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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #12675 on: November 13, 2013, 06:34:13 PM »

Of course you may know where a film is going after only a few minutes; I can't tell you how many movies I've seen that I've shut off after an hour, or 30 minutes, or even 10 minutes. But I wouldn't give it a rating; I feel that it's not right to rate a movie if you haven't seen it fully; maybe you can be sure you won't like it, but you can't be sure of the rating. Sometimes it may get better or worse in the last hour. Sometimes an ending may raise a rating or lower it. To me, watching a movie is all about enjoying yourself, and if I am not enjoying myself, I shut off the movie wherever it's at - but I never rate a movie that I haven't seen beginning to end. I'm not saying you would necessarily like Argo more if you see the rest of it; I'm just saying that only then would you have the RIGHT to rate it  Wink

I broke this rule once in my life: I saw this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2420176/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2 in a theater and walked out after 15 minutes, it was so awful, and then I made sure to give it a 1/10 rating on IMDB (only because they don't allow a 0/10 rating there). http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg160807#msg160807

RE: cinematography: I notice when there is great cinematography, I just don't write about it that much in my reviews. Sometimes I say, "The cinematography was great," but no more than that. But unlike CJ, I don't rate a movie "10/10 on locations alone"  Wink

« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 12:22:48 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #12676 on: November 13, 2013, 11:22:10 PM »

I saw the opening of Amour the other day. I'd really like to give it a try as soon as possible, even if (sorry DD) I think I got where it was going. Anyway, the dialogues of the couple (and only them) sounded weird to me. Very artificial, very theater-like, instead of realistic or even cinema-like. Kind of like Rohmer dialogues. Did you guys non french speaker notice this as well? Or was it lost somewhere in the translation process?
I guess that artificiality was lost in translation. I found the dialogue and the whole film (with a couple of obvious exceptions) very realistic. What was your problem with the dialogue? Was it too literate? Or was it something in the way the actors delivered their lines?

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« Reply #12677 on: November 14, 2013, 04:16:35 AM »

I guess that artificiality was lost in translation. I found the dialogue and the whole film (with a couple of obvious exceptions) very realistic. What was your problem with the dialogue? Was it too literate? Or was it something in the way the actors delivered their lines?

It was very literate. Nobody talks like that. They use old french grammar (where you inverse the subject and the verb, for instance: "Pourquoi dis-tu cela?" instead of "Pourquoi tu dis ça?"). There is no way on earth you can utter these lines without sounding fake. So because of the way the lines are written, they sound fake.
But then again, it's only the couple. Isabelle Huppert doesn't and the few other characters I saw (cops and firemen from the opening) don't either. So I'm not sure of the reason. I'd have to see the whole thing to figure it out, but here are the main possibilities:

- Michael Haneke, as a non native French speaker, thought that's the way old bourgeois speak nowadays. I think he's wrong, but I'm not that familiar with this group of people. My grandparents were not as wealthy as the characters played by Trintignant and Riva, and they (or their friends) sure didn't speak like that at all even if they were old conservative "bourgeois". It would have been realistic 30 years ago.
- There could have been a lot of improvisation. I don't know about that. Trintignant is a great actor, but he may not be able to improvise realistic formulations anymore.
- It could be done on purpose, to emphasize the coldness of the relationships (that is later explicitly shown by the way they deal with their daughter).
- It could be done on purpose, for another reason I cannot understand yet (à la Rohmer or Jean Pierre Leaud)
- It could be just poor writing, since everything in many Haneke films scream "QUICKLY DONE!!!". Maybe they thought they would just write what needed to be said and thought they'd find the right formulations on set, and then just let it as is.

The thing is I like one consequence: since you are in this cold fake atmosphere, every single piece of authentic tenderness (just like the eyes of Trintignant when she looses her mind during breakfast the first time) is more powerful. I'm just not sure it's worth the cost of losing many audience members (at least my whole family) during all the "regular" scenes.

I'm talking about it because it was REALLY weird. I'm not nitpicking. I was at my parents' place that evening and they were watching it with my brother. So we all watched this, we saw the opening with the cops, then the theater, and about 10 minutes into the film you've got the first real dialogue between the two when they enter the flat. And the 4 of us looked at each other at the same time with a "what the hell?" look on the face after the first sentence.
What's really strange is that I heard nobody talk about it before.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 04:34:46 AM by noodles_leone » Logged


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« Reply #12678 on: November 14, 2013, 04:34:38 AM »

Just saw Rocco and His Brothers (1960) (on the Image Entertainment DVD) for the first time. Actually, this is a film you don't see; you  experience it. Heavy stuff. I'll give it a 9/10 – some of the early scenes slogged along  but by the time the 175 minutes are over, that first half-hour or hour or so is mostly forgotten.

This post will contain spoilers...... (but honestly, who would read a post this long if they haven't seen the movie anyway?)

I should also point out that this is the first Visconti I have ever seen (I tried to watch The Leopard twice but shut it off after a while; I found it awfully boring).


I've gotta formulate some thoughts here.... I've got such emotion now that I'm not sure what to say but I'll try to write as I think.  Okay, here goes.... IMO: Annie Girardot's is absolutely the best character here (Nadia), and the scenes involving her are the best in the movie.
-- A little aside about prostitutes: I think that in general, if you had to name a single type of people, a single profession, that makes the best movie characters, it would have to be prostitutes. There's something about that sort of character, that willingly destroys their won dignity, that I find fascinating. Whores are such compelling movie characters, and Nadia is one of the best of them all.

-- I've never been a fan of chapter headings, and the headings here with each of the brothers' names are equally useless (except, perhaps, to help us keep track of the names!)... Basically, this movie really is about Rocco and Simone, and Nadia - and the family as a whole; but the episode headings are dumb; the episodes with the headings of "Simone" and "Luca" are not even about them, really.
And the scenes with Vincenzo and the Claudia Cardinale character Ginetta are totally useless, the worst in the movie. Vincenzo and Ginetta hooking up explains why the family moved to Milan in the first place, but that's it. if the script had found some other excuse to bring the family to Milan and just completely deleted the Vincenzo/Ginetta characters, nothing would be missing – to the contrary, that would just get rid of the worst scenes.

--The dubbing is awful, as in many Italian movies. Does Alain Delon dub his own voice in Italian? (I also saw him in another Italian movie recently, L'eclisse – I wonder if he speaks Italian well enough to dub his own voice?)

-- Back to Nadia: the scene with her talking to Rocco in the coffee shop, with Rocco in military uniform, is just great. I can't remember loving a just-dialogue scene this much since Lee Marvin in the wagon in Seven Men From Now. Heck, just about all the scenes with Nadia are amazing.

-- Now, here's three questions I have:
1) That scene in the casino, where Simone asks Nadia back, and she finally agrees, cuz she has given up all her dignity.... and then when the mother finally asks Nadia to leave the house, and Nadia says she's happy to cuz now she has succeeded in bringing Simone down: Do you think that was really Nadia's plan all along – to move in with Simone just to bring him down and enjoy watching him degenerate? Really, was it even her that brought him down, or did he just degenerate on his own? Was it really a calculated plan by Nadia, once she lost all her dignity, to just live for the sake of bringing down Simone; or was it just a convenient thing for her to say to cover up her embarrassment once she was kicked out of the home?

2) Is the reason Rocco was  fired from the dry cleaner because he was suspected of stealing the brooch? (If that's why he was fired, then once he got the brooch back from Nadia, why didn't he just bring it to his boss? I know he is devoted to Simone, but would he really go to the army just cuz he doesn't wanna return the brooch and risk getting Simone in trouble?

3) Did Simone die at the end, or was he arrested? I wasn't certain, from that final dialogue between Ciro and Luca, whether Simone was killed or arrested?

« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 04:47:42 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #12679 on: November 14, 2013, 04:43:47 AM »

I couldn't stand Amour.

No doubt, it didn't help that I could barely read the subtitles. (I was stuck in the very last row of the Film Forum – which is, shall we say, no fancy multiplex - it has only flat seats, no stadium seating; and the subtitles on the screen were the smallest I have ever seen in my life [the theater attendant told me they were burned into the screen that way and there was no way they could be enlarged] and I was wearing my contact lenses which, at the time, didn't correct for my small astigmatism. So, reading the subtitles was a chore), but I didn't feel like I would have been miserable even if I had watched the movie in the fanciest multiplex.

btw, noodles_Leone, you just mentioned Isabelle Huppert - is she the one that played the character of the daughter? I just saw Heaven's Gate for the first time a few days ago, and I just LOVED Huppert there; I thought that was the first time I'd seen her; I didn't realize I'd previously seen her in Amour.

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« Reply #12680 on: November 14, 2013, 04:59:14 AM »

Yes she's the daughter. She's a great actress and does not have the filmography she deserves. In Heaven's Gate she's good as long as you don't watch the french version: she dubbed herself and it really doesn't work. Dubbing is not her job.

I first saw Heaven's Gate in french on TV years ago and hated her. I've since seen the original version, she rocks Smiley

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« Reply #12681 on: November 14, 2013, 05:06:36 AM »

Yes she's the daughter. She's a great actress and does not have the filmography she deserves. In Heaven's Gate she's good as long as you don't watch the french version: she dubbed herself and it really doesn't work. Dubbing is not her job.

I first saw Heaven's Gate in french on TV years ago and hated her. I've since seen the original version, she rocks Smiley

So on the American version of Heaven's Gate, is Huppert's voice the voice you hear for her character? Or did someone else dub her into English?

Are you saying that the French version of HG dubbed all the voices into French, rather than just using French subtitles? if so, why would Huppert not be a good choice to dub her own voice in French, her own native tongue?

On the subject of HG, I actually wanted to ask you, what did you think about the point that I made about how, when the beautiful cinematic effects are repeated so frequently, they begin to become annoying – like the wonderful lighting with the sunlight streaming through the windows in the dark room; and clouds of dust obscuring the characters in some scenes... as beautiful as it may look the first (and second and third and fourth) times(s), by the tenth time, I thought it was like, "Are you kidding, Cimino? I get it; now it's just annoying. What do you think - if you see a beautiful effect, do you not mind watching it over and over, or do you eventually think that it can become annoying?

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« Reply #12682 on: November 14, 2013, 05:21:17 AM »

Vilmos Zsigmond was generally overdoing the "lightflooding" of his images at that time. The photography in HG is often beautiful, sometimes stunning, but often also looks too self-congratulatory.

About photography, or the setting of the light in this case, I think that only a few people in this world really have the knowledge to have a substantiated opinion about what good photography is and what not. And these few don't have necessarily the same opinion. Noodles is probably one of them.

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« Reply #12683 on: November 14, 2013, 05:27:19 AM »

Vilmos Zsigmond was generally overdoing the "lightflooding" of his images at that time. The photography in HG is often beautiful, sometimes stunning, but sometimes also self-congratulatory.

yes, I agree with your second sentence.

Can you explain your first sentence? Sorry, but I'm not very proficient in technical terms... also, whatever issue you have with the lighting, would you know what would have been the decision of Zsigmond and what would have been the decision of Cimino?


BTW, I know about Heaven's Gate, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and The Long Goodbye.... But which movies did Zsigmond film that use normal realistic color with no shtick?

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« Reply #12684 on: November 14, 2013, 05:39:57 AM »



Can you explain your first sentence? Sorry, but I'm not very proficient in technical terms...

He floods his images with light, it is a kind of beauty which could easily be called beautiful by everyone who watches it.
Nestor Almendros was praised for his work with Rohmer but also for e.g. Days of Heaven. While everyone may be praising the photography of Days of Heaven (cause it looks stunning), his work with Rohmer is extremely unspectacular, and it is not easy to say why it is great. I couldn't explain it.

Quote
also, whatever issue you have with the lighting up to a point where it could be called kitschy, would you know what would have been the decision of Zsigmond and what would have been the decision of Cimino?

Of course not.
But it should be the director who makes the decisions. And if he let the DoP do what the DoP wants to do, then he gives away too much of the authorship of a film.

Quote
BTW, I know about Heaven's Gate, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and The Long Goodbye.... But which movies did Zsigmond film that use normal realistic color with no shtick?

I don't know. Realism in film is a trap anyway.

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« Reply #12685 on: November 14, 2013, 06:02:52 AM »

I'm talking about it because it was REALLY weird. I'm not nitpicking. I was at my parents' place that evening and they were watching it with my brother. So we all watched this, we saw the opening with the cops, then the theater, and about 10 minutes into the film you've got the first real dialogue between the two when they enter the flat. And the 4 of us looked at each other at the same time with a "what the hell?" look on the face after the first sentence.
What's really strange is that I heard nobody talk about it before.
Neither have I, but then the critics I read are not, I don't think, francophones.

I appreciate comments like this. When you're reading the English subtitle translations you don't get any sense of this at all. I started out liking the movie for what it showed about the care-giving that is necessary for elderly people at the ends of their lives. I helped take care of my grandmother during her last months, and I thought the film got a lot of things right in that regard. However, in the second half of the film, when the story began introducing non-realistic elements, I thought the whole thing was ruined. Ultimately the film is artificial and sentimental--the wrong approach, in my opinion. Maybe the archaic dialogue at the beginning is to tip you to the fact that the film is not going to commit to a realistic treatment of the material all the way through.

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« Reply #12686 on: November 14, 2013, 06:50:06 AM »

So on the American version of Heaven's Gate, is Huppert's voice the voice you hear for her character? Or did someone else dub her into English?

They shot it in english, I guess it's mainly direct sound and not ADR. So yes, she's speaking in English.

Are you saying that the French version of HG dubbed all the voices into French, rather than just using French subtitles?

Like always, we have the two versions: VOST (English with french subtitles) and French version (everything dubbed in French).

if so, why would Huppert not be a good choice to dub her own voice in French, her own native tongue?

For two main reasons. First, dubbing and acting are two different jobs. Most people cannot do either one, some can do only dubbing or only acting, very few are good at both. Like most movie goers, I'm a big supporter of VOST over dubbed versions. However, I have to admit that many (good) american actors have seen their performance improved by dubbing. The comedians that dub Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis (I like both stars) in French usually deliver a better audio performance than the original version.
The second reason is the way dubbing works. The director of the movie, who directed the actors on set, is usually not here for the ADR in other languages (it would be impossible for him to attend all the sessions, and I don't believe you can direct people on how to speak a language you don't speak: just see how the French perform in Inglourious Basterds to get an idea). Of course, the guy directing the dubbing has been briefed, but in the end he does whatever he wants/can and that's it. Even the greatest comedians need the appropriate feedback.


On the subject of HG, I actually wanted to ask you, what did you think about the point that I made about how, when the beautiful cinematic effects are repeated so frequently, they begin to become annoying – like the wonderful lighting with the sunlight streaming through the windows in the dark room; and clouds of dust obscuring the characters in some scenes... as beautiful as it may look the first (and second and third and fourth) times(s), by the tenth time, I thought it was like, "Are you kidding, Cimino? I get it; now it's just annoying. What do you think - if you see a beautiful effect, do you not mind watching it over and over, or do you eventually think that it can become annoying?

Stanton is right here: it's beautiful but often self-congratulatory. Also, the editing didn't help here: we often stay on these shots for no other reason that the fact they are beautiful to watch. Probably because smoke is something that looks cool at first glance but become really fascinating only when you keep looking at it for a while. Anyway, even Leone rarely keeps a shot going only for the sake of it. Leone was also far more inventive. Nobody will say "this close up effect is far too used" because he doesn't use ONLY this effect. You've got a different effect/invention in almost every shot. HG is far from being not inventive visually speaking, but they're not in Leone's league on this topic. Hence, you tend to notice the repetition a little more.
It didn't really bother me because I like (too much?) beautiful images, but I understand some people are not that tolerant.


Stanton: thanks for this, but unfortunately I'm still far behind the knowledge I'd need to properly rate the photography of a Rohmer film, for instance. It's easier for me to analyse more flashy/spectacular stuff (Spielberg, Coen, Leone...). I'm even struggling with the last Fincher films: by every standards, what he does should look cheap and videoish. But in his films, for some reasons, it looks high-end, modern, classy, elegant with a touch of classicism and yet almost revolutionary.


By the way, I think MS is more qualified than I am to analyze the non-spectacular stuff.

DJ: That could make sense. Still, a few visual hints would have done the job too. Well, maybe they (the couple) are in their own world so they're just different.

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« Reply #12687 on: November 14, 2013, 08:02:55 AM »


I don't know. Realism in film is a trap anyway.

well that's quite a broad statement.....

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« Reply #12688 on: November 14, 2013, 08:06:28 AM »

well that's quite a broad statement.....

Here is the developed and balanced version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piVnArp9ZE0

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« Reply #12689 on: November 14, 2013, 08:22:04 AM »



For two main reasons. First, dubbing and acting are two different jobs. Most people cannot do either one, some can do only dubbing or only acting, very few are good at both. Like most movie goers, I'm a big supporter of VOST over dubbed versions. However, I have to admit that many (good) american actors have seen their performance improved by dubbing. The comedians that dub Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis (I like both stars) in French usually deliver a better audio performance than the original version.
The second reason is the way dubbing works. The director of the movie, who directed the actors on set, is usually not here for the ADR in other languages (it would be impossible for him to attend all the sessions, and I don't believe you can direct people on how to speak a language you don't speak: just see how the French perform in Inglourious Basterds to get an idea). Of course, the guy directing the dubbing has been briefed, but in the end he does whatever he wants/can and that's it. Even the greatest comedians need the appropriate feedback.


I think all the American actors on Leone's Westerns did a great job dubbing their voices. I've never watched any of Leone's films in any audio other than English, so I don't know how the European actors did.

Often, with the members of the Baxter and Rojo gangs, it seems to me like the voices do not fit the actors – like I can't believe that that person would have such a voice. And so many of their voices sound the same, it sounds like they had two or three voice actors dub the entire gang! I will say, however, that thankfully, the guy who did the English dub for Gian Maria Volonte in FOD and FAFDM was absolutely terrific. Also, the guy who dubbed Silvanito (who – aside from Eastwood, Van Cleef, Wallach, and Volonte – probably has the biggest role in any of the Dollars films) was terrific. So, although the English dubbing for the supporting cast is sometimes kinda hilarious, thankfully the important roles are dubbed well.

On that note, for those of you who have seen the movie with Italian audio: I assume Volonte dubs his own voice in Italian. How does it compare to the guy who dubbed his voice in English? Cuz, as I said, I just loved his English dub. (As we've discussed several times in the past, Frayling says that Volonte dubbed his own voice in English on FAFDM but not FOD, but he is absolutely wrong about that, because Ramon and Indio definitely have the same voice; so either Volonte did both or neither.)

(BTW, was Leone in studio for the English dubbing of the Dollars films?)

Finally, I agree that generally, I prefer watching a movie in its original language with English subtitles rather than a bad English dub. (eg. the English dub on Django is awful; I always watch the Italian audio with subtitles). But with the Dollars films, where there were actors from all different countries, it obviously had to be dubbed into various languages, so I'm glad that for us Americans, we get the main actors' real voices and the supporting cast's dub, rather than the other way around  Tongue

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