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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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We the Living was an unauthorized adaptation of Ayn Rand's first novel, produced in fascist Italy. Although Rand's book was ostensibly anti-Soviet, scenes in the film attacking collectivism crossed the line with the fascist authorities. They banned the film soon after its release and sought to destroy all copies. The film was lost for decades until Rand's representatives located a surviving negative. Scenes were edited to remove lines that contradicted Rand's free-market viewpoint and the film was re-released with the author's (post-humus) approval in 1986. Despite the tumultuous history of We the Living, with many different forces making an impact, the film we have today is actually quite good. Alida Valli is the determined female anti-communist aspiring to build gleaming steel bridges, instantly recognizable as a character based on Rand herself. Alida falls in love with Fosco Giachetti, a young man from the aristocracy who has struggled to survive under the new Bolshevik system that scorns his kind. The third and strongest character is played by Rossano Brazzi, a Soviet secret police officer whose moral compass gradually leads him to question his political philosophy and his occupation. The climax of the film is central to the film's political troubles. One character gives an impassioned denunciation of collectivism, stressing that collectivism goes against man's natural urge to look out for himself. While I'm sympathetic to this viewpoint, I only oppose forced collectivism. Voluntary collectivism (e.g. family, community, religious & civic groups) is wonderful and essential to survival. Rand's apparent preference to go-it-alone seems an unnecessary overreaction.
>>688 Rapsodia satanica is really good, one of the films you wholeheartedly enjoy. >>701 I still wish my dear Luis went full pro-unemplyoment. >>737 >(post-humus) approval haha Anyway, I watched all blu-ray films with de funes, all pre-1989 pierre richard ones and some with other known figures of french comedy. Of those I watched, I liked Le Jouet the most. I'm tired due to weather, so I'll say just that it's good piece about slavery. It's directed by Veber who also made one of the few good modern comedies, namely Le placard and Richard/Depardieu trilogy. It's maybe too dumb but enjoyable nevertheless. If anybody knows some light-hearted comedies, recommend me some. Later on I'll maybe share my thoughts on Feu Mathias Pascal featuring lovable and incredibly charming Mosjoukin.
The only movie that ever made me smile for how sweet and innocent it is. Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy go on a mission to save their new friend from a horny pirate interspliced with some live action scenes from their owner Marcella who received the doll as a birthday present. There were too many musical numbers, plot was uneventful, and the titular stars don't advance their characters much making it a pretty boring movie but on the bright side the voice actors for both are excellent and by 70s standard the animation is good and better than anything digital that's ever come out.
Symphonie pour un massacre (Jacques Deray, 1963) I know Deray from La piscine and The Outside Man, but this film surpasses both of those due to Jose Giovanni's clever screenplay. Giovanni had an interesting personal history -- he went from criminal to convict to successful screenwriter of many of France's best crime films. In this film he also has a small acting role. The story is an engaging slow burn at first. You observe a character who moves with intention, but it takes a while for you to understand what you are witnessing. Thankfully I didn't read the imdb synopsis which spoils much of the plot. I like black and white views of city storefronts in films from this time period. Everything is bright and clean and new and modern. I recognized Billy Kearns from Plein soleil where he also plays a token American who murders the French language.
>>740 >Jose Giovanni I think someone touched his story and some of his works in the old/second board, he's an entertainment guarantee, even his personal story in which the military aspect of it is the most interesting.
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>>737 >Rand's apparent preference to go-it-alone This statement has bothered me since I wrote it. I admit I'm no expert on Ayn Rand but I made a basic error. While she promoted individualism and selfishness, it does not follow that she necessarily preferred to "go-it-alone". Furthermore, it's incorrect to imply she opposed all forms collectivism. My understanding is that she favored collectivism as a means to advance self-interest. For example, a friendship can be beneficial to you. However, I still see a difference between Rand's views and the sort of voluntary collectivism (like a community group) that seeks to advance the "greater good".
Just saw Hampow93: My Brother, Which I Care For https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK9XfgDse4E It's a documentary about a pair of twins who live in South Carolina and film emergency vehicles. I went into it ready to laugh at losers but it was sort of beautiful. Like a dark real life Beavis and Butthead.
>>743 Thats an Adrew Ruse prod. right? I think there's also a Goth King Cobra documentary. I havent seen neither but I regularly watch KingCobras livestreams because his worldview is so weird and fun. He makes costum wands and says the green tea Monster is the best one. And Hampow uploads every week, dunno why im still subbed cause I never watch his vids lol
>>731 Hey there, excuse me for the long time for a reply but was out for a while. >Now that you are familiar with Mexican action, what did you think of Mariachi? Not gonna lie to you, i saw it a long time ago on TV and i don't recall being fond of it nor my uncle and cousin, subsequently when i was discussing with local film circles (actually just some dudes from the region who came for a forum and we drank and discussed how to get government money) there was a lot of animosity for it. That's a big can of worms you opened there, to this day its effects are still swinging in the local filmmaking, although in subtle touches. Speaking very strictly about the product itself i think it was a giant anomaly. Man i wrote a long winded post forgetting the first part of this line so cutting to the chase El Mariachi showcased a director with complete foreign influence in terms of style, borrowing from Hong Kong Blood Operas and italian westerns (not common nationally) and a new perspective with almost every actor being an outsider (due to being amateurs or local talent) it ticked all the boxes for freshness. Personally i liked the cinematography a lot (i'm a big sucker for wide unorthodox angles, my repeated line in all the boards i visit) but the script and characters are overly silly/non-common, it's another southern mexican power fantasy. At this point you can guess it's a common thing in well-known (aka nationally distributed) movies because that's how they get to know themselves for a wider audience aka the distributors with the connections to the USA. The movie portrays 3 main characters, the southern (foreigner) who gets everything right, the stoic northerner who comically missteps all the time and the white villain (the "foreigner") all of which are the usual archetypes that got upgraded to new levels in this movie, the villain even created a long-running joke that has many victims like Red Dead Redemption. The civilians did appear prominently which was rare in northern films (the motel guy, the henchmen) so honestly it broke ground in terms of context development, but ultimately its main narrative was the same old same soup. All in all it was a nice "accident" that left too many negative stigmas to appreciate its real value at the time, good cinematography and a risky business proposal (non-cinema-sponsored project) and to be fair, other than the real protagonist and all his side of the story, it was a movie good for the region. Now if we want to talk about the consequences of its context like how it was made, the sequels its produced and the archetypes it practically founded here (moco sickness, the legend of the budget, protag being disappeared, director being a renegade out of reject/fear) which are frankly more famous than the movie itself round these parts, then that's another bigger story. Spoilers none of them were any good, Rodriguez and his works are virtually blacklisted even in taco stands By now you might imagine northern mexico hates every single national movie out there, that's part of the big story, but the truth is the popular cult movies around here are not the usual man against men stories of tiny individuals and their meteoric rise to the top, squash people and be the boss which are popular with southern and american individuals, no, the stories people seemingly cherish here are man/dynasty against adversity stories, dudes who are in control of their lives but are against nature, tough environments or internal family/clan clashes. The Blood In Blood Outs, the Chato's Lands, the Death Wish, the Hierro Brothers, the Black Winds, those are the ones people ask for.
>>740 >>741 Giovanni/Damiani is tops, as a script writer or sometimes as a director. I don't remember how many times i've seen Le Deuxieme Souffle, somewhat retelling some of his experiences in the anti-resistance gang. For a rough corsican who volunteered for the german side in WWII and killed usurer jews in Paris i found puzzling how he, in his double identity, mingled with JP Melville who was a staunch resistance member (also a jew, hence his hack attitudes at times) and hired the jewish starlet Marlene Jobert for one of his movies. I don't blame the man, that girl was just so stupidly hot.
>>744 It's trappped, not sure if he's Ruse but yeah the same one as the Gothic King Cobra doc. KC is hilarious.
Sladké hry minulého léta AKA Sweet Games of Last Summer (Juraj Herz, 1970) Immediately following his horror classic Spalovac mrtvol, Herz took a drastically different stylistic direction with this lighthearted summer romp produced for Slovak television. The hourlong film is based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant about a group of friends, Mouchette and her five orbiters, who spend the summer gleefully boating down the Danube and lounging around an artist's shack. The film takes visual inspiration from impressionist painters, with picnics and parasols that channel Monet and Renoir. The editing tends to be impressionistic as well, arranging images and colors that create a carefree mood rather than advance a story. But as the characters' joyous temperament transcends every pitfall they encounter, you start to wonder if there's something very wrong with them.
A surprisingly underseen horror from occupied France. Perhaps one reason it's overlooked is the bland English title "Carnival of Sinners" dubiously replaced the superior literal translation "The Hand of the Devil". The story follows a failed painter who purchases a talisman -- a left hand in a box. The talisman changes the painter's fortune, immediately granting him personal and professional success. But it's a Faustian arrangement that gradually pulls him down, and he might fight to break free. Maurice Tourneur's style of horror is very similar to that of his son Jacques: regular 1940s people encounter dark supernatural forces that send their lives into disarray. These films are like paranormal noirs, shot in black and white with expressive lighting and hard shadows. As with Clouzot's Le corbeau, La main du diable is a Nazi-funded French production with a subtext of resistance. Here the film's malevolent force is a short, unassuming old man -- an easy stand-in for a Vichy bureaucrat managing the occupation.
Peter Hutton's At Sea (2007) chronicles the birth, life and death of an enormous container ship. The film has no sound, a bold choice by the director, and the camera rarely moves. Under these circumstances the primary artistic consideration is toward carefully framed and composed image aesthetics. I don't know Hutton's motivation, but my assumption is that he wanted to create "moving photographs" in the purest sense. Contrast Hutton to James Benning, a director who uses a similar visual form. Since Benning's frames have sound, they're easier to place in the real world. Hutton's silent frames are naturally more enigmatic. I have a favorite shot from each of the three sections of At Sea. First, the colorful streamers floating in the wind in front of the finished ship at its christening. Second the bright white moonlight reflecting off of the inky black ocean as the ship hauls freight. These images are a payoff of the sequences preceding them. The last shot that sticks in my head is a man repeatedly swinging a sledge hammer into the base of the giant hull, as the rusty ship is beached and being salvaged by hand. The shot is memorable not because of aesthetics, but because the man's effort seems utterly futile.
I watched Downey's Pound. It's not very good, but there are some interesting camera maneuvers and a few scenes with funny dialogue. It only vaguely stimulated my interest in the rest of his filmography.
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>>845 I remember the Pound soundtrack was rare and desired but I forgot who directed the movie. Is there anything better to watch than a TV rip? For whatever reason Criterion declined to include it in their Downey box set.
>>848 Not sure of who holds the rights. I do know that through at least the 80s or 90s Downey didn't even have a copy of the film itself. The film was never released in any official format. It doesn't surprise me that people wanted to find the ost and I had no idea it was released.
Backfire (Vincent Sherman, 1950) A decent second-tier noir with Edmond O'Brien. Characters jaunt around Los Angeles to sleuth a mysterious disappearance and its ensuing trail of murders. Like D.O.A., the well-known O'Brien noir released the same year, Backfire has a backdrop of WWII vets struggling to find their place in a society that has progressed without them. With limited job options, these men feel a tug toward the seedy side of life in order to make ends meet. The flashback-heavy plot takes us through dilapidated hotels, dark bungalows, smoky arenas and swanky nightclubs. Warner Bros Swedish import Viveca Lindfors gets top billing in the opening credits despite limited screen time. Lindfors has a strong, exotic face with riveting eyes. She's prettier than Swedish icon Ingrid Bergman, and Warner brought Lindfors stateside hoping she'd become the Next Big Thing. While she's a standout in this film, Warner nonetheless declined to renew her contract. She was relegated to relative obscurity in B-movies and TV roles for the remainder of her career. Another interesting castmember is Leonard Strong, who droops his eyelids and adopts a rather silly accent to play a Chinese butler. Strong was a Utah Mormon of Welsh heritage often cast as Asian bit characters. Although imdb claims he's an "Eurasian-American actor", he had no Asian blood. So his caricatured portrayals could be seen as mildly offensive yellowface.
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>>863 Here's a more exciting review from the noir thread on 8kun. I wish my writing could approach this level of quality, but I don't have the proper mindset for it. At this point it takes a lot to thrill me. I think certain writers/influencers gain a following because they can convincingly communicate their outsized enthusiasm for a film.
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Over the last week I watched If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, and Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe. Both were good documentaries. If a Tree Falls definitely worked better as an objective documentary. The film proposed questions rather than definitive statements. I learned that ELF was based and didn't have their chance to attain full fruition because they partnered with a piece of shit heroin addict. Vaxxed has more of an agenda and takes the offensive . However, it's logically sound and the evidence is well presented. Are you ready to live in a world where half of the fucking population is autistic?
>>864 It's amazing how people can write such an in-depth well-written review for a movie. Lots of film review sites that show up on the top pages of google or most of the "top reviewers" on letterboxd can't do that. I can't either, probably because I'm just a superficial movie watcher.

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