Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 467304 times)

pixote

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2210 on: January 18, 2009, 02:01:55 AM »
It took me a week to read your verdict, oneaprilday, because I knew it would depress me — not because of which film lost, but because it would be a really well written and thought out verdict, and that would depress because you didn't have a chance to write any similiarly great verdicts in the first two rounds. :'(

I loved the scene in the classroom in which the students have to watch an appallingly perky, cheery film about what to do in case of an “Atomic Holocaust”:

 
I laughed aloud seeing the words "appallingly perky" followed by those two screenshots.  Perfect.

(there’s a beautiful scene in which Poncelet spends his last hours with his mother and brothers – they don’t really know what to say to each, but they clearly love each other)
As I started reading your thoughts on Dead Man Walking, I tried to remember anything about the film, but came up with very little:  1) omg! how did Sean Penn not win the Oscar?!!?; 2) Yeah, I think I liked Dead Man Walking a lot; 3) Sarandon wasn't bad either, but, seriously, Nic Cage had better vote for Penn this year; 4) Chair squeaking on linoleum.  That last one was really the only image I could conjure up from the movie, and even then I couldn't place it or even be sure it was something really from the film.  But when I read your description above of that scene between Poncelet and his family, it started to come together a little.  Am I remembering right that there's a lot of silence in that scene heightened by the sound of moving chairs or something?

Anyway, I was right.  I'm depressed now.  Nicely done.

pixote
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 02:21:56 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2211 on: January 18, 2009, 02:28:09 AM »
Fun fact: Through eighteen third round matchups, the higher-seeded films have won as many matchups as they lost.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

sdedalus

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2212 on: January 26, 2009, 07:18:25 PM »
Lost Highway vs. Swingers

Swingers is one of those movies I've seen a million times.  I was the right age at the right time, I guess.  It's easy, when thinking about the film, to get distracted by the flashier parts: the slangy dialogue, the big Vince Vaughn breakthrough performance, the specificity (and/or datedness) of the Swing revival of the mid-90s world the characters live in.  But there's much more to the film than that.  It's arguably the first of the latest wave of romantic comedies, in which the hero(s) discover that monogamy is the key to happiness (as opposed to many a comedy of the earlier generation, where promiscuity, free love, and divorce are celebrated).  These films reassert the genre's traditional endorsement of the nuclear couple, often from a newly post-feminist perspective (an element that's notably lacking in Swingers, with its narrative focus on a trio of young men).

Beyond that, the film is definitive in its depiction of kids who build their entire worlds out of images they think are "cool".  It's no coincidence the characters are actors; everything about their life is constructed: their obsession with Rat Pack iconography and discussions and subsequent reenactments of shots from Goodfellas and Reservoir Dogs are the most obvious reflections of this, but most of the film's other dialogue also revolves around roles and how to play them.  The film captures, more than any I know, the process by which young people, regardless of their own pop culture obsessions, are constantly remaking and re-imagining themselves, trying on various personae until they find one that works for them, something that feels natural, that doesn't feel like acting.  This is why the film can never be dated: the references change, but the people stay the same.


The hero of Lost Highway pulls off a similar feat, constructing at least half of a movie out of the images of his youth (films noirs and cars movies of the 50 and 60s, etc).  I wrote extensively about Lost Highway, and this theory of it in particular, on my blog a couple of years ago, and what I said then holds up on a second viewing of the film.  It's a fascinating, trashy piece of mind-blowing pulp.  And it's hard to think of anyone besides Lynch who could pull something like this off (unlike Swingers, which is brilliant in a more conventional way).

It's still the only David Lynch film I've really liked, though after this positive experience I haven't gotten around to seeing any more of his movies (I've had Mulholland Drive here from netflix at least twice and sent it back without watching it.)  I really should watch some more.

This is a tough decision, and I'm pretty sure I'd vote for either of these to be resurrected, but Lost Highway is the more exciting, daring film and it's going to move on.
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skjerva

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2213 on: January 26, 2009, 07:28:15 PM »
as much as i was cringing for Lost Highway to lose, i was convinced Swingers deserved to move on.  nice write-up, can't wait to revisit Swingers!
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jbissell

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2214 on: January 26, 2009, 07:40:31 PM »
I really, really hate Lose Highway and enjoy Swingers so I should be upset about this verdict but for some reason I'm not.  Lost Highway has always been one of those films that has never clicked for me, but every time I watch it, I get the feeling that I'll start to love it at some point (I've seen it 3 times, although not in the last few years) so I'm interested in maybe getting a chance to revisit it yet again next round.

edgar00

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2215 on: January 26, 2009, 07:47:48 PM »
A Lynch film moves on... I'll refrain from any ranting and merely say I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Swingers.
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ses

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2216 on: January 26, 2009, 07:50:28 PM »
 :'(
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roujin

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2217 on: January 26, 2009, 11:38:36 PM »
I don't know which one I would pick.

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2218 on: January 26, 2009, 11:42:19 PM »
Your write-up makes me want to see Swingers. Too bad it had to go.
 

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2219 on: January 26, 2009, 11:48:06 PM »
Lost Highway vs. Swingers

Amen sdedalus.