Return of the RECENT VIEWING

..and why not?
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Goat Boy
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Jan 2018, 11:37

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Wake In Fright

Doc Tydon: All the little devils are proud of hell
John Grant: You mean you don’t think The Yabba is the greatest little place on earth?
Doc Tydon: Could be worse
John Grant: How?
Doc Tydon: Supply of beer could run out


That’s the thing about fictional outback town The Yabba. It is hell, the locals are proud of it and like hell, you can never leave. John Grant is a primary teacher working in the middle of nowhere, which in Australia really does mean the middle of nowhere, as part of some government programme whereby teachers have to work a fixed amount of time at the behest of the government. Grant is resentful, bored of his job and dreams of escaping to Sydney and beyond but his only hope of escape is to buy himself out of his contract which would cost $1000 so he’s stuck here. Setting off for a holiday to visit his girlfriend in Sydney he travels to The Yabba, a small mining in order to get a flight. The locals are hospitable in that typically Australian way (take a drink!) but there’s an immediate undercurrent of tension not helped by Grants obvious dislike of the place rooted in his own intellectual snobbery and class unease.

There’s nothing to do in the Yabba except drink (and drink) and gamble and sensing an opportunity to escape his job he ends up losing all his money in some simple gambling game and so he’s stuck here for the foreseeable future until he can figure a way to get the money together for a flight. Things start to get worse rapidly as he stumbles upon a group of friends who take him under their wing. One of the friends is the enigmatic Doc Tydon (played with typical brilliance by Donald Pleasence) a disgraced alcoholic doctor who has embraced his base instincts and self-destructive nature of the Yabba and sees it as an opportunity to express his true nature. Grant obviously doesn’t fit in with these men and there’s a threat of violence but he decides to embrace the Yabba and full off drink they go hunting kangaroos. At this point the movie becomes increasingly delirious and strange and this scene in particular, which uses footage of an actual kangaroo hunt, is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen a movie. There’s a level of cruelty, debasement and horror here which is really taps into something deeply uncomfortable as Grants shadow self and primal nature emerges under pressure from his new friends culminating in a bizarre (almost) initiation ceremony where he ends up stabbing a wounded kangaroo to death. In the aftermath Grant resolves to finally leave Yabba but of course leaving hell isn’t quite that easy.

Like a lot of Aussie horror it deals with the tension between city and rural, something which it shares with contemporary films like Deliverance and Straw Dogs and it also shares with the latter the clash between “intellectual” and “working men”. But it goes deeper than this too, delving into Australian masculinity and its relationship with the natural world (the director was horrified when he witnessed the kangaroo hunt and used the footage to highlight its barbarism after consulting wildlife organisations). It’s hardly a flattering portrait of rural Australia but it’s not patronising either. There is community in Yabba, friendliness, generosity but at its heart is something dark and troubling and Grants confrontation with this leaves him irrevocably changed.

Amazingly this wasn't restored until 2009 but it's a great (Australian) film and well worth watching if you want something a bit challenging and disturbing.
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Harvey K-Tel
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 24 Jan 2018, 14:23

Well, shit. Richard Davies has a song called "Chips Rafferty" and I'd always assumed it was just a fictional name.

I like the sound of that film, too. I'll have to seek it out.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 24 Jan 2018, 15:09

^^^ Seconded.

pcqgod wrote:Image

Blue Ruin (2013)

Dark and very violent revenge story. Excellent.

Saw this recently. Really liked its hillbilly/gothic sensibility, moral ambiguity and low-budget aesthetic.

Really good recommendations around here, as usual.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 24 Jan 2018, 15:26

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Frances McDormand is probably best known for starring in productions by the Coen Brothers, so it seems fitting that 'Three Billboards,' like a good Coen Brothers movie, depicts hapless characters whose plans go awry and events spiraling out of control. McDormand is fabulous as the mom who has decided that she has taken all the shit that she will ever take from anyone, and Sam Rockwell's key supporting role as a small town police officer is wonderful. There were a few story contrivances that somewhat took me out of the story, but otherwise this is one of those rare movies that seems to take you on a ride through the full range of human emotion as it tells its story of people acting impulsively without thought of the consequences and eventually learning to treat each other as human beings.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 24 Jan 2018, 19:10

Frances McDormand is one of he most underrated actors in Hollywood. Glad to hear it got a good review.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Jan 2018, 22:25

Copehead wrote:I have never seen anything that doesn't convince me that Joe Average people who vote Conservative are fundamentally too thick to understand the world



The Modernist wrote:Griff writes the best political posts.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 24 Jan 2018, 22:39

Does she come to your mind straight away when thinking of brilliant actors? Chances are a lot of people have to be reminded about her.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Jan 2018, 22:48

Yes
Copehead wrote:I have never seen anything that doesn't convince me that Joe Average people who vote Conservative are fundamentally too thick to understand the world



The Modernist wrote:Griff writes the best political posts.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 24 Jan 2018, 22:58

As usual, you're proving you're one in a million.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 24 Jan 2018, 23:06

;)
Copehead wrote:I have never seen anything that doesn't convince me that Joe Average people who vote Conservative are fundamentally too thick to understand the world



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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 25 Jan 2018, 09:11

Given she was outstanding in Fargo I'm sure she's at the front of most people's mind.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 25 Jan 2018, 14:33

Three Billboards is the first one of the nominees I want to see. Fargo is one of the great films of the '90s.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 25 Jan 2018, 14:59

It looks like a pretty decent batch of films for a change. Going on what I've seen and the reviews.
Copehead wrote:I have never seen anything that doesn't convince me that Joe Average people who vote Conservative are fundamentally too thick to understand the world



The Modernist wrote:Griff writes the best political posts.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 25 Jan 2018, 20:51

Well, I'm always happy when actors I like are nominated. This year it's Gary Oldman, Daniel Day Lewis, Francis McDormand, Denzel Washington and Sam Rockwell. So, I'll probably see all of their movies anyway.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 26 Jan 2018, 17:18

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Preposterously over-the-top -- but no less enjoyable for it -- gothic horror from Guillermo del Toro. Loads of fun, delightful production design, eye-poppingly lurid color palette, etc.

One for Darkness_Fish?
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby BOLLY BEE » 27 Jan 2018, 21:22

Darkest Hour.

Very good.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 29 Jan 2018, 10:34

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The Exterminating Angel

I really like what I’ve seen from Bunuel. There’s a lot of humour in this and trademark digs at the bourgeoisie and religion as the guests at some awful party, trapped for some inexplicable reason in one room succumb to their more base instincts. I loved the little moments of mischievous dark humour, like the dead hand flopping out of the cupboard and the more outré stuff like Thing from the Adams family making an appearance were delicious too. If you’re gonna do social satire then I think this is probably the best approach Great stuff.

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Magnolia

When this came out I think I felt it lost it after everybody starts singing and frogs started falling from the sky. This time I felt the change in tone was appropriate and its melodrama actually very moving. There’s some real stellar material here. The storyline with the dying man is the main attraction but there’s lots of great stuff alongside this that manages to pull off the movie trick of being slightly improbable but still managing to feel somehow real and human. The movie actually riffs on this idea as well so it’s *yawn* meta too. All these interconnected storylines (Cruise as the misogynist life coach, William H Macy as a former child genius (heartbreaking and brilliant), John C Reilly as a lovestruck cop, Julianne Moore as a gold digging wife) push the boundaries of believability but the movies themes of regret, guilt and the consequences of parental abuse still manage to be genuinely affecting and there’s real humanity here. And Phillip Seymour Hoffman is great. Obviously. Those who like their films to feel more natural and authentic might struggle with the movies dramatic shifts in tone and it’s more experimental moments but this is a great cinematic experience delivered with effortless brilliance at times.

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Idiocracy

It’s essentially a 5 minute SNL sketch stretched out to movie length. It doesn’t go anywhere interesting, the humour is crude and unfunny and it’s not a patch on Judges far superior Office Space, let alone Beavis and Butthead do America.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 29 Jan 2018, 16:06

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My Side of the Mountain (1969)

A film adaptation of a good children's book I read forty or so years ago. It is an engaging survival story of a resourceful boy who decides to live for a year in the Canadian wilderness. The movie adaptation has its moments but features some very dated-seeming elements, including an odd, almost psychedelic sequence, and an unintentionally funny sequence in which the lead character is half-heartedly bullied by some kids in a malt shop listening to Henry Mancini! I think this one could stand for a good remake.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby The Modernist » 29 Jan 2018, 21:25

I began watching Birdman. Really boring...gave up.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 29 Jan 2018, 21:34

The usual excellent write ups by the Goat Boy.