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Saw it last night and I'm still processing the movie, but I can't deny Boots Riley's film making is an impressive debut. From the first shot of the office where Cassius is interviewing, where the lighting of the exterior cubicles are blue and the manager's office is yellow, it drew my eyes immediately. Another shot of Cassius working in the foreground while in the background room where papers are flying chaotically while he is quietly interacting with his coworkeres. Cassius's picture of his father is changing to reflect the character's conscious. The transition of Cassius's life to an upperstyle where the old furniture and appliance's are fold and unfolding to reveal a new apartment and life. A "WorryFree" commercial with Wes Anderson like color composition then the scene cuts to real life Oakland where it's gritty and degrading. The mini movie played to Cassius is a Michael Gondry parody to show the villain's view on how he view's people while playing it casual to how serious/insane the subject is.
Whether you agree or disagree on the story he chose to tell through a mixture of grit and surrealism on the subject of unions and rotting capitalism, while leading to bizarre unexpected places. I'm going to remember a lot the shots for some time and I'm excited to see his next movie. What did you think about Boot Riley's film making? Derivative? Audacious? or meh?
Also along with Idiocracy, UHF, and the Lego movie, I'm inducting "I Got the S#*@ Kicked Out of Me!" as another show within the movie another favorite.
It's been a while since I posted in what might be my favourite subreddit, but I'm really proud to share with you all my interview with Martin Scorsese, where we discuss the African Film Heritage Project (AFHP): https://www.cinemaescapist.com/2018/07/interview-martin-scorsese-african-film-heritage-project/
For context, the AFHP is a joint initiative between Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation, which locates, restores, preserves and distributes classic films - part of which is the World Cinema Project which has done this for over 30 films from around the world including African films "Trances" and "Black Girl (La Noire De...)" - UNESCO, Cineteca di Bologna (a well-respected organisation that specializes in film restoration) and FEPACI, the Federation of Pan-African Filmmakers. They are working to restore and preserve 50 classic African films, and crucially bring them back to African audiences.
I cannot admire Scorsese enough, as well as those other organizations involved in this. We really need more schemes like this for countries and regions that have been overlooked, and have films at risk of being lost forever.
I would love to know people's thoughts on whether or not this is the best way to protect and promote African Cinema - it seems to cover a lot of ground, with a Hollywood name ad renowned cinephile letting an African organisation taking the reins, with the might of UNESCO supporting the next stage of the project once those involved have decided on the films, and have been able to locate surviving negatives.
People need to be exposed to more African films, and this seems to be the most effective way of doing so. I would love to know people's thoughts, and hear about your exposure to African Cinema - if it was up to you, which films should be targeted by the AFHP?
I watched this film, twice. I really likes Ingmar Bergman, and this is one of his hardest film to watch. I always feels like I missed something. Does this movie is all about selfishness? Is it true that Agnes is really love her sisters or it is also a lie? Is the mother the root cause of Maria and Karin's hatred for each other?
There's so much things I can't understand and it bugs me. Please drop some commments, thank you.
I host a movie podcast, and we have a listener request to re-examine The Wachowski's 2008 SpeedRacer with this specific question in mind:
"Can style be substance?"
I thought this was a pretty interesting question and wondered what r/truefilm felt about the conversation starting point?
For me, this specific categorization of Hollywood style vehicles stems back to early comic book adaptations like The Shadow and Tim Burton's Batman, which emphasized a visual tonality that matched (or at least attempted to conjure the impression of the source material). This technique became more explicit with films like Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, right through to Speed Racer itself.
Thinking about these films lead me to some kind of conclusion about style as nostalgia for imagined realities (perhaps opening a semiotic conversation), but the technique isn't used exclusively for adaptations. For example, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner seems to exemplify a stylistic approach which creates meaning through the narrative. Even further back thinking about impressionistic films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set up an imagined reality through its stylistic techniques.
This obviously can lead down many rabbit holes of discussion, but I wondered how you all felt about this question?
Hey, guys, a consistent feature in Full Metal Jacket is that almost the entire battlefield sequence (~45 mins) has been shot from a low-level ground position. It doesn't even rise to the level of the surrounding soldiers. When I watched the film, it felt like I was crawling in the warzone, keeping myself safe, and at the same time experiencing what war is really like. There were no feelings of heroism, nor did I feel overtly emotional about anything. It also did not feel much like an anti-war film focusing intentionally only on the dark side of war. In simple terms, the movie just showed me what war is actually like. And it had a such a powerful effect on me, that I decided to compile my thoughts in this video. Maybe this will make it more clear to you, what I'm trying to communicate. Do let me know what you guys feel about it.
I originally wrote this over on my blog, so if you want that more complete version with embedded videos and pictures, it can be found here: https://danieljh13.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/07/21/The-Beauty-and-Artistry-of-Call-Me-By-Your-Name
Call Me By Your Name is, for me, THE most impactful and beautiful piece of naturalistic film-making I have seen in recent years, if not ever. Ever since I have seen it late 2017, this film has stuck with me. I have seen it 4 times at this point, and each viewing has enhanced my appreciation of the film. It has instantly become one of my all-time favorites. But what causes the impact that this film has? Well frankly, it is everything. This film is the perfect combination of artistic craft and personal emotion, of pathos and logos. The movie is such a masterpiece because it is the convergence of perfect technical construction, performance, theme, writing, and presentation. I may seem hyperbolic, but I am only being honest here. Let me break down (Rather long-windedly) a few of the things that I feel make the movie so brilliant.
NATURALISM AND VISUAL STORYTELLING DETAIL
It seems that in the age of the internet, it seems that in terms of cinematography the only thing that gets praised is flashy camera techniques. Sure, there are plenty of cool scenes captured in one long take, with plenty of camera movement that makes the audience go "ooohhh, that looks cool!" But how many of those shots, how much of that camera movement, actually improves the film? Does it help tell the story? Does it communicate information about the feelings and thoughts of the characters? Often, no. But that is not the case here. Instead of focusing on style, director Luca Guadagnino and cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom create substance and embed meaning into even the simplest of scenes through simplicity. The majority of the film is composed of rather basic medium to long shots, with minimal close-ups. These shots are lengthy, but usually very simple. Often it will be as simple as a static shot that shifts slightly into another static shot. Often the shots are so minimalistic that you won't even realize that they have gone on for minutes at a time. Meanwhile, each camera movement within this lengthy shot, every character movement within the frame, the space between characters, all of these things are used to subtly communicate information to you or to add layers and depth to the information already being communicated by the characters. The naturalism here adds to the experience because it does not break your immersion in the intimacy of these moments, it feels private and believable, like you are a fly on the wall experiencing these stories. For example:
There is a moment about halfway through the movie where the main character Elio finally confesses his feelings for Oliver. He does this while they are standing and talking in a town square next to a monument. Their conversation plays out in one deliberately long take (video linked above), and the camera tells us all we need to know about the characters feelings. The camera is pretty stationary as they begin their conversation, parking their bikes and making small talk. At some point Oliver begins to walk away from Elio around to the other side of the monument and the camera begins to pan with him as he walks away, leaving part of the monument they are standing next to separating them. Then Elio hints at his feelings for Oliver with the line "if you only only knew how little I know about the things that matter." Oliver stops in his tracks, as does the camera, with this barrier serving as a geographical visualization of the emotional barrier between the two of them at the moment. Then they both begin to walk, crossing opposite sides of the monument and the camera pans with them again again. At the scariest point in the conversation for Elio, where Oliver pauses before responding which leaves Elio repeating to himself "because I wanted you to know..." as if he wants to make both himself and Oliver believe it, Oliver is completely eclipsed by the statue, visualizing Elio's fear that he might have lost Oliver forever by telling him these things. But then Oliver emerges and they meet on the other side of the monument and the camera holds, lingering on them drawing close to each other on the other side of the moment as they are also drawn together emotionally.
Could discussing it in this level of detail be considered over-analysis? Perhaps. Of course I would never dream to proclaim that these are the objective concrete meanings of these particular cinematic choices, but this is simply a description of the information that was embedded within this scene by the choices in cinematography, shot composition, and use of space. This is purely visual storytelling, communicating the emotional distance between these two characters as well as their fears and anxieties without a word of dialogue and while feeling completely naturalistic. And yet, he does this while still keeping every shot looking lush, gorgeous and layered. For example, look at the aesthetic beauty of a shot like this:
This level of detail is present throughout the film, as Guadagnino expertly weaves subtle emotions and detail into every single shot to indicate characters thoughts, all while trusting his audience and avoiding flashy techniques that would reduce the subtlety. For example, at one point Elio comments on the fact that Oliver wears a necklace with the star of David, and that he owns one like it but does not wear it. Oliver then inquires why Elio does not do wear it. Elio casually remarks "my mother says we are Jews of discretion." Oliver then replies "well, I guess that works for your mother." At that point, the scene ends. A few minutes later, Elio is seen wearing his own Star of David. The film doesn't wink at the audience and draw attention to it, but Elio wears it until the end of the film, showing his willingness to be more open and accepting of his identity both as a Jew and as someone who is bisexual.
And of course, I would be remiss to discuss the cinematography and detail of this film without discussing its final shot. To do this requires spoilers, so if you haven't seen the film then I advise you skip down to the next section. At the end of the film, Oliver has gone back to America after the summer and we flash forward to Christmas. Elio answers a phone call and it is Oliver, announcing his engagement with a girl who Oliver had been on a break from seeing during that summer. While of course happy for Oliver, Elio is left heartbroken that the one person he has had a true connection with has moved on, that this means they will never get to be together. He goes and sits by the fire, and the final shot of the film is a close-up of Elio's face as he sits there, processing his grief. The shot holds relentlessly as the credits roll and we see tears stream down his face. The shot holds in close on just Elio, causing the viewer to feel the same heightened emotion and loneliness as the character does in this moment. The shot holds for so long, refusing to pull away and forcing the audience to process their emotions about what they just witnessed in the same way that Elio does in that moment. For this, the final shot is one of the most effective I have ever seen, and deserves all the praise it has received.
Look, this section is going to be pretty short just because every single performance in this movie is incredible and deserving of praise. If I was to go into too much detail, I would be writing a book here. But I do want to talk about the two leads for a second. God, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer have some of the most believable chemistry I have ever seen, and each delivers a career-best performance. Timothee in particular. Every moment of his depiction of Elio is animated, as he uses both the most minute facial expression and the movement of his body (the way he walks, dances, shifts his weight, glances around, even brushes his hand against Oliver) to add layers to his performance and further express the characters emotions when Elio finds himself unable to express them verbally. He was robbed from winning Best Actor at the Oscars, and sells every single moment of teenage infatuation, embarrassment, joy, and heartbreak. Armie Hammer is likewise brilliant, as he compliments Chalamet's youthful expressive energy with a more reserved, contemplative performance that nonetheless conveys the same emotions. He too owns the physicality of his role, as he dances about to express joy, massages Elio in times of pain, or curls up with him in a moment of intimacy. Every member of the supporting cast kills it as well, in particular I want to shout out Michael Stuhlbarg for his role as Elio's father, as he gets to shine in a monologue scene towards the end of the film.
THEME AND EMOTION
Call Me By Your Name also provides one of the most beautiful thematic messages in recent history. It is an unflinching look at first love, both the joy and heartbreak of it. At the same time, it is more than that. It is also an unapologetic celebration of enthusiastic consensual love. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a movie where the main characters took the time to ask for consent before sex? But in CMBYN Oliver asks "can I kiss you?" before reaching over to Elio before they have sex for the first time. It celebrates the idea of safe youthful experimentation in a way that few films do. Normally, in a movie like this you get either a puritanical message that sex = bad (as comically put by Mean Girls, "don't have sex or you will get pregnant and die") or a morally murky message common in bro comedies that endorses sex in any and every circumstances, regardless of factors that can inhibit consent. Instead of either of those options, in CMBYN you see a celebration of youthful love, with two consenting parties and parental approval as well. There is no trickery or grey areas here, just two young people in love. Not to mention this film, though depicting a same-sex romance, avoids many tropes of the "gay romance" genre. There are no bigoted or disapproving parents, no hate crimes inflicted on the characters, no societal pressure pushing Elio and Oliver apart. Instead, their only enemy, the only antagonist of this film, is time. They only have so long together, and have to choose to make the best of it despite their circumstances.
But even more than that, this movie is about the importance of love. The importance of putting yourself out there, even though you can get your heart broken. This need to put yourself out there or "live dangerously" is in my opinion necessary to truly live, to unlock the greatest rewards of life that can be found in finding someone you connect with like no other. But I cannot say this any better than the film itself does, so I will just let it do the talking for me. This comes from the second to last scene in the film, as Elio's father attempts to console Elio over Oliver having to leave:
"Right now you may not want to feel anything. Maybe you never wanted to feel anything and maybe it’s not me you want to be speak about these things but feel something you obviously did. Look you had a beautiful friendship, maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste! Have I spoken out of turn? Then I’ll say one more thing it'll clear the air. I may have come close but I never had what you two have. Something always held me back, her stood in the way. How you live your life is your business just remember our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once and before you know it your hearts worn out and as for your body there comes a point when no one looks at it much less wants to come near it. Right now there's sorrow, pain don't kill it and with it the joy you felt."
Now that is a message that I feel everyone needs to hear. It is something universal that everyone has been through, and this theme enhances the emotion of the story so much. Truthfully I have wept at at least one point every time I have watched this film, and I am not ashamed to admit it. So much rings true to my own experience, as it does others. Not only does it reflect those experiences, but also makes those experiences easier to process and learn from. Is that not the point of art, to make it easier to understand and process the suffering of life. To put it simply, to make it easier to live?
CONCLUSION So, that is it. Those are just a few of the reasons that I find Call Me By Your Name to be my favorite movie of 2017, one of the best of all time even. It is a display of perfect and confident cinematic craft, from its framing, lighting, use of camera movement, use of space within the frame, and editing. Additionally, every performance is subtle, confident, and expressive. Every word of dialogue is authentic and imbued with emotion (both a credit to the author of the original novel Andre Aciman and the adapter of the screenplay James Ivory). Every emotional and thematic moment ring true due to all of these factors, and you are left with one of those rare cinematic experiences that works on every level. It is not flashy or melodramatic, just authentically all too human. And art like that is truly special, and in my mind is worthy of celebration.
I’ve been rewatching the Mission Impossible films in the lead up to Fallout, and while I really like the franchise, I hadn’t seen II in about 8 years. I’ve rewatched all the others multiple times, just never got around to watching II again. So this time, so went in to it expecting not to like it that much, at least not as much as the others given how much hate and negativity the film gets. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part and had a ton of fun. I think I prefer it to the first film, and it’s about on par with III for me personally. Sure it’s got a dumb plot, but I think Woo’s style and direction actually complements the stupidity quite nicely in an odd way. It’s so over the top in its style that I don’t mind the plot holes. The action is pretty good, it’s a lot of fun, and the soundtrack is also good. So why do this film get so much hate? Not saying it’s a great film or anything, just a very fun movie that gets treated like it’s terrible.
I saw a lot of people raving about the visuals in the Aquaman trailer, but I honestly thought that with the exception of a few shots, it looked like a Playstation 2 game. This shot in particular looks awful, although it's hard to put my finger on why. What are your thoughts on the cinematography in the Aquaman trailer? I'm not exactly an expert on cinematography, but I'm hoping that through listening to other people's answers, it will enrich my own knowledge and understanding and help me better articulate myself.
( I recently found this article which introduces the most important experimental artist from India. His works strangely gave me the vibes of Sergei Parjonav's movies and Ozu's Transcendental stillness. So I compelled to share this article with this wonderful sub. So, I edited out some parts for the better textual introduction to dutta's films.)
Cinema can either be that of representation — of one’s thoughts and understanding of the world or the self through characters, plots, relationships, images, sounds and more. It might be exciting in the first viewing but soon exhausts itself into well-formed ideas in the minds of viewers and becomes tiring or repetitive in even a second viewing. Audiences of such a cinema can either agree or disagree with the ideas distilled from the work, and the presence of the work ends there. Because, in the end, it gets replaced by the ideas it purports to convey.
There is cinema of another kind, which might use similar ingredients to come into being, but where all the material is oriented not towards representing an idea but exploring the nature of the human condition. This kind of cinema never gets simplified into received ideas, but takes the viewers along into a journey to explore love, compassion, violence, colour, darkness, temporality, words, movement, stillness, etc.
Dutta’s is cinema of the second kind, of exploration. Exploration of the traditions of painting, sculpting, storytelling, interrelationship of the arts, the sounds of nature, layered textures of human relationships, and many such tender and essential phenomena. The exploration takes place with an extremely refined cinematic technique, the imaginative bringing together of sound textures with visual elements, the subtle use of gradations of light, of tonalities of colours interspersed with the brilliant use of a written script or subtitle as the nexus of sound and image.
Dutta’s explorations are basically in two directions. He explores the history of cinema itself in his films (as in his diploma film ksh-tra-jna) and second, he explores other artistic traditions and the lifestyles around them. He thus succeeds in posing questions to both cinema and the art form he explores, “Can we think of spaces like the school in Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game, which elevates students from immediate reality and helps them see nature and culture as a single interlocked ecosystem? Can we reconnect with nature and our own roots in an organic way? Can we imagine film schools that embrace the best of human tradition in all fields of knowledge?”
His comparatively recent film The Unknown Craftsman is a search to understand how the episteme (shastra) of temple architecture was brought into play by the techne (shilp kaushal) of the craftsmen of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh when they designed and constructed the temple of Masroor.
The protagonist, a craftsman, is searching for ways to construct a temple that reflects the totality of existence as an ideal temple should do. He journeys into nature to find the wisdom to create. It is in this loneliness that he is able to catch the delicate fibres of whispers not only from nature but from his own understanding of architecture. The film beautifully makes one realise that the nuances of traditional knowledge unfold more clearly amidst nature. It is as if nature holds the key to the vyanjana, the suggestions inherent in such knowledge. Or the other way round. As viewers we feel we are between two times: a time when the temple is yet to be constructed and a time when the temple is already up. Dutta doesn’t propose any final answer to the question of such an interplay, but invites us to visit the locus where such an interplay is unfolding and involves us sensuously in the micro-dialogues in the minds of not only craftsmen but also the users of temples, churches and such spaces.
His film on the 18th century Pahadi painter from Guler, the eponymous Nainsukh, delves deep into not only the multilayered beauty of Nainsukh’s miniatures but also into the process of a form such as miniature painting with its many layers of beauty, history, music and rasas — shringar (erotic) to hasya (amusement). In this film one sees a dialogical relationship between two art forms: the miniature paintings of Nainsukh and the cinema of Amit Dutta. Instead of illustrating the paintings, the film undergoes a radical transformation and almost becomes a metaphor for the paintings. His comparatively recent film The Unknown Craftsman is a search to understand how the episteme (shastra) of temple architecture was brought into play by the techne (shilp kaushal) of the craftsmen of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh when they designed and constructed the temple of Masroor. As Dutta says, “Now that all the tools are close at hand, can the filmmaker produce and distribute like a traditional craftsman?”
The salient feature of the cinema of exploration is that it always tries to find new ways of coming into being. The traditional term for this endless inventiveness is marg and such arts called margi. The range of experimentation in cinema such as Amit’s is wide. On one hand, he has made films like Kramasha, based on a portion of his novel, Kaljayi Kambakht, which he started writing when he was a student in Pune’s FTII. The film’s narrative moved in jerks and yet a certain kind of lucidity was achieved, so that the whole was experienced as a flowing tale of music, sounds and images. His film with the well-known modern urban painter Paramjeet Singh, Seventh Walk, is a meditative look into the relationship between a walk in nature and the movement of brush on canvas, the transformation of foliage into painted colours. The film has the most wonderful long shots which sensitise the viewer to the sounds and imagery of the dense flora and their subtle effect on the mind of Paramjeet Singh. It’s a long film, which unfolds slowly like the alaap of a Dhrupad.
It is no coincidence that the film’s music is given by the extremely talented veena player of the Dagar Gharana, Mohi Bahauddin Dagar. Says Dutta, “The focus is on mental attention and how the actors have to maintain their equilibrium to guide — or not guide — the attention of the viewer. For wide-angle close-ups, the minute gestures of the face should complement its distortion: how much should an eyebrow rise; what angle should the head slant; how to control the angle of the gaze.”
Dutta’s cinema has been received with tremendous curiosity and respect the world over. He has had retrospectives in Centre de Pompidous, Paris; Berkley Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California; Oberhousen Film Festival, LAC Museum in Lugano, Switzerland; IFFK Kerala; and elsewhere. He is a rare film-maker who has also written several books besides his novel: a book on cinema, Many Questions to Myself (published in Hindi as Khud se Kuchh Sawal), and a book on artist Jangarh Singh Shyam, Invisible Web. He has also made a film on Jangarh Singh Shyam, shot in the village where this Pardhan painter lived before he came to Bhopal and later committed suicide in Japan.
Dutta’s films seem to make palpable what French master filmmaker Robert Bresson wrote in his book Notes on the Cinematographer: ‘The omnipotence of rhythms. Nothing is durable but what is caught up in rhythms. Bend content to form and sense to rhythms.’
For more films from Dutta:
Kramasha short film: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hlyowrMY3qQ
We all have those films that send our hearts racing. For me it was the ending of Heat. [spoiler] When De Niro and Pacino are in the cat and mouse chase at the airport my heart was insanely fast and I noticed I started sweating. Now I know this sounds a bit extreme but when I first saw that movie it really had me going. I know a lot of other films similar to this give me some anxiety but for some reason I really enjoy watching them because of the feelings they can invoke. What are some films that have given you the worst anxiety?
A thought came to mind: Who is the most influential director / filmmaker of each decade? Who has left his mark on cinema, film history and movies today?
This is what I came up with:
Let me know what you think! Did I forget someone or am I horribly wrong at some points?
Personally, I care a great deal about henchmen in films. I don't much care for one dimensional sadistic henchmen and much more prefer films where the henchmen don't take any pleasure in what they have to do. So they are competent but they don't enjoy sadism and acts of violence.
A few films stand out to be in this regard.
1) Lethal Weapon 3. One gang leader Tyrone is noticeable repulsed by the way the main antagonist Travis kills one of his own underlings. The underling in question is suffocated in cement. Tyrone shows disgust at this violent murder.
2) Payback (1999) The protagonist (Mel Gibson) is being tortured as he has kidnapped the son of the main antagonist Bronson as is being interrogated for the whereabouts. One of the co criminal syndicate leaders Fairfax is brought back from holiday to assist in this torture. Fairfax is appalled by the whole experience, complaining that he wants to get back to swimming with dolphins and tries to persuade Gibson's character to give up the location of the kidnapped son and end the torture.
While this might have one think this is a case of good cop bad cop as Bronson by contrast loves to torture, you get the sense that Fairfax although enjoying the luxuries of his criminal lifestyle does not enjoy inflicting pain and sadism and prefers not to think about this side.
3) Reservoir Dogs. I personally like the moment where Mr White defines himself as a sociopath as opposed to Mr Blonde's psychopathy. So while, Mr White accepts that murder and violence is part of his occupation, he takes no pleasure in it and he resents the fact that he has to work with people who do enjoy this such as the sadist Mr Blonde.
4) In Bruges. There is quite a moving moment where one of the characters a hitman played by Brendan Gleeson reflects on his life of killing people and even though he says that many of those he killed where not very nice people, you can tell that he takes no pleasure in hurting others.
Any-other good movies where there are henchmen who while not good people, don't actually like their role of work (although they are not incompetent) and take no pleasure in sadism and murder.
Not sure what to make of the protagonist becoming a millionaire at the end of the movie. Murnau even uses the film's sole intertitle to introduce this part, as if to underline it was a fanciful invention. Was it a shot at other directors who chose to have a happy end?
Personally, I would have preferred the film to have a simple sad end in line with the rest of the movie.
I wonder if someone here can put this ending in more positive light. And if Murnau's trick made an impact on other films of its era.
So last night my local theater just wrapped up a week of Bergman films for his 100th birthday. All in all I saw all seven films: Hour of the Wolf, Persona, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Smiles on a Summer Night, Wild Strawberries and Cries and Whispers. Before this I had seen The Seventh Seal before and Winter's Light.
Overall I loved every single film. My favorite being Wild Strawberries. The dream sequences from that movie were just so well done. And I was surprised by movies like The Hour of the Wolf and Cries and Whispers! Bergman's portraiture is just amazing. I was wondering what everyone's opinion on Bergman is? Does anyone have favorite films of his that I listed or did not? Why are these your favorites? What are some good recommendations for other films by him? His catalogue is so big I don't quite know where to start.
Stanley Kubrick is most famous for his epics, but before he was sending men into outer-space he was sending them to early graves in his 1954 noir hit The Killing. Clocking in at a brisk 84 minutes, The Killing‘s brevity is notable not just for its contrast against Kubrick’s later works, but for its ruthless efficiency in setting up and executing a clockwork heist scenario where each piece is precisely distributed among its ensemble cast. Kubrick manages to do more in under an hour and a half than most crime flicks can hope to convey in two, its pace measured and metered by the repetition of race track footage that marks the time in each of the film’s non-linear strands.
Kubrick doesn’t get all of the credit for the merits of the film’s pacing, as he was working from a sharp script from crime novel veteran Jim Thompson (adapting a screenplay from the novel Clean Break by Lionel White). From the moment the film opens, the horse track heist is already in progress. The Killing jumps back and forth in time, following each of the crooks as they carry out their part of the heist and imbuing each with a strong sense of personality. The ever-stalwart Sterling Hayden plays the unflappable leader of the crew, Johnny, and the characters only get more colorful from there.
Most memorable of the cast is Elisha Cook Jr., ever diminutive as the cuckolded and impotent husband, George, and Marie Windsor as his serpentine wife Sherry. Windsor’s scenes get the lion’s share of Thompson’s most playful and hard-boiled dialogue. Hayden memorably snarls at her: “You’ve got a great big dollar sign where most women have a heart.” Besides being an excellent deliverer, and receiver, of Thompson’s lines, Sherry is the fulcrum the whole meticulous operation begins to tremble under; best-laid plans and all that.
Despite not being as flashy or involved as some later heist films, there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be gleaned from the no-nonsense professionalism of (most of) the players in the heist, their colorful personalities disappearing once it comes time for the job they’ve been working towards. Similarly, there’s a restrained professionalism to the work behind the camera as well, as Kubrick and cinematographer Lucien Ballard lens the film with beautifully uncomplicated setups –the only ostentatious flourishes being a couple of long dolly shots tracking a character as household items flash by in the foreground– and the editing is precise and unsparing.
Watching things inevitably fall apart is nearly as satisfying as watching a good plan coming together, as the pettiest of human malice and the cruelty of random chance threaten the foundations of even the most herculean and stolidly executed efforts. There is an undercurrent of nastiness to the film by the time it ends in an abrupt show of futility as if Kubrick is having a laugh at the expense of the ants under his microscope. Sherry said it best: “It isn’t fair… just a bad joke without a punchline.”
I know a lot has been said about this film, and I am largely in agreement with everyone who has expressed that this is an admirable failure of an adaptation: a restless, messy, wonky and dumbed down echo of a masterpiece. The script is faithful to the novel's narrative structure yet time and again chooses to 'dumb down' a lot of Fitzgerald's imagery to make it more accessible. The anachronistic music is hit and miss, and the VFX are at times garish and distracting. The casting, though, is perfect - at least visually - and the cinematography is gorgeous, with bold colours and visually dense compositions.
So in static this film works well. Pause it anywhere and it looks like it does its source material full justice. In fact, I half-believe this film may have been more effective being delivered as a Powerpoint presentation rather than motion picture.
In motion, the film falls apart. This is for various reasons but the one I'd like to discuss is the editing. The film uses continuity editing techniques, but the editing frequently draws attention to itself in ways that I don't think were intended. The editor is utterly restless: average shot length must be very short, and shot reverse shot is used throughout in a similarly frenetic way. The first scene that I felt the editor actually allowed the actors the space to do their job was 1 and a half hours into the film - the Plaza Hotel scene. Before that point, I never felt like the editor trusted the actors to give a performance the audience could focus their attention on.
The obvious response to what I've just said is to point out that the energy of the editing clearly reflects the breathless hedonism of the Roaring Twenties. Well, yes, in theory that would make sense. And I think it's more successful in the scenes about that hedonism: Myrtle's party, Gatsby's party, etc. But the frenzied editing remains for the places which should be more reflective and (at times) awkward: Tom's dinner party at the start, the lunch with Wolfsheim, the reunion between Gatsby and Daisy. It shouldn't, in my view, be cranked up to 11 the entire time. Everything else is cranked up to 11 - costumes, music, etc. so the editing is the thing that needs to ease up a little to allow these other elements to take full effect.
The film is a colourful headache to watch, but an excellent screenshot generator as illustration of Fitzgerald's masterpiece. Do you agree?
Hey, guys. I recently saw The Florida Project, and I was quite moved by Willem Dafoe's performance.
Apart from that, I also felt that he had the perfect face for the role. When it comes to casting in films, I have always felt that it is very important that the actor has the right face for the role. Because sometimes, just the face speaks a lot about the character. (especially in non-verbal close-up shots)
And Dafoe has a really compassionate face, which worked well in this movie. But seen in a different light, it seems, he also has the right face for a villain (most notably, old spiderman movie).
This duality is extremely fascinating. I have tried to compile my thoughts in this video. Maybe with the help of images it'll be more clear. Do let me know what you guys feel about faces in general.
I've been sort of on a movie kick recently and been trying to watch all the lauded movies I haven't seen yet. I'd always heard Heat was a great crime movie. Through the first half hour I was entertained but dissapointed that the movie didnt seem to have a point it was making. Almost every character was an unthoughtful portrayal of the whitest malest machismo humanly possible. But it was fun.
Then, I watched as the characters of 55y/o Al Pacino and 14y/o Natalie Portman hooked up, and I almost threw up on the spot. I dont care how complicated her storyline or complex her character became in the movie, its creepy to cast someone underage for that part. This was the year after The Professional. There's no way the performance of this 10thish billed actress was so crucial they needed portman.
How did any of you that have seen it keep watching after that point?
While the crux of Graduation involves the moral quandaries and conflicts faced by a middle aged man, Mungui's film probes deeper into the nature of corruption and privilege. Romeo, a man whose perceived honesty is challenged by an inopportune assault on his daughter, is intricately fleshed out by Mungui. While Romeo's major source of conflict is about gaming the system to boost his daughter's grades, Mungui takes care to show the little, yet not readily apparent acts of corruption Romeo is complicit in unknowingly. Whether it is expediting his daughter's assault case or using the influence of his mistress to allow his daughter to write the examination, Romeo has certainly benefited from his reputation and connections, something which the less fortunate, including his mistress don't have access to. While emphasizing on the frailty of the existing system and the ludicrousness of certain laws, Mungui subtly believes that corruption is inevitable in a corrupt society, regardless of a person's supposed honesty.
Sorry for the dumb question but I've never been able to figure this out. How do people analyze films or certain parts of films? I can barely form my own opinion on the film after I'm done watching one and I usually go with someone else's. For example, if someone I like likes it, I like it too. But then if someone else starts to point out things about the film that didn't work, I tend to change my opinion, and then I feel really bad afterwards for not having noticed those flaws (Since I want to be a "cinephile"). Is there any way I can learn to analyze films and tell what elements of the film work and what don't (Basically form my own "informed" opinion on them)? Maybe any books or essays I can read, or films I can watch? Again, sorry for being so informal and thanks.
I went in to the movie expecting it to be a tear jerker but came put disappointed. Me being a high schooler going into his senior year and having a father made me expect that I would get emotional. And while I felt that they did a good job of the father daughter relationship (I could see much of my father in Nick Offermen) it didn't seem like they developed that aspect enough. I couldn't tell his fault it was the actors or the writers. The daughter (who's name escapes me) did a good job acting but with Offerman I could read his face when he was anything but happy, all his emotions look the same after that. And with the writer it seemed like maybe they tried to do too much giving both our main characters romantic relationships and then trying to tell other narratives at the same time. As while I have these critiques I can't think of a way to fix. So, if you've seen the movie I'd love to know if your felt the same or any other thoughts about the movie.
Recently I’ve been getting more into film and I’ve been wanting to go back and watch some of the more classic ones. Only problem is I don’t really know where to watch them as they’re not on many streaming services like Netflix. Just wondering where you all go to watch older/more obscure films. I used to go on sites like putlocker but I hate using them because they just never run smoothly for me and it’s just a pain. And tbh I don’t even know how to pirate movies. Does anyone here still buy dvds? I was thinking about just trying to physical copies of the movies but it’s also kind of inconvenient. Anyways if anyone has any tips on where to watch some good movies besides on Netflix, I’d really appreciate it. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask or if this has been asked before
I watched Ingmar Bergman's "Winter Light" recently, and really loved it. I won't claim to have understood it, but to me, it was just a really bleak, raw, and painfully human film about people being let down by god, and in turn, letting down those around them. It felt like a very lonely film, with beautiful visuals that made me think of old oil paintings and Ansel Adams photographs. So anyway, cutting to the chase, I was trying to read some commentary on it today since I kinda assume that I miss a lot in films, and I found this weird article that calls "Winter Light" one of "cinema's greatest comedies." I honestly thought he must've been talking about another movie, until I kept reading and saw him reference specific scenes, like Marta's incredibly raw and sad letter and Ericsson's cruel and apathetic rejection of her, as comic and hilarious.
Here is the review:
What do you guys think? I'm open to the fact that I might've misread the tone of the film, but it just seems so unlikely. I watched the Seventh Seal, and that one had definite funny moments in it, despite also being somewhat serious in its discussion of meaning and the human experience. This one just really seemed to be dark and sad and a little grim. It had a few moments that were funny, like the organist packing up his sheets and checking his watch because he's anxious to leave, but that seemed less a joke, and more just the qualities of a character that's presented as being down to earth and unconcerned with the lofty obsessions of the people around him. Curious what you all think!