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Thread: Favorites Of 1997

  1. #1
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    Favorites Of 1997

    1. KUNDUN (Martin Scorsese)
    2. THE SWEET HEREAFTER (Atom Egoyan)
    3. THE APOSTLE (Robert Duvall)
    -- THE BUTCHER BOY (Neil Jordan)
    -- FAST, CHEAP & OUT OF CONTROL (Errol Morris)
    -- PUBLIC HOUSING (Fred Wiseman)
    8. AMISTAD (Steven Spielberg)
    -- L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (Curtis Hanson)
    -- THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (Joe Dante)
    --TITANIC (James Cameron)
    -- WINGS OF THE DOVE (Iain Softley)

    Runners Up
    Lost Highway (Lynch), In the Company of Men (LaBute), 4 Little Girls (Lee), The Tango Lesson (Potter),Jackie Brown, Chasing Amy, Love and Death on Long Island (Kwietniowski), Boogie Nights (Anderson), As Good as it Gets (JL Brooks), Affliction (Schrader), The Pillow Book (Greenaway), Gummo (Korine).

    A good year overall. Other very enjoyable and interesting films include: Little Dieter Needs to Fly, The End of Violence, Donnie Brasco, The Ice Storm, The Spanish Prisoner, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Alien:Resurrection, and Children of the Revolution.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 08-07-2009 at 02:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    Not a fan of Boogie Nights? That would be my pick for the year. P.T. Anderson, in my opinion, is a much more important director than Quentin Tarantino. While they both seem to be fond of similar techniques, I feel that Anderson is much more innovative in his methods; his stories aren't derivative and are most definitely compelling.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  3. #3
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    Oops. Boogie Nights got lost on the way from paper to keyboard. I had it listed as a runner-up. I thank you for bringing it up. I will edit my post to include it. Let's talk about the film and P.T. Anderson in detail.

    Why do I like Boogie Nights? Casting Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg in these roles was inspired, particularly the men, who are riffing off their public personas. Walhberg had achieved notoriety based on underwear commercials, and had appeared wearing briefs next to a naked girl in a Playboy mag spread. These three actors are excellent in this film. Anderson balanced his jabs at the porno industry with an affectionate but wide-eyed stance towards the characters.

    Why don't I like it more? When a film lasts over two and a half hours, I expect peripheral characters to be a bit more developed/fleshed out. Like Quentin Tarantino, Anderson is a member of what's been called the "video-store generation" of filmmakers, who tend to do a lot of borrowing. Perhaps the stories aren't derivative, but many scenes are just that. There are scenes in Boogie Nights virtually "lifted" from films like Goodfellas and Raging Bull. The scene at Alfred Molina's crib is too reminiscent of Q.T. himself. Moreover, it's not that I object to a satire/critique of the adult film industry, but as a target, it's a bit too obvious and facile. It seems to me to have outlived its usefulness by now. On the other hand, the target of the other 1998 satire on my list, Joe Dante's The Second Civil War, takes on still resonant anti-immigrant tendencies in the good 'ol with verve and wit.

    Anderson is a good filmmaker. His first three films are well worth watching. I probably like Magnolia even more than Boogie Nights despite some rough patches and less than graceful crosscutting between subplots. As for Punch Drunk Love...every director is entitled to make a bad movie once in a while, and learn from his mistakes.

  4. #4
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    Let's see. I wish they had done more with John C. Reilly as Reed Rothchild, and while he did have a lot of screentime, it was never really about him. Let's not forget to mention Philip Seymour Hoffmann's fantastic though brief performance in the film as Scotty J., the soundman nervously attracted to Dirk.

    Ultimately, I feel that the brief characterizations of peripheral characters kind of worked for me. I felt satisfied with their stories and was ready to move on.

    I love Magnolia even more than this; I always enjoy when Tom Cruise puts his ego aside for a good performance.

    Have you seen his first film, Hard Eight? While I haven't, I'm eager to.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  5. #5
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    Yes, and I think you'd like Hard Eight, as long as you take into account it is less ambitious than Boogie Nights and Magnolia. The debut is more easily categorizable as a crime drama. Anderson was involved in a lot of "back 'n forth" with the studio heads who kept insisting on releasing a re-cut version. Anderson won the big battle conceding only to a title change from Sidney (the name of the character played by Philip Baker Hall here, and on Midnight Run) to Hard Eight. If you like Hard Eight, proceed to Melville's Bob le Flambeur. Anderson eventually admitted his debut was inspired and highly indebted to that French heist film (which was itself highly influenced by the American classic The Asphalt Jungle). As usual, Anderson's attention to character pays off and the actors are up to the challenge.

  6. #6
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    Favorite Foreign-Language Films of 1997

    1. A TASTE OF CHERRY (Abbas Kiarostami/Iran)
    ---THE MAELSTROM: A FAMILY CHRONICLE (Peter Forgacs/Hungary-Netherlands)
    -- MOTHER AND SON (Alexander Sokurov/Russia)
    -- THE RIVER (Tsai Ming Liang/Taiwan)
    5. GENEALOGIES OF A CRIME (Raul Ruiz/France)
    6. THE EEL (Shohei Imamura/Japan)
    -- FIREWORKS (Takeshi Kitano/Japan)
    -- PRINCESS MONONOKE (Hayao Miyazaki/Japan)
    -- SAME OLD SONG (Alain Resnais/France)
    -- THE THIEF (Pavel Chukhrai/Russia)
    -- VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD (Manoel de Oliveira/Portugal)
    12.CHILDREN OF HEAVEN (Majid Majidi/Iran)
    -- HAPPY TOGETHER (Wong Kar Wai/Hong Kong)
    -- MARTIN (HACHE) (Adolfo Aristarain/Argentina-Spain)

    Runners Up
    Men With Guns, Kitchen, Hold You Tight, Who the Hell is Juliette?, Character, Open Your Eyes, Live Flesh, The Kingdom II, Ma 6-T va Crack-er.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 07-19-2012 at 07:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Just a little FYI:

    When Kubrick was shooting Eyes Wide Shut he watched Boogie Nights with Tom and Nicole.

    They all loved it and Kubrick met with Anderson to talk about it.
    Next thing you know, Cruise is in Magnolia.




    I love these lists oscar. Good posts!
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I appreciate this information. You best believe Eyes Wide Shut will occupy its rightful place on the '99 list.

    BTW, I had neglected to list Shohei Imamura's excellent The Eel, which incongruously I watched while on vacation in Buenos Aires. Imamura had taken a break from cinema prior to releasing this striking story involving a brutal crime of passion. That makes three Japanese films among my favorites of '97, all tied at #5.

  9. #9
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    1. Verrückt bleiben - verliebt bleiben (Elfi Mikesch / Germany)
    2. The Butcher Boy (Neil Jordan / Ireland, USA)
    3. Lost Highway (David Lynch / USA, France)
    4. Fireworks (Takeshi Kitano / Japan)
    5. Gattaca (Andrew Niccol / USA)
    6. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee / USA)
    7. Surveillance (Jianxin Huang, Yazhou Yang / China)
    8. Insomnia (Erik Skjoldbjaerg / Norway)
    9. I Married a Strange Person! (Bill Plympton / USA)
    10. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Japan)


    Difficult year. I'd like to revisit a lot of films.
    Strange that The Eel and Princess Mononoke didn't make it onto my list...
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

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