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 a young person's guide to cinema 
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uh, i guess this is a log and stuff. i don't know if my taste is very well known around these parts. so here is a sampler of some movies i liked at some point or another:


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Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:38 am
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L'avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

The characters in this film wander about the frame guided by some private feeling that is hidden from the audience. But it also feels hidden from the characters themselves. A party of rich, bored Italians hop on a small island when one of their crew goes missing; or, rather, simply disappears. This absence haunts the film; but it's only physical absence. Later on in the film, you start realizing that there's a greater absence that we're presented with. The characters in the film lack any sort of interiority; their actions aren't driven by psychology or by recognizable motives. They seem guided by the architecture or the landscape or the promise of sex or love; anything that provides an outside stimuli. The film then is about the search for that one thing that might make existence bearable or meaningful - something to fill the void. The film's final painful image is a cry of despair hiding behind a possible human connection (it's as if the ending of Vive L'amour had two people). The inconclusiveness of it all is what's heartbreaking - these characters are grasping at nothing.

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The Night of the Hunted (Jean Rollin, 1980)

Apparently a small subset of people have been exposed to some sort of radiation that makes it so that their brain cells are constantly dying off. This means that they've lost their memories, can't make new ones, and have irrational often violent outbursts. Brigitte Lahaie, firm and young, plays a young woman who escaped from "The Black Tower" that the infected people have been sequestered in. She eventually ends up shacking up with some random guy (in a 5-minute sex scene). Apparently the memories are gone, but sex doesn't really go away. Rollin's film is highly illogical, moves in fits and starts and often seems stylistically all over the place. He often shoots his actor's faces against blank walls (they are dead-eyed since they have no memories, but they're also just bad actors) and often has these random camera movements where he'll start by looking up at a building and panning down watch his characters walk right next to it. But there's an intensity of vision to it that's quite undeniable - think of the hallways full of people whose only connection to any sort of reality happens through physical contact (at one point a character suggests that because their memories will always leave them, "the only thing left for us to do is to touch our bodies.") If it doesn't always make sense or if it feels slapdash or awkward, that's okay - Brigitte Lahaie disrobes several times.


Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:39 am
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maybe our tastes are more similar than i thought...not that i wanna drag you down, rouj


Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:39 am
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Imtiaz Ali is weeping right now.

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:40 am
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This. This will define my life.


Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:08 am
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Requiem for a Vampire (Jean Rollin, 1971)

Two virginal friends, dressed as clowns, get lost in the French country side after escaping a party. The film's first 40 or so minutes don't feature any dialogue and are mostly about watching the friends wander around abandoned castles, rolling hillsides, etc (and get scared by random things). Which is charming and trippy enough. But then they get sorta captured by a band of vampires (who are dying out it seems) and they get taken to an underground sex/torture chamber of sorts. Less a coherent experience, more an assortment of of moods, flights of fancy, random riffs, Rollin's film is profoundly silly and often ridiculous. By the time we get to the film's 7-minute orgy sequence shot with a red filter, we still have no idea what the film purports to be about; I guess it doesn't really matter - "you cannot be both virgin and vampire" just about sums it up. The film's final passages do suggest an end to the myth of the vampire, however, like a race dying out, an outmoded nightmare. Only lesbian clown girls will do for this roujin.


Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:19 am
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yay rouj

Part of what makes L'avventura's ending one of the best ever for me is that it can be read as a kind of feminist failure as well - Claudia has failed to embrace her own autonomy as a woman and a personality, and by forgiving Sandro and giving in to his crocodile tears she is sacrificing her personhood, essentially, to these feeble ideas of intimacy that she thinks will keep their 'love' afloat in a world that rejects love and truth. Her hesitation before putting her hand on his head, that horrific, ominous whine before the cut to black on the shot of their backs, bordered by a completely impassive brick wall and backgrounded by Mount Etna brooding as if about to erupt in a cataclysm that could destroy the physical side of the world as well as the spiritual side... these things make it hard for me to understand how some people see this as a hopeful ending.

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:40 am
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'Less a coherent experience, more an assortment of of moods, flights of fancy, random riffs'
That pretty much perfectly sums up Rollin at his best - and that is Rollin at his best I think.


Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:27 am
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Really :heart:'ing your writing in here, rouj; excellent thread so far!

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:54 am
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I'm not young, but I've seen several of the films in the OP.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:16 am
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i like you

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:42 pm
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I recognize only four in the first post, so I could maybe get a lot of recs there if I knew what any of them were. :P

Nice words about L'avventura, by the way.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:29 am
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Oki's Movie (Hong Sang-soo, 2010)

More structural games from Hong. The film is divided up into four distinct units, each with its own credit sequence. All of them concern the usual Hong types (film professors/directors/students) and all of them have the usual Hong story patterns (awkward embarrassment, too much drinking, acute dissection of male assholery). But what makes the film of interest (as in stand out from Hong's now crowded filmography) is how the female figure in the romantic triangle is allowed an authorial voice of her own. We go from identifying with the social faux pas of the drunken professor and the horny student (Oki is a part of their narratives) to watching as she (meta-textually) recasts the men in her life. Uh, parenthesis. Which for me suggested a generosity of spirit that I also felt while watching, uh, Le Beau Mariage. All of which is fascinating and funny and shaggily melancholic in that uniquely Hongian way. Which is to say that it's both typical and distinctive. And made me wish for warm covers, drinks and companionship. Damn it.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:55 am
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I need to re-watch some Hong. I bet they'll be even more interesting now.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:58 am
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Spot on. Oki's is major.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:43 am
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Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller, 1951)

Basically a depiction of several tense situations (braving a mine field, facing off against a tank etc). Would make a good double bill with what appears to be its sister film, The Steel Helmet (though this one lacks that film's racial subject matter). Instead, it's all about men at war; the constant change of who is in command, the guy who needs to get his first kill, the bickering, lingo, rituals and little details that are so lived in and understood that they're casually tossed off and treated with no more importance than anything else. The guy from The Steel Helmet is arguably the star, but more than anything the camaraderie between men is the focus; just some men huddled together, trying to stay warm, nothing gay about that.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:02 pm
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Wanna see. Adore Steel Helmet, but the racial element is a large part of that.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:04 pm
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This one's similar, but more of a bad ass action movie. At least that's what I'm telling myself.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:07 pm
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the tank is a phallic symbol

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:08 pm
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fuller = endless cocks


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:09 pm
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Speaking of Hong, finally watching In Another Country. It seems both more minor and major for him in a strange beautiful way. Going to have an interesting place on my year-end list. Oki's Movie is a favorite of mine. Really need to revisit.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:10 pm
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Never got around to In Another Country. It's in the freeleech batch, though.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:12 pm
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In Another Country is my favorite of the 3 I've seen, though maybe that's just familiarity? It's not by a large margin, anyway.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:13 pm
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I feel he grows incrementally with day new film. Oki, Day He Arrives and this are my favorites. He's one of those artists who iterates on the same ideas, forms, narratives over and over in his career. Like all the best ever.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:15 pm
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I think every Hong becomes more special in the days after seeing it.

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:19 pm
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Hatari! (Howard Hawks, 1962)

It's got that later period slowness. Another hangout movie in the Rio Bravo vein. It's less of a forward momentum-type thing, but more about putting a bunch of personalities together and letting them bounce around for a couple of hours. It's got a ton of stock Hawks situations that he recycled throughout his career (men doing a dangerous job and the women who must be tough enough to stand up to that - Only Angels Have Wings, Ceiling Zero, Rio Bravo,etc). Sometimes it registers as an opportunity to get together, hunt some animals, tell a few jokes, drink and smoke, have some thrills; postures, accents, romantic reversals, pure Hawksian riffs. It's probably the most digressive, discursive Hawks there is; it's seemingly a film that could expand and expand forever, including everything that might amuse its director. But it isn't bloated, not at all, unless you find a totally superfluous scene where some ostrich get loose to not be meaningful and worthy of inclusion. This is film as an outgrowth of a personality and it's something I deeply cherish.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:39 pm
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Image Image Image

his greatest


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:47 pm
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That shot was so amazing.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:48 pm
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Image Image Image

pre-empting disorderly orderly. touched by genius.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:55 pm
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lol, that's exactly what i thought of.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:56 pm
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roujin wrote:
It's got that later period slowness. Another hangout movie in the Rio Bravo vein. It's less of a forward momentum-type thing, but more about putting a bunch of personalities together and letting them bounce around for a couple of hours. It's got a ton of stock Hawks situations that he recycled throughout his career (men doing a dangerous job and the women who must be tough enough to stand up to that - Only Angels Have Wings, Ceiling Zero, Rio Bravo,etc). Sometimes it registers as an opportunity to get together, hunt some animals, tell a few jokes, drink and smoke, have some thrills; postures, accents, romantic reversals, pure Hawksian riffs. It's probably the most digressive, discursive Hawks there is; it's seemingly a film that could expand and expand forever, including everything that might amuse its director. But it isn't bloated, not at all, unless you find a totally superfluous scene where some ostrich get loose to not be meaningful and worthy of inclusion. This is film as an outgrowth of a personality and it's something I deeply cherish.

:fresh:

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Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:16 pm
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how young is "a young person"?

I mean. ~respectfully~

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Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:56 am
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Trip wrote:
Spot on. Oki's is major.


I swear you weren't big on it when it came out, whereas I had the insight to know it was clearly Hong's best work (back when it came out, of course).

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Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:43 pm
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B-Side wrote:

I swear you weren't big on it when it came out, whereas I had the insight to know it was clearly Hong's best work (back when it came out, of course).

:? nope, you probably just got that impression because I prefer Hahaha ever so slightly and said as such.

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Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:14 pm
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Trip wrote:
:? nope, you probably just got that impression because I prefer Hahaha ever so slightly and said as such.


Probably. I'm kinda stoops, y'know.

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Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:32 pm
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rochefort
rosetta
il posto
all that heaven allows
mysterious skin
claire's knee
only angels have wings
ceiling zero
nosferatu the vampyre
i know where i'm going
?


Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:59 am
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why didn't i know this existed?! so happy.

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:03 am
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1. rochefort
2. trouble in paradise
3. rosetta
4. il posto
5. The Boys from Fengkuei
6. all that heaven allows
7.
8.
9. We Won't Grow Old Together
10. Nosferatu the Vampire
11
12. Summer Hours
13. Only Angels Have Wings
14.
15.
16. Le Pont des Arts (or the other Eugene Green)
17. Awaara
18. How Green Was MY Valley
19. . Hmmm Rio Bravo? But this one I'm far less sure about
20.
21. Streetwise

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:18 am
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oh yeah, i recognised the pialat without having seen it as well. i really should see some sammo, too.
doesn't look like rio bravo to me, though i certainly remember rouj loving it


Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:22 am
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it's rio bravo. hawks' greatest.
minus every cary grant one EVER


Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:29 am
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11. Wheels On Meals

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:31 am
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one after all that heaven allows is mysterious skin. 20 is claire's knee or osme other rohmer maybe. rest are b&w shit idk


Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:39 am
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elixir wrote:
rest are b&w shit idk

:fresh:


Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:55 am
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sammo hung

#4 is that truffaut short, the first sequel to the 400 blows
#5 could be that hou, the boys of whatever, the one bear just watched

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:00 am
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Trip wrote:
sammo hung

#4 is that truffaut short, the first sequel to the 400 blows
#5 could be that hou, the boys of whatever, the one bear just watched

yo, get your eyes checked


Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:01 am
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all i know is i've seen it

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:02 am
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Trip wrote:
all i know is i've seen it

il posto and fengkuei. am sure.

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:03 am
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oh il posto i see

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:03 am
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you have and it's il posto like charu already said (that's why i didn't mention more, cause she got most already)


Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:03 am
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Project A

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Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:05 am
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