Return of the RECENT VIEWING

..and why not?
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Dr Markus
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 06 Mar 2018, 20:16

pcqgod wrote:Image

Annihilation (2018)

Some interesting sci-fi concepts here. Visually compelling. Not as memorable as 'Ex Machina.'


Have seriously high hopes for this. Loved ex machina. On a social note, good to see an all female cast in film that isn't a remake. The proper way to do it.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 07 Mar 2018, 04:40

Image

I liked the stately pace and the grubby, brutalist look of it, but it was a bit too predictable and the whole end part was way too sappy.
Last edited by Snarfyguy on 07 Mar 2018, 14:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby algroth » 07 Mar 2018, 13:17

Goat Boy wrote:Image

Embrace of the Serpent

I thought this was great and beautiful exploration of the personal and cultural effects of colonialism that managed to combine real world authenticity with more fantastical elements to create something rather magical. There’s obvious echoes of Herzogs work with Kinski in the jungles here but rather than being told from the point of view of a European visitor it’s told from the point of view of a native, a shaman called Karamakate, a lost soul and the last of his tribe who refers to himself as a “chullachaqui”, a sort of shadow spirit whose fading memory and isolation has left him rootless and without purpose. An encounter with a desperately sick German explorer as a young man leads him on a journey to reconnect with the tribe he believed were dead but also to recover a sacred plant that can save the Germans life but instead he is forced to confront the brutal reality of the European colonisation and the rubber industry as he ventures further into the darkness. Decades later another westerner, this time an American botanist searching for the same sacred plant appears and his journey back into the light can begin.

It’s a simple story but one that not only deals with the obvious stuff about colonialism but also touches on identity, ageing, the impermanence of memory and the exotic allure and magic of the Amazon and it beautifully shifts from documentary style realism towards some kind of hallucinatory, dreamlike parable without losing any of its simple, elegant power.


I thought it was awful myself, an incredibly reductionist view of the effects of colonialism that is also tinged with the hodgepodge hallucinogenic-fuelled new age revival that the South American high class is so enamoured with today. This is exactly the kind of feature that was old hat by the time Glauber Rocha wrote the Cinema Novo manifestos all the way back in the 60s: it's third world cinema for export, an appeal to white guilt and first world's fetish for primitivism told through the eyes of a perfect embodiment of the noble savage, the kind of film that goes to great lengths to defend the native's "connection with nature" all the while decrying Europe's "lack of the same", the kind of film that aims for Herzog but only ends up being Pocahontas. Not to mention that it is technically utterly incompetent, with a noisiness throughout the film product of severe underexposure that leads to the end product feeling like it was shot on its largest part on a Canon 7D than in actual 35mm. Just really poor and utterly exasperating all around, for me.
Last edited by algroth on 07 Mar 2018, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 07 Mar 2018, 13:21

:lol:
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 07 Mar 2018, 13:41

It's funny how people see things differently. I have no truck with white guilt or the noble savage thing but I didn't get that from watching it. I saw it as a clash between two cultures that eventually leads to a shared experience between the shaman and the Europeans and ultimately the completion of the shamans life long journey. To me it was more personal than what you are describing, less allegorical and judgemental of "Europe"
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby algroth » 07 Mar 2018, 13:43

Yeah, sorry, I just didn't like it at all. I would go further in depth but it's been a while since I watched it (only saw it in theatres). But I felt that an emblematic scene for determining just how wrong-headedly idealized this whole film is, is when Karamakate sees that the German anthropologist is carrying a firearm, which in typical fashion for this sort of films he proceeds to take it and drop it to the river before going on some tirade about the evil Europeans brought to the region and whatnot... *All the while holding a spear in his hand*. The very same weapon he denounces as indictive of the violence and evil of the European invader served hardly as different an emblematic purpose as the spear he's carrying did within the history of pre-colonial America, and frankly this all comes across as both incredibly preachy but at the same time fairly hypocritical, all the while delivered in earnestness and with hardly a hint of self-awareness at its own visual-narrative contradiction. A thing like this is not the only time it happens through the film - in contrast I feel like Herzog rarely went to such extents to convey so utterly literally and simplistic a message as the one given by Karamakate here or throughout the film to be honest (even if he did have his share of heavyhanded moments all the same).

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby algroth » 07 Mar 2018, 13:50

Goat Boy wrote:It's funny how people see things differently. I have no truck with white guilt or the noble savage thing but I didn't get that from watching it. I saw it as a clash between two cultures that eventually leads to a shared experience between the shaman and the Europeans and ultimately the completion of the shamans life long journey. To me it was more personal than what you are describing, less allegorical and judgemental of "Europe"


I guess the issue is that this whole matter is vogue in Latin America and so I was perhaps hypersensitive to the many references to the denouncement of colonial practices (see especially the sequences involving the church and the fake Jesus as other eye-rollingly over the top demonstrations of the "evil" of Europe), because it's everywhere over here in Argentina, in the most reductionist and simplistic ways possible. Just about every rich friend I know has gone twice a year to some shaman out in Cordoba for some religious communion with the Pachamama and whatnot, it's fucking irritating. At one point in the film a friend turned around to me and told me about the American character "how long till you think he'll pull out his vinyl record player?", and well, what do you know? Seriously, this whole film just bugs the shit out of me, say what you will about Herzog but he never felt like the farthest he'd went out in an adventure was to some bar where they didn't sell IPAs.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby algroth » 07 Mar 2018, 13:51

I will say, if you liked this film, you might like Zama too. Different point of view and era (set in colonial South America and centered around a Spanish pencil-pusher), but it has a similar feel and, in my opinion at least, is much better all around.


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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 07 Mar 2018, 14:02

See I really liked the scenes with the white jesus fella because it showed a weird bastard offspring of the two cultures. Some horrible combination of shamanism and catholicism. To me that was showing the darker side of two cultures clashing in unpredictable ways. Remember when the tribe kept the Germans compass and his reason for them giving it back was primarily to "preserve" their quaintness in using old school techniques because these things shouldn't be lost but the shaman chastises him because this knowledge should be shared and he shouldn't deny them that? To me that's criticising what you are describing above i.e. the fetishisation of primitive tribes by Europeans.

I think it's more nuanced than you are giving it credit ALgroth!

I'll add that other movie to my To Watch list. I've heard good things about it.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 07 Mar 2018, 16:50

algroth wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:It's funny how people see things differently. I have no truck with white guilt or the noble savage thing but I didn't get that from watching it. I saw it as a clash between two cultures that eventually leads to a shared experience between the shaman and the Europeans and ultimately the completion of the shamans life long journey. To me it was more personal than what you are describing, less allegorical and judgemental of "Europe"


I guess the issue is that this whole matter is vogue in Latin America and so I was perhaps hypersensitive to the many references to the denouncement of colonial practices (see especially the sequences involving the church and the fake Jesus as other eye-rollingly over the top demonstrations of the "evil" of Europe), because it's everywhere over here in Argentina, in the most reductionist and simplistic ways possible. Just about every rich friend I know has gone twice a year to some shaman out in Cordoba for some religious communion with the Pachamama and whatnot, it's fucking irritating. At one point in the film a friend turned around to me and told me about the American character "how long till you think he'll pull out his vinyl record player?", and well, what do you know? Seriously, this whole film just bugs the shit out of me, say what you will about Herzog but he never felt like the farthest he'd went out in an adventure was to some bar where they didn't sell IPAs.


I don't know anything about this film at all but algroths's post made me bigtime LOL
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby hippopotamus » 07 Mar 2018, 21:07

I did not like Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 07 Mar 2018, 21:11

hippopotamus wrote:I did not like Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri.


Oh, go on...

(I wasn't mad keen on it either)
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby hippopotamus » 07 Mar 2018, 23:13

THE NIGHT BEAK wrote:
hippopotamus wrote:I did not like Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri.


Oh, go on...

(I wasn't mad keen on it either)



I was really looking forward to liking it. I like in Bruge and 7 psychopaths... and somehow I got the Impression that it was going to understated and interesting. And then it was neither.
I felt lie it was bludgeoning me over the head with DEPTH and MEANING... only it wasn't all that deep or meaningful.
I figured a film around someone seeking justice for a rape crime would ADDRESS the issue... rather than make a big mention of feminist issues in the beginnning (Dress Aul Frances Macdonald as Rosie the Riveter for the WHOLE film) without touching on the subject, and then undermining any point it almost made with her final scene with the ex husband. (I'm trying not to spoil it, I'm sorry if it's too late.)
The same with bigotry and racism. When they almost make a point they undermine the whole thing.
The thing rambles and rambles on.
I sat there making a list in my head of all the films I WISHED I had been watching which did everything it almost did but better:
It Should Happen to you
Place Beyond the Pines
The Trouble with Harry
There were more, I forget them now.
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nev gash wrote:What is point?


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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Mar 2018, 04:33

Image
Harper

Paul Newman's Lew Harper (Archer in the novels) was a character he played twice in his career - here and in The Drowning Pool years later. This one is the better of the two, but it's still no great shakes. I like it well enough, but the plot is overly complicated, Newman's performance isn't quite serious enough, and it's a tad long at 121 minutes. I found myself checking my watch at about halfway through.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 08 Mar 2018, 10:31

hippopotamus wrote:
THE NIGHT BEAK wrote:
hippopotamus wrote:I did not like Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri.


Oh, go on...

(I wasn't mad keen on it either)



I was really looking forward to liking it. I like in Bruge and 7 psychopaths... and somehow I got the Impression that it was going to understated and interesting. And then it was neither.
I felt lie it was bludgeoning me over the head with DEPTH and MEANING... only it wasn't all that deep or meaningful.
I figured a film around someone seeking justice for a rape crime would ADDRESS the issue... rather than make a big mention of feminist issues in the beginnning (Dress Aul Frances Macdonald as Rosie the Riveter for the WHOLE film) without touching on the subject, and then undermining any point it almost made with her final scene with the ex husband. (I'm trying not to spoil it, I'm sorry if it's too late.)
The same with bigotry and racism. When they almost make a point they undermine the whole thing.
The thing rambles and rambles on.


Agreed.

Like I said (I think) it was well made, very well acted (Sam Rockwell especially - he deserved the Oscar), but it was no fun at all. I don't like being force-fed someone else's agenda. And I got tired of Frances' simmering.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Mar 2018, 04:14

Image
Marathon Man

Always liked this one. Saw it theatrically when I was eleven years old and it made quite an impression. Sure, there are holes in the plot, but when the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat like this one does, then all is forgiven. Hoffman is intense but Olivier is brilliant.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 10 Mar 2018, 06:16

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Harper

Paul Newman's Lew Harper (Archer in the novels) was a character he played twice in his career - here and in The Drowning Pool years later. This one is the better of the two, but it's still no great shakes. I like it well enough, but the plot is overly complicated, Newman's performance isn't quite serious enough, and it's a tad long at 121 minutes. I found myself checking my watch at about halfway through.

Having seen it semi-recently, it's a mis-fire that I would suggest non-completists (of anything involved) skip. Pretty weak stuff.

Meanwhile,

Image

Arbitrage, USA, 2012 or so

Roger Ebert, Apparently, wrote:The young writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, making his first feature, proves himself a master craftsman with a core of moral indignation. He knows how to make a gripping thriller, so well-constructed I felt urgently involved... It represents a radical revision of traditional values.


:lol:

God, Ebert makes it sound like it's Robert Bresson or something in his review. Calm the fuck down, man (I say to a dead critic).
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 11 Mar 2018, 20:26

Image

Actually, quite a bit better than I was anticipating. It's a strange one, it feels a bit like a remix of Stand By Me and The Goonies, with a few standard horror tropes thrown in for good measure. The opening scene is by far the most effective in terms of horror, but it's a bit of mis-direction, the rest of the film works better as a nostalgic look at childhood, with a really strong trio of performances from the fat kid, the nerdy kid, and the cool lusted after girl. There's never a sense of general peril though, you just get the feeling throughout that a major budget Hollywood flick is never going to slaughter a bunch of kids we're supposed to identify with.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Mar 2018, 21:00

Image

It's so d-u-m-b.

I laughed throughout.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 11 Mar 2018, 21:14

Ah, it’s SUCH a great film!
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