Author Topic: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon  (Read 19102 times)

zarodinu

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #80 on: October 11, 2010, 07:32:47 PM »
"Kinski says it's full of erotic elements. It's not so much erotic, but full of obscenity. Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotic here. I see fornication and asphyxiation and choking, fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away. Of course there's a lot of misery, but it's the same misery that's all around us. The trees are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing; they just screech in pain. Taking a close look at what's around us, there is some sort of harmony. It's the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder."

Somewhere between this and Malick, is the truth about the natural world.  Its closer to this though.
Iíve lied to men who wear belts. Iíve lied to men who wear suspenders. But Iíd never be so stupid as to lie to a man who wears both a belt and suspenders.

jbissell

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #81 on: October 11, 2010, 09:21:22 PM »
Bondo, I've said it before, but you're CINECAST!ing nuts.

Stop watching films I love!

smirnoff

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #82 on: October 11, 2010, 09:25:43 PM »
I wish I was in the same room watching these with you Bondo. We'd have a laugh.

Bondo

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #83 on: October 11, 2010, 10:08:58 PM »
It's funny you say that because, frankly, I think some of these films would make great MST3K targets, being just as laughably bad as cheesy b-movie sci-fi and the like.

Stop watching films I love!

It's your fault for loving them so much they get onto the FSTop100 and make me watch and thus hate them ;D

Bondo

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #84 on: October 19, 2010, 10:34:28 PM »
The Red Shoes (The Archers, 1948)

Number of Lists: 13
Lists Include: Music/Romance, 1940s, BFI 100, Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Criterion Collection.

I'm sure if I loved ballet half as much as I love ballerinas, and isn't Moira Shearer a vision here, this would be one of my favorite films. This is a film that isn't heavy with dialogue...it spends a lot of its time with the craft of ballet. Of what dialogue is there, there are a great many really strong lines that are thick with meaning. And the extensive ballet scenes? The extended scene of The Red Shoes in the middle is, as far as I can tell, one of the more splendid pieces of ballet I've seen (which is rather limited) in featuring a bit more excitement with set design and the like beyond the dance itself. Yet it still was a scene that often saw me drifting in and out. Ballet is simply an art that tries my attention span.

As to the broader story? I wish I could say I got emotionally invested in the central romance and choices and the drama they produce. Lermontov is probably the character who interested me the most...his obsessive passion for ballet and the way he treats threats to it rather as infidelities. Still, I feel the stakes get taken all out of proportion of the reality. For me this is a film whose strength is in its more technical or visual splendor. Really, at the end of the day it is a film I should like a lot less than I do, yet it has an indefinable quality to it. This definitely has me interested to pursue further Archers films.

Rating: 4/5

oldkid

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #85 on: October 20, 2010, 03:00:06 PM »
For me, the film wasn't really about ballet at all or even about the making of a ballet.  Not near as much as Altman's desperately dull The Company.  I think it has to do with collaborative art, with vision and talent and flexibility and power.  Even though ballet is at the heart of the story, I could see the characters just as well making a movie or a Broadway play.   These are archtypes-- you can even see the movie perhaps being about a father, a daughter and her beau. 

I think the power of this film is to reach beyond ballet.  Even the ballet scene is more than ballet could ever be-- it was wonderful cinema, but impossible ballet.  I think it was particularly effective because it broke the rules of ballet and of the realistic portraits it was attempting to portray.  And it brings the whole movie to another level.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Bondo

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #86 on: October 20, 2010, 06:13:19 PM »
I understand that the film isn't about ballet, but it is still ballet. If it were a West End musical instead I might like it better (provided the musical were as good in its genre as the ballet was here) because I like musicals more than ballet. That's all I meant there.

Bondo

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #87 on: October 29, 2010, 08:53:12 PM »
Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)

Number of Lists: 11
Lists Include: Spiritual, 1970s, National Film Registry, Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Criterion Collection.

This marks my third Malick feature. Badlands is interesting enough in its ideas, if a bit off-putting in its violence and near glorification. The New World was so dreadfully boring that I've blocked out most memory of it. This is certainly closer to Badlands for me but I wouldn't say the themes strike me as being as interesting. You've got a class structure in effect and the triangle set up with Abby, under the guise of being Bill's sister, being encouraged to return the farmer's approach is theoretically an emotionally fulfilling one, but is the kind based on a deception and ill-will that isn't as engaging for me. I find it a little hard to see why this would be considered a spiritually deep film...because of the plague of "locusts"?

Having seen this and Out of the Blue this month, I must admit I'm rather taken with Linda Manz as an actress, shame that there's not a lot else to look forward to. That said, I wouldn't call this a film that demands much of its actors. They might as well be an extension of the fields of wheat for as emotional as this film gets.

The score and cinematography is certainly top notch and I could see why people who value the pure aesthetics of film would fall in love with this (and Malick's films in general). I guess all that's left for me is to see Thin Red Line but I have no great hope that Malick will rise above an academic film interest for me.

Rating: 3/5

Bondo

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #88 on: November 10, 2010, 10:39:06 PM »
Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)
Number of Lists: 9
Lists Include: Spiritual, 1980s, Cannes, Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Criterion Collection.

The first thing that jumps out at me in this film are the performances. Harry Dean Stanton has an exceptional case of indieitis, that effort to play it so toned down and "natural" that it comes off entirely fake and a tad bit boring. Heck, for the first half-hour he doesn't even talk or really show emotion. Even after that point the emotional range is terribly limited. Yeah, character something something, it isn't interesting. I also want to pick out Aurore Clement, whose heavily accented English makes for some of the most stilted dialogue deliveries imaginable.

Ok, so I found the first hour (I may overestimate time) kind of painful and drawn out, but things do start to improve slightly as we get Travis attempting to reconnect with his son and eventually his wife. There's a definite visual craft here, particularly in the house of ill repute. Still, it remains so slow and the various "deep" discussions never quite sink below the surface to grab me in any lasting sense. They go on for so long that I keep wanting them to mean something. Related to its placement on top spiritual films, like a few of the others on that list I've talked about, I'm not sure I see the "spiritual" component here, but maybe I'm taking that too literally.

Rating: 2/5
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 10:46:58 PM by Bondo »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Lisztomania: A Classics Marathon
« Reply #89 on: November 10, 2010, 10:45:54 PM »
Being natural makes the film unbelievable? ??? Harry Dean Stanton doesn't show emotion? What the hell film did you watch?