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Author Topic: There are films. And then there are films.  (Read 8453 times)
finkleshnorts
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September 18, 2012, 05:01:21 AM
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Underrated movies?

I'd vote for Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The brooding revisionist western features Casey Affleck at his finest, and Brad Pitt damn near his.  Also a young Jeremy Renner of pre-Hurt Locker fame. Sam Shepard steals several scenes as Frank James.

Though often criticized for its deliberately slow pace and overall length, it is really less a film than a poem, and should be considered as such. Many have compared the opus to Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller, though I have yet to see it. The cinematography in TAOJJBTCRF is sweet and eerie; any given still deserves to be framed in a log cabin somewhere. The characters are generally cold and despicable, which brings the visuals to the center of the emotional stage. Nick Cave's score couldn't be any more fitting. The old-timey dialogue is also an authentic treat for anyone who's lived in the southern United States.

My one small complaint about about the film it that the final act (featuring a peculiarly small role from Zooey Deschanel) belabors it's point for about 20 minutes too long. It's all very rewarding in every sense except narratively. The credits just don't start rolling when you expect them to. And at a 160 minute runtime, it is a bit unfair to the viewers.
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September 18, 2012, 05:16:22 AM
 #22

The cinematography in TAOJJBTCRF is sweet and eerie; any given still deserves to be framed in a log cabin somewhere.

There is a saying: "Every frame a masterpiece". Or sometimes, "Every frame a Rembrandt". Roger Deakins did the cinematography for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He also did the cinematography for another western that I love dearly: True Grit (The Coen Brothers).

Speaking of every frame being a Rembrandt, has anyone seen Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska? Great film. And I was mesmerized by the atmospheric lighting, which looked just like a Rembrandt painting.

Look at these Rembrandt paintings: http://www.russianpaintings.net/doc.vphp?id=753

And then look at these scenes from Jane Eyre (especially from the 0:50 mark to the 1:00 mark). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8PLpXvhtlc

The youtube video does not do it justice. The actual film, during those scenes, are indeed very Rembrandt like.
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September 18, 2012, 05:22:24 AM
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The cinematography in TAOJJBTCRF is sweet and eerie; any given still deserves to be framed in a log cabin somewhere.

There is a saying: "Every frame a masterpiece". Or sometimes, "Every frame a Rembrandt". Roger Deakins did the cinematography for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He also did the cinematography for another western that I love dearly: True Grit (The Coen Brothers).

Speaking of every frame being a Rembrandt, has anyone seen Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska? Great film. And I was mesmerized by the atmospheric lighting, which looked just like a Rembrandt painting.

Look at these Rembrandt paintings: http://www.russianpaintings.net/doc.vphp?id=753

And then look at these scenes from Jane Eyre (especially from the 0:50 mark to the 1:00 mark). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8PLpXvhtlc

The youtube video does not do it justice. The actual film, during those scenes, are indeed very Rembrandt like.

I didn't know Deakins did True Grit too, but I do really like that movie. His work in TAOJJBTCRF earned him an Oscar nomination, or was it a win? ( Either way, Oscars have become a joke in recent years. In my opinion). He went a little nuts with that blurry vignette effect (that he went ahead and named the Deakins effect, I think  Roll Eyes), but I still liked it.

Haven't seen Jane Eyre, I'll have to add it to my list.
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September 18, 2012, 05:25:03 AM
 #24

By the way...

I really like noir, and the Pale Flower trailer (pg 1 of this thread) was just mouthwathering.
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September 18, 2012, 05:57:51 AM
 #25

By the way...

I really like noir, and the Pale Flowers trailer (pg 1 of this thread) was just mouthwathering.

It's Pale Flower (not Pale Flowers). Anyway, I just love that movie. The Criterion Blu-ray is outstanding. The blacks are so black, and it is completely devoid of grain or artifacts. It's very clean. Of course, that doesn't even address the story, or the actors. It's just an awesome film. As an aside, there's one scene in the opening credits that is just on fire, but you'd never notice except for repeated viewings. Mariko Kaga's face appears in the shot, taking up a very small part of the screen real estate, but once you notice it, it's just intense.

And the Pale Flower trailer, for those who missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOOr4nuWFqU

Speaking of Mariko Kaga, I was so entranced with her in Pale Flower that I went searching for other films that she's been in. I have at least one, even before I bought Pale Flower, that being Pleasures of the Flesh: http://www.criterion.com/films/23954-pleasures-of-the-flesh

But Only on Mondays directed by Ko Nakahira is the one that has captured my attention. Mariko Kaga is just so cute. I know very little about the film. It's another film from the Japanese New Wave. It hasn't yet received the Criterion treatment like Ko Nakahira's Crazed Fruit, but it looks interesting. Although the first part of the trailer makes the film look as though it might be some Japanese version of an Annette Funicello beach party film, if you stick with the trailer, it becomes clear it has a darker side. Also, as is typical of Japanese trailers from the era, it shows some nudity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvW3BaStfh4&feature=related
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September 18, 2012, 07:31:19 PM
 #26

I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please respond.

Also, I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey properly. Properly means in the original 2.35:1 aspect ration in high resolution, either HD or in a theater with 70mm projection.

Properly also means from the first minute until the credits roll, uncut, including the creepy 2 minute intro that comes before the MGM Lion. This is the title scene after the lion (turn the volume up!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4
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September 19, 2012, 03:14:51 AM
 #27

I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please respond.

Also, I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey properly. Properly means in the original 2.35:1 aspect ration in high resolution, either HD or in a theater with 70mm projection.

Properly also means from the first minute until the credits roll, uncut, including the creepy 2 minute intro that comes before the MGM Lion. This is the title scene after the lion (turn the volume up!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4

After reading this, I popped it in for yet another viewing. I just finished the creepy black overture, and I'm already getting goosebumps. It's one of my favorite movies. Utterly timeless. It's amazing how pretty much everything in this movie has stood the test of time. Even the special effects look impressive to me. I'm watching it in the letterbox ratio on an HD TV, but only on DVD.

It was the movie that legitimized the sci-fi genre. And no other sci-fi film has come close to greatness of this masterpiece.

Malick's The Tree of Life doesn't hold a candle to this movie either. It's still very good, but I pity those who've only seen The Tree of Life. (I brought it up because it's impossible to talk about The Tree of Life without mentioning 2001, but many of my friends have only seen the former. It's frustrating).

Does anyone have a specific interpretation of the film's ending? Mine changes every time I watch it.

Which reminds me, I need to watch Inland Empire again. That was a real whatthefucker for me.
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September 19, 2012, 03:30:41 AM
 #28

I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please respond.

Also, I'd like to know if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey properly. Properly means in the original 2.35:1 aspect ration in high resolution, either HD or in a theater with 70mm projection.

Properly also means from the first minute until the credits roll, uncut, including the creepy 2 minute intro that comes before the MGM Lion. This is the title scene after the lion (turn the volume up!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4

After reading this, I popped it in for yet another viewing. I just finished the creepy black overture, and I'm already getting goosebumps. It's one of my favorite movies. Utterly timeless. It's amazing how pretty much everything in this movie has stood the test of time. Even the special effects look impressive to me. I'm watching it in the letterbox ratio on an HD TV, but only on DVD.

It was the movie that legitimized the sci-fi genre. And no other sci-fi film has come close to greatness of this masterpiece.

Malick's The Tree of Life doesn't hold a candle to this movie either. It's still very good, but I pity those who've only seen The Tree of Life. (I brought it up because it's impossible to talk about The Tree of Life without mentioning 2001, but many of my friends have only seen the former. It's frustrating).

Does anyone have a specific interpretation of the film's ending? Mine changes every time I watch it.

Which reminds me, I need to watch Inland Empire again. That was a real whatthefucker for me.

These might as well have been my words. You are so spot on. You hit a lot of the points I was going to mention.

- Utterly timeless
- It's an alternate 2001 that could have been, for real.
- The attention to detail is stupendous. The Pan Am space plane is based on research for a space plane.
- No other science fiction film comes close, for many reasons.
- Tree of Life is often compared, for obvious reasons. And in fact, Douglas Trumbull worked on both films.
- There's a whole younger generation that has not experienced this movie.
- It is indeed the ultimate trip, and the opening title sequence seems to indicate that you are indeed going to go on the ultimate trip.

As far as an interpretation goes, I'm always game for it, but I don't want to provide spoilers. I love discussing those scenes, but how can you without spoiling it for others?

Here are three famous clips that I don't think are spoilers. Please turn the volume up! Imagine it's 1968, and you've just sat down in the theater, and you've never, in your life, seen anything like this.

The opening titles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4

The discovery of tools: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd3-1tcOthg&feature=fvwrel

The Blue Danube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpvOUnz4T7Q
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September 19, 2012, 03:44:11 AM
 #29

There are some movies I can watch once and be satisfied that I did not entirely waste my time. There there are movies that steal away my life even if I watch them several times. It takes a conscious effort to avoid being caught up in the rhythm of the story's heartbeat.

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September 19, 2012, 03:44:53 AM
 #30

It brings a smile to my face imagining watching this film in 1968. I mean, all of these images are so ordinary for us--even cliche--but can you imagine being 13 in 1968 and watching the future unfold on screen? The prescience is astounding.

I'm going to shut my netbook so I can just soak this movie in. It's SO good. It just demands everyone's full attention. In fact, I feel guilty browsing bitcointalk while this is playing right in front of me.
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September 19, 2012, 04:10:08 AM
 #31

There are some movies I can watch once and be satisfied that I did not entirely waste my time. There there are movies that steal away my life even if I watch them several times. It takes a conscious effort to avoid being caught up in the rhythm of the story's heartbeat.

I used to never really spend much time watching movies over and over. But now I do. I just love getting lost in the movie's world, and the characters. Their lives are lived over and over in a sort of limbo state. These days, there always seems to be a certain movie in my collection that is my "go to" movie to bring up when I can't choose what to watch.
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September 19, 2012, 04:26:28 AM
 #32

It brings a smile to my face imagining watching this film in 1968. I mean, all of these images are so ordinary for us--even cliche--but can you imagine being 13 in 1968 and watching the future unfold on screen? The prescience is astounding.

I'm going to shut my netbook so I can just soak this movie in. It's SO good. It just demands everyone's full attention. In fact, I feel guilty browsing bitcointalk while this is playing right in front of me.

Kubrick acknowledged that he would never explain the movie. And that's the way it should be. Films are far more powerful when they are open to interpretation.

Sight & Sound's every ten years poll (one for critics and one for directors) puts 2001: A Space Odyssey as the 6th greatest film ever made as reviewed by critics. Directors put it as the 2nd greatest film ever made. Directors put Tokyo Story as the greatest film ever made.

Regarding the floating pen scene in 2001, it's clever the way the effect was achieved, if you're interested.

As for the theme of alien contact within film, I don't think any film has ever done it as well as 2001.

Regarding my mention of Tokyo Story: I haven't seen it yet, but I very recently watched Ozu's Late Spring, which I dearly loved, as most people do who have seen the film. In fact, Late Spring appeared at number 15 on the poll. Interestingly, Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love appeared at number 24, and was only one of two films from the 21st century to make the list. Wong Kar-Wai's other films have been mentioned earlier in this thread and other threads, including 2046 and Chungking Express.

Sight & Sound's notes on Tokyo Story and its director, Ozu Yasujirô: http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/ozu-yasujiro-master-time

Extra tidbit of info: the article linked above mentions that Masahiro Shinoda worked as assistant to Ozu prior to directing his own films. Masahiro Shinoda went on to direct Pale Flower, among others.
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September 19, 2012, 05:23:19 AM
 #33

I mentioned my discovery of Only on Mondays, directed by Kô Nakahira (of Crazed Fruit fame) a few posts back, because I was looking for other films from the Japanese New Wave starring Mariko Kaga, who is in Pale Flower. So anyway, I found this, which is the opening credits to Only on Mondays. Such classic sexy sixties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tqW0Ota95Y&feature=related

It starts silent, then the music kicks in.
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September 19, 2012, 07:06:33 AM
 #34

Here's a short two minute clip from Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love that Criterion put out in anticipation of the October 2nd Blu-ray release. So mesmerizing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ypY9OaKCfRU
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September 19, 2012, 08:52:18 AM
 #35

Space Odyssey

First saw it when I was 10, didn't understood a thing and didn't really like it (except the monkey part).

Again at maybe 18, totally disappointed, what he heck is this...where is my beer.

At 20 intrigued, forgot about the beer (so many questions) but pissed because Pink Floyd soundtrack never made it in.

Maybe 25, fascinated and overwhelmed, how could they make a film like this back then? Perfect and timeless..thank God Pink Floyd soundtrack never made it in.

To this day I still don't know how to interpret the second half. Of course I read the book, but that's just Clarke interpretation.

A masterpiece, the kind of film you can't do anything but watch, popcorns are out of the question, you barely breath while watching it and everything else totally fades around you and the screen.
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September 19, 2012, 06:33:01 PM
 #36

So, the following films have received discussion so far, or at least brief mention:

- Hunger
- Pale Flower
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- 2046
- In the Mood for Love
- Chungking Express
- Oldboy
- Woman in the Dunes
- The Face of Another
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(David Fincher)
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Jane Eyre
- True Grit
(Coen Brothers)
- Yuka on Mondays (Only on Mondays)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Inland Empire
- Tokyo Story
- Late Spring


I suspect some of the titles below might get discussed here soon enough. I've either seen them, or they're going to be watched very soon, or they're definitely on my list of films to watch. Some are very mainstream. Everyone should add their own film titles. So, in no particular order...

- Never Let Me Go
- No Country for Old Men
- Three Colors: Blue
- Three Colors: White
- Three Colors: Red
- Secret Sunshine
- Let Me In
- Branded to Kill
- Japanese Summer: Double Suicide
- Mystery Train
- Pigs and Battleships
- The Insect Woman
- Intentions of Murder
- The Makioka Sisters
- Sunshine
- Poetry
- Empire of Passion
- The Spirit of the Beehive
- Lost in Translation
- A Dangerous Method
- World on a Wire
- Paris, Texas
- The Innkeepers
- Layer Cake
- Lust, Caution
- Raise the Red Lantern
- Eros Plus Massacre
- The Darjeeling Limited
- Black Swan
- Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
- X-Men: First Class
- Inglourious Basterds
- Watchmen
- Stalker
- The Mirror
- Ivan's Childhood
- With Beauty and Sadness
- Manji
- A Night to Remember
- The Road
- Winter's Bone
- Pride & Prejudice
- The Prestige
- The Ninth Gate
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being
- Days of Being Wild
- Fallen Angels
- Ashes of Time Redux
- Hara Kiri
- Capricious Summer
- Kuroneko
- Yi Yi
- Still Walking
- Bottle Rocket
- Hugo
- Fargo
- The Jacket
- An Education
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Chinatown
- Yojimbo
- Farewell my Concubine
- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
- Remorques
- Rashomon
- Insignificance
- Army of Shadows
- Osaka Elegy
- Sisters of the Gion
- Women of the Night
- Street of Shame
- When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
- Jigoku
- I am Waiting
- Rusty Knife
- Take Aim at the Police Van
- Cruel Gun Story
- A Colt is my Passport
- Tokyo Drifter
- Belle du Jour
- The Scent of Green Papaya
- Cyclo
- The Vertical Ray of the Sun
- High and Low
- Vengeance is Mine
- Revanche
- Vampyr
- Daybreakers
- The Only Son
- There Was a Father
- Good Morning
- An Autumn Afternoon
- Floating Weeds
- Early Summer
- Early Spring
- Tokyo Twilight
- Equinox Flower
- Late Autumn
- The End of Summer
- Dodes'ka-den
- Wise Blood
- The Leopard
- Senso
- For All Mankind
- Twenty-four Eyes
- Salo
- Ikiru
- The Thin Red Line
- Double Suicide
- Intimidation
- The Warped Ones
- I Hate But Love
- Black Sun
- Thirst for Love
- House
- Au Revoir les Enfants
- Ugetsu
- The Human Condition
- Gate of Flesh
- Onibaba
- Kwaidan
- Taxi Driver
- Goodfellas
- Battle Royale
- The Hunger Games
- Memento
- The Incredibles
- Horton Hears a Who
- Spirited Away
- The Man Without a Map


And others...  
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September 21, 2012, 04:28:50 AM
 #37

I want to see Poetry, and I've already seen Secret Sunshine, both Korean films directed by Lee Chang-dong. Poetry is reputedly even better than Secret Sunshine. But I can tell you, Secret Sunshine was really good.

Secret Sunshine trailer: http://www.criterion.com/films/27750-secret-sunshine

Poetry trailer: http://mubi.com/films/poetry
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September 22, 2012, 03:43:41 AM
 #38

- No Country for Old Men
- Inglourious Basterds
- The Road
- Winter's Bone
- The Prestige
- Fargo
- An Education
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Chinatown
- Yojimbo
- Taxi Driver
- Goodfellas
- Memento
- The Incredibles


Wow. These are the only ones I have seen. I love all of them except for The Presige... I it's Nolan's weakest work in my opinion. Actually, I wasn't crazy about The Incredibles either.

Eternal Sunshine has a lot of amazing, memorable, dreamy scenes that I will never forget. But it also had some scenes that I felt were out of place. And the subplot about the program employees was absolute shit. Nearly ruined the movie for me.

Memento is admittedly gimmicky. Pearce, nor whats-her-face, are not great here. The movie is redeemed by the expertly crafted mood that is set. I also love the last few lines of the film which pack a not-so-subtle postmodernist punch.

The Road is so true to the book. It portrayed everything exactly as I pictured it when I read the book. So kudos there.

Winter's Bone. Man, is that close to home. Many people refer to my county as the meth capital of the world. That kind of living is just a short drive away.

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September 22, 2012, 04:51:08 AM
 #39

- Hunger
- Pale Flower
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- 2046
- Chungking Express
- Woman in the Dunes
- The Face of Another
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(David Fincher)
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Jane Eyre
- True Grit
(Coen Brothers)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Late Spring
- Never Let Me Go
- No Country for Old Men
- Three Colors: Blue
- Three Colors: White
- Three Colors: Red
- Secret Sunshine
- Let Me In
- Branded to Kill
- Mystery Train
- The Makioka Sisters
- Sunshine
- Lost in Translation
- A Dangerous Method
- The Innkeepers
- Layer Cake
- The Darjeeling Limited
- Black Swan
- X-Men: First Class
- Inglourious Basterds
- Watchmen
- Stalker
- The Road
- Winter's Bone
- Pride & Prejudice
- The Prestige
- The Ninth Gate
- Bottle Rocket
- Hugo
- Fargo
- The Jacket
- An Education
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Tokyo Drifter
- High and Low
- Daybreakers
- The Thin Red Line
- Battle Royale
- The Hunger Games
- Memento
- The Incredibles
- Horton Hears a Who

Honest bob,

The above are the ones I've seen. The others are on my list. Also, certainly I've seen plenty more films than on the list. Mostly, the list, including the films I haven't seen, are recently viewed films, and films that have hit my radar recently. Many are great films, some are just lesser known films (either arthouse, foreign, or both). And I should add more to the list.

Regarding the ones you commented on:

I liked The Prestige. I'm not ready to watch it a third (or is it a fourth?) time any time soon though.

I love The Incredibles. I think it's Pixar's most entertaining film. Mostly, I liked the suburban scenes better than the island scenes.

Eternal Sunshine takes a few viewings. A truly great film? I don't know. It's just a thinking person's movie is all, I guess.

Memento is like Eternal Sunshine. It challenges the mind.

The Road is absolutely depressing. But emotionally moving, well shot, and well acted.

Winter's Bone I have watched twice. I'm a fan of Jennifer Lawrence. Loved her in X-Men: First Class, along with Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Hunger Games as well.

Did you like An Education? I'm a big fan of Carey Mulligan. She's really hit it big recently. She'll be in The Great Gatsby and the Coen Brothers latest film as well. I also loved her performance in Never Let Me Go.
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September 22, 2012, 10:34:54 PM
 #40

I haven't seen The Mirror yet. As is typical though, it has Andrei Tarkovskey's amazing cinematography. Notice in the film clip the shot where the children get up from the table and the bottle falls. The thing to notice in the shot is the camera work and composition after that, as the camera moves through the scene. Consider, given the content of the scene, how may opportunities they got to retake that shot.

The Mirror: http://mubi.com/films/the-mirror

Tarkovskey probably ranks as Russia's greatest film director. As an aside, I find it interesting that the site linked to above which hosts the clip from The Mirror and just about every other film made explains that the site was actually developed due to inspiration from Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love.
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