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 A noob's journey through cinema 
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Takoma1 wrote:

See, something that I thought was really well done in the film is that the climax builds quickly only from the point of view of the children. From my point of view, police or DSS intervention was an inevitability and it begins at the halfway point of the film: the mother is
taking sexy selfies and posting online; then the managers of her hotel know that the is working as a prostitute out of the hotel (something we already saw someone get kicked out for); then she scams someone who doesn't contact the police but it's only a matter of time; etc
.

From the point of view of the daughter
it is sudden, but I think that she also realizes that this is the end of her childhood with her mother. Things are not going to be okay, and she can sense that. Whether the ending is a literal running away, or if it's just a fantasy, it's an act of desperation that fits with how a child would act when her world has come crashing down. In that moment, for that child, there is no way forward except escape/retreat into fantasy.

This is what it's like a lot of the time when there is DSS intervention: for the kid it is both a climax and an anti-climax. Often, nothing is actually resolved, it's just a shift to a different kind of stress.

I'm not sure this has changed my mind (I might be too literally explaining a gut feeling on my part), but I appreciate this angle.
I think that what you're experiencing as an underwhelming narrative and stylistic choice is working for me because I feel like the "clumsiness" and abruptness of the film itself matches the emotional headspace of the main character.


I'm not sure this has changed my mind (I might be too literally explaining a gut feeling on my part), but I appreciate this angle.

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Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:21 am
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Rock wrote:

I'm not sure this has changed my mind (I might be too literally explaining a gut feeling on my part), but I appreciate this angle.


I've seen students go through similar (though not identical situations). In one example, a student's father was arrested for running a meth lab out of the family's basement. In another, a student's father was arrested for drug use (related to PTSD from time in the military). In both cases I had seen the parents and/or some concerning behaviors (not enough to report to child services, but things that made me worried and pay extra attention to those children). I was not surprised by these arrests, but they really took a toll on the kids.

One of the most heartbreaking things to me about the film is the fact that the main character
doesn't see it coming. She doesn't realize that the mom spending all out is a sort of last meal. Much like the earlier sequence with the pervert, the kids don't realize something that is apparent to an outside adult observer.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:50 am
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The Searchers
Watched this on 35mm at the Cinematek in Brussels. The screening was introduced by the famous Argentinian filmmaker Lisandro Alonso. He talked about how, when he released his movie Jauja (2014), many critics mentioned that it was clearly influenced by The Searchers (1956). But in fact, Alonso had never seen John Ford's classic western. So when a few years later the Belgian Cinematek gave him carte blanche to show 10 movies he wanted to share with other people, he chose The Searchers to, as he said so himself, see it for the first time.

I don't know if he ended up enjoying the film, but at least I did.


Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:15 am
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I think The Searchers deserves its spot in the canon and is undoubtedly one of the top Fords... I'm still a little bit iffy on it. maybe I just respect it more than seeing it as a movie I am eager to return to again and again. or that its DNA has been so spread out in movies about loners and quests for revenge and American racism and fractured families and whatnot that it is hard to approach with fresh eyes. which is true of a lot of classics.

speaking of which, has anyone here seen Two Rode Together? it has a Searchers-ish premise but a lot less romance and passion (e.g. main character searches for hostage for money not revenge, we see the problems of re-introducing the hostages into society, cinematography isn't as pretty, etc).


Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:35 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
speaking of which, has anyone here seen Two Rode Together? it has a Searchers-ish premise but a lot less romance and passion (e.g. main character searches for hostage for money not revenge, we see the problems of re-introducing the hostages into society, cinematography isn't as pretty, etc).

I enjoyed it when I saw it a few years ago, but don't remember it well enough to add much.

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Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:15 pm
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Two Rode Together embodies an exhaustion thats really sad, I love it


Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:05 pm
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Rewatched this because of a discussion earlier in ShieldMaiden's thread.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

A creepy fairy tale soaked in the purest black and white. Moments of what seems like perfect innocence, almost cloying beauty, soon turn into something dark and off-kilter. Mitchum is basically playing Wile E. Coyote in this.

4,5/5


Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:45 am
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Slentert wrote:
Rewatched this because of a discussion earlier in ShieldMaiden's thread.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

A creepy fairy tale soaked in the purest black and white. Moments of what seems like perfect innocence, almost cloying beauty, soon turn into something dark and off-kilter. Mitchum is basically playing Wile E. Coyote in this.

4,5/5

Yup, that's a great one.


Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:54 am
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Harry Powell is the role that Dennis Hopper was born to play, but never never could achieve.


Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:22 pm
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Another rewatch.

In A Lonely Place (1950)
Nicholas Ray delivers a masterful, uncompromising film noir that can be peeled like an onion each time you revisit it. This also contains my favorite line ever in cinema history.
4,5/5


Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:39 pm
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Slentert wrote:
Another rewatch.

In A Lonely Place (1950)
Nicholas Ray delivers a masterful, uncompromising film noir that can be peeled like an onion each time you revisit it. This also contains my favorite line ever in cinema history.
4,5/5

Added.


Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:38 am
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Slentert wrote:
Another rewatch.

In A Lonely Place (1950)
Nicholas Ray delivers a masterful, uncompromising film noir that can be peeled like an onion each time you revisit it. This also contains my favorite line ever in cinema history.
4,5/5

Really great.

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:36 am
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Carnival of Sinners (1943)

This is the first Maurice Tourneur film I have ever seen. I did see several from his son Jacques.
Carnival of Sinners, also known as The Hand of the Devil, is a creepy, kinda noirish tale of a painter who makes a bargain for riches and success before thinking of the consequences. It's a fun, lean old school horror film that has some serious nods to German Expressionism and it has a nice, wry sense of humor. I was also amused bu Pierre Palau's portrayal of the Devil. He plays the lord of the underworld as a calm and very polite little old man.

It's not the first time you've seen this kind of interpretation of the Faust story, but Carnival of Sinners is entertaining enough to keep your attention during its, admittedly, fairly short running time. At its best, the movie reminded me of the short horror stories I used to read as a kid. Definitely worth the digging.

3,5/5

Leave Her To Heaven (1945)

Spending the last 15 minutes of your movie in a courtroom is almost never a good idea. But if you must do it, having a young Vincent Price hamming it up as your district attorney is a good way to keep things interesting.

4/5


Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:58 pm
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Rabot (2017)

The Rabot Towers in Ghent, which are currently being torn down, are the remnants of a narrow minded social experiment from the seventies. The idea was to put all the disadvantaged people in one neighborhood and then pretend the problem never existed in the first place. But, like one of the older residents says in the opening of the film, "If you put too many birds in one aviary, they peck each other to death".

Rabot, the debut film of Christina Vandekerckhove, is one of the most devastating documentaries I've ever seen. Filmed like a Roy Andersson picture, it brutally confronts you with the hopelessness and despair of the people inhabiting these buildings. I'm not gonna lie, I started crying at the climax when you see the camera sweeping across the empty and deserted building on the tunes of Madensuyu.

I know a Belgian documentary about poverty isn't really high priority for you all, but I sincerely recommend you checking it out if you can find it anywhere. Probably my favorite movie of the year.


Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:33 am
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Slentert wrote:
Rabot (2017)

The Rabot Towers in Ghent, which are currently being torn down, are the remnants of a narrow minded social experiment from the seventies. The idea was to put all the disadvantaged people in one neighborhood and then pretend the problem never existed in the first place. But, like one of the older residents says in the opening of the film, "If you put too many birds in one aviary, they peck each other to death".

Rabot, the debut film of Christina Vandekerckhove, is one of the most devastating documentaries I've ever seen. Filmed like a Roy Andersson picture, it brutally confronts you with the hopelessness and despair of the people inhabiting these buildings. I'm not gonna lie, I started crying at the climax when you see the camera sweeping across the empty and deserted building on the tunes of Madensuyu.

I know a Belgian documentary about poverty isn't really high priority for you all, but I sincerely recommend you checking it out if you can find it anywhere. Probably my favorite movie of the year.


Hadn't heard about it, but sounds interesting. I'll keep an eye on it.

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Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:42 am
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You Were Never Really Here (2017)

I have been eager to rewatch this since I saw it for the first time about a year ago. This time, already knowing what was going to happen and which direction the movie would take, I was rather gushing over how everything was framed than anything else. Ramsay tells this particular kind of story well, but that doesn't change the fact that I've seen a lot of movies like this before.

I still experience the flashbacks to Joe's violent past as unnecessary. Not because they are "unoriginal", as I see many reviewers claim (that's not what the movie is aiming for) but because they don't tell us anything that Joaquin Phoenix isn't already channeling through his performance alone.

3,5/5

Cold War (2018)
Definitely the most beautiful looking movie of the year.

I'm grateful to live in a country where a Polish drama in black and white can play at the multiplex and can still attract a full house in its third week.

4/5


Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:05 pm
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Benny's Video (1992)

My mom once knew a doctor. Or at least she knew his wife. One day, she told my mother and me about the latest "prank" her son had pulled. The family had a cat, and apparently the son got annoyed with the whining sounds the pet constantly made. Then, they went on a holiday for a few weeks, and when they came home, the mother could not find the cat anywhere. When the husband went back to work the following week, and opened his doctor's cabinet for the first time in weeks, he noticed a very unpleasant smell. Thinking the cat must've pissed somewhere, he went looking in all the corners of his cabinet, but to his surprise (and disgust) he found the dead cat in one of his drawers. What happened was, his little son got so fed up with the cat's whining, he glued her to the side of one of his father's drawers, almost ripping of her pelt, and than just went on a holiday, pretending nothing had happened, showing no sign of guilt or shame.

The astonishment of my mother and me did not only come from the hideousness of the son's act, but mostly from the way the doctor's wife told the story. With a smile, almost laughing it off, like her son just stole a snack from the candy jar. "Oh, he's such a little rascal" she said, not realizing she had a little Norman Bates living in her own house.

This anecdote went through my head the entire time of watching Benny's Video. And I thought about Benny's parents, in upper denial of their offspring's problems, not able to talk some sense into him or at least punish him for his deeds. And I'm aware of how this all isn't an implausible scenario, but rather very likely. And I couldn't deny the satisfaction I got when the parents get their punishment in the end, even when the actual culprit seems to get off free.


Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:39 pm
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I hope that if I am ever in a similar situation, I'm not too flabbergasted to say, "hey, that's messed up," with my most serious face on.


Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:30 pm
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I was pretty young back than so I just didn't say anything.

The City of the Dead (1960)

Yesterday evening, I saw the 4k restoration of this movie at the Cinematek in Brussels. During the film, a lot of people were laughing, even though there is nothing campy about City of the Dead, it's actually a rather serious, very atmospheric movie. I guess a lot of people just think that everything that's old is "laughably bad", as I literally heard some people proclaim after the movie ended. This "hipsterization" of the repertory movie theater crowd, where everything suddenly becomes ironic, is a sad evolution.

And afterwards I saw the 4K restoration of Suspiria:

Suspiria (1977)

If only my own nightmares were as colorful as this movie.

I think this time Suspiria finally clicked for me. Still don't love it though. There maintains to be a certain distance between me and what is happening onscreen. An obvious reason for that is how everything is dubbed, which is distracting and takes a lot away from the performances. But I feel wrong to complain about that, since that's just as useless as complaining about the sound quality of early talkies, that's just the way it is.

But still, hearing that chilling Goblin score blasting through a theater is one of the best things that happened to me in 2018.


Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:40 pm
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Personal Shopper gave me more anxiety than any horror movie I've seen in the past years. It's a beautiful, fascinating enigma that I'll need to rewatch several times before I can make up my mind about it. There's something about this movie that keeps haunting me but I can't put my finger on it.


Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:22 am
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Slentert wrote:
Carnival of Sinners (1943)

I wish someone would issue a restored home video version of this one. At least, I've never found one.


Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:37 am
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Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)

A bizarre yet uniquely endearing movie that will ultimately bring a smile to your face. Highly imaginative in a way only anime can be. Yet whenever the more conventional parts of the story interfere, the movie slows down big time (mostly noticeable in its second act).

But, even when the film sags a bit, there is always the inventive and hyper stylized animation to marvel at. Most of you don't know this about me but drawing is a major passion of mine so I will always enjoy an animated movie as long as it looks pretty. Yes, I am that superficial.


Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:50 am
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The Hired Hand (1971)

Peter Fonda, coming right off the success of Easy Rider, took a shot at directing his own movie. Universal gave him 1 million dollar to make whatever he wanted. The result was a hippie western, that, while not particularly psychedelic, had a specific meditative pace that was clearly informed by a diet of mushrooms and LSD. And while The Hired Hand is certainly not some hidden masterpiece, it's a really beautiful and quite hypnotic experience that I'm grateful to have had.

I'm honestly not a big fan of Peter Fonda as an actor. I never really responded to his washed up, Californian persona. To me, he lacked the presence and charisma of his father or frequent collaborators like Jack Nicholson or Dennis Hopper. But somehow, this blandness works to his benefit in The Hired Hand (as it also would almost thirty years later in Soderbergh's The Limey). His natural woodenness translates well into the stoic Harry Collings. But he's not stoic the same way Clint Eastwood's The Man with no Name is. Collings is a rather soft spoken man, who barely emotes and doesn't think too much. He seems to have no inner will nor deep longings. He has no direction in life. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life with his wife and daughter, but he doesn't really look determined and barely shows any commitment to the role of husband or father. He hardly exchanges a word with his daughter in the film, and when his wife talks about what the future might bring, his eyes wander off, not really paying attention to whatever is said. Harry Collings is a man who knows he was once born and will die one day, but has no clue what to do in the meantime.

The actual glowing heart of this movie is Warren Oates as Arch Harris, Collings best friend and co-drifter in the years he abandoned his family. Where Peter Fonda is passive and almost not reacting, Oates oozes charm and personality, selling the whole sense of camaraderie between these two all on his own. Fonda gave up part of his producing fee to bring Oates on, and that was totally worth it, considering he breaths life into an otherwise slow and almost deadly film. There is a romantic, tender scene in this movie where Oates is sitting on the porch next to Verna Bloom after a long, hot day of work and while they talk, he softly reaches out his hand to touch her ankle. It's a quiet, shockingly intimate move that shows more passion than any of the interactions between Fonda and Bloom, who play the actual married couple here.
Oates never really looked like a leading man but whenever he was in a movie you barely paid any attention to the other stars, or even, like in this case, the actual leads.

Would make a great double bill with Two- Lane Blacktop, as both are 1971 films that are about American discontent starring Warren Oates.


Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:03 am
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Slentert wrote:
The Hired Hand (1971)

Peter Fonda, coming right off the success of Easy Rider, took a shot at directing his own movie. Universal gave him 1 million dollar to make whatever he wanted. The result was a hippie western, that, while not particularly psychedelic, had a specific meditative pace that was clearly informed by a diet of mushrooms and LSD. And while The Hired Hand is certainly not some hidden masterpiece, it's a really beautiful and quite hypnotic experience that I'm grateful to have had.

I'm honestly not a big fan of Peter Fonda as an actor. I never really responded to his washed up, Californian persona. To me, he lacked the presence and charisma of his father or frequent collaborators like Jack Nicholson or Dennis Hopper. But somehow, this blandness works to his benefit in The Hired Hand (as it also would almost thirty years later in Soderbergh's The Limey). His natural woodenness translates well into the stoic Harry Collings. But he's not stoic the same way Clint Eastwood's The Man with no Name is. Collings is a rather soft spoken man, who barely emotes and doesn't think too much. He seems to have no inner will nor deep longings. He has no direction in life. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life with his wife and daughter, but he doesn't really look determined and barely shows any commitment to the role of husband or father. He hardly exchanges a word with his daughter in the film, and when his wife talks about what the future might bring, his eyes wander off, not really paying attention to whatever is said. Harry Collings is a man who knows he was once born and will die one day, but has no clue what to do in the meantime.

The actual glowing heart of this movie is Warren Oates as Arch Harris, Collings best friend and co-drifter in the years he abandoned his family. Where Peter Fonda is passive and almost not reacting, Oates oozes charm and personality, selling the whole sense of camaraderie between these two all on his own. Fonda gave up part of his producing fee to bring Oates on, and that was totally worth it, considering he breaths life into an otherwise slow and almost deadly film. There is a romantic, tender scene in this movie where Oates is sitting on the porch next to Verna Bloom after a long, hot day of work and while they talk, he softly reaches out his hand to touch her ankle. It's a quiet, shockingly intimate move that shows more passion than any of the interactions between Fonda and Bloom, who play the actual married couple here.
Oates never really looked like a leading man but whenever he was in a movie you barely paid any attention to the other stars, or even, like in this case, the actual leads.

Would make a great double bill with Two- Lane Blacktop, as both are 1971 films that are about American discontent starring Warren Oates.


This sounds like something I should look out for.

Also, is it even possible to talk about Peter Fonda without the word 'bland' eventually coming up. Does anyone on earth like this guy?


Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:05 am
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I watched the movie in a theater myself but there seems to be a okayish print of it on youtube.



And yeah, Peter Fonda is just blandness personified.


Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:20 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Also, is it even possible to talk about Peter Fonda without the word 'bland' eventually coming up. Does anyone on earth like this guy?
He was pretty fun in Almereyda's Nadja. Very goofy. But, yeah, bland works for most everything else.

Slentert, I'll check that one out. Thanks!

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Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
He was pretty fun in Almereyda's Nadja. Very goofy. But, yeah, bland works for most everything else.

Slentert, I'll check that one out. Thanks!


Haven't seen that, but I legit like him in The Limey. But the talent is spread so thin over so many decades.

Maybe if I'd ever bothered with Ulee's Gold...


Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:39 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Maybe if I'd ever bothered with Ulee's Gold...
I can't remember much at all about Ulee's Gold, to be honest, so he might well have been bland in that. I'm going to have to see The Limey one of these days, aren't I?

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:44 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I can't remember much at all about Ulee's Gold, to be honest, so he might well have been bland in that. I going to have to see The Limey one of these days, aren't I?


Yes! The Limey is great.

Soderbergh's best film? Definitely


Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:57 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

Yes! The Limey is great.

Soderbergh's best film? Definitely

I probably agree. But I really like Sex, Lies and Videotapes too.
But yes, Shield, watch The Limey, it's f***in' fantastic.


Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:09 am
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The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
My sister made me watch this. At least it was better than Ex-Drummer.


Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:55 pm
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