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 Adventures, follies. 
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A film log of sorts. I'll spend some time talking about recent viewings here, as they occur. For your reference, my favorite films.

Fallen Angels [1995, Kar-Wai]
Suspiria [1977, Argento]
The Long Goodbye [1973,Altman]
J'ai pas sommeil [1994, Denis]
Au Hasard Balthazar [1966, Bresson]
Until the End of the World [1991, Wenders]
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia [1974, Peckinpah]
Don't Play with Fire [1980, Hark]
Eros + Massacre [1969, Yoshida]
Sur [1988, Solanas]
City of Pirates [1983, Ruiz]
Toby Dammit [1968, Fellini]
Week End [1967, Godard]
Hiroshima mon amour [1959, Resnais]
Naked Island [1960, Shindo]
The Last Picture Show [1971, Bogdanovich]
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant [1972, Fassbinder]
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me [1992, Lynch]
O Sangue [1988, Costa]
Picnic at Hanging Rock [1975, Weir]
The Devils [1971, Russel]
Few of Us [1996, Bartas]
Sansho the Bailiff [1954, Mizoguchi]
Walden [1969, Mekas]
Persona [1966, Bergman]
Mauvais Sang [1986, Carax]
Japanese Summer: Double Suicide [1967, Oshima]
I… Dreaming [1988, Brakhage]
Inferno [1980, Argento]
The Terrorizers [1986, Yang]
Paris, Texas [1984, Wenders]
Touch of Evil [1958, Welles]
Black Sunday [1960, Bava]
Rumble Fish [1983, Coppola]
Red Desert [1964, Antonioni]
Heroic Purgatory [1971, Yoshida]
Singing in the Rain [1952, Donen]
Vertigo [1958, Hitchcock]
Kaidan [1964, Kobayashi]
Femme Fatale [2002, De Palma]
News From Home [1977, Akerman]
Ivan the Terrible Pt. 1 [1944, Eisenstein]
The Letter Never Sent [1960, Kalatazov]
Floating Weeds [1959, Ozu]
Tokyo Drifter [1967, Suzuki]
Fitzcarraldo [1984, Herzog]
Landscapes in the Mist [1988, Angelopoulos]
Blue Velvet [1986, Lynch]
Damnation [1988, Tarr]
Goodbye Dragon Inn [2003, Tsai]
High School [1968, Wiseman]
Lucifer Rising [1972, Anger]
Querelle [1982, Fassbinder]
Short Cuts [1993, Altman]
Near Dark [1987, Bigelow]
The Docks of New York [Von Strenberg, 1928]
Oedipus Rex [Pasolini, 1967]
Sure Fire [Jost, 1990]
An Actor's Revenge [Ichikawa, 1963]
The Cloud Capped Star [Ghatak, 1960]
Deep End [Skolimowski, 1970]
Another Way [Makk, 1982]
The Hourglass Sanitorium [Has, 1973]
Ghost World [Zwigoff, 2001]
The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes [Brakhage, 1972]
L'amour braque [Zulawski, 1985]
Go, Go Second Time Virgin! [Wakamatsu, 1969]
Out 1 [Rivette, 1971]
The Goddess of 1967 [Law, 2000]
The Other Side of the Underneath [Arden, 1972]
A Zed and Two Noughts [Greenaway, 1985]
The Asthenic Syndrome [Muratova, 1989]
Return of the One Armed Swordsman [Cheh, 1969]
The Sun in a Net [Uher, 1962]
The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance [Ford, 1962]
Love Streams [Cassavetes, 1984]
Pastoral: To Die in the Country [Terayama, 1974]
Lost, Lost, Lost! [Mekas, 1976]
The Harder They Come [Henzell, 1972]
Rebels of the Neon God [Tsai, 1992]
Yearning [Naruse, 1964]
Finis Terrae [Epstein, 1929]
Duvidha [Kaul, 1973]
The Blade [Hark, 1995]
Patlabor 2 [Oshii, 1993]
India Song [Duras, 1975]
The Wanderer [Albicoco, 1967]
Macbeth [Welles, 1948]
Night on Earth [Jarmusch,1991]
Voices of a Distant Star [Shinkai, 2003]
Barren Illusions [K. Kurosawa, 1999]
Prospero's Books [Greenaway, 1991]
Ms. 45 [Ferrara, 1981]
October [Eisenstein and Aleksandrov, 1928]
Walkabout [Roeg, 1971]
The Girl who Leapt Through Time [Hosoda, 2006]
Bigger than Life [Ray, 1956]
Sun's Burial [Oshima, 1960]
Juliet of the Spirits [Fellini, 1965]
Greed [Stroheim, 1924]

Now, onward.

The Master [P.T Anderson/2012]

I think I've had proper time to digest what I've seen now - The Master was definitely a pleasant surprise for me - I love film as a puzzle, and The Master's full of just that, through its use of fractured time, and the nearly non-existent narrative threads that tie it all together, we're always looking into fractured moments of time, traumas, moments of joy, of lust - Anderson constructs a film that I felt moved - no, drifted quickly through moments in the relationship between Freddie and Dodd, both real and imagined (the theater scene is delightfully odd.) the ending probably shouldn't have left me as cathartic as it did, but despite the fact that Freddie ends at the other side of his years with Dodd and his cult basically in a similar spot to where he was at the beginning, the place he's in is one where he's more comfortable in his own skin, in his identity, as damaged as he may be, his exchange with the British woman is at once, incredibly sad and uplifting in its own way. The film has such sad laughter, such broken people, I can't help but find it fascinating. I hope Anderson continues down this path with his filmmaking - it's the kind of work that could actually lift him up into the modern greats for me.


Dragon is Returned [Eduard. Grečner/1968]
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A tapestry of sound and visual texture - it's certainly not always successful, but it's almost always interesting, also deeply, tonally flawed. For the film's hypnotic segments there's the strange, odd sequences, men fighting, camp seems to erupt from the film's initially sinister tones at the blink of an eye. The cinematography is great, as is to be expected of someone who worked with Uher on some of his best work - as previously mentioned, it's just a somewhat schizophrenic experience, worth seeing for the sequences that do work, because those are positively gripping, unique bits of filmmaking - the sound design, ushering in characters on a chorus of whispers and bells, looking into the expanses of mountains with a unfailingly sinister tone may be the film's greatest achievement as it's really unlike anything I can name off the top of my head and it definitely helped keep me around through the film's rougher patches.

The Days Between [Maria Speth/2001]
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Wonderful. I've a huge soft spot for silent films, not in the literal sense, but films where people speak infrequently, largely because of the highly visual and physical nature of the film itself. The Days Between embraces that kind of approach to filmmaking, only speaking when it absolutely needs to, otherwise letting the actors and the camera work together to create a dance of sorts. I love how the film uses faces, uses light to create emotional states of mind. It's incredibly intimate filmmaking as well; watching little tells, suggestions by the film's conflicted leading characters and how at the end they eventually accept each other, in however temporary a capacity that might be, as the film seems smartly aware of. This doesn't seem to be the tale of a long lasting love, but a brief, temporary affair to meet the needs of each person's loneliness. Probably the best film I've seen recently honestly.

10:30 P.M. Summer [Jules Dassin/1966]
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Dassin's film reeks of rain bringing out the worst smells in the streets, of alcohol, of tightly packed rooms - it's wonderfully atmospheric, dramatic filmmaking about a conflicted relationship between travelers stuck together - perhaps most surprising are the lesbian undercurrents that punctuate the interactions between Mercouri and Schneider's characters - but there's a lot of stuff to take in visually. Dassin succeeds in his effort at constructing a tight, breathing space for the viewer to settle into, making the film's interactions more involved, more sordid than if they'd be treated clinically. Perhaps most interesting to me is that the film came from Marguerite Duras' writing, which I'd not associate with the kind of high-pressure mood Dassin creates, it's a good compliment to the undertones of Duras' script and makes for a good, memorably grimy film.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:13 am
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Lovely. I so need to watch The Days Between.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:16 am
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That Dassin sounds interesting.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:20 am
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charulata wrote:
Lovely. I so need to watch The Days Between.

Seems like the kind of film you'd enjoy.

I'll be watching Naruse's final feature, Scattered Clouds and Timeless, Bottomless Bad Movie next, as both are a bit overdue now.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:23 am
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looking forward to discussing films I've seen with you, good start :)

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:46 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
That Dassin sounds interesting.


It's an intriguing film.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:51 am
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:)

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:17 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
That Dassin sounds interesting.
This. And it's Netflix Instantable. Maybe tonight...

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:49 am
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That Dassin is cool.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:24 am
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Das wrote:
The Days Between [M. Speth/2001]
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Wonderful. I've a huge soft spot for silent films, not in the literal sense, but films where people speak infrequently, largely because of the highly visual and physical nature of the film itself. The Days Between embraces that kind of approach to filmmaking, only speaking when it absolutely needs to, otherwise letting the actors and the camera work together to create a dance of sorts. I love how the film uses faces, uses light to create emotional states of mind. It's incredibly intimate filmmaking as well; watching little tells, suggestions by the film's conflicted leading characters and how at the end they eventually accept each other, in however temporary a capacity that might be, as the film seems smartly aware of. This doesn't seem to be the tale of a long lasting love, but a brief, temporary affair to meet the needs of each person's loneliness. Probably the best film I've seen recently honestly.
It's too bad nobody voted for this in that one place where people vote on things and then stuff happens.

Oh, wait, somebody did.

Too late.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:10 pm
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Oh noes!


Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:10 pm
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I'll have to live that down now. Oh my.

I don't pay attention to that thread.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:15 pm
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Why did Speth show the asian guy run out of water and all that?

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:18 pm
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Obviously somewhat of a Tsai homage.

I don't know.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:19 pm
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It didn't seem terribly relevant in the scheme of things to me.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:20 pm
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hey

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:01 pm
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B-Side wrote:
hey

I'll take this as a sign of approval.

Scattered Clouds(Miidaregumo) is surprising so far, Naruse sets up a completely different film within the first 10 minutes and pulls the floor out from under the viewer shortly after, it's excellent so far. More on it when I'm done.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:12 pm
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it can be interpreted in a number of ways, but i prefer the descartes interpretation that implies a cogito ergo sum-esque argument for the sake of a non-presence in an otherwise necessarily anthropomorphic setting

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:24 pm
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New threadz!

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:01 pm
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B-Side wrote:
it can be interpreted in a number of ways, but i prefer the descartes interpretation that implies a cogito ergo sum-esque argument for the sake of a non-presence in an otherwise necessarily anthropomorphic setting

boobs

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:39 pm
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B-Side wrote:
it can be interpreted in a number of ways, but i prefer the descartes interpretation that implies a cogito ergo sum-esque argument for the sake of a non-presence in an otherwise necessarily anthropomorphic setting


:up:

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:03 pm
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Scattered Clouds [Mikio Naruse/1967]
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Within the space of the film's initial 10 minutes, Naruse has already landed his first blow, setting up an entirely different film only to pull it away from the audience. It's not simple idyllism either, the film that could've been within the film's initial moments is as potentially trouble-laden as any of Naruse's dramas, with a different angle, the Japanese couple living in the US, dissolving. But that's not the film Scattered Cloud is. While it's in more comfortable waters, there are certainly aspects I feel like Naruse uses differently than in many of his other films, instead of focusing on old traumas biting at his character's conscious, the film is very much about a new wound for the characters to deal with, not one partially healed over. And towards that end, there's less restraint in his tension, it lets loose a bit more, the river Naruse guides his viewer through, as Kurosawa described has currents closer to the surface than before.

Across Naruse's 37 year career, it was more typical for his films violent emotional undercurrents to implode, and simply fan outward into a lingering feeling, than give his viewer an easy release - and Scattered Clouds, his final film may just contain one of the most evocative of his endings, his characters leave one another but not before being allowed to witness an event not dissimilar to the one that occurs off screen to bring the film into motion. This feels like Naruse's waltz, his summation of his filmic obsessions and ideas into a final statement - whether that's a bias informed by my knowledge of the fact that this is indeed his final film or not - I feel is irrelevant, here, his film's silent dramatic strands threaten to boil over with the kind of dramatic pacing a filmmaker only with his experience and skill could manage. But that's typical of late Naruse, his mastery of pace already established, what's particularly impressive about Scattered Clouds is the diversity of the film's emotional spectrum, floating between mourning, disdain and eventually, opening up into brief moments of happiness, however short lived they might be. The film plays out like a final statement, and as that, it's among his best work, and certainly a fine note to leave on.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:11 pm
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sweet! i didnt know he had any films in color, cant wait to see


Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:07 am
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Got some recz from it already.

I wonder if there was ever a dramaticomedimusical film called something like The Adventurous Follies of 1935.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:57 am
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wigwam wrote:
sweet! i didnt know he had any films in color, cant wait to see

He has a number of films in color, some in poor condition, others like this one in as good a condition I can hope for, at least for a while. The man knew how to use color extremely well to boot, Scattered Clouds features very saturated, but earthy tones, it's almost like watching a painting at times in some of its wider shots.


Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:37 am
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Timeless, Bottomless Bad Movie [Sun-Woo Jang/1997]
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The plight of the urban punk has to be a small genre unto itself now, but more typically, when a film takes un into the low places of the world's cities and countries, we're treated a sentimentalism and near pornographic level of misery (and inevitably, some form of redemption, or yet more misery by the film's end), whether it's the rise out of the slums, or a death in the slums, it's a fundamentally tired, and one dimensional story. Timeless, Bottomless Bad Movie couldn't be farther from that - I think what I found most consistently surprising was how at level the film was, its energy is very much of the streets it occupies, it's not above them, it's in them constantly. And instead of filtering action though any kind of moral lens, it simply observes things happen - beatings, sex, joy, misery at the level of the disaffected young people involved in the film. The energy of the film's aesthetic is incredibly unique as well, blasting through crude animation, the director and interviewers within frame all lend itself towards the quality of film as a rough sketch, although a wonderfully fulfilling sketch at that. It at least superficially resembles what you might expect of a WKW film, but the energy and movement of the thing couldn't be any more different. An interesting venture into the night.


Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:35 am
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I've got b-side on deck for tonight. but.

Recommend something. Yes, you.


Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:36 am
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the asthenic syndrome / muratova

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Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:01 am
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snapper wrote:
the asthenic syndrome / muratova

Some time after Blue, sure.


Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:08 am
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also probably one of my favourite films ever maboroshi no hikari / kore-eda

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Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:51 pm
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snapper wrote:
also probably one of my favourite films ever maboroshi no hikari / kore-eda

Koreeda-san is a master, though I prefer After Life and Nobody Knows to Maborosi.

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Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:00 pm
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I love all his films that I've seen except Air Doll. But Maboroshi has a gossamer perfection, perfect timing, perfect composition, perfectly pure statements on mortality and loss... I think the symbolism of the other films seems fussy in comparison. Shocking that it was his first film, I think the closest he's gotten to reaching that standard is Still Walking (but I haven't seen Hana yori mo naho or Distance).

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:53 am
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Maboroshi is damn good, I've liked every Koreeda I've seen so far.

His composition in Maboroshi generally feels more, I don't know, meaningful to me than in his other films, but his other films tend to have had a greater emotional weight to them for me. I actually think very highly of Air Doll.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:56 am
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If Air Doll had a saving grace for me it was Bae Doona's performance, but she's always great. The rest of the time it felt like Kore-eda transferring philosophical notebook scribbles to film without really exploring anything. It definitely seemed like a rush job post Still Walking. Also it goes on far too long for no real reason (a problem with Nobody Knows, too, but that film is much better).

I'd go:
1. Maboroshi no hikari
2. Still Walking
3. After Life
4. Nobody Knows
-
5. Air Doll

Can't wait for his next film.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:03 am
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I think it's interesting in the sense of how directly it addresses what's becoming more and more problematic in Japan's culture, the men who abandoned a sense of love for (actual) women for sex dolls, pillows, dating sims, etc, it's definitely a bit raw in places but the subject matter of the film is intriguing because it's a side to Japanese culture we (westerners, Europeans, Islanders) almost never get to look at, or laugh at when it props up in the news. It's interesting in how it contextualizes that aspect of the culture into a scenario that kind of earnestly examines the one-sided nature of the situation as seen from something that's loved by its owner precisely because it's unfeeling, what if it felt, etc? It works for me.

I'd go
Still Walking
After-Life
Maboroshi
Air Doll
Nobody Knows.


I can't say I dislike any of them, I should see I Wish. Anyone seen Hana yori mo naho?


Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:17 am
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I dunno, I feel like it approached those topics (and others) and just sort of skimmed them. Esp. noticeable in all the little tangents into the lives of peripheral characters who get one close-up, one platitude spoken in v.o., and are then shifted out of focus. Also the casting of a Korean actress as the sex doll is an interesting move that isn't really elaborated on

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:17 am
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Has I Wish been released over here at all yet or is it still only playing festivals? I feel like I haven't heard anything about it in a while.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:30 am
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bubba wrote:
Has I Wish been released over here at all yet or is it still only playing festivals? I feel like I haven't heard anything about it in a while.

if you have a KG account:
https://karagarga.net/details.php?id=126695

Just grabbed it and skimmed through it myself, quality's better in motion, subs are good.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:49 am
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snapper wrote:
If Air Doll had a saving grace for me it was Bae Doona's performance, but she's always great.

Yes, her... performance. :shifty:

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I'll never understand the hate for Air Doll. It's a silly film, and certainly minor Koreeda, but does it really merit such negativity?

Hana isn't bad for a comedy involving samurai sword-fights, but I didn't think much to I Wish.

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WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision


Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:50 am
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Post Re: Adventures, follies.

I need to make a banner for this, or if someone else wants to give it a shot..

Updated with a loose viewing schedule for stuff I plan on watching in the next week, I'll try and keep it up to date with relevant information and kg links for those who'd like to follow along and converse maybe.

Time to Love and Blue double feature tonight, at least one of them and some thoughts after.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:03 am
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I liked I Wish quite a bit. Hope you like it too.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:34 am
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i have Distance downloaded, looking forward to it, loved Still Walking, liked Nobody Knows, want that butt


Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:36 am
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I like I Wish, better than Air Doll. It's all about Still Walking, of course. And After Life is good.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:14 am
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Das wrote:
if you have a KG account:
https://karagarga.net/details.php?id=126695

Just grabbed it and skimmed through it myself, quality's better in motion, subs are good.

Thanks, but it looks like Netflix is going to have it on DVD at the beginning of next month. I'll just wait for that.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:53 pm
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Time to Love[Metin Erksan/1965]
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Certainly an interesting film in its synthesis of human and ideological/philosophical conflict, Time to Love turns its characters into ideas as much as they are humans, each speaking in tones of contrast and idea before speaking towards some form of emotional catharsis. The painter is in love with the woman's picture, but only her picture, in turn she grows to love him, but he loves only her picture. There's a clear conflict of philosophy that runs throughout the film, the modern love of the woman and the cold, one-sided love of the man (at first). The film's tone often rides on the shoulders of the off nature of the interaction between performers, and the film's use of music to guide scenes along, it's not without problems - the cohesion to its ideas and conflict of identity and interests leaves parts of the film unfeeling, or at worst uninteresting. But when the film works, it's absolutely fascinating, lines carry veiled meanings, and the framing often guides the emotional core of conflict more than the actors themselves. A unique, if not somewhat problematic work that ocassionally touches on brilliance in scenes. I struggled to be consistently engaged with it, it lacks an emotional center to me, relying a bit too much on its intellectual leanings to guide the film the whole way through. Still worth seeing for its better moments, and on the whole, it was engaging enough in its ideas, just a bit cold in spots.

Blue[Hiroshi Ando/2002]
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Blue is based off of a short manga series, one I'm quite fond of, it has a lovely sense of fragmented, focused time - the essence of a period of time condensed into minimalistic frames and lines. The film doesn't quite reach the same emotional/stylistic apex its source material does, nevertheless, it still succeeds at getting down the feeling of its manga source, and is a quiet, lovely work in its own right. It's also quite a bit closer to the source in terms of style then I would've thought possible with a live film adaptation, substituting the minimal, focused illustration for sparse framing and intimate sound design. The sounds of the ocean, of the surrounding fade other conversations away, stripping down Blue's conversations into a sort of isolated place, I found the method incredibly effective in focusing the film's energy into the ebb and flow of the two primary character's relationship, and individual feelings. The colors and framing create a restrained, tempered sense of feeling, but with an intensity hidden away just underneath the surface. The performances are understated, but slowly involving, Manami Koshimi, who plays Endo in particular is excellent. Beyond that, Blue's simplicity and gentle pull are hugely effective at creating a tone full of fragility and intimacy, this is cinema of feeling and memory, and it's pleasantly engaging, and heartbreaking.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:33 pm
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blah blah blah asian cinema is teh bestest hurr durr i'm ass floyd and i hate turkish cinema

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:36 pm
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the compositions in Blue are awesome. Love your words on it, sum up my feelings too

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:39 pm
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B-Side wrote:
blah blah blah asian cinema is teh bestest hurr durr i'm ass floyd and i hate turkish cinema

and then Das never took a b-side recommendation again cuz' b's a piece of shit who can't read and doesn't even lift.

<3


Snapper wrote:
the compositions in Blue are awesome. Love your words on it, sum up my feelings too

They are, sparse and effective. I like how the color shifts in the film gradually, more warm colors as the relationship develops.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:43 pm
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I HOIST

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:50 pm
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I'll see all these in 10 or so years.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:51 pm
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