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Groggy
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« Reply #12135 on: June 12, 2013, 05:28:15 PM »

Douglas Sirk is some deep satire, man. Or so the cineastes tell us.

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« Reply #12136 on: June 12, 2013, 06:22:14 PM »

Douglas Sirk is some deep satire, man. Or so the cineastes tell us.
The satire is intermittent. There's lots on view in All That Heaven Allows, not so much in The Tarnished Angels, none at all in A Time to Love and a Time to Die. Irony abounds, of course, but that hardly makes Sirk's cinema distinctive.

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« Reply #12137 on: June 12, 2013, 06:23:08 PM »

Douglas Sirk is some deep satire, man. Or so the cineastes tell us.

deep extended shamltz. The on-and-on emotional deathbed scene, and then the crying "I'm sorry" over the coffin, just awful. Happily I watched on dvd so I was able to forward the 5 minute funeral song.

And sorry, you can't just take a white girl with dark hair and dark eyes and tell us to believe it's a a light-skinned child of two black parents - even if one of them was supposedly light-skinned. No way. Every time the girl whined "I'M WHITE!" I just wanted to tear my hair out. Neither of the child actresses was very good. The only real good performances were from John Gavin and Juanita Moore.

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« Reply #12138 on: June 12, 2013, 10:41:01 PM »

haha so I just saw Imitation of Life (rented the dvd off Netflix) yesterday afternoon, and then it just so happened that TCM played the same movie at 8 PM! Took a look for a second just to see the print - TCM's print looks a lot better than the dvd. Both versions have a few speckles here or there (and there is one scene on the dvd that looks really damaged), but the TCM print looks like it is sharper - the dvd has lots of grain.

O well, this is a shitty movie no matter where you watch it.

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« Reply #12139 on: June 13, 2013, 03:32:38 AM »

Libel (1959) 8.5/10 (TCM)

A terrific drama made at MGM's British studios.

With Olivia de Havilland, Girk Bogarde, and Paul Massie.

STORY: Jeffrey Buckenham is watching tv one evening, a program where they interview wealthy people from distinguished families. On the program this evening is a man named Mark Loddon, and Buckenham immediately recognizes him: During WWII, Buckenham was a British soldier in a POW camp along with Loddon, and a third man named Frank Welney who happened to have a remarkable resemblance to Loddon. The three of them escaped the POW camp together, and Buckenham is convinced that the real Loddon is now dead, and the man on tv is actually Welney, who is pretending to be Loddon just to gain his inheritance. Loddon insists he is who he says he is, but since the war and traumatic escape, he suffers memory loss and other psychological problems, and he is therefore unable to remember certain details of his past.
Buckenham publicly accuses Loddon of being an impostor; Loddon sues Buckenham for libel, and the question of who is who now must be settled in the courtroom.


This is really a wonderful movie.

You may have to allow a few small cinematic suspensions of disbelief with regard to some of the amnesia stuff (eg. of course, the victim's memory can always be jogged at just the right moment when he sees just the right thing to remind him of what really happened), but this is a terrific, very well-made movie. Directed by Anthony Asquith. The movie uses flashbacks really well, and is great at being SCARY, there are moments you are just terrified - no this is not a horror movie, no monsters hacking at any women in the shower - but it is great at scaring you shitless.

This screenplay is based on a mid-30's Broadway play (the setting was changed from WWI in the play to WWII in the movie).

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« Reply #12140 on: June 13, 2013, 08:50:26 AM »

This screenplay is based on a mid-30's Broadway play (the setting was changed from WWI in the play to WWII in the movie).
I didn't know this. That explains why the mysterious patient from the Austrian clinic (or wherever) is so shot up. It didn't seem to make much sense (other than as a plot convenience), but for a WWI setting it would fit pretty well.

I re-watched the film again recently on the Warner Archives disc. It's not bad, although the ending is predictable. Dirk Bogarde in two roles is a treat. I was a little unhappy with the reconciliation with the wife at the end--if I'd been the man in question, I'd have never trusted that bitch again.

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« Reply #12141 on: June 13, 2013, 11:14:10 AM »

RE: Streetcar/Kazan - Kazan is far and away my least favorite of the big name directors of the classic era. The acting is hammy and ostentatious and his films have no scope whatsoever and suffer from bad pacing. A Face in the Crowd would be such a better movie if anyone else directed it. East of Eden is somehow good in spite of Kazan.

RE: French cinema. Power you at least need to see Hands off the Loot, all of Melville's crime films, and just the french gangster films in general. A good under the radar one is Night Affair (1958). I personally think the new wave is much to do about nothing but I do like the pre new wave french cinema.

RE: Japanese and Kurosawa: I'm far from a Kurosawa nut but you need to at least watch his films set in (then) contemporary time - stuff like High and Low, The Bad Sleep Well and Stray Dog. Gone are his most glaring flaws - the overload of customs, the preachy dialogue (characters sitting indian style discussing the plot). In many ways, he's a boring man's Ford, who made rituals/customs/etc. cinematic and exciting.

Check out the Japanese new wave stuff, Pale Flower (one of my 5-10 favorite movies) is a great starting place.

And power, I don't know what you see in Hidden Boretress. It's long, slow, dull and those two "comedic" characters are the worst.

RE: Sirk. Imitation of Life suffers from a mini-series amount of plot jammed into a little over 120 mins (if my memory serves correctly) but his stuff like Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows are all top tier. The Tarnished Angels is really good too. I don't understand the aversion to melodrama, which I label cinematic emotion, as funny as that sounds. Even if you find that description silly, his movies are beautifully made, visual driven and endlessly analyzable. He was obviously a master of color usage as well.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 11:31:12 AM by T.H. » Logged


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« Reply #12142 on: June 13, 2013, 12:30:06 PM »

I didn't know this. That explains why the mysterious patient from the Austrian clinic (or wherever) is so shot up. It didn't seem to make much sense (other than as a plot convenience), but for a WWI setting it would fit pretty well.

I re-watched the film again recently on the Warner Archives disc. It's not bad, although the ending is predictable. Dirk Bogarde in two roles is a treat. I was a little unhappy with the reconciliation with the wife at the end--if I'd been the man in question, I'd have never trusted that bitch again.

of course the ending is predictable -- the evidence is tilting so heavily one way all along, you know that the truth has to be the other way.

Yeah, Bogarde is great in two roles, but how did they do it? In a few shots in the flashbacks in the POW camp, both Frank and Mark are in the same shot - they didn't have CGI then, did they splice two bits of film together or something (like how Hitchcock sometimes had a painting "sewed" onto the top half of a frame, like the background of the town in The Birds and the background of the city street in Marnie?)

How could you blame Mark for taking his wife back - even he himself said he was unsure whom he was until he saw the reflection in the water and it jogged his memory and killed his amnesia. If he was unsure who he was for a while, could he blame his wife for being unsure?

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« Reply #12143 on: June 13, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »


RE: French cinema. Power you at least need to see Hands off the Loot, all of Melville's crime films, and just the french gangster films in general. A good under the radar one is Night Affair (1958). I personally think the new wave is much to do about nothing but I do like the pre new wave french cinema.




The 400 Blows and Breathless (are those the 2 first New Wave films) are masterpieces. After that, I agree some of the stuff is overrated. I didn't love Le Mepris, Vivre sa Vie was good not great, and Pierot le Fou I shut off after a few minutes it was so bad. As for Truffuat, none of the Antoine Doinel sequels approached The 400 Blows, though The Last Metro and Day for Night are both good (I give each of them an 8/10).

As mentioned before I like the French crime films, and another great earlier French film is Port of Shadows (1938), with Jean Gabin and Michele Morgan. From the "poetic realism" school. That's one of my all-time faves.

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« Reply #12144 on: June 13, 2013, 02:21:24 PM »


The 400 Blows and Breathless (are those the 2 first New Wave films)


Hadn't we already cleared this in another thread?

They are not. At least Chabrol had already made 2 or 3 films before. And if Malle or Varda are also called New Wave directors then ...

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« Reply #12145 on: June 13, 2013, 02:32:58 PM »

RE: Streetcar/Kazan - Kazan is far and away my least favorite of the big name directors of the classic era. The acting is hammy and ostentatious and his films have no scope whatsoever and suffer from bad pacing. A Face in the Crowd would be such a better movie if anyone else directed it. East of Eden is somehow good in spite of Kazan.

RE: French cinema. Power you at least need to see Hands off the Loot, all of Melville's crime films, and just the french gangster films in general. A good under the radar one is Night Affair (1958). I personally think the new wave is much to do about nothing but I do like the pre new wave french cinema.

RE: Japanese and Kurosawa: I'm far from a Kurosawa nut but you need to at least watch his films set in (then) contemporary time - stuff like High and Low, The Bad Sleep Well and Stray Dog. Gone are his most glaring flaws - the overload of customs, the preachy dialogue (characters sitting indian style discussing the plot). In many ways, he's a boring man's Ford, who made rituals/customs/etc. cinematic and exciting.

Check out the Japanese new wave stuff, Pale Flower (one of my 5-10 favorite movies) is a great starting place.

And power, I don't know what you see in Hidden Boretress. It's long, slow, dull and those two "comedic" characters are the worst.

RE: Sirk. Imitation of Life suffers from a mini-series amount of plot jammed into a little over 120 mins (if my memory serves correctly) but his stuff like Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows are all top tier. The Tarnished Angels is really good too. I don't understand the aversion to melodrama, which I label cinematic emotion, as funny as that sounds. Even if you find that description silly, his movies are beautifully made, visual driven and endlessly analyzable. He was obviously a master of color usage as well.
On Streetcar/Kazan: I agree with your description of Kazan here for Streetcar but not for most other work (other than shithole Gentleman's Agreement). I love Wild River, Face in the Crowd, Waterfront, Viva Zapata, America America, Baby Doll, East of Eden...and that's just off the top of my head.

As far as French cinema goes I will definitely check into more Melville soon. Those are all movies I've been wanting to see for a very long time. I've been generally unimpressed by the New Wave, especially after being pointlessly beaten over the head by in it a couple film classes.

I agree with you on Kurosawa's modern-day noir/drama though. I was iffy on High and Low's structure/change in pace at first but I like it now. I didn't find Hidden Fortress to be the slightest bit long or dull. And the "comedic" characters may not be funny for reasons Kurosawa intended, but the racist, judgmental prick in me gets some joy out of insane Japanese overacting. Hidden Fortress, to me, defines a near perfect classic adventure film.

Only Sirk I've seen is Written in the Wind which I liked very much. Amazing use of color. I'm fine with the melodrama for the most part other than a couple scenes, notably one with a woman yelling to herself by a river. I forget what was actually going on, its been a while.

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« Reply #12146 on: June 13, 2013, 09:03:07 PM »

Confession (1937) 7.5/10

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« Reply #12147 on: June 14, 2013, 02:39:29 PM »

Before Sunrise - 8.5/10
Before Sunset - 7.5/10
Before Midnight - 8/10

Solid so-far trilogy. Have seen the first two twice. The third installment is the most 'emotionally complex' but it sacrifices some of the charm of the first installment in doing so. Sunset is just as greatly crafted I just find it the least interesting. And as great as the whole trilogy is, I wouldn't have objected to Sunset and Midnight not being made. Takes the wonder/ambiguity out of Sunrise's ending.

The trilogy after Midnight reminds of a longer, but lighter version of Blue Valentine.

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« Reply #12148 on: June 14, 2013, 02:56:06 PM »

Hadn't we already cleared this in another thread?

They are not. At least Chabrol had already made 2 or 3 films before. And if Malle or Varda are also called New Wave directors then ...

Well, just like FoD wasn't the first italian western, it was still the big trend setter.

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« Reply #12149 on: June 14, 2013, 03:54:44 PM »

Man of Steel (2013) 4/10. CGI crap, CGI crap, Zack Snyder, CGI crap, Hans Zimmer, really crappy CGI crap. Oh well, at least I got to see it in IMAX 2D.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 05:09:58 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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