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Thread: Favorites Of 1990

  1. #16
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    Just read your short take on Wild at Heart.

    The guy you quote wrote:

    "No matter how inflated with esteem Lynch becomes, his art isn't so great that it transcends vicious, regressive, conservative meaning. His white working-class identification masquerades as chic nostalgia for fifties-era inhibition and repression. As Lula and Sailor wheel across the Southwest encountering gimpy prostitutes, odious mobsters and porn stars, they're haunted by images out of The Wizard of Oz. Lula and Sailor are trying to get back to the way things used to be; they envision a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America. Lynch retreats into the isolation of fantasy and erotic immaturity where adults are unclean, lecherous monsters."
    Looked like this to me the first time, but nah Lynch is doing what he is always doing.

    There is no "vicious, regressive, conservative meaning" in the film. What the film states is that it's hard to live in America if you are an ordinary person.

    "As Lula and Sailor wheel across the Southwest encountering gimpy prostitutes, odious mobsters and porn stars, they're haunted by images out of The Wizard of Oz. Lula and Sailor are trying to get back to the way things used to be; they envision a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America."
    Yes, both are very damaged personalities haunted by the past, who try to flee into a fantasy world. And their idea of the American dream is probably shared by a lot of "ordinary" (adolescent) americans (a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America).

    But: "Lynch retreats into the isolation of fantasy and erotic immaturity where adults are unclean, lecherous monsters."
    Nope, Lynch doesn't "retreat" into this. The film is a fairy-tale (Wizard of Oz anyone), where the characters retreat into such a world (which is VERY similar to the one envisioned in Blue Velvet btw). Only under the "disguise" of a fairy-tale can Lynch add the Happy Ending to the film. But if you watch closely, the "real" part (and one could also say the movie) ends when Sailor walks away at the end (before he changes his mind).
    What I really love about the ending is that Lynch suceeds in adding to a depressive reality a renewed love ON FILM which is granted to the couple only ON FILM (and which perfectly expresses his view of the world). Thinking about our world, it would end when Sailor walks (and was doomed from the very beginning).
    Lynch always likes his characters (even when they don't get away like the schizophrenic in Lost Highway) and keeps them in their own world. He doesn't impose himself on the characters, but on the film. This is what the best directors do.
    See Kubrick as a prime example of this. In his films the acting is always top-notch (people who complain for example about the actors in "2001" didn't get the film). But he always leaves them as their own entities who are never a representation of himself in any way.
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  2. #17
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    I noticed your review of "Innocence: Ghost in the shell". Glad you noticed the philosophical depth of it. Hoberman seemed to have no clue what it is all about.
    But I still think the masterful "first" Ghost in the Shell has even more to say (and has a better narrative structure). Along with Avalon (2001) and Angel's Egg (1985) I consider this the best film by Oshii who is imo one of the best Japanese directors. (on a level with Ozu, Koreeda, Kurosawa and Miyazaki, to name a few).
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

  3. #18
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    Originally posted by Sano
    What the film states is that it's hard to live in America if you are an ordinary person.

    This is too generic and simplistic to suit me. The concept of "ordinary person" is an entirely subjective construct.

    And their idea of the American dream is probably shared by a lot of "ordinary" (adolescent) americans (a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America).

    I highly doubt that. In reality, this "Boy Scout" America of the 50s was a mirage, a facade. It was an era characterized by repression and hypocrisy (Did Good Night and Good Luck open in Deutschland?). Lynch's nostalgia for the 50s is at best myopic, at worst perverse.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 10-21-2006 at 11:57 PM.

  4. #19
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    Originally posted by Sano
    I noticed your review of "Innocence: Ghost in the shell". Glad you noticed the philosophical depth of it. Hoberman seemed to have no clue what it is all about.

    I assume you've read J. Hoberman's admiring review in order to come to this conclusion.

    Oshii who is imo one of the best Japanese directors. (on a level with Ozu, Koreeda, Kurosawa and Miyazaki, to name a few).

    I'd have to disagree strongly that Oshii is "on a level" with Ozu and Kurosawa. I'm sure you know your opinion would not be shared by most who are familiar with the works of these pantheon directors from Japan. You're entitled to your opinion though.

  5. #20
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    Don'T#t think there's any "Nostalgia" in Wild at Heart.
    And as I've said before, I don't think the characters reflect Lynch ;-)

    Regarding Oshii.
    I actually think my opinion would be shared by most who are familiar with them.
    Which films of Oshii have you seen?

    Yes, I've read Hoberman's review, where he talks about the beauty of "Innocence". I have seen many better and more beautiful animes though. But of course that's my opinion.
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

  6. #21
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    I took a decade! to respond to your excellent post. I certainly agree with your comments about Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away this year under strange circumstances. He was one of the greats.It's strange to write in the past about him. His sophisticated engagement between past and present seems so futuristic; He was also so much ahead of mainstream culture in his mixture of the documentary and the fictive or stylized.

    I finally managed to buy a dvd of ann Hui's Song of Exile. I'm very excited about watching it, as well as a Blu-ray of her highly popular film A Simple Life. I am finally going to catch up with An Hui :-)

    I am also writing to hail a film I overlooked back in 1990 (This thread is for films released in 1990 after all) and again I overlooked it when I posted this list and tried to watch any important 1990 films I had missed. Adrian Lyne's JACOB'S LADDER is a must-see and maybe a great film. Part of its effectiveness is how it keeps you guessing whether to call it a psychological drama or a fairly realistic horror film. It belongs to any discussion about films that broach Vietnam and US military intervention in general. Why did I miss it? I don't gravitate to film's starring Tim Robbins. Elizabeth Pena is fantastic in the earthy, concerned girlfriend role. Pena dies to young. I loved her in La Bamba and Lone Star. She was named after the town where she was born. I am not really a fan of other movies directed by Adrian Lyne such as Flashdance and Fatal Attraction. I notice that after being idle for almost 15 years, he is scheduled to direct a "steamy thriller" again. Anyway, Jacob's Ladder is pretty good, good enough for a spot in my Top 10 Favorite movies of 1990.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscar jubis View Post

    I finally managed to buy a dvd of ann Hui's Song of Exile. I'm very excited about watching it, as well as a Blu-ray of her highly popular film A Simple Life. I am finally going to catch up with An Hui :-)

    I am also writing to hail a film I overlooked back in 1990. Adrian Lyne's JACOB'S LADDER is a must-see and maybe a great film. Anyway, Jacob's Ladder is pretty good, good enough for a spot in my Top 10 Favorite movies of 1990.
    Wow, I had all but forgotten about this Film Forum and your wonderful posts Oscar. Glad to see you are still "into" cinema - so am I. I haven't seen a film by Ann Hui for a long time. Last one must have been THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT when it came out. Needless to say it was wonderful. My first (and so far last) Encounter with SONG OF EXILE was via the rare subtitled VHS which was for a long time the only way to see this wonderful film before filesharing and such opened up a whole new world for film lovers.

    I am not familiar with the work of Adrian Lyne myself, though I do have an unseen DVD of JACOB'S LADDER sitting on my shelves for about 10 years now. I have seen one film by Lyne so far (actually in a film studies Seminar, "by accident" so to say) and found it delightful: FATAL ATTRACTION. A funny and thrilling hommage to genre cinema of yore, I found it to be a gift for cineastes. Too bad, the General public usually seems to regard it as one of those mysoginistic 80s Thrillers about "crazy" females, when it is in fact so much more. At least it seemed to me, many years ago. So I've marked Lyne as a filmmaker to watch in the back of my head but haven't had time to see some other films of his oevre so far. I'll definitely look into JACOB'S LADDER next, when I get the time.
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

  8. #23
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    Sano, I have many DVDs waiting for years to be opened and watched! One of these days I will make a point of watching them.Instead I often keep re-watching the same films. For example, I've watched Renoir's A Day in the Country and Malick's The Tree of Life several times in the past few weeks!and neglect new films. I want to watch both Ann Hui movies you mention, they sound fascinating. The last movie I watched is Werner Herzog's doc about connectivity and the internet titled Lo and Behold. It's as thought-provoking as you'd hope, and expect. By the way, I've been finally won over by The Tree of Life, a film that won the Palme D'Or and always listed among the best of the 21st century, and yet SO divisive (My favorite critics don't like it at all). I think THE TREE OF LIFE is a masterpiece even if it's splintered and indulgent and overly religious (for some). Thanks so much for your reply. Do watch Jason's Ladder and Keep in touch.
    Oscar aka Professor Kino

  9. #24
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    I love The Tree of Life but I have been so disappointed by Malick's recent efforts, especially the unbearable Knight of Cups, which I couldn't sit through (at Landmark Sunshine in NYC), and that's kind of unusual. This seems to be a case of self-overindulgence.

    I didn't know Kiarostami had passed away. I was wondering what had happened to him. I like Asghar Farhadi, whom I didn't buy into at first. I have seen The Salesman and written a review (more appreciative than most) waiting for release date. It was in the NYFF, but I didn't get to see all their Main Slate this year as I did from 2005 till now. I have seen quite a few outside or since the festival but there are also quite a few I haven't yet, namely:
    20th Century Women (Mike Mills 2016)
    Hermia and Helena (Matías Piñeiro 2016)
    Jackie (Pablo Larrain 2016)
    Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar 2016)
    Lost City of Z, The (James Gray 2016)
    My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea (Dash Shaw 2016)
    Paterson (Jim Jarmusch 2016)
    Personal Shopper (Oliver Assayas 2016)
    Rehearsal, The (Alison Maclean 2016)
    Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu 2016)
    Son of Joseph/Le fils de Joseph (Eugène Green 2016)
    Yourself and Yours (Hong Sangsoo 2016)
    I look forward to seeing 20the Century Women, Jackie, Paterson, and Julieta, all coming to US theaters soon, and Personal Shopper next March. I'm afraid Lost City of Z not to mention the others, may be harder to see in US cinemas.

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