What was the last film you saw?

Views on cinema not related to Mr. Lynch
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Bob
 
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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Bob » 25 Feb 2013

Brand Upon the Brain! (2006)

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What an unusual and extremely bizarre experience this was. But in a good way. The movie plays out precisely how (my) dreams work: random cuts between images and ideas, but still following some kind of script. I have never seen something like it before and it went really deep with me. Great soundtrack too - 9/10.
Looking forward to seeing "My Winnipeg" by the same director.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Bob » 06 Mar 2013

Another experimental, low budget movie I enjoyed was Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)
Extremely slow-paced, atmospheric SciFi horror, reminiscent of Kubrick's 2001, with a superb soundtrack.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Siku » 17 Apr 2013

Brick. OMG what a pile of toss. Really bad amateur dramatics, student embarrasing alter-ego nonsense. I mean can the costume dept not get Brendan out of that awful grey jacket and can the director not tell him to take his hands out of his pockets!! Jeez. And his clever friend is called Brain. And wears glasses. And solves rubiks cubes. Ok I get it! He's brainy! And he sits in that one spot foir the whole movie. And we just follow Brendan around as he learns nothing really and ALL the pretty girls fancy him. Christ. It did open up a bit towards the end but it was too little too late.

Just saw on one of Blu's posts that he also directed Looper, which I liked. Amazing how a career can develop from nothing.

And then we watched Chinatown. Great stuff but weirdly reminded me of Brick the way that we just follow Jack Nicholson around for the whole movie. Maybe it's a modern thing but the other films I've seen recently all seem to have multiple viewpoints e.g. Babel, Cloud Atlas, MD obviously does. Is it just a very old fashioned way of telling a story?

Did finally clear up one thing though. In my mind Chinatown and Big Trouble in Little China were the same movie! Oops! Having seen both in the last few months I can confirm that they are two very different movies. Kinda explains why I never got all the praise heaped on Chinatown! ROFL
Last edited by Siku on 17 Apr 2013, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby kmkmiller » 17 Apr 2013

BRICK is very Lynchy, of course.

and yeah the affectations are a little off-putting and distracting.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Siku » 17 Apr 2013

Sorry I was mid-edit when you posted kmkmiller. But the grey jacket sums it all up really. Style over content tripe.

And is it Lynchy? This is I guess:

brick_4.jpg


And so is the dead girl set up. Other than that it's too annoying to link to Lynch in my mind.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby kmkmiller » 17 Apr 2013

I'll be the first one to say Rian Johnson's auteur status is about three movies premature.


You'll like Rex Reed's "panegyric."

No such luck awaits the victims of Brick, a two-bit indie-prod that gives new meaning to the four most dreaded words in cinema: “Big Hit at Sundance!” It should have been burned there, instead of winning a jury prize for “originality of vision.” It sends the new genre of cut-rate filmmaking with video cams to the garbage dump. Typed on a keyboard in cyberspace and directed with mind-bending incompetence by somebody named Rian Johnson, Brick transfers the film noir ambience of old Humphrey Bogart flicks to new depths of teenage dopiness. Even its claim to be a murder mystery solved by kids is nothing original. (Dean Stockwell, Peggy Ann Garner and Connie Marshall did it so much better in Home, Sweet Homicide in 1946.)
This one’s got slackers, dopers and cretinous teen skanks just waiting for a felony to happen. There’s an invisible plot about a gang of high-school heroin pushers run by The Pin, a killer with a clubfoot whose mother serves him cookies and apple juice between murder sprees. Leading a cast of unknowns in the role of the just-learning-to-shave-but-doesn’t-own-a-razor “detective,” there’s an unbearable performance by a zombie named Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who acts with a permanent scowl, shoulders hunched and angry fists dug deep into the pockets of his Wal-Mart windbreaker. The unspeakable dialogue is so incomprehensible it seems like a whole new language. The title refers to a brick of heroin cut with laundry detergent. The moans you hear are from Dashiell Hammett, turning over in his grave.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Siku » 17 Apr 2013

So Rex Reed's with me. But he says it a million times better that's why he's a film critic.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Bob » 17 Apr 2013

Didn't like it either. Suffered from a convoluted, non-engaging plot.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby blu » 17 Apr 2013

I think Brick is terrific.

And of course it reminds you of Chinatown, Siku. It's a hard-boiled gumshoe detective noir. Only updated and set in a high school. It's not without its flaws, but it shows ambition, innovation, a willingness to try something different. I like it a lot. My other half, less so when I showed it her.

But we can't all like the same stuff. That would be boring. ;-)

re: Brain, watch the film again and observe if anyone has any interactions with him other than Brendan, and also note his exit from the film. There's more going on in this film than meets the eye.

I enjoyed Looper, and I think Johnson is a talented filmmaker/storyteller. With the amount of crap in the cinema it's not unusual to latch onto someone as a great new hope. Only time will tell with him.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby kmkmiller » 18 Apr 2013

you are so right, blu. BRICK does have a great many merits.

and to point out that while Rex Reed really disliked it, a normally fuddy duddy guy, a guy who normally poo poos this kind of movie, David Denby from the New Yorker liked BRICK a lot.

The observations about Brain are noted. I noticed that stuff too. High school film-noir it is. There is more going on than meets the eye. And there is more than just a little surrealism tossed in with the weird sort of scenes into The Pin's basement, the dark tunnel above, and stuff like that.

Ergo, the Lynch stuff. Film Noir Surrealism (that's Lynch) set in a so. Cal high school. I do place it under my Bardo movie umbrella, but that umbrella is admittedly getting way too diluted these days. (I'm beginning to see those elements in even things like old Miami Vice episodes, so take that for what it's worth.) Just note that his investigation of the murder/disappearance has more than just a little Orpheus and Eurydice stuff going on, I mean even if she's dead, the thing is, he's trying to save her soul, retrieve some part of her out of that dark tunnel.

If I re-watched it I'm sure I could go deeper into the Lynchian elements (color coding, for instance) but I don't feel that inclined right now.

Suffice to say, it has been suggested that if TWIN PEAKS were to resurrected, Joseph Gordon-Levitt might make an excellent Dale Cooper after he gets rid of the hoody and puts on the black suit and slicks back his hair.

Just to sort of explain why I'm so receptive to Siku's complaint. In the U.S. there is a militant faction of movie appreciation that has emerged... typically goes by the more benign label of Fandom. Fanboys love the likes of Rian Johnson and his comic-book counterpart Joss Whedon. Both of these guys, simply because of things like comic-con have been, far too soon in their careers, elevated to AUTEUR status.

That is wrong. Johnson has done Brick and Looper, that's it. It's like calling Nolan an Auteur after INSOMNIA was released...

Both of those guys can handle a little criticism.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Siku » 18 Apr 2013

I'm not saying Brick is ENTIRELY bad. It was shot really well. REALLY well. But I don't think it was trying anything new, I thought it was derivative and old fashioned. Yeah it's ripped off Chinatown or a Boggart film noir - hence the choice of (crap) jazz for the sound track. Imitation isn't enough, and I don't see it attempting anything new at all. Ok if it was a play at the local school I'd be impressed, but "Best high school flick since Donnie Darko"?! C'mon.

And maybe there's more going on in the plot than I noticed, but the story wasn't well told, well paced, or well played, no matter how many cool twists it had. In my eyes. Maybe it would have made a good roleplay adventure or something. Being cool and satisfying teen boys wish fulfilment might win fandom points but I need more.

Funny, I really think I'm being objective on this one but a friend who's a film maker and great musician and who's opinion I respect told me he liked it the other day. ???


Started Brand on the Brain yesterday. Brilliant! We watched parts 1-3 (of 12). OMG for me this was richer and more masterful and more rewarding in the first minute than the whole of Brick. Watch it guys!

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby blu » 22 Apr 2013

More low budget sci-fi.

Love (2011)

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I would recommend this.

I'm still trying to work out exactly what I think about it, because it has some moments of stunning beauty, the score is wonderful, it makes you work to understand what's going on, but seems at times just a big pastiche of past sci-fi, and in some parts of it (what I presume is) the digitally shot footage looks a bit shoddy and amateurish. Which undermines it a bit.

If you like 2001, Solaris etc then you'll get something out of this, I think. Give it a go.



Mama (2013)



Guillermo Del Toro presents. This is good. But didn't for me quite have the emotional depth of a Pan's Labyrinth or the pace and intrigue of El Orfanato. If you like Del Toro's style, you will like this.



Complete change of pace with this one. British black comedy:

Sightseers.

I watched this knowing absolutely nothing about it and REALLY enjoyed it. The trailer is in the spoiler, I would recommend you do not watch it, and just go find it on Netflix or rent the DVD not knowing anything.

It's excellent.

Oh, there were horse statues I have to go back and capture. Reminder for later.

Spoiler: show

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby ctyankee » 13 Jun 2013

Room 237. It's not worth seeing. It's about the wild-ass themes people have dreamed up about what Kubrick's The Shining is about. It contains no discussion, no give or take and no depth. It's simply audio of people discussing their paper-thin grand schemes of what The Shining is about to shots of the film. We don't see these people, we only hear their voices. So, it becomes much like open mike night for the weird and delusional without any filter. The film is about German atrocities ... the film is about atrocities committed against American Indians ... the film is Kubrick's way of admitting he faked footage of the moon landing ... et cetera.

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby Siku » 13 Jun 2013

I enjoyed it enough to write all this.

A MD equivalent would be fun though, right?

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Re: What was the last film you saw?

Postby blu » 22 Jul 2013

I watched a few bits and pieces lately. Let's see ...

Soderbergh's Side Effects

A *just above* average psychological thriller/mystery thing. Soderbergh is such a competent filmmaker that this floats by without ever truly exciting or disappointing, even with the twists and turns it feels a bit like going through the motions. It's tightly put together, and I do like Rooney Mara a lot, but Soderbergh is capable of better.

Gangster Squad

Humdrum. Forgettable. Give it a miss. Even Emma Stone couldn't save it for me.

emma-stone-23-d.jpg


Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers

Well I really really liked this a lot. I have a bit of a thing for Korine, and whilst this has been dismissed as trashy exploitation by some, I think there's more to it than meets the eye in the sense that Korine is playing with the idea of exploitation, what that means, how it works with the story he's telling. That doesn't mean it's not an exploitation type film on some level, it shows some intelligence/awareness from the storyteller, but it kind of has that Tarantino "knowingness" about what it's doing in some weird self-referential way. If that makes sense.

And it's fun. I don't tend to watch an awful lot of films that are just fun. Check it out.

Stoker

More worthy psychological drama that I should probably try to steer clear of because I think I'm a bit jaded by it all. It's OK. I do like Kidman, and she's decent, but it just feels like one of a stack of this type of film that I've watched over the past couple of years and it didn't stand out. I was hoping for a bit more tbh.

Maniac

Rubbish. I predicted that a serial killer film with Elijah Wood as the protagonist would be crap, and I was proven right. Maybe I'm missing some kitsch b-movie appeal or something, but I was bored by this.

Noe's Enter The Void

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Well now, here's a man who wants to get right down to it. Or not, as the case may be. Of all the things that you might want to call Gaspar Noe, "boring" or "safe" are not amongst them. If Irreversible was some kind of attempt to bring a physicality (on more than one level) into film, then this is an almost opposite attempt to tell a spiritual tale. It sits well with Spring Breakers with its "in your face" brashness, and Noe and Korine actually make quite the pair of complementary bedfellows in lots of ways.

I think with Noe at least you have someone who is genuinely endeavouring to tell stories in fresh ways, whatever your opinion of where he ends up.

I get a kick out of the sprawling, hallucinatory, resonatory stuff, so I loved this. But will have to watch it again.

Finally, honourable mention to documentary Project Nim

Project-Nim-poster.jpg


I only discovered after watching that this was made by the same director as Man on Wire (James Marsh), but it essentially broke my heart and rebuilt it about a dozen times during the course of watching the film.

If you like your documentaries, this is a must watch.

Fair to say, a mixed bag.

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