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Thread: the LAST FILM YOU'VE SEEN thread

  1. #61
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    An impressionable, young oscar overrated both M.A.S.H. and Catch 22 back in the day. Still worth-watching though. Buffalo Soldiers is indeed "cause for celebration" but obviously no masterpiece either. Some of the acclaimed films of the early to mid 70s have withstood the passage of time. Check out Nashville, Five Easy Pieces, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Badlands, The Conversation...

  2. #62
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    Breathless (1960) Theatrical Screening

    Based on a story by his associate François Truffaut, this first feature from JLG is a love story about a crook (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and an American woman(Jean Seberg). Even though Chabrol's Le Beau Serge was made before it, this gets the credit for "starting it all," New Wave that is, but more importantly few films have had as much an influence on cinema today than Breathless. The detached behavioral patterns displayed by his protagonists have also revolutionized the way characters are written. In the film Godard unleashes his directorial style with numerous jump-cuts, tracking shots, fragmented sound-design etc., and along the way he recognizes the authorities before him with various cinematic references. Few films seem as fresh and daringly compelling as this one.
    Last edited by arsaib4; 03-09-2005 at 01:43 AM.

  3. #63
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    Did you catch Breathless in the theater?

    I found that the restored print of Masculin/Feminin is going to make it's way out here next month, not sure if I'll catch it, but I certainly hope it brings about a US dvd release.

    I watched 28 Up tonight. It's the fourth film in Michael Apted's Up series, and so far the best. Amazing to see how everyone turned up, and I'll hopefully finish the series up before too long.

    Also watched Anne of the Thousand Days. One of several films that brought Richard Burton an Oscar nomination, this one is nothing to get excited about. Burton had done better, particularly in the similarly nominated and Hal Wallis produced Becket (1964). This is the mindless crap that Hollywood systematically churns out every year to win Oscars. A film reeking of prestige and class, and I do mean reeking. No vitality, no life, just playing it safe "mature" period crap.

    Honestly the film wasn't that bad, but I'm getting sick of this garbage. This film does absolutely nothing to contribute to the art of cinema. It is worthless in the development of the medium. And any number of much better films should have received the same Oscar consideration in 1969. I mean, how in the year of The Wild Bunch and Once Upon a Time in the West did Butch Cassidey and the Sundance Kid get nominated for best picture? Let's not forget John Wayne winning best actor for True Grit, arguably the worst performance to win an acting Oscar (and I've seen Broderick Crawford in All the King's Men).

    Sorry I'm getting into a rant, but I'm just a little pissed at the Academy. I've expanded my usual Alternate Oscars to include alternate best actor, actress, and director awards. I'll post my regular lists soon, and when I get to editing, I'll start some year by year commentary. I have lots of time now, so it'll get done. My commentary is at least in the rough stage up to 2000, so only five more years and I'm all set. It'll wind up a super duper massive thread, that hopefully someone other than me will contribute to.

  4. #64
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    Yeah, Breathless had a special screening here and it was good to see it again after a while.

    Masculine Feminine will play at the Music Box between Apr 15 - 21 so make plans, you won't be disappointed with the new print. Obviously the British have already used it to made their disc, so it's ready if Criterion or whoever wants to release it here.

    I recall that you made an oath to watch every Oscar nominated film (and I remember saying that you'll be watching a lot of bad films) so I'm gonna take your word on the films and performances and if they deserved it or not, for now. I'll certainly try to add to it with my take for deserving winners from the last few years. I don't wanna make judgments w/out seeing all the nominees.

  5. #65
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    Originally posted by arsaib4
    I think just the fact that it was made and released (no matter how unsoundly) is a cause for celebration itself.
    I agree, I'm glad "Buffalo Soldiers" was at least made and released, and true its intent was probably as a lightweight satire. But, when you take on an institution like the U.S. Military, you better be ready to defend yourself with guns a' blazin'. It had the unfortunate timing of being scheduled for release right after the events of 9/11, which meant it was doomed from the start. Maybe it would have enjoyed more success if released 5-10 years ago.

    Another interesting view of the U.S. Military as seen through the eyes of the outside world is in the documentary "Control Room", which came out last year. And they can't accuse that of being fiction...

  6. #66
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    Yeah I saw the adds for it at the Music Box when I went to see Nobody Knows. I just watched Lola (1961). I think I'm getting to that stage where I'm watching so many movies that none of them are effectively sinking in, or maybe I'm just watching a bunch of mediocre movies. I think I might need to take a break and watch something I KNOW is great, just to see if I'm numb to great cinema.

  7. #67
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    Originally posted by wpqx
    I think I'm getting to that stage where I'm watching so many movies that none of them are effectively sinking in, or maybe I'm just watching a bunch of mediocre movies. I think I might need to take a break and watch something I KNOW is great, just to see if I'm numb to great cinema.
    I don't think the two points you made are mutually exclusive. At the rate you watch these films is simply astounding and that might be causing you to see them all as mediocre as most of the films we see out there are just that. Simply put: the good and the great ones are being buried under the rubble.

  8. #68
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    Originally posted by JustaFied
    Another interesting view of the U.S. Military as seen through the eyes of the outside world is in the documentary "Control Room", which came out last year. And they can't accuse that of being fiction...
    Thanks for mentioning it, I think it's out on video now so I'll check it out.

  9. #69
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    (1) The most upsetting scene from CONTROL ROOM is near the end ...
    -- the reporter at the rooftop scene ...

    (2) Another VERY realistic/pragmatic line was delivered from the interviewee who informed frankly that he would leave for FOX if they employ him or a better place in US ...

    In sum, can watch, but it is NOT considered the best documentary of 2004, at least NOT the top 5.

    It is just a very down to earth documentary that provides a DIFFERENT reporting perspective.
    ;)

  10. #70
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    The Life of Emile Zola
    This won Best Picture in 1938 I believe... I thought it was a very well made picture. It is very relevant today, at least if you live in America. It is a bit slow at some times, but other than that it was very well done, at least in my opinion...

  11. #71
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    Well to answer Fan Of Kubrick, Life of Emile Zola won best picture for 1937. Granted the awards ceremony was in 1938, but well you get the point. Honestly I thought the film was rubbish, and none too relevant.

    Well I got a double feature of rather short films this evening. The first was John Huston's Red Badge of Courage (1951). Now this film was butchered quite extensively, but I'm not sure if the added footage would help. The film is consice, fast paced, and still compelling. Most remarkable in the film is the photography, which employs many deep space compositions. Huston had been working in deep focus since his first feature, made ten years earlier, and by now seemed to intuitively know how to use it.

    Next up was a remarkably different film in almost every aspect, except for the length. I watched Robert Bresson's Trial of Joan of Arc. Seeing how I'll soon be getting another 4 Bresson films, I wanted to get this one out of the way beforehand. The film, although cited as an homage to Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc is completely different from that film. Bresson's underdramatic impulses work wonders here. His Joan is not the tortured soul of Falconetti, but a young woman who although defeated, maintains her faith. Bresson's editing rhythm is much slower than Dreyer's, but his takes aren't exactly long. Bresson was a master editor, and this film is well arranged. Rarely have I seen so many eyeline matches in the course of an hour. Seeing how this film was never released in the US, I'd like to recomend it, but I honestly think everyone on earth should watch every single Bresson film. I still have a few to go, but good or bad, they are vital pieces of cinema history. Like Tarkovsky and Kubrick, there aren't too many films to get either, so by all means get what you can. The more Bresson you see, the better he becomes, so if you aren't impressed with your first viewing (which I wasn't), then please don't give up on him. When you understand the man and his style, you will appreciate his work and recognize him as one of cinema's true auteurs. I believe everyone is entitled to one trancendental Bressonian experience. Mine came with Au Hasard Balthazar, a film I saw during it's restoration a year ago. I wasn't overly impressed with that film as I was watching it, but as soon as it ended I found my self speechless and profoundly effected like few films had ever done to me. I left the theater and made the long drive home in a daze unable to even think logically about the film. It is an experience that I think every cinema fan hopes for while watching a film, and hopefully if you venture into the world of Bresson you will have that experience, although it may or may not be with Balthazar, or Joan of Arc.

    So to recap, watch this movie if you can.

  12. #72
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    Originally posted by wpqx
    Bresson was a master editor, and this film is well arranged. Rarely have I seen so many eyeline matches in the course of an hour. Seeing how this film was never released in the US, I'd like to recomend it, but I honestly think everyone on earth should watch every single Bresson film......
    Well said. Frankly, it shouldn't need to said at this point but one never knows even on this site!

    Mouchette was my "transcendental" or metaphysical experience and it has remained that way ever since. Compared to it, everything else almost seems meaningless. Anyway, are you planning to go for the boxset or have you found another way?

  13. #73
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    Well I found an offbeat (and probably illegal) source. Now I'm all about gettting his films when they become officially available, but Four Nights of a Dreamer has never been released here, and I've been plenty patient. Anyways I should bet back to watching Bambi (which I just bought today).

  14. #74
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    Well I finished Bambi (1942). Honestly I don't remember ever seeing this film as a child. Personally I don't find it that amazing. Dumbo is still my favorite of the early Disney films (as well as Fantasia, which is a whole different kind of picture). Bambi is just alright, and call it my cold cold hear, but I didn't really feel anything when Bambi's mother got shot. Which is probably more due to the fact that I knew she died. I personally found the imprisoning of Dumbo's mother Jumbo way more heartbreaking.

  15. #75
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    Tokyo Story (1953)

    This my second viewing on the film, and I tried to pay attention to a few things. For one I keep reading through David Bordwell that Ozu doesn't adhere to the 180 rule of shot/reverse shot editing. I tried to follow every single cut in this film and I couldn't spot it. If he does violate continuity editing, he is the most seemless at it.

    The film itself is unfortunately one of those movies that is too critically praised to ever be appreciated correctly. I didn't think it was Ozu's best the first time, and I still don't. It did improve slightly, but perhaps I was expecting a much more dramatic second viewing (sort of like my re-watching of Sunrise a few weeks ago).

    I honestly feel the film is too long. Granted I don't mind Ozu lingering. Many shots are held for a few extra seconds, and he likes to transition scenes with non-narrative shots of buildings or streets, or empty rooms. What I mean is the story was too long. The ending seemed to be prolonged at the end. This 136 minute film could have been a much more solid 120 minutes without losing any of its emotional power. So I must say this is not a flawless masterpiece. Is it still a great film, of course, and certainly a landmark in Japanese cinema, but in the grand scheme of things I think this film is slightly overrated.

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