Return of the RECENT VIEWING

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

Postby algroth » 04 Feb 2018, 13:15

Goat Boy wrote:Image

The Cremator

This is billed as a “comedy horror drama” on Wikipedia but I have to say I didn’t laugh but then maybe Czech humour is an acquired taste. The “humour” is very black anyway which is hardly surprising considering the films subject matter. I felt certain things were slightly over my head in relation to the films context. It took me a wee while to figure out for example that it was actually set prior to WW2 although I was aware that there was a German community living in the Sudetenland at the time (cheers Higher history!) who were favourable towards the Reich. Sometimes you get that when you are watching movies from countries you are largely ignorant about.

Karel Kopfrkingl is a cremator, devoted to his work and family and living a comfortable, middle class life in Prague. He’s an odd fella though who has an air of sociopathic calm about him and an interest in Tibetan Buddhism. In fact he believes in reincarnation and sees himself as some kind of noble figure liberating people from the drudgery and suffering of the mortal realm and thereby enabling samsara through cremation. An encounter with a Czech Nazi convinces him that he has German blood and that his wife and kids are part Jewish as Karel increasingly loses touch with reality and begins to hatch some kind of grand scheme to liberate thousands of suffering souls. Eventually and tragically the Nazis racial ideology combines with his Buddhist beliefs leading him to his own “final solution”.

There’s lots of odd angles and expressionistic touches throughout and it’s stylishly done with a very good performance from the main actor whose measured personality contrasts perfectly with the increasing madness on display. Apparently it’s highly rated in the Czech Republic and is something of a cult film and it’s easy to see why. It still felt fresh to me and alien too. Different, you know.

If this is what the Czech new wave was producing then I should really check out more.


That might be one of the more "out there" Czech new wave films, although in my experience they all (well, most) tend to show huge formal creativity and a style that is often quite expressionistic and angular. Glad you enjoyed!

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pcqgod
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 05 Feb 2018, 23:13

The Bed Sitting Room (1969)

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This plays like a Monty Python film, with a series of skits and gags bound by an overriding story -- in this case, the 20 or so surviving people in England trying to carry on with life as usual following a nuclear holocause. I liked this one.
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PresMuffley
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby PresMuffley » 06 Feb 2018, 10:35

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This is one I've been wanting to see for a while now, and particularly after watching the recent Ken Burns series. It'll take me some time to process, and at the moment I am at a loss, but I definitely recommend giving this a go.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Feb 2018, 04:54

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Force of Evil

Before Brando, before Clift even, there was John Garfield - a Jewish kid from NYC streets who shot to fame in the '40s in a number of noirs which hold up fairly well today. Force of Evil is one of the better ones, and at less than 80 minutes, never overstays its welcome. A big influence on Scorcese, you can see its plot devices in Mean Streets and even On the Waterfront.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 09 Feb 2018, 12:00

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Force of Evil

Before Brando, before Clift even, there was John Garfield - a Jewish kid from NYC streets who shot to fame in the '40s in a number of noirs which hold up fairly well today. Force of Evil is one of the better ones, and at less than 80 minutes, never overstays its welcome. A big influence on Scorcese, you can see its plot devices in Mean Streets and even On the Waterfront.



Garfield was always worth watching no matter the film.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Samoan » 09 Feb 2018, 12:54

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Heavens. All credit to her, I couldn't walk 1,100 miles without a pack that weight and size.
I think Reese Witherspoon plays this autobiographical role very well although she is rather small in stature and height to completely convince. (I've seen some photos of the character Reese plays, Cheryl Strayed and she's a lot taller and looks like she has better upper body strength)
Jean-Marc Vallée (of Dallas Buyers Club) directs and Nick Hornby wrote the script for Wild.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 09 Feb 2018, 14:54

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We Are Still Here

I quite liked this and think it did enough to rise above the level of obvious 80s homage (the set up was reminiscent of Fulci’s The Beyond and it even has Barbara Crampton from Re-Animator). There are a few twists and turns and although most of them are telegraphed there’s some nice moments here that elevate it comfortably above the average horror film even if there was an element of throwing everything at the wall and seeing if it sticks. The director could be one to watch.

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Harpoon: The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre

You’re always taking a chance when you tape some schlock off the Horror channel. For every so bad it’s good horror there’s dozens which are just absolutely terrible and this was one of them. Crass, stupid and nonsensical with some hopelessly clumsy left wing politics thrown in for good measure. Avoid.

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Ran

And from the ridiculous to the sublime. I thought this was magnificent and better than Throne of Blood. To think Kurosawa was 74 (?) when he made this. Sheesh. There’s an incredible sequence about half way through Ran where catatonic War Lord Hidetora emerges from a burning castle and dream like wanders off alone and insane into some kind of volcanic, post-apocalyptic landscape. In a movie full of bravura moments and stunning images this one is pretty hard to beat.

Facing up to the consequences of ones actions can be hard for many of us but when you are a 70 year old War Lord whose own sons have tried to kill him and who has unleased chaos on a world he recently ruled you can understand how one might succumb to madness. Unlike Lear, who obviously provides the inspiration for the character Hidetora is a cruel man, a war mongerer whose pursuit of power has been relentless throughout his life but it’s only now, towards the end that he is finally confronted by the ghosts of the past and the world he has helped create. In another stunning sequence that follows the one above Hidetora sits in the grass and is tormented by visions of those he has killed who seemingly appear to him like cruel spectres. Despite what we know about Hidetora you still feel sympathy for him. How awful it must be to only truly understand ones actions when it is too late to rectify them but the folly of man is never ending which is why Ran is timeless. In one scene where fate seems to cruelly conspire against both Hidetora and the son who loves him The Fool cries out in anger and asks why the Gods crush us like ants but there is only silence of course. In the final sequence a blind man alone on a dangerous precipice, silhouetted against the fading sun, drops a parchment of the Buddha onto the floor but he cannot rescue it. Maybe we are locked into some kind of cruel, never ending samsara. Maybe that is just mankinds fate.

Even if you were to ignore its themes you’d still come away dazzled by its visual brilliance, its action sequences and the moments of lyrical beauty that appear throughout. The battle sequences in particular are stunningly shot and make the CGI enhanced nonsense of todays movies look like fucking Warhammer.

Spectacular and great.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 09 Feb 2018, 22:00

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Mark Wahlberg is a military sniper, who was abandoned by the military somewhere in Foreignistan, but survived somehow in a way that was presumably not worth explaining to the viewer. He is then talked out of retirement by a smooth-talking evil government guy to help prevent the assassination of the president. This is all a cunning ruse to frame him as the shooter of an Ethiopian arch bishop (obviously). Shooty shooty Marky Mark is then on the run, helped only by a rogue FBI agent, his dead partner's girlfriend, and the backwoods mystical guy with knowledge who crops up in every conspiracy film. Evil government guy tries to kill Shooty Shooty Marky Mark, because he knows about the Serbian sniper who actually killed the arch bishop, and appears in the film for no reason other than to have an Eastern European accent. Evil government guy works for evil senator. They have a denouement somewhere convenient for an ace sniper. The film then decides this denouement wasn't good enough, and adds in a second denouement for no apparent reason. Film ends. Head scratched.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby jimboo » 10 Feb 2018, 10:05

Great write up on Ran Dougie. One of me fave movies. It is simply stunning , pure cinema.
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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Feb 2018, 16:14

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Husbands and Wives

Allen's best '90s movie checks off all the boxes you'd expect from him at this point in his career. It's funny, but more profound, entertaining, yet thought-provoking. For me, it's up there with Crimes & Misdemeanors, Hannah & Her Sisters, Manhattan, and Annie Hall. Filmed while his life with Mia Farrow was unraveling. I don't think he's been this good since.


The hand-held camera renders it close to unwatchable.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 11 Feb 2018, 16:48

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Has anyone written this one up yet?

I saw it yesterday, and it’s still swirling around in my mind the way a truly good film often does. It took me by surprise, as I’ve had a complicated relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson’s films up to now. Not that I’ve disliked them. I’ve always noted and admired his ambitions -crediting him for his intentions more than his ability to realize them. So my expectations were muted.

Phantom Thread is a fully realized work. There are echoes of Roeg, Powell-Pressburger, James Ivory, early Polanski, and even Welles here. But not slavishly so. This is the film where PTA stops imitating his heroes and simply joins them as a master storyteller.

The story itself is a simple one. At its core is a subtle retelling of Pygmalion - but one in which the bond between the artist and the muse is more unknowable and strange than in previous iterations.

Anyhow...a surprisingly wonderful film that makes you aware of how long it been since any film has even tried to play on this level.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Feb 2018, 17:15

I loved PTA and shall be going to see this very soon
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Uncle Charles Routine » 11 Feb 2018, 18:02

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Husbands and Wives

Allen's best '90s movie checks off all the boxes you'd expect from him at this point in his career. It's funny, but more profound, entertaining, yet thought-provoking. For me, it's up there with Crimes & Misdemeanors, Hannah & Her Sisters, Manhattan, and Annie Hall. Filmed while his life with Mia Farrow was unraveling. I don't think he's been this good since.


The hand-held camera renders it close to unwatchable.


Remember when it came out? the hand-held stuff was new for WA - as was the swearing. Middle-class families walking around drinking wine and saying 'fuck!' - like it didn't exist in his world before 1992!

I enjoyed the film but he lost something around then and never regained it.

I'm probably going to watch Radio Days again tonight.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 11 Feb 2018, 20:14

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Second viewing of this low-key New Zealand comedy-horror, concerning a young woman sentenced to house arrest at her mother's house in an attempt to provide the stability to direct her away from her repetitive small-time crime career. Once there, it quickly becomes apparent that the house has a sinister past, and may have an unwanted paranormal resident. Such a grounded sense of humour, and some genuinely tense moments, the comedy and horror aspects are both really successful. I like this one an awful lot.
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 pcqgod » 11 Feb 2018, 21:57

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Cast commentary track is a riot.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Feb 2018, 05:12

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Heavy Metal

This was amusing to my friends and I in the early '80s, I even had the album. Pure adolescent male fantasy - sci fi meets sword and sorcery, with boobs. I don't know if there's ever really been anything like it. It doesn't work much beyond your teen years, but then that's when I first saw it.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 12 Feb 2018, 11:03

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The Fog

Given the brilliance of Halloween and The Thing it’s understandable that The Fog is somewhat overlooked perhaps. Reviews have always been mixed although it does appear to have been reappraised somewhat over the years. It’s certainly not at the same level as those two but Carpenter had a fantastic grasp of horror for a while and this is the work of a director who knows what they are doing. Carpenter understood how to use space and music to create atmosphere and similar to Halloween there’s a sense of underlying malevolence in all the empty shots of the sleepy little seaside town that hint at the supernatural evil which is about to descend. When it does finally descend it maybe doesn’t quite crank things up to the desired levels but it’s more a slow burning thing anyway, heavy on atmosphere and less reliant on shocks and violence. I’m not sure if it was intended but its theme of the sins of the Fathers being revisited on the children and its proximity to Americas bicentennial celebrations suggested something allegorical to me.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 12 Feb 2018, 12:01

it's a shame how quickly Carpenter lost his mojo, my favourite is Assault on Precinct 13.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Neige » 12 Feb 2018, 12:17

We watched this on TV last night, quite accidentally.

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It had several laugh-out-loud moments
I loved the lovingly conjured-up 70's vibe
I'd never thought Ryan Gosling would be any good at slapstick...

In short: nothing earth-shattering but great fun!
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 12 Feb 2018, 16:01

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I pull this one out of the case pretty frequently.
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