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Thread: 28 Film Discussion Threads Later

  1. #26
    Body Double koji's Avatar
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    Enthralled by Triad Election. Following an introduction about the origins of Hong Kong gangs, the film introduces us to Jimmy, a member of a HK gang , who has been a successful with pirate DVDs and wants to become a "legitimate businessman". He gets trapped in a dangled web. I enjoyed the plot, but even more so, the cinematography and music.

  2. #27
    Evil mind, evil sword. Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    What up, y'all?

    When I walked into film class today, I expected to hate Weekend (Godard, 1967). Turns out I loved it. I took it as Godard having fun with movie-making and purposely going against the typical way of Hollywood storytelling. The way Godard grabs the viewer's attention with the title cards and long takes puts the viewer in a trance for the entire movie, at least that's how it was for me. I also loved its imagery - especially in the opening sequence when the woman talks of her sexual escapade. It's sick and disgusting, but powerful as well.

  3. #28
    Much as I dislike the film, I do kind of like the way Godard uses titles.

  4. #29
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Philosophe_rouge (view post)
    I fell madly and deeply in love with Shock Corridor (1963). It is campy and melodramatic, but they both work to create a compelling and sometimes frightening portrait of price of success (among other things...). [...] I think this will be a favourite for a long time.
    Excellent news. It really is a wonderful, albeit melodramatic, analysis of how the individual can be subsumed amidst the institutional pressures of society. I still have only seen two of Fuller's works, but they're both quality and he's slowly becoming a favored director of mine.

    The Steel Helmet is next up on the queue, actually.
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  5. #30
    Cya all later MadMan's Avatar
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    Once again I post in a FDT with a title from a film I haven't seen. Heh. I want to check out Fuller's work, but so far the only film of his I've found around my area has been The Big Red One(1980). I guess I'll check that one out.

  6. #31
    The Artist as Monster Eleven's Avatar
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    I've been watching a bunch of things, some Rohmer here, some Griffith there, von Sternberg and Assayas in between. Also trying to start a Film Club in my last semester-and-a-half of school, so we'll see how that turns out. Anyone who's organization such a thing, either at school or socially otherwise, I'll love some tips or stories.

    The most obscure Fuller (as well as one of my favorites) I've seen is Underworld USA, with a hard-bitten Cliff Robertson playing both sides of the eternal struggle between the cops and the criminals. Awesome if you can find it.
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  7. #32
    nightmare investigator monolith94's Avatar
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    A one-page paper I wrote for graduate school. I'm posting it here as it's film-relevant.

    John Richards
    One Pager #6, Oct. 26th
    Maasik & Solomon: The Hollywood Sign

    However admirable it may be that the authors of the essays in the chapter The Hollywood sign choose to focus on looking at cinema as a reflection of our human culture, I cannot in good conscience take the approach as given in the reading and apply it to my own (hypothetical) English classroom. For although several good and important points are made in the essays, and the reader is left with the sense that we must approach what the film industry presents us with a certain degree of skepticism and critical acuity, the overall critical neglect of the relevance of a film’s form to its message and meaning is shameful. As English teachers, we have an obligation to teach our students the mechanics of writing: metaphor, word-choice, grammar, imagery and so forth. If we are going to introduce young people to the study of film we have a similar obligation to give them the information they need to read a film lucidly, such as editing techniques, framing, lighting, and all of the artistic decisions that go into the making of a film.

    For example, in Vicki Eaklor’s essay on Gone With The Wind, she might as well be talking about Margaret Mitchell’s book itself, for all of the information she provides us concerning the differences between the novel and the film. Yes, she does make note of some plot differences, such as the truncated role of the mother character (p. 350) but such differences are limited to matters of plot rather than differences in technique. Isn’t it important, after all, to consider the role of the camera as the eye of the audience? Ms. Eaklor never addresses the question of how the camera looks at the supposed femininity of Ashley, or conversely the masculinity at Rhett: rather she merely points to behaviors that we are shown in the film. And when Eaklor does provide an example of something from the film (p. 355) she provides us with just the dialogue, stripped of the visual context: we may as well be reading a play.

    This general lack of concern with craftsmanship leads to some troubling errors and oversights. For example, in Charles Ealy’s Understanding Star Wars we are presented with the opinion of Dr. Taylor, who presents the single most ignorant cinematic remark that I have read in many years: the idea that C-3P0 and R2-D2 are drawn from the racist stereotype of “sassy, back-talking darky house servants.” (p. 328) Firstly, if C-3P0 is offensively regurgitating any cultural stereotype, the character is drawing from the stereotype of the limping, mincing homosexual. Secondly, it is well known that George Lucas ripped the idea of the story as shown via two servant characters from the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. If it has already been proven that George Lucas has already robbed the characters from one more modern and exotic source, how can Dr. Taylor make the claim that it was actually robbed from somewhere else? And Dr. Taylor’s characterization of Princess Leia as Lillian Gish revivified is simply deranged: white robe aside, Princess Leia has none of the timidity and naivety that we expect from a stereotypical Lillian Gish role.

    While plot is important, indeed often central to the scholastic challenge of determining meaning in film, it cannot be the only concern, or the art of film itself will suffer. And considering matters of cinematic technique is all to the good of understanding the semiotic meaning of a film. For example, what is the semiotic meaning of the famous camera pull-back shot that closes Gone With the Wind? But such artistic explorations seem beyond the ken of these essayists, to their loss and ours.
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  8. #33
    pushing too many pencils Rowland's Avatar
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    Right on, mono. Your argument sounds like it's right on the mark. I see what you are talking about all too often, where people take an altogether literary approach to their critical analysis of cinema and miss so much of the poetry (or lack thereof) as a result.
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  9. #34
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting MadMan (view post)
    Once again I post in a FDT with a title from a film I haven't seen. Heh. I want to check out Fuller's work, but so far the only film of his I've found around my area has been The Big Red One(1980). I guess I'll check that one out.
    Speak of the devil - just saw his best - The Steel Helmet.

  10. #35
    Screenwriter Philosophe_rouge's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting dreamdead (view post)
    Excellent news. It really is a wonderful, albeit melodramatic, analysis of how the individual can be subsumed amidst the institutional pressures of society. I still have only seen two of Fuller's works, but they're both quality and he's slowly becoming a favored director of mine.

    The Steel Helmet is next up on the queue, actually.
    It's my first Fuller, although a few years ago I had seen the first twenty minutes of Pickup on South Street before the tape went wonky on me.

    I agree with all your points, I personally have a deep rooted adoration for melodrama, even at it's worst. I think Fuller had enough control that the film didn't spin out of control despite his rather strange approach to the material.

  11. #36
    Screenwriter Philosophe_rouge's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Eleven (view post)
    I've been watching a bunch of things, some Rohmer here, some Griffith there, von Sternberg and Assayas in between. Also trying to start a Film Club in my last semester-and-a-half of school, so we'll see how that turns out. Anyone who's organization such a thing, either at school or socially otherwise, I'll love some tips or stories.

    The most obscure Fuller (as well as one of my favorites) I've seen is Underworld USA, with a hard-bitten Cliff Robertson playing both sides of the eternal struggle between the cops and the criminals. Awesome if you can find it.
    I can't help you much as my school's film club, which I'm one of the few members is so disorganized we're not officially a club (one day late for official submission). Make sure the person in charge (you I presume, so I doubt there will be trouble) is reliable and organized, there is probably at least a fair bit of foot/paper work involved. It's also good to have a group of people interested in a club before you go about it. If you're doing it socially, I suppose you just need to find a dedicated group, and a venue... and probably a system of choosing what you are going to see. Regardless, the best of luck to you!

  12. #37
    Kung Fu Hippie Watashi's Avatar
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    Eh.

  13. #38
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting koji (view post)
    Enthralled by Triad Election. Following an introduction about the origins of Hong Kong gangs, the film introduces us to Jimmy, a member of a HK gang , who has been a successful with pirate DVDs and wants to become a "legitimate businessman". He gets trapped in a dangled web. I enjoyed the plot, but even more so, the cinematography and music.
    It's probably the best music to ever be in a Johnny To film, although Exiled is up there. Election has great atmosphere, but it is not one of my favorite To films.

  14. #39
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Just got back from seeing the new cut of Blade Runner at the Cinerama here in Seattle. It was pretty cool. This was my second time seeing this film on the big screen, but my first time seeing it on a screen this big; it looks and sounds great. Here is the short review: narration out, unicorn still in, backgrounds and cars look better, and Roy still rules. Although, I do have to say that I think A Scanner Darkly is now the best PKD adaptation. Not to disparage Blade Runner at all, but it has been dethroned as the best representation of Dick's masterful imagination.

  15. #40
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Daniel Davis (view post)
    Just got back from seeing the new cut of Blade Runner at the Cinerama here in Seattle. It was pretty cool. This was my second time seeing this film on the big screen, but my first time seeing it on a screen this big; it looks and sounds great. Here is the short review: narration out, unicorn still in, backgrounds and cars look better, and Roy still rules. Although, I do have to say that I think A Scanner Darkly is now the best PKD adaptation. Not to disparage Blade Runner at all, but it has been dethroned as the best representation of Dick's masterful imagination.
    Awesome. I'm not a huge Blade Runner fan (methinks it's pretty overrated), but I'm excited to see the new cut on the big screen. Can't wait.

  16. #41
    So, like, what's the appeal of Death Proof? I'm all for cinematic 'hanging out' (ala Rio Bravo), but the dialogue here is terrible - Kevin Smith-esque, even. The film stagnates everytime a female character open their mouth and every actor visibly struggles with their lines, and QT's idea of 'female empowerment' is as glib as can be. A few neat touches here and there (loved the b&w reel) and an undeniably thrilling climax, but overall pretty lousy. Maybe it works better in the context of Grindhouse. After this and Kill Bill I think I'm done with Tarantino, unless he takes some completely different direction.

    Now, off to read the discussions...

  17. #42
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Weekend:
    American Gangster
    Stanley Kubrick: A Life in the Pictures (I've never seen it beginning to end)

    I'll be busy this weekend, so probably nothing else. Maybe Darjeeling Limited on Monday finally.

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  18. #43
    Quote Quoting Boner M (view post)
    So, like, what's the appeal of Death Proof? I'm all for cinematic 'hanging out' (ala Rio Bravo), but the dialogue here is terrible - Kevin Smith-esque, even. The film stagnates everytime a female character open their mouth and every actor visibly struggles with their lines, and QT's idea of 'female empowerment' is as glib as can be. A few neat touches here and there (loved the b&w reel) and an undeniably thrilling climax, but overall pretty lousy. Maybe it works better in the context of Grindhouse. After this and Kill Bill I think I'm done with Tarantino, unless he takes some completely different direction.

    Now, off to read the discussions...
    Your complaints mirror my own completely. It's the first Tarantino I flat out disliked with a passion.

  19. #44
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    Awesome. I'm not a huge Blade Runner fan (methinks it's pretty overrated), but I'm excited to see the new cut on the big screen. Can't wait.
    Quote Quoting Daniel Davis (view post)
    Just got back from seeing the new cut of Blade Runner at the Cinerama here in Seattle. It was pretty cool. This was my second time seeing this film on the big screen, but my first time seeing it on a screen this big; it looks and sounds great. Here is the short review: narration out, unicorn still in, backgrounds and cars look better, and Roy still rules. Although, I do have to say that I think A Scanner Darkly is now the best PKD adaptation. Not to disparage Blade Runner at all, but it has been dethroned as the best representation of Dick's masterful imagination.
    As far as BR goes - I think it is pretty good. I like it, but I don't flat out love it. I use to like it a lot more than I do now. However, it is a film I will be eternally grateful for because it was my doorway to PKD. I remember seeing this on HBO when I was in 5th grade, 1985 I think, at my grandma's house and I asked her to take me to the book store the next day so I could buy "Do Androids..." I've been reading PKD ever since. So while I may not think it is the greatest film, I have a very special place in my heart for it.

  20. #45
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Yesterday I watched:

    the Host - very very visually well done with a story that you can still be hooked into... the cover of the box says "on par with Jaws" which i do not agree with, but it may in fact be the best creature/monster movie since Jaws... i mean what else is there? on top of the fact that it is very hard to do something that Jaws does so perfectly... A-


    Planet Terror - what a fun movie... overly gory, funny and just an all out blast with the campiest ending from camp town.. what more could a zombie lover ask for than to see a zombie Bruce Willis bad guy or to see Quentin Tarantino's zombie nut sack.... A

    Wednesday I watched

    Captivity - as much as i wanted to see another Elisha horror film, im saddened the direction this move took in an abrupt saw wanna be attempt, with two twists that not only did not fit, but didn't really make much sense... worse than House of Wax? probably... C-

    Spiderman 3 - never got to see the ending when i saw it in theaters cuz a kid had a seizure sitting next to me, but the ending was exactly how i figured it out be, not very good.. brought the whole move down with it... but i still enjoyed the first 90% of it... worst of the franchise so far... A-

  21. #46
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Boner M (view post)
    Maybe it works better in the context of Grindhouse.
    No, it felt completely incongruous in Grindhouse. I agree with most of your criticisms.

  22. #47
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    No, it felt completely incongruous in Grindhouse. I agree with most of your criticisms.
    haven't watched Death Proof yet... i hope its as good as Planet Terror

  23. #48
    Best Boy
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    haven't watched Death Proof yet... i hope its as good as Planet Terror
    it's better.

  24. #49
    nightmare investigator monolith94's Avatar
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    So, weekends anyone? Tonight I'm going to see Rescue Dawn and I hope to see Accatone sometime this week.

    Plus, the Pats game!
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  25. #50
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    I really do seem to be one of the only people in the world who was underwhelmed by The Host.
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