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 Maiden's Voyage 
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Oh, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was fun! It's a little strange to have things spelled out like this in a Lynch film. Not that there aren't plenty of mysteries left ("You stole the corn!"), but still. I was pleasantly surprised by how clearly I remember the series, since I last saw it on network TV (you heard me). But it feels so familiar, like part of me – it obviously lives in my head. And, yes Bowie's bit is worth the price of admission, so to speak. That accent, and he's... on fire in that scene, haha. I can't understand why his part was cut!

Bowie points (out of 10): ★★★★★★

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Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:29 am
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was this the fanedit?!?!?!


Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:38 am
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No, I wish! But I watched Fire Walk with Me back-to-back with the 90-minute Missing Pieces video. I posted pics from both because it's all run together in my mind now.

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Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:47 am
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yeah that way worked fine for me when they were released

but im gonna watch the fanedit soon, i can feel it...


Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:56 am
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It's been a looong time since I saw The Hunger. I didn't remember it being so blue, and aren't those John Woo's pigeons? :P
I recently compared it to Ganja & Hess, and that still seems apt. Both make blood into art and really sell the idea of disease. While G&H probes deeper into psyche and myth, this one manages to be strangely satisfying anyway. Bowie's underused, though; they couldn't wait to put him in a box and undress Susan Sarandon! He should have at least done a song for the soundtrack. Guess they thought Bauhaus was close enough, haha.

Bowie points (out of 10): ★★★

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Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:21 am
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Haha, Il mio West is oddly like an old, made-for-TV Disney movie (The Apple Dumpling Gang, say) with a PG smattering of rape and murder tossed in. Narrated by a cute seven-year-old (has this ever been a good idea?), it's a "heart-warming tale" of family ties, good vs. evil, and aw-shucks humor. It's unwatchable unless you're ten, and I wouldn't recommend it even then.

Bowie points (out of 10): ★½

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:46 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Lost River

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    Huh. I knew going in that Lost River was critically panned, I may've even read about the booing at Cannes – but nothing prepared me for the ridiculous piling on I found when I read the reviews. Good thing I watched it first! The critics all say "Lynch, Winding Refn, blah blah blah," but my thoughts were more like: George Washington, Sucker Punch, Suspiria, Enemy... then back to David Gordon Green. Obviously Harmony Korine's in there, too. But that's a pretty good bunch of references, and the dream-like fairy-tale genre can accommodate endless re-combinations. (That's its mythic bedrock, no?) Detroit's empty urban ruins (underwater mortgages, underwater towns) are an enchanted forest worthy of Tsai Ming-liang, and small moments of eccentricity and kindness ground the weird subplots in believable humanity. Of course, there's credit to share. Ben Mendelsohn is great as a darkly comic, genuinely creepy loan officer/villain. And, lately, this and Vinyan have made me a certified Benoît Debie fan. He's the king of night colors:

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Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:25 am
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YES!

My blog is temporarily offline but here's what I said:

It's the daring mess that Only God Forgives was too chickenshit to be, the cornea-heroin American nightmare Blueberry Nights was too inept to be, and the morose elegy to Detroit and coming-of-angst that It Follows is too poseur to be (which isn't hard to do), but most importantly it picks up and reignites the torch that David Gordon Green cauterized his talent on while deathgripping it during All the Real Girls.

And I don't think there's a higher compliment one can pay a movie from the past five years than to say it used Ben Mendelsohn in a palatable way.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:21 am
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wigwam wrote:
the cornea-heroin American nightmare Blueberry Nights was too inept to be
Never would have thought of this, but it works...

Quote:
but most importantly it picks up and reignites the torch that David Gordon Green cauterized his talent on while deathgripping it during All the Real Girls
and hahaha. We're so in sync here!

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:42 am
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No one disagrees with me (and wig) about Lost River?

Come on! In just the last two pages, I've

    ▪ dissed Gravity's Rainbow;
    ▪ rated Tokyo Tribe over Chi-Raq;
    ▪ compared David Hemmings to Emir Kusturica; and
    ▪ applauded Lost River.

No one wants to ridicule and/or educate me? Discuss!

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:58 am
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Lost River looks hot.

They'll boo anything at Cannes. Is that festival attended by mindless zombies or something?


Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:58 am
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Haha.

Guess I'd get more discussion if I broke my rule and posted about the movies I hate. But then you'd lose all respect for me.

Speaking of which...

Beau, tell me why the end of Norte, the End of History isn't nihilistic nonsense. Yeah, I'm serious.

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Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:18 am
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Haha. I guess that, given the historic and social factors that determine how and where those characters live, and what kind of public transportation they have access to, the nihilistic conclusion isn't that surprising. I didn't have a problem with the ending, but it's certainly a "manipulative," political point. The one character who can do whatever he wants, sort of, is a bourgeois, sociopathic monster whose illusions of grandeur rise to heights his Dostoyevskian model never even dreamed of, and who has in his legal hands the future of the poorer man whose life he ruined.


Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:33 am
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To simplify, I guess you can say the cards are just "stacked against" these all-too vulnerable people. It's not the subtlest point, of course, and how much you accept it depends on your political and philosophical outlook. But it's certainly of a piece with the rest of the movie.


Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:39 am
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Much more spoilery spoiler:
Yeah, I get that it's super cynical about the situation in the Philippines, and I can sort of see the bus thing (though it's Lars-von-Trier-level audience hating. But having the Raskolnikov character play with the idea of guilt and confession but instead go on to kill his dog and rape his sister?!? It makes Twentynine Palms look like a model of light and logic.
Say, it feels good to get that off my chest. Maybe I should change the rule...

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Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:50 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Much more spoilery spoiler:
Yeah, I get that it's super cynical about the situation in the Philippines, and I can sort of see the bus thing (though it's Lars-von-Trier-level audience hating. But having the Raskolnikov character play with guilt and the idea of confessing but instead kill his dog and rape his sister?!? It makes Twentynine Palms look like a model of light and logic.
Say, it feels good to get that off my chest. Maybe I should change the rule...


Well, I really liked Twentynine Palms, although that ending devastated me to the core. It depresses me to this day. I suppose it all depends on how much you can stomach fictional machinations clearly designed to piss you off. But I think that, also, underneath them, there's a cruel and frankly uncomfortable admission that the universe is chaotic and inhuman. And that's what I respond to with nodding - if pained - approval.


Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:57 am
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Beau wrote:
It depresses me to this day.
Aw. :(

Yeah, I think my reaction to this kind of thing is defensive; I get angry so I don't get sad. And I'm willing to surrender myself just so far, then nope. This is revealing more about me than the films, I guess.

Same time next week, Doctor? :)

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Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:21 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Horse Money

Pedro Costa's Horse Money is so good! Like Colossal Youth in its nearly abstract visual poetry of memory and personal dignity, this one is darker and richer, with broader concerns of history and guilt, both national and personal. There's so much resonance in this, as Costa buries Ventura in a strange, timeless space, a prison/hospital/purgatory where the regret is so piercing it sent shivers down my spine. One thing I've not seen mentioned elsewhere – it looks different (less painterly) than his other films, though it's striking, for sure. In my memory, Colossal Youth is white, the color of sun-bright new construction, while this one is all nighttime shadow and the pitch black of underground. I suppose abandoned buildings and ill-lit corridors don't lend themselves to Vermeer-like lighting, although that brilliant and beautiful elevator scene makes up for a lot in that regard.

Though not needed for understanding (I wrote the above before I read it), there's some excellent background material in this interview with Pedro Costa. Highly recommended!

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:45 am
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Well, I've finally seen The Last Temptation of Christ. It's a bit of a mess, with some stand-out choices (Willem Dafoe, the music) that almost save it. I really liked the stylization in the desert scene I capped. Dafoe's at his intense best in these more theatrical situations and the writing feels less strained. Bowie's a good Pilate, but he's not given much to work with – no inner struggle, no philosophical musing. Think I'll rewatch Labyrinth next, for a more proper finish to this project.

Bowie points (out of 10): ★★

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:33 pm
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Now Labyrinth is the whole Bowie package (haha)! Singing, dancing, hamming it up with Muppets – it's definitely the perfect role for him. I'd seen this before, but forgotten how solid the story is, how cute Jennifer Connolly is, and (let's be honest) how tantalizing Bowie's Goblin King is. Plus, I love the visual homage paid to Sendak and Escher, and the design in general. I can't think of another Henson Shop production that looks this good so consistently. Such a classic!

Bowie points (out of 10): ★★★★★★★★★★★

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:30 am
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Love how his villainous mask slips when he talks to the baby. :D

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And that's the end of my Bowie tribute. Hope you enjoyed it, too!

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:33 am
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Horse Money has been on Netflix a while but I have not ever got the urge to press play. Your thoughts on it are encouraging so I might give it a watch soon.


Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:30 am
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If you liked Colossal Youth, you'll like this one.

And, welcome back!!

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:53 am
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I only watched Labyrinth for the first time late last year - I'm sad I didn't watch it when I was younger since it's so dreamy. Bowie is divine, he embodies complicated feminine desires - tantalizing and horrifying. It's a great film.

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Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:58 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
Bowie is divine, he embodies complicated feminine desires - tantalizing and horrifying. It's a great film.
:heart:

It works perfectly as a kids' movie, but it's probably best seen when you're old enough to be susceptible to his charms. Though that was pretty young for me!

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:02 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
And, welcome back!!

Thanks for noticing.


Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:03 pm
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Haha. We do live in a strange sort of time-warp here in the forum. Still, it's been years, hasn't it?

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:07 pm
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Yeah. When l logged on last night it said I last logged in Spring 2012.


Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:10 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Cheatin'

Whoa. If, like me, you haven't seen anything from Bill Plympton in a while, you need to check out Cheatin', his latest feature-length cartoon. Toning down the sardonic ugliness I remember from his shorts (or maybe just integrating it with pathos?) he serves up a fantastical romance that's both sweet and grotesque. It's beautiful, too! The colors are rich, the light is luminous, and there are delicate surprises in the motion, things I just can't capture in screenshots. Critics complain that it lacks narrative coherence, but I thought the big gestures and emotional joy rides gave it satisfying continuity. And, don't worry, his trademark cynicism is all still here, but it's an undertone now, a deep bellow, as he pulls out all the other stops, too, in this crazy melodrama of lust and despair. My favorite animation since Cat Soup.

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:25 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Güeros

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I've been watching a lot of 2015 (US) releases lately, and failing to write about most of them – partly laziness, partly intimidation. I'm pretty sure I'm not smart/informed enough to say anything of use about The Assassin and Clouds of Sils Maria. (They're amaaazing. There you go.) But, I feel extra motivation with Güeros. I put this one off way too long because I thought it would be a different sort of movie, and now I need to spread the word. This isn't miserablism! It isn't even "kids in danger" really. (Sorry, Jedi.) It's Bande à part as a road movie, a Mexican Alice in Cities. It's a playful film about the resilience of youth and ideas in the bittersweet Mexico of Roberto Bolaño, where poetry is king. It's a quest movie about the search for the fantastically named Epigmenio Cruz, mythical rock genius who traded fame for love years before. It's a coming-of-age story, as Tomás hero-worships his older brother, Fede, and falls head-over-heels for Fede's girlfriend. I love the fact that we never hear the genius tape, the detour into meta-critique in the middle, and the evolution of the eponymous slur. Best of all is the way it comes pre-filtered (with its old-fashioned ratio and black and white photography) through the lens of memory and nostalgia, as though Tomás were already grown and longing for those perfect moments long past, in which all he really remembers is love.

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And, hey, doesn't this "drunken" lens look familiar? A light-hearted reference to Reygadas, perhaps?

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:19 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage: Güeros

Shieldmaiden wrote:
This isn't miserablism! It isn't even "kids in danger" really. (Sorry, Jedi.) It's Bande à part as a road movie, a Mexican Alice in Cities. It's a playful film about the resilience of youth and ideals in the bittersweet Mexico of Roberto Bolaño, where poetry is king. It's a quest movie about the search for the fantastically named Epigmenio Cruz, mythical rock genius who sabotaged his own chance at fame long before. It's a coming-of-age story, as Tomás hero-worships his older brother, Fede, and falls head-over-heels for Fede's girlfriend. I love the way we never hear the genius tape, the meta-critique of our film in the middle, and the way the eponymous slur evolves as we hear it over and over. With its old-fashioned ratio and black and white photography, Güeros is already filtered through the lens of memory, nostalgia, longing for those perfect moments when all you can really remember is love.

Oh, wow. Can't believe I watched this without considering Bolaño; definitely works as a comparison, though his protagonists are probably much less humble!

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Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:09 pm
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It's a sweeter world than Bolaño's, too. But, yeah, even the search for the old rocker is right out of Savage Detectives!


Edit: "Ideals" above was supposed to be "ideas." Yikes.

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:55 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Hazard

Prompted by discussion in Bad Guy's thread, I've decided to try to catch up on some of Sono's lesser known films while waiting for his copious 2015 output to make it over here. First up was 1990's Bicycle Sighs, which had its moments – the glimpses of the sci-fi film as it could have been, an old film rolling for the last time, unseen, etc. Peak mournful nostalgia! But it's so muddled, even for a student film, and the more iconic images are used in later films to much better effect.

2005's Hazard is very different story. Now at the top of his game, Sono sets his film pointedly in the nineties, though, visually, it reads more as orange-and-green tribute to the great, gritty New York City movies of the seventies. Shin is a depressed student who decides to travel to NYC because of its reputation for danger. Through an almost willful misunderstanding of everything from t-shirt art to flirting to male posturing, he descends rapidly into a nightmare city ruled by crime and corruption, where he eventually finds friendship and a type of salvation with a drug-dealing, Whitman-reading, Triad wannabe. I'd never say that everything works here: it's yet another case of a seven-year-old narrator (!), and there are moments that strain for resonance and ultimately fail. But, by the end, it had taken a certain shape in my head – the alternate-reality-NYC a hellish allegory of culture clash and alienation, and Shin's eventual transformation a stubborn fantasy. Watch it and tell me what you think!

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Next up (though advice is always welcome):

Into a Dream
Suicide Club
Land of Hope
Be Sure to Share

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

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Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:24 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Prince on film

Time for a Prince tribute, though it'll mostly just be pictures, I'm sure. I rewatched Purple Rain last night. It was sweeter and better-looking than I remembered. Of course, the music is the heart and soul and I love it to pieces. It doesn't matter that the acting tilts wildly between audacious and awkward. Prince shows us that cocky half-smile and we know he's in complete control. Plus, Morris Day just about steals the show – so funny! I'll see if I can track down Graffiti Bridge and Under the Cherry Moon, too, both of which I've never seen.

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:37 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: More Prince

Graffiti Bridge dials the stylized sets and colors up to eleven, and it's very pretty, no doubt. But, it lacks the story and charm of Purple Rain, and it's easy to see why. Prince has almost no dialogue or energy here. He's a doe-eyed void at the center of his own film.

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Didn't want to end on such a sour note, so thank goodness for Under the Cherry Moon! This one is pure, fizzy fun. How on earth did it get such a bad reputation? It's a silly screwball comedy with (bittersweet) heart and unexpectedly good cinematography. Ah, I see it's Michael Ballhaus – no wonder! Jerome Benton and Kristin Scott Thomas are a joy to watch, and Prince is at his goofy, charming best. He's obviously having a ball, and it's infectious!

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Sun May 01, 2016 9:14 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Eisenstein in Guanajuato

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Finally, a movie to renew my enthusiasm for film! Eisenstein in Guanajuato is a lot of fun. As energetic and entertaining as Suitcases, Eisenstein is more polished and consistent than that elaborate museum piece/film. As you'd expect, this one's a visual feast – Greenaway plays with colors and lenses, split screen and montage, computer tricks and good-old-fashioned point of view, embedding history and jokes in his rich, resonant images. (I'd say the techniques are an homage to his famous subject, but there's little here Greenaway hasn't done many times before. Is there a difference in the emphasis? Maybe.) Then, in the foreground (or, is it the background?) he substitutes conversation for narrative. And, it works, too, thanks to the casting of Bäck and Alberti, who breathe life and sensuality into their long, fascinating dialogue about culture, sex, power, death, and art.

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Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:24 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Greenaway index

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          The public would never, ever look at the
          sort of films I really want to make.

It's been obvious for a while that I needed a virtual thread for Greenaway, since his films are at the very root of my cinephilia and a continuing obsession of mine. Though it's sadly late in the life of this thread, I still hope it will inspire me to write more about him.

Before I saw a Greenaway film, I was a lazy film fan, not completely undiscerning, but ignorant and idly omnivorous. When I saw The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, I was wowed and disgusted. But those emotions, confusing as they were, propelled me to a showing of Drowning by Numbers, and after that I couldn't get enough of his dark humor and painterly images. Fan-girl highlight: I once watched The Falls and all his early shorts (including A Walk Through H, shown above) in an all-night marathon showing. And though I've been, at various times, disturbed or disappointed, I've never fallen out of love with his crazy, symmetrical, bawdy, contrarian, beautiful vision.


Note: The quote at the top is from the interview here. I'm never quite sure how seriously to take Greenaway in interviews. How can he say, "I write very word conscious scripts" one day, and "Everything begins with the text and this is a source of great anguish to me" the next? He wants to go back to painting; he has 10 films in the works; he plans to be dead in six years; "Cinema has turned into wallpaper." Haha! I'll keep reading, though.

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Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:55 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: New German Cinema link

Wig's New German Cinema thread is an enormous ongoing project that I
honestly hope will never end! And since my best watching this year has been
for that thread, I figure I should have a link here to my viewing there:

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Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:55 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Metafictional Westerns

      In another of those strange convergences, I saw two very stylized Westerns earlier this year, two very different lenses through which to view the The Searchers (another recent watch for me). First, the more conventional: Slow West proceeds at a steady gait, just like its mounted protagonists. I enjoyed its stage-like action and tonal hodgepodge of slapstick, tale-telling, music, and tragedy. It plays with its tropes – doomed romance, buddy picture, and vengeance quest, while, all along, mixing in serious overtones of racism, a realistic toll of violence, and the razor-thin chances of justice and grace.

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      The other film, Jauja, is more complex and haunting, meaning it's harder to write about as well. Another rescue quest, its heart is a father-daughter relationship effectively sketched in just before it's lost. There's humor here, too, though much subtler than the slapstick of Slow West, a bleak humor of absurdity and scale. From the first frame, there's something jarring about the colors and perspective; the vast distances are forced flat by the camera, like one half of an early stereogram... or a one-eyed man's view of of the wide-open. Nature is unnerving and unknowable, a Patagonian Picnic at Hanging Rock. Then it takes a metafictional swerve (or two) and becomes something greater and more beautiful, enigma.

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Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:55 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Forbidden Planet

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Nobody told me* Forbidden Planet was so beautiful! I watched this as a child watches (is there any other way?) – fully immersed, all disbelief suspended under the huge green sky. The design is so perfect that it overwhelms everything else for me, but I enjoyed it all, including the very simple, yet (mostly) compelling effects. It's amazing to find out (as a long-time Star Trek fan) that that series is so deeply indebted to this film. Though Star Trek obviously emphasized the camp aspects (tiny skirts, mad scientists), it also managed to retain the best part of the film: the matter-of-fact charm of its future world. Such a great discovery!

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*No hints here, that's for sure, though the poster is very cool in it's own never-seen-the-movie way:
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Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:56 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

That you of all people wouldn't mention the Shakespeare connection. ;)

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:58 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Colonel Kurz wrote:
That you of all people wouldn't mention the Shakespeare connection. ;)

She knew you would.

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:17 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Eisenstein in Guanajuato and Slow West are in my Flix queues.

I guess I should watch them.*

Too much movie-watching time is consumed by the RR thread, though.




*You see, Maiden, this is what ostensible spoilers will do for me. Move me off Stop and get me to watch a film that I think I'd like based on the descriptive blurb, but I'm not convinced enough to just jump in. Thanks for letting me know about enough more that I want to see them, now. Nothing ruins a movie as badly as never ever watching it. :)

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HEL Mayor of Hell/Crime School/Hell's Kitchen DP Rv1 Es1
PAI Pinocchio/A. I. Es2 Rv1 DP Mu
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Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:21 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Colonel Kurz wrote:
That you of all people wouldn't mention the Shakespeare connection. ;)
Haha. I was that enchanted with the way it looks. Seriously!

But it's a neat adaptation, and a great twist on Caliban.


Gort wrote:
You see, Maiden, this is what ostensible spoilers will do for me. Move me off Stop and get me to watch a film that I think I'd like based on the descriptive blurb, but I'm not convinced enough to just jump in. Thanks for letting me know about enough more that I want to see them, now. Nothing ruins a movie as badly as never ever watching it. :)
Awesome! Honestly, that's my goal in everything I write here. (I'm pretty cautious with spoilers, still, though.)

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:30 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

I've also got Guanajuato in my Netflix cue, and I've been watching his early short films recently as well. I might like his early stuff more than the painterly operatics of his feature films.

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:56 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Awesome! Honestly, that's my goal in everything I write here. (I'm pretty cautious with spoilers, still, though.)

I'll sound old when I tell you that I remember a time -- as an adult, mind you, when no one worried about being told something about a film's plot, and so forth. This has all arisen since I was first married, and worsened since I was first divorced. Each of which has happened only once.

The Greenaway film about Eisenstein has only one disturbing aspect as far as I'm concerned. All that you said about its opulence is true. And it certainly comes across like something out of absurdist stage drama, which is not a negative as far as I'm concerned. But it has the quality that a book I bought to learn about James Dean has: I cannot tell what is historical and what is dramatic. I took the book back once I found out that it was written in a narrative style, purporting to tell us what James Dean was thinking at times. I decided I would not learn much about the real actor, and got my money back. But there have been so many books about him that I don't recall what the title of this book was.

Almost the same thing happened as I watched Eisenstein in Guanajuato. So I had to watch the entire eye-dazzling picture without being able to comprehend anything about Eisenstein.

I don't expect the characters in a biographical film to be the real life people they represent. That would be in no wise interesting. There has to be some sleight of hand to make a real life film-able. But in this case, I had to wonder what was real and what was Day of the Dead skeleton figures? So to speak.

A film about a real person can be as much a benign misrepresentation of someone as a photograph can be of its model/subject. And that's okay artistically. I don't want to impose a task on this film that wasn't designed to be one of its objectives, of course. The film is interesting to look at, and cleverly constructed. I haven't seen any other Greenaway film, although I've heard of five or six in his list. The Thief, etc is also in one of my Netflix queues. I liked the dialogue and strange mashup editing style, the characters, the set design and so forth. I gave up on trying to learn anything concrete about the Russian filmmaker, though, and just watched it -- to the end. It wasn't a bad way to spend an evening.

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:44 am
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Gort wrote:
I liked the dialogue and strange mashup editing style, the characters, the set design and so forth. I gave up on trying to learn anything concrete about the Russian filmmaker, though, and just watched it -- to the end. It wasn't a bad way to spend an evening.

I'm glad you got that out of it, anyway. It's different from your James Dean biography, though. This is straight-up postmodernism, right? A mix of vivid accuracy (the photos of the real people, details from letters, his actual pornographic drawings) and enthusiastic fantasy. One of my favorite books, Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, is exactly this: a game played with the real people, carefully researched, with generous layers of fiction and tangent, silliness and resonance. It's better than real! :)

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Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:23 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I'm glad you got that out of it, anyway. It's different from your James Dean biography, though. This is straight-up postmodernism, right? A mix of vivid accuracy (the photos of the real people, details from letters, his actual pornographic drawings) and enthusiastic fantasy. One of my favorite books, Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, is exactly this: a game played with the real people, carefully researched, with generous layers of fiction and tangent, silliness and resonance. It's better than real! :)

Ah, yes. But it leaves you having to wonder, apart from the actual objects that are included, which other parts are real/exaggerated/fabricated/altered/inverted/enshrouded/denuded/synthetic/representational? If I had known the film was of its type before watching (I did little research, basically read teh Flix blurb and your review) I would have had a different mindset.

It was kind of an interesting experience. Similar to a momentary trip I took into a short-lived Memphis art gallery in the 1990s. I didn't know what to expect, and saw what was there in light of total unpreparedness. A hodge-podge of painting, sculpture and photography. I don't remember the name of the gallery much less the two or three artists whose work was on display. In that case there was nothing in the shop that resonated with me (or that caused me to resonate to it, I guess). It was before I bought the James Dean "biography" that I stepped into that gallery.

I didn't hate anything. Actually, I responded to the film much better than I did to the odd artworks in that gallery! They sort of left me thinking "what a waste of materials" but perhaps someone liked the objects. The film on the other hand was well-constructed, experimental, kind of pleasantly stagey at the same time cinematic. As you described the Pynchon book: a game.

I remember the director of my first produced stage play telling the cast to "have fun with it!" before each segmented rehearsal, and on the nights of the three performances. That's what Greenaway and company were doing with Eisenstein in Guanajuato. If it makes any comment it might be this: that people in the public eye become stock for creation of new characters loosely based on and in them and their lives. Historical figures, artists, politicians...you name it, they seem to be the targets of the medium, if not the medium itself, in many cases. So, this is a rather unusual life made into a more dramatic and humorous version of parts of the life being put on artistic exhibit, I suppose.

And I think Slow West is next in my DVD queue. If not next, it's second or third. Coming up soon. :)

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Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:53 pm
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Gort wrote:
I remember the director of my first produced stage play telling the cast to "have fun with it!" before each segmented rehearsal, and on the nights of the three performances. That's what Greenaway and company were doing with Eisenstein in Guanajuato. If it makes any comment it might be this: that people in the public eye become stock for creation of new characters loosely based on and in them and their lives. Historical figures, artists, politicians...you name it, they seem to be the targets of the medium, if not the medium itself, in many cases. So, this is a rather unusual life made into a more dramatic and humorous version of parts of the life being put on artistic exhibit, I suppose.
Yes! That's a great description. The first time this really clicked with me was reading Lyndon, a short story by David Foster Wallace. Haha, that story still shapes the way I think of LBJ.

Quote:
And I think Slow West is next in my DVD queue. If not next, it's second or third. Coming up soon. :)
Oh, good. Pretty sure you'll like this one!

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Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:48 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage: Metafictional Westerns

Shieldmaiden wrote:
      First, the more conventional: Slow West proceeds at a steady gait, just like its mounted protagonists. I enjoyed its stage-like action and tonal hodgepodge of slapstick, tale-telling, music, and tragedy. It plays with its tropes – doomed romance, buddy picture, and vengeance quest, while, all along, mixing in serious overtones of racism, a realistic toll of violence, and the razor-thin chances of justice and grace.

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It needs to be watched at least twice, just to catch all the visual puns.

I enjoyed the non-American-made Western aspect of the film. The major pair played off one another quite well. Their relationship was unlike tradition Hollywood main character pairings. There was a hint of spaghetti Western-ness to the goings on, but it was not like an Italian film. It has a quality to it that I've never seen in any other Western. The writer-director describes Jay as someone who does not know that he is horribly out of place where he is.

Can't understand why so many people want to give it 1/5 or 2/5 stars, so that at Amazon the rating is a mere 3/5. After all, I didn't even notice that it was slow. The characters and their interactions and the supernumeraries and their necessity to the plot were all so absorbing...well, I forgot that I had seen and spoken to my nephew and that he had repaid $100.00 toward the debt he made with me last month.

Now, that's an engaging film. {Or, perhaps the encroaching of senility.}

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in progress:
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:53 am
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