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Thread: the LAST FILM YOU'VE SEEN thread

  1. #46
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    There are only a handful of Latin American directors that come close to the level of career achievement exhibited by Arturo Ripstein. He has made close to 30 features, and about 15 shorts, most of them documentaries (including one on Bunuel). I've managed to watch 11 of his features. My favorites are El Imperio de la Fortuna (Empire of Fortune), El Castillo de la Pureza (Castle of Purity), La Mujer del Puerto (Woman of the Port) and Profundo Carmesi (Deep Crimson). One cannot discuss his career without mentioning Paz Alicia Garciadiego, who has written every script and has been an active influence on the set of every film Ripstein has directed in the past two decades. Thay are married. Ripstein's films are primarily made for consumption in Spain and France. A Mexican friend told me they are barely distributed in his native Mexico because historically they have never made money there. It has to do with the long takes he favors, the depressing outlook, the anti-religious stance of many of his films, etc. I think he's brilliant, although several of his films (Principio y Fin comes to mind) would benefit from some trimming. The only Latino directors that come close are Argentinians Adolfo Aristarain and Fernando Solanas, Peruvian Francisco Lombardi, and perhaps Chileans Raul Ruiz and documentarian Patricio Guzman.

  2. #47
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    California Split (1974), another solid, overlooked Altman film from the '70's (ala Thieves Like Us, Three Women, and The Long Goodbye).

    Elliot Gould and George Segal play a couple of gambling junkies who meet up after being thrown in together in a poker fight. Segal at least holds down a day job to support his gambling habit, while Gould just drifts along, placing bets on anything and everything, apparently living rent-free with a couple of call girls. He seems to be oblivious to those things that concern most people in their day-to-day lives. But it's a good life - gamble all night, come home, drink a beer, and hit the sack.

    They end up going to Reno to get in on a high-stakes poker tournament, and the adrenaline rush of the events is something the two men react differently to. The ending of the film isn't predictable, and it isn't didactic, so I found that refreshing in this film (and once again, an example of the differences between mainstream films of today versus the '70's). Gould is hilarious in his role in this film, and his performance alone is worth checking it out.

  3. #48
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    I'm always happy when Lope-Nilsson gets mentioned. I didn't because I was only considering active directors. Latin American cinema was ignored by the rest of the world until fairly recently. Spanish Cinema from the Franco era suffered the same fate. Three major figures of Mexican cinema, for instance, are practically unknown to today's cinephiles: directors Emilio Fernandez and Fernando de Fuentes, and cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (Los Olvidados, The Exterminating Angel, John Huston's Night of the Iguana). I hope to find some of their key works on video someday. I watched a few of Torre-Nilsson's during a visit to Buenos Aires, and the prints were terrible. It's sad. I just read an article about the state of Argentinian cinema that claimed there are more film students than people who want to watch Argentinian films. As you know from previous exchanges, I'm not as enthusiastic about these young directors as you are, but their films are at least worth watching, and a few are worth celebrating (La Cienaga, Lisandro Alonso's Los Muertos and a few others).

  4. #49
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    Cube Zero

    Just finished the DVD and it was superior to Hypercube, the sequel to The Cube. This is a "Brazil"-like treat with the horror of the original but with a much more compelling eerie sense of doom and craziness. This more of an independent feature film (DVD) is creative in its dark, odd, forbidden way...with hope and dispair. The element of out of control, unknown permeates this version of the Cube franchise. Like the harsher, graphic version of the television version of The Prisoner, this prequel is surprisingly good.

  5. #50
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    Les Quatre Cents Coups
    Finally saw this...

    The Broadway Melody
    of 1929 to be exact... This was interesting, but not that great. Although I did like a few of the musical numbers.

  6. #51
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    And what did you think of Les Quatre-Cents Coups, Kubrick fan?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #52
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    Nobody Knows (2004), I think there is a thread here, so I'll post any comments there.

  8. #53
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    I thought that Les Quatre Cents Coups was a very well made film. Truffaut directing was great. I thought the acting was pretty good too. Now that I think about it, it was a great film... I'm not gonna say any more though...

    Finding Neverland
    I decided to see this so I could say that I had seen all of the Best Picture nominations... I don't know... it was decent...

  9. #54
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    Agree with you on Finding Neverland. Not a bad film, but there were many many better films that could have taken that nomination. Every year the best picture nominees are filled with two or three (sometimes all five) films that aren't worth the nod. Finding Neverland was not worth this nomination. If it was gonna get anything, perhaps a costume nomination, but none of the acting was spectacular, and the film itself was just decent. Of the films that weren't nominated I think Eternal Sunshine was the best candidate to take it's place, which I believe has now become my official favorite film of 2004.

  10. #55
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    Originally posted by arsaib4
    Baara (1978)
    Mr. Souleymane Cissť from Mali has only made a handful of features yet he's still considered one of the very best Africa has ever produced. His 1987 film Yeelen is certainly his most polished and acclaimed work (partly because it is available)


    Yeelen is a masterpiece I've seen several times. Where was Baara screened? home video?

  11. #56
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    1. The Animal Kingdom (1932) - if you've never heard of it, don't worry you didn't miss much.

    2. Irma La Duce (1963) - Billy Wilder in his seriously out of touch period.

    3. Separate Tables (1958) - melodramtic mush that brought David Niven an Oscar.

  12. #57
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    1. My Favorite Year (1982) - decent, but nothing worth recommending, aside from a Peter O'Toole fan.

    2. Bus Stop (1956) - decent work from Monroe, but in general a rather insignificant movie.

  13. #58
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    Just finished Pioneers in Ingolstadt (1970) - one of Fassbinder's earlier films. Interesting as usual, with some great camerawork. Focussing primarily on casual sex, and what I believe is the impossibility of it (at least for some people). Worth a look if you like the director, although not a great place to start.

  14. #59
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    Buffalo Soldiers (2003) - Anti military film falls far short of its predescessors "Catch 22", "Mash", and "Three Kings". Joaquin Phoenix does fine in the lead role as an amoral soldier running a black market operation while stationed in Germany, but overall the film is flat and unconvincing in its viewpoints.

  15. #60
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    Buffalo Soldiers is not in the same class as those you mentioned, but I don't think its ambition was to be more than a lightweight satire which ended up under a lot of scrutiny due to the times and under the type of atmosphere we're living in (and it certainly seemed more poignant). I think just the fact that it was made and released (no matter how unsoundly) is a cause for celebration itself.
    Last edited by arsaib4; 03-02-2005 at 12:33 AM.

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