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 Maiden's Voyage 
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage: Metafictional Westerns

Gort wrote:
Now, that's an engaging film. {Or, perhaps the encroaching of senility.}
Haha! Kind of an important distinction there. :D

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Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:01 am
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Slow West streams for free with Amazon Prime, so I bookmarked it, and will watch it again soon. I expect the exterior shots to be even better in HD rather than DV SD.

And I agree with the distinction that you see between encroaching forgetfulness and an absorbing movie. :D

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:21 am
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I just finished watching Eisenstein in Guanajuato after having recently watched the Que Viva Mexico reconstruction from the 70s, and that double feature makes for a sharp contrast. The austerity of Eisenstein's actual footage is at odds with the manic postmodern grandiosity of Greenaway's film.

That's not a criticism of the film, which I don't expect to mimic Eisenstein's work, but it's worth noting. We hardly see Eisenstein working in the film, but one suspects that in reality he worked tirelessly throughout his time in Mexico. That schism makes for a strange viewing experience, but it also establishes a dialogue between the two films, compelling anyone who has seen both to consider the points where they intersect (or decidedly don't). And that's only appropriate, since Greenaway's entire film is essentially an extended and highly theatrical Socratic dialogue.

More than anything, Greenaway's film reminds me of a quote I read, written by Eisenstein (taken, I believe, from his memoirs):

Sergei Eisenstein wrote:
I think that it was not that my consciousness and emotions absorbed the blood and sand of the gory corrida, the heady sensuality of the tropics, the asceticism of the flagellant monks, the purple and gold of Catholicism, or even the cosmic timelessness of the Aztec pyramids: on the contrary, the whole complex of emotions and traits that characterise me extended infinitely beyond me to become an entire, vast country with mountains, forests, cathedrals, people, fruit, wild animals, breakers, herds, armies, decorated prelates, majolica on blue cupolas, necklaces made of gold coins worn by the girls of Tehuantepec and the play of reflection in the canals of Xochimilco.


The whole film seems to emerge from that sentiment, the notion that Eisenstein feels embodied by Mexico, that his psyche had failed to reach its fullest expression until he immersed himself in Mexico and its culture.

The photography in Greenaway's film is profoundly enhanced by the excellent set design and location work -- this film really makes me want to visit Guanajuato. On the other hand, the editing bothered me (one tends to notice editing more than usual in a film about Eisenstein). Some elements I liked -- the division of the frame into polyptychs, the interspersing of archival footage and drawings to highlight the dialogue -- but at other times I found it frantic to a fault or too mannered.

As a final note, one stylistic parallel that I noticed between Eisenstein's film and Greenaway's film: a penchant for symmetry.

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Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:23 pm
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Nice thoughts, Mac! And great find:
Sergei Eisenstein wrote:
I think that it was not that my consciousness and emotions absorbed the blood and sand of the gory corrida, the heady sensuality of the tropics, the asceticism of the flagellant monks, the purple and gold of Catholicism, or even the cosmic timelessness of the Aztec pyramids: on the contrary, the whole complex of emotions and traits that characterise me extended infinitely beyond me to become an entire, vast country with mountains, forests, cathedrals, people, fruit, wild animals, breakers, herds, armies, decorated prelates, majolica on blue cupolas, necklaces made of gold coins worn by the girls of Tehuantepec and the play of reflection in the canals of Xochimilco.
I think there's more actual Mexico in that one quote than in Greenaway's whole film. It's startling when the film-Eisenstein mentions at the end having shot 50 miles of film (or something like that) when we haven't seen him work at all. It's Greenaway pointing to the divergence of his film from reality.

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:20 pm
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Just watched Slow West (your viewing habits are definitely influencing mine).

I found it borderline unbearable for the first fifteen minutes, with its tedious whimsy and poorly handled flashbacks, but after the shoot-out in the store the film hits its stride. The harsh edge of the violence undercuts the dreamier aspects of the film, and the whimsy begins to transmute into something more pure. The third act is consistently strong, and the final set piece is staggering. Everything unites in this remarkable and unexpected harmony, and it's handled with such assurance and restraint. Even those moments that are clearly on the nose (shot through the heart, salt on the wound) feel earned, thanks to a subtle and very sincere sense of humor. That's one of the film's really admirable traits: its ability to craft poetry with that graceful touch of wit.

That climactic shoot-out is probably the second most poetic gunfight in the history of Westerns, after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Ford's My Darling Clementine.

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Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:16 pm
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Macrology wrote:
That climactic shoot-out is probably the second most poetic gunfight in the history of Westerns, after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Ford's My Darling Clementine.
:heart:

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:38 am
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These comments make me want to watch the film again.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:34 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Against the Day

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    Ahhhh! It took me five weeks, but I finished Against the Day. And, wow, Pynchon wrote the heck out of this thing! (Excerpt here.) I know I complained upthread that Gravity’s Rainbow rarely "clicked" for me, but this one did, on every page. So funny and cynical and sweet and thrilling! Yes, it's extremely long and densely plotted, but don't be deterred; for Pynchon, this is super accessible. It's so effortlessly engaging that I found myself reading chapters ahead because my eye would be caught by something wherever it first fell open. Unlike in GR and M&D, Against the Day seems uncharacteristically concerned with meeting the Reader at a somewhat attainable level. I’m no math whiz, but there were enough clues in the text for me to sort of keep up with the geometry stuff. (Likewise, history, geology, photography, etc.) That is, I’m sure I missed a lot of jokes, but, Verne is an easier reference than Rilke, for one, so I never felt lost. For the first time, Pynchon reminded me of Steve Erickson (though the comparison really should go the other way, I guess). But, the allusive, lyrical sweep of the narrative often hits the same emotional key as Erickson at his best. And the reviewers who said he didn't develop his characters must have been skimming! Sure, there are plenty of cartoons here, but he develops relationships, whole families, countries for heaven's sake, as if they're people he's known and loved all his life. In one of my favorite developments, someone who's a throw-away joke in one chapter reappears hundreds of pages later to become a fully fleshed-out, heart-breaking main character. Which reminds me: Pynchon is oddly romantic in this (not excluding much of the porn-worthy sex). His heroes are ethical anarchists (haha), quite careful about collateral damage. And the characters all pair off, sometimes comically, always perfectly. Weird, huh? Though, since he's riffing on genre fiction (Jules Verne…H. P. Lovecraft…Tom Swift…Upton Sinclair) he's probably got some historically-relevant bodice rippers in mind, also. Anyway, it's so much fun. Read it! This book is an amazing, epic piece of art.

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A few more thoughts here.

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Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:47 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Book index

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A-and, thought it might be a good idea to have my book-related things all in one place somewhere, since my index is getting sort of unruly. :)

So that's what this is—an index of book posts:


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Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:06 am
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I have, like, three unread Pynchon books, V., Gravity's Rainbow, and Against the Day, all sitting on my bookshelf. I'll get around to them someday.

Meanwhile, damn, American Pastoral floored me. The Roth book. Not sure about the movie. It'd take a Resnais to get the meta-layers down. Instead it's Ewan making his directorial debut with an adaptation of an ambitious, sprawling, canonical modern novel. I applaud his chutzpah, but he's got his work cut out for him. And I have no idea what he'll do with the "anticlimactic" non-ending, which works swimmingly on the page but can't see being reproduced in a mainstream movie.


Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:14 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Welcome back, Maiden :D


Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:54 am
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Beau wrote:
I have, like, three unread Pynchon books, V., Gravity's Rainbow, and Against the Day, all sitting on my bookshelf. I'll get around to them someday.
Wish I could recommend GR. I'm not smart (or cynical) enough for that one, maybe. But the childrens' lit/romance/international intrigue of Against the Day was just right for me!

Quote:
Meanwhile, damn, American Pastoral floored me. The Roth book. Not sure about the movie. It'd take a Resnais to get the meta-layers down. Instead it's Ewan making his directorial debut with an adaptation of an ambitious, sprawling, canonical modern novel. I applaud his chutzpah, but he's got his work cut out for him. And I have no idea what he'll do with the "anticlimactic" non-ending, which works swimmingly on the page but can't see being reproduced in a mainstream movie.
Mmm, you've sold me! Just ordered it from the library. I'm not sure how "sprawling" it'll seem after Against the Day, though. Think all books will seem focused and concise to me now. :D

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Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:00 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Welcome back, Maiden :D
Thanks!

Wish I could say I've watched some movies, though...

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Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:01 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Thanks!

Wish I could say I've watched some movies, though...

Same! My movie watching tempo has slowed dramatically. However, I am watching Arrival on Saturday so if you see it, we may be able to discuss it!


Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Murakami's "controlled, melancholy" mode


yeah the first of his I read was South of the Border and a lot of the time I dont need him to get weird, even if I usually enjoy it, this one was especially great, loved Finland


Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:52 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Wish I could recommend GR. I'm not smart (or cynical) enough for that one, maybe. But the childrens' lit/romance/international intrigue of Against the Day was just right for me!

Mmm, you've sold me! Just ordered it from the library. I'm not sure how "sprawling" it'll seem after Against the Day, though. Think all books will seem focused and concise to me now. :D


Good point.

It's not "sprawling," exactly, because in a sense, once the, I guess, sort-of prologue's done, it's a more or less linear plot. It's just that Roth veers away, time and time again, to talk about the whole context of America and the East Coast and Newark and the race riots and the Weathermen and about the glove-making industry and about tanning leather and so on.

What I fear about the movie, and what seems to be the case given the reviews, is that it'll just take the core plot and ignore the rest, even though "the rest" is like 50% of the text.


Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:14 am
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Wow, I'm terrible at the internet now. Can't even keep up with my own thread. :(

Eminence Grise wrote:
However, I am watching Arrival on Saturday so if you see it, we may be able to discuss it!
Thanks for the motivation. I watched this, finally.
Beau wrote:
Meanwhile, damn, American Pastoral floored me.
I read it! See the Literature thread.

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:45 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: More thoughts on Against the Day

Shieldmaiden wrote:
childrens' lit/romance/international intrigue

This reminds me that I'd meant to call attention to some similarities between Against the Day and The Tulse Luper Suitcases. They're both playful, raunchy, historical escapades drawing heavily on the idea of childlike imagination. Both play at corrupting their genre origins, but a certain innocence (of stubborn hope and decency) remains. Both start in a disappointingly corrupt American West, then zigzag around an even more corrupt Europe in the shadow of fascism and world war. Both end up as rather heartfelt meditations on the horrors of warfare, placing their slender hopes in a few individuals in the face of man's terrible inhumanity. Both would be solid additions to my 'angry optimism' list (if AtD were a film, that is).

Gort and I talked about Greenaway's metafiction bona fides up-thread, but is he actually part of the same literary movement as Pynchon and Erickson? Can a visual artist as conflicted about the word as he apparently is be part of a literary movement? And what is that movement called (besides James Wood's hostile 'hysterical realism')? Obviously, there's a longer piece in here somewhere, if I had time to write it. At the moment I'm just happy to have noticed the connections, and increasingly confident that two of my favorite artists have found a near-ideal method of commenting on the hyperbolic absurdity that was the 20th century.

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:46 am
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Have you read the story ("Story of Your Life") that Arrival is based on? It's reeeaaal good. Takes the linguistic aspect much further, and in ways that seem much more intuitive than the film. Structurally seamless.

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:34 am
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Macrology wrote:
Have you read the story ("Story of Your Life") that Arrival is based on? It's reeeaaal good. Takes the linguistic aspect much further, and in ways that seem much more intuitive than the film. Structurally seamless.


I've been meaning to get around to this!

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Thanks for the motivation. I watched this, finally.


Any extent thoughts on it? Reading a synopsis of the source material gave me the impression that there may be a bit more to gab about after watching it, but sadly, I didn't give it much thought beyond the parking lot! :-|


Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:18 am
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Yeah, I enjoyed it, but it didn't really stick with me (like Enemy did, for example). I'll look out for the short story it's based on, though, for sure.

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:10 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: End of year list

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          Best films first seen in
          2016

        For the first time since 2010 I've had to shorten my year-end list to 20; I just didn't see enough this year. I peaked four years ago with 213, but this year saw only 112. This doesn't mean I don't love movies. In fact, I spent much of the year re-watching my favorites (showing them to other people), so I'm still a cinephile, whatever that means. But I'd be lying if I said the drop in Corrierino discussion didn't have something to do with it, too. And I'm partly responsible for that drop, I know. I'd make all the New Year's resolutions, if I though it would help. :(

        1. American Honey
        2. Eisenstein in Guanajuato
        3. The Assassin
        4. Forbidden Planet
        5. Jaws
        6. Cosmos
        7. Gett
        8. Alice in the Cities
        9. Clouds of Sils Maria
        10. Horse Money
        11. Zootopia
        12. La La Land
        13. Kings of the Road
        14. Cemetery of Splendor
        15. Güeros
        16. Toni Erdmann
        17. Piku
        18. No Home Movie
        19. The Lobster
        20. Slow West

        Past year-end lists: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:05 am
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Thought this must be my highest percentage directed by women (with 4 out of 20). But I went back to look, and in 2010 I had 6 out 20!

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:07 am
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Ah, I didn't know you'd seen and liked Forbidden Planet. I'm assuming we're referring to the 1956 science fiction movie, right?

It's so much more interesting than I thought it'd be. The premise is one of those mysteries that, like in The Invention of Morel, grows more intriguing after you've been told the solution. And it doesn't exhaust its suggestiveness after you move beyond its topical Cold War relevance.


Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:41 am
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Beau wrote:
The premise is one of those mysteries that, like in The Invention of Morel, grows more intriguing after you've been told the solution.
Ooh, good point! I was so enamored of the sets and effects that I didn't really consider the story till later. But it does work extremely well in retrospect, more than living up to its Shakespearean roots. Such a pleasant surprise! And, yeah, I loved it.

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:10 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Ooh, good point! I was so enamored of the sets and effects that I didn't really consider the story till later. But it does work extremely well in retrospect, more than living up to its Shakespearean roots. Such a pleasant surprise! And, yeah, I loved it.


Reading your old post, I laughed at the never-seen-the-movie loveliness of the poster. That kind of thing is even more common in science fiction literature, especially with older printings from the 70s or 60s. The covers will often be stock images of alien invasion or intergalactic civilizations, and will often have nothing at all - or very little - to do with the novel. Case in point: my Ballantine Books edition of Childhood's End (an amazing classic, let it be said) has this weird image of civilians running from a flying saucer streaking over a city, which I guess is something that could have happened somewhere within the narrative's timeline, perhaps very early on when the Overlords first arrive, but it's not actually a scene from the book and it doesn't exactly capture the complicated nature of alien-human relations imagined by Clarke. And this cover, mind you, belongs to the Twentieth Anniversary "Special Edition," which one would assume would at least try to capture the general vibe or gist of what it's commemorating. No such luck, though!


Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:08 am
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Speaking of which, I didn't know there was a SyFy adaptation a couple of years ago. I'm afraid to check it out.


Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:21 am
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Oh, yeah, book covers are exasperating, and it's not just science fiction. Respectable kids' books are disguised as teen romances, serious novels get their mass-market thriller treatment. Another problem ebooks solve, I guess. :D

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Oh, yeah, book covers are exasperating, and it's not just science fiction. Respectable kids' books are disguised as teen romances, serious novels get their mass-market thriller treatment. Another problem ebooks solve, I guess. :D


Well, sometimes they include the horrible cover as the opening "location," like my edition of Solaris, but I guess it's still easier to ignore once you click past it!


Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:51 am
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I was thinking more of the embarrassment of reading on the subway. I don't even want strangers to see me reading books where the title is dripping blood. :P

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:04 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: The Fits

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Oh, I love this one! The Fits is such a perfect little movie. (I only wish it were longer!) Director Anna Rose Holmer brings a piercing simplicity to a young girl's small world: a world filled with her older brother, her own body, and yearning (for belonging, for growing up). The mystery is built of a child's misunderstanding, half-heard things, and intense feelings of loyalty and desire, all playing out on this very talented young actress's wistful face. And the music is terrific – avant-garde, eerie, yet seemingly made up of the sounds of her daily life. So good!

Image Image

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Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:50 pm
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Sounds great! Added!

Any thoughts on Love & Friendship?


Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:48 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Any thoughts on Love & Friendship?
I really enjoyed it! I haven't read Lady Susan, but the vicious humor was fun, and it was perfectly cast. Speaking of which, wasn't Tom Bennett (the idiotic Sir James Martin) great? The role didn't require him to be subtle (à la Tom Hollander in Pride & Prejudice), but he was very, very good in this. :D

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:19 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I really enjoyed it! I haven't read Lady Susan, but the vicious humor was fun, and it was perfectly cast. Speaking of which, wasn't Tom Bennett (the idiotic Sir James Martin) great? The role didn't require him to be subtle (à la Tom Hollander in Pride & Prejudice), but he was very, very good in this. :D

Nor have I read it. But, yes, he was great! It's so easy to be put off by so much by an overt character, but he really nailed it! I also really loved the character introductions. That's perhaps the first time I've seen anything like that and the sheer number of introductions adds a nice comedic touch right off the bat.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:29 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
the sheer number of introductions
Haha, yes. Especially since all the men looked so much alike at first glance. To have to be told one which one was "extremely handsome," etc. was pretty funny.

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:59 am
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Hey, can anyone look at my original post and tell me why my links from 2015 (and before) are not underlined? They're still links, but you don't see that until you scroll over them. (It's really neat, but I didn't know we could do that.) I only noticed because there's something weird going on with font size in that post, and I'm guessing it might be related to this other weirdness...?

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:19 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Hey, can anyone look at my original post and tell me why my links from 2015 (and before) are not underlined? They're still links, but you don't see that until you scroll over them. (It's really neat, but I didn't know we could do that.) I only noticed because there's something weird going on with font size in that post, and I'm guessing it might be related to this other weirdness...?


I don't see any of them underlined. At least, until I place my cursor over the titles.

Oh, and American Honey is available on Argentina's Netflix, in what is surely an epochal miracle. (It's pretty bad when it comes to film and non-Netflix content.) So I'll report back when I watch it!


Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:07 am
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Beau wrote:
I don't see any of them underlined. At least, until I place my cursor over the titles.
That's the point. How does that happen? I just used "[url]."
Quote:
Oh, and American Honey is available on Argentina's Netflix, in what is surely an epochal miracle. (It's pretty bad when it comes to film and non-Netflix content.) So I'll report back when I watch it!
Lucky. (I had to buy it to see it.) It's sooo great, though. Enjoy!

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:31 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: 16 Women of 2016

      2016* was a pretty great year for female directors, a fact I haven't seen much talk of anywhere. Of course, the overall numbers may not be special; this is only a gut feeling based on what I've seen. I've watched sixteen films (ranked below) and they're nearly all terrific. Terrific and varied. Horror and screwball comedy, social-realism and fable – they run the gamut. Akerman is the only giant represented, but Arnold and Ade and Hansen-Løve are steadily gaining acclaim, and Holmer and Bercot sure got my attention. Anyway, it's nice to be excited about film again, and the films on this list (especially the top three or four) are very exciting.

      *according to US release dates

Image Image

      Andrea Arnold: American Honey is, simply, the movie of the year. From its origins in a New York Times article to its amazing, first-time actress, it's a visceral trip in more ways than one. I can't say enough about the masterful way Arnold puts us into that bus, a window away from the long road, even closer to the passengers' lives and thoughts. The film itself is overloaded, hyper-real (as Arnold's films often are), just slightly stylized to emphasize emotion and confusion, mirroring the angst and neediness of its teenage subjects. It could so easily have been miserablism, too dark to take. Instead it bounces from place to place, dark but resilient as the kids themselves, letting its heroine rebound, catch her breath, start again.

      Emmanuelle Bercot: I stumbled into La tête haute on an obscure list somewhere. I'd seen Bercot's last film with Deneuve, the uneven On My Way, so I didn't expect too much. But this one took me completely by surprise, hitting hard in the first scene, as a child listens to words he'll never forget, words that will shape his whole life. From that point on, I watched with bated breath. In a way that reminds me a bit of Andrea Arnold, Bercot directs this like a thriller, like a documentary, like a love story – by turns muscular and sensitive.

      Mia Hanson-Løve and Anna Rose Holmer: Perfect films. Things to Come is by far my favorite Hansen-Løve (though I've yet to see Eden). Huppert is flawless as a strong, dutiful woman beaten down by her annus horribilus. I've talked about The Fits above. It's a jewel of a film, just right in scope and ambition.

      Chantal Akerman and Maren Ade: It's hard to watch No Home Movie knowing what happened so soon after, but it's baggage we all have now. It's still the film Akerman intended, a tender, clear-eyed little film about family love. Tackling the same theme from a very different angle, Toni Erdmann is a cringe-filled tale about a parent-child relationship. Like all of Ade's films, I get too involved with the characters to appreciate its humor and accomplishment the first time around. I need to rewatch it, in other words.

      Rebecca Miller and Gauri Shinde: Now a pair of clever comedies about successful, young women who need a bit of self-knowledge. Maggie's Plan is the first film I've seen by Miller, and I was impressed, by the writing more than anything else. Quirky situations follow the characterizations, not the other way around, with slightly stylized, almost Hartley-ish comic-eloquence. It's fun! And, Dear Zindagi is similar in many ways – a colorful, sweet (but not too sweet) portrait of a likeable character who could use a little help. Basically a message movie (this is how therapy works), it's breezy and fun regardless. (More here.)

      Athina Rachel Tsangari: Chevalier tells the story of a boat-full of men who twist competitiveness into a ridiculous game to end all games. We track the various alliances and betrayals by, like competitors ourselves, lurking around corners and checking mirrors to gauge the strength and weakness in each player's face. I still haven't seen Attenberg, so I'm on shaky ground here, but this one seems very much in line with the other screenplays written by Tsangari's co-writer, Efthymis Filippou; cynical, aggressive, and... kind of male, to be honest.

Image Image

      Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Kelly Reichardt: The next two, Évolution and Certain Women, are both quite strong; it's a testament to the great year that I have them in the second half. I especially enjoyed the textures of the Hadzihalilovic. Things are wet or creepy or startling, in ways you can almost smell and touch. The Reichardt is engaging and, even, funny, but it has a rather schematic approach to its three (four?) certain women, if I understand it correctly – a sort of textbook of insecurity, frustration, and lack of respect in the modern patri... er, world.

      Mira Nair: It's good to see Nair return to form with Queen of Katwe. (A return I'd despaired of after the wan Amelia). This is a sweet story, well told, with bold music and color, and a tender skill with her child performers. Oyelowo is really the star here, though Nyong'o's is the face you'll remember when it's done.

      Kirsten Jonhson: Initially, I had a little trouble with Johnson's Cameraperson. She's using footage she shot for other people's movies, which makes it theirs, right? Or, at the least, not fully hers. And, I'm not even talking about copyright, but just in the sense of creation, of (art)work. Still, it's her experiences, undoubtedly; her eyes we're seeing through; and (almost always?) her voice interacting with the people she's filming. She films horrors and hope, fear and joy, all with a sort of naive aptitude for color and human connection. I enjoyed her trip around the world and, even more, her coming home again.

      Jocelyn Moorhouse: I really liked Moorhouse's Proof back in 1991, but I haven't watched anything by her since. The Dressmaker is as aggressively Australian-quirky as anything by Baz Luhrman. Kate Winslet steps off a train an into a stagey old-West ghost town peopled with cartoonish eccentrics. It's sort of awful. But once you settle into its strange rhythm and get hooked on its small mystery, it's sort of good, too. Just know that it's not going to go where you expect, no matter what you're expecting. (Nope, not that either.) And, in the end, it's angrier and meaner than its meanest, angriest characters, and that's saying something!

      Anna Biller: Biller wrote, edited, and directed The Love Witch, but also designed the costumes, decorated the sets, wrote the music, and made props by hand! It looks amazing, so I was surprised to read that she considers it more correction than homage to the giallos and other films of the period. This time the female audience get to relish the violence (if they're so inclined), a violence thoroughly explained through visual and auditory flashbacks. In other words, don't let appearances distract you!

      Naomi Kawase: Sweet Bean is a lovely little film full of cherry blossoms and sunlight, whose slight plot turns into a fable of generosity, persistence, and looking past appearances. Kawase's documentary roots show in the painstaking depiction of the cooking, and the medical history that takes center stage near the end of the film.

Image Image

A few more that were good but didn't quite make the cut here.

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:22 pm
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You've got me real hyped lately for American Honey for when it comes out here.

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:52 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
You've got me real hyped lately for American Honey for when it comes out here.

Ditto. I didn't think much of it when I was watching its press conference at Cannes (although the naivete of the new/non-actors was a breath of fresh air at Cannes), but it did look intriguing. The Love Witch I've been looking forward to for some time.

Also, Sofia Bohdanowicz has been on my radar for a while. I've heard a lot of positive talk about Never Eat Alone (2016), but I've yet to see it.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:51 am
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By the way, y'all need to see Incident Light.

I'll translate what I wrote on it later (in Spanish, #3: http://www.olfamag.com.ar/las-cinco-mej ... ulas-2016/) and post it here. But, seriously.



Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:07 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
You've got me real hyped lately for American Honey for when it comes out here.
I hope I haven't overhyped (but I really don't think I have.) :)

Eminence Grise wrote:
Also, Sofia Bohdanowicz has been on my radar for a while. I've heard a lot of positive talk about Never Eat Alone (2016), but I've yet to see it.
Beau wrote:
By the way, y'all need to see Incident Light.
Thanks! I'll watch for both of these.

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:51 pm
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You just added to the hype of it being an Andrea Arnold film. :)

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:03 pm
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I really need to see Wuthering Heights, don't I?

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:51 pm
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My favorite so far, outside some of the music scenes in Fish Tank.

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Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:19 am
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Ooh! Maybe this weekend...

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Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:23 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
My favorite so far, outside some of the music scenes in Fish Tank.
So I saw this (Arnold's Wuthering Heights). I've never read the book 'cause it sounds so bleak, and the film totally confirms that. It's devastatingly bleak, too much to take, but also beautiful and sensual and powerful. I really loved the look and the structure and the sound—but, still, I almost turned it off several times. So much cruelty and hate! But, Arnold is very, very good, for sure.

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Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:30 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Hey, can anyone look at my original post and tell me why my links from 2015 (and before) are not underlined? They're still links, but you don't see that until you scroll over them. (It's really neat, but I didn't know we could do that.) I only noticed because there's something weird going on with font size in that post, and I'm guessing it might be related to this other weirdness...?
Oh, yeah, about this. I found the code mistake in the original post and decided I like it! So I used it to make all the links invisible till you scroll over them.

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Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:26 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Danielle Arbid

My latest female director discovery is in the Female Gaze thread, but I wanted to have a link here:

Image

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Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:26 pm
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