Page 10 of 10 FirstFirst ... 8910
Results 136 to 150 of 150

Thread: The Longest Post On Filmwurld

  1. #136
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,590
    When I attended film school in the 1970's, they placed a large emphasis on European directors (Fellini, Bergman, Godard, Renoir, Lean, etc), some Japanese directors (Kurosawa), and very few American directors. It wasn't until I started to attend revival movie theaters in the late 70's when I lived in Los Angeles that I began to read about and discover William Wyler. He was still alive at the time and they had several retro's of his work in local theaters. Billy Wilder spoke at one of them. You can't appreciate a film unless you see 35mm film projected on a screen with an audience. The New York film critics raved about Wilder, Preston Sturges, Scorsese, and Hitch (pointing more toward the English side of his work, right around the same time Spoto published his first work). They mentioned Welles, too. They said very little about John Ford and downplayed his work as mostly "westerns." But when I started to speak with actors about Wyler, I got an entirely different response. They spoke of a man obsessed with realism; hence the reason for numerous takes. If an actor didn't convince Willie it was real, he made them do it again. He said, "I'll know it when I feel it." No wonder actors wanted him to make their movies. His films placed more actors in AA nominations than any director in film history. The more I read about Wyler, the more I found his life and his film work fascinating. Like most directors, he had his list of "bad" or unsuccessful films due to one aspect or another. Overall, he produced an incredible body of work I've found quite wonderful to review as my film library has many Wyler films in its pantheon.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  2. #137
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    I think that every film school had unique tendencies depending on who was in charge and who he hired to teach. Some schools emphasized Hollywood directors more than the one you attended (I base this comment on the European slant you remember at your school). Andrew Sarris' 1968 book "The American Cinema" was a major influence on how different directors were regarded.

    As far as Wyler and realism, he is associated with a technique considered realistic because it replicates characteristics of human vision: deep-focus cinematography (Shots with a large depth of field). The DP most associated with deep-focus in Hollywood was, as you know, Greg Toland. He lensed 6 films for Wyler. It's interesting to note that after Toland died, Wyler's films continue to use the same technique consistently (see "The Heiress", "Carrie", etc.), no matter who was the DP. So that, I think, it's fair to associate this realistic rendering of the space in front of the camera as being also characteristic of Wyler. It's the most important aspect of the realistic aesthetic you rightfully ascribe to Wyler.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 08-06-2019 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #138
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    Nice to hear from you, Cinemabon.
    I hope you're cruising the daytime lines too and perused some of the festival coverage.

  4. #139
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Knipp View Post
    Nice to hear from you, Cinemabon.
    I hope you're cruising the daytime lines too and perused some of the festival coverage.
    I want to state (or re-state) how important it is the coverage of film festivals, new releases, and other events related to the culture of cinema that you provide in your reportage and film criticism. I don't really read anything else about these events/contempo films. I don't feel I need to resort to other sources given your excellence and thoroughness. As you know, most of my reading revolves around the courses I teach and the history of the medium and that consumes most of my available time. I love your NYFF coverage and I look forward to new films from Serra, Desplechin, Dardennes, and other favorite filmmakers. Thanks!

  5. #140
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    THERE ARE NOW 7 FILMS DIRECTED BY KENJI MIZOGUCHI IN MY LIST OF FAVORITE FILMS OF ALL TIME. IT IS
    THE CRUCIFIED LOVERS (1954)
    which has been released by Criterion under the title A STORY FROM CHIKAMATSU
    Period melodrama at its finest!
    Dave Kehr says it's got the most experimental soundtrack of all his films.

  6. #141
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    I have not seen it but I am aware that Criterion is issuing some great Japanese film classics.

  7. #142
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,590
    Ditto Oscar's comments. I "keep up" with contemporary cinema thanks in most, if not all, part to you Chris. I read your posts often and marvel at the depth of your insights. I wish more film critics were as easy to read and understand as you are. I'm not here to bolster your ego. I'm just writing what I consider to be observations. As a journalist, I've always sought clarity to reporting. However, my background doesn't have the breadth of psychological insights your reviews reveal in so many aspects. If I haven't said this before, I'm saying it now, you should have written for a major publication so that the public (at large) could benefit from your effort as we do here. Thanks, Chris, for years of film viewing dedication, intrinsic vision, and insightful journalism.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  8. #143
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    Thanks a lot. It's nice to be appreciated. I don't know about "psychological insights." I do like to be clear and informative and I may, at times, succeed. Just go on reading, please, and comment whenever you can.

  9. #144
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    THE 2010s

    It's the end of a decade; a time when different groups and publications poll people involved in film culture and production about the films they consider best or favorite of the decade as a whole or even the current 20 years of this millennium. It's a time to take stock on what matters most and which are the films that amount to the greatest current achievements in cinema. I am also interested in the biographical aspect of considering the films that made the most difference in the lives of people. In my case, it is easy to keep track of the films that had the most significance by updating and revising my list of favorite/best of all times that I published as the opening post about 15 years ago. You can see the 20 or 25 films released since 2010 that I've listed and have a clear idea what has made the biggest impact. Another interesting aspect of thinking about the decade that ends is how my viewing process and my decisions about what to watch have evolved. One change is that I watch less films than I used to, but the ones I like a lot I watch more often. I explore this compulsion to re-watch certain films; what that says about each film and what that says about me (and what maters to me).

    It's important to take stock from time to time of the essential elements of the medium and what the medium does best and which are the stories that matter most to tell at this time in human civilization. I look forward to ht lists that will be coming out soon, and the thoughts that provoke the choices made by different individuals as to the best of the decade in audiovisual art. One thing about this century that poses problems is that in the past 20 years or so, some of the best cinema may be produced for televisual broadcast or for streaming exhibitions rather than theatrical exhibition. (How many watched MUDBOUND in a cinema , for example? How many have failed to watch it because the never heard about it?)

    2010. GREENBERG (Baumbach/USA)
    ------MYSTERIES OF LISBON (Ruiz/Portugal)
    ------NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT (Guzman/Chile)
    ------THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA (Oliveira/Portugal)
    2011. A SEPARATION (Farhadi/Iran)
    ------THE ARBOR (Clio Barnard/UK)
    ------THE TREE OF LIFE (Malick/USA)
    ------THE TURIN HORSE (Tarr/Hungary)
    2012-HERE AND THERE (Mendez Esparza/Mexico)
    2013-PARADISE:LOVE/FAITH/HOPE (Seidl/Austria)
    2014-GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Godard/France-Switzerland)
    -----MR. TURNER (Leigh/UK)
    2015-BROOKLYN (John Crowley/Ireland)
    -----45 YEARS (Haigh/UK)
    -----HEART OF A DOG (Anderson/USA)
    -----SON OF SAUL (Nemes/Poland)
    2016-THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (Serra/Spain)
    -----PATERSON (Jarmusch/USA)
    2017- THE BIG SICK (Showalter/USA)
    -----MUDBOUND (Rees/USA)
    2018- THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Welles/Kodar/USA)
    ----- ZAMA (Martel/Argentina)
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 11-09-2019 at 05:26 PM. Reason: I accidentally omitted Tarr's THE TURIN HORSE.

  10. #145
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    Armond White's new list of the best ten films of the 2010's.
    Armond White is always interesting and provocative, sometimes just off the wall. His black, gay, Christian, conservative POV accounts for his being featured on the National REview in recent years. I'm pleased to see NEVER LOOK AWAY, a film I love, featured here; as an artist, this rare, serious and intelligent treatment of an artist means a lot to me. Note, Oscar, he also likes TREE OF LIFE, a worth choice you also made. This list is found HERE.

    10. Her (2013). A funny and melancholy parable about social anomie in an age of technological miracles, writer-director Spike Jonze’s film won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and features unforgettable performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson as a boy and girl carrying on a very 21st-century love affair. Has Johansson ever been more beautiful?

    9. Patriots Day (2016). The ongoing global conflict with Islamist terror, frequently derided as some sort of race-based folly, comes home to Boston in director Peter Berg’s story of two dopey but malevolent white guys who in 2013 decided to blow up some random Americans with a pressure cooker loaded with nails. The banality of evil, the resourcefulness of law-enforcement professionals, and the resilience of Americans are in the background; in the foreground is a fiercely exciting manhunt.

    8. Gravity (2013). A journalist, in all earnestness, once asked director Alfonso Cuarón what it was like to shoot this movie on location in outer space. (Cuarón replied, deadpan, that it was difficult being away from his family for so long.) Anyone who has seen this gobsmacking adventure on the big screen can relate: from the opening seconds, you are right there in orbit with Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) as she tries to fight her way through chaos and get back home. A technological marvel needs a heart at its core, though, and Cuarón and Bullock deliver in a clever and resonant way.

    7. They Shall Not Grow Old (2019). Those who loudly proclaim, “I am bored by blockbusters” such as the ones directed by Peter Jackson should take into account that the skills (and profits) accumulated by Jackson and his team yielded this magnificent feat of cinematic restoration — digital expertise used as a kind of excavation tool to unearth buried secrets. Gathering bits and pieces of low-quality film and sound, Jackson used his Gandalf magic to make an impossibly evocative document of life among the Tommies in the foul trenches of the Great War.

    6. American Sniper (2014). We’re just a few minutes into Clint Eastwood’s deeply patriotic film when Jason Hall’s screenplay explains an indelible metaphor about humanity’s unfortunate capacity for violence and how we respond to it: we divide ourselves into sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. The movie starts out wonderfully, gets even better, and concludes in a dizzying display of gratitude for the sheepdogs, such as the late Chris Kyle, portrayed with great compassion and humility by Bradley Cooper.

    5. 127 Hours (2010). People who will chuckle and toss Junior Mints in their mouths while watching slasher movies could not be persuaded to watch director Danny Boyle’s story of a hiker named Aron Ralston. Sensitively portrayed by James Franco, Ralston went out for some exercise, jumped into a canyon and got his right hand stuck under an 800-pound rock. This extraordinarily uplifting film should make you rejoice, not squirm: Ralston is a man who walked out of his own grave.

    4. First Man (2018). What really motivated Neil Armstrong to go off on such a dangerous, even foolhardy, adventure? Director Damien Chazelle has a theory, but he slyly withholds it until the very end. Instead, he constructs a kind of rebuttal to Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff that frames the mission to the moon in starkly different terms than what we’ve seen before, turning its gaze to a taciturn, interior-directed figure and the triumph of the nerds he represented.

    3. The Tree of Life (2011). Director Terrence Malick long ago slipped the bonds of ordinary filmmaking and created his own genre of reflective, dreamlike, haunting films that are less interested in storytelling than in carving out some space in a character’s consciousness. Rooted in Malick’s own Texas boyhood, his Christian faith, and his difficult relationship with his harsh father, The Tree of Life transcends the medium of cinema and plays chords in the soul.

    2. Arrival (2016). The tissue connecting the three outer-space movies on this list will be apparent to anyone who has seen them, and they’d make a superb triple feature. Arrival is an ingeniously plotted double mystery within a sci-fi form. Via inquiries into language and time, the director Denis Villeneuve finds an amazingly original and elegant way to braid the vast unnameable with the specific and individual, leading up to a devastating and perfect final act that explains the whole movie.

    1. Never Look Away (2019). Some of the most talented of filmmakers — the Coen brothers, Yorgos Lanthimos, Paul Thomas Anderson — tend to conclude their films with a cosmic shrug. Lots of top directors prove unwilling or unable to provide what we go to the movies for — true feeling. But Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s fictionalization of the life of painter Gerhard Richter sprinkles emotional high points all the way through this lush, moving, frequently tragic movie. It’s not only the best German film I’ve ever seen, it makes previous films about Germany’s horrible 20th century look petty and reductive. And it makes the case for art and artists as well as any film ever made on the topic.

  11. #146
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,590
    I wonder why "They shall not grow old" wasn't nominated for an Oscar? I believe its one of the greatest documentary films of all time.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  12. #147
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    It looks like a very interesting film and a great one to see in connection with Sam Mendes' 1917, which I just saw and reviewed (I've revised my ten best list to include it). Some thought the digital colorization was poorly or improperly done according to this discussion (BBC), so that might be a reason. I have not seen it and wish I had - on the big screen.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-07-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  13. #148
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    Thanks for the post Chris. I like reading White's criticism and I'm glad he elevates TREE OF LIFE as well as Jonze's HER which doesn't quite make my list but I admire. It elicits interesting thoughts and discussion about modern existential issues. I'm going to add Pedro Costa's HORSE MONEY to the list instead. This Portuguese director is more than the sum of his signature techniques (chiaroscuro, fixed camera, declamatory passages, partial camera perspectives,"wooden" performative style,) Amongst other things, Costa's filmography is also a chronicle of a richly detailed immigrant community of Cape Verdeans in Lisbon. Costa's films are brilliant in a very original way and HORSE MONEY is his most accessible.

    I also have to edit my initial post to add a couple of movies that I have watched many times over the years and ponder their relative merits. These are two movies that have finally won me over completely. I think now most definitely that MARNIE is second only to VERTIGO amongst Hitchcock films and I am so happy that there is a film of his that unlike PSYCHO, VERTIGO and others has an ending that is optimistic about the possibility of mending a dark, broken heart and having love win out. It's the opposite of the so tragic Vertigo.

    One more film to add will be a surprise, I'm sure. I think Albert Brooks' MODERN ROMANCE is absolutely great and a better examination of romantic neurosis than any film by Woody Allen.

  14. #149
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,689
    Thanks for the favorable comment on Armand White. I may post his latest annual "Better Than" list, which seems more sane and mainstream arguably, this year.
    I am aware of Pedro Costa from Lincoln Center events, primarily the NYFF, and of the details you note. From Ne change rien and Colossal Youth. There has been talk in year's end listings etc of Vitalina Varela but I have not seen it. Ne change rien (so visually vivid and memorable) made me aware of Jeanne Balibar's singing which in turn prepared me for her impersonation of the French singer Barbara in Matthieu Amalric's film, which was beautiful and atmospheric to see in Paris even though few Americans would see the point of it. I will look into Albert Brooks's Modern Romance but hope your'e not joining the American band wagon chorus trashing Woody Allen. I've reviewed most of his oeuvre in recent years and think he's well worth the trouble. To me it is a scandal that English speaking countries (US, UK) are blackballing Woody's new film A Rainy Day in New York, so you have to go to Paris to see it. Since French critics love it and say it's his best and most upbeat in years, the Metascore of 48% just isn't believable. The AlloCine press rating is 4.0, equivalent to 80%.

  15. #150
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,819
    The most recent release that I have added to my canonical list of love objects is...the 4 hour, 2-part American film: A BREAD FACTORY (USA/2018)

    Here's a quote from Richard Brody about it:
    “A Bread Factory” is, above all, a comprehensive vision: with a ferociously dedicated, deeply empathetic, finely conceived sense of purpose, Wang offers a steadfast utopia of imagination, devotion, integrity, memory, and love in the face of hatred, corruption, despair, and loss. He dramatizes the value of art as the enduring embodiment and living memory of its creators’ humane relationships; he distills community and culture into a mighty cinematic force.

    I will also add another film from the 2010s! Repeat viewings and discussions with my FIU students lead me to conclude that
    Ciro Guerra's EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (Colombia/2015)
    is a unique achievement in the art of film that must be watched by anyone who loves the medium.It's about encounters between the last member of an extinct Amazonian tribe and two Westerns explorers, 40 years apart.

    Justin Chang in Variety:
    "The ravages of colonialism cast a dark pall over the stunning South American landscape in “Embrace of the Serpent,” the latest visual astonishment from the gifted Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra. Charting two parallel journeys deep into the Amazon, each one undertaken by a European explorer and a local shaman, this bifurcated narrative delivers a fairly comprehensive critique of the destruction of indigenous cultures at the hands of white invaders, and if Guerra somewhat exhausts his insights before the end of its two-hour-plus running time, there’s no denying the film’s chastening moral conviction or the transfixing power of its black-and-white imagery. At once blistering and poetic, not just an ethnographic study but also a striking act of cinematic witness, “Serpent” should continue to garner critical and audience acclaim on the festival trail following its top Directors’ Fortnight prize at Cannes."
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 03-20-2020 at 06:11 PM.

Page 10 of 10 FirstFirst ... 8910

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •