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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5069737 )
dave jenkins
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« #19800 : June 16, 2021, 08:54:49 AM »

Wrong Move (1975) - 8/10. I was finally able to enjoy watching it this time, maybe because Mrs. Jenkins was along and she was enjoying it. Maybe the ideas in the picture are less important than the characters. Anyway, liking the characters seems like a good way into the picture, and for some reason, this time I was able to respond warmly to them all. It also helps that the lighting throughout the film is superb.



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« #19801 : June 16, 2021, 09:38:36 PM »

Mahler (1974)


A supposed biopic of the legendary composer and conductor (directed by Ken Russel, starring Robert Powell), which the TCM host said is quite fictionalized. I don't know much about Mahler's life so I have no comment on the fictionalization, but I can say it is quite weird.

The movie is set as Mahler, sickly and with a crumbling marriage, takes a train journey with his wife (Georgina Hale), and has flashbacks about episodes on his life. But many of these episodes are presented as surrealistic and nightmarish, in many cases largely silent. Weirdest of all is the one where Mahler, a Jew, converts to Catholicism so that Cosima Wagner will agree to let him become director of the Vienna Court Opera. This surreal flashback shows Cosima dressed as a Nazi, goose-stepping and giving the Sieg Heil salute, while Mahler grovels before her, burning the Star of David and embracing the cross, culminating in Mahler eating a pig's head and swigging a glass of milk, all while Mahler and Cosima sing their lines to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries.

And there's a scene where Mahler has nightmare of his own death-during his funeral at the cemetery he's alive in the coffin and yelling that they let him out, but of course he is ignored, as his wife literally dances on his grave, and she gets frisky with the soldier whom she is having an affair with in real life, then his coffin-with him still alive, of course-is rolled into the crematorium (perhaps another Nazi reference?)

I'm not very familiar with Mahler's music; I think I listened to a minute here or there once or twice and nothing grabbed me. I presume the film score is Mahler music (with the exception, of course, of the Ride of the Valkyries scene), and none of it makes me want to run out and listen to Mahler. (As opposed to, for example, Immortal Beloved, which I saw at 16 years old and whose score instantly made me a Beethoven fan.)

One thing you can definitely say about this movie-it's quite bold and ambitious. If surrealistic and nightmarish fantasies are your thing, go ahead and enjoy it.

Powell is no doppleganger for Mahler, but it's reasonable enough; he has Mahler's long, thin face. But he actually looks quite like Bob Dylan  tinyurl.com/2mhme3b8

« : June 17, 2021, 09:18:35 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #19802 : June 16, 2021, 09:56:29 PM »

So I just saw the 1946 movie about 3 U.S. servicemen returning from World War II and trying to adjust to civilian life. No not The Best Years of Our Lives, but Till the End of Time. Yeah, another movie, same year, similar plot, but Till the End of Time is a shitty movie. I give it a 5/10. (This is my second viewing. I'm embarrassed to say that the first time I saw the movie, in 2013, I gave it a 9/10.  http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg165988#msg165988 But hey, it was 8 years ago. And I must have been drunk :( )

Here, the three returning servicemen (all Marines) are played by Guy Madison, Robert Mitchum and Bill Williams. Unlike The Best Years of Our Lives, which really is about three returning servicemen, Till the End of Time largely focuses on Madison and his pursuit of war widow Dorothy McGuire, while his parents are harassing him to get off his ass, get a job, and start integrating into society. (Madison is also pursued by 18-year-old neighbor [Jean Porter], but he never takes her seriously and we never believe for a moment he is interested in her. Williams's character, a former boxer, lost his legs in the war, and is too depressed to actually put on his prosthetics and get out of bed. Mitchum has a metal plate in his skull and is a degenerate gambler. Williams and Mitchum drift into Madison's life here and there, but it's really about Madison's (boring) storyline.

Oh, you want another comparison with The Best Years of Our Lives? There's a scene at the end of this movie where the three characters go to a bar and get into a fight with some racists who bash "foreign born labor racketeers" and invite them to join some "patriots" society whose memberships rules are: No Jews, No Catholics, No Negroes. Reminiscent of the scene with Ray Teal in The Best Years of Our Lives.

Lest you assume Till the End of Time ripped off the more famous movie, it actually was released four months before The Best Years of Our Lives, according to IMDB.

Anyway, I should stop with the comparisons. It's like Dom Perignon vs. apple cider.

« : June 16, 2021, 10:05:37 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #19803 : June 16, 2021, 10:05:18 PM »

RE: y'all's recent discussion of Point Blank:

Weird movie and I probably like it less than anyone else on this board.

Unsurprisingly.

n_l can feel happy, he's in disagreement with me, so the world is rotating properly on its axis. (Actually, he's unhappy, because Israel bombed Hamas again tonight. Yup, n_l's anti-Semitism apparently clouds the fact that his own ancestors were killed by Muslims, too  ;))


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« #19804 : June 17, 2021, 08:50:38 AM »

Mahler (1974)

A supposed biopic of the legendary composer and conductor (directed by Ken Russel, starring Robert Powell), which the TCM host said is quite fictionalized. I don't know much about Mahler's life so I have no comment on the fictionalization, but I can say it is quite weird.

The movie is set as Mahler, sickly and with a crumbling marriage, takes a train journey with his wife (Georgina Hale), and has flashbacks about episodes on his life. But many of these episodes are presented as surrealistic and nightmarish, in many cases largely silent. Weirdest of all is the one where Mahler, a Jew, converts to Catholicism so that Cosima Wagner will agree to let him become director of the Vienna Court Opera. This surreal flashback shows Cosima dressed as a Nazi, goose-stepping and giving the Sieg Heil salute, while Mahler grovels before her, burning the Star of David and embracing the cross, culminating in Mahler eating a pig's head and swigging a glass of milk, all while Mahler and Cosima sing their lines to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries.

And there's a scene where Mahler has nightmare of his own death-during his funeral at the cemetery he's alive in the coffin and yelling that they let him out, but of course he is ignored, as his wife literally dances on his grave, and she gets frisky with the soldier whom she is having an affair with in real life, then his coffin-with him still alive, of course-is rolled into the crematorium (perhaps another Nazi reference?)

I'm not very familiar with Mahler's music; I think I listened to a minute here or there once or twice and nothing grabbed me. I presume the film score is Mahler music (with the exception, of course, of the Ride of the Valkyries scene), and none of it makes me want to run out and listen to Mahler. (As opposed to, for example, Immortal Beloved, which I saw at 16 years old and whose score instantly made me a Beethoven fan.)

One thing you can definitely say about this movie-it's quite bold and ambitious. If surrealistic and nightmarish fantasies are your thing, go ahead and enjoy it.

Powell is no doppleganger for Mahler, but it's reasonable enough; he has Mahler's long, thin face. But he actually looks quite like Bob Dylan  tinyurl.com/2mhme3b8

here is a clip of that Cosima Wagner scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jjFsciRauU

« : June 17, 2021, 09:18:19 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #19805 : June 17, 2021, 03:57:51 PM »

Memories of Murder (2003) - 8/10. Wow, a Korean film I actually like. And it's by Bong Joon Ho! (I hated Parasite). This one is about a police investigation of a serial killer in the 1980s--Korea's answer to Zodiac, if you will. The film is by turns chilling and hilarious--the police are so incompetent there are numerous laugh-out-loud scenes. There's nothing funny about the killings, though. Apparently, the actual case this is based on wasn't solved until 2019, 16 years after the film was made. The crimes are real, but the investigation as depicted, I think, is mostly fictional. Still, there are nice touches that lend authenticity at times. For example, late in the film an officer fires his weapon into a train tunnel. The filmmakers took the trouble to show the ricochet. I very much appreciated that.

Yes!


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« #19806 : June 17, 2021, 03:58:24 PM »

RE: y'all's recent discussion of Point Blank:

Weird movie and I probably like it less than anyone else on this board.

Unsurprisingly.

n_l can feel happy, he's in disagreement with me, so the world is rotating properly on its axis. (Actually, he's unhappy, because Israel bombed Hamas again tonight. Yup, n_l's anti-Semitism apparently clouds the fact that his own ancestors were killed by Muslims, too  ;))

I wasn?t anti Semitic until I met you!


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« #19807 : June 17, 2021, 04:21:54 PM »

I wasn?t anti Semitic until I met you!
And I wasn't anti-Frog until . . . no, wait, well yeah, I was always anti-Frog.



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« #19808 : June 17, 2021, 04:33:15 PM »

here is a clip of that Cosima Wagner scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jjFsciRauU
Good old Ken Russell. All the production values of a Monty Python sketch, none of the humor. Who was HIS Cosima Wagner?



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« #19809 : June 18, 2021, 12:22:55 PM »

In the Heights (2021) - 7/10. Washington Heights, that is, up in the NW tip of Manhattan (near the GW Bridge). People there, apparently, have problems and aspirations, and they express themselves through song and dance. The songs are okay, the dancing better, but modern mise-en-scene isn't really suited to the musical (shots have to move and cut so fast the dancers can't keep up). There's a fair amount of humor in this, some very inventive visuals, and, of course, a couple of love stories. Lin-Manuel Miranda does his best Stan Lee impersonation, showing up in a small role throughout the picture but most notably in a very funny post-end-titles tag. Yeah, yeah, this is one Mrs. J dragged me to, but we both enjoyed ourselves.



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« #19810 : June 19, 2021, 06:14:09 AM »

In the Heights (2021) - 7/10.  The songs are okay, the dancing better, but modern mise-en-scene isn't really suited to the musical (shots have to move and cut so fast the dancers can't keep up).
The exception (and the highlight of the film): https://www.indiewire.com/2021/06/in-the-heights-behind-the-scenes-dance-up-side-of-building-1234645393/



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« #19811 : June 19, 2021, 02:35:39 PM »

The Sparks Brothers (2021) - 9/10. Turns out Edgar Wright is a big Sparks fan. So much of a fan, in fact, that he just made a documentary about the Mael Bros. And get this: when the standard runtimes for documentaries hover around the 90 minute mark (and even Orson Welles rated a mere 94 minutes in that fucking Chuck Workman film), Wright gives Sparks exposure for a whopping 140 minutes. Do you have to be a Sparks fan to enjoy the film? Well, I don't consider myself a fan--I've never bought any of their music--but I was mightily entertained. OTOH, I brought Mrs. J along to this and she slept through most of it, so, different stroke for different folks. Here's a couple of tasters to help you gauge your interest: a piece with Wright curating his favorite Sparks tunes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtGBcvBqOJs) and a short documentary of the documentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOMIZbBAqak). Check 'em out, noodles.



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« #19812 : June 19, 2021, 11:57:59 PM »

And I wasn't anti-Frog until . . . no, wait, well yeah, I was always anti-Frog.

I wasn?t even a frog until I met you.

I?m glad you liked Edgar?s doc! It?s gonna be released in July here.  With a little luck masks won?t be mandatory inside theaters at that point. Thanks for the links. I? lost in the mountains these day I?ll check them out later this week.


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« #19813 : June 21, 2021, 05:52:51 PM »


Other notable films by Deville are Le mouton enrage (1974), La lectrice (1988), Toutes peines confondues (1992) or Benjamin ou Les memoires d'un puceau (1966).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Deville
Although I didn't like Death in a French Garden (5/10), I thought it was interesting enough to seek out other films by Deville. I realized that I had actually seen Le mouton enrage earlier when I was on a Romy Schneider kick, and revisited it (7/10). Then I tried La lectrice, but couldn't finish it (unconvincing characters, cheap looking sets, a "clever" plot--yawn). Today I tried The Woman in Blue--success at last: 10/10. This one has the director's stamp, and everything works. Deville favors the classical repertory for his scores: here it is justified because the lead character (played by Michel Piccoli) is a music critic. The story is about a man who glimpses a woman one day (the title character) and then spends the film trying to find her (one of the film's gags is that the obscure object of his desire and his long-time girlfriend are both played by Lea Massari). There are the usual stories-within-stories approach, but not overdone, and intelligently deployed. A lot of the plot is conveyed visually, without a lot of exposition. Finally there is a great gag with a "Finlande" travel poster at the end. Real characters, real humor, real angst. I think I'm going to stop writing this and watch it again.



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« #19814 : June 21, 2021, 07:52:52 PM »

Although I didn't like Death in a French Garden (5/10), I thought it was interesting enough to seek out other films by Deville. I realized that I had actually seen Le mouton enrage earlier when I was on a Romy Schneider kick, and revisited it (7/10). Then I tried La lectrice, but couldn't finish it (unconvincing characters, cheap looking sets, a "clever" plot--yawn). Today I tried The Woman in Blue--success at last: 10/10. This one has the director's stamp, and everything works. Deville favors the classical repertory for his scores: here it is justified because the lead character (played by Michel Piccoli) is a music critic. The story is about a man who glimpses a woman one day (the title character) and then spends the film trying to find her (one of the film's gags is that the obscure object of his desire and his long-time girlfriend are both played by Lea Massari). There are the usual stories-within-stories approach, but not overdone, and intelligently deployed. A lot of the plot is conveyed visually, without a lot of exposition. Finally there is a great gag with a "Finlande" travel poster at the end. Real characters, real humor, real angst. I think I'm going to stop writing this and watch it again.
It's even funnier the second time.



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