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Comment on the last film you watched Anonymous 09/04/2020 (Fri) 05:38:31 No.682
What was the last thing you watched, and what did you think of it?
(Reposts welcome)
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Rapsodia satanica (1917) Marvelous Italian hand-painted silent about an aging countess who makes a deal with the devil to regain her youth. I wasn't completely clear that one condition of her newfound youth -- aside from losing her soul -- was that she could never fall in love. Her eternal life must be one of loneliness, so is it even worth it? The film frequently operates on a poetic level. It's notably a mechanism for lead actress Lyda Borelli to take on a series of expressive moods while surrounded by immaculate fashion and decor. Borelli's theatricality is as effective as any silent actress I've seen, and her performance is a major prototype for what became the film diva. I want to continue exploring Italian silents, as I've overlooked them to this point. I'll be watching Cabiria next.
Last night I saw 2015's Latin Lover, its a comfy italian comedy, I liked that they spoke french and spanish It felt like a very good early 2000's tragicomedy and I really liked the "protagonist". Kind of pandering at times Also I saw Giant with Elizabeth Taylor and the best part about it was James Dean, I guess I just didnt get it. Its almost too long but it looks beautiful, its a good film to watch when youre going thru a flu on the edge of death but youre surrounded by comfy pillows and soup
>>689 >good film to watch when youre going thru a flu on the edge of death You got the 'rona dude?
I watched Whisper of The Heart. It wasn't what I expected, given it's a Ghibli film with a flying cat on the poster, and I've previously seen The Cat Returns, which I'm aware was a spin off from this. Very /comfy/ film, lots of beautiful background work and while the story wasn't the most exciting, it was still nice. Also a few nice little covers of Country Roads, which were cute.
The Exterminating Angel (1962) It's a black and white spanish film about snobs having a party. It was more bizarre than expected, but i don't think it was the intention, despite supernatural involvement.
>>701 Did you like it? I wasn't expecting the story to go that way either, but I was very impressed with the film. I think I watched the wrong Buñuel films at first. I knew his surrealist stuff was interesting but none of his later films excited me until I saw The Exterminating Angel.
>>701 >spanish Mexican to be fair, production staff was Catalan. It's a surrealistic adventure of the masonic jewish elite, as with many Buñuel films of that era there's a theory it was a story made in part to make a joke around people the director knew, same with Archivaldo de la Cruz. The guests are strict adherents of strange rules and social customs, and cannot do anything at all without passing through the appropriate ritual procedures, which is basically how the whole movie moves. A good film although a bit obtuse, grinds some gears a bit too much.
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>>702 I haven't seen any other Buñuel's films. Despite this something was allowing me to have somewhat high expectations from it and I wasn't disappointed one bit.
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>Reposts welcome Might as well, will repost these long-winded comments to scare the anti-essay league. Going back to the Yugoslavian mainstream scene, here's 1982's Tesna Koža or Tight Spot, directed by Mića Milošević, shot by the moody Aleksandar Petković and starring Nikola Simić as "junior clerk" regular guy Pantić, this one is the usual situational comedy about a somewhat idealistic salaryman close to the boiling point working his last years in a dilapidated state-owned office, gradually going mad due to the post-Tito financial meltdown landscape tormenting the country around those years, along with his family (and the state-appointed freeloading tenant). The movie looks on all angles as the typical crass comedy exploiting singular themes, but once again i'm surprised at the firm hold the Belgrade Theater/Dramatic Arts faculty had around the mainstream movies of this era, while they lacked some of the visual flair and ruthlessness the Black Wave had, this balances out with the quality acting and scene construction; In this project i expected vulgar stuff with a madman and got a well-layered humble pie that boils down to a couple of scenes showcasing the effects of massive devaluation and a head of organization isolated from any supervisor and free from doing any supervising (the most dangerous game) Pantić is going gradually mad at the problems and his family members, all representing some point of neutral to smart sanity, nag the hell out of this poor salaryman for their everyday problems, but the appeal of the plot here is the development of how the Clerk was born in that world, molded by it, yet unmoving in his stance in trying to be decent as possible despite his near-mental breakdown demeanor. The antagonists here, a personal one in the form of the office's almost-illiterate corrupt leader, and a family one in the form of the perfectionist japanophile english teacher of the youngest son serve as ideological counterpoints, both having their own small arcs showcasing passive and active power systems with the latter having an interesting, benevolent conclusion. 80 minutes pass to see how the man's family (and characters) degrade into an angry mob repeating the same verses, proving his only sanity compass broken. As in many cases around those years, the movie is made more around the concept of teletheater instead of a conventional movie (as in dynamic camera movement with moderate editing) the cinematography's only point of mention is the, by now distinctive for me, use of cheap film and obscured, cold omnipresent environments i mentioned earlier in a Balkan Spy post (goes very meta in its critique isn't it). Majority of scenes seem to be made for theater: well-made with a defined opening, development, twist/climax, false ending and ending, they certainly don't waste a lot of film nor run time and most actors have a spot to perform well no matter how little time they get. Pretty sturdy for a comedy movie, this puppy turned to be quite successful and spawned 3 sequels, which seems outstanding considering the only thing i saw with more than 2 in that country were crass sex comedies or are they really? /k/ giving crash courses on the country's history also shines a light in the actual depth of the scripts here, in particular my previous view Balkan Spy, which i should need to take back my comment on its plot's simplicity: That one actually is chuck full of detail about the inner ideological justification of the country's existence and the hangover between its main parties: Royalists vs. Communists. This film era is all about the acting and somewhat acid situations, with Tight Spot being another one of its pretty decent trademark products. Although i have to mention it's not as dense as it sounds, even features the usual musical acts normal in movies made for the masses, but works with incisive actions good enough to strike the point correctly. A worthwhile place to invest a little time into, even for the kick of it before things get a little more intense a few years later in their decade-long war.
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After a mainstream comedy it's time for a rough gem, but this one just ruffles you up a bit too much. Enter the world of misery with Amakusa Shirō Tokisada or The Rebel in its western nickname, directed by Nagisa Ôshima, shot by Shintarô Kawasaki and starring Hashizô Ôkawa as the titular Shirō Tokisada, the Samurai of God not of the missionaries living and comforting his christian brethren about the completely miserable serfdom under the anti-christian Tokugawa Shogunate. The film, considered under the Chanbara genre, moves more around the pure era drama than arm chopping ventures and while that might seem obvious due to the peaceful nature of our man here, things get really awry in the development of the peasants' mood as the laws, taxes and special treatment by the Shogun's men start to ramp up. The miserable conditions aggravate further for the protag as he is forced to take immediate action due to the people not hearing his patience pleads and secret plans to siege the region's castle to stop the lord's antics and the farmers mess time and time and time again, further fueled by men breaking and talking under massive torture schemes by the honorable samurai in the castle and ronin trying to get a piece of the action; One of the most only satisfactory moments, narratively speaking, is when Shorou finally calls out the men for harshly acting before time only to be ditched out by the serfs in fearful realization of their impending doom In terms of style and cinematography the movie starts as a calm piece with very strong use of shadows in backlit scenarios and slow shifting ensemble shots, but sooner or later goes into man on man exchanges, big textured battles in the night and reaches a climax with Ôshima, by now in his 7th film in 3 years, picking a very interesting dynamic of focusing subjects in empty, void backgrounds (either black for night or white for an overblown overcast day) sharing ideas or extreme feelings directly to the camera. A little pet peeve for me was the extended periods of the movie in which we can hear a dramatic, subdued but constant score of strings reminding us of the dread, but i felt this effect went on and on, endlessly and rarely changing tone, that ended giving us a monotonous suffering feel that might've been the point, especially with such an extremely cutthroat text at the end of the piece that just spices the poignantry or secret predicament rejoice of our hero's actions, which honestly could already be felt and heard since the events started to unravel an hour before. Nagisa was sort of a transgressor due to the topics picked and the unapologetic portrayal of those, in this case the squashing of the Christians in Japan by the Samurai class, at this point venerated in cinema, and the believers' internal in-fighting regarding the interpretation of God's word and his actions (sort of a schism between clearcut catholic subjugation, last-stand orthodox self-defense and missionaries shooting cannonballs at christians from a Lord's castle) although i will defend old Nag any day due to him actually managing to make entertainment out of it, even if sometimes a little campy. A decent era piece from a seasoned master, who slowed down after this release to do even more kink-incisive topics, although i think perhaps a viewing should be considered only for the subject's uniqueness in the genre and/or to review the director's work.
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Ride the High Country with this western film, folks! The first "true" movie by the drunken master Sam Peckinpah, shot in 1962 mostly on location around Inyo Forest and Bronson Canyon by the great Lucien Ballard and starring in their last film Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott as the protagonists, two hard-boiled ex-lawmen who meet again by chance in a small town where the former is tasked to transport raw gold back from a mine uphill to make an honest living. Things don't go so well as usual, in this case by the sub-plot of the side-characters interpreted by Ron Starr and the good-looking Mariette Hartley, nothing like old-timey standards of beauty but a bit mannish at times due to nord genes. Also Warren Oates appearing as himself. Considered a "revisionist" western by critics (a term just as bad as spaguetti western) due to Peckinpah's notion of portraying things raw like they should, it actually is a bridge point as the movie plays with the usual situations that always go around in the old west such as bar fights, squashing modernization of the west by the fed, bandit gangs, family feuds and good old drunkness, but Pah makes the central point of the project the relationship between both long-time ex-lawmen gunfighter friends who reflect on past events, kids these days, their lives and somewhat a glimpse of their moral points of view regarding living and work, with the main drama coming from the opposing views life has instilled in them over the years not to mention the crooked one is about to cross his righteous friend with the help of some dude. About that, the sub-plot is some cocky recruited dude that is introduced as tough, but it's just some horny fellow who wants to live grand, in the journey our escort team find Hartley's character, a decent but very naive christian girl from a ranch that runs away to marry the only other guy she knows in the mine uphill where our team heads; Drama ensues when our horny guy picks the wrong moves, gets scolded for almost ruining the plan to steal dem gold bags and boils down when said fiance fella turns out to be a real sleazo from a questionable family of tanner/miner/brewer brothers. The movie begins very standard, not bad at all and even reminds me a hell of a lot like a The Westerner episode (which is good) but surprisingly bends a little towards the middle with the complete degeneracy of the mine town and moral ambiguities of the cast, who have a tasteful and not really forced character development, especially in the form of our young fellow who discovers self-respect and decency when he sees our maiden get almost corrupted. Pah was a good detail-polisher and "even" at this point we can see that the use of certain sound queues, character quirks, american west photography archetypes being shown in glorious C I N E M A S C O P E and weaponry give texture to the movie (mexican semi-auto rifle in a gold mine is exotic but historically correct) although the gun battles are not really action-packed, if anything a bit bland there is no blood, i know we are talking about Sam here they work well as narrative/moral watersheds and somewhat of a terror aspect, hence Sam being considered a "genre innovator" (a couple of years before the italians that's for sure). A good little piece of conservative film media with an ending memorable enough to retire both protagonists actors. If you like Pah, Ride this Pony™.
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Here we have 1991's El Patrullero aka The Highway Patrolman, directed by the crazed and surprisingly settled down Alex Cox from Repo Man, Sid & Nancy and Walker fame, film shot on location in the north/northwestern region by Miguel Garzón (Rojo Amanecer, fucking Llamenme Mike) starring the scarred manlet Roberto Sosa as the titular, Bruno Bichir (they are 3 brothers from capital city, this is the manlet one) Zaide Gutiérrez as a northern rich girl and Pedro Armendariz Jr. on a small supporting role. The movie goes about a freshly graduated and idealistic federal highway patrolman being assigned to "a hell spot", an usual normal town in the northern region, and the subsequent path to dehumanizing himself (more so) and face the bribe life. He works as an honest guy but the idiosyncratic nature of the community (who despise cops, foreigners and civil servants overall) makes his work hard, coupled with the national sickness of government risk jobs being the lower paid ones and highly nepotistic attitudes from above our boy here succumbs to the pressure, but as the narrative goes on we are clearly told bad stuff happens to bad people. In the end our director jumps in the realm of surrealism like in Walker and things end up working for the lawman. The project starts with a quick rundown of our characters, Officer Rojas and Officer Anibal, 2 southern fellas who display all the archetypical flaws of a person from down there (southern-centric zealotry, extreme suspiciousness/douchebaggery towards americans/europeans, backhanded behavior, religious yet insidious) but usually these are bitterly displayed in cinema as good things, seen as intelligent and patriotic displays although here they are just used as characterization. But out of nowhere our protag marries the rich girl in the small town after she goes directly to his pants, then starts working as a sincere do-gooder, which builds up the atmosphere into a simple power wet dream from someone not from around the area in question, this might've spooked tons of viewers (perhaps also reason why it has a poor reputation locally and why i downloaded it), but half an hour in things start getting interesting: Both cops are seen as overly corrupt, the romance ended up being a one-sided convenience marriage to pay for her ranch's tools via bribe/contraband money, man also cheats all the time, also gets in the thin line with weed smugglers. These actions make the "man" recapacitate his actions which leads to the (even more) fantasy-realm second part of the movie, which jumps into the detective/moral trip genre along with the surrealist world of Alex Cox A fed, i mean a federal officer, starts doing his job as a cop due to grief, becomes clean, avenges his partner by catching bad guys and lives a happy marriage ever after while supporting his trusted ex-prostitute lady friend. Also implicitly turns into a drug runner in the very end?
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A very Hollywoodesque/Chilango turn of events, at the start it was supposed to be like that until you get into the real thing but sadly it degrades again into the foreign wet dream to please someone, not the public that's for sure because Cox is a well known maverick. Originally this was going to be an american movie but Alex got blacklisted for being a socialist but also the kind of the ones who whine about the top 1% and also name names, hence why the patrolman attire, weaponry and range of activities in the movie is actually american-fashioned, to avoid vexing the local government the production even invented the patrolman company image and academy but also some ironic billboards which come as anti-tax. The project in its 3 phases never loses sign of the decadence and vices of the police corporation and their ill-interactions with the environment so it should be commended for degeneracy consistency. It's a decent but quite off film about just that, a Highway Patrolman, at least the clean cinematography perfectly portrays the harsh light and strong reflections in the arid region which isn't seen much in the medium (exposure value has to be tuned down a step or 2 due to direct light all over the place, which gives place to well-lit environments but shiny reflections and overly strong shadows) also the protagonist did a great job; i do have a dislike on the subtitles when i was peeking at them, all trace of ethnic slurs towards the cops and mentions of drug cartels (mentioned as contrabandists instead) were cleaned giving a much more tame atmosphere for a non-speako-spanish viewer, along with most drug runners being portrayed as american (which is as ridiculous as the rich ranch girl marrying a southern civil servant) still Alex Cox and the peruvian scriptwriter gave a lot of texture with local jokes like the antagonist's truck having Sinaloa plates (along with the directors' audio commentaries about how cops hated the thing and ticketed/asked the staff for bribes in the middle of filming also much of the casting being commies due Cox watching mexican commie movies) but these details quickly fade with the very poor work on accents by most of the main cast that were/should've been assigned one (Armendariz and Zaide are the only ones who pull it out). Can't blame an englishman and a peruvian for this as the casting crew were an insidious capital city philosophy student and another peruvian... you know what i think i can. 3 oil sweaty tacos with cold lettuce and homemade sauce out of 5 because the camera work, the setting and the main protagonist with 2 small supporting roles are quite up to goodness, but the lack of the other 2 tacos, namely the bizarre script phases and character consistency, bogged this down by quite a lot but perhaps not so much for a non-local. I'm on the edge that i don't think those 3 aspects are worth revisiting this movie although i'm very curious about the movie being produced solely by the japanese... now that's a better story, if anything the audio commentary from Cox is very appealing: The mystical scene in the movie where strong winds happened in a highway and the dust clouds made the trees and the sun behind some characters seem psychedelic while they were performing one of the surreal exchanges was mentioned by the director as a "complete accident" as it happened out of nowhere and without any planning at all, making it one of the favorite scenes in some of the cast members' careers, certainly a high-point in the movie already technically well-made by the cameramen. Sidenote: While the comments need to be focused on the movie with some general info of the director, a common trend that needs to be pointed out in Mexico's cinema is the mostly communist/socialist-friendly cast members (activists) and a rampant amount of them from the capital city after the 60's; i have my theories for the former (highly divided investment groups/producing houses) but nothing concrete, yet these leak into many portrayals and script changes with a couple of times coming in deep contrast with the subject and/or local culture at hand. I use this to gauge the fling-o-meter at the end, although many can be just pointed to bad/insufficient acting; I am too critical about it so i also apologize for it.
Don't get scared, the thread is only about a small passing comment, i just wind up and make a mess sometimes. Don't know why i stopped making these, i had fun but i keep watching too many trashy movies. Let's see if i resume one of these days and make something out of seeing only action stuff, already made some webms so it shouldn't be hard piercing some texts together.
>>715 Thanks for the review of The Highway Patrolman, I like these kinds of genre films. Definitely will going to watch it
>>715 When I was younger I absolutely loved Once Upon a TIme in Mexico by Rodriguez, that is, until I saw the original El Mariachi, which in my opinion is much better when you consider every aspect of the film and the making. Now that you have seen Highway P. and are familiar with Mexican action, what did you think of Mariachi? If you've already seen it of course

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