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 Maiden's Voyage 
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One more related note. I've been looking for his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, for a long time, so this is very good news.

Also, I know there're lots of Murakami fans out there, but 8000 page views in two days?

:-?

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Wed May 06, 2015 10:31 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
this is very very good news

cool! didnt know abt that

the 8000 is probly me refreshing for new posts from you


Thu May 07, 2015 9:36 am
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wigwam wrote:
the 8000 is probly me refreshing for new posts from you
Haha! :)

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Thu May 07, 2015 10:16 am
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Maybe the thread went back in time for orgies with nuns and future predicting blogs.

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Thu May 07, 2015 6:05 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
Maybe the thread went back in time for orgies with nuns and future predicting blogs.
Ha!

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Thu May 07, 2015 9:09 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Two by Daneliya

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    I more or less stumbled into this double feature of comic fantasies by Georgiy Daneliya – one a dark fairy tale of everyday existence, the other science fiction slapstick with heart. Tears Are Falling tells the goblin-mirror segment of Hans Christian Anderson's Snow Queen, but this 'Kay' is a middle-aged grandpa with a government job, who lashes out at his family and then the world when he falls under the evil spell. Though the film teeters on the edge of dreary miserablism, the whimsical music and increasing absurdity pull it back. Evgeniy Leonov is a great comic actor, a mournful clown with a gleam in his eye, and it was good to see him used so well in Tears, after his thankless buffoonery in Kin-dza-dza! Speaking of which, I don't have much to say about that goofy cult hit. It's clever (and politically pointed) in parts and slightly tiresome in others. But, for such a seemingly low-budget affair, it's surprisingly well-lit and attractive:

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Mon May 11, 2015 5:52 am
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Mulling these over led me back to this great discussion:

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Trip and Pathétique | Daneliya | Walking the Streets of Moscow | Autumn Marathon

Geez, I loved those old Abyss threads!

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Thu May 14, 2015 1:42 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Mommy

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    Mommy is difficult to watch. More quirky than Laurence Anyways and seemingly less assured, it also suffers (by comparison) from characters who push us away. Despite mature writing by Dolan and stunning performances by Dorval and Pilon, Diane and Steve are hard to understand – literally, in their joual dialect, and emotionally, due to some terrible behavior patterns. Diane is not a 'good' mother, though she fervently loves her son, and Steve's moments of promise are all overshadowed by his desperate neediness. Plus, Dolan plays cat-and-mouse with us, cruelly dangling familiar resolutions before snatching them away. I came to terms with it all, in the end, though. Cruelty can be necessary; pain is part of understanding. And, after all, that's what it has in common with Laurence: the agonizing recognition that love isn't enough.

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Sun May 17, 2015 1:28 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Tsai's Walker films

Shieldmaiden wrote:
New Year's resolution: write about Vive l'amour, The Wayward Cloud, and I Don't Want to Sleep Alone.
Aaaand, I haven't quite gotten around to this yet. But I have watched a couple of the 'Walker' shorts lately and they deserve mention here. I admit the concept of this project sounded rather trying, but, for an audience accustomed to his features, they go down easy. It's interesting that, while making Stray Dogs which is loaded with story and structure (for him, anyway), he's also been playing with these, which are pure idea, impressionistic variations on a visionary theme. And look! Aren't they beautiful?

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are seven so far? I've only seen the bolded:

Walker
No Form
Sleepwalk
Diamond Sutra
Walking on Water
Journey to the West
No No Sleep

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Wed May 20, 2015 6:29 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Bad Education

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    I've mentioned my difficulties with melodrama before. But, thanks to roujin's bracket thread, I've found another melodrama to love! When Bad Education came out, I'd seen only a handful of Almodovar's films and wasn't a fan, and nothing I read piqued my interest. But this is really a perfect film for me – a love letter to noir built on stories-within-stories, a passion for cinema, and an amazing tension between nostalgia and tragedy. In a way that reminds me of Fassbinder’s mature melodramas, he's dialed down his earlier outrageous camp to a slippery, tongue-in-cheek tone that takes nothing away from the emotional core of empathy and loss. Likewise, his obvious delight in beautiful, clever images never gets in the way of, but always serves the story. And, the story is pure genre classic, a labyrinth of secrets, heists, and blackmail, until it peels back all the glamour and deception to expose a real-life brand of disappointment. But, the disappointment's in the fiction, not the film. For us, there are always cinematic riches to revel in: the noirish shadows amid the riot of color; small, heartfelt moments in the lurid plotting; a brilliant, sometimes unexpected, use of music; and some lovely, playful visual echoes:

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Sun May 31, 2015 11:36 am
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I'm reading, Maidz. <3

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Sun May 31, 2015 4:33 pm
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Just caught up with this. Good shit Maiden, as always. I've wanted to see Bad Education for some time, and this now gives me a reason to bump it up in a long queue. :)


Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:26 pm
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Eminence Grise wrote:
I've wanted to see Bad Education for some time, and this now gives me a reason to bump it up in a long queue.
Yay! That's always my goal. You and Jedi are my two readers. :heart:


Hey, I'll have some extra movie-watching time in the next two weeks. Does anyone have a recommendation?

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Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:48 am
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How about I Used to Be Darker (2013)? It's a cute little indie, family drama, coming of age type film that's short and on Netflix; so easy! Great music, too. Even wigs liked it! :)


Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:25 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Does anyone have a recommendation?

I have a recommendation: come to my house and watch movies?

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Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:13 pm
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'house'


Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:15 pm
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Celebration in the Botanical Garden
Celebration in the Botanical Garden
Girlfriends and Boyfriends
Celebration in the Botanical Garden

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Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:49 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Two recommendations

Lest anyone think I went to Jedi's house and got myself kidnapped (don't pretend it hadn't crossed your mind, haha), I'm safe and sound, and ready to watch movies again. Despite my best intentions, I ended up with very little time for film (or anything else) the last three weeks. But I did watch my recommendations!

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I Used to Be Darker looks a lot like a Berlin School film with its sunshine, cozy interiors, and small moments of intimacy. The resemblance ends there, though, as the movie drifts like its characters, and struggles a bit for mood and coherence. The non-actors aren't great by any means, but they turn out to be quite good musicians, which was a pleasant surprise. Their music adds wistful resonance to the slight plot. Thanks, EG. :)



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LEAVES tried to trick me by typing the name of his recommendation wrong. Luckily, I figured out that he meant Boyfriends and Girlfriends, which is a new kind of Rohmer for me. Instead of the witty badinage of something like Claire's Knee, for example, this one revolves around the self-absorbed prattle of the empty-headed Lea and the painful (almost Forest for the Trees-level) shyness of Blanche. But if their conversations aren't witty, the film itself is. The characters are sharply drawn, and the small-world of their Paris suburb is ripe for comedy, like Woody Allen's Manhattan. Essentially, this is a punch-line film, where we see the end looming long before they do, and the payoff, with its farcical misunderstandings and cathartic confessions, makes it all worthwhile.

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Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:04 am
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where's eega?


Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:14 am
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roujin wrote:
where's eega?
It's in my sig, which means I liked it! Really, it was much more fun than I expected. No voice-over, thank goodness, just great, visual storytelling and slapstick comedy. Plus, who doesn't want to watch a housefly MacGyver his way out of impossible situations?

And, this guy deserves some kind of evilest villain award:

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Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:01 am
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flieger and i recorded a podcast about it. should be out.... this month!


Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:08 am
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Ooh. Will listen!

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Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:45 am
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ever since that podcast, I've discovered Rajamouli is a pretty talented director. 2010's Maryada Ramanna is his take on Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality and 2009's Magadheera is a pretty fun movie.


Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:54 am
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That doesn't surprise me. I'll look for those others, too. Thanks!

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Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:16 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
          Image

LEAVES tried to trick me by typing the name of his recommendation wrong. Luckily, I figured out that he meant Boyfriends and Girlfriends, which was a new kind of Rohmer for me. Instead of the witty badinage of something like Claire's Knee, for example, this one revolves around the self-absorbed prattle of the empty-headed Lea and the painful (almost Forest for the Trees-level) shyness of Blanche. But if their conversations aren't witty, the film itself is. The characters are sharply drawn, and the small-world of their Paris suburb is ripe for comedy, like Woody Allen's Manhattan. Essentially, this is a punch-line film, where we see the end looming long before they do, and the payoff, with its farcical misunderstandings and cathartic confessions, makes it all worthwhile.
I think this film works especially well in the context of, "I have only watched Eric Rohmer films this year, and I know nothing else", as its similarities to his other films are comforting but the differences are stark, and to those I'll expand later...

Before this film I saw A Summer's Tale and Autumn Tale each of which revolve around central friendships and romantic possibilities. These films float between characters and situations, with clever twists and nuanced interactions. Here, the plot is trite to the point of cliché, which alleviates any need for paying attention. The ending is more than foreshadowed earlier in the film - it's intentionally arranged. This, in fact, is the point, as it is not surprise that is at play but reassurance.

If my memory serves me correctly, The Green Ray is essentially a story about a depressive who can take pleasure out of only the most unique, most fleeting moments. I did not enjoy the film. To see the life of a man like Oedipus destroyed by chance and a truly dreadful sequence of events is tragedy; to see a woman destroyed by a perfectly habitable existence is much more hopeless, tragic. In Girlfriends and Boyfriends (which is surely the correct translation, because I said so), we have someone who has struggles, but also takes it upon herself to make something of her gifts. Where she struggles - she needs the help of a friend. To translate the film into a title, Friends, Girlfriends and Boyfriends, and Friends would be more appropriate. Lea essentially forces herself into Blanche's life, like a slice of artifice sent from the clouds of compassion to allow her to bloom. There is an arch quality to the film that recalled the future films of Whit Stillman to me, and yet instead of stripping the characters in order to expose their absurdities, this film creates absurdities to expose the power of the human interactions. Indeed, there are several elements at play which avoid common tropes to create a contrast of positivity. The ending, of course, is the most obvious, where all drama is avoided, all outfits match, and all faces are filled with smiles. But this is not just the happy ending of a drama, it is in fact the culmination of the fruits of the film's string of compassionate interactions, from the first frame to the last. The film is a representation of an ideal, realized through the knowing avoidance of apparent contradictions to the ideal. It is not a film which says that everything will work out in the end, as it is surely not a depiction of reality, but it is a film which says that there is a path to things working out, and it runs through the selfless compassion of one's friends. It says that if you have friends, their best hope is through you. It says, essentially, that there is nothing else that matters. Or, if not, it at least has killer outfits.

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Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:28 pm
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Ah, I’ve missed these walls of words. :)

LEAVES wrote:
Lea essentially forces herself into Blanche's life, like a slice of artifice sent from the clouds of compassion to allow her to bloom.
What you see as artifice is pretty realistic, in my experience. Extroverted women do go out and rustle up friends, sometimes dragging the more introverted, blinking, out into the sunlight. And, while the resulting relationships often work to the benefit of both women, it’s not really about selfless compassion. (That would be artifice!) Lea’s always doing exactly what she thinks will make her happy. Even her encouragement of Blanche’s pursuit of Alexandre is part of her own, barely disguised, interest in him. That’s neither good nor bad; it’s just how people work! Despite my cynicism, though, I agree with you about human interactions, which maintain their power despite our somewhat tarnished motivations. And I double agree about the puzzle-like perfection of the ending, with its message of hope and color-coordination!

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Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:11 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Platform

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Jia surprises me again in Platform. So much of what I love about A Touch of Sin – the ambitious canvas, the deft painter's touch – is already here. And it's perfect! Staging the small-town doings of a young group of entertainers against an ambitious backdrop of Passing Time, Jia orchestrates hairstyles, pop songs, and a paternalistic government, the intimate and the epic always jostling for attention. Though the plot often mines the inherent ridiculousness of its self-important "art workers" and their frustrated impresario, it's too gentle for satire. But, it's that very gentleness that pulls me in, with its wry humor of family conflict and class confusion, and its quiet affection for all these tiny characters against their gargantuan landscape.

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Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:18 am
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Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Mountains, Maiden. :heart:

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Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:11 pm
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I want to see that so badly! You sounded a little disappointed, though. :(

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:25 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: The Tulse Luper Suitcases

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The Tulse Luper Suitcases are streaming on Netlix, so no more excuses! I watched it as three two-hour films, not as 16 25-minute TV episodes. I'd rather have seen the whole thing in one go in theaters (did that ever happen?), but I realize I’m a special case. Ever since I saw Greenaway’s A Walk through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist long ago, I’ve been fascinated by the shadowy figure of Tulse Luper. This project is a gift to Greenaway fans, full of in-jokes and clips of his films, but it’s particularly so for Luper fans, those of us who watch for his name in the short films, who know that 'Tulse Luper' is an anagram for 'Peter’s Lulu,' who’ve felt the same exhilaration of childhood longing and obsession that runs through Luper’s veins.

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The Suitcases are half Boy’s Own adventure (spies and villains, femmes fatales) and half nightmare of 20th Century evil; the fact that the two preoccupations sit so well together is testimony to Greenaway’s strange skill. The talking-head analysis, art history digressions, typed and hand-written manuscripts, teasing references to hundreds of stories that didn’t make it in, and (always) beauty, beauty, beauty – this is audio-visual candy, and, apparently, can be turned to any purpose. Whether the screen is filled with mad-cap antics or a sort of horror-poetry of genocide, it’s impossible to look away. Epic Theater at its best, it's more real than real. Greenaway knows our memories and dreams don’t (shouldn’t) look like the world. They should be aware of their status, fully cognizant of their inaccuracy, better – more resonant, more layered, more experienced – than their originals. And, that’s what he’s put on screen.

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The six hours aren’t without missteps, of course. At points the mad entertainer slips a bit, and we see the mechanism behind the curtain. I’m thinking especially of the dreary computer graphics he relies on in the last hour, repeated endlessly as if they were more gorgeous photography or wicked humor. Did he run out of steam? And, as usual, the strangeness of the sexual fantasies sometimes jar the dreamer. Adventure tales, fascist nightmares – these things haunt the whole world; cross-dressing, cigarette burns, and turkey basters aren’t quite as universal, haha. But, even the imperfections add layers, and incomplete allusions carry power. Which reminds me of the babies! All those overlapping, interrupted stories of fertility and infertility, babies lost and found – in the double context of Luper's life and the epidemic of hate he documents, it's enormously moving. So, I'll stop there. Perfection is nothing next to love, and I'm very happy that Tulse Luper finally has the loving tribute he deserves.

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< Back | Next >

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:28 am
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:fresh:


Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:41 am
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:)

You and wigwam are the only two I know who've seen this, I think. Did you like it as much as I did? Did you write about it anywhere?

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:58 am
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http://forum.rottentomatoes.com/topic/s ... t_22431732

such a long time ago...


Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:54 am
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Ah, thanks! :heart:

Beau wrote:
Peter Greenaway's massive experimental opus...can be called, without any failure in accuracy, oppressively intellectual, overlong, pretentious, confusing, unwieldy, and emotionally unengaging. It also happens to be brilliant. The film is both easy to watch and difficult to endure. It is an obsessive-compulsive amalgamation of data, a pantomime of our multimedia information age.
Link.

I found it mostly easy, and just occasionally difficult. But, I also found it more serious than you did, I think. Serious under all that silliness.

Bear, I know it was 7 years ago, but did you mean that only Part 2 was in your top 50? Not the whole thing?

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:36 am
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I was just being pedantic. Part 2 must have been my favourite.


Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:04 am
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Epistemophobia wrote:
Part 2 must have been my favourite.
Fair enough. I don't even want to call it three movies, so I won't. :D

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:34 am
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Beau wrote:
:fresh:


i was gonna say :heart: but the preview looked so small compared to how great your post was so I was waiting to say something cool but you've said it all


Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:22 pm
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wigwam wrote:
i was gonna say :heart: but the preview looked so small compared to how great your post was so I was waiting to say something cool but you've said it all
Aw, such flattery. :oops:

You told me a while back I would like it, and I did, so thanks! I don't know why it took me so long to get around to it. Those six hours flew by.

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:40 pm
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I need to catch this before Netlfix takes it down! Which is soon!

And...

http://www.imageandnarrative.be/inarchi ... _luper.htm


Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:27 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
took me so long to get around to it

haha, this is how all the recs i end up loving come about

one thing i really love abt what you wrote is how it's from a fan's perspective since I had the opposite experience not really getting his work until loving Tulse Luper and going back over it (and seeing the shorts)


Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:01 pm
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wigwam wrote:
one thing i really love abt what you wrote is how it's from a fan's perspective since I had the opposite experience not really getting his work until loving Tulse Luper and going back over it (and seeing the shorts)
Yeah, I'm such a Greenaway groupie! Since I first saw Drowning by Numbers (at an art museum, appropriately), it's been :heart: .

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:58 pm
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Ooh, thanks for this! So much good stuff there. The description of the installation at Compton Verney makes me sooo sad I'll never see it (beyond the glimpses in the film). That whole essay's lovely. And, what a neat job tying in the the original Luper feature, A Walk Through H:

Quote:
We argue elsewhere that A Walk Through H recounts a journey through Heterotopia, a territory that exists only through its maps, just as the places on the cinema screen exist only through the projection of light through sequenced images set in motion at 24 frames a second. As Greenaway's narrator suggests, "[p]erhaps the country only existed in its maps, in which case the traveller created the territory as he walked through it." This setting in motion - and simultaneous narrativization - of a series of static images is one of the techniques that Greenaway uses in the film to explore the vocabulary of cinema, first drawing us into the story/landscape through the interaction of 'maps' and camera, then expelling us from it as we are returned to the gallery or museum space. In this sense, we might think of the narrator-protagonist's journey as taking place in the non-space (and the non-time) of the language of cinema: the narrator arrives at his destination, which is also his point of departure, at the same time as he leaves; a distance is apparently traversed but no time elapses.
From Man in a Suitcase: Tulse Luper at Compton Verney, Author: Bridget Elliott and Anthony Purdy

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Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:00 pm
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Bear, help: what was that French film shot in first person? Restaurant scene, etc?

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:09 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Bear, help: what was that French film shot in first person? Restaurant scene, etc?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119113/


Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:44 am
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yep


Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:54 am
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Epistemophobia wrote:
yep
Hmm. Is this a recommendation?

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:28 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Baal

More obscurity here, but why is it so unseen? Who doesn't want to watch R.W. Fassbinder play Baal, the most despicable genius poet ever put on film?! This is an early Bertolt Brecht play, but the English subtitles I had were considerably less poetic than the translations I found on the Internet (the Peter Tegel translation in particular), so it's a little hard to know how faithful it is. Still, it's crazy and fun, and weirdly intense. For a lark, I looked up the David Bowie version, too, from 1982, which is terrible, ha. This was my first Volker Schlöndorff film, but I gather it's pretty uncharacteristic so I won't get too excited.

Image Image
Image Image

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:30 am
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DID I ASK YOU?

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:41 pm
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Be nice in my thread, Jedi.

Everyone should have another schnapps and watch Baal with me.

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:18 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: More Heinrich von Kleist

I watched a couple more adaptations of the Heinrich von Kleist stories I read for class so long ago. (See my previous Kleist post here.) And, yes, this may be the strangest quest for completism this board has ever seen. Deal with it. :P

For Kleists's most famous story, I had a choice between Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's 255 minute version (!!) and one by Erich Rohmer. Easy choice. Rohmer's The Marquise of O is a meticulously accurate rendition of the text. He makes one small change to the story (adding scientific verisimilitude), but otherwise, this is the book on film, to the point of refusing to add any connecting tissue between scenes. (Where the text elides, he uses fade to black, even if it the "scene" is only 10 seconds long.) That's jarring, to be sure, but the performances are so strong (a challenge, in the melodramatic context) and the lighting so lovely, it more than makes up for any awkwardness.


          .Image Image


For Von Kleist's Michael Kohlhaas, I actually started with Volker Schlöndorff's version, (Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebell), but that one was unsatisfying as an adaptation, so overburdened with anachronistic baggage that I didn't have the heart to write about it. The one by Arnaud des Pallières, on the other hand, is very good. Saddled with a ridiculously long title, Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas benefits from an emotional approach to the story. The story is simplified, so we have plenty of time to appreciate the anger and grief and hurt pride that started a rebellion. Mads Mikkelsen lends his presence (that voice!) to the problem of charisma in a complicated character. I don't want to say this is the opposite of Rohmer's approach, since those performances are full of emotion, too, but Pallières uses everything in his cinematic arsenal to focus on that emotional core (which includes, surprisingly, the theological discussions from the book), freeing him to make big story, setting, and even character changes within the spirit of the original.


Image Image

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Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:47 pm
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