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Thread: Favorites Of 1993

  1. #1
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    Favorites Of 1993

    Favorite English-Language Films of 1993

    1. THE BOYS OF ST. VINCENT (John N. Smith)
    2. GROUNDHOG DAY (Harold Ramis)
    -- WITTGENSTEIN (Derek Jarman)
    4. IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER (Jim Sheridan)
    -- NAKED (Mike Leigh)
    -- THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Tim Burton)
    -- THE PIANO (Jane Campion)
    -- RAINING STONES (Ken Loach)
    9. CALENDAR (Atom Egoyan)
    -- SCHINDLER'S LIST (Steven Spielberg)
    -- SHORT CUTS (Robert Altman)

    Best Documentary:IT'S ALL TRUE (Orson Welles-Richard Wilson)


    Runners Up
    Bad Boy Bubby, Dottie Gets Spanked, Ruby in Paradise, The Secret Garden, The Remains of the Day, Matinee, King of the Hill, Menace II Society, A Perfect World, Dazed and Confused.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-28-2017 at 10:25 AM.

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    Favorite Foreign-Language Films of 1993

    1. THE PUPPETMASTER (Hou Hsiao Hsien/Taiwan)
    2. THE BLUE KITE (Tian Zhuanzhuang/China)
    3. FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE (Chen Kaige/China)
    4. ABRAHAM'S VALLEY (Manoel de Oliveira/Portugal)
    -- THREE COLORS:BLUE (Chen Kaige/China)
    6. LATCHO DROM (Tony Gatlif/France)
    -- THE MAN BY THE SHORE (Raoul Peck/Haiti)
    -- MY FAVORITE SEASON (Andre Techine/France)
    9. THE BIRTH OF LOVE (Philippe Garrel/France)
    -- THE DEAD MOTHER (J. Bajo Ulloa/Spain)
    -- THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA (Trah Anh Hung/Vietnam)

    Runners Up

    Faraway, So Close!, 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, The Women From the Lake of Scented Souls, The Red Squirrel, Fassbinder: I Don't Just Want You to Love Me, The Beginning and the End, Cronos, The Wedding Banquet.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 06-29-2006 at 02:51 PM.

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    My pick would probably have to be The Piano. With great performances by Keitel, Hunter, and Neill, a haunting score by Michael Nyman, and fantastic use of color in the cinematography, this is one of my favorite films of all time. Playing Nyman's pieces on the piano is quite difficult but very enjoyable.

    I think I've voiced my opinion on Dazed and Confused before. I viewed it at the exact right time in my life and it's always stuck with me. It's sort of a time capsule of the 70s, but at the same time is eternal in its themes.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

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    *Let's not forget to mention Anna Paquin, who became the second youngest person to win an Oscar for her performance in The Piano.

    *I'm glad you qualified "capsule of the 70s" with "sort of" because, even though the film gets period specifics right, it's set on an extraordinary day (the last day of school). You wouldn't figure for instance, by watching Dazed and Confused that 70s highschoolers spent more time studying than teens today. This is not meant as criticism of the movie, but I wouldn't advise you to draw conclusions about 70s youth based on it. One single scene rings false: the scene of the hazing of the girls in a parking lot. It's choreographed into contrivance. Find post I wrote after last viewing here: Dazed and Confused

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    I guess it's just better to say that the film is really more about high school than being set in the 70s. I watched it right before I went into high school, and as I have traveled through this bizarre educational establishment through the years, I've really found a majority of people to be affiliated with these, for lack of a better word, archetypes of characters. I've never met a 20-something fella with a moustache that parties with high-schoolers, though.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

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    I agree that D&C's characters are archetypes and that the majority of kids one would meet at a high school would have some affiliation with one or more of these. The number and variety of characters involved facilitates this process of identification. As a matter of fact, I see a lot of myself in at least one of the film's characters.

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    Rolf de Heer's controversial BAD BOY BUBBY, which was not released theatrically in the US due to scenes depicting animal cruelty and incest, has found a place just inside my 1993 Top 10. This is a fable about a man-child who manages to escape the dungeon where his mother has held him prisoner for 35 years and how he finds a place in the outside world (more specifically, Adelaide, in South Australia) with the help of a rock band and a nurse named Angel. Rolf de Heer (THE TRACKER, THE QUIET ROOM, 10 CANOES) is, along with Jane Campion, the best Australian filmmaker of the past 20 years.

    BAD BOY BUBBY was recently released on a 3-disc Blu-Ray set in both the US and the UK.

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    I revised my list of favorites of 1993 after back to back viewings of Derek Jarman's magnificent biopic WITTGENSTEIN. It's about 70 minutes long and I think it's his best film. It is now listed as #2 in my English-language list. I'd like to know if anyone reading this has seen it, and has an opinion about it.

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    I don't think I liked it but I'll take another look at it. I take Wittgenstein too seriously to see him as a campy spectacle. I do like Jarman but not unreservedly; I do value his originality and his splendid images and atmosphere.

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    Trust me, I also take him seriously and understand his importance. This is a really good film in my opinion, it gives a sense of the trajectory of his life and explains the arguments and claims that continue to be so influential to this day.

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    While Wittgenstein had an influence on the subject of philosophy, the film attempts to convey most of that complex thought process through a series of short scenes or vignettes that are performed in less of a film modality and more as if this was a stage show in the theater. Actors move about on sets that are singularly lit and the acting is often nothing but reading lines to the air. While colorful at times, this kind of "art" film becomes something of a bore as we jump around Wittgenstein's life told in various stages by a little boy or an adult actor.

    Here is a link to see the entire film on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WzqyO-wIMI

    Here is another link to hear a lecture on the life of Wittgenstein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNaBRR-XeAs

    Wittgenstein was a protégé of Bertrand Russell - here is a link to a Russell interview where he mentions Wittgenstein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bZv3pSaLtY

    I am a bigger fan of William James than I am of Wittgenstein.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

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    I did rewatch Jarmon's WITTGENSTEIN to consider Oscar's statement that it's his best film. It is good, very intelligent, and I like the schematic, Brechtian presentation. It seems like something that might be presented on a very much more intelligent kind of television than one gets in the USA. Cinematically I still prefer Caravaggio, though. I don't so much see that he has a "best film." Caravaggio is the best known one, the one that got the most commercial distribution, and books about its making. And its making is fascinating, a feverish, inventive process Jarmon chronicled in notebooks.

    Yes indeed Wittgenstein was a protege of Bertrand Russell. But he surpassed him and has become in pure philosophy now a more famous figure than Russell. Russell was a great man though, and crusader for just causes, particularly pacifism, who was hugely important in his time.

    One should bear in mind that one of the important reasons why Derek Jarmon chose to make a film about Wittgenstein was the man's homosexuality, which was something that had not been talked about widely during W's lifetime or immediately after.. This is also a reason why Jarmon made a film about Shakespeare's sonnets, and about Caravaggio; Satint Sebastian, Edward II. He was all about gayness. He likes flamboyant figures like Caravaggio and Edward II. Wittgestein is so un-flamboyant, Jarmon has go focus on other characters in his story who ARE flamboyant.

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    Caravaggio is great, no doubt. There is a long and fecund tradition of self-conscious use of stylization and theatricality in cinema and Jarman is a major exponent.

    I think Chris is absolutely right about Russell and Wittgenstein.

    Wittgenstein is easy to discuss because there are only two very different major works, colloquially referred as "the Tractatus" and "the Investigations" released decades apart. It's Investigations that has had a monumental impact on our culture. I have been hugely affected by it. It has changed my understanding of the kind of truth and knowledge we derive from non-scientific methods (like criticism), and the way I view the concept of "genre" which is so important to a film enthusiast. One of his major ideas is that there is no essence to things like words and actions, that the meaning of a word is its usages in ordinary language, and that there are no rules that can help us understand the meaning of an action, that each instance is unique because of context, circumstance, etc. so that everything must be interpreted. Everybody who is involved in any kind of "criticism" owes him a lot because no one has argued with such conviction and authority about its importance and significance.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 03-15-2014 at 12:45 PM.

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    Haven't I said that all along? (tongue in cheek, of course)
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

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    (A year later:) Interesting comment, Oscar, that I missed earlier. Wasn't really aware Wittgenstein was thought of as providing a model for film and art criticism though perhaps that should be obvious. Indeed I find there's a recent essay collection on this edited by Richard Allen of NYU and Malcolm Turvey of Sarah Lawrence, both professors of film. Very academic and too expensive to buy though. Wittgenstein liked to go to the movies, but only for distraction.

    PS. On your best English-language 1993 list: Boys of St. Vincent is a shocking film. I like Jarman. Name of the Father isn't much. Can't remember It's All True. I hated Naked. I don't like Tim Burton. I don't like Jane Campion. I can't stand Atom Agoyan. Schindler's List is sentimental and manipulative, but has an incredibly powerful sequence. Shortcuts is a great film, vintage Altman.

    This was also the year of True Romance and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

    There are some excellent films in your "foreign" list.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-09-2015 at 02:22 PM.

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