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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 3620265 )
noodles_leone
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« #19530 : January 17, 2021, 12:39:51 PM »

Even granting what you say is true, you are merely arguing that Scorsese is a great craftsman. Who would deny it? But craftsmanship is not artistry.

It's like talking about Turner vs. van Gogh. The latter is generally thought superior to the former, but no one argues that van Gogh had the superior technique. I don't say that either were insufficient in terms of technique; they had different approaches. But Turner is all technique. Van Gogh has technique plus something else, something that provides what one critic used to call the shock of the new (a shock that van Gogh's paintings continue to deliver to this day). And put a Turner up beside, say, a Gainsborough. Can the casual viewer tell the difference? But no one can mistake a van Gogh.

Craftsmanship may be necessary for artistry, but it is not sufficient.

It's funny I got the exact same debate the other day with a french writer/director, but it was about Fincher.
There is a lot of truth in what you're saying, and this is why Goodfellas and, even more so, Casino, are "more art" than The Departed. But there are two big nuances that still allow me to regard The Departed as a major film, and, yes, as art.

First, you seem to forget that the dichotomy you're drawing is, for a good part, purely theoretical and does not apply to many, if not most, movies: craft and substance are more than just tied together. You can always tell a clich? (water is wet/human beings are mortal beings/at the cosmic scale, nothing matters/...), if you tell it in an incredible way, you're producing great art. In the case of The Departed, Scorsese's craft transcends the material because it expresses things in such a vivid way. It makes what should be a basic thriller, may be not tell us things about human condition, but at least allow us to experience it.

My other point is how influencial The Departed is. Art is also a dialogue held by millions of people throughout history. Each book or paiting builds on what came before... or tries to destroy it (which is actually still building upon it). The craft that you guys aren't seeing in The Departed is seen by countless filmmakers all over the world and has already been applied to a lot of movies you love. And it will be, for a long time. I know I'm not in the majority when I say influence (especially good influence) is a major pilar of great art. The great thing about it, is that no matter what everybody else think, that influence is already shaping future art directly for decades, and indirectly for thousands of years.

I'm afraid I have to say that after Casino Marty stopped making films and began crafting impeccably elegant furniture.

Whatever you think about The Irishman and its (great, no question about that) flaws, you cannot seriously apply that last line to that particular movie. I might be wrong about it and it might be bad art, but here is a fact: it's art and not furniture.

Damning, absolutely damning. I remember once when people were telling me how Marty was aping Oliver Stone. Sure, good technique. But where was Marty in any of that?
It's like what a wise man once said: "McFilm . . . "

One word that destroys all of that last comment: Picasso. I'll expend on that later if you're interested.

« : January 17, 2021, 12:49:29 PM noodles_leone »

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« #19531 : January 17, 2021, 02:06:11 PM »

Yes, there may indeed be an interesting parallel between Scorsese and Picasso. Go ahead and expand your point.



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« #19532 : January 17, 2021, 03:22:15 PM »

Seriously, group A. It's even better edited than these 2. Not as innovative, mind you, but it's building on the cinematic grammar Scorsese invented for Goodfellas/Casino and keeping it up to date, pushing it forward, refining it to a never seen before level, and I mean it. It's much better crafted than Wolf of Wall Street (that I like, but for all its flashy camera moves, seems quickly done, almost botched (by a genius, but still botched), from a purely technical standpoint. It sometimes looks to me more like someone emulating Marty than Marty himself). Now, yeah, maybe the visuals of The Departed have less of a cinematic flair, more of a high end tv look than those from G and C, but still. I get people attacking the film for the lack of ambition of its premise, and how self contained it is. But if we're talking about how it's done, I'm sorry, it's absolutely incredible.

I believe you're blinded by something you deeply dislike about it. I highly encourage you to give it a try and focus on the technical stuff (especially the editing) and try to forget the story and even the performances. Check out, for instance, the way the editing plays with different feels and timelines when DiCaprio's mother dies. It's pure art. Maybe Scorsese at his most Malickian, in a good way. Or maybe you don't care. All I know is that I steal from it almost every single day on my editing bay, and have been doing so for over a decade now.
I would say that you clearly have a very strong emotional attachment to The Departed -- a nostalgia overload. I don't have a beef with the movie outside of how unambitious it was shot and directed: the colors are bland, the visuals are staid, etc. The movie is aging very badly in my opinion.

Saying or implying that Scorsese's editing style was some type of build up to The Departed's crescendo is seriously blasphemous to me. I violently disagree with the idea that a boringly shot movie can contain editing that is comparable to Goodfellas, Raging Bull, etc.

I've seen multiple scenes of that movie on mute to judge the editing, and it's just competent editing. Nothing special compared to Scorsese's career, not even close.



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« #19533 : January 18, 2021, 12:44:33 PM »

Yes, there may indeed be an interesting parallel between Scorsese and Picasso. Go ahead and expand your point.

So, we need to talk about Picasso. Everybody knows he had different styles throughout his life, and there is little question he was one of the greatest artists of the XXth century. At least, I think so. Anyway, what is a bit less known about Picasso, but was essential to the great artist he was:

- Picasso had a great knowledge of the old masters (just like Marty).

- Picasso spent his whole life remaking the paintings of the old masters, in various styles. Sometimes he was only studying the structure of the painting (making an abstract painting from a very figurative one), often not going that far away and keeping everything recognizable. There is a great book about that (Picasso and the Masters), and there was a great exhibition with the same name, around 2008 in Paris. (Marty does the same, but more on a shot basis).

- Picasso spent his whole life stealing from the old masters (as seen in the previous point), but also from his contemporary. The other painters were known to hide their work when Picasso entered the room. His famous quote: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Stealing, here, means of course taking what is great in others' work and making it yours. Which is what he did his whole career, and what Marty does. And that's what I mean by "Marty at his most Malickian". He isn't imitating Malick. It doesn't look like Malick. It looks like Marty, but enriched, powered by what he stole.

- Picasso spend a good chunk of his career chasing the hot new thing, fighting to stay relevant (he was a fauve until cubism became cool, then he became a cubist, then...). Just like Marty. There is something very vain about it, I agree. But these two guys are still hugely impressive at how much they tend to become the king of the brand new trend, almost every time for Picasso, pretty often for Marty. More importantly, these tendency they have to try to stay "where things happen" until very late in their life (more on that in the next bullet point) kept them experimenting, pushing forward, creating new stuff, rarely relying on hold tropes (even if you'll easily find things that stayed the same their whole adult life) and very often taking huge risks.

- Picasso, in his late career, was doing stuff that very few considered as trendy and cool. Picasso's childlike painting. Another famous quote of his, from those years: "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." I think at this point he was merely doing what he liked and not cared much about what other people would say about it. I don't think it was his best period, but probably his most "free" one. He was still after the things that really mattered to him deep down: trying to capture the essence of life on a dead material (more often than not, a canvas). I hope Scorsese entered that period after Wolf of Wall Street. The fact that that movie was received as modern and hype is a great thing, he can now focus on what actually matters more. Silence. The Irishman. He had other shots at it earlier, and they mostly sucked (Last Temptation, Kundun), but it's great to see Marty liberated from "I wanna be at the top, and I want people to say I'm at the top", and start making movies just for himself, for the better (The Irishman) or for the worst (pick the one you want).

« : January 18, 2021, 12:46:44 PM noodles_leone »

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« #19534 : January 18, 2021, 12:47:28 PM »

I would say that you clearly have a very strong emotional attachment to The Departed -- a nostalgia overload. I don't have a beef with the movie outside of how unambitious it was shot and directed: the colors are bland, the visuals are staid, etc. The movie is aging very badly in my opinion.

Saying or implying that Scorsese's editing style was some type of build up to The Departed's crescendo is seriously blasphemous to me. I violently disagree with the idea that a boringly shot movie can contain editing that is comparable to Goodfellas, Raging Bull, etc.

I've seen multiple scenes of that movie on mute to judge the editing, and it's just competent editing. Nothing special compared to Scorsese's career, not even close.

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« #19535 : January 18, 2021, 01:03:06 PM »

So, we need to talk about Picasso. Everybody knows he had different styles throughout his life, and there is little question he was one of the greatest artists of the XXth century. At least, I think so. Anyway, what is a bit less known about Picasso, but was essential to the great artist he was:

- Picasso had a great knowledge of the old masters (just like Marty).

- Picasso spent his whole life remaking the paintings of the old masters, in various styles. Sometimes he was only studying the structure of the painting (making an abstract painting from a very figurative one), often not going that far away and keeping everything recognizable. There is a great book about that (Picasso and the Masters), and there was a great exhibition with the same name, around 2008 in Paris. (Marty does the same, but more on a shot basis).

- Picasso spent his whole life stealing from the old masters (as seen in the previous point), but also from his contemporary. The other painters were known to hide their work when Picasso entered the room. His famous quote: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Stealing, here, means of course taking what is great in others' work and making it yours. Which is what he did his whole career, and what Marty does. And that's what I mean by "Marty at his most Malickian". He isn't imitating Malick. It doesn't look like Malick. It looks like Marty, but enriched, powered by what he stole.

- Picasso spend a good chunk of his career chasing the hot new thing, fighting to stay relevant (he was a fauve until cubism became cool, then he became a cubist, then...). Just like Marty. There is something very vain about it, I agree. But these two guys are still hugely impressive at how much they tend to become the king of the brand new trend, almost every time for Picasso, pretty often for Marty. More importantly, these tendency they have to try to stay "where things happen" until very late in their life (more on that in the next bullet point) kept them experimenting, pushing forward, creating new stuff, rarely relying on hold tropes (even if you'll easily find things that stayed the same their whole adult life) and very often taking huge risks.

- Picasso, in his late career, was doing stuff that very few considered as trendy and cool. Picasso's childlike painting. Another famous quote of his, from those years: "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." I think at this point he was merely doing what he liked and not cared much about what other people would say about it. I don't think it was his best period, but probably his most "free" one. He was still after the things that really mattered to him deep down: trying to capture the essence of life on a dead material (more often than not, a canvas). I hope Scorsese entered that period after Wolf of Wall Street. The fact that that movie was received as modern and hype is a great thing, he can now focus on what actually matters more. Silence. The Irishman. He had other shots at it earlier, and they mostly sucked (Last Temptation, Kundun), but it's great to see Marty liberated from "I wanna be at the top, and I want people to say I'm at the top", and start making movies just for himself, for the better (The Irishman) or for the worst (pick the one you want).
You forgot to mention Picasso's final period, when he signed blank canvases just so his family after he was gone would be able to fill them in and swindle the public. Hopefully, Marty will never feel the need to take that step.



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« #19536 : January 18, 2021, 01:06:56 PM »

You forgot to mention Picasso's final period, when he signed blank canvases just so his family after he was gone would be able to fill them in and swindle the public. Hopefully, Marty will never feel the need to take that step.

What if Marty died after Casino and Ron Howard is actually the guy behind everything since then?

Well played, Mr Cunningham, well played.

EDIT:
Which reminds me, for TH who keeps being mean toward both Marty and Ron: here is what I DO have a strong nostalgia attached to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbSi7LjMOAk

« : January 18, 2021, 01:11:13 PM noodles_leone »

dave jenkins
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« #19537 : January 18, 2021, 01:10:25 PM »

What if Marty died after Casino and Ron Howard is actually the guy behind everything since then?
Hey, hey, there's a movie in this!



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« #19538 : January 18, 2021, 01:13:09 PM »

Apropos of nothing: I hate Picasso and love Hopper. And Hopper maintained one style for the last 45 years of his life  ;)


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« #19539 : January 18, 2021, 01:16:40 PM »

Apropos of nothing: I hate Picasso and love Hopper. And Hopper maintained one style for the last 45 years of his life  ;)

You also love Austin Powers, so there is that.

(yeah, a Patriot joke would have been too easy here)


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« #19540 : January 20, 2021, 05:12:03 PM »

SHUTTER ISLAND is his best film since RAGING BULL.


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« #19541 : January 21, 2021, 03:52:30 AM »

Now here is an unpopular opinion. Please develop!


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« #19542 : January 21, 2021, 05:55:05 AM »

Tolkien (2019) 4.5/10
Watchable and quite professionally crafted but absolutely pointless ?origin story? of JRR Tolkien. I should have spend the same 2 hours on Quora's Tolkienarium instead of wasting my time with this.

Raised by Wolves, season 1 6.5/10
Interesting sci-fi show produced by Ridley Scott (who directed the first 2 episodes). It's a further exploration of the themes he looked into in Prometheus and Covenant. If you like androids who have a soul and sci-fi movies that mix religion and technology together, this is for you. Lots of cool stuff. It could have been a great movie. The tv show nature of it hurts the final product a lot: lots of scenes that could have become classics of the genre unfold way to fast to get some real impact. Also, they obviously didn't get the budget that would really be needed for such an effects driven show.

« : January 22, 2021, 03:17:33 AM noodles_leone »

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« #19543 : January 21, 2021, 04:36:43 PM »

Another Thin Man (1939) - 6/10. Actually, the title should be Another "The Thin Man", or, alternatively, The Dream Butcher. When Tom Neal showed up I was sure he was gonna be the perp, but no, it was sweet Virginia Grey. Oops, SPOILER! I think we all go to the Thin Man films for the gags, though, right? This has quite a few, and, I'm gonna be good now and not give any away.



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« #19544 : January 22, 2021, 10:31:22 AM »

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) - 7/10. Blu-ray transfer: 10/10. Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) paints the Sistine Chapel while his patron, warrior-Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison), kibitzes. It's not actually about watching paint dry. It's more like watching people talking about watching paint dry. Still, Carol Reed's direction is terrific, the sets and locations are terrific, the costumes are fugetaboutit good, the Alex North score is better than fantastic, and the art (filmed in Todd AO!) is the greatest in the world. The drama is pretty much reduced to the tug-of-war between the two principals, and of course, since the two depend on each other and have a mutual grudging respect anyway, by the end its revealed we've been watching a buddy picture all along. But the spectacle! For a film about a painter, I don't know how anything grander could have been mounted. At the beginning of the film there's a narrated prologue that introduces the historical Michelangelo and gives us a tour of some of his famous sculptures. This is actually informative and a pleasure, and helps set some context for the film we're about to see. I've read a recent web post about this new Blu-ray release decrying the film's opening, claiming that it stops the story dead. The story hasn't even begun! And, since this was a roadshow release, with an intermission and exit music (but no overture), the prologue simply takes the place of the opening music. (Nothing "stops a story dead" like an overture, what?) Anyway, the new BD provides eye-candy for the ages--we're talking an LoA-level transfer.
Mrs. Jenkins had never seen the Sistine Chapel, so I spun this for her. She was pretty happy with the experience, but at the end she turned to me and asked, "What was Diane Cilento doing in that movie?" Have I ever mentioned that my wife can, on occasion (while watching films or eating pasta, say) channel the great SL? Happily, she never does it for long . . .



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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