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Thread: Favorites Of 1991

  1. #1
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    Favorites Of 1991

    Favorite English-Language Films of 1991

    1. DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Julie Dash)
    2. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO (Gus Van Sant)
    -- NAKED LUNCH (David Cronenberg)
    4. AMERICAN DREAM (Barbara Kopple)
    -- DEAD AGAIN (Kenneth Branagh)
    6. CHAMELEON STREET (Wendell B. Harris)
    -- EDWARD II (Derek Jarman)
    -- THE HOURS AND THE TIMES (Christopher Munch)
    -- THELMA AND LOUISE (Ridley Scott)
    10. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Gary Trousdale)
    -- DEFENDING YOUR LIFE (Albert Brooks)

    Runners Up
    Silence of the Lambs, Hangin' With the Homeboys, Riff-Raff, City of Hope, Bugsy, Flirting, JFK, The Adjuster, Mississippi Masala, Barton Fink, Prospero's Books, Night on Earth, Hearts of Darkness:A Filmmaker's Apocalypse.

    Several of the top grossing movies of this year were very good: Silence, Thelma, T2, Bugsy, JFK, and the best Disney movie in decades.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 09-02-2017 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Favorite Foreign-Language Films of 1991

    1. A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (Edward Yang/Taiwan)
    2. BUTTERFLY WINGS (J. Bajo Ulloa/Spain)
    -- TOTO THE HERO (Jaco Van Dormael/Belgium)
    4. DAYS OF BEING WILD (Wong Kar Wai/Hong Kong)
    -- LIFE AND NOTHING MORE (Abbas Kiarostami/Iran)
    -- LA BELLE NOISEUSE (Jacques Rivette/France)
    7. DELICATESSEN (Jeunet & Caro/France)
    -- RAISE THE RED LANTERN (Zhang Yimou/China)
    9. LIFE ON A STRING (Chen Kaige/China)
    -- LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE (Leo Carax/France)
    -- THE OX (Sven Nykvist/Sweden)

    Runners Up
    Lovers (Aranda), Highway Patrolman (Cox), Germany Year 90 Nine Zero (Godard), Night and Day (Akerman), Van Gogh (Pialat), Zentropa (Trier), Memories of Yesterday (Takahata), Rhapsody in August (Kurosawa), Woman of the Port (Ripstein), Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski), Madame Bovary (Chabrol).

    As far as I'm concerned, 1991 is simply the best year for films from around the world. Notice the prominent directors featured among the runners-up. These "also-rans" compare favorably with Top 10 lists from other years, especially the 1980s.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 05-13-2006 at 11:45 PM.

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    This is bound to happen often. While researching 1992 titles, I learned that Christopher Munch's The Hours and the Times did not premiere at Sundance 2002 but months earlier, at Toronto 1991. It's an hour-long fiction about what might have happened during the weekend John Lennon and manager Brian Epstein spent in Barcelona. It's now listed at #5 on the '91 list, which relegates Joseph Vasquez's almost-forgotten, inner-city drama Hangin' With the Homeboys to first runner-up status.

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    Dead Again is one fantastic thriller. That music is just absolutely stirring. And with a cast including Ken Branagh, Emma Thompson, and Andy Garcia, it's quite a show. The story is meticulous yet fast enough to keep one captivated. I'm a huge Branagh fan; his is the quintessential Hamlet.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  5. #5
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    Dead Again is a lush movie-movie. A gothic thriller-romance with a heck of a twist. Every aspect of production is excellent. The use of music is inspired throughout, particularly so during the operatic climax (Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini"). Branagh's adaptation of As You Like It is ready for release.

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    Re: The Hours and the Times

    I haven't seen this but something I read relates to it.

    I read a book on the Beatles (can't remember which one exactly)
    where it's reported that Brian Epstein was constantly trying to hit on John.

    Then, in Barcelona (is this in the movie oscar?), in a hotel room, John has finally had enough of Brian's lusting and stands up, drops his drawers, and says:Alright, Brian- put it in my arse!.

    Brian just sat there, looked at John and said:
    That's not exactly what I do, John...



    Have I ruined your image of Lennon? When I read it it ruined mine...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #7
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    Sounds like something out of "The Lives of John Lennon" by Albert Goldman. This author was an asshole and an opportunist. He's infamous for heaping trash on John and Elvis, among others, based on rumours and poorly researched, second-hand material. Avoid at all cost Johann.

    What's factual is that Lennon and Epstein spent four days in Barcelona in April of 1963 at the end of a particularly grueling tour. Also fairly well established is Epstein's attraction for Lennon and Lennon's fascination with Epstein's pick-up tales. Lennon was apparently quite curious about the Beatles manager, a man so different than him. Epstein was Jewish, openly gay, refined, and upper-class.

    Lennon reportedly denied that Epstein's attraction was requited, but I haven't seen any actual quotes. Whatever happened in that Barcelona hotel room was only known by Lennon and Epstein. The version of events as depicted in Christopher Munch's wonderful film is quite plausible, in my opinion. The performances by David Angus and Ian Hart (who also played Lennon in Backbeat) are great. It's a shame The Hours and the Times is only available on vhs. Perhaps your video store has a copy. It's fascinating, and only an hour long.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info.

    There are so many books on the Fabs (and John and Paul and George).
    It may well have been Albert Goldman's that I read.
    When I read about Brian & John I wished that it wasn't true.

    If you think about it, how would anybody know for sure?
    The only one in this duo who *might* relay that story after it happened is John. I think Brian would NEVER admit to such a thing- he was refined, as you say.

    Thanks for the info on the movie. Only one hour?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    I've still been unable to find Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day, and am just being patient until it plays in a theater here, or gets a proper DVD release (god willing).

    1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron)
    2. Europa, Europa (Holland)
    3. JFK (Stone)
    4. Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou)
    5. Barton Fink (Coen)
    6. Silence of the Lambs (Demme)
    7. The Fisher King (Gilliam)
    8. My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant)
    9. Jungle Fever (Lee)
    10. Boyz n tha Hood (Singelton)

    T2 has for years been my favorite action film, and remembering the film from my childhood I pretty much thought it was the greatest thing of all time when it came out. I saw it 4 times in the theater (shortly before my 8th birthday no less). My esteem for James Cameron has only grown over the years, and I eagerly await his newest filim whenever he decides to get off his ass and finish it. My inclusion of Jungle Fever is almost exclusively based on Samuel L. Jackson's performance, but I love Spike Lee's operatic qualities to his work, and the scene when Wesley Snipes goes looking for his brother in the "Taj Mahal" is one of Lee's most audacious moments. I'm more than willing to defend any of my other choices.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by wpqx
    I've still been unable to find Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day, and am just being patient until it plays in a theater here, or gets a proper DVD release (god willing).

    To watch a good print of A Brighter Summer Day on a theatre screen would be a dream come true for me. It's a credit to this masterpiece that I love it even though I watched it (several times) in the worst possible condition: on Video Compact Disc format, with non-removable English and Cantonese subtitles.

    T2 has for years been my favorite action film. My esteem for James Cameron has only grown over the years.

    I may not love it as much as you do, but I called it "very good" in my opening post. Cameron and Peter Jackson have rescued the blockbuster Hollywood movie genre.

    My inclusion of Jungle Fever is almost exclusively based on Samuel L. Jackson's performance

    The Gator character (and S.L. Jackson's perf) is the only special aspect about a film I truly hate for a lot of reasons. I won't go into them (unless you want me to do so).

    the scene when Wesley Snipes goes looking for his brother in the "Taj Mahal" is one of Lee's most audacious moments.

    Not bad, but check out a similar scene in Mario Van Peebles' New Jack City and tell me which one you prefer, or which one is more organically integrated into the narrative.

  11. #11
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    I've seen Peebles film, and found it flawed in many ways. I just love the way Lee reaches so high in his films. Sometimes he goes way too far over the top, but I always admire his effort. I enjoyed Jungle Fever quite a bit overall, but like many of his films it wasn't perfect. I just thought the scene in Lee's film was more cinematic than Peebles. But in terms of impressive crack heads, a special recognition is worth handing out to Chris Rock's Pookie.

  12. #12
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    New Jack City doesn't compare to the films I listed as favorites but I was impressed with Peebles' attention to character during the film's first half, the performances by Rock and Ice-T, and some of the set pieces (like the one inside a drug den). I'm in too good a mood to heap trash on Jungle Fever.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscar jubis View Post
    Favorite English-Language Films of 1991

    1. DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Julie Dash)
    2. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO (Gus Van Sant)
    -- NAKED LUNCH (David Cronenberg)
    4. AMERICAN DREAM (Barbara Kopple)
    -- DEAD AGAIN (Kenneth Branagh)
    6. CHAMELEON STREET (Wendell B. Harris)
    -- EDWARD II (Derek Jarman)
    -- THE HOURS AND THE TIMES (Christopher Munch)
    -- THELMA AND LOUISE (Ridley Scott)
    10. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Gary Trousdale)
    -- DEFENDING YOUR LIFE (Albert Brooks)
    DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST by UCLA alumna Julie Dash is my favorite English-language movie of 1991. The film was re-released last year on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary of winning at Sundance for Best Cinematography. More recently, it was selected for the National Registry of films to preserve for posterity.I was resistant to the "mosaic structure" of the film and perhaps influenced by Jonathan Rosenbaum's comment, within an otherwise favorable review, that Dash's debut "doesn't make much use of drama or narrative" when in fact, it has the audacity to have not one but two voice-over narrators and one has yet to be born but can be heard and sometimes she appears out of the blue, wearing a ribbon in her hair, indigo, the same color as her grandmother's hands, permanently marked by the dye she processed in a plantation.
    I've had an opportunity to watch the film in its restored version several times now and each experience uncovers some new delight. It's an ensemble film that reveals a lost culture and rescues it from oblivion. It concerns the decision to join mainstream America by the members of a community of Africans and their descendants who live on islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina in 1902. The film makes no commercial concessions, and it's quite authentic, except for the use of a synthesizer in the movie score. DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST is a Masterpiece.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 09-02-2017 at 05:44 PM.

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