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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid  (Read 1807 times)

Teproc

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2019, 05:23:33 AM »
To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)

A pure product of Hollywood's Golden Age, with its glitzy star-system and ability to churn out eminently watchable films that just feel comfortable to be in. The highlight here is of course Bacall and Bogart. This is my second time seeing them together (The Big Sleep being the first), but this was when they met, and the sexual tension is so palpable it feels as close to pornography as Hayes Code Hollywood can. On that point, I wondered if the famous "put your lips together and blow" line really was a thinly veiled reference to blowjobs, and Merriam-Webster cites that usage as first appearing in 1942... so I'm still unsure. It certainly plays that way now, what with Bacall's sultry and sensual line delivery. They make this worth watching, not just for the extra-textual interest in seeing their famous romance get started, but simply because their chemistry is something rarely seen on screen.

It is a bit of a shame that it comes in this package though. Hawks is as dynamic a director as you can get in this time and place, but even he can't make the script - a bare-bones retread of Casablanca - very interesting. Bogey is so entranced by Bacall that his basic redemption arc feels pre-ordained and artificial, and the ending makes me wonder how this can possibly be considered noir at all. Throw in some inexplicably English-speaking French officials, and you've got a film that I had a good time with, but ultimately feels like a piece of Hollywood history more than something I'd really want to revisit and share.

6/10
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 11:40:11 PM »
Hi BlueVoid, I'll be watching these movies.

Adaptation
Superbad
Three Colours: Red

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2019, 11:45:23 PM »
Red! Looking forward to your thoughts.
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BlueVoid

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2020, 09:56:47 AM »
A Generation (1955)
★ ★ ★ - Good
Andrzej Wajda's most popular films are Kanal and Ashes & Diamonds, yet this - which is thematically the first film of the trilogy - makes those films better. In chronological order, you can see Wajda grow in confidence as a director, with increasingly artistic direction. That's not to say this is lacking in that department, it's more like unmolded clay of long takes and interesting frames that become only more interesting once he gets away from neorealism and becomes more confident. This is like Mean Streets or Fellini's I Vitelloni, that early raw hit from a director who would refine over time, but I've never seen a film from the director that felt so personal.


I didn't know he was in this...

A very young Roman Polanski.

I watched the entire trilogy right in a row. Kanal was the clear best in that trilogy, but as a whole  Wajda was a great discovery for me. I think you hit the nail on the head where it does feel something akin to Meanstreets. I think what I do appreciate most about it is how it informs the other films in the trilogy. I really need to watch some more Wajda...
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BlueVoid

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2020, 09:59:27 AM »
To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)

A pure product of Hollywood's Golden Age, with its glitzy star-system and ability to churn out eminently watchable films that just feel comfortable to be in. The highlight here is of course Bacall and Bogart. This is my second time seeing them together (The Big Sleep being the first), but this was when they met, and the sexual tension is so palpable it feels as close to pornography as Hayes Code Hollywood can. On that point, I wondered if the famous "put your lips together and blow" line really was a thinly veiled reference to blowjobs, and Merriam-Webster cites that usage as first appearing in 1942... so I'm still unsure. It certainly plays that way now, what with Bacall's sultry and sensual line delivery. They make this worth watching, not just for the extra-textual interest in seeing their famous romance get started, but simply because their chemistry is something rarely seen on screen.

It is a bit of a shame that it comes in this package though. Hawks is as dynamic a director as you can get in this time and place, but even he can't make the script - a bare-bones retread of Casablanca - very interesting. Bogey is so entranced by Bacall that his basic redemption arc feels pre-ordained and artificial, and the ending makes me wonder how this can possibly be considered noir at all. Throw in some inexplicably English-speaking French officials, and you've got a film that I had a good time with, but ultimately feels like a piece of Hollywood history more than something I'd really want to revisit and share.

6/10

For me the Becall/Bogart chemistry is everything. You are right the packaging is -- meh, whatever-- but those two are so utterly entrancing that I can't help but forgive everything else.

Hi BlueVoid, I'll be watching these movies.

Adaptation
Superbad
Three Colours: Red


What a mix! Three incredibly different films! Looking forward to seeing what you think. (I don't have high hopes for Superbad  ;D)
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colonel_mexico

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2020, 01:49:40 PM »
RASHOMON - It is nearly impossible for me to write anything that will do this justice or to articulate the countless paths I took in trying to decipher a meaning.  I even had to go back and rewatch to try and catch anything I missed in relation to the multiple accounts and outcomes.  "We lie to ourselves" and it doesn't matter as long as its entertaining.  The postmodern approach of story telling that permeates not only media and film, but of our very history and memory of ourselves.  What is truth?  It is often shaded by our beliefs of right and wrong, of what we perceive as truth.  As a student of law the truth is always left to the finder of fact, the jury decides who to believe and their wisdom gives us the facts and we, the academics of law impose the proper law or rule upon them.  We as the audience of RASHOMON are the jury, a kind of engaged spectator left to decipher a meaning or create our own truth of what happened.  A postmodernist would perhaps say there is no objective reality, the subjective world is all we have--is this the hell that the priest fears so much?  As the different versions of truth reveal to the priest that man may not inherently be good at all, rather selfish individuals who use a version of truth that casts them in a 'good light.'  "Maybe goodness is just make believe to forget all the bad stuff, easier to live that way." 

I have pondered on occasion the philosophical thought exercise on light and dark and hot and cold.  The existence of one would be negated by absence of the other.  For hot and cold, a physicist or chemist might say cold is actually not real because it is simply the absence of heat or slow moving molecules in systems trying to achieve equilibrium.  Darkness too seems to quasi-exist because we can perceive the empty nothing that is left when the photon-laden beam of light illuminates it, but is it actually there or just a nothing-nothing?  I admit my inferior mind (on many levels, including film which is clearly evident with the great minds that I enjoy reading around here) leaves me without an answer.  Perhaps the fear the priest has is the objective reality that we are all liars, that man is evil because he must be to survive (he must kill to eat, to protect against bandits, to protect the things he acquires-I will hold off the implications and role of women, but it is also an interesting perspective because even she lies to protect herself as a victim, but also to gain power in a world in which she has no power thus being both noble but human and ultimately evil and the killer). 

We only have goodness to filter out a better reality, one that we can live with and ignore the bad parts of life and of our own evil selves.  Which brings me to another interpretation on this 1950s film.  Japan at the time was certainly and still very much does suffer from survivor's guilt, the loss of the old way of life, and of the way to view ones place in the world historical context of the mess of WWII.  The samurai represents that old way of life that has died, but how and why?  Is the samurai responsible for his own death because his wife and his code failed him?  Was the bandit the rest of the barbaric world taking from Japan her virtue and the only honorable way out was seppuku?  All that is left of Japan is the Rashomon, or gate left in tatters where bandits leave bodies and lowly priests and commoners ponder the meaning of it all.  And Japan herself is quick to forget the crimes of Nanking or the horrors done to the Korean women. 

I too find myself in that place of fear, that perhaps as a species on this lonely rock we are selfish and ultimately evil and we prop ourselves up by organizing society in such a way to promote goodness through subjective morals of right and wrong.  I've been taught that the opposite of fear is faith, which like light and dark and hot and cold may not really exist except for the other, but has been a useful tool in keeping my selfishness from destroying my own conscience.  And I have met a number of others who have deep sympathy and empathy of others, for every misanthrope like me there are at least 2 Sandy's out there :) who restore my faith in humanity. 

TLDR :)  MASTERPIECE and MUST find a place within my own top 10 films of all time.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 09:03:12 PM by colonel_mexico »
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2020, 08:15:37 PM »
Whoa! I just saw this. That's very kind, colonel_mexico. :) I must quote a little Jane Eyre though! "I am not an angel" and you are most definitely not a misanthrope. Your empathy/sympathy are alive and well. Most of us land somewhere in-between the light and the dark; containing both elements inside us and holding out hope we're the good guys in the story.

Every time Rashomon lands in someone's top 100, I tell myself I should really watch it this time around, but then talk myself out of it, probably to avoid having to wrestle with all you did during your viewing. I'll need to prepare myself for the existential rollercoaster ride, when I finally do decide to take it on.


What a mix! Three incredibly different films! Looking forward to seeing what you think. (I don't have high hopes for Superbad  ;D)

:))

Me neither!

colonel_mexico

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2020, 09:03:52 PM »
I agree we all dwell in that grey area, though some more skewed to different sides of the continuum....you are so kind Sandy, thank you! :)
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etdoesgood

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 09:52:18 PM »
I'm so excited to start. I need to get out of my little cavern in the cinema world, just a bit.


Three Colours Red
Modern Times (Gonna read up on it a bit, too, since I lack context for the film)
Shoeshine (Getting into Kiarostami and Panahi, the term Italian neorealism kept coming up. I think I will now figure out what it's about, or at least start.)

I should say I love your bleeping list. There's certainly films I should've seen, those I haven't really heard of that I should've heard of and seen, and Grave of the Fireflies and Luis flippin' Bunuel. I love film but I have so many blind spots, so this will help, thanks!
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etdoesgood

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Re: Top 100 Club: BlueVoid
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2020, 07:42:19 PM »
After giving three films I'd watch, I went ahead and saw something different: Perfect Blue.

I had seen one film previously from Kon, Paprika, which is on my tentative Top 100 list. Perfect Blue also blew me away, but in a very different way. Of any animated film I have ever seen - and I don't think I'm being hyperbolic here - this is the closest to blurring the line between animation and real life. As someone who likes complex, thought-provoking non-superhero comics, this worked perfectly for me. Of all the prophetic visions of this film, the one that struck me the most was the pop idol-turned-actress Mima reading a blog that purports to be her own, about her daily life, and even incorporating that truth into her reality. The question about what your reality is, "Who am I?" as Mima repeats in the picture, not so ironically while she's actually acting, is as complex and elusive here, therefore probably closer to the truth, than I've see in most films that tackle existential issues. This is not to mention how thrilling and suspenseful the film is, especially in its second half. I found it simultaneously riveting and disorienting, and wasn't too surprised with I read that it highly influenced Darren Aronofsky in the making of Black Swan (another of my Top 100).

About a week ago I had questioned why Mad Max: Fury Road is such an adored film, and the gender critique and crushing of the patriarchy came up. I'd say this film accomplishes some of the same goals, albeit in highly different and more sophisticated ways. No disrespect to Mad Max fans at all, I genuinely wanted to know why people liked it, but watching Perfect Blue further clarifies how heavy-handed some of the imagery in Fury Road really is. I also think Perfect Blue does well in speaking on feminist issues from the perspective of a woman. She puts herself into the hands of the patriarchy only to find that her body and her existence no longer seem to belong to her. Mad Max is comparatively shallow, with the mothers of the Citadel not having much in the way of personality or initiative (besides following Furiosa).

I'm not saying which BlueVoid film comes next, but there are a lot on that list I want to see. I think I'm going to try Seven Samurai next weekend, just have to block out enough time to see it in one sitting.
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