Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched (Jan 2011 - Nov 2013)  (Read 1354650 times)

1SO

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6900 on: September 02, 2011, 05:05:51 PM »
High 5, Bondo. I agree completely, except it's only my 2nd worst movie because I have intense hatred for another film. Still, it's miles worse than Hop, my 3rd lowest movie.
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MP

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6901 on: September 02, 2011, 07:01:00 PM »
Some write-ups of films I re-watched last month...

The Intruder L'intrus 3/5
Claire Denis   2004   France
An ageing man pursues a heart transplant and goes in search of a son he fathered across the globe, whilst ignoring another.
Denis's adaptation of a short essay by Jean-Luc Nancy is an elliptical film with a sombre tone, given a lingering menace by the Tindersticks score and a disquieting, effective depiction of human physicality and its limits and fragility. Editorially intriguing and visually suggestive, with scenes recalling one another and accumulating to an enigmatic reflection on the spiritual, moral and political implications of trespassing across material borders - bodily, domestic and national. Depending on one's mood, it's either frustrating or brilliant; overall, it's probably both, and too unique to dismiss.

Kes 5/5
Ken Loach   1969   UK
In northern England, a schoolboy whose future is destined for industrial labour discovers a passion for falconry.
Sensitive, naturalistic drama in which the focus on a young boy gains much depth and profundity from a careful eye on the visual backdrops: its sense of place (shot in and around Barnsley) is extraordinary, and while the milieu is notably grim, it'd be reductive to suggest Chris Menges's cinematography isn't pictorially aware. Unfolding with an observational authenticity, the film portrays its protagonist (David Bradley) as a believably resourceful lad whose enthusiasm to escape the fate expected of him - to graduate from school equipped for nothing but manual labour - finds its material embodiment in an energy for falconry; the scene in which he entrances his classmates and admiring teacher with his passionate description is hair-raisingly poignant, coming as it does after an unfortunate episode with a tyrannically punitive headmaster and a more comical aside involving a football match, in which even basic sporting potential is trampled by an ill-equipped sports teacher with delusions of grandeur.

The Dead Zone 3/5
David Cronenberg   1983   USA
When he recovers from a car accident, an English teacher discovers he has psychic powers.
Clunkily episodic adaptation of a Stephen King novel, imbued with a dark, cold air by accidental shooting conditions in sub-zero temperatures and the more deliberate directorial flair of Cronenberg. Christopher Walken seems suitably detached and eccentric, unable to grasp the moral responsibilities of the psychic powers he mysteriously attains; opposite him as a third act villain is Martin Sheen, who stamps his feet and rants like a spoilt child as an impossibly villainous candidate for mayor. It hasn't dated well, really, though it has its moments.

Andrei Rublev Andrey Rublyov 5/5
Andrei Tarkovsky   1966   USSR
In early 15th Century Russia, an icon painter struggles to come to terms with the horrors he witnesses at the hands of the Tartar invaders.
Fascinating, complex piece, long in length and novelistic in style, it remains one of Tarkovsky's more historically concentrated films, though necessarily limits itself to a reimagining of a real life artist about whom little is actually known. As a result, it's a self-reflexive work on the process by which an individual intellectual is informed by the social and historical phenomena around him, and the political particularities under and in response to which he works. Its imagery betrays an ambition and its narrative approach betrays a confidence, finding as it does a blend between the creative and the grounded - as does indeed its protagonist in the film; a philosophical epic, it also doubles as a detailed period piece depicting Russia's own religious, political and social (and therefore artistic and intellectual) identity at a time of violent upheaval preceding Tsarism, made itself under Stalinist censorship. Remarkable.

Bondo

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6902 on: September 02, 2011, 11:57:14 PM »
Santa Sangre

So, this was a film. The first third or half of this film was actually a pretty good ride. Most of it is a flashback of the character we are introduced to with the opening frame, owling naked in a mental institution. The setting and characters in the flashback are interesting. You've got various circus performers, a religious sect based around some gal who got her arms cut off and a love triangle. And most importantly you've got a young boy and young girl who are part of the circus and have an affection for each other. Their unspoken exchanges are the strongest thing in the film.

It is rather a disappointment when this all proves an elaborate set-up for the trippy/psychological second half which to me was just cheesy low-budget horror mixed with mostly impenetrable surrealism. Mood is the least effective film goal IMO and that is often the point of surrealism. What ideas I thought might be relevant early on are ignored, the plot is so loose as to be irrelevant. There is a bit of development with the central character I suppose, though I was disappointed that they let the girl disappear for a large stretch of the film.

The balance of mess to interest just didn't quite work out.

2/5

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6903 on: September 03, 2011, 12:39:00 AM »

Andrei Rublev Andrey Rublyov 5/5
Andrei Tarkovsky   1966   USSR
In early 15th Century Russia, an icon painter struggles to come to terms with the horrors he witnesses at the hands of the Tartar invaders.
Fascinating, complex piece, long in length and novelistic in style, it remains one of Tarkovsky's more historically concentrated films, though necessarily limits itself to a reimagining of a real life artist about whom little is actually known. As a result, it's a self-reflexive work on the process by which an individual intellectual is informed by the social and historical phenomena around him, and the political particularities under and in response to which he works. Its imagery betrays an ambition and its narrative approach betrays a confidence, finding as it does a blend between the creative and the grounded - as does indeed its protagonist in the film; a philosophical epic, it also doubles as a detailed period piece depicting Russia's own religious, political and social (and therefore artistic and intellectual) identity at a time of violent upheaval preceding Tsarism, made itself under Stalinist censorship. Remarkable.

YES.  :)  :)  :)

1SO

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6904 on: September 03, 2011, 02:05:20 AM »
Bondo the Brave. I'm very happy that you tried out some Jodorowsky. We're pretty much in agreement, except I'd flip the balance of mess to interest and give it 3 stars. Given the chance, I hope to dictate El Topo to you down the road. (3 1/2 stars)  (There's a hook, but again the plot is almost irrelevant.) El Topo also balances mess with interest, but contains more spectacular scenes and moments. There's one in Santa Sangre, the stabbing scene. In El Topo there are about 6, plus a handful of interesting ideas.

But like I said, somewhere down the road. You've sat through enough Jodorowsky for one year.
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FroHam X

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6905 on: September 03, 2011, 02:09:43 AM »
I should watch El Topo and Holy Mountain. But first I need to ask my cousin where he gets his weed. Might as well ask to use his vaporizer while I'm at it.
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6906 on: September 03, 2011, 05:23:28 AM »
El Topo and The Holy Mountain well worth watching, but be prepared for boundaries to be stretched.

1SO

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6907 on: September 03, 2011, 08:57:05 AM »
I get your joke, but I would like to say for the purpose of my endorsement that I've never watched a Jodorowsky film under the influence and only The Holy Mountain feels like the work of a filmmaker on drugs. El Topo is more fascinating in its ego-tripping narcissism. Vincent Gallo is downright humble about himself compared to Jodorowsky in El Topo.
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Clovis8

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6908 on: September 03, 2011, 09:10:41 AM »
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011) dir. Werner Herzog



In many ways this film was inevitable. Like Malick, Herzog has always been fascinated with humanities attempts at controlling the natural world. For Herzog, our humanity is defined by our separation from nature. In Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, he studied the contrast between the "advanced" western world, free of natures shackles, and the "primitive" pre-industrial world, still close to the nature. In The Dark Glow of the Mountains, Grizzly Man, and Encounters at the End of the World he examined the final  frontiers, places that resisted humanity, but ultimately, the last places to become "human".

A man with a broken pinky finger, who can be traced throughout the cave, announced more than 30,000 years ago that culture is what makes us human, and from the point the Paleolithic revolution became the source of everything we have today. There is a direct line between the art at Chauvet and computer on which I am writing this review. That line has been at the core of Herzog's work and thus this film was inevitable.



This is a truly great film, and one that needs to be seen by anyone interested in art, archaeology, or the origins of culture. It is a rare chance to see something that is off-limits to all but a few scientists.



When you first hear the film is 3D it sounds like a silly gimmick, but after watching it, there was no other way to make it. It has to be experienced in 3D as the cave itself was critical to the placement and experience of the art. This is the only film I have ever seen where the 3D adds, rather than detracts from the experience.

Being an archaeologist I've had the pleasure to visit some of the greatest human monuments and I never fail to feel that thing religious people call "spirituality" but to me is our shared humanity. This film has that same power.



Some reviewers have commented on Herzog's philosophical musings, and his epilogue, but for me these things were quintessential Herzog and only added to the film. Sure it's not a strongly academic film, but it was not trying to be one.

Herzog simply askes us to live in an amazing space for an hour and contemplate the distance, yet connection, we can feel through 32,000 years.



Grade: A+

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #6909 on: September 03, 2011, 09:17:10 AM »

Every year there is an astronomical number of films that fly under the radar and don't get wide releases. Many times it is because they just aren't up to par with everything else that does get released. Let's face it, some bad films get made and because they're bad they don't get seen. But then there are also those that are deemed to niche to get a wide release or are just too small. Some of these films are also, well, not good, but every once in a while you get a gem, a surprise, something that forgoes the underwhelming expectations. Road to Nowhere I had never heard of, I don't think it got a release in my area, and I have no idea how it ended up on my queue. Even the names involved in the project don't jump out at me, but the film certainly did.

The plot is simple, but at the same time quite cryptic. Mitchell Haven (Tygh Runyan) is a decent Hollywood director, and for his next film he has decided to tackle a real life political thriller. He gets big name Cary Stewart (why not name him Grant James?) to play the lead, Rafe Tachen, who got caught by blogger Nathalie (Dominique Swain) in something about land which netted Tachen $150 million. Then there is Wilma, who is connected to Tachen. Haven calls upon an unknown actress (Shannyn Sossamon) to play Wilma, but when consultant Bruno (Waylon Payne) starts to suspect that the unknown is not acting, the film and the film inside the film take a whole new meaning.

The film has a certain feel to it. I would probably most closely associate it to David Lynch's Mulholland Dr., which had a made for TV thriller feel to it. Road to Nowhere, directed by Monte Hellman has that same feel, but at the same time, the cinematography manages to be great. It isn't the pretty location photography that got me this time, but the composition and style was just outstanding for the film. But at the bottom of the whole film is the vision of Hellman and his editor, Celine Ameslon. There are some lingering shots, but just the way the film is put together really adds a whole different dimension to the film and how the viewer is able, or not able, to figure out what is going on.

The confusion is intentional. The film starts off with Nathalie interviewing Mitchell about the filming of the movie after it was over, but then we see scenes from the actual real life political mess between Rafe and Wilma, and we also see scenes from the film as they are being filmed, but the manner in which it is edited makes it mesh together into one big storyline, so you cannot tell what is real what is film or even if there is a difference between the two. For that reason the film is brilliant. It takes a simple movie within a movie concept and layers it multiple times to the point that the viewer has trouble deciphering the reality from the acting. Brilliant, but it also asks a lot of the actors, especially Shannyn Sossamon, who I had only seen in pop romance's like A Knight's Tale before this.

Because of the nature of her role, Sossamon must convince us that she is Wilma and she is acting at the same time. It takes a subtle touch, but she does a great job. There really is not much I can find to complain about the film. It is so well structured, even having the fake movie credits at the beginning instead of the actual credits. It really did surprise me, and maybe my lower expectations added to my being impressed as much as I was. It is not the best film of the year, but it is a good one that makes you think and involves you in the process.
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