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31  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: April 03, 2015, 09:16:22 AM
One film where the thoughts of a character are told in a voice-over with great success: The Dead (from 1987, directed by John Huston, and probably his best film). Actually it would be a considerably lesser film without the voice over. Also Laurence Olivier's decision to do some of the monologues of his Hamlet (1948) as voice-overs works well.

A Most Violent Year (2014) - 8/10
Highly well crafted film, though it didn't resonate with me on any deeper level.
32  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Manoel de Oliveira dead at 106 on: April 03, 2015, 04:58:45 AM
Never seen any of his films but he was very inspirational. He showed that you don't have to at the peak of your career until the age of ninety-five.
33  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Split Screen trailer? on: April 01, 2015, 10:15:59 AM
I'm sure I've mentioned this before but the worst must be the Finish title for OUATITW which alone kinda spoils the ending: "The Harmonica Avenger". Especially written in English, it also makes one of the worst titles ever.
34  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Vertigo (1958) on: March 23, 2015, 03:42:43 PM
p.s. you know how many people have died in accidents cuz of new cars having to be much lighter to comply with energy-efficiency laws? Yup. The global warming lobby has succeeded in killing people that otherwise would have survived crashes if their vehicles were as heavy as they used to be. Look it up.
You is a sitcom character.

BTW, an honest question: what the f*ck has any of this to do with Vertigo? 
35  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: March 21, 2015, 10:24:10 AM
Noah Baumbach 3-fer at Lincoln Center, a kind of loose trilogy (according to the official line):
Kicking and Screaming (1995) 35mm - 6/10. Losers graduate college and then find it difficult to move on. Seems like a student film, where the students involved first saw Whit Stillman's Metropolitan and decided they could put on the same kind of show. Some of the dialog is amusing.

The Squid and the Whale (2005) 35mm - 5/10. Two brothers watch as their parents split up, then take sides. If the earlier film was Too Much Stillman, this one shows the hand of Wes Anderson (who in fact co-produced). Too much hysteria. All the way through I was thinking, Rushmore did a lot of this better.

While We're Young (2015) DCP - 7/10. A childless middle-aged couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) meets a pair of twenty-somethings(Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) and re-discover their youth (sort of). But the youngsters are not entirely what they seem . . . . This time the filmmaker I kept thinking of was Woody Allen. Didn't we already make fun of foreign mystics in Annie Hall? Didn't we already have the intellectual-on-film-being-edited in Crimes and Misdemeanors? The couple are in the documentary filmmaking biz, and we get to see things about the industry that are kinda cool, but just as Baumbach gets close to making a statement about integrity and truth in filmmaking he pulls his punch. In the Q&A afterwards he admitted that he wasn't really interested in the topic, he just needed a profession for his characters that was visually interesting. For him the film was just about the relationship between the two oldsters. Which is OK, but no more than that.

Why do I keep trying with Noah Baumbach? Because a few years ago he made Greenberg, one of the funniest films of the millennium. I keep hoping lightning will strike twice, but it is looking less and less likely.
I have a very different opinion on him. To me he's one of the most interesting directors who have started out in the 90s or later.

I'd rate his films like this:
The Squid and the Whale 8.5/10
Margot at the Wedding 7/10
Greenberg 8/10
Frances Ha 9/10
36  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: March 01, 2015, 01:46:34 PM
I don't think it's trying to be original. They're using Scorsese effects 100% of the time. I don't get the Fincher feel many critics have pinpointed (the break up scene was heavily influenced by The Social Network but only the way it was written, not shot). It's pure young Marty all over the place.

The revolution is that it's the first movie that focuses on what it is to work hard at something. No more of the bullshit Hollywood gives us in every biopic. You don't become Charlie Parker by being gifted or by having a brother who died in front of you. You try by working really, really hard. The rest is bullshit people who never worked hard imagine to feel better about themself.

It touches me on a very deep level.
Yeah, I got the Scorsese feeling too. Maybe even too much. Influence turned into imitation. And I didn't really mean "original". I guess "special" is the word I was after.

The morale of the story is actually what bugs me the most about the movie. For a good while they kept the "being the greatest drummer of all is not worth sacrificing your love and family" card in the game. And while it certainly was surprising they didn't play that card in the end, it makes the message rather dubious. As I see it, at the end of the film the drummer kid is headed for the same destiny as the sax (or trumpet?) player we never see on screen: a burn-out and, eventually, premature death. So, "brightest candle burns quickest" is supposed to be a positive notion? I understand that the views of the protagonist are not necessarily the same as the filmmaker's, but in this case this really seemed to me like the point the director was trying to make. If I'm misreading the film, please inform me because I really hope I am.

On a related note, the way music was portrayed as a an exact science or a race (against others and oneself) seemed also very wrong to me. In the film, drumming is interchangeable with, say, chess, javelin throw or a spelling bee. Any of those would fit in the same story  (although with chess it might make a rather boring film). Portraying art as a contest seems repulsive to me. I understand the world of performing arts is highly competitive, but making the competition the heart of the art is plain wrong. And I guess it's needless to say that I find "being one of the greats" an immensely juvenile goal in life (although I can certainly see the appeal of it).

I respect the point you make about the film defending hard work over "talent", but frankly that wasn't what I was thinking while watching the film.
37  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: March 01, 2015, 04:09:58 AM
I saw it. 6.5/10. The climax is better than the rest of the film together. Formulaic screenwriting, nothing special acting-wise, not nearly as original visually as it tries to be.
38  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: December 30, 2014, 12:06:18 PM
Well, I certainly think the film is re-watchable, mainly for the digital video aspects. The characters can be a bit wearing, and I'm in no hurry to reacquaint myself with them. But I'll pick up the blu if and when it becomes available.
I'm definitely going to re-watch the film at some point but the length of it is probably going to push that encounter into unknowable future. Main reason for wanting to re-watch the film is the great amount of dialogue: I can't remember almost any of it and yet it seemed like it would benefit from closer observation. Actually a friend of mine made a case that Winter Sleep would work better as novel than film because then you would have time to stop whenever you want, re-read and think about what the characters are saying. I can definitely see where she's coming from, though I think in the end she's wrong.
39  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: RIP Gordon Willis on: December 22, 2014, 12:30:17 PM
Hey, thanks for the link! A great find.

As a young director and cinematographer I find this part very relatable and important:

Quote
          Q:  I know a lot of young filmmakers coming up, and people are on them about coverage. When I started, people weren't bugging you about that.

          A:  “Where's the shot of the doorknob?”

          Q:  Yeah.

          A:  I know. Yeah, well, see, it's a lack of point of view. If you have a point of view in the scene, as I say, a scene works in one cut or works in twenty, but what is the point of view? But I agree, “Where's the coverage?” It's what I call dump-truck directing. You shoot everything that's living and breathing--including the doorknobs, which aren't breathing--and throw it in there and they'll put it together for you.  Meanwhile, you're on a plane to Bangkok or something. But that's unfortunate, actually.

          Q:  The job is to make choices there.

          A:  Right there. Exactly. Makes people nervous. [laugh] Makes 'em real nervous. Make a choice. Like: there aren't any more cuts. This is it. “What are my options?” You don't have any.  This is it.
40  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: December 19, 2014, 12:44:30 AM
Enthusiasm (1931) - 5/10
Not nearly as great as Man with a Movie Camera.

Night Mail (1936) - 8/10
Short documentary. A true masterclass in editing.

Gerry (2002) - 7/10
Probably my least favorite of Gus van Sant's "death trilogy".

Darling (1965) - 8/10
A complicated (some might say immoral) young woman's adventures in the Swinging London. Antonioni and Fellini influences are present.

Daybreak / Le jour se lčve (1939) - 9/10
"After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events the led him to the killing." One of the best films I've seen in a long time.
41  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Knight of Cups (2015) on: December 16, 2014, 09:17:09 AM
Actually I just read that it's gonna hit the theaters over here in the late spring. Big screen seems like the only real way to watch this.
42  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Knight of Cups (2015) on: December 15, 2014, 11:33:51 PM
Second half of a trailer gets a bit too Malicky for my tastes, as much as I respect him as a filmmaker.
My thoughts exactly. The new urban setting is something he hasn't tried before and will probably get a lot out of it, but when I saw the seashores and the people playing under white sheets I almost laughed. I guess I'll probably go see it anyway. If anyone is crazy enough to distribute it in Finland.

Say what you want, but I found the GoPro stuff in the trailer very interesting. Seems like the second film ever where they actually found an expressive way to use them.
43  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: December 15, 2014, 03:50:40 PM
DJ, you're a funny man.
44  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: December 14, 2014, 07:44:14 AM
Winter's Bone (2010) - 7.5/10
The SLWB search engine sucks. I'd be surprised if nobody else saw this film. I remembered giving it an 8/10.
45  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2014 in Movies on: December 13, 2014, 07:43:44 AM
Yeah, this is premature especially for someone like me living in Finland where a good deal of the films won't arrive before 2015. But this far my favorite is a tie of Boyhood and Winter Sleep, with Mommy following close behind. Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Wonders, 20,000 Days and Two Days, One Night are all good films, but not in the same league with the top three.  Maps to the Stars is very interesting and partly very good but has obvious flaws.

The stinkers of the year are Fury, The Salvation, Snowpiercer, Noble and The Dance of Reality (if you don't consider it a 2013 film).
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