Author Topic: The Cinephiles Oscar Movie Club  (Read 2336 times)


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Re: The Cinephiles Oscar Movie Club
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2021, 11:23:17 PM »
Dog Day Afternoon always hovers around my 100th favorite film of all time, but I never felt the need to analyze why. It just hits me differently as I grow older and appreciate more of the levels its working on. The performances and the realism were the foundation and the satire/black comedy is what keeps my appreciation from ever decreasing.

Moses Pray

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Film #6: Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2021, 12:00:02 PM »

5 Photos and 4 Comments on Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven

*This was my first Fassbinder film so maybe I just need to get used to his style but this movie did not resonate with me. Reading about Fassbinder online, it seems that all his films tend to be "cold to the touch." I certainly found that to be true. However, it's not a style that I mind. Yorgos Lathimos sometimes comes across that way and I love his films. But here I didn't like any of the characters and did not care at all about what happened to them. That seems like a problem.
*Positive reviews make much about the politics. It was seen as a witty comedy about the faults of the both the right and the left. I guess...maybe we are just pretty far removed from the politics of West German in the mid-70s. But I found the political commentary here awfully heavy-handed and rather predictable. Having just seen the brilliant hostage film Dog Day Afternoon two nights before, the hostage scene here suffered in comparison.
*Personally I did not feel that Bridgette Mira, the actress playing Mother Kusters, could hold the screen for the length of time she needs to. There are a couple scenes late in the film (the one where she gets mad at the communist couple, in particular) that come off as extremely awkward.
*However, happy to get back on the horse with Fassbinder as he had 2 films in 1975 that made the cut --- and Fox and His Friends will be upcoming.

*Best Bit of IMDB Trivia: "There are two endings to the film. In one, Mutter Küsters and anarchists visit newspaper head office to demand the retraction of the article about Mr Küsters. When the editor rejects them, anarchist leader takes out his gun, declares everyone hostage, and demand all political prisoners to be freed, very much to Mutter Küsters' surprise. The journalist who wrote the article, Niemeyer, is phoned, while he is hanging out with Küsters' daughter, Corinna (See the first b&w image on the IMDB page). The rest of the scene is in transcript, where they leave the office, surrounded by police, and Küsters' son run towards him, calling her 'Mom! Mom!'. She walks towards his son. In the other ending [US version], Küsters and anarchists visit the journalist in his office. They sit on the floor to protest. Office staff leaves work. When anarchist leader can't convince Mutter Küsters to take drastic action, they leave her, sitting in the office alone. Corinna talks to her mom, saying nowhere cares, and that she is being ridiculous. Corinna exits. Enter an old widow, the caretaker of the office, who convinces Mutter Küsters to have dinner with him, and discuss the article, which he finds to be a pack of lies too. He picks her up, and they leave the office together."
*Contrary Opinion: Dennis Schwartz writes: "The provocative filmmaker manages to show worker exploitation on the left while still hitting hard at the right." Again the political commentary here seemed decidedly unsubtle to me and did not seem to say anything profound about the left or the right. They were both just trying to use Mother Kusters, as would be expected in such a situation. There was a great deal made about whether either side was going to "help" her but the help that she seemed to want was friends or company, which just seemed like an odd thing for a political party to be expected to provide.
*Laugh Out Loud Funny: Sadly, while I kind of understood what they were going for, I really didn't find the film very funny. The thing about everyone pitching in to build the little devices (clocks?, alarms?) at the kitchen table was cute.
My Grade: C+
Strong Award Contenders: I do not have any

Again, my first time with this director so I'd love to hear a passioned defense of the film.

Moses Pray

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Film #7: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2021, 03:36:43 PM »

5 Photos & 5 Comments About The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

*Another West German film that I could not get into. Like Mother Kusters, this had a strong political bent and while it may have just been that the urgency of the political atmosphere of West Germany has faded a bit, I found this film overly preachy.
*The message of this film was quite clear and it felt like it had a thesis from start to finish that it wanted to sell the viewer on - rather than simply presenting a story and letting the viewer draw their own conclusions.
*I found the acting of Mario Adorf as the inspector to be rather unfortunate. Moving from zero to sixty in a second or two, he had a tendency to shout his lines in a rather unconvincing manner.
*Angela Winkler in the title role did not grab me. She lacked any kind of dynamic energy to hold the screen, in my view.
*After five really strong 1975 films, I've hit a couple misses here with the last two. Barry Lyndon is next and promises much more.

Best Bit of IMDB Trivia: "Directorial debut of Margarethe von Trotta." And it felt like it...
*Contrary Opinion: Lucie K. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Free Press Writes "The film rivals the realism and spontaneity of All the President's Men." Wow. I completely disagree. The film's realism was swamped by the message the directors seemed to push on the viewers in every scene. It also completely lacked All the President's Men's urgency and intensity.
My Grade: C
Strong Award Contenders: None


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Re: The Cinephiles Oscar Movie Club
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2022, 01:47:34 AM »
I regret not participating in this thread more. We seem to have lost its creator. Come back, Moses!