus is primarily still on them. I thought there was a nice balance to the editing generally though .

Not a complete success for you but I'm so glad you had moments that you really loved. It's not a complete success of a film for me either to be honest. But overall, so unique, and with such good scenes and montages. A gentle apocalypse. Like being smothered with a pillow. :))

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Re: Top 100 Club: smirnoff
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 08:21:29 AM »
I found the bleak inevitability here drove the story to be about coping, not hoping. It made me reflect/appreciate what was lost, not focus on how they might get it back.
I like this because I see it, but I think it could've been drawn out a little further. You're right that we don't get scientists working on a cure, but in the stages of grief I was seeing more anger and denial than acceptance, though the scenes of acceptance (like the final emotional wave) was presented really well. It's like realizing you're falling so you just kick back and relax into the ride.

Our common ground reminds me of a Canadian film called Last Night (1998) about a group of people dealing with the last day of Earth in various ways. It's a low-key affair because most have accepted there's nothing they can do and are just figuring out how they want to live the end of their life. I would not expect you to watch it and go "oh, this is a much better version of the movie I love." I think Last Night is the movie you love tailored more to fit my frame. Last Night also has a love story playing out under the larger picture. I agree with how you describe the relationship in Perfect Sense, I just found the characters those two very interesting actors have been given to play to be very uninteresting.

A gentle apocalypse. Like being smothered with a pillow. :))
Thumbs up to that accurate description.
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