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Thread: The Longest Post On Filmwurld

  1. #46
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    I remember in film school being taught about Flaherty's role in being the "father" of documentary film. We had to look at several film styles of documentarians but I don't recall if we ever discussed Gardner's role (that was in the early 1970's and the film school at OSU had only been open for two years with a skeleton teaching staff). My advisor, Ali Elgabri, was more interested in film studies geared toward Hollywood style productions (he had been an assistant director at 20th Century Fox... in fact, all of the prof's at the time were former studio employees).

    In bringing your film experience and knowledge to this site, I have - in the past decade - broadened and expanded my scope of understanding to include French film (Chris and Johan), Asian film (you, Oscar) and documentary filmmakers. What I learned in film school all of those years ago has deepened with an ever increasing appreciation of filmmakers and their styles - thanks to your generous time in sharing your knowledge with those who love and appreciate the art of film.
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  2. #47
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    Thanks for the posts Oscar and Cinemabon. We have a good resource here, with threads like this.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #48
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    I took a film course in '80 or '81 that proved quite formative. During the 70s there was a great increase in the number of US universities and college offering courses in filmmaking and film studies. The field has changed quite a bit since then. The history of silent cinema, for instance, has been re-written based on analysis of a significant number of films that have been found, restored, reissued, etc. in the past 20 years or so. No mention was made of Abel Gance back then, for instance. Now it's become clear that "soviet montage" is heavily indebted to French films like Gance's La Roue (a film that had a much greater impact and influence than the better-known Napoleon. I still remember that back then they used to teach that D.W. Griffith "invented the language of cinema"... Now we have tangible antecedents to everything once ascribed to Griffith.

  4. #49
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    No mention was made of Abel Gance back then, for instance. Now it's become clear that "soviet montage" is heavily indebted to French films like Gance's La Roue
    That about no mention of Gance seems odd. I heard about it in the Sixties. It was certainly famous. Eisenstein wrote theory about montage, and it's probaby for that reason that the Russians are associated with it, but Eisenstein's use of it is very strong. I'm self-taught. I heard about the great silents from my father and his friend Kirk Bond who was friends with Herman G. Weinberg and attended all he screenings at the Museum of Art Film Library in its early days. I also had the benefit of the F.W. Murnau Film Society's showings on the Berkeley campus. The FWMFS was run by Tom Luddy, later to be founder of the Pacific Film Archives. Who is this guy who knows everything about films? I wondered. Now he runs the Telluride festival. One time Luddy had Godard on for a Q&A. He conducted it just like the one in BREATHLESS.

  5. #50
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    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for challenging my inaccurate and exaggerated statement that "no mention of Gance was made back then" (meaning the 70s and early 80s when film history courses were being offered for the first time in many colleges and universities in the US). At that time, we were being taught about the Lumieres, Melies, Porter, Griffith, Chaplin, Soviet Montage, etc. but Abel Gance (and also the British innovators of the Brighton School and women filmmakers in general) were overlooked, often completely ignored in these courses. Nowadays, Gance, Brits like George Albert Smith, and women such as Germaine Dulac, Marie Epstein, and Alice Guy are deservedly being incorporated into the film history curriculum.

  6. #51
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    Thanks in turn for this reply too.

  7. #52
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    I was reading back over this blog. Oscar, you never mentioned, "Lawrence of Arabia." Big films not worthy of the list?
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  8. #53
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    Anyway, you started an interesting discussion of the film in your David Lean thread here.
    Oscar is not taking an active part anymore, so I don't think he'll reply. I'm sure he didn't mean to exclude "big films."

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Knipp View Post
    Anyway, you started an interesting discussion of the film in your David Lean thread here.
    Oscar is not taking an active part anymore, so I don't think he'll reply. I'm sure he didn't mean to exclude "big films."
    Hello Chris and cinemabon. I think very highly of Lawrence of Arabia and yet I don't include it because I don't feel a personal connection to it. That's it. There are big, epic, spectacular films that really hit a nerve with me like Reds and The Last Emperor.

  10. #55
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    That makes sense, Oscar. Very nice to hear from you, by the way. My greater connection with Lawrence of Arabia than to Reds and The Last Emperor is obvious -- my many years of studying Arabic and my few years of living in Arabic countries. I have a personal memory/connection with Reds too though, through a very dear friend of that time when it came out.

    The concept of "long films" seems more and more extended lately as commercial features (I believe) are more often longer now, and increased focus on TV miniseries, which occasionally get a limited theatrical release (like Assayas' Carlos).

  11. #56
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    Thanks Chris.

    An idiom more appropriate than "hit a nerve" would be "strike a chord" :-)

    I have added a few titles to this list, some films produced by Val Lewton in the 40s such as Cat People and Curse of the Cat People and Preston Sturges'Sullivan's Travels (the first "dramedy"?)that have grown on me over the years and now teach consistently.

    You're right about "the concept of long films being more extended", etc. Actually, my favorite recent long "film" is the 2-part TV-series version of Mildred Pierce.One recent film I may one day include in this very special list is Goodbye to Language, depending on how it repays repeat visits.

  12. #57
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    And with "binge watching" TV miniseries become one long film for a lot of viewers who see a whole season or most of one at a time. I've watched more than one episode at a time of "Mad Men," "Doc Martin," "Weeds," "The Good Wife," and several others that I like. But last week I so much savored the recent five-part "London Spy" that I watched only one episode at a time, a day or so apart. I think "London Spy" is as good as a good film. In December I watched "True Detective" (over several weeks, too strong to watch more than one at a time) because I'd admired Beasts of No Nation, the first original Netflix feature release, and "True Detective" was also directed by the director, Cary Fukunaga and had the same strong visual sense.

    Likewise I too watched the recent five-part TV "Mildred Pierce," starring Kate Winslet, because it's done by the "team" of director Todd Haynes and cinematographer Ed Lachman, whose work I admired so much in Carol. I loved its visuals and the craft of the period recreation, though the excitement faded toward the end. I followed up by watching the Michael Curtiz movie but haven't read the James M. Cain novel.

  13. #58
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    I also watched (and liked) Mad Men. I also liked Jane Campion's TV series Top of the Lake and a few other things. Teaching four cinema courses per semester means I watch more old films than recent releases although I manage to watch enough new films to have a sense of what's going on. Actually, I could put out a list of 20 or so 2015 releases that I like a lot. As far as films that fit into this thread, special films that fascinate me and compel me to re-watch, the last recent ones I include on the list are Seidl's Paradise trilogy and Godard's Goodbye to Language.I also added the film I've been showing to teach "noir", Tourneur's Out of the Pastwhich came out in 1947.It gives me such pleasure to show the Bluray in a theater. Nicholas Musuraca was in charge of the shadowy, silvery cinematography my students can't help but admire.

  14. #59
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    http://www.chrisknipp.com/links/doon.jpg

    "Mad Men" was and is a must-see. You already mentioned Goodbye to Language I saw it in the 2014 NYFf and reviewed it then. Technically it got a 2014 US theatrical release (29 October 2014 (New York City, New York). Have not seen nor heard of Campion's "Top of the Lake." but am looking now at Emily Nussbaum's what looks like brilliant piece about it, it's "meditative beauty," in The New Yorker. If you're interested, just click. Obviously we should watch "Luck," "House of Cards," and "Breaking Bad," among others. I skipped "Breaking Bad" because I loved the silly but super-entertaining "Weeds" and didn't want to see a down-at-the-mouth treatment of the same premise.

    As for the joy of showing films to students, I used to get some films shown (regular film films in the auditorium) at Dwinelle Hall I guess it was at UC Berkeley when I was teaching Comparative Literature there. I showed Nicole Williamson's Hamlet I remember and Kubrick's Lolita. Did my best to drum up general interest in attendance of the films because they were expensive to rent and show. Fun to do that I know. Easier now but I prefer film nonetheless. Just saw They Will Have to Kill Us First and cannot get info (as I could not on the camera/lens used for Kaili Blues), but feel it might be Super16mm film like Ed Lachman used for Carol, Far from Heaven and the "Mildred Pierce" miniseries. . Such intense color. Obviously digital is a cold look. Lachman has spoken a lot about his process with Haynes, see this Variety article.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-06-2016 at 01:37 PM.

  15. #60
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    The difference is that I re-watched Goodbye to Language since my last post and I decided to include it based on how lasting its pleasures and how it continues to elicit new associations with older films, Godard's and not Godard's.I don't know of any other recent film that is so addicting to watch; the way I play a music album when I wake up for several days.
    Have you posted a 2015 list?

    Mine has the titles you'd expect, that everybody likes, you know, Carol and Son of Saul, and movies by fave directors Weerasethakul, Tsai Ming Liang, Hou, Alonso. The two movies I loved that were not near the top of those annual polls are Ex Machina and The New Girlfriend. Those are the kind of smart, thoughtful, and entertaining films I like to show my "beginners", my cinema appreciation students.
    Thanks for the Lachman piece. I am a fan.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 03-07-2016 at 06:22 PM.

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