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dave jenkins
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« #18345 : May 28, 2019, 05:22:30 AM »

A Faye Dunaway weekend!

Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) - 10/10. Carole Eastman wrote an incredible screenplay based on recorded interviews with an actual fashion model and Jerry Schatzberg directed the hell out of it. Faye Dunaway's performance is probably the best of her career. The film would make a great double-bill with The Life of Oharu.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) - 6/10. Slick and ultimately unsatisfying, it holds your attention while viewing it. That "Windmills of Your Mind" song is insidious.



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« #18346 : May 28, 2019, 05:55:45 AM »

The Red Badge of Courage (1951) 7/10

there are some nice scenes here, and I really liked the cinematography on some.

I saw this yesterday, not overly impressed with it as a film.  I did like some of the battle scenes, seemed like a precursor to the anti-war mood of GBU.

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« #18347 : May 31, 2019, 04:46:31 AM »

Personal Shopper 6/10
Heavily flawed but I enjoyed the ride. Assayas and K.Stewart work well together. A couple of scenes stand out and the film is pretty smart.
DJ, have you seen it? The search engine doesn't find anything about the film on this board.
Two French films, both by auteurs, both with heroines navigating bizarre worlds. Interestingly, each also contains excerpts from a film-within-a-film, each a clever pastiche.

Personal Shopper
(2016) – 8/10. An American woman living in Paris is a PS for a celebrity, but also in her free time a medium trying to establish contact with her dead twin. Strange things happen, and then there’s a fantastic finish (in both senses of the word).  It isn’t a perfect film—the text messaging, which is mostly a red herring, goes on too long—but a lot of the choices the director makes are excellent. I have never been through the chunnel, and as far as I can remember I’ve never seen a film that documents the train journey Paris-London-Paris, so I found that bit of travel refreshing; and at the end the film takes us to Oman, which I have never before seen in life or in art. The integration of a character’s personal life and her job has never been better done in a movie. Assayas is always great with music, and here we get good stuff PLUS three different Jordi Savall cues. I’ll definitely be re-watching this.
[Thanks for the tip, n_l. Mrs. Jenkins liked it too.]

La Prisonniere (1968) – 6/10. Clouzot (in his last film, the only one in color) takes a journey through Marquis de Sade territory, with mixed results. The standard initiation formula is employed, but here used more intelligently than usual. Still, the plot relies on the heroine’s latent masochism gradually being exposed, something I always find hard to credit. And then Clouzot wants to develop things into a bonafide love story—puh-lease!  Still, the pop art stuff is well done, and the music choices are good (Mahler, Webern, Xenakis). The film has been restored and considering its age looks really, really good on this new Kino blu-ray.



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #18348 : May 31, 2019, 05:45:26 AM »



Personal Shopper
(2016) – 8/10. An American woman living in Paris is a PS for a celebrity, but also in her free time a medium trying to establish contact with her dead twin. Strange things happen, and then there’s a fantastic finish (in both senses of the word).  It isn’t a perfect film—the text messaging, which is mostly a red herring, goes on too long—but a lot of the choices the director makes are excellent. I have never been through the chunnel, and as far as I can remember I’ve never seen a film that documents the train journey Paris-London-Paris, so I found that bit of travel refreshing; and at the end the film takes us to Oman, which I have never before seen in life or in art. The integration of a character’s personal life and her job has never been better done in a movie. Assayas is always great with music, and here we get good stuff PLUS three different Jordi Savall cues. I’ll definitely be re-watching this.
[Thanks for the tip, n_l. Mrs. Jenkins liked it too.]


Glad you two liked it.
It's funny you mention the Paris-London-Paris journey, it stroke me as extremely realistic: they used the right train (including for the club car) and the right stations (for interior as well as exterior shots). Made me want to go to London, haven't been there for 8 years or so.


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« #18349 : June 01, 2019, 12:45:35 PM »

The White Crow (2018) - 5/10. In 1961 Rudolph Nureyev goes to Paris with the Kirov Ballet and defects. There are also lots of flashbacks to his childhood and to his early training as a dancer. It is a bio-pic with the typical issues such films suffer from (composite characters, anachronisms, an impossibly faultless hero, shallow bad guys). Some good performances, though (You Will Believe Ralph Fiennes Speaks Russian). Hey, Fiennes even directed the picture!



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« #18350 : June 02, 2019, 09:49:37 PM »

TCM showed some war movies last week in honor of Memorial Day. Catching up on my DVR

The Steel Helmet (1951) 6.5/10


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« #18351 : June 05, 2019, 01:23:06 PM »


Le septième juré / The 7th Juror (1962) 1080p - 7/10.  Bernard Blier, in the role of his career, plays a meek pharmacist who, one Sunday afternoon down by the lake, strangles a girl he fancies. Fortunately, the girl had been heard arguing with her boyfriend a short time before--said boyfriend is therefore taken into custody. At the trial, Blier, having been made one of the jurors, does his best to confound the prosecution's case (in the French system jurors can question witnesses directly, so Blier, who knows the crime scene better than anyone, easily causes doubt to be cast on all the testimonies). The boyfriend is acquitted, yet no one is satisfied, least of all Blier himself, who finally decides to confess to the crime. But no one will believe him.

This is an interesting premise, and for much of the film my attention was riveted. But as it turns out that the Blier character is an essentially moral individual--the murder was an aberration--the whole thing becomes a contest between the man with a conscience and his corrupt society. The corrupt society, which had ulterior reasons for wanting to convict the boyfriend, of course wins in the end, but the author thereby scores the (not very interesting) point he wished to make about elitist rotters. A better film/source novel was possible, at least for those of us who have seen An Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. After the boyfriend's acquittal, when the town wants to know who the real killer is, Blier should have planted evidence to surreptitiously build a case against himself instead of confessing. This would have eventually spurred the prosecution to indict him and seek his confession, which he may or may not have withheld (whatever works better dramatically). At the point of conviction, though, Blier would be saved when another strangulation murder occurs--the anti-establishment vet, a character in the original plot, has acted to save his friend. The two murders are never solved, there are more murders, whatever, choose the cynical ending you like best. That would have made the film's second half much more compelling.

A remake of this French film was made as an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour ("The Star Juror") in 1963, which I have not seen. The title The 7th Juror (which may or may not refer to the same property) is being used for a project in production now, so maybe a new English language remake is coming.

Second viewing: A re-watch last night of the Pathe blu raised my estimation of this film (now an 8/10). The murder is done to Vivaldi--a very good match, as it happens. Also the actress playing Duval's wife is excellent. She's in the background for most of the piece, then finds her inner titoli and asserts herself at the end. And the metaphoric qualities of the film have been made apparent to me: Fascist France has won the war.
Third viewing. This film just keeps getting better and better. This time I appreciated all the ironic Christmas season touches. This would make an excellent double-bill with The File on Thelma Jordon--or Miracle on 34th Street.



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #18352 : June 05, 2019, 11:45:36 PM »

Song to Song 3/10

WOW. Took me 4 attempts in 4 days to reach the end of this emptiness. Some of the cinematography looks good, although not that much to be honest, the constant extra wide angle mostly reminded me of a GoPro. I've noticed 2 shots I'll probably steal at some point (which, over 2 hours, isn't a good track record). The performances' range is between ok and really good (but even the best ones wear off after a while). The real issue here is the screenplay: there is absolutely nothing going on here. Just rich and beautiful people wandering in parking lots, overpriced mansions and music festivals, playing like kids, crying like teenagers and sometimes doing something that comes close to sex but they obviously haven't managed to fully grasp what this whole "coitus" thing means yet. Oh and that's all they do. Like, they never have to work or anything. They sometimes mention music and how they're supposedly reaping off each other... but they don't actually make any kind of music so it shouldn't be that bad. They aren't even able to argue against each other: when something is wrong they stare at each other and are sad. Boohoo.

The whole thing looks like a parody of Tree of Life, with an even more expensive cast.

I'm still in love with the trailer, for some reason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL0FYUpXuoo
Watch it and don't bother with the movie. 50% of the good shots and 80% of the dialogues are in the trailer anyway, you'll only miss the over simplistic narration that tries to sound deep (but doesn't even try to be deep).

Spoiler so you don't have to go through the 2 hours: what we need is mercy.

« : June 05, 2019, 11:47:25 PM noodles_leone »

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« #18353 : June 06, 2019, 10:11:26 AM »

Song to Song 3/10

WOW. Took me 4 attempts in 4 days to reach the end of this emptiness. Some of the cinematography looks good, although not that much to be honest, the constant extra wide angle mostly reminded me of a GoPro. I've noticed 2 shots I'll probably steal at some point (which, over 2 hours, isn't a good track record). The performances' range is between ok and really good (but even the best ones wear off after a while). The real issue here is the screenplay: there is absolutely nothing going on here. Just rich and beautiful people wandering in parking lots, overpriced mansions and music festivals, playing like kids, crying like teenagers and sometimes doing something that comes close to sex but they obviously haven't managed to fully grasp what this whole "coitus" thing means yet. Oh and that's all they do. Like, they never have to work or anything. They sometimes mention music and how they're supposedly reaping off each other... but they don't actually make any kind of music so it shouldn't be that bad. They aren't even able to argue against each other: when something is wrong they stare at each other and are sad. Boohoo.

The whole thing looks like a parody of Tree of Life, with an even more expensive cast.

I'm still in love with the trailer, for some reason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL0FYUpXuoo
Watch it and don't bother with the movie. 50% of the good shots and 80% of the dialogues are in the trailer anyway, you'll only miss the over simplistic narration that tries to sound deep (but doesn't even try to be deep).

Spoiler so you don't have to go through the 2 hours: what we need is mercy.
NO!!! WRONG!!!

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« #18354 : June 06, 2019, 10:33:11 AM »

NO!!! WRONG!!!

It wasn't about mercy?


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« #18355 : June 06, 2019, 11:38:42 AM »

It wasn't about mercy?
It's due for a rewatch for me. Song to Song is one of my favorite Malick films, I think he perfected the style that fell slightly short with To the Wonder and Knight of Cups (two films I also like)

After my rewatch, I'll write a review that explains why you are WRONG!!!

In all reality I think I'm the only person in the world that loved this film.

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« #18356 : June 06, 2019, 04:59:03 PM »

Phoenix (1998) Bad Cops. Directed by Danny Cannon. Written by Eddie Richey. The film stars Ray Liotta, Anthony LaPaglia, Daniel Baldwin, and Jeremy Piven.

Sort of a Quentin Tarantino film wannabe. Instead discussing how a Big Mac with Cheese is called a Le Royale with cheese, there is a running joke about the film King Kong and about the wall on the island they find him on. It has some interesting moments and some truly dumb ones. Watchable. 6/10

Source: Netflix DVD


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« #18357 : June 07, 2019, 12:01:53 PM »

Song to Song 3/10
WOW.

Sounds similar to how Mark Kermode felt about it.

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« #18358 : June 07, 2019, 12:41:02 PM »

To Serve Them All My Days (1980-81) - 9/10. An eleven-hour mini-series that chronicles the career of a shell-shocked survivor of the Great War who becomes a teacher at a boarding school in S.W. England and then rises to be the school's headmaster. Soapy at times, it's also a wonderful evocation of a milieu that doesn't really exist anymore. Being a British TV show from the 80s, production values are not high. By way of compensation, the writing is good (adapted from a novel) and the acting is astonishing. Of course the leads are all good--what amazes me are the bit parts played with subtlety and assurance. No role is badly done. Even the child actors are more than credible.



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« #18359 : June 08, 2019, 06:46:54 AM »

The Woman In The Window (1944): Edward G. Robinson is mesmerized by the portrait of Joan Bennett who promptly enters his life, and he ends up killing her lover by accident. Good noir but not as good the 2nd Fritz Lang/EGR/Joan Bennett/Dan Duryea collaboration, 'Scarlet Street'. 7+/10

The Fifth Cord aka Giornata Nera Per l'Ariete (1971): Crummy journalist Franco Nero becomes a suspect in a series of murders that he's writing about. Decent-to-good giallo, bonus point for the beautiful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. 7/10


'I feel all dead inside. I'm backed up in a dark corner and I don't know who's hitting me.' - The Dark Corner (1946)
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