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Messages - cigar joe

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1
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: January 11, 2022, 03:50:00 AM »
as long as she's rated lower than paul

Paper Moon (1973) - 8/10
Never saw this, so figured I'd make use of Peter's death to do so. Really really good. Now maybe I should also take the moment to finally watch In the Heat of the Night?

yes

2
Off-Topic Discussion / SIR SIDNEY POITIER HAS PASSED ON AT AGE 94
« on: January 07, 2022, 10:42:42 AM »
RIP

3
The long take, slow pans, slow tracking shots, and lots rain Noir

Directed by Bela Tarr. Written by L?szl? Krasznahorkai and B?la Tarr. Cinematography by G?bor Medvigy and Music by Mih?ly Vig.

Tarr spends what seems like a good ten minutes of the opening with a long slow zoom out from the tramway. Then we are treated to Karrer shaving for another what sees like five minutes. This guy is depressed. Tarr could have saved a lot of film if he had just had Karrer cut his throat here. Its a bit of a monotonous type style but it does convey a sense of hopelessness to it all, which may be the point.

The best segment is the torch song sequence at the Titanik Bar.

Rain. A real soaker. Titanik Bar neon beckoning, The "r" burned out. Pack of dogs crossing the damp pavement. Inside another pack of men looking at the bitch in heat up on the stage. Outside Karrer watches. A VW drives up. The singers husband gets out and goes inside. Karrer crosses the street and goes into the Titanik. As he gets closer we hear the electric piano and sax. Inside men sit stupefied. She sings a haunting dirge about lost love "Maybe Never More."

For me its similar in tone to Michelangelo Antonioni's Il Grido (1957). Tarr creates a bleak, depressing world of broken dreams with his relentless visual style and sound design. It wont be for everyone. 7/10

4
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: January 07, 2022, 04:00:32 AM »
K?rhozat aka Damnation (1988) Hungarian Art Film Noir. The long take, slow pans, slow tracking shots, and lots rain Noir

Directed by B?la Tarr. Written by L?szl? Krasznahorkai and B?la Tarr. Cinematography by G?bor Medvigy and Music by Mih?ly Vig.

Tarr spends what seems like a good ten minutes of the opening with a long slow zoom out from the tramway. Then we are treated to Karrer shaving for another what sees like five minutes. This guy is depressed. Tarr could have saved a lot of film if he had just had Karrer cut his throat here. Its a bit of a monotonous type style but it does convey a sense of hopelessness to it all, which may be the point.

The best segment is the torch song sequence at the Titanik Bar.

Rain. A real soaker. Titanik Bar neon beckoning, The "r" burned out. Pack of dogs crossing the damp pavement. Inside another pack of men looking at the bitch in heat up on the stage. Outside Karrer watches. A VW drives up. The singers husband gets out and goes inside. Karrer crosses the street and goes into the Titanik. As he gets closer we hear the electric piano and sax. Inside men sit stupefied. She sings a haunting dirge about lost love "Maybe Never More."

For me its similar in tone to Michelangelo Antonioni's Il Grido (1957). Tarr creates a bleak, depressing world of broken dreams with his relentless visual style and sound design. It wont be for everyone. 7/10

 

5
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Peter Bogdanovich - DEAD
« on: January 06, 2022, 04:18:18 PM »
Continuing - Most of our time, however, was taken up with plotting. Sergio would begin each new sequence with a rush of English and much acting, all of which he did in the middle of the room accompanied by dramatic gestures. ?Two beeg green eyes!? he would invariably begin, one hand leveled above his eyes, the other below to indicate what we would be seeing on the screen?a shot I could easily picture, as I?d seen at least a score of them in every Leone movie. ?Cut!? he would continue. ?Foots walk!? And all attention would now focus on his feet as they moved purposefully forward. ?Clink, clink,? he would say, providing the sound effects for the spurs. ?Cut!? he?d yell this time. ?Hand on gun!? he?d whisper, grabbing his hip. ?Cut!? Hands would zip back to frame his face. ?Two beeg green eyes!? and so on, until a burst of gunfire sent him reeling into an armchair, spent and panting, both from the physical exertion so soon after eating (in Italy, and particularly with Sergio, almost any time of day is soon after eating), and the pure inspiration of the sequence itself. He and Luciano would look at me for a reaction, which early in these conferences I would attempt to make one of enthusiasm but which inevitably moved into something closer to exasperation. After all, it had always been my assumption that a director planned out his own sequence of shots, and I had the distinct impression that Sergio expected me to shoot everything just as he was acting it out. The climax of this particular part of our negotiations occurred late one heavy afternoon at Sergio?s home (sometimes to avoid waiting six hours for Sergio, Luciano and I agreed to drive the hour it took to get to his house in the suburbs and work there instead). Sergio had just begun a fresh scene??Two beeg green eyes!??when I interrupted to say that I wished we could just discuss the action instead of the shots and, besides, I didn?t like close-ups anyway. When this had been translated, there was an amazed and deflated look on Sergio?s face. A long pause followed. If I didn?t like close-ups, he finally asked just a bit ominously, what did I like? To which I perversely replied, ?Long shots.? Driving back to the city, Luciano shook his head in wonder. ?You are crazy,? he said. ?This man make his whole career on the close-up and you say you don?t like the close-up. I think you don?t want to do this picture.?

But my favorite story conferences began with Sergio making a dramatic and terribly serious entrance?six hours late?and warning us not to forget that the movie we were making was really about Jesus Christ. I believe this was occasioned by a new set of reviews Sergio had read from France or the American avant-garde which searched out the hidden religious symbolism and significant nuances in his latest film. Once Upon a Time in the West. For over an hour, at least once a week, therefore, Luciano and I had to listen to a lecture on how the Irishman in this movie, Duck, You Sucker!, was really a metaphor for Christ. Luciano had to listen, that is, since the lecture was in Italian, and after the first time or two, he spared me the translation. I would usually place my hand on my brow, meditatively, in order to shield my eyes in case they inadvertently closed for too long a time.

Luciano would eventually bring Sergio down to earth and things would liven up. The best times were spent watching Sergio act out his most cherished moment in the picture, which had to do with the Mexican bandit passing wind while holding a lighted match to his posterior. Sergio particularly relished making the sound both of the initial departure of wind as well as of the subsequent one caused by the meeting of visible match and invisible gas. After acting it out in splendid detail, Sergio would collapse in sad exhaustion in his chair, shaking his head about the pity of not being able to do this on the screen, at the same time threatening to do it anyway. If there had been a great deal of this sort of thing one day, it was invariably followed the next by a sobering account of the film?s actual religious import.

I had left Los Angeles in October, planning to stay abroad until at least April to make the film. I was home for Christmas. In a recent interview in Oui, Sergio remembers our brief association a little differently. In his version, he never even saw my first film (Targets), which had, in fact, been the very reason I?d been hired. But then, in his recollection, my only job was as a writer, concluding that, naturally, he had rejected the terrible draft I had handed in after petulantly refusing to accept any of his ideas. Actually, I didn?t physically write a thing, nor had I ever been asked to. Luciano had to do that, poor fellow, and I?m afraid I ran when I read the result of our few weeks of work. It was a Sergio Leone movie without a doubt, and that?s who should be directing it, I told U. A., which is ultimately what happened, though Sergio first found a young Italian director to take my place. To be honest, I think Sergio was about to fire me when I left, having no doubt decided by then that I was going to shoot the entire film in long shot. As it turned out, however, after two weeks of Leone?s pushing buttons on his Italian surrogate, the stars, Rod Steiger and James Coburn, refused to accept the situation, and so he finally had to direct it personally.

This year, a similar thing happened when Sergio hired an inexperienced Italian fellow to direct another Western, My Name Is Nobody, with Henry Fonda. After a while, circumstances again forced Leone to take over, though finally, I?m afraid that?s what Sergio wants; if the picture then turns out to be a bomb, he has the excuse that it was not really his plan to make this one and that he?d been forced to come in and do the best he could, at the same time postponing the major work he was preparing. In other words, exactly that crisis of self-confidence I had suspected four long years ago. When all those critics and people say you?re good and you don?t really believe it, at some point perhaps the thought of being found out becomes overwhelming and you would rather retire undefeated than face failure. Actually, if this perhaps presumptuous deduction is true, it is a considerable pity, because Leone is often a very good director. My experiences with him prove nothing except that directors should never collaborate. It is, as Mr. Mailer has well described it, a totalitarian job. And Duck, You Sucker!? Well, after an initial release failed to spark much interest, a quick title switch was made to A Fistful of Dynamite, but that didn?t help. The French critics loved it, though, as did several American ones. I quite liked it myself?all but the serious parts. I had enjoyed those more when Sergio acted them out himself.

Published in New York Magazine, November 26, 1973

6
Off-Topic Discussion / Peter Bogdanovich - DEAD
« on: January 06, 2022, 04:13:10 PM »
Liked Paper Moon and Last Picture show thought he was a real bloviating jackass.

TWO BEEG GREEN EYES
by Peter Bogdanovich

My experiences with Leone prove that directors should never collaborate. It is, as Mailer has described it, a totalitarian job.

An American actor I know once had a passionate romance with a Russian ballerina, though neither of them spoke the other?s language, and it lasted just as long as they didn?t know what they were saying to each other; as soon as they did, the affair terminated abruptly. Strangely enough, the language barrier between director Sergio Leone and me didn?t have quite the same result, though probably if we?d understood each other from the start, I would have seen less of Rome than I did.

This all happened in late 1969. Leone, the father of the spaghetti Western (the Clint Eastwood ones beginning with A Fistful of Dollars) and the padrone of the extreme close-up, had, through United Artists, asked me to direct the first movie he was to produce only, rather than direct and produce. With assurances from U. A. that they would welcome radical changes of the first draft of the Mexican Revolution script I had received, and firm promises that Leone would really function only as producer and therefore leave me to make the film as I saw fit, and taking into consideration that it was a free trip to Italy, where I?d never been, and bearing in mind that I hadn?t made a picture for well over a year, that three projects I?d been preparing had fallen through, remembering too that a baby had just made us three and that the specter of having to go back to writing articles was hanging over me, I accepted, you might say, reluctantly.

In those days, Sergio didn?t wear a beard; in fact, he was a rather unimpressive looking guy?medium height, pot belly (usually with a cashmere sweater pulled down tight over it), hardly any chin to speak of. But he met me at the airport with the majesty of a Roman emperor expending a bit of largess on a worthy, if nonetheless decidedly inferior, underling. It was subtle, the feeling behind that first meeting, but the impression was confirmed in the weeks that followed. Actually, Sergio wanted me to believe he was a great director; he didn?t believe it, which is perhaps why it was so important that those who worked for him did. I had only just liked a couple of his movies, so it was a difficult act for me to play, though for a while I tried to imply admiring thoughts in the way I said things rather than in what I said, most of which I guess was negative.

Luciano Vincenzoni, the writer of Leone?s two best films (For a Few Dollars More; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), had been hired to work on this one too, and he and I got on famously right from the start, though his job was the not very appetizing one of being translator, mediator, arbiter, and scenarist all at once. Luciano, by the way, is everyone?s ideal Italian?he could be exported as a tourist attraction?charming, gracious, enthusiastic, good-looking, and funny. For some reason best known to himself, he really wanted me to direct this picture?a lot more than 1 did?and much of our time alone together was spent in his trying to get me to be more politic with Sergio. Our script conferences were usually called for 11 a.m., at which time I would arrive at Luciano?s apartment and we would wait for Sergio. Around one o?clock he would call to say he?d be a little late so why didn?t we go out and have some lunch. About three o?clock we?d return and Sergio would arrive promptly at 4:30 for two hours of work. After a couple of weeks of this, Sergio inexplicably presented me with a watch (an old one of his)?presumably to keep him from being late?a joke I made and Luciano says he translated.

Anyway, the conferences would usually begin with my complaining about the title of the film, which was Duck, You Sucker! (The men at U. A. had assured me it had to be changed, though I don?t believe they ever bothered to tell Sergio this; but then they probably didn?t refer to him as Benito to his face either.) Sergio would carefully explain that ?Duck, you sucker? was a common American expression, to which I would reply that personally I?d never come across it before. I would then point out that the substitution of an ?f? or the transposition of the ?s? could result?in English, anyway?in some rather less than polite expletives. In answer, he would say that this title was in his view an Americanization of a well-known Italian expression, ?Giu la testa, coglioni,?? which literally translated means, ?Duck your head, balls,? and which he intended to use as the Italian title, with the ??coglioni?? part left off. I said the idea sounded splendid, but that while this Italian saying probably received immediate recognition from his countrymen, ?Duck, you sucker? would not have the same effect on Americans. Well then, he would say?this conversation really did happen more than once?what was a comparable American expression? I replied that I couldn?t think of one quite as colorful, but that we were known to say things like, ?Watch it!? or ?Hit the dirt!? or ?Heads up!? or ?Look out!? or even, simply, ?Duck!? This was met with incomprehension and distrust from Sergio, who I?m sure was becoming convinced I wasn?t a real American at all.        To be Continued


7
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: January 05, 2022, 01:22:40 PM »
Yes, title, year, director, that's what one needs ...

... and well, yes, it should be mentioned if the film is vegan and gruel proof.

La Cite Des Enfants Perdus aka City Of Lost Children (1995) Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

8
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: January 05, 2022, 04:43:35 AM »
La Cite Des Enfants Perdus aka City Of Lost Children (1995) lots of fun to watch, with a Christmassy theme too. you catch more and more each view. 10/10

9
Yes its good

10
Just a heads up that this I is now on bluray.
Beautiful print and, best of all its in STEREO!

Thanks

12
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Nightmare Alley (2021)
« on: December 18, 2021, 04:11:24 AM »
Ok went to Nightmare Alley (2021) last night It looks great and is a good remake (of the original film). It does follow the book, showing (somewhat) Stan's origin story briefly with no explanation until a flashback later in the film.  However in 2021's remake instead of following the book, of which, Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan made such a big deal about during their recent interview  with Dave Karger, they do a cop out with the same safe MPPC/ Legion Of Decency ending that Nightmare Alley (1947) used.





"...In the film Stan convinces Molly to impersonate Ezra's lost love Dorrie. They do this in a darkened grove on Ezra's estate. Stan is with Ezra. They are gazing down two parallel rows of trees towards a distant fountain. Molly appears wearing a glowing costume of turn of the century clothing complete with floradora hat and a parasol. Ezra is beside himself with joy. When Molly gets closer to Ezra, he  begins to lose control spouting religious phrases that makes her feel sacrilegious and it freaks Molly out. She breaks character, and tells Stan that she can't do it. Outraged, Ezra grabs at Stan. Stan punches him and Molly and Stan escape.

In the novel....



First edition 1946 l book jacket




1949 paperback cover




it goes down like this.....

     When night had come there was a tap on the door and Carlisle entered carrying in both hands a votive candle in a cup of red ruby glass. "lets go to the chapel."
      Grindle had never seen that room before.... the entire room was hung in folds of dark drapery. If there were any windows they were covered.
     The clergyman led his disciple to the divian; taking his hand he pressed him back against the cushions. "You are at peace. Rest, rest."
     Grindle felt foggy and vague. The bowl of jasmine tea which he had been given for supper had seemed bitter. Now his head was swimming lightly and reality retreated to arm's length.....
     Carlisle was chanting something which sounded like Sanskrit, then a brief prayer in English which reminded Grindle of the marriage service; but somehow the words refused to fit together in his mind.....
     They waited.
     From far away, from hundreds of miles it seemed came the sound of wind, a great rushing wind or the beating of giant wings. Then it died and there arose the soft tinkling notes of a sitar.....
     Ghostly music began again. From the curtains before the alcove a light flashed, then a sinuous coil of glowing vapor poured from between them, lying in a pool of mist close to the floor. It swelled and seemed to foam from the cabinet in a cascade....
     The pool of luminous matter began to take form. It swayed as a cocoon might sway from a moth's emerging. It became a cocoon holding something dark in it's center. Then it split and drew back toward the cabinet, revealing the form of a girl, lying on a bed of light, but illuminated only by the stuff around her. She was naked, her head resting on one bent arm.
     Grindle sank to his knees. "Dorrie-Dorrie-"
     She opened her eyes, sat up and then rose, modestly drawing a film of glowing mist over her body. The old man groped forward awkwardly, reaching up to her. As he drew near, the luminous cloud fell back and vanished. The girl stood white and tall, in the flicker of the votive candle across the room, and as she gazed down at him her hair fell over her face.
     "Dorrie-my pet-my honey love-my bride..."
     He picked her up in his arms, overjoyed at the complete materialization, at the lifelike smoothness of her body-she was so heartbreakingly earthly.
     Inside the cabinet the Re. Carlisle was busy packing yards of luminous-painted China  silk back into the hem of the curtains. Once he put his eye to the opening and his lips drew back over his teeth. Why did people look so filthy and ridiculous to anyone watching? Christ!
     The second time in his life he had seen it. Filth.
     The bride and bridegroom were motionless now.
     It was up to Molly to break away and get back to the cabinet. Stan turned the switch and the rhythmic, pounding heartbeat filled the room, growing louder. He tossed one end of the luminous silk through the curtains.
     The quiet forms on the divan stirred, and Stan could see the big man burrowing his face between Molly's breasts. "no-Dorrie-my own, my precious-I can't let you go! Take me with you, Dorrie-I don't want earth life without you..."
     She struggled out of his arms; but the bridegroom seized her around the waste, rubbing his forehead against her belly.
     Stan grabbed the aluminum trumpet. "Ezra-my beloved disciple-have courage. he must return to us. The force is growing weaker. In the city-"
     No! Dorrie-I must-I-once more..."
     This time another voice answered him. It was not a spiritual voice. It was the voice of a panicky showgirl who has more than she can handle. "Hey, quit it, for God's sake! Stan! Stan! Stan!
     Oh the dumb bitch!
     The Rev. Carlisle tore the curtains apart. Molly was twisting and kicking; the old man was like one possessed. In his pent-up soul the dam had broken, and the sedative Stan had loaded into his tea had worn off.
    Grindle clutch the squirming girl until she was jerked from his hands.
     "Stan! For God's sake get me out of here! Get me out!"
     Grindle stood paralyzed. For in the dim flickering light he saw the face of his spiritual mentor, the Rev. Stanton Carlisle, it was snarling. Then a fist came up and landed on the chin of the spirit bride. She dropped to the floor, knees gaping obscenely.
     Now the hideous face was shouting at Grindle himself. "You goddamned hypocrite! Forgiveness? All you wanted was a girl!" Knuckles smashed his cheekbone and Grindle bounced back on the divan."

So much for following the book. I'll give it a 8/10

13
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Nightmare Alley (2021)
« on: December 17, 2021, 03:32:52 AM »
Another view from Van Dimi

Watched ?Nightmare Alley 2021? in avant premiere (don?t ask me how) last night. I dare writing a review although it might displease too many in here, might as well considered blasphemous but ever since I was a young boy, I?ve never kept my tongue into my pocket.

A Film Noir fan is above all a cinephile and not a hypochondriac fanatic. ?Nightmare Alley? 2021 is a great movie above anything else, probably the best of the year 2021, and in my humble opinion 1000 better than the old 1947 version!!!! (blasphemy, bury him on the stick).

Noir, not Noir, Tyrone Power vs Bradley Cooper, never heard/read something like Edmund Goulding vs Guillermo del Toro, and all the aphorisms anyone could handle, 2021 version remains an excellent dark (too dark) psychodrama and a masterpiece film d? auteur. You see, 1947 version was a Tyrone Power film while the 2021 one is a Guillermo del Toro film featuring some great actors of the modern times, Kate Blanchett namely.

The whole movie from A to Z is a visual orgasm ? if the term exists -. A diorama of repeated brilliant set up scenes one after the other balancing the tension of the plot/drama on screen with the euphoria of the eye. I haven?t read the book and I cannot say anything about the plot differences between the two or which one is better or more faithful to the book. I don?t even care. What I watched last night was a great film that will remain in the Cinema History like its predecessor probably for different reasons. The 1947 film is ALL focused-on Tyrone Power while the new one offers a lot of space to the other characters, can?t tell if it?s in the book or not. Have I mentioned Mrs. Blanchett?s brilliant cold-blooded nonchalant performance? Of course, I did. I?m in love with the woman since Elizabeth! I won?t bother put Tyrone Power and Bradley Cooper on the balance, two different things, no comparison. Actors act under the director?s orders anyway. Cooper gives a rather more emotional and sympathetic Stan-Stanton than Power to the point of making you think ?poor man? instead of ?he had it coming?

A modern film Noir. Yes, why not? It bears all the Noir elements, ?an exploration of the flip-side of the American dream? as Mr. del Toro brilliantly quoted, and an aesthetically magnificent piece of art that will make John Alton (Painting with Light) take turns into his grave. I admit I had never been a huge fan of Mr. del Toro?s film work so far but this one ? this one goes beyond a piece of art.

Of course, I will watch it again after a couple of weeks as usual but the prima vista gave me some hope about the future of the Cinematography -Motion Picture considering all that Netflix-Marvel garbage.
**Off subject: Wes Anderson?s ?The French Dispatch? is a ?different? version of film-making almost the same as brilliant as Mr. del Toro?s.

14
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 16, 2021, 08:27:12 AM »
Nightmare Alley (2021) - 4/10. Two-and-a-half hours of impressive set design, and little else. Why can't Kim Morgan write dialog? Oh well, we still have 1947 which, at least, is shorter.

I'm going to check it out tomorrow. I'll give my two cents afterwards.

15
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 14, 2021, 03:48:14 PM »
The majority of fans of those two musicals are casual movie fans and they generally don't know or care about Robert Wise. His real legacy is The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Set-Up, Odds Against Tomorrow, the Val Lewton/40s RKO stuff, et al.

Agree

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